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



Interesting post, Richard, thanks very much. Reading it, I couldn't help thinking of Wendell Berry's great essay "Why I Am Not Going to Buy a Computer." There, he lays out his own "standards for technological innovation" which he lists as: 

1. The new tool should be cheaper than the one it replaces.
2. It should be at least as small in scale as the one it replaces.
3. It should do work that is clearly and demonstrably better than the one it replaces.
4. It should use less energy than the one it replaces.
5. If possible, it should use some form of solar energy, such as that of the body.
6. It should be repairable by a person of ordinary intelligence, provided that he or she has the necessary tools.
7. It should be purchasable and repairable as near to home as possible.
8. It should come from a small, privately owned shop or store that will take it back for maintenance and repair.
9. It should not replace or disrupt anything good that already exists, and this includes family and community relationships.

The Amish are a model for Berry I believe, and though his principles are admirable, it is difficult to imagine how one could adopt many of them amidst the forces shaping our global market economy. It does seem reasonable to believe, however, that things such as agricultural and trade policy made at the federal level have a ripple effect that contributes to making such a lifestyle nearly impossible. One's ability to use any tool is a function of its availability, and this in turn is a function of what local economies produce and how they function in relation to other communities. The prospect of distributed electricity production in the form of rooftop solar and other technologies, is one promising development that would seem to allow communities to move towards sustainability, but even this depends on a global supply chain engineered to drive productive/consumptive economies of their own in distant locales. 


----------------------------------------
Peter Hourdequin
Faculty of Foreign Studies
Tokoha University
1-22-1 Sena, Aoi Ward
Shizuoka City, Shizuoka
JAPAN 420-0911

Tel: +81 54 261-3608
Fax: +81 54 263-2750


Post-Graduate Researcher
Educational Research
Lancaster University, U.K.

----------------------------------------



On Jan 23, 2014, at 6:06 AM, Richard Beach <rbeach@umn.edu> wrote:

> Related to the issue of analysis of institutional systems constituting the
> perpetuation of capitalism, the following ending of an article in The New
> Yorker is an interesting discussion of how tools mediate societal
> transformation‹that tool use with the potential for mediating societal
> change can be co-opted by capitalism/technology to mitigate change.
> 
> Evgeny Morozo, Making It, The New Yorker, January 13, 2014
> http://www.newyorker.com/search?qt=dismax&sort=score+desc&query=Maker&submit
> =
> 
> One of the leaders of the Homebrew Computer Club was Lee Felsenstein. A
> veteran of the Free Speech Movement in Berkeley, he wanted to build
> communication infrastructure that would allow citizens to swap information
> in a decentralized manner, bypassing the mistrusted traditional media. In
> the early nineteen-seventies, he helped launch Community Memory‹a handful of
> computer terminals installed in public spaces in Berkeley and San Francisco
> which allowed local residents to communicate anonymously. It was the first
> true ³social media.²
> 
> 
> Felsenstein got his inspiration from reading Ivan Illich¹s ³Tools for
> Conviviality,² which called for devices and machines that would be easy to
> understand, learn, and repair, thus making experts and institutions
> unnecessary. ³Convivial tools rule out certain levels of power, compulsion,
> and programming, which are precisely those features that now tend to make
> all governments look more or less alike,² Illich wrote. He had little faith
> in traditional politics. Whereas Stewart Brand wanted citizens to replace
> politics with savvy shopping, Illich wanted to ³retool² society so that
> traditional politics, with its penchant for endless talk, becomes
> unnecessary. 
> 
> 
> Felsenstein took Illich¹s advice to heart, not least because it resembled
> his own experience with ham radios, which were easy to understand and fiddle
> with. If the computer were to assist ordinary folks in their political
> struggles, the computer needed a ham-radio-like community of hobbyists. Such
> a club would help counter the power of I.B.M., then the dominant
> manufacturer of large and expensive computers, and make computers smaller,
> cheaper, and more useful in political struggles.
> 
> 
> Then Steve Jobs showed up. Felsenstein¹s political project, of building
> computers that would undermine institutions and allow citizens to share
> information and organize, was recast as an aesthetic project of
> self-reliance and personal empowerment. For Jobs, who saw computers as ³a
> bicycle for our minds,² it was of only secondary importance whether one
> could peek inside or program them.
> 
> 
> Jobs had his share of sins, but the naïveté of Illich and his followers
> shouldn¹t be underestimated. Seeking salvation through tools alone is no
> more viable as a political strategy than addressing the ills of capitalism
> by cultivating a public appreciation of arts and crafts. Society is always
> in flux, and the designer can¹t predict how various political, social, and
> economic systems will come to blunt, augment, or redirect the power of the
> tool that is being designed. Instead of deinstitutionalizing society, the
> radicals would have done better to advocate reinstitutionalizing it: pushing
> for political and legal reforms to secure the transparency and
> decentralization of power they associated with their favorite technology.
> 
> 
> One thinker who saw through the naïveté of Illich, the Homebrewers, and the
> Whole Earthers was the libertarian socialist Murray Bookchin. Back in the
> late sixties, he published a fiery essay called ³Towards a Liberatory
> Technology,² arguing that technology is not an enemy of craftsmanship and
> personal freedom. Unlike Brand, though, Bookchin never thought that such
> liberation could occur just by getting more technology into everyone¹s
> hands; the nature of the political community mattered. In his book ³The
> Ecology of Freedom² (1982), he couldn¹t hide his frustration with the
> ³access-to-tools² mentality. Bookchin¹s critique of the counterculture¹s
> turn to tools parallels Dennett¹s critique of the aesthetes¹ turn to
> education eighty years earlier. It didn¹t make sense to speak of ³convivial
> tools,² he argued, without taking a close look at the political and social
> structures in which they were embedded.
> 
> 
> A reluctance to talk about institutions and political change doomed the Arts
> and Crafts movement, channelling the spirit of labor reform into consumerism
> and D.I.Y. tinkering. The same thing is happening to the movement¹s
> successors. Our tech imagination, to judge from catalogues like ³Cool
> Tools,² is at its zenith. (Never before have so many had access to
> thermostatically warmed toilet seats.) But our institutional imagination has
> stalled, and with it the democratizing potential of radical technologies. We
> carry personal computers in our pockets‹nothing could be more decentralized
> than this!‹but have surrendered control of our data, which is stored on
> centralized servers, far away from our pockets. The hackers won their fight
> against I.B.M.‹only to lose it to Facebook and Google. And the spooks at the
> National Security Agency must be surprised to learn that gadgets were
> supposed to usher in the ³de-institutionalization of society.²
> 
> 
> The lure of the technological sublime has ruined more than one social
> movement, and, in this respect, even Mary Dennett fared no better than
> Felsenstein. For all her sensitivity to questions of inequality, she also
> believed that, once ³cheap electric power² is ³at every village door,² the
> ³emancipation of the craftsman and the unchaining of art² would naturally
> follow. What electric company would disagree?
> 
> 
> Richard Beach
> Professor Emeritus of Literacy Education
> University of Minnesota
> rbeach@umn.edu
> Past-President, Literacy Research Association
> Digital writing <http://digitalwriting.pbworks.com>
> Use of apps for literacy learning <http://usingipads.pbworks.com>
> Teaching literature <http://teachingliterature.pbworks.com>
> ELA Common Core <http://englishccss.pbworks.com>
> Teaching media literacy <http://teachingmedialiteracy.pbworks.com>
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On 1/22/14, 4:36 PM, "Tom Richardson" <tom.richardson3@googlemail.com>
> wrote:
> 
>> Hello again Paul
>> Re-reading your reservation/explanation I can see that I have not answered
>> your assertion that no new structural concept was proposed. I think that
>> the thought behind my answer is that to bring about a functional change in
>> a concept whose behavioural demands are not  actually met / practised is,
>> effectively to have posited a structural concept - or am I getting too
>> sophisticated (pejorative sense intended) here -
>> I'm not sure what the problem is, since change, of whatever sort, can only
>> come about either by the efforts of those within any given society
>> attempting to achieve an actual adherence to behaviour(s) that their
>> society posits as arising from its guiding principles, or by suggesting
>> that certain forms (social/economic/political or all of the above ) that
>> that society already has, could be more beneficial / productive / moral by
>> changing them in certain ways that are presently resisted by interest
>> groups within their society, even if those proposing such change are not
>> themselves practising or able to do so, under present conditions (hence the
>> necessity of Andy B.'s 'collaborative effort/actions in order to get to
>> where the change-wishers want to be); i.e the proposers are not themselves
>> able at the moment of proposing change to constitute a changed entity That
>> state of affairs seems unavoidable and so, not a question for analysis, to
>> me, but I have no philosophical training, despite some inclination
>> Enough already - I've gone on long enough
>> 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/SB100014240527023041494045793245301125908
>>> 64
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> 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
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>> 
> 
> 

----------------------------------------
Peter Hourdequin
Faculty of Foreign Studies
Tokoha University
1-22-1 Sena, Aoi Ward
Shizuoka City, Shizuoka
JAPAN 420-0911

Tel: +81 54 261-3608
Fax: +81 54 263-2750


Post-Graduate Researcher
Educational Research
Lancaster University, U.K.

----------------------------------------