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



When I flew through Dallas on the way to Fayetteville Arkansas, I grabbed a
"healthy" personal pizza at Pizza Hut.  I asked if there was a tip jar.  He
said no.  "Cannery Row" has been outlawed.  We went from personal tips - to
tip jars that the shift shared - to no tips.  I was afraid to slip the guy a
tip or frankly tip him!  I don't know the rules or who is watching.
When I was young, I was a waitress working $1.80/hr when I was at college.
I had to tip the bus boy. I never got big tips because, well, there are lots
of reasons why some people know how to attract big tips and some don't. Then
we had to declare them on our taxes (or be criminal).  I was a college
student still living at home...

In the Allegory of Cannery Row, leading to Sweet Thursday, Suzy, who was not
"cut out" to do business at The Bear Flag Restaurant, moved to The Golden
Poppy Restaurant and waited customers for tips only. Living in a boiler in a
vacant lot ...
Then I was a waitress.  I waited tables in Honolulu, Seattle, and Arkansas!
Wow!  Truth to tell, we are all in the same boat. The competent kitchen
manager and line cooks were the bosses of the prep cooks.  I couldn't get a
waitress job at a good place.  I worked three jobs: "waitress" at Holiday
Inn buffet, and two prep cook jobs.  

That way of life is gone and I live in Japan.  But it was working with
African Americans in restaurants that took me big steps into the new world
where it was "we" and my superiors in character, know-how, and talent were
African American. We all have a hard time, and we have our habits,
education, and background to help us or hinder us and we move along until
"something" comes and shakes the carpet and you have to set up the game
again, some pieces are missing, substitute new pieces.  Act like it's "same
as it ever was." Which it isn't.  

It all changes and I like Kurt Vonnegut saying :
We are here to help each other get through this thing, whatever it is.
Thank you for this discussion.


-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
[mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu] On Behalf Of Stephanie Ann Samaras
Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 9:25 AM
To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: [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
stephaniesamarasonline.com/moodle
http://prezi.com/user/stephaniesamarasonline/
http://www.scoop.it/u/stephanie-ann-samaras
http://moodlemeets.learnnowbc.ca/login/index.php

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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/SB1000142405270230414940457932453
>> 0112590864
>> > > > >
>> > > > > 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
>> > > > > >>         >>>>   >>>>
>> > > > > >>         >>>>     >>>>       >>>>        >>>   >>>     >>>
>> >>
>> > > > > >>         >>   >>    >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>         >
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >>
>> > > > > >
>> > > > >
>> > > >
>> > > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> > >
>> >
>> >
>> >
>>
>>
>