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Our myth should be simple: we are only as rich as the poorest amongst us.

This fits in the myth of "getting richer", progress, moving forward, etc... (which we still have to reconcile with peak oil - that aspect hasn't been stressed yet).

It fits with our mania to rank everything. This time, you rank not the average income/wealth (or the sum for the country), but the average income/wealth for the bottom 20% - and that's the criteria we use to rate everything. We can tap in the mythology of cycling, and team competitions: the time of the team is the time of the last runner, not of the first or the average of all.

This can bring in the idea that we have to get out of the "armaments race" of having more stuff than the neighbor, and force us to focus on solidarity, and actual measures to help the poor - education, social services, etc...

We are only as strong as our weakest link.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 10:47:33 AM EST
this is an excellent point for our narrative. I think we should put the concept in our list becuase the narrative is already there. Colman somehow did it.

Weakiest link. Wonderful.

We will have to join the different pieces together in some kind of list of narratives (myths) and simple concepts that we should use.

I would take different simple myths. Not only one. Three or four maybe as the US right-wing?

Weakeat link, sustainible future...

other possibilities:
Any of the Colman first paragraph statement,
Strenght of team work (strength of cooperation in front of comeptition..), fairness (it needs a narrative, a  set of histories to explain it).

And of course, we have the big elephant in the room. Do we take the rich vs poor narrative of equality... do we try to change it? can we change it?

Plus, we probably need a new set of narratives to put in a new single concept never used before to add to the list.

Regarding how to attack their myths, you are already doing a great job. But we need our market efficiency myths too in another set ideas as I propose in the diary. You have written these ideas in different diaries related with different topics. Improtance of the minimum wage for efficiency. Improtance of state regulation for business growth...

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 11:23:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent diary, kcurie. Looking forward to a synthesis of these ideas.
Me, I no longer believe in groups, only in what individuals can achieve, at their very own micro level, by the power of love and willingness to change a little something. Helping out in townships, bringing medical support to children, to the elderly, to AIDS victims in Africa and Asia, standing by the weakest.
Ideas can change the world, but only if they translate into action.
Let's leave our keyboards and go out there in the real world.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 06:49:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think everyone is cut for all of that, and everyone's potential impact is the same. I for example, when confronted to squat-level poverty, get either very angry or feel totally helpless, depending on my mood. Others who succeed in helping in such places may be emotionally bland. And there is also the issue of what you get out of it. There is always an agenda, and even if it's unconscious, it's there. What do we get out of travelling thousands of miles and sharing the living conditions of others?

Also, there are already very qualified local people in countries that welcome help. There is rarely a justified need to send "experts" from Europe and elsewhere for irrigation projects in Niger, when Niger already has experts but not the cash to give them a job or material to do their job. There are obviously some really good humanitarian workers, but they should be prioritarily be there to train local workers to do the same job, not to do the work themselves. Any foreign humanitarian worker, even by being a volunteer, earns more with his/her rent & lunch budget than any local worker ever will. But ok, this all belongs to a whole different debate, which we can have elsewhere.

My point should be that some of us may be helping the world more by helping usher it in the right place. Every little action counts. This morning I was wondering what I'd done with my life. I thought "I'm lay, I don't produce anything, I don't have any ambition, so what good am I?". Then I thought of all the people I had been in close contact with and realized how much their lives had changed after meeting me. And inversely. And I concluded "I am part of it all, I have my role".

We create ideas, we exchange ideas on a blog ... then we talk about them with our friends, then they talk about it to their friends, and these ideas eventually make it out all the way into the townships and favelas. Just look at how fast a virus/worm or a funny picture travels the entire internet. We are all connected online, and we all know everyone else on the planet anyhow.

by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 04:44:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm lay, uhuh. I meant "I'm lazy".
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 04:45:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did understand. And I do not one sec' believe you lazy.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 09:33:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm too lazy to prove it to you :))
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 12:46:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Taking a dive into the depths of lurkedom. No stakes this time, I know I'll win. Take care.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 12:52:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i thought you meant you weren't a priest...

not that that should stop you getting laid!

kaboom

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Wed Apr 19th, 2006 at 04:48:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We are only as strong as our weakest link

This very morning I used exactly the same words in a discussion with my boss. He wanted to spend the education-budget only for hist 'best' people. I was the only one in the 20-people-meeting to have second thoughts. Bribes from the boss for the good ones, competition among co-workers to recieve bonus and status, breaking solidarity , bringing down motivation for the most and ending with low efficiency and unhappy people and frustrated boss. Yeah,  I can forget promotion for this year.

The struggle of man against tyranny is the struggle of memory against forgetting.(Kundera)

by Elco B (elcob at scarlet dot be) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 11:47:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent. I think we have a vital point there, and around the whole subject of wealth.

Ranking : it is their mania, and it ends up with the stupidity of Net Personal Worth, by which a person's value is judged by their price tag.

On the other hand, we should be looking at wealth that is common, and here we can chime in with energy and sustainability : as I said on another thread yesterday, (more or less), the basis of all our wealth is the planet, which we inherited in common and which we should cooperate to preserve.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 12:48:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, yes. I agree. This is the narrative. Perfect. We woudl need a couple of particualr examples that make it clear.

No doubt, this is one of the myths we must create and reinforce in our vocabulary for the left.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 12:52:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Outstanding diary.

I think you're absolutely correct. Cultures are built on narratives and mythologies, and changing the culture means offering a new narrative.

But - I don't agree about this myth. There are two problems. The first is that the people who claw their way to the top of the heap and not a few lower down the pole do not care about the poor and weak. Many of them seem to have no concept of or interest in social responsibility. I can easily find ten people who believe that all taxation is bad, and don't see why they should have to pay any - usually while ranting about welfare mothers and immigrants living on hand-outs. Now - these are potential swing voters. But 'We are only as strong...' really isn't going to reach them.

The other problem is that the great mythological success of the right wing has been to persuade the poor and disenfranchised that they're either on the inside already, or they could be if only they worked hard enough. A successful replacement myth has to break that identification, so they realise that in fact this will never happen - except possibly for a very small minority.

In terms of self-interest, it means putting across the realities of globalisation in personal, not abstract economic terms:

Increased prospect of unemployment
Increased job insecurity
Increased personal debt
Increased working hours
Rapid inflation of the cost of basic necessities, including heat, light, housing, water and food.
Increased oversight of personal time by employers
Decreased pensions and benefits

...And so on.

These are all direct and personal outcomes of the right wing 'reform' program that even those who lack the empathy gene should be able to understand.

The sub-problem is that currently this issue is misdirected with a platitude - Higher Taxation Is Bad.

So an important job for a media program is to explain how taxation is almost irrelevant now in the bigger picture. Because the strains on personal budgets are coming from elsewhere. A tiny increase in taxes is not an issue when you can't afford to buy a home, or heat it after you've bought it.

I think this is a winnable argument, and - perhaps more importantly - it's winnable without traditional old-left abstractions or terminology. Those are two legacy reasons why the left isn't heard much. Left-leaning media points tend to be about abstractions like freedom and justice. In the world of realpolitik, these either mean nothing to many people or they're not interested in them.

Maybe a generation or two from now this will change, but today the Thatcherite poison runs so deep that we have to work with what we've got. Which is self-interest. So setting out a stall that says 'These reform policies don't work for you' seems like a good way to start wedging the door open and undermining the identification that drives popular support for the financial oligarchs.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 02:28:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
wow, I am taking notes.

We really need a process to know which narratives will work there and how.

US will be different than Europe according to your ideas..

Processing.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 03:05:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're right that the poison runs deep. It's a huge job trying to imagine countering it. One thing kcurie suggests, though, that it may be useful to underline -- he says we need two narratives, one situated in the enemy's symbolic world, to attack it and break it down, the other in ours, our own myth. (brunoken picks this up and elaborates on it in his comment, too).

kcurie suggests turning their narrative round: this economy isn't working, for example. And there, your list of suggestions fits in perfectly.

OTOH, there's a base of people who will warm to redefinitions of wealth and value and who will support a line like "we are as rich as the poorest among us" -- and that base is currently flagging and needs energising.

In other words, we need to attack the enemy's myths and influence potential "swing voters"; but we also need to encourage and enable our own base with reformulations of our own myths.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 03:14:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You have a general tendency to say the things I think better than myself. And in a shorter and more direct way.

This is exactly what we need to do.

A pleasure

I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men's minds without their being aware of the fact. Levi-Strauss, Claude

by kcurie on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 05:54:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another conventional wisdom belief we have to get rid of is that there is one best way : of writing things, of taking actions.
It depends on the medium and on the target. You have to be snappy on a TV show. You have to make things sound simple when addressing the man on the street.
Only dropping a few ideas here, and my contribution will go no further, for reasons well familiar to those directly concerned.

As Migeru rightly pointed out to me when I was still an idealist on certain things, this is not a democracy round here. And I do not believe in the concept of benevolent dictator.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 09:30:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Agnès, does this thread look like the work of a dictator, even benevolent?
We're all thinking out loud, putting a lot of effort into this thing, and it's a real collective endeavor. And it's not like we're looking for "one best way" of anything, so I don't understand what your point is.

You're free to think it's pointless. We'll keep chugging along, and hopefully bring out soething worthwhile.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 03:10:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree about the two pronged attack. But I might be a bit more radical about what the liberal message should be.

I think if you try to map social justice into traditional economic terms, you're perpetuating the same framing that the right uses. You're also trying to wrest control of it from them. That's a very difficult thing to do.

If you want to get really ambitious about this, a new mythology has to replace economic mythology completely, all the way down.

Economics is only tangentially reality-based. It's a measure of belief in an abstraction called 'value' which is entirely subjective, and sometimes looks very much like it might as well be faith-based.

The problem of how to distribute resources and manage and develop assets isn't unreal at all. But the way it's done today measures the wrong things for the wrong reasons, and then draws the wrong conclusions.

Reality-based economics would have to balance real resource shortages with an explicit concern for long-term husbandry and world-wide humanitarian welfare.

This is the polar opposite of today's economics, which is based on implicit assumptions that benefit the oligarchs and monopolies at the expense of everyone else. It's not just about numbers, it's about using a discourse to evangelise a value system. By agreeing with the discourse people are herded towards the implied values.

So a replacement has to do the same, but for benign reasons. It has to be built on different implicit values that can be reduced to simple and manageable concepts that are equivalent to today's 'growth' and 'unemployment' and 'productivity.' The reason these are memorable is because they can be propagated as sound-bites that appear simple and self-evidently important.

In fact they're complicated, and not self-evident or easy to understand at all. But that isn't how they appear. And that's why a slogan isn't going to work as a replacement for them. Because you can always argue with a slogan. But - so we're told over and over - you can't argue with 'economic realities.'

So the challenge becomes - can progressive aims be reduced to metrics labelled with simple names for essential concepts like environmental health, sustainability, etc, that have the same sound-bite quality?

Once you have simple definitions of your goals, and simple labels for them, you can start creating lobbies,  pressure groups and even parties that will push the relevant metrics in healthy directions. But the concepts have to be very clear and very simple. Something like 'social justice' is still too abstract, I think. So promoting 'social justice' will never have more than a minority influence, even for progressives. Because unless it can be folded into a reworked economics it's unlikely to get to the top of the political agenda.

As an example of how it's gone wrong in the past, take a word like 'sustainability'. This has a very simple, concrete meaning - if something is unsustainable, you will run out of it.

That shouldn't be a complicated idea. But consider what 'sustainable' means to most people. I'd guess the reality-based foundation won't be there for them. What they're more likely to associate it with is rather fringey and eccentric hippyish romanticism about self-sufficiency. A bit wacky, and hard to take seriously.

It's that disconnect with reality that has to be bridged. What we have now is a system that pretends to define reality while mostly being based on hand-waving and woo-woo, with a side order of bullying and oppression.

A replacement has to seem just as real and just as inevitable, with the difference that it really will be real and inevitable. E.g. if you cause global warming, there will be huge economic costs. If you don't use water intelligently, there will be huge economic costs. If you start wars, there will be huge economic costs. And so on.

I think calling it 'reality-based economics' is a start. After that it gets more complicated - but as a goal to aim for, I think it's worth considering as a beginning.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 06:08:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent comment, and I think you're dead right. Perhaps there is a slight misunderstanding (not your fault) about Jérôme's and my contribution above, in that we suggested and bolded themes that look as if they are finished slogans. We've all seen, in the American left blogosphere, endless frustrated discussions of the type: "The Dems should say this... We should say that...", and our points above might have appeared to fit roughly into that category.

But I believe Jérôme (and I'm sure in my case) meant to suggest a basic, essential point on which we needed to found our thinking and discussion. As I said, we need to redefine the notions of wealth and value. The other side's trick, as you say, lies in

using a discourse to evangelise a value system.

The religious hint there is not misplaced. We are talking about generalized myths and belief systems. Turning them upside down is a work on a par with creating a new religion. We need to start at the bottom and define a new system of value and wealth, then articulate it into discrete elements and metrics. What I think Jérôme and I were suggesting, and you in fact took up and moved forward, was that we should look at the twin foundation of humanity and the planet as reality-based sources of a new narrative.

Pace kcurie (I'm thinking of his citing the tree falling in the forest), when the planet goes kaput, it will be for real, and screw perception. There's also a question about how much oppression people can bear without noticing they're unhappy. (It's only a question, I admit). But I think it's an advantage we have that the ruling economic dogma today is not reality-based. We can debunk it through the attack prong (this system is specious, it exists only to enrich a tiny number), while offering a new, reality-based version of value that may encourage our base and (sigh, the religious analogy again...) make new converts.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 02:42:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As an oblique comment on this :

There's also a question about how much oppression people can bear without noticing they're unhappy.

here's a quote from an excellent comment by DeAnander in RadiumSoda's diary Chomsky Interviewed by Irish Times :

I don't think it's coincidental that the "generation of rebellion" in the 60's were the children of security and affluence.  it was that sense of security that gave them the chutzpah to dream of a better world, instead of negotiating each his/her own desperate accommodation with the overlords for bare survival.  failing that sense of security, the other thing that sparks open revolt seems to be genuine despair:  a loss of security so complete that, having "nothing to lose," the disenfranchised will risk their lives just to strike a blow at the overlords (or whomever they think the overlords are, or sometimes just whomever they can reach or blame locally).

the intellectual and strategic space in between Fat Happy Rebels with an optimistic vision of making life better for all, and Thin Miserable Furious Rebels swearing to leave at least a scorch mark somewhere on the System with their last breath, is a vast gray area of fear, compromise, caution, grim endurance, selfish private manoeuvring, hoping that whoever gets smashed next won't be me, desperate attempts to believe elite rhetoric so as to stave off despair, etc....  in other words the mentality of survivors in a prison or camp:  take it one day at a time, keep yer head down, there's no percentage in trying anything, you'll never get enough people with you 'cos everyone else is thinking cautiously just like you are.  kick in a healthy dose of Stockholm Syndrome and Prisoners Dilemma and it's not surprising that the system works and that Bush and his merry men are laughing all the way to the offshore bank...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 04:18:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
in other words the mentality of survivors in a prison or camp:  take it one day at a time, keep yer head down, there's no percentage in trying anything, you'll never get enough people with you 'cos everyone else is thinking cautiously just like you are.  kick in a healthy dose of Stockholm Syndrome and Prisoners Dilemma and it's not surprising that the system works and that Bush and his merry men are laughing all the way to the offshore bank...

jesus, DeAnander is good.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 12:58:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
we should look at the twin foundation of humanity and the planet as reality-based sources of a new narrative.

a reality-based myth.  muy interesante indeed.  this starts to blur the distinction between myth and theory, the former traditionally associated with irrationalism and subjectivity, the latter associated with reason and objectivity.  perhaps this should be an explicit criterion of our myths, that they should be as empirical, consistent, and explicative as possible, in short, that we make our political myths as close to scientific theories as possible.  with the crucial caveat, however, that we emphatically acknowledge that our myths -- just like scientific theories -- are not the final Truth, that they are provisionary, dynamic, and evolving.

then what would the role be for values in such "scientific myths"/reality-based narratives?  if science is supposed to be objective, then wouldn't making our myths scientific rule out human values?  no.  because the objectivity of science deals with the quantities we measure; however, it is our value system (i.e. our interests, our perspectives, our assumptions) that determins what we measure and how we do so.  most importantly, our values are the only thing that by which we can say if a particular measurement is good or bad (e.g. participation rate of labor force, unemployment rate, percentage of unemployed persons in the population, GDP, body fat index, etc. are all things to be measured; but it is our values that assign relative importance and desirability/undesirability to each of these categories of measurements as well as to the range of measurable quantities within each category.)

We need to start at the bottom and define a new system of value and wealth, then articulate it into discrete elements and metrics.

discrete elements and metrics.  sounds like a plan.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 01:48:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
discrete elements and metrics.  sounds like a plan.

I was taking up these ideas :

It has to be built on different implicit values that can be reduced to simple and manageable concepts that are equivalent to today's 'growth' and 'unemployment' and 'productivity.' (...)
can progressive aims be reduced to metrics labelled with simple names for essential concepts like environmental health, sustainability, etc, that have the same sound-bite quality?

from ThatBritGuy's comment. Is it a plan? It would certainly involve structuring interconnected memes that would need easily graspable names.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 04:12:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree very much.  I meant, Sounds like a good plan, a sound approach.  And I had the same response to ThatBritGuy's emphasis on discovering and defining the cencepts -- memes, as you put it -- to start building this myth/theoretic structure.  Perhaps these are the "elements" you refer to.  And I would agree that "metrics" are just as critical, as they introduce objectivity into our observations as to how well our myth/theory corresponds to our experience of reality.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire
by marco on Sat Apr 15th, 2006 at 12:34:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here, here.
by andrethegiant on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 10:12:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think calling it 'reality-based economics' is a start. After that it gets more complicated - but as a goal to aim for, I think it's worth considering as a beginning.

I certainly do, too.  But your comment brings up a very, very difficult issue:  When we have two or more conflicting versions of what is "really real".  I think conservatives will argue just as forcefully that they desire -- and already do espouse -- a reality-based economics.  And when you point out to them that "if something is unsustainable, you will run out of it," they will say, "Actually it is sustainable.  Here, read this study by Professor Greenhousewarmingisnothappening, and this study by Professor Oilwillalwaysbeplentiful."

One of my best friends from college, whose intellect I hold in very high respect, is convinced that global warming is a myth (the non-reality-based kind.)  He points to several studies written by various professors challening global warming, and most of all he points to the cyclical nature of ice-ages and warming in earth's history.  Doesn't he have the same right as you to develop an economic theory based on his own version of reality?

In the end, I believe our myths must be as close to scientifically valid as possible, but we must be aware that grounding our economics and our myths in "reality" and science will not in and of itself be enough.  In addition to communicating myths to the public, we will have to back up those myths with the scientific evidence that we choose to make our own reality -- and hope that the public will adopt those scientific theories as their reality, too.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 02:08:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Of course people have the right to develop their own systems or choose to believe in whatever version that is on offer. As far as people who insist global warming isn't happening, we might think they're in denial, and therefore not especially easy to deal with. And we don't have to persuade everybody. We're not totalitarians. What we do want is at least to level the playing field, rather than take the flow of non-reality-based nonsense we're subjected to now. Level the playing field and perhaps start winning the game... ;)

Yes, you're right about subjectivity, as I hinted at in another comment below: we need to examine

the base of what is false about the current economic "wisdom" and what seems to us (can't do better than that -- but either we try, or we don't) true about the real state of economic relations.

There's another reason for trying to stick as close to reality as possible, and that is that the other side really does have the communications clout to explode in short order any notions we might put out that are one-half as phantasticall as their own. Something that's too far removed from reality, as DoDo points out below, just isn't going to work.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 03:53:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Something that's too far removed from reality, as DoDo points out below, just isn't going to work.

Indeed.  As "stable money" spouting financiers discovered in 1929, as Republicans are starting to discover re: Iraq, and, I'm afraid, as American and Chinese Pollyannas are going to learn if and when the dollar starts sliding down (though here I tread quickly into waters that go over my head.)

In the end, reality always catches up and sorts the less reality-based myths from the more reality-based myths.  However, in the process, bad things like wars and depressions all too often happen.

Point n'est besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre, ni de réussir pour persévérer. - Charles le Téméraire

by marco on Sat Apr 15th, 2006 at 12:45:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
BTW, it was an excellent move to front page Helen's diary with the Euston manisfesto.

At the risk of being provocative, I will be more specific, even if less lyric, than you were : if we continue to stick to ideals and utopia, and gather in think tanks producing nothing but rhetoric, we are doomed.
What they have, as Kcurie brilliantly demonstrated, is the power to make their point, and money is power.
It is sad but reality contradicts your point : there is no "team" as such, only a management tool to boost productivity, and the time of the last runner is his problem. The team does not give a shit.
That's how companies operate, economics rule the world, and governments take their instructions from the Stock Exchange.


When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill

by Agnes a Paris on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 06:41:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's the point. We have to change reality. By providing a new understanding of it.

(I did not promote the Euston diary, Colman did...)

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes

by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 07:16:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I know Colman did, but we are talking about a team, aren't we ? ;-)
Have you seen the Interpreter ?
Beautiful movie, about how hard it may be to wait out for words to change reality. You may also take a read through Les mains sales by Satre.
The level of understanding we may provide round here will be useful to a thin minority, unless action brings those ideas into the open.


When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Thu Apr 13th, 2006 at 07:23:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
unless action brings those ideas into the open.

Agnes, what ideas would those be, if we don't think about them? Action based on half-digested or hastily-assumed ideas will bring just what into the open, in your view?

And what action do you propose?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 04:23:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I was not meaning stop thinking, just pointing out that over-digestion of ideas should not become an alibi for no action. This is a general comment.
At some point, you have to bring your ideas out on the political scene, that's the action I have in mind. That's were things are going on. And it's the only way to address the general public. Thinking never got one's hands muddy.

As for myself, and my areas of preoccupation, I go out on the streets and in circles where it is possible to have direct contact to prostitution, the "service providers" (I hate this expression) and the clients. I use my connections with the so-called French Grandes ecoles elites to get in touch with politicians, those who will be running for the next Parliamentary election. Does that answer your question ?

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill

by Agnes a Paris on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 09:24:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I wasn't asking what you did. My question was impersonal.

As to your first point as to moving ideas out into the political sphere -- indeed the public sphere -- isn't it clear that is what we're talking about here?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 10:26:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
An example is worth a theoretical explanation, as least so I thought. Sorry if you were offended in any sense by my being personal.
As I was writing in another post, you will not be bothered a lot by me round here any longer.

When through hell, just keep going. W. Churchill
by Agnes a Paris on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 12:26:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was not offended, I was hoping to show I wasn't prying into your personal life. I'm sorry you say you won't be around much longer, but you'll forgive me if I feel somewhat mystified by the meaning of rather a lot of your comments.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 12:56:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Meethinks Agnes's "political scene" is about action on policy (e.g. something with real-world not just mental effects), not just entry into publix discourse.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 12:34:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't get your distinction between "real-world" as opposed to "just mental".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Apr 14th, 2006 at 12:57:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent!

I seem to recall something like this in at least one famous book. (I'm very much an atheist, by the way.)

Sadly if you remind certain people they'll just spout the stuff about "helps those who help themselves."

-----
sapere aude

by Number 6 on Wed Apr 19th, 2006 at 05:59:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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