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[Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International



Hello all,

I am feeling a bit overwhelmed with all of the responses and topics with
this mailing list, however, I find the topics fascinating.

Regards,

Stephanie Ann Samaras
B.Ed., M.A. UVIC
https://dspace.library.uvic.ca:8443/handle/1828/4908

School District No. 46 (Sunshine Coast)/ S.P.I.D.E.R.
http://fc.sd46.bc.ca/spider/


ssamaras@sd46.bc.ca

cell: (778) 874 8678
skype: stephanie.samaras.1974

http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/stephanie-ann-samaras/7a/506/a92
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> Thanks for your (accepting) reply Paul
> My only response - since I am not at all familiar with the conceptual
> fields you refer to, (nor even particularly receptive to them,mea culpa),
> is to adduce the idea of the difference between a 'formal' status of a
> right and its function reality, i.e. my formal right to a fair trial and
> my
> ability to pull together all the resources actually needed to achieve one.
> Formally while such leaders as King remained part of  and submerged within
> the constraints of the reality which they challenged; functionally their
> demands could be met only by an alteration in that reality.
> I hope that this category of answer has some value and coherence within
> your terms of reference.
> Yours
> Tom
>
>
> On 22 January 2014 15:14, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> <pmocombe@mocombeian.com>wrote:
>
>> Tom,
>>
>> I would agree with your yes...but for me their actions were
>> structural/humanist.  That is, as adorno points out in identitarian
>> logic...the thing (human) convicting the society of not identifying with
>> itself....is identical with the thing it is convicting...so the black
>> american leaders, like king, remained the thing they were against.  They
>> were americans simply convicting the society of not fully implementing
>> its
>> structural concepts...they were not asking for new structural
>> concepts...
>>
>>
>> Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>> President
>> The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>> www.mocombeian.com
>> www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>>
>>
>>
>> -------- Original message --------
>> From: Tom Richardson <tom.richardson3@googlemail.com>
>> Date:01/22/2014  9:52 AM  (GMT-05:00)
>> To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International
>>
>> Dear Paul
>> At the risk of being facetious, and I am actually serious, the answer to
>> all three questions must be yes. But you didn't ask me and I'm looking
>> forward to Andy B.'s answer(s).
>> Tom Richardson
>> Middlesbrough UK
>>
>>
>> On 22 January 2014 14:47, Dr. Paul C. Mocombe <pmocombe@mocombeian.com
>> >wrote:
>>
>> > Within the logic of
>> > "Men make their
>> > own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make
>> it
>> > under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing
>> > already, given and transmitted from the past", how is it people come
>> to
>> > change the world?  Dialectically (negative)? Based on your logic,
>> andy,
>> > would you say that the leaders of the black american civil rights
>> movement
>> > changed the world?... if so, was that a humanist act or a structural
>> one?
>> >
>> > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>> > President
>> > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>> > www.mocombeian.com
>> > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>> >
>> > <div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Andy Blunden <
>> > ablunden@mira.net> </div><div>Date:01/22/2014  8:50 AM  (GMT-05:00)
>> > </div><div>To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity" <
>> xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> > </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>> International
>> > </div><div>
>> > </div>Humanism and individualism (either methodological or ethical)
>> are
>> two
>> > quite different things. Humanism is an extremely broad category, and I
>> > think that very broadly humanism on one side, and structuralism
>> > (together with functionalism and poststructuralism) on the other is
>> one
>> > way of viewing the social theoretical and ethical matrix. I identify
>> as
>> > a humanist because I do *not* see people (individually or
>> collectively)
>> > as prisoners of structures and functions, "interpellated" and
>> > "subjectified" by great social powers, but rather that "Men make their
>> > own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make
>> it
>> > under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing
>> > already, given and transmitted from the past". There is absolutely
>> > nothing individalist about that position, but since agency is not an
>> > illusion, it does pose the serious problem of how agency exists.
>> > This is an important ethical and scientific question. If you stand on
>> > the side of structuralism, you may be able to describe and even
>> explain
>> > how societies reproduce themselves, and how people betray each other,
>> > make wars, waste their time in fruitless struggles, and in general
>> show
>> > themselves to be subjectified and interpellated, but it can never tell
>> > you how a social formation at a certain point failed to reproduce
>> itself
>> > and was overthrow in favour of another, how people act in solidarity
>> > with others, how people stop a war, how struggles turn out sometimes
>> to
>> > not be fruitless and in general how people change the world.
>> > Science is always for a purpose.
>> > Structuralism is for the purpose of interpreting the world; humanism
>> is
>> > for the purpose of both understanding and changing it.
>> >
>> > Andy
>> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > *Andy Blunden*
>> > http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> >
>> >
>> > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
>> > > I have a problem with this notion of humanism being thrown around.
>> > >  How is your humanism any different from althusser's "humanism"?
>> > >  Althusser, for me, represents an aspect of our being in the world
>> > > which highlights our unreflective acceptance of rules and ideas as
>> the
>> > > nature of our being in the world...Whereas the humanist claim Andy
>> and
>> > > rauno point to speaks to a sort of cartesian rational or
>> > > self-conscious individual being.  The latter two want to establish
>> > > society based on such an individual, I.e., subject...whereas,
>> > > althusser is suggesting that not only is there no such individual,
>> but
>> > > "there is no subject but by and for their subjection.."   So it
>> > > appears as though you humanists are attempting to do what
>> capitalists
>> > > have done, manufacture subjects...will your humanist subjects be
>> > > better than the laborers and consumers of capitalism?  In what
>> sense?
>> > >  How will you reproduce them?  How will they be defined?
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>> > > President
>> > > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>> > > www.mocombeian.com
>> > > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > -------- Original message --------
>> > > From: Rauno Huttunen
>> > > Date:01/22/2014 5:13 AM (GMT-05:00)
>> > > To: ablunden@mira.net,"eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International
>> > >
>> > > Hello,
>> > >
>> > > I am also a humanist but I still like to read Althusser. Althusser's
>> > > theory of science and social theory are very interesting
>> > > (generalization I-III, intransitive causality [generative
>> causality?],
>> > > ideological state apparatus etc.). With the help of Giddens is
>> > > possible to make kind of humanistic interpretation on Althusser's
>> > > social theory.
>> > >
>> > > Althusser's former student (many famous French thinker were
>> > > Althusser's students; Foucault, Derrida, Bourdieu, Badiou,
>> Debray...)
>> > > Jacques Ranciere is also very interesting. He break away from
>> > > Althusser's school in 1970th and started his own kind of humanistic
>> > > critical social theory. In his book "The Nights of Labor: The
>> Workers'
>> > > Dream in Nineteenth-Century France" Ranciere claims that
>> Althusserians
>> > > really don't care about working class, their intentions, their
>> > > feelings, their thought, their dreams etc.. Althusserians say that
>> > > they represents the objective interests of working class but
>> actually
>> > > they are telling to working class how workers should think and feel.
>> > > For Ranciere Alhusserianism is just another form of ruling elite's
>> > > ideology; ruling class ideology is just replaced with Althusserian
>> > > party ideology.
>> > >
>> > > Rauno Huttunen
>> > >
>> > > -----Original Message-----
>> > > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Andy Blunden
>> > > Sent: 22. tammikuuta 2014 4:34
>> > > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International
>> > >
>> > > I don't know how you claim to be an optimist, Paul. For my part, I
>> am
>> > > deeply hostile to Althusser's entire project. Structuralism is
>> itself
>> > > the paradigm of the ideology of modern capitalism. I am a humanist.
>> "Who
>> > > will take that self-conscious act?" you ask. Obviously the answer is
>> > > that the agent will be a collaborative project, itself the product
>> of
>> > > many collaborative projects, and yes, organic intellectuals have a
>> role
>> > > to play it that project. But "a gramscian organic intellectual" is
>> not
>> a
>> > > serious answer, as if it were a case of one person. But "The
>> majority"
>> > > (or intellectuals I presume you mean) is an empirical abstraction.
>> So
>> > > what? Who is counting? As if intellectual act as a unity according
>> to
>> > > majority votes of all intellectuals? Abstractions!
>> > >
>> > > Andy
>> > >
>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > *Andy Blunden*
>> > > http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> > >
>> > >
>> > > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
>> > > > But your position, andy, begs the question who will take that
>> > > > self-conscious act...a gramscian organic intellectual?  Where are
>> > > > they?  They are not in africa for instance...evo morales in latin
>> > > > america?  I am with althusser on this one.  The majority have been
>> > > > interpellated by and through ideological apparatuses that present
>> > > > capitalism as the nature of reality as such.  The masses think
>> they
>> > > > can all be and live like Mike (michael jordan), the atlanta
>> > > > housewives, and basketball wives.  They love capitalism more than
>> the
>> > > > capitalists....
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>> > > > President
>> > > > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>> > > > www.mocombeian.com
>> > > > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > > -------- Original message --------
>> > > > From: Andy Blunden
>> > > > Date:01/21/2014 9:00 PM (GMT-05:00)
>> > > > To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>> > > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International
>> > > >
>> > > > Which brings us back to what on Earth is meant by "mind," Paul,
>> but
>> no,
>> > > > it is not my understanding at all that capitalism exists
>> irrespective
>> > of
>> > > > the armed bodies of men and their political off-shoots which
>> protect
>> > > > those relations. Unlike you though, Paul, I do not ascribe a
>> > personality
>> > > > to "the Earth," or "humanity," "the poor," or "us academics." What
>> I
>> am
>> > > > saying however is that the overthrow of capitalist social
>> relations
>> and
>> > > > thus the state which protects it, is a self-conscious act, a
>> > > > collaborative project, not something which emerges mindlessly out
>> of
>> > the
>> > > > social process.
>> > > >
>> > > > Andy
>> > > >
>> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > > *Andy Blunden*
>> > > > http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > > > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
>> > > > > Bill,
>> > > > >
>> > > > > You speak of capitalism as though it has a mind of its own,
>> I.e.,
>> the
>> > > > > free market.  No such thing as  Karl polanyi demonstrates in
>> "the
>> > > > > great transformation...The state has kept capitalism alive and
>> going
>> > > > > amidst it's crises.  The question becomes can we have a humanist
>> > > > > capitalism somewhere between adam smith's "theory of moral
>> > sentiments"
>> > > > > and his "wealth of nations." Revisionist Marxists such as
>> Bernstein
>> > > > > grappled with this question, and it continues to plague twenty
>> first
>> > > > > century socialists.
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>> > > > > President
>> > > > > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>> > > > > www.mocombeian.com
>> > > > > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > > -------- Original message --------
>> > > > > From: Bill Kerr
>> > > > > Date:01/21/2014 8:15 PM (GMT-05:00)
>> > > > > To: Andy Blunden ,"eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>> > > > > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam International
>> > > > >
>> > > > > My contention is that capitalism has these economic
>> characteristics:
>> > > > >
>> > > > > 1) General increase in standard of living
>> > > > > 2) Increasing gap b/w rich and poor
>> > > > > 3) Instability: periodic economic crises
>> > > > >
>> > > > > If you only talk about (2) without mentioning (1) then it is
>> hard
>> to
>> > > > grasp
>> > > > > why people put up with capitalism. Bill and Melinda Gates just
>> talk
>> > > > about
>> > > > > (1) and ignore the other aspects. See
>> > > > >
>> > > >
>> > >
>> >
>> http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304149404579324530112590864
>> > > > >
>> > > > > If you can't stomach Bill and Melinda there are other version of
>> this
>> > > > > narrative. This video (Hans Rosling, GapMinder) is interesting:
>> > > > > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo
>> > > > >
>> > > > > The historical record suggests to me that provided (1) is
>> maintained
>> > > > then
>> > > > > people will continue to tolerate capitalism. Whether capitalism
>> can
>> > > > > maintain (1) depends on (3). The crisis of 2008 and the Occupy
>> Wall
>> > > > Street
>> > > > > movement suggested to me that it was time to do some serious
>> study
>> of
>> > > > > Marx's unfinished project or alternatively other economic
>> theories
>> > > > such as
>> > > > > Post Keynesian (Hyman Minsky, Steve Keen et al) which recognise
>> the
>> > > > > inherent instability of capitalism. My tentative conclusion is
>> that
>> > we
>> > > > > just
>> > > > > don't understand capitalism and it is very hard to understand.
>> eg.
>> if
>> > > > > capitalists can muddle through the downturns by printing more
>> money
>> > > > > and the
>> > > > > very serious economic downturns can be delayed by 70 years
>> (Great
>> > > > > Depression to 2008) then that might be a formula for survival
>> (?)
>> > > Absurd
>> > > > > simplification on my part.
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > > > On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Andy Blunden
>> <ablunden@mira.net>
>> > > > wrote:
>> > > > >
>> > > > > > Which means, does it not Huw, propagating a counter-ethic, so
>> to
>> > > > speak,
>> > > > > > since arguments against an ethic are just words, and the maxim
>> is
>> > > > always
>> > > > > > "do as I do not as I say." But an ethic is meaningful, I
>> believe
>> > > only
>> > > > > > within some collaborative endeavour. My relationship to you is
>> > > > > meaningful
>> > > > > > only in connection of what we do, as we, together. I believe
>> that
>> > > > > "Do unto
>> > > > > > others as you would have them do unto you," is fine as far as
>> it
>> > > > > goes, but
>> > > > > > is inadequate to this mtulicultural, fragmented world.
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Andy
>> > > > > >
>> > > >
>> > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > > > > *Andy Blunden*
>> > > > > > http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > > Huw Lloyd wrote:
>> > > > > >
>> > > > > >> Going back to reference to the bubble and social psychology,
>> it
>> > > > > seems to
>> > > > > >> me that the "super rich" are to be pitied too.  I am not sure
>> > > > > living in a
>> > > > > >> bubble is such a nice thing, especially given the immaturity
>> > > > > required to
>> > > > > >> sustain it.
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >> I don't think it is the super rich which are to be combatted,
>> > > > rather it
>> > > > > >> is the inane notion that this is something to be admired or
>> > > > > desired.  This,
>> > > > > >> it seems to me, is a more obtainable and more rewarding
>> exercise.
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >> Best,
>> > > > > >> Huw
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >> On 22 January 2014 00:07, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>> <mailto:
>> > > > > >> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>     But your foundation is active in combatting inequality
>> through
>> > > > > >>     literacy. "Every step of real movement is more important
>> than
>> > a
>> > > > > >>     dozen programmes," as one very serious theorist said.
>> > > > > >>     Andy
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > >
>> http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/letters/75_05_05.htm
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>     ------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > > > >> ------------
>> > > > > >>     *Andy Blunden*
>> > > > > >>     http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>     Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         At 38 I am differing to my elders on this
>> one...albeit,
>> I
>> > > > > >>         agree with Andy...too young to be pessimistic, but
>> what
>> I
>> > > > have
>> > > > > >>         seen happen to black america has really disappointed
>> me.
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>> > > > > >>         President
>> > > > > >>         The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>> > > > > >>         www.mocombeian.com <http://www.mocombeian.com>
>> > > > > >>         www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>> > > > > >>         <http://www.readingroomcurriculum.com>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         -------- Original message --------
>> > > > > >>         From: Andy Blunden
>> > > > > >>         Date:01/21/2014 6:36 PM (GMT-05:00)
>> > > > > >>         To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>> > > > > >>         Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>> > > > International
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         David, you are quite correct that agreement on
>> > > > fundamentals of
>> > > > > >>         theory is
>> > > > > >>         by no means necessary for collaboration (though on
>> the
>> > xmca
>> > > > > >>         list this is
>> > > > > >>         feasible). In a sense, the very meaning of
>> > > "collaboration" is
>> > > > > >>         that such
>> > > > > >>         disagreement on fundamentals is suspended.
>> Nonetheless,
>> in
>> > > > > >>         raising the
>> > > > > >>         proposal on this list your are inviting collaboration
>> on
>> > > > > >>         formation of
>> > > > > >>         the concept of this project, and I have accepted the
>> > > > > invitation by
>> > > > > >>         criticising your concept of the proposal. You have
>> > > > propsed the
>> > > > > >>         writing
>> > > > > >>         of an article countering the narrative of Ayn Rand
>> that
>> > > "the
>> > > > > >>         ultra-wealthy are the engines of advancement and
>> > prosperity
>> > > > > >>         and the
>> > > > > >>         saviors of society" and to argue instead that "the
>> gradual
>> > > > > >>         shift in
>> > > > > >>         political control of the economy over the past 50
>> years
>> > > > by the
>> > > > > >>         ultra-wealthy has reached a kind of tipping point in
>> > > > which the
>> > > > > >>         gains in
>> > > > > >>         disparity are so dramatic as to overwhelm any sense
>> of
>> > > actual
>> > > > > >>         self-interest." My response is "Well, hello!" This is
>> > > > > hardly news,
>> > > > > >>         David. This has been argued (correctly) for several
>> > > > > centuries. The
>> > > > > >>         wealthy have always been a class of parasites; social
>> > > > > progress has
>> > > > > >>         always been only in the teeth of opposition from all
>> but
>> > > > a few
>> > > > > >>         of that
>> > > > > >>         class. I would argue that it is better to enter some
>> > actual
>> > > > > >>         project
>> > > > > >>         aimed against capitalism and ineqaulity and
>> participate
>> > > > in the
>> > > > > >>         argument
>> > > > > >>         about strategy and tactics. Being 68, after 50 years
>> of
>> > > such
>> > > > > >>         participation, I accept a somewhat arm's length
>> > > > participation,
>> > > > > >>         but the
>> > > > > >>         protagonists (wether real or imagined) are those
>> actually
>> > > > > >>         engaged in
>> > > > > >>         that struggle in any formm about how best to further
>> that
>> > > > > >>         struggle. Not
>> > > > > >>         the *generalities*, in my view. But I am pleased that
>> > > you are
>> > > > > >>         taking up
>> > > > > >>         the battle and I wish you well. All I can do is offer
>> my
>> > > > > >>         reflections on
>> > > > > >>         your object-concept, as others have and will.
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         Andy
>> > > > > >>
>> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > > > >> ------------
>> > > > > >>         *Andy Blunden*
>> > > > > >>         http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <
>> > http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         David H Kirshner wrote:
>> > > > > >>         >> It would appear ...
>> > > > > >>         >>    >
>> > > > > >>         > Doesn't appear that way to me.
>> > > > > >>         > In fact, it's not clear to me, contrary to Andy and
>> > Paul,
>> > > > > >>         that in a practical endeavor one has to come to terms
>> with
>> > > > > >>         foundational issues, at all.
>> > > > > >>         > The fact that social psychology may not have the
>> > > > foundations
>> > > > > >>         right doesn't imply that it has no insight to offer,
>> or
>> > > > that a
>> > > > > >>         make-shift frame of reference can't provide a stable
>> > enough
>> > > > > >>         foundation to move people forward (collectively and
>> > > > > >>         individually). Indeed, isn't that the necessary way
>> > > > forward in
>> > > > > >>         any practical endeavor, given the absence of fully
>> > > worked out
>> > > > > >>         foundational perspectives (and given the need to
>> > > address the
>> > > > > >>         world as we find it, without the theorist's option of
>> > > > > >>         restricting the domain of inquiry within tractable
>> > > > parameters)?
>> > > > > >>         > David
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > -----Original Message-----
>> > > > > >>         > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> > > > > >>         [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf
>> Of
>> > Dr.
>> > > > > >>         Paul C. Mocombe
>> > > > > >>         > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 6:12 AM
>> > > > > >>         > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity;
>> ablunden@mira.net
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>> > > > > >>         > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>> > > > > International
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > Andy and david,
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > It would appear that any counter - narrative would
>> > > have to
>> > > > > >>         be anti-dialectical and counter-hegemonic, I.e.,
>> > > > > >>         anti-individual, anti-capitalist, anti-humanity...
>> Can
>> > > > such a
>> > > > > >>         counter - narrative come from a humanity, including
>> us
>> > > > > >>         academics, subjectified to reproduce individual
>> wealth,
>> > > > upward
>> > > > > >>         mobility, and status at the expense of the masses of
>> poor
>> > > > > >>         around the world, paradoxically, seeking our
>> bourgeois
>> > > > > >>         lifestyle? >
>> > > > > >>         > I ask because,  it would appear that the earth,in
>> > marxian
>> > > > > >>         terms, as a class for itself, has been begging for
>> > > > humanity to
>> > > > > >>         change the way it recursively reorganize and
>> reproduce
>> > it's
>> > > > > >>         being-in-it over the last 100 years, but we
>> consistently
>> > > > > >>         refuse.  Instead, turning to dialectical measures,
>> > > fracking,
>> > > > > >>         carbon credits, neoliberalism, etc., to attempt to
>> > > > resolve our
>> > > > > >>         problems and maintain the protestant ethic and the
>> > > spirit of
>> > > > > >>         capitalism as an "enframing" (heidegger's term)
>> ontology.
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > I am not a pessimistic person, but it appears that
>> in
>> > > this
>> > > > > >>         case we are all dead we just do not know it yet.
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>> > > > > >>         > President
>> > > > > >>         > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>> > > > > >>         > www.mocombeian.com <http://www.mocombeian.com>
>> > > > > >>         > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>> > > > > >>         <http://www.readingroomcurriculum.com>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > <div>-------- Original message
>> --------</div><div>From:
>> > > > > >>         David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu
>> <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
>> >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         </div><div>Date:01/21/2014  2:50 AM  (GMT-05:00)
>> > > > > >>         </div><div>To: ablunden@mira.net
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>,"eXtended Mind, Culture,
>> > > Activity"
>> > > > > >>         <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:
>> xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few
>> |
>> > > Oxfam
>> > > > > >>         International </div><div>
>> > > > > >>         > </div>Andy,
>> > > > > >>         > I suppose social psychology's unitary and
>> a-historical
>> > > > > >>         ascription of the human sense of material well-being
>> as
>> > > > > >>         relative to other people (rather than as relative to
>> > > > one's own
>> > > > > >>         past) gets it wrong from the start. Still, I think it
>> > > > provides
>> > > > > >>         a way to understand the individual pursuit of wealth,
>> > > carried
>> > > > > >>         to its limits, as anti-social and destructive; an
>> > effective
>> > > > > >>         counter-narrative to the libertarian ideal of the
>> > > individual
>> > > > > >>         unfettered by societal constraints. We badly need a
>> > > > > >>         counter-narrative to regain some kind of political
>> > leverage
>> > > > > >>         for ordinary citizens.
>> > > > > >>         > If anyone would like to help pull that together in
>> > > the form
>> > > > > >>         of a paper, please reply, on-line or off-.
>> > > > > >>         > Thanks.
>> > > > > >>         > David
>> > > > > >>         > dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > -----Original Message-----
>> > > > > >>         > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> > > > > >>         [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf
>> Of
>> > Andy
>> > > > > >>         Blunden
>> > > > > >>         > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:13 AM
>> > > > > >>         > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> > > > > >>         > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>> > > > > International
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > I certainly hope so, David, or at least, I hope to
>> > > read and
>> > > > > >>         participate in acting out the opening chapter of that
>> > > > > narrative.
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > I do think that the "99%/1%" narrative was a
>> project
>> > > doomed
>> > > > > >>         to failure however, as it conceived of itself as a
>> linear
>> > > > > >>         expansion which would somehow bypass social and
>> > ideological
>> > > > > >>         differences. It did not conceive of itselfr as a
>> project
>> > at
>> > > > > >>         all. Just a mesage about the one true world which
>> > > > everyone had
>> > > > > >>         to come to. Truly magical realism. The plot lies
>> > > implicit in
>> > > > > >>         the opening chapter, but it is always far from easy
>> to
>> > > > see how
>> > > > > >>         the plot will unfold itself though the multiple
>> > story-lines
>> > > > > >>         entailed in this conundrum, Andy
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>
>> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > > > >> ------------
>> > > > > >>         > *Andy Blunden*
>> > > > > >>         > http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> > > <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         > David H Kirshner wrote:
>> > > > > >>         >  >> The operative narrative, at least in the U.S.
>> > > context,
>> > > > > >>         dictated by Ayn Rand, is that the ultra-wealthy are
>> the
>> > > > > >>         engines of advancement and prosperity and the saviors
>> of
>> > > > > >>         society. What is in their best interest is in all of
>> > > our best
>> > > > > >>         interests. We very badly need a counter-narrative.
>> > > > > >>         >> Andy, is this practical project something that can
>> be
>> > > > > >>         undertaken and completed in real-time as a
>> theoretical
>> > > > project?
>> > > > > >>         >> David
>> > > > > >>         >>
>> > > > > >>         >>
>> > > > > >>         >> -----Original Message-----
>> > > > > >>         >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> > > > > >>         >> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf
>> Of
>> > Andy
>> > > > > >>         Blunden
>> > > > > >>         >> Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 11:06 PM
>> > > > > >>         >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> > > > > >>         >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>> > > > > International
>> > > > > >>         >>
>> > > > > >>         >> David I have plenty of experience with desparate
>> > > measures
>> > > > > >>         over teh
>> > > > > >>         >> past
>> > > > > >>         >> 50 years, and I have come very late to "the
>> broader
>> > > > > >>         theoretical project." It is absolutely essential that
>> the
>> > > > > >>         practical project and the theoretical project are one
>> > > and the
>> > > > > >>         same.
>> > > > > >>         >>
>> > > > > >>         >> Andy
>> > > > > >>         >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > > > >> ----------
>> > > > > >>         >> --
>> > > > > >>         >> *Andy Blunden*
>> > > > > >>         >> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> > > > <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         >>
>> > > > > >>         >>
>> > > > > >>         >> David H Kirshner wrote:
>> > > > > >>         >>   >>    >>> Andy,
>> > > > > >>         >>> Sometimes, in order to create a counter-narrative
>> > > > that can
>> > > > > >>         be effective in the here and now, one has to step
>> > > outside of
>> > > > > >>         the broader theoretical project. I guess, for some,
>> this
>> > > > would
>> > > > > >>         constitute a distraction from the real work, perhaps
>> a
>> > > > > >>         violation of the true mission of that scholarly
>> > > endeavor. For
>> > > > > >>         others, it might be a legitimate (even if imperfect)
>> > > > effort to
>> > > > > >>         apply what one has come to understand from the larger
>> > > > project.
>> > > > > >>         For others, still, perhaps simply a political
>> activity
>> > > > > >>         undertaken with theoretical tools, but with little
>> actual
>> > > > > >>         relation to the theoretical project.
>> > > > > >>         >>> Perhaps these are desperate measures that these
>> > > desperate
>> > > > > >>         times call for.
>> > > > > >>         >>> David
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>         >>> -----Original Message-----
>> > > > > >>         >>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>> > > > > >>         >>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>> > > > > >>         <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf
>> Of
>> > Andy
>> > > > > >>         Blunden
>> > > > > >>         >>> Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:29 PM
>> > > > > >>         >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>> > > > > >>         >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>> > > > > >>         International
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>         >>> Well, that's the project I have been
>> collaborating
>> in
>> > > > > >>         since I was a teenager, David, but it has its
>> challenges,
>> > > > too,
>> > > > > >>         you know.
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>         >>> First off, these observations about social
>> > > psychology and
>> > > > > >>         well-being:
>> > > > > >>         >>> The point is to have a unit of analysis and one
>> > > which is
>> > > > > >>         as valid for making observations about psychology as
>> it
>> > > > is for
>> > > > > >>         social theory. And in general, this is lacking for
>> what
>> > > goes
>> > > > > >>         by the name of "social psychology." People do not of
>> > course
>> > > > > >>         govern their behaviour by evidence-based
>> investigations
>> > > > of the
>> > > > > >>         likely results of their behaviour.
>> > > > > >>         >>> People don't set out to "grow a bigger economy"
>> or
>> > > "have
>> > > > > >>         more wealth than someone else". The thinking of an
>> > > individual
>> > > > > >>         has to be understood (I would contend) within the
>> > > contexts of
>> > > > > >>         the projects to which they are committed. That is the
>> > > reason
>> > > > > >>         for the relativity in the enjoyment of wealth (which
>> is
>> > > > itself
>> > > > > >>         of course relative). People make judgments according
>> to
>> > the
>> > > > > >>         norms of the project in which they are participating,
>> and
>> > > > that
>> > > > > >>         means semantic, theoretical and practical norms.
>> > > > Understanding
>> > > > > >>         the psychology of political economy is as of one task
>> with
>> > > > > >>         that of building a project to overthrow the existing
>> > > > political
>> > > > > >>         economic arrangements and build sustainable
>> arrangements.
>> > > > That
>> > > > > >>         requires a multitude of projects all willikng and
>> able
>> to
>> > > > > >>         collaborate with one another.
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>         >>> That's what I think.
>> > > > > >>         >>> Andy
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > ------------------------------------------------------------
>> > > > > >> ---------
>> > > > > >>         >>> -
>> > > > > >>         >>> --
>> > > > > >>         >>> *Andy Blunden*
>> > > > > >>         >>> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>> > > > <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>
>> > > > > >>         >>> David H Kirshner wrote:
>> > > > > >>         >>>   >>>     >>>      >>>> I've been sketching out
>> in
>> my
>> > > > > >>         mind, but not yet had time to research and write, a
>> paper
>> > > > > >>         tentatively titled:
>> > > > > >>         >>>> The Psychology of Greed: Why the Ultra-wealthy
>> are
>> > > > > >>         Despoiling the
>> > > > > >>         >>>> Planet, Tanking the Economy, and Gutting our
>> > > Culture In
>> > > > > >>         the Quest
>> > > > > >>         >>>> for More
>> > > > > >>         >>>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>> The premise is that the psychological metric of
>> our
>> > > > sense
>> > > > > >>         of material well-being is not accumulation, relative
>> to
>> > our
>> > > > > >>         own past wealth, but the comparative measure of our
>> own
>> > > > wealth
>> > > > > >>         in relation to that of others. (I believe this is a
>> > > > > >>         well-established principle of social psychology.) So,
>> for
>> > > > > >>         example, instead of trying to grow a bigger economy
>> which
>> > > > > >>         requires a large and healthy middle-class (this is
>> what
>> > > would
>> > > > > >>         provide more actual wealth for the ultra-wealthy),
>> they
>> > are
>> > > > > >>         eroding the middle-class as quickly as they can--a
>> > strategy
>> > > > > >>         that maximizes disparity.
>> > > > > >>         >>>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>> The major thesis (in the U.S. context) is that
>> the
>> > > > > >>         gradual shift in political control of the economy
>> over
>> the
>> > > > > >>         past 50 years by the ultra-wealthy has reached a kind
>> of
>> > > > > >>         tipping point in which the gains in disparity are so
>> > > dramatic
>> > > > > >>         as to overwhelm any sense of actual self-interest.
>> > > Hence, we
>> > > > > >>         see increasingly irrational and self-destructive
>> > > behavior by
>> > > > > >>         the ultra-wealthy (e.g., the fraudulent housing
>> bubble
>> > that
>> > > > > >>         created what U.S. economists refer to as The Great
>> > > > Recession).
>> > > > > >>         The conclusion, of course, is a call to action to
>> take
>> > back
>> > > > > >>         control of our political systems so we can set more
>> > > rational
>> > > > > >>         policies for the economy.
>> > > > > >>         >>>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>> I don't know if this thesis extends so easily
>> > > beyond the
>> > > > > >>         U.S. situation to the world, but if this project
>> appeals,
>> > I
>> > > > > >>         would welcome a collaborative effort--perhaps even
>> one
>> > that
>> > > > > >>         somehow encompasses the whole XMCA listserv as
>> co-authors.
>> > > > > >>         >>>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>> David
>> > > > > >>         >>>>   >>>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>>     >>>>       >>>>        >>>   >>>     >>>
>> >>
>> > > > > >>         >>   >>    >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>