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The real treason

By
July 5, 2009

To the extent that each of us harbors, consents to or encourages self-centeredness, greed, selfishness, or other manifestation of pretending we are alone and can do as we want, we are each a traitor.  Not to the state — that is trivial and mundane. But we are offenders of the common weal, enemies of our mutual survival and individual greatness.

We can see this in the excesses of Wall Street, in the recklessness of our over-spending, in our willingness to let the poor and sick suffer so we can enjoy lower taxes, in the search for "love" at the expense of family and spouse, in the simple act of going through that stop sign on a "California roll" instead of a fl stop.

It is too easy to let us off calling it a moral decline or a malaisse of the spirit. Call ias it is, each act that sacrifices the greater good for the excesses of personal greed is an act of treason against the body of humankind. But with no flag to fly over this body, no righteous loudmouths who have the guts to tell the truth about ourselves instead of finding boogeymen in one place or another.

We can get caught up in partisan politics as a way to hide this truth from ourselves.  We can assume the cloak of religion, philosophy or distractions that entertain us in order to blind ourselves to our own venality. I do not advocate self criticsm or any form of introspection unattached to doing what is simply right.

Possibly we cannot make the adjustments required to right the ship of the human condition.  Possibly this monstrous thinking apparatus we worship as reality is so pernicious, so persistent and so poisonous that we are just to weak to "put on the cross" and shed our treasonous ways in favor of being responsible, caring and gentle human beings.

As a hippie I thought that love would do the trick, that if we let love permeate ourselves and in turn society, we would, even if slowly, turn the mighty ship of state toward the ways of nature. How naive I was, yet of course also how right we were.  But the idealistic notion of love that ran in our blood then is insufficient for the task. As is any other formula.

Can we use the economy to serve all of us at the same time as it rewards those who carry more than their weight, so to speak? Can we use our stewardship of the planet in a way as to conserve and preserve the gifts of life?

I do not point only at each of us as individuals in this screed, however. Those who we have given much power to lead the way have fallen so far short of that responsibility.  They have empowered and continue to feed the war machine, the greedy captains of business and finance.  We must insist they stop this and we must do so by taking part in politics rather than simply criticize them.

Those who claim to be progressive, liberal, leftist or such may have to "take up the crosss" of refusing to settle for marginal change and the crumbs some of us have put up with as "the best we can expect." We must take on the radicalism of both personal transformation and major changes in our ways of doing business to remove the sanctioning of greed, hatred and the robbery of the body of human kind.

The left in this country is too polite, too accomodating, to weak for our common good. But so is the right. We all need to put down the fratricide we call politics in favor of saving the family — the family of man.

40 Responses to The real treason

  1. almandine

    July 28, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Time to turn the tables, Phil:

    http://www.alternet.org/story/90161/

    Now, there’s real treason for you.

  2. Phil Hoskins

    July 29, 2009 at 1:22 am

    almandine, I agree it is a tragedy.  Not sure what you mean by "time to turn the tables, Phil"

    Phil Hoskins

  3. almandine

    July 30, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    My point is that it’s long past time that we embraced the kind of society that allows the utter ignorance demonstrated in the link.

    Contrary to what you may think of my focus on individual interests, as opposed to groupthink, I am strongly of the opinion that we should be ethical in our dealings and assume the responsibility for what we have been given… which would extend to care for our fellow human beings.

    Something I was reminded of today struck an old cord: If you don’t know how to love yourself, then you won’t know how to love others.

    “Turning the tables” would entail all the actions necessary to reestablish our lost knowledge and responsibility, including a focus on loving ourselves for the right reasons and sharing that approach as best we can.

    As you might expect me to say, though, it’s an individual thing.

  4. Phil Hoskins

    August 1, 2009 at 3:02 am

    Absolutely it is up to each individual to grow beyond the selfish things of childhood.  We seem to have abandoned growing up in the US. 

    Maybe it isn’t entertaining enough to bother with.

    Phil Hoskins

  5. almandine

    July 5, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    “…each act that sacrifices the greater good for the excesses of personal greed is an act of treason against the body of humankind.”

    Well, Phil, that’s such a feel-good statement that it seems hard to refute. HOWEVER, should Darwin or any of his kindred sprits be proven correct, it just might be that personal advancement at the APPARENT expense of group welfare is a bogus argument. If so, robust success of the individual is tantamount to success of the group, and is truly the best way forward.

    So what is the basis of your argument?

  6. Phil Hoskins

    July 6, 2009 at 12:16 am

    First, I think your understanding of Darwin is defective, but that is not the point of the article so I will simply suggest you read further.

    More importantly, other animals do not act as individuals but as members of their surroundings.  They do not destroy the whole for the sake of the individual. That practice is reserved for humans.

    In addition, I would hope humans with all our gifts could be at least as conservative if not do better than our fellow animals. No other species is threatening the globe as we do.

    Phil Hoskins

  7. almandine

    July 6, 2009 at 10:32 am

    More to the point, humans act in concert with their surroundings as well. No man is an island, and all.

    Having said that, most species act as individuals to attain singular and social goals (no, I don’t want to debate animal consciousness), but they are not generally wanton in their actions. Then again the same can be said of the vast majority of humans. It seems we just aren’t too smart.

    The goal is not to destroy the planet and certainly you can point to no one individual who is accomplishing that. Granted, a few may be trying through the desire to own it all, or at least through trying to reap all of its bounty for themselves. The rest have relegated themselves to pawn status.

    But have no fear. The planet will be here long after humans have been extinguished, the cockroaches will have claimed their own exalted status, and mother nature will continue on. Man will have come and gone.

    Rather than rue the human condition, which you really can’t judge with any degree of authority, isn’t it comforting to know that we’re not the pinnacle of evolutionary success? Better luck next time, eh?

  8. frank verismo

    July 8, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    “First, I think your understanding of Darwin is defective, but that is not the point of the article so I will simply suggest you read further.”

    There is a small case for invoking the position of the aforementioned elitist, inbred eugenicist – but only in terms of examining our own species’ devolution. In terms of consciousness (more Patanjali than Darwin, I admit) the purely self-serving individual is right down there on the bottom rung.

    Such behavior was once considered wholly unacceptable in healthy, functioning communities – the word ‘community’ itself tells us why. Thanks to the triumph of the self-serving, such communities are almost entirely a thing of the past. All of which is just fine if you wish to excercise maximum top-down control of any society.

    When an individual is part of a family – which in turn is part of a community, those seeking authoritarian control have a serious fight on their hands – entire communities who know how to stick up for each other are the would-be despot’s greatest enemy.

    Families have never been more dysfunctional. Communities have been atomized. Government is at its largest and most self-serving. None of which is a coincidence.

    Animals know their nature and simply live it. We humans have the choice to be either more or less than this. The sliding scale currently makes depressing reading.

  9. almandine

    July 9, 2009 at 11:08 am

    “There is a small case for invoking the position of the aforementioned elitist, inbred eugenicist – but only in terms of examining our own species’ devolution.”

    Actually, my point to Phil was to draw a distinction between homo sapiens and ants, bees, and other truly communal species in which individuals function in more of an “orchestration” than the majority of species in which individuals are essentially independent, albeit with differeing amounts of social bonding. I agree that humans, with the ability to conceive of their situations as either more or less than their “nature”, often make choices that seem at odds with survival of the species. Having said that, the ubiquitous nature of those decisions may in fact illustrate the “true” nature of being human… in the evolutionary sense.

    The forces that shape such decisions are many, and are often obscure. The degree to which any apparent decision is deemed by people as “bad” may or may not be valid. For example, it is generally agreed (by those who supposedly know) that the planet is overpopulated by humans. Is it so? A “no” answer might suggest a continuing ability to procreate at will, utilize the earth’s resources at will, and even continue with current decision-making patterns at will. A “yes” answer might provoke the opposite reaction in each of those cases. As such, population should decline, procreation should decline, resource utilization should be limited, and decisions might need to be made to slow, reduce, or reverse population growth. How are these accomplished? Who (or what) decides?

    Assuming human decision-making in the overpopulation regard, one (male) baby per family policies like the Chinese are famous for could be imposed, eugenics could be an answer, rationing of resources could become necessary, anti-social decision-making could be encouraged… all with the intent of population limits. Alternatively, what if natural mechanisms are at work – even behaviorally? Could overpopulation – as an evolutionary mechanism – lead to murder? How about greed? Resource hoarding? Homosexuality? Abortion?

    From a humanistic perspective, it seems that any number of “antisocial” decisions could fit. From a naturalistic perspective, bahavior may have a completely different tone. Looking back, the Indians solved the overpopulation situation by having the old folks just wander off to die.

    If Phil’s call to arms is any indication, we are seriously underpopulated. We need to shelter all membrs of our species as much as possible, warehouse our elderly far beyond their usefulness – even to themselves, and make sure in the process that we are the “orchestration” of the human condition that he sees as our evolutionary fate. That, in fact, seems to be the current view of many.

    Alternatively, if overpopulation is in control, perhaps we are merely reaping the benefits of natural selection. Who’s to say?

  10. frank verismo

    July 10, 2009 at 12:03 am

    Thank you for your obviously considered reply.

    “The forces that shape such decisions are many, and are often obscure.”

    The decisons themselves are as numerous as the individuals making them, yet the underlying forces usually boil down to variations on either fear or ascension, i.e. survival instinct versus a desire to raise consciousness.

    “Who (or what) decides?”

    This is a very important question. Personally, I have no desire whatsoever to attempt to dictate the terms by which others may live their lives. A possible way into this question is: ‘what kind of person would?’ Another is: ‘should we take them seriously’?

    “If Phil’s call to arms is any indication, we are seriously underpopulated.”

    From my own reading, Phil intended his message to apply no matter what the population is. In fact, he didn’t mention overpopulation once – so perhaps we should leave the subject at that.

    At the heart of Phil’s piece is the thorny problem of free will. It’s an individual’s own decision to dwell in a state of base ignorance should they so desire. Attacking people for this decision is to attempt to deny them their free will – one of the grossest transgressions possible and ultimately self-harming for the attacker.

    The only person we can be responsible for is ourselves (and, for a while, our children). This may prove frustrating to many of us, but to give in to that frustration only creates further flawed characters – and a more flawed World.

  11. almandine

    July 10, 2009 at 3:19 pm

    And thanks for yours.

    My use of both evolution and overpopulation were foils by which to frame Phil’s value judgments. His point is clear, but perhaps both the argument and the solution are falacious, as the question of how best to nurture the “body human” is more than likely not reducible to “a chicken in every pot and a new car in every driveway” – at least by redistributive means, anyway.

    With regard to overpopulation, his approach would eventually lead to a tax on earthly resources that could not possibly be sustainable… and this doesn’t even acknowledge the destructive social and cultural costs that accrue to having too many people in too small a space. It won’t get better the more folks you unwittingly cram into the world. Talk about problems of fear, ascension, and competition.

    With regard to evolution, his model of the human condition and its relationship to the ecosystem is ill defined. Man is not a communal species, does not function by a distributed “mind or body” and acts independently for his own good and according to his own evaluation of circumstances – when not forced to do otherwise. Sociality and interpresonal support is by choice. I note with interest your insertion of free will into the discussion, and your appreciation of the harmful personal effects that assaults against individual decision-making engender.

    These basic tenets of the human condition – individuality and self-determination – have, over the last couple of decades, come more clearly into focus as evolutionary principles wired directly into our nervous systems and brains, producing consciousness and value-based behavior. Thus, as a species, we have evolved to be exactly who we are… doing exactly what we do… and to who’s surprise?

  12. Phil Hoskins

    July 10, 2009 at 4:34 pm

    Man is not a communal species, does not function by a distributed "mind or body" and acts independently for his own good and according to his own evaluation of circumstances – when not forced to do otherwise. Sociality and interpresonal support is by choice.

    I think that is the fallacy which separates us.  Humans are most definitely a communal species and the more science examines the subject the more clear it is that our illusion of separate and independent thinking hides from us both our true nature and the way forward for our mutual beneift.

     

     

  13. almandine

    July 10, 2009 at 5:22 pm

    And so it goes, everybody’s out of step except Johnny.

    I asked above about the basis of your argument, and now specifically, can you explicate “our illusion of separate and independent thinking” and our “true nature” that remains hidden because of it?

  14. frank verismo

    July 10, 2009 at 11:16 pm

    How best to untangle this knot?

    Mankind has both prospered and declined whilst approaching life with both communal and individualistic attitudes. So is one right and another wrong? On the face of it, no.

    Then again, most of our historical data is drawn from comparatively narrow social confines, i.e. that of a taxed and legislated society living under a centralized government. The wealth-creation of a nation goes through several stages and requires its people to subscribe to, in turn, the full spectrum of societal attitudes. Several generations now find it hard to conceive of what life might be like thrown into an environment where one was forced to take 100% responsibility for themselves.

    Top-down encouragement of materialism was a vital part of the capitalist era (“go shopping!”), just as communitarian pride in being a ‘superworker’ formed the backbone of the soviet era. Any argument regarding communitarian vs individualist has to prove itself outside of the dictates of such systems to be convincing, not to mention useful, in the context of any future society.

    Though much maligned, ego has an important place in our existence – provided it is in the employ of our higher mind and not vice-versa. Unfortunately, this engine of self-gratification has proved an easy target for those wishing to steer society in a certain direction – from Eden’s serpent onwards. Our society is now in a state of collapse at least in part due to our inability to spot when our lower natures are being exploited – or by simply not caring.

    Neither individualism or communitarianism can or should be enforced (or even deliberately engendered) by any sane society. As a lawful, peaceful adult no one has any right whatsoever to tell me how I should live my life. No exceptions. This is not a statement of individualism – it is a statement of fact. I too do not have that right over any others. With good community spirit I will defend everyone’s right to hold to this self-evident maxim against all comers!

    Of such absolutes is the new society that hopefully lays ahead of us made.

  15. almandine

    July 11, 2009 at 10:44 am

    Nice post Frank.

    Well thought out and your implicit distinction of communal lifestyle, as opposed to the basic human condition, does clear part of the fog.

    Maybe it wasn’t clear that I had no quarrel with communitarianism as a theoretical method of organizing folks into a functioning social system; my argument had to do with the definition of Man and his nature. I was slowly geting around to the approach I think is the most practical in that regard, but perhaps to slowly. Fighting labels.

    Clearly, Man has organized his social systems in myriad ways that have achieved varying degrees of success. And you’re obviously correct, we’re not in a particularly successful time at the moment. What I perceive, however, is an attempt here to blame and shame us into being other than who we are, using the power of coercion if necessary to get it done. Communal quickly becomes collectivist, which quickly becomes totalitarian.

    In contrast, I would appeal to Praxeology as the way forward, getting the coercive forces of government, as we know it, and collectivism out of the way. The result will be the flourishing of Man, the species, via the mechanisms as arise out of the ebb and flow of individual and combined actions. That is truly how it all started to begin with and such a system will, if left alone, reestablish and maintain the interpersonal support and ethical boundaries that are appropriate to success.

    The issue now, of course, is once again to slay Eden’s serpent.

  16. frank verismo

    July 11, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    “What I perceive, however, is an attempt here to blame and shame us into being other than who we are, using the power of coercion if necessary to get it done.”

    So the rather bludgeoning use of ‘self-centered’, ‘venality’, ‘greed’, ‘treason’ etc did not entirely escape your notice? Nor mine. Guilt-inducing screeds miss the mark simply because the fundamental problem is not a lack of guilt.

    “In contrast, I would appeal to Praxeology as the way forward, getting the coercive forces of government, as we know it, and collectivism out of the way.”

    Agreed – but this requires a transfer of responsibility back from the patrician class to where it belongs. The plebians giveth – and the plebians taketh away. But that’s a big subject for another thread – away from the increasingly narrow confines of this column!

    A fruitful exchange, Almandine.

  17. almandine

    July 11, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    I agree. Thanks.

  18. hologram5

    July 15, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    “But have no fear. The planet will be here long after humans have been extinguished”

    Yes but will it be habitable? Will it sustain life? Highly dubious. The moral compass of the people is very far off. When good is bad and bad is good, we have serious problems.

    To Boldly Go…
    Anywhere there is sanity…

  19. almandine

    July 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    Habitable? Why not.

    Cockroaches, extremely hot deep sea flora and fauna, viruses and bacteria of every description… life forms that exist in the most uninhabitable conditions on the planet… it will all start anew.

    Our moral, social, economic, political, etc., compasses may be haywire… Man may be in shambles… but you can’t fool Mother Nature.

    Self-reference in not a very reliable indicator, especially where sanity is the issue.

  20. griff

    July 6, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I would agree with the essence of much of what you say, but how much taxation are we supposed to endure for the good of mankind? It’s been well established that both parties – particularly the Democrats – use the plight of the poor to gain the very power of which you speak. And yet the poor remain poor, and we’re adding to their ranks every day.

    Why is it always the common man that must sacrifice while our Political Class feeds off the fruits of our labors like the parasites that they are?

    One way to help the poor, and everyone else, is to abolish the Federal Reserve and end its inflationary monetary policy and its meddling in the economy.

    Another way to help the poor is jobs. Not government jobs, but private sector jobs. The welfare state is basically dependency training. Again, government policies and treaties such as NAFTA, CAFTA, and GATT have decimated our industry.

    But you leftists won’t acknowledge or accept these self-evident truths. You simply think increasing taxes will solve all of our problems. Taxes have been rising for decades, and our problems only get worse.

    When will you all realize that the government isn’t interested in ending poverty or helping others. Their main goals are money and power, and they’ll peddle any bill of goods to see that not only is power maintained, but increased.

  21. Paolo

    July 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    The interesting thing about this article is that it really zeroes in on what’s wrong with the world–from the wrong perspective!

    As Ayn Rand said, the world is perishing not from selfishness, but from its opposite.

    Actually, this article starts from so many wrong premises, it’s difficult to even comment on it without taking each one separately.

    In a free society, authentically self-interested action redounds to everyone’s benefit. When I “greedily” go to work every day to earn money, I produce things that many people benefit from. When they do the same thing, they also help others.

    The thing about those who advocate “self-sacrifice” is they see either themselves or their organization or their faction being in charge of all the sacrificing.

    Self-interested action, properly understood, is a virtue, not a vice.

  22. Phil Hoskins

    July 6, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    "You leftists"???? Hmmm

    I think you were reading a different article.  I said nothing about raising taxes, nor not raising them. Re-read my first sentence again and you will see this is aimed at each one of us, unless, of course, you have transcended the human condition and are free of self-centeredness.

     

    Phil Hoskins

  23. griff

    July 6, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    “We can see this in the excesses of Wall Street, in the recklessness of our over-spending, in our willingness to let the poor and sick suffer so we can enjoy lower taxes.”

    The implication is that low taxes hurt the poor and the sick, therefore higher taxes is the way to help them. Typical. Is that all you got?

    You suggest that we the people get involved in politics, and yet you have nothing to say about the policies and procedures of our government.

    What good does it do to get involved when we’re ignorant of the true causes of our problems?

    What do you suggest? The Congress is basically ceremonial and consistently ignores the wishes of the People, and we have an executive branch that has assumed most of the power. The Supreme Court is a joke. A Political tool for elections. Why do you think all their decisions are 5-4?

    Your column may be filled with feel-good utopian dreams, but I happen to live in the real world.

    If the government isn’t working, simply give it more money and more power. But above all, never question their motives or means.

    That’s why we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights. We’re supposed to be a nation founded on human morality and individual liberty, with the rule of law to guarantee this philosophy.

  24. Phil Hoskins

    July 6, 2009 at 10:42 pm

    So, Griff, you are waiting on me to solve all the problems?  How about you?  How about reading all the many suiggestions I have previously made here?

    Yes, higher taxes would help IF the money went where needed.

    Yes, politicians are part of the problem

    But as I keep saying, this was not aimed at the US alone, nor even intended as a politicial statement. We happen to lead the world in greed and self-centeredness as far as I can tell, but are not alone.

    I have no intention of engaging with you in some kind of face off. Just at least read what I write first instead of throwing down a bogus gauntlet.

    Phil Hoskins

  25. griff

    July 8, 2009 at 12:46 am

    Yeah I did read what you wrote. Your refusal to engage in this “face-off” is the epitome of the weakness you describe.

    Just be a good person, and miraculously everything will be fine. Our government will see the errors in its ways, and all will be right with the world.

    And what of the suggestions I have made? Not a word.

    Please, your psycho-babble may work on the weak-minded and the ignorant, but it gets no play here.

  26. frank verismo

    July 8, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    “What good does it do to get involved when we’re ignorant of the true causes of our problems?”

    None. None whatsoever.

    Furthermore, subscribing to a system which serves only its own interests is actually harmful to us. So what to do?

    We can achieve nothing positive until we get past the ‘anger’ stage. This is only possible after we seriously and ruthlessly address the ‘true causes’ you mention. Unfortunately, this also includes some brutal self-examination – and the root causes of our own ability to be so monstrously mislead.

    There are many spokespeople out there demonstrating apparent righteousness in these issues, but who still reduce almost everything to emotionalism. This has the effect of keeping the listener trapped in a reactionary state – a state entirely unsuited to any serious progress being made.

    “That’s why we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights. We’re supposed to be a nation founded on human morality and individual liberty, with the rule of law to guarantee this philosophy.”

    As I feel certain you know, Griff – the real Constitution and Bill of Rights has to be lived in the hearts of the People for who it was intended. Otherwise George W. Bush’s now infamous comment first broken on this site will sadly be proven correct.

  27. hologram5

    July 15, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    “What good does it do to get involved when we’re ignorant of the true causes of our problems?”

    None. None whatsoever.

    When good people do nothing, the bad wins. To get involved is to learn and explore, to be able to fix the problem you must understand it and you cannot understand it without getting involved.

    To Boldly Go…
    Anywhere there is sanity…

  28. almandine

    July 15, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    The term “brutal self-examination” as context for getting involved, learning and exploring, and fixing problems is in fact the root cause of our zeitgeist. There aren’t many who can stand up to that requirement, and it isn’t likely that that will change. Ignorance will, in most cases, prevail.

    Fix that.

  29. griff

    July 9, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Here’s an idea for all you folks that think we need higher taxes to help the poor.

    Any American that wishes to can voluntarily pay any amount in taxes above and beyond what is required. So at the end of every month, after the bills have been paid, simply write a check to the United States Treasury. Don’t forget to write “to help the poor” on the memo line.

  30. AustinRanter

    July 10, 2009 at 1:50 pm

    Hope nobody minds if I repost an interesting quote that ran across a few days ago.

    “Western democratic capitalism never foresaw that in a society governed passively by free markets and free elections, organized greed always defeats disorganized democracy.” Matt Taibbi – “The Great American Bubble Machine”

    The above is just a tiny part of the equation, but I think worth thinking about.

    We do have to consider all of the human factors connected to scarce resources…who controls, distributes, earns and so-forth. I don’t have it in me to voice my comments and opinions on this topic, but it’s a part of our survival, both with individuals and collectively.

  31. storky

    July 15, 2009 at 12:15 am

    I hate to spoil the deep discussions here, but why do those who consider themselves patriotic hate their poorer compatriots? What virtues do Patriots exercise when they shun their fellow citizens?

  32. RichardKanePA

    July 20, 2009 at 11:11 am

    I think “A day to remember and cherish” and “The real treason” need to be related to each other. Discussion from different points of view is important, but sometimes the articles pass each other by instead of being jointly commented on.

    Richard Kane

  33. almandine

    July 23, 2009 at 11:24 am

    Precisely.

  34. Warren

    July 22, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    Collective doom is the final result of each individual being told to put the collective good ahead of the good of oneself. “Take care of the State and the State will take care of you.” Others have said it much more eloquently, but I want to be noted as on the side of those who believe that the collective is best served when each individual does his/her own personal best.

    Why did the Soviet empire fail? There became no incentives for individuals to deliver their own personal best effort.

    —W—

  35. Phil Hoskins

    July 23, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    Actually, the Soviet Union fell because (a) they foolishly followed the US into bankruptcy over the phony "Cold War" and (b) because they were led by men even more insane than our own leaders.

    Phil Hoskins

  36. Warren

    July 23, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    I’ll buy (b), maybe, but not (a). The Soviet economy did indeed crumble, and one of their follies was excessive military spending. But the root cause of the economic decay was centralized, politically driven economic planning. They had largely done away with merit-based pay based on job performance in favor of pay based on job description and performance in the communist party.

    —W—

  37. almandine

    July 23, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    That’s it Phil. Their leaders kept them so collectivized, downtrodden, and scared shitless that they had no individual incentive. Thus, there was no pursuit of CAPITAL by which to remain free of bankruptcy while the leaders were fighting the Cold War – Thus their system was doomed to fail.

    Just like ours is going to be if we keep on with the socialist/fascist crap !!!

  38. Warren

    July 23, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    Yes, we’re following the old Soviets right down the same rat hole. Nobody can say we don’t have the benefit of recent history to learn from, but apparently we haven’t learned it.
    —W—

  39. almandine

    July 23, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    They have said to us in public – DON’T go the way we did. China too.

    You’d think that would be instructive.

    Dumb as a rock, I’m thinkin.

  40. griff

    July 31, 2009 at 11:16 am

    “It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master.” – author unknown