May 2, 2011
Choice is always there. Though choice may seem arbitrary, it can be the beginning of fulfillment when welcome the conviction our fate is contingent upon the freely chosen fate of a contingent on a reliance without restraint of our collective actions moving toward the favored future of insurgence. Rebellion is the best answer to the highly controlled system of government, corporate bureaucracy and corresponding global economy. Insurrection, defiance, and go into social equality with all your energy. The cry is for participatory democracy, workers self management and complete humanism. Democracy remains unfinished and irreconcilable with the deeply felt needs, desires sense of reason, social justice as yet unmet. Democracy is most undemocratic if it is not participatory on the job and in the community. When democracy is redefined to meet the needs of profitability of transnational global companies, corporate bureaucracy, and government programs designed to save investors becomes the iron cage of the Weberian type.
May 3, 2011
Living with death can lead to the greatest fulfillment in life. Choosing liberation and liberty to live life at its fullest is embrace rebellion as a daily celebration. Conformity only leads to despair and alienation. Death frees the living to embrace the rich and full life of the rebel. Loyalty economic democracy, equality of significance and hope for forthcoming life chances, communal sovereignty and maximum fulfillment for everyone is the birth of a movement. The orderly business as usual is the slavery we carry with us. Through saying no to the class structure is to say yes to life. To challenge directly power, privilege, wealth and property is to be free in an “unfree” society. Death rights all wrongs because no one takes the freedom of a rebel away, because death waits at the end of every life. Death allows us to embrace each day as if it were our last. Values of control become internalized and freedom strangled in the crib we become mundane robots dead fro birth to old age. To be reborn as a rebel we celebrate life and we accept the responsibility and its’ consequences.
The people who live, lives influenced by their terror, anxieties and apprehension fail to accept the responsibility for the choices they have made. Their despair is their own creation they could have chosen resistance. In resistance is hope for the future. Confrontation, uprising and destiny are the parables of insurrection, defiance, renovation and fortune born in the flames of the past becoming the future.
We can give power to ourselves through increasing the exciting political, social, economic and cultural potency of individuals within their communities by
Because we all die, our morality has a direct influence on how we will live. If we choose to live our lives in a way that leaves us feeling empty then we made a poor choice. Even in tyranny there is fulfillment in becoming revolutionaries. To accept this role is to resist. To behave genuinely is to give encouraging replies to conscientiousness for our decisions. We made our decisions and we acknowledge the consequences. It is our behavior that is important, accepting outcome for our actions, whether good or bad, is the first step in becoming a revolutionary. From behavior we define our values, or at least we should. In the process of choosing what to do we create who we are. In the larger community with others all around us we make decisions and behave in such and such away. We have an impact on other people’s lives. If we accept we cannot accept the fact there is always a choice, even among bad alternatives. If we accept to care about others is the most rational survival strategy. If we accept ethics is an evolutionary selected trait. We must allow others to make their own decisions and to learn from their own mistakes. Only in an open and accepting community based upon the principles of participatory democracy can each individual collectively and separately realize their full potential as human beings. Only in such a community can the eccentric thrive and contribute positively. We can now change together each in their own direction. Communism means the ultimate individualism.
The fact that we are mortal is based on the meaning that our choices are daily and renewed daily. Daily renewal is important for us to take advantage of the choices before us. Daily choices are important for us to take advantage of the choices before us. Choices are the curse we cannot escape if it becomes our calibration of life. If we fail to see this, we fall into a mind deadening routine in which our lives passes away unnoticed and then one day we die. Because others are also part of our larger environment each of us as individuals maximizing our choices can help fulfill each other. It is in the Epicurean Garden in which pleasure that harms no one is still the greatest good.
May 4, 2011
Colonialism is the domination of one nation by another. In some cases a settler community pushes the indigenous people off the land to make room for this group of settlers in other cases the indigenous people are ruled by a foreign administration. In both cases the colonial population are economically exploited and politically oppressed. The oppressed people often question their humanity. The dominant power defines what is modern and civilized, the political, civil and professional responsibilities of the administration. The foreign forces defined political obligation and economic inevitability of a modern society. The indigenous people are to be educated in order to become capable of surviving in a progressive sovereignty required for life in a modern civilization. The introduced identity of responsible citizenship reflects the imported values of the conquering administrative alien powers. The traditional pre-colonial ways of the indigenous people are seen as inferior by the acquiring by force of arms of a foreign oppressor nation. Only by rejecting the colonial European value system can the indigenous people regain their humanity.
This may mean regaining, relearning or rewriting traditional culture. Even philosophies of resistance like some verity of Marxism, National Liberation, or internationalism will be embedded in a local identity. Being rooted in a native distinctiveness, nationalism will be a homegrown loyalty born from a nationwide aboriginal individuality. Only by murdering the master buried deep in the unconsciousness of the slave can the regain her humanity. Simply by assassinating slave mentality masked by a bottomless oblivion can the person entirely under the domination of some influence other than her own can the get back to her sympathy for herself.
May 5, 2011
Historical analysis is based upon empirical facts of all parts of a larger social whole interacting and changing over time. Part of the study is how nations interact in a global environment, how nation-states related to communities and how the entire planet is made up multinational states in which the various parts not only form this larger whole, but the part are conflicting with as well assimilating the parts around them.
The economy that is both historical and sociological is set in a specific environment forming multiple interacting relationships within a particular political culture and power relationship set in a worldwide series of conflicts and resolutions to those conflicts changing overtime.
Forces of Production
Technology & Environment
Relations of Production
May 6, 2011
The Southern States abandoned the Democratic Party after 1960’s and became the core of the Republican far right. This new ideology is a romantic reinterpretation of down home traditional values, laissez faire capitalism, military interventions and protestant fundamentalism. This became popular in the West and Mid-West.
Single-issue politics has come to dominate the national political culture. This is truer on the right than on the left.
Anti-intellectualism is the bread of the new Republican Conservatives. Anti-gay, anti-people of color, anti-poor and anti-immigrant are added to the mix to generate support. Northern White Catholics are willing to form a provisional and fragile alliance over these issues. The partnership over these concerns falls apart over labor rights. Unions in the private sector have declined from 1970 to the smallest point in a hundred years, while public employees unions have become an accepted institution. That is why Republicans use the budget issue to break the remaining unions. Catholics traditionally are more pro-union that is why budget concerns are so critical maybe unions can finally be broken in both the private and public sector.
The left from labor unions, the working class and other groups of poor and working people in the Us early during the post World War II Clod War.
The left became the home ground for educated intellectuals, humanistic professionals, and artists of various verities. The issue moved from rank and file union democracy to such issues as environment, foreign policy and feminism. First World intellectual’s close identifications with third and fourth world anti-colonial, anti-imperialism and concern with the global rise of neo-colonialism and neo-liberalism (neo-conservative) will give rise to the same group of first world intellectuals becoming openly critical of their own government’s policies.
The religious right can deliver votes. Thus, they carry a lot of weight among Republicans. Churches have power far beyond their numbers.
Moral issues today are poorly defined and highly emotionally charged are marketed as sound bits with little content and even less close analysis. Single issues like racial identity sexual morality, anti-gay or lesbian, antiabortion, gun rights, and anti-evolution, jingoistic patriotism.
The right lump all Arabs with all Muslims as being as being terrorists. Palestinian claims are lost in the general xenophobia. All Hispanics are feared to be illegal aliens. This same kind simplistic racial profiling was central to the nationalism of the fascists.
May 7, 2011
The potential that remains unrealized because it was never chosen will become just another illusion.
Unfulfilled possibilities are the litter of history. They remain only as role models of failure. But, failure is the role model of future success.
May 8, 2011
Failure is an insight to future strategy. The reason an action takes place may be as important as how to make it right. But, when the same mistakes are made again and again, then we need to talk as load and as often as we can.
May 9, 2011
Money the universal equivalent, or where an item called money take on this role represents a well-nigh highly developed form of economic system, and therefore not a universal. Also wage labor or working for wage is also a specific type of economic system and again not universal. Where wage labor exists there is a separation between the wageworker and the material expenditures of materials needed in production. Because the wageworker lacks the resources necessary to provide for her own subsistence, she enters the market in order to sell her ability to work for a set amount of money called a wage. The capitalist who has a surplus of money beyond what needed for his own subsistence can use that money to production in motion. He able to buy the resources needed in production the raw materials, the tools, the faculties and the source of power needed in production. Because the worker lacks all of the above resources she must enter into a contract the capitalist to sell her physical ability to work to the capitalist in order to have enough money simply to buy the basic necessities to live.
May 10, 2011
The capitalist who has the surplus money then set the whole process in motion. Capitalism with its universal money is unique. Money is necessary for the start up of production. He who has the money owns the labor power of she who lacks the money. The owner of large quantities money becomes the owner of the material resources needed in production, call means of production in some circles. With the assets, substance capital and revenue of organization the income of the capitalist if successful only grows. The wages of the worker is spent just staying alive. Money that fiction we all agree is real, then becomes the only thing that is real. Nothing moves without investment capital giving the capitalist power beyond his worth. His social contribution though fictional is all that is real.
May 11, 2011
Money is a social truth that has no other reality than the fiction we all agree is real. Money as money can have no practical authenticity or use than what all agree is its communal certainty. This the roles of means of exchange in which everything can be exchanged for everything else through the medium of money, the universal equivalent in the value one commodity can be measured against the worth of another article of trade. Wages is the payment for a specific article of trade that will be the workers own item of exchange for the time set aside in which she sells her ability to work to the capitalist. Everything else belongs to the capitalist her labor power once sold, the means of production and the product produced.
May 12, 2011
There must exist for capitalism to take root and become the dominant economic system sufficient money in the hands of the capitalists or investment capital to buy large enough raw materials, tools and etc. in order to set the capitalist production in motion. Also the capitalist must have access to enough money through investment capital to employee the wageworkers. Finally the wageworkers must be sufficiently separated from the physical means of subsistence forcing them into the labor market.
Now the workers have nothing to live on but their wages. The buy in the market all they need to live. This means the workers employed by one capitalist creates a market in both capital goods and consumer goods produced by other capitalists. These other capitalists need the investment capital or money necessary to buy the tools and raw materials needed to produce the consumer goods required by the expanding working class. The needed materials and tools used in production or capital goods in turn give investment opportunities for the capitalist who will hire wage workers and use these worker in conjunction with resources need to produce the capital goods used in the production of consumer goods. The circulation of money capital grows ever larger giving the investment opportunities for the growth and power of a small capitalist class and an ever-growing size of the working class. The expansion of capitalist economy needs an expanding need for cheap sources materials needed in production also of the labor supply needed to turn these materials into objects to be sold on the global market. Either through absorption or coercion people must become separated from the means of subsistence forcing the survivors into the labor market to work for wages. Land and the raw materials of nature must become commodities sold on the open market. Tribal, ancestral, the public or community claims to the land must be broken making nature objects of speculation in a market economy with those people with the money the only ones who have a claim to the labor power of others, the materials of nature and money for investments. Money too now that it serves no real function other than as the universal equivalent, means of universal exchange and the power of liability and accountability. Money that fictional fantasies that is both unreal and a caprice is not only the only really real reality under capitalism, it too is a means speculation. Labor power is bought and sold as rented slavery. Ownership of nature as commodities speculated on for a profit and money. Then any article of trade is fit into place as any economic transaction to buy and sell commodities including land, labor or money in the expectation of a quick and large profit.
It is money, which is a source of power for the capitalist and disempowerment for the worker. The capitalist is free to invest his money any way he sees fit. He can invest in the production of consumer goods, capital goods, land and resource speculation temporarily independent of productions, land for renting, money markets loaning money to financial speculators who in turn want to loan money to productive capital receiving interest in return. The worker only able to live from payday to pay day falls further behind in relation to the entire class of capitalists.
May 13, 2011
Goods once produced are sold on the market for a value greater than the capital outplayed in the costs of materials and tools used and the wages for the workers hired. The materials are paid for and add nothing more to the price but when some one hires a worker once the workers wage are made through the hours worked the continues to require the worker to continue her labor in order to for the capitalist to make a profit.
May 14, 2011
When a product is to be sold on the market, the main motivation is to earn a profit. The product is treated as if it has added is worth beyond the costs of production, or a surplus value ha been added. From simple cliché an entire economic system is firmly established. To have the money to produce something to be sold either money is borrowed from a financial institution to be paid back with interest or investment capital must readily accessible. Profit, dividends or interest are all paid out of the surplus obtained by selling the product.
The value added during the process of production being the reason for production in the first place then requires a surplus large enough to meet the demands of the banks loaning the money needed in production, the investors buying into the corporation, profits going to the corporation, the capitalist who own the transport systems, whole sale companies and retail outlets. Many things enter into the realization of this surplus. In the market the laws of supply and demand play a part in setting the price, but that is not all there is the degree of competition with other firms, the cost of labor, international trade, the worth of money at the time it is sold, the time it takes for the commodity to be produced and sold and the money made to be reinvested to produce more products to be sold.
In the production process good already produced are bought and transformed yet again into a new product that is sold for money. It is money that is reinvested again and again, or consumes by individual capitalist and workers. It is money that is needed before production can take place and it is money that stands, as the reason production exists at all. The circulation of capital begins with money and ends with more money. The surplus created for each cycle in part determines the total surplus created in any year. Each use of the money that is used up in the year has its own cycle. Wages for the most part are used up between paydays. Interests on loans have a different cycle than that of producing a product that is to be sold.
Production taking place each part of the production process has its own life cycle. The workers life from day to day and from payday to payday, the tools may last for years, the materials used in production are used up all at once and are realized when the product is sold, with each cycle part of the loans are paid back with interest, and dividends depending on the firm every quarter of a year. Money then moves independently of the movement of commodities being sold, even though the turning of the commodities into money is the whole reason for production in the first place.
May 15, 2011
Money as sources of investment cares not what it is invested in, as long as a profit is realized. This means investment capital is set up in such a way that money can be invested in order to bring about the this increase with the few problems, least risk or highest returns or any combination of these concerns.
Money being the justification for investments means only that the process of capital expansion begins and ends with money; capital accumulation is always threatened by the possibility of non-expansion money capital. Thus, investor being risk avoiders are hard pressed to come up with ways of realizing a profit. The irrational drive for profits leads to schemes point the absurd logic of capitalism. Commodities not sold are worth nothing and if represent the loss of the money capital advanced, default on loans is functionally the same. Increasingly investments in the stock market with the liquid flow of large quantities of investment capital prove this point, junk bonds, hedge funds, government bailouts all point out that productions of goods and services are always secondary. Money stands outside and inside of production for profit. Profits reinvested may be invested outside of the industry that created that profit.
May 16, 2011
The election of 2008 excited the left like no other election sense the days of FDR. It appeared that the Democrats by necessity would have to give something to the left. The two party systems also seem to negate taking a principled stand for working people or poor people. The Democrats need to realize they cannot win without the progressive wing of the party. Yet the first thing to be sacrificed after a Democratic victory was the left, the progressive wing. Disillusionment set it in 2009, and the election of 2010 was overthrow for the reactionary right among the Republicans. Then the right only doing what the right promised to do in 2011, gut the public sector, public education, and public social services brought home how it was to let the Republicans have the government at all levels. This led to a rebirth of a progressive social movement.
May 17, 2011
Commodity production in which money is used in the exchange of commodities, and that money is universal money, the universal equivalent, means of accounting in which all commodities are sold for money then money becomes something unique. When the object is sold for money there always a break in the circuit of exchange even for a little while. Money takes on a life “of its own”. It can be hoarded or used to buy any other possible commodity one can afford. Money can be used to buy services rendered, or to invest and reinvest in hopes of making a profit. With money acting as an independent driving force of exchange the agent holding that money can chose not to spend that money on any particular item. This break in the process of exchange becomes a continuing source of anxiety. Credit used in the purchase of commodities, wages advanced or what ever maybe followed by a failure to sell a particular product. The circuit selling an item to get enough money to buy another product is broken and the owner of that other item for consumption is a worthless manufactured goods as articles of trade must be sold to have any exchange value. Thus, money seeking profitable outlets flows in all manner of absurd channels seeking self-expansion. Buy and selling stocks and bond on a daily basis becomes an activity that happens with such rapidity that it becomes an end in of itself often independent of any real production of actual goods and services for sale on the market.
The quest for profits or the expansion of money, means that profits once made has a future independent of its past. Profit created in the production of a certain set of commodities can be reinvested on an expanded scale in the same industry until the market becomes glutted, it can reinvested in the production of other commodities in unrelated industries. Money thus created can be used in investment unrelated to production. Money can be used in speculating on money market accounts, buy and selling of currencies, precious metals, securities, buy up bad loans and other debts, hedge funds. In other words money a source of speculation that may bear very little relationship to production of good and services with use value that meets peoples needs. This creates bubbles within bubbles of highly profitable insecurity in which the economy is always close to financial collapse requiring increasingly imaginative intervention to keep the whole thing going.
In the process of production of goods and services in a market economy certain thing must be available for this process to take place. There must be money on hand to invest in the production process in order for production to take place. Manufacture or construction or service to take place then the money is going to be spent on material expenditures like tools, resources, power, facilities, transport and etc. all of which is the product of labor power owned by some capitalist or another. Added to resources and materials is current labor power of the employees brought together in this set of productive processes. This includes the capitalist buying this material and labor power to create more new commodities to be sold either as new materials to used in future production or consumer goods. Productive resources used to create productive resources on an expanding scale is necessary the continuation of profitable production. If money is taken out of this process through speculation in non-productive investment, it may create large profits for international investors but for national economies it serves little functional value in creating incomes for large sectors of the working class, the bulk of the consumers. The problem lies with profit and not need or use being the motivation for investments the economy is no longer embedded in social responsibility.
The process of production takes time and then the time for circulation and then manufacture, delivery, exchange, distribution and utilization all takes time at which time something can go wrong. Because a little this or that can be capable not succeeding, yet this is why there are periodic breakdowns in the market. Tools and raw materials are held in readiness for producing goods that can be sold on the market. The tools and raw materials are already the result of past productive processes in which the manufactured capital goods are sold. Much of these items can be stored until later; only the workers suffer with lay offs because they and their families cannot wait till later to eat.
The interruption in the process of circulation of capital may or may not be an important issue for the capitalist, but for the worker the realization of value created affects the process of production directly and thus whether or not she gets laid off. If time is on the side of the capitalist then the time of production and the time of circulation becomes part of the cost of doing business. If work is not being value added is not taking place, yet the delay maybe important in the realization of value therefore a profit. While transportation does not add value the owner of the railroad shares in the profit of the manufacturer. So do the wholesaler and the retailer. The workers in these supplementary industries are equally exploited and responsible for the over all profits even though their labor does not add value to the final product, they too are just as much a part of the working class and just as vulnerable. The capitalist class as a whole can afford to speculate on the circulation time changing the influence of demand and supply thus the opportunities of gaining above the value of the products sold. The only people hurt in the short run are the workers. Capitalist are risk avoiders, if all else fails there are government bailouts, workers are in no condition to avoid risks of a market economy.
May 18, 2011
Notes to myself, Old Left, Classical Marxist come close to defining who I am.
Philosophically lets look at current trends such as:
Epicurean Materialism and Left Hegelian synthesis
Of course Classical Marxism
Left Existentialism particularly Albert Camus
Left Secular Humanism
Marxist Weberian Blend
Anarchist Syndicalism Anarchist Communist fusion
Proletarian Novels and populist novels
Motown – Rhythm and Blues
Country and/or Western 1920’s through 1960’s
Rock and Roll 1954 – 1959 and to a lesser degree 1964 – 1967
Socialist Realism, realism, mural art, expressionism and surrealism
May 19, 2011
The major and core values for teaching and writing begins with basic makeup ethical principles of that stand at the center of a profession in higher education.
1. These values begin with what Max Weber called sympathetic understanding and other would call empathy. Because humans are born with the capacity of imagination they can indentify with people that are far different from themselves in their own cultural settings. However, this sympathetic understanding should be based upon rigorous empirical research and grounded in theory that is both powerful and eloquent.
2. All professional work should be in touch with veracity and in touch with the ethical percepts of citizenship and social responsibility. As economic animals our labor and our career choices and life decisions should have as its motivation as Karl Polanyi pointed out be embedded in the contribution we make through our employment to the community, as Karl Marx pointed out working to create a better world and doing something for a elevated purpose. In line with Peter Kropotkin labor is based upon the principle of Mutual Aid if we are to survive as a species. While everyone deserves to earn a comfortable living the bottom line is service
3. Next intellectual curiosity, the sheer love of learning, and the never-ending quest. Professor is a fancy name for student.
4. Finally the craftsmanship of the disciplines. Whether laborer, janitor, sociologist, anthropologist, philosopher, historian, storyteller or scientist we should do the best job we can.
America one nation among many neither the best nor the worst but the one I call home.
The Mother is the First Nation, the indigenous heart of the earth the five hundred nations.
The Father born from immigrants
Nurtured in fresh turned soil
Fed by local springs
Raised by summer sun and winter snow
The ancient indigenous heart of the earth continually remade by industrial labor
To become the blood, bones and flesh
Of a nation one among many
Of a people forever young
May 20, 2011
Historical Sociology, Cultural Anthropology as related to political and economic theory, social movements, cultural ecology and global philosophies of dissent.
According to Max in his second volume the product is has a value that may or may not correspond it current price in the long run prices move toward equilibrium. At which time capitalists looking for expanded profit look for ways to get a price above its value moves away from equilibrium. Marx out lines the value of a commodity like this, The value is made up of the costs of the material expenditures, the cost of labor and the surplus from which the capitalists’ profits are derived. Yet production is not all there is to selling commodities. There are transportation costs, there marketing costs, and there are the costs of the merchant selling to the costumer. These are unproductive in that they do not add value to the product, but are necessary in the realization of value. These are deducted from the surplus created in production. These are necessary components of a capitalist system. The workers receive a wage and also as exploited as the workers involved in production. They are part of the unproductive labor force that is essential in the fulfillment of producing for a profit. The capitalist railroad owner, shipping tycoon, wholesale outlet, and retailer, like the banker, insurance company, landlord, investment firm, and major shareholders form a joint capitalist economic aristocracy. All of which derive their incomes from the working class producing value.
In addition Marx separates circulating capital according on how long it takes to use it up. Fix capital is used up or worn out slowly and circulating capital is used up immediately in the production process. The cycle or the amount of time for a commodity to be produced and sold and the money made to be reinvested back into production and be used to measure various parts of the costs of production before the process starts again. This includes wages, unproductive expenses needed in the realization of value, circulating capital, fixed capital and the surplus going to the various capitalists. Fixed and circulating capital used up in production is calculated, differently than the same capital used up in merchant capital, financial capital and transport costs as these later cost are simply calculated as circulating because their fixed capital is not party of the immediate costs of production. Fixed capital in production may last years and when worn out is paid for all at once, it still must be figured into the costs of doing business giving up only a little bit of it’s self with each business cycle. Because the costs of transporting and selling what is produced add nothing to the over all value of the product, but comes out the surplus created in production the circulating and fixed capital of non-productive capital is best understood as the cost of doing business during cycle. It would be easier to figure money received in transport, marketing and financing as part of the circulation costs.
Conjuncture can be used as the precise symmetry of physical and nonphysical power as used in exact balance of forces in the in the over determination of the active contradictions at any given moment. Where over determination are the collective effects of the contradictions evident in each practice constituting the social whole and each part not only the whole itself, but interacting with every other part. Each part in this way has an influence not only on the whole but also on every other part influences the whole. Having said this not every influence is equal some are more important than others. Thus, contradictions are active and interactive changing themselves and the environment they are active in.
May 22, 2011
Empiricism can lead to the confusion of appearances with the underlying material reality. Knowledge can become part of the object that is known to get what is really real we may need a deeper penetrating analysis to study what is in fact genuine beneath, more than, beyond, outside and inside of appearances.
History shows a tendency on the part of some part of the population to rebel. This comes about when there is a subjective awareness that the “should” comes into conflict with the “is”. Reason and liberty vs. irrationality and slavery is now defined. This struggle leads to a vision of the possible. There can be a world better than this one. In this up and come world people should become the authors of their own fate and not a mindless victim of that same fate. While choice is unavoidable the unforeseen consequences of those same choices act as part of the objective and external necessity. The tangible and opposing prerequisite existence can create a profoundly subconscious awareness of the foundation of disjointing estrangement.
People are only human in a social setting. This defines the culture, the community and the state. The alienation of the individual itself can only be understood in a social context and the growing distance between the “should” and the “is” and the feelings of frustrations that follows.
May 32, 2011
By coalescing disconnected rudiments into a solitary totality there by linking the on going creation that becomes know to us through careful gathering of empirical data. This becomes true only if supported by the massive collection of data to support any final conclusion. Analytic theory, on the other hand is reducible to a collection of its smaller elements. True by virtue of the meanings of the words alone without reference to empirical data. This theory contains by-products at every feature of its area of influence, having relevance to the conclusion that precedes the analysis. The later by itself becomes dangerously close to teleological position that judges everything by its own preset of value independent of the historical reality. Analytic theory’s validity is independent of observation. Much of what passes for economic theory is analytic.
May 24, 2011
Philosophical essays and economic studies are at the bottom political statements. This means to further understand any theory we need at some point to break it down into smaller units and see how they relate to each other in and to the external reality. Then reconstruct it back into its whole to develop a way to judge the strength of the theory. It becomes understandable only as a historical process.
Each historian is embedded in her own historical environment and sees history with historical lenses. Even the best work of history represents a point of view.
The story a historian tells is as much about the historian as it is about the story. Thus the same history studied at another time, place and by another historian will look like another story.
Form is represented in analytic terms. Substance is an empirical term. Content can only be understood in a dialectical relationship between the two. Content and its conceptual expression is an interactive tension always evolving.
We are conscious of the world we live in as it passes by. The past can be studied through historical studies, though all history has an element of interpretation by the historian.
Tendencies deal with the future. At any moment choices present themselves. At any moment and every moment choices are before us. The alternatives are determined; we have little choice on that. But, options do exist however limited making choices unavoidable. Once a choice is taken the future is forever changed. It is not possible to foresee the future as a whole series of choices taken by a whole lot of people acting in an already determined but ever changing environments. Not only my choices but also everyone else is acting upon and becoming part of that determined environment. Unforeseen consequences can never be eliminated but with historical, sociological and scientific studies they can be reduced.
If tradition is continually being redefined with each generation, the ideology is a work in progress. If an ideology in its decline is losing its legitimacy then an alternative ideology is redefining basic elements of the current worldview.
The meaning of an ideology to a whole field of issues that the followers need to deal with is being outlined. The social problems faced and solutions clarified in understandable terms in part at least define the choices a people will face. Though there is an interaction between ideology and the world all around experience is framed in a way that makes sense to the ones experiencing that reality.
May 25, 2011
External reality is the origin of interpretation. This interaction molds ideology, which in turn defines the interpretation and guides action changing external reality.
Material reality stands before, outside of and all around ideology. But action is guided by ideology not only does this change the material environment but in doing so ideologically driven action changes ideology itself.
Ideology can never be seen as independent of material reality. Ideology is an evolving interaction between experience and interpretation of that experience. The field in which history develops is an ever-changing cultural process in which the social meets the biological movements of life.
No one chooses the range of choices presented. One can fail to know all the potions that exist at any one time. But, it is impossible to chose ones birth.
Early education is presented to all of us by forces beyond our command. The earliest choices now begin to change the choices in the future. This is the raw material from which each individual contributes to the evolution of an ideology and in a large sense cultural history.
May 26, 2011
Conclusions are derived from a logical analysis of a set of premises we bring to the study. These premises are derived empirically from existing interests. These premises, no matter how closely we follow rules of objectivity, our study will lead to one set of conclusions and not another. From the results of our studies this will lead to other studies about more closely related issues with slightly different premises. This allows us to see relationships between parts of a larger whole. This allows us to draw an inference to the best set of explanations to the issues related to a social whole.
To have a science of behavior there is a need for the understanding of the context in which the observed behavior occurs. Also important is an understanding of the subjective meaning to the actors. At this point it would be nice to have a working lunch with Engels, Weber, and Skinner.
Modern science evolved at the same time as there was an expansion of world wide commerce, commercialization of agriculture, industrial revolution, liberal revolutions, rise of a buyer and seller centered whose political, economic, and social opinions that are single-mindedly related to private property, easily manipulated popular culture, extreme individualism in economic responsibility and intense social conformity, and established consumer based bourgeois culture. Modern science opened up a body of knowledge that is both practical and verifiable with observation of the material reality. Scientific method is materialist in that it is grounded in the substance of external reality. Scientist found themselves stranded and an impeded by over specialization. The need for interdisciplinary, cross-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary, and multi-disciplinary approach is painful obvious. This lack of amalgamation of the foresight of science in relation to the world is noticeable in most major works. Areas of expertise and the disintegration of a holistic vision is collateral damage of the global explosion of true knowledge of a very real reality. What is needed is an integrated understanding of the world and universe.
Drawing on concrete cases, historical understanding of the context, we can move from average examples to unusual cases with the use of ideal types an intellectual; tool and a theoretical construct. Ideal types measure averages though it usually does not fit any particular cases perfectly. Example would be how people would behave if all being equal, though this would probably never happen as things were never equal. Weber insight here gives us a working model. Ideal types never really happen, yet they help us arrange data. Ideal types even though they do not exist, but they do approximate the average behavior of many individuals. Each ideal type is only a plausible hypothesis in an ever-changing environment. Ideal types are useful when used right. They can help in arranging information in a way to guide research. Historical patterns deal with the everyday lives of many individuals. Diverse individuals interacting within a complex of shared patterns. This is too complex to study without the use of intellectual tools like an ideal type. The models we create we apply to our study of the external world. Each model is an artificial creation, whose strength is hoe easily helps us to understand that reality.
Science is a way of arranging information. It works very well in those situations that lead to objective answers. From there we add subjective evaluations. This is not conducive to pure science. But, science is a tool not a religion and should be used accordingly In Anthropology we try to blend science with a sympathetic understanding of another’s cultural worldview.
Scientific cultural anthropologists are complex individuals. They are many people in one individual. Scientists, storytellers, artists, native clowns, visionaries, and social activists. Science offers a way to ask questions using a method that allows us answer our uses in a way that can be tested and verified by the results of both our studies and our actions. The scientific method is based upon an ontological naturalism and epistemological empiricism. Science is materialism in action.
Through observations we begin to outline certain repeating patterns. From this we can draw conclusions leading knowledge. We draw additional generalizations from repeated observations. The observations of special or specific facts allow the formulating of new generalizations. From this we can think of new research topics and the production of new causal hypothesis about phenomena. The innovative underlying theories in relation to observable facts is an on going process of invention, diffusion, sharing and bringing into play ever original insights about our world.
Testing of causal hypothesis through additional observations follows from previous studies. This requires naturalistic explanations. The universe can be understood in this way. Conformation by data strengthens validity of any explanation. But, in doing this we must make sure if we get negative results we will reject the hypothesis because it does not fit the data. Care must be taken that what is being rejected in the hypothesis is what we think it is and not another variable.
Science can describe only material reality. Questions like why or its deeper meaning can be addressed only within a cultural framework. Each culture will answer those kinds of questions differently. It is science that attempts to be a universal language. In the culture of science all findings are shared and can be reviewed by colleagues regardless what other culture any individual scientist may practice. But all future studies looks at the same reality. Success or failure is embedded in the reality being studied. Facts are learned through observation. Facts are defined in a way that allows other experts to judge our results. Facts related to these studies in turn are interpreted and used to further the understanding of our world and universe. This understanding is guides to further research. This makes science unique. But, this does not absolve the scientist of ethical responsibilities to their world and their time. However, ethics always stand outside of science proper. A scientist is always more than a scientist.
Consilience convergence is indicating an underlying reality, what better explanation of Marxism both dialectical and materialist. Consilience convergences multiple lines of evidence are also bring together multiple disciplines in a single study. This is looking at bits and pieces of evidence gleaned from probabilities up to the closest beginnings and the farthest point. Looking at this proof from data drawn from many distinct sources, frequently dissimilar basis that is brought together to form a common explanation.
Here compare Syncretism– the attempted reconciliation or union of different ideology, traditions, parties, philosophy or beliefs.
Synthetically is a non-contradictory proposition in which the predicate is not included in the subject.
Science can describe only what can be justified through careful observation. That being said all interpretation is provisional. New theories describe the same reality more efficiently. Theory laden observations mold results. Expectations about those results need to be check against those results. If the outcome our studies are continuously confirming our certainty, then we can say our theory is always a work in progress. At each stage we begin with a reasonable preliminary causal explanations of the facts. As we feel more confident we try to make predictions about further results.
Most statements are probability statements from which we build our theories. The current statement is a provisional, probabilistic conclusion. Science is both progressive and cumulative.
Testing of hypotheses is based upon data. The more results we get the better. By reporting our methods and the data collected others can judge our results. This makes it easier to catch errors. In doing this we should use the simplest and most direct explanations. Eloquent statements can be confirmed or proven wrong. Well-expressed declarations are noticeable by vigorous and confident manifestations of what we are looking at.
May 27, 2011
Science being but a tool can only do what we use it for; we still need to provide the ethical interpretation to its appropriate explanation.
The independent convergence of many different kind of data if they point to the same or very similar set of conclusions would indicate were are on the right track, and any solution we come up with has a better chance of working. This is where science, ethics, and politics merge as a strategy to guide social activism. This brings us back to consilience convergence. Independent data and separate studies leading to the same conclusions that make for a stronger set of explanations and a better theory.
Lived history experienced by the real actors set in the time that it is happening, happens as an interactive collection of individuals reacting to their environment, both the social and natural ecosystem as filtered through their own cultural interpretations.
It is the existence of the potential questions and answers that animate from current statements that defined a specific philosophical school. This is central to the problematic connection between an ideology and the material reality that people experience in their everyday life. This interaction defines the inquiry. This helps in understanding how someone understands. The very questions we ask and the very things that will count as data are in part defined even before we begin the study. This is drawn from the junction of personal biography and the culture of the scholar has been exposed to.
With a cultural setting an ideology develops and continues to evolve changing all parts as the whole continues to changes. Even if science is brought in from the outside, science itself becomes a part of this developing cultural environment and ideological field. Science as a method is a product unique to a special historical setting formed within a single culture among many. Once established however, science can define itself as a method and become separated from its original cultural settings. As a way of arranging information science can adapt to other cultural settings without losing its rigor or becoming a weapon in the ever expanding Western European Cultural Imperialism.
At the same time science still remains closely tied to its historical roots. On the one hand it is a method of approach on the other it works. Science leads not only to a body of knowledge, but also a way of viewing the world. It is only one possible way of viewing the world. Yet as a way of arranging information it is highly successful way of achieving certain goals with practical results. Thus, the scientist should openly practice her craft, but be aware of her impact on tribal people.
May 28, 2011
According to Engels freedom of private property was freedom for the property owner only. This was freedom from existing previous social restrictions on property set by social obligations in traditional communities. For example feudal obligations would place obligations and protection on both the lord and the peasant. Small farmers while exploited have certain expectation they can hold the noble overlords to. However, with feudal restrictions removed any and all restrictions were also removed and any protections were also removed. This dream soon turned into a curse. Small farmers now lost their newly gained farms becoming tenant farmers or farm workers. Employment now depended on the profits of another. With private property evolves the wealth and power of the few and the misery and vulnerability of the many. The beautiful hope of private property comes the isolation of the individual farmer. The power of the farm community becomes an ironic ghost of the promise. Through Historical Sociology we can track the disempowerment of farming communities. Land is no longer nature but a commodity to be sold.
May 29, 2011
Theory becomes a guiding philosophy as revealed through action. Social development of a living totality of revolution is brought to life. Economic, political, social, cultural and intellectual revolution is the instinctive result. This is a historical process in which political decisions are made around objective options that are available because the coming together of long-term trends. Only certain options are present at any time and this is not a matter of choice. But, at anytime there are always options and choice is inescapable. Once a choice is made the results becomes a part of objective reality. This dialectical movement makes both freedom and necessity true. By having good information about what is really happening in society we have a better idea about realistic options at any time.
Our social awareness is set in a context in which people actually live. They work, they eat, raise families and basically do what is necessary to survive in a material world. Philosophy, mysticism, the spiritual, the political are all set in a milieu of living human beings. The boundary between the material and the spiritual is an open border.
May 30, 2011
The dialectical relationship between existence and consciousness is one of a mutual interaction. In which consciousness is born out of existence, but once established the influence on existence by consciousness is powerful and never ending. Existence does not fade into the background but continues to directly influence consciousness.
May 31, 2011
The Unity between theory and practice cannot be a monopoly of a vanguard no matter how well they understand the connection between ideology and material reality. Theory is an interaction between a detailed course of action in a very precise social setting and the interpretation of that action and the larger environment that it is set in.
Theory is important because every significant political action follow decisions made by many individuals in their interactions with each other within in the context of culture, history and environment. Yet the result of those decisions lead to results that is quite different than what was intended. Unless we have good information, we end by being disappointed by how little influence we have over courses of events. Facts are determined by events beyond our command. Only with good information can we use those facts in a way that can benefit us. Determinism and freedom are dialectally linked.
June 1, 2011
In the 1930’s the economy had collapsed. Millions of people were unemployed and homeless. Hunger was a common occurrence. Roosevelt and the New Deal at least offered hope, though many felt he should go further and become more radical. Most American suffered a serous crisis of faith in American institutions. Many even lost that faith. With disillusionment came open and public debates exploring many competing radical alternatives. Roosevelt hated by the rich and loved by the poor offered hope, maybe little else but at least there was hope. The New Deal offered by Roosevelt was part of that debate. Most American did not want radical substitutes for traditional America and Roosevelt came along and offered a chance to work within the system to save capitalism and the American norms even if this required a new way of viewing conventional wisdom.
Fascism, national chauvinism, xenophobia on the right and collectivism, socialism, communism, rural populism on the left continued to thrive in large numbers. But, the New Deal offered hope for a majority of workers and small farmers who wanted to regain their faith in America without embracing radical alternatives. Many of the people on the left ultimately came in out of the rain and worked closely with New Deal Democrats after 1935 in a popular front. While the business community and the far right failed to stop the leftward shift in American politics, the right became consumed with an anti-communism that did not match anything real. Racism and Anti-Semitism became popular sport, and lynching reached epidemic proportions. The Roosevelt administration failed to deal with hate or even consider dealing the deep racial divisions and racism as the cornerstones of America.
Also Roosevelt needed the support of Southern Democrats. At no time would segregation or lynching be challenged. Tenant farmers, sharecroppers and farm workers would be left out of the government support within the union movement and a New Deal Vision of justice for the working class. If you were a black farmer in the south you would have to wait another thirty years.