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



Andy,

I am a product of an alternative structuring than that of the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism.  I was raised in a small province of Haiti, Le borgne, by my grandparents who served the lwaes of my ancestors and country...i am a product of the haitian/african "vodou ethic and the spirit of communism" of that province.  It is from that practical consciousness that my teaching and activism stems.  The women, like blacks in america, of the 70s, 80s, 90s...did not change the world...they sought to participate in it as constituted by rich, white, protestant, heterosexual men...Prior to her death my grandmother, who could not read and write, "could not understand why women wanted to wear pant suits and act like men..."

In my 3rd year in grad school my grandmother sat me down and said,

"Poh (her nickname for me)...the universe blessed you with tremendous intelligence do not use it for personal wealth or to benefit yourself because there are countless people who sacrificed their own education so that you can have yours.  Your life work belongs to their service and the poor you have left behind in haiti. .."  she went on to say, "I know all the stuff the white people in the university have taught you have made you an atheist, but you are not white, you are haitian/african, you owe your freedom to no man, but to the lwaes of your ancestors who blessed you with your intelligence to serve them and the poor...never abandon them, pray daily, and always remember that the universe is and must be your frame of reference...no matter what the white people say"  

I am a Marxist in the western tradition because that is the only tradition I came across in the West that is in line with the African communal ethic my grandparents instilled in me.  It is from my vodou ethic and the spirit of communism that i see the destruction wrought on by Western practical consciousness,  and it is from that ethic that I seek to change the world.  

We must not fight and protest to recursively reorganize and reproduce and participate in a practical consciousness that is bent on raping the earth and it's resources, and exploiting and starving the masses of people while a few drive automobiles...that is absurd and insane!



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  7:16 PM  (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>Paul, I think Tom's points in his last email are spot on.
I have been a wage worker all my life, and so far as I am concerned that 
is not "the same system" as slavery or subsistent farming. And that 
difference matters to me. Likewise, women who participated in the 
"second wave" feminist movement are doubtless disappointed that every 
woman who today enjoys the benefits of the rights won by feminists in 
the 70s, 80s and 90s do not always identify as a feminist, but they 
changed the world irreversibly and if the world is still unsatisfactory, 
that is just as things should be.
There is no such thing as "structuralist action" and "humanist action." 
These terms are applicable to theories, and oftentimes theory does not 
correspond well to practice. Although you run a literacy project in your 
real life (so to speak) Paul, in your written contributions on this list 
you have been a consistent structuralist, and no-one could guess, from 
what you write, that outside the discussion of theory you actually 
struggle to make a difference. It is not comprehensible because nothing 
in what you say in theoretical discussions is consistent with making any 
effort to make the world a better place.
Here is now it works (as I see it, modeled on Hegel's Logic). You see a 
problem. Others in similar a social position also see the problem and 
you begin to collaborate. (It is no longer a personal problem). You 
develop and act upon solutions, but mostly they fail. But eventually you 
hit upon some course of (collaborative) action which gets some momentum 
and seems to make a difference. (It is no longer subjective.) You all 
become self-conscious of this new project and name it. It develops its 
own self-concept, rules and norms of belief, action and meaning. (It is 
now a new concept entering into the existing culture, changing and being 
changed). After resisting it almost to the death, the existing culture 
responds by co-opting it (albeit in some modified form) and the project 
becomes mainstreamed. Whether this leads to a qualitative collapse of 
the former social formation and an entirely new identity, or simply a 
modification remains to be seen. It is not given in advance. But things 
have changed and things go on quite differently now. New problems arise 
and new solutions are possible. The total overthrow of all existing 
social conditions are events which are separated by centuries, but it is 
only by means of efforts to resolve particular problems manifested in a 
social formation that in the end the root cause in the foundations of 
the social formation itself are exposed and transformed. Every little 
step is a revolution. But you can't turn straight to the last chapter 
when you open the book. And if the hero has not triumphed by the end of 
the first chapter it would be a mistake to declare the whole chapter a 
waste of time. Yes?

Andy

------------------------------------------------------------------------
*Andy Blunden*
http://home.mira.net/~andy/


Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
> Tom,
>
> I hear what you are saying...i would disagree with that...toussaint louverture
> During the haitian revolution maintained haiti as a french plantation colony with wage-labor.  To him that was a change from slave labor, but to Macaya and Sans Souci and the newly arrived africans on the island, who wanted to practice their vodou and have their own plot of land to grow their own crops and practice peasant farming as they did in Africa, it was the same system.  In fact, Macaya and Sans Souci and many of the maroons on the island fought against toussaint, christophe, petion, etc. because they felt they had become white men by attempting to reproduce their ways under a different name.
>
> Similarly, the black american in order to convict the society of not identifying with their christian values and liberalism had to behave like liberal christians to highlight the hypocrisy and contradictions of the state...i very much doubt it had King protested to practice vodou and peasant farming america would have integrated blacks into its discourse...however, the latter position would have presented an alternative way of organizing and reproducing society against the protestant ethic and the spirit of capitalism of the American social structure.
>
>
>
> Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
> President
> The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
> www.mocombeian.com 
> www.readingroomcurriculum.com 
>
> <div>-------- Original message --------</div><div>From: Tom Richardson <tom.richardson3@googlemail.com> </div><div>Date:01/22/2014  5:36 PM  (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>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/SB10001424052702304149404579324530112590864
>>     
>>>>>> If you can't stomach Bill and Melinda there are other version of
>>>>>>             
>> this
>>     
>>>>>> narrative. This video (Hans Rosling, GapMinder) is interesting:
>>>>>> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo
>>>>>>
>>>>>> The historical record suggests to me that provided (1) is
>>>>>>             
>> maintained
>>     
>>>>> then
>>>>>           
>>>>>> people will continue to tolerate capitalism. Whether capitalism can
>>>>>> maintain (1) depends on (3). The crisis of 2008 and the Occupy Wall
>>>>>>             
>>>>> Street
>>>>>           
>>>>>> movement suggested to me that it was time to do some serious study
>>>>>>             
>> of
>>     
>>>>>> Marx's unfinished project or alternatively other economic theories
>>>>>>             
>>>>> such as
>>>>>           
>>>>>> Post Keynesian (Hyman Minsky, Steve Keen et al) which recognise the
>>>>>> inherent instability of capitalism. My tentative conclusion is that
>>>>>>             
>>> we
>>>       
>>>>>> just
>>>>>> don't understand capitalism and it is very hard to understand. eg.
>>>>>>             
>> if
>>     
>>>>>> capitalists can muddle through the downturns by printing more money
>>>>>> and the
>>>>>> very serious economic downturns can be delayed by 70 years (Great
>>>>>> Depression to 2008) then that might be a formula for survival (?)
>>>>>>             
>>>> Absurd
>>>>         
>>>>>> simplification on my part.
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>>
>>>>>> On Wed, Jan 22, 2014 at 11:16 AM, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>>             
>>>>> wrote:
>>>>>           
>>>>>>> Which means, does it not Huw, propagating a counter-ethic, so to
>>>>>>>               
>>>>> speak,
>>>>>           
>>>>>>> since arguments against an ethic are just words, and the maxim is
>>>>>>>               
>>>>> always
>>>>>           
>>>>>>> "do as I do not as I say." But an ethic is meaningful, I believe
>>>>>>>               
>>>> only
>>>>         
>>>>>>> within some collaborative endeavour. My relationship to you is
>>>>>>>               
>>>>>> meaningful
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>> only in connection of what we do, as we, together. I believe that
>>>>>>>               
>>>>>> "Do unto
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>> others as you would have them do unto you," is fine as far as it
>>>>>>>               
>>>>>> goes, but
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>> is inadequate to this mtulicultural, fragmented world.
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Andy
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>               
>>> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
>>>       
>>>>>>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>> Huw Lloyd wrote:
>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>               
>>>>>>>> Going back to reference to the bubble and social psychology, it
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> seems to
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>> me that the "super rich" are to be pitied too.  I am not sure
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> living in a
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>> bubble is such a nice thing, especially given the immaturity
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> required to
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>> sustain it.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> I don't think it is the super rich which are to be combatted,
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> rather it
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>> is the inane notion that this is something to be admired or
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> desired.  This,
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>> it seems to me, is a more obtainable and more rewarding
>>>>>>>>                 
>> exercise.
>>     
>>>>>>>> Best,
>>>>>>>> Huw
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>> On 22 January 2014 00:07, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>>>>                 
>> <mailto:
>>     
>>>>>>>> ablunden@mira.net>> wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>      But your foundation is active in combatting inequality
>>>>>>>>                 
>> through
>>     
>>>>>>>>      literacy. "Every step of real movement is more important
>>>>>>>>                 
>> than
>>     
>>> a
>>>       
>>>>>>>>      dozen programmes," as one very serious theorist said.
>>>>>>>>      Andy
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>                 
>> http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1875/letters/75_05_05.htm
>>     
>>>>>>>>      ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>>>>> ------------
>>>>>>>>      *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>>>      http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>      Dr. Paul C. Mocombe wrote:
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>          At 38 I am differing to my elders on this one...albeit,
>>>>>>>>                 
>> I
>>     
>>>>>>>>          agree with Andy...too young to be pessimistic, but what
>>>>>>>>                 
>> I
>>     
>>>>> have
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          seen happen to black america has really disappointed me.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>          Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>>>>>>>>          President
>>>>>>>>          The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>>>>>>>>          www.mocombeian.com <http://www.mocombeian.com>
>>>>>>>>          www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>>>>>>>>          <http://www.readingroomcurriculum.com>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>          -------- Original message --------
>>>>>>>>          From: Andy Blunden
>>>>>>>>          Date:01/21/2014 6:36 PM (GMT-05:00)
>>>>>>>>          To: "eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity"
>>>>>>>>          Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> International
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          David, you are quite correct that agreement on
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> fundamentals of
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          theory is
>>>>>>>>          by no means necessary for collaboration (though on the
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> xmca
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          list this is
>>>>>>>>          feasible). In a sense, the very meaning of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> "collaboration" is
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          that such
>>>>>>>>          disagreement on fundamentals is suspended. Nonetheless,
>>>>>>>>                 
>> in
>>     
>>>>>>>>          raising the
>>>>>>>>          proposal on this list your are inviting collaboration on
>>>>>>>>          formation of
>>>>>>>>          the concept of this project, and I have accepted the
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> invitation by
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          criticising your concept of the proposal. You have
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> propsed the
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          writing
>>>>>>>>          of an article countering the narrative of Ayn Rand that
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> "the
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          ultra-wealthy are the engines of advancement and
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> prosperity
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          and the
>>>>>>>>          saviors of society" and to argue instead that "the
>>>>>>>>                 
>> gradual
>>     
>>>>>>>>          shift in
>>>>>>>>          political control of the economy over the past 50 years
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> by the
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          ultra-wealthy has reached a kind of tipping point in
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> which the
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          gains in
>>>>>>>>          disparity are so dramatic as to overwhelm any sense of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> actual
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          self-interest." My response is "Well, hello!" This is
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> hardly news,
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          David. This has been argued (correctly) for several
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> centuries. The
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          wealthy have always been a class of parasites; social
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> progress has
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          always been only in the teeth of opposition from all but
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> a few
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          of that
>>>>>>>>          class. I would argue that it is better to enter some
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> actual
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          project
>>>>>>>>          aimed against capitalism and ineqaulity and participate
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> in the
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          argument
>>>>>>>>          about strategy and tactics. Being 68, after 50 years of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> such
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          participation, I accept a somewhat arm's length
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> participation,
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          but the
>>>>>>>>          protagonists (wether real or imagined) are those
>>>>>>>>                 
>> actually
>>     
>>>>>>>>          engaged in
>>>>>>>>          that struggle in any formm about how best to further
>>>>>>>>                 
>> that
>>     
>>>>>>>>          struggle. Not
>>>>>>>>          the *generalities*, in my view. But I am pleased that
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> you are
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          taking up
>>>>>>>>          the battle and I wish you well. All I can do is offer my
>>>>>>>>          reflections on
>>>>>>>>          your object-concept, as others have and will.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>          Andy
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>         
>>>>>>>> ------------
>>>>>>>>          *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>>>          http://home.mira.net/~andy/ <
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>>>       
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>          David H Kirshner wrote:
>>>>>>>>          >> It would appear ...
>>>>>>>>          >>    >
>>>>>>>>          > Doesn't appear that way to me.
>>>>>>>>          > In fact, it's not clear to me, contrary to Andy and
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> Paul,
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          that in a practical endeavor one has to come to terms
>>>>>>>>                 
>> with
>>     
>>>>>>>>          foundational issues, at all.
>>>>>>>>          > The fact that social psychology may not have the
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> foundations
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          right doesn't imply that it has no insight to offer, or
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> that a
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          make-shift frame of reference can't provide a stable
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> enough
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          foundation to move people forward (collectively and
>>>>>>>>          individually). Indeed, isn't that the necessary way
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> forward in
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          any practical endeavor, given the absence of fully
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> worked out
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          foundational perspectives (and given the need to
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> address the
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          world as we find it, without the theorist's option of
>>>>>>>>          restricting the domain of inquiry within tractable
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> parameters)?
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          > David
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>          > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>>>          [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> Dr.
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          Paul C. Mocombe
>>>>>>>>          > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 6:12 AM
>>>>>>>>          > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity;
>>>>>>>>                 
>> ablunden@mira.net
>>     
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>
>>>>>>>>          > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> International
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > Andy and david,
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > It would appear that any counter - narrative would
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> have to
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          be anti-dialectical and counter-hegemonic, I.e.,
>>>>>>>>          anti-individual, anti-capitalist, anti-humanity...  Can
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> such a
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          counter - narrative come from a humanity, including us
>>>>>>>>          academics, subjectified to reproduce individual wealth,
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> upward
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          mobility, and status at the expense of the masses of
>>>>>>>>                 
>> poor
>>     
>>>>>>>>          around the world, paradoxically, seeking our bourgeois
>>>>>>>>          lifestyle? >
>>>>>>>>          > I ask because,  it would appear that the earth,in
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> marxian
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          terms, as a class for itself, has been begging for
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> humanity to
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          change the way it recursively reorganize and reproduce
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> it's
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          being-in-it over the last 100 years, but we consistently
>>>>>>>>          refuse.  Instead, turning to dialectical measures,
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> fracking,
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          carbon credits, neoliberalism, etc., to attempt to
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> resolve our
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          problems and maintain the protestant ethic and the
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> spirit of
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          capitalism as an "enframing" (heidegger's term)
>>>>>>>>                 
>> ontology.
>>     
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > I am not a pessimistic person, but it appears that in
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> this
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          case we are all dead we just do not know it yet.
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > Dr. Paul C. Mocombe
>>>>>>>>          > President
>>>>>>>>          > The Mocombeian Foundation, Inc.
>>>>>>>>          > www.mocombeian.com <http://www.mocombeian.com>
>>>>>>>>          > www.readingroomcurriculum.com
>>>>>>>>          <http://www.readingroomcurriculum.com>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > <div>-------- Original message
>>>>>>>>                 
>> --------</div><div>From:
>>     
>>>>>>>>          David H Kirshner <dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>>>>          </div><div>Date:01/21/2014  2:50 AM  (GMT-05:00)
>>>>>>>>          </div><div>To: ablunden@mira.net
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:ablunden@mira.net>,"eXtended Mind, Culture,
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> Activity"
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          <xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu <mailto:
>>>>>>>>                 
>> xmca-l@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>     
>>>>>>>>          </div><div>Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few |
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> Oxfam
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          International </div><div>
>>>>>>>>          > </div>Andy,
>>>>>>>>          > I suppose social psychology's unitary and a-historical
>>>>>>>>          ascription of the human sense of material well-being as
>>>>>>>>          relative to other people (rather than as relative to
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> one's own
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          past) gets it wrong from the start. Still, I think it
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> provides
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          a way to understand the individual pursuit of wealth,
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> carried
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          to its limits, as anti-social and destructive; an
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> effective
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          counter-narrative to the libertarian ideal of the
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> individual
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          unfettered by societal constraints. We badly need a
>>>>>>>>          counter-narrative to regain some kind of political
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> leverage
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          for ordinary citizens.
>>>>>>>>          > If anyone would like to help pull that together in
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> the form
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          of a paper, please reply, on-line or off-.
>>>>>>>>          > Thanks.
>>>>>>>>          > David
>>>>>>>>          > dkirsh@lsu.edu <mailto:dkirsh@lsu.edu>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>          > From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>>>          [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> Andy
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          Blunden
>>>>>>>>          > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 12:13 AM
>>>>>>>>          > To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>>>>          > Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> International
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > I certainly hope so, David, or at least, I hope to
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> read and
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          participate in acting out the opening chapter of that
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> narrative.
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > I do think that the "99%/1%" narrative was a project
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> doomed
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          to failure however, as it conceived of itself as a
>>>>>>>>                 
>> linear
>>     
>>>>>>>>          expansion which would somehow bypass social and
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> ideological
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          differences. It did not conceive of itselfr as a project
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> at
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          all. Just a mesage about the one true world which
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> everyone had
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          to come to. Truly magical realism. The plot lies
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> implicit in
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          the opening chapter, but it is always far from easy to
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> see how
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          the plot will unfold itself though the multiple
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> story-lines
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          entailed in this conundrum, Andy
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>         
>>>>>>>> ------------
>>>>>>>>          > *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>>>          > http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          > David H Kirshner wrote:
>>>>>>>>          >  >> The operative narrative, at least in the U.S.
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> context,
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          dictated by Ayn Rand, is that the ultra-wealthy are the
>>>>>>>>          engines of advancement and prosperity and the saviors of
>>>>>>>>          society. What is in their best interest is in all of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> our best
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          interests. We very badly need a counter-narrative.
>>>>>>>>          >> Andy, is this practical project something that can be
>>>>>>>>          undertaken and completed in real-time as a theoretical
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> project?
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          >> David
>>>>>>>>          >>
>>>>>>>>          >>
>>>>>>>>          >> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>          >> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>>>          >> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> Andy
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          Blunden
>>>>>>>>          >> Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 11:06 PM
>>>>>>>>          >> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>>>>          >> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>> International
>>>>>>             
>>>>>>>>          >>
>>>>>>>>          >> David I have plenty of experience with desparate
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> measures
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          over teh
>>>>>>>>          >> past
>>>>>>>>          >> 50 years, and I have come very late to "the broader
>>>>>>>>          theoretical project." It is absolutely essential that
>>>>>>>>                 
>> the
>>     
>>>>>>>>          practical project and the theoretical project are one
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> and the
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          same.
>>>>>>>>          >>
>>>>>>>>          >> Andy
>>>>>>>>          >>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>         
>>>>>>>> ----------
>>>>>>>>          >> --
>>>>>>>>          >> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>>>          >> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          >>
>>>>>>>>          >>
>>>>>>>>          >> David H Kirshner wrote:
>>>>>>>>          >>   >>    >>> Andy,
>>>>>>>>          >>> Sometimes, in order to create a counter-narrative
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> that can
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          be effective in the here and now, one has to step
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> outside of
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          the broader theoretical project. I guess, for some, this
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> would
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          constitute a distraction from the real work, perhaps a
>>>>>>>>          violation of the true mission of that scholarly
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> endeavor. For
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          others, it might be a legitimate (even if imperfect)
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> effort to
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          apply what one has come to understand from the larger
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> project.
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          For others, still, perhaps simply a political activity
>>>>>>>>          undertaken with theoretical tools, but with little
>>>>>>>>                 
>> actual
>>     
>>>>>>>>          relation to the theoretical project.
>>>>>>>>          >>> Perhaps these are desperate measures that these
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> desperate
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          times call for.
>>>>>>>>          >>> David
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>          >>> -----Original Message-----
>>>>>>>>          >>> From: xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>
>>>>>>>>          >>> [mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu
>>>>>>>>          <mailto:xmca-l-bounces@mailman.ucsd.edu>] On Behalf Of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> Andy
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          Blunden
>>>>>>>>          >>> Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:29 PM
>>>>>>>>          >>> To: eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
>>>>>>>>          >>> Subject: [Xmca-l] Re: Working for the Few | Oxfam
>>>>>>>>          International
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>          >>> Well, that's the project I have been collaborating
>>>>>>>>                 
>> in
>>     
>>>>>>>>          since I was a teenager, David, but it has its
>>>>>>>>                 
>> challenges,
>>     
>>>>> too,
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          you know.
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>          >>> First off, these observations about social
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> psychology and
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          well-being:
>>>>>>>>          >>> The point is to have a unit of analysis and one
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> which is
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          as valid for making observations about psychology as it
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> is for
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          social theory. And in general, this is lacking for what
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> goes
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          by the name of "social psychology." People do not of
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> course
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          govern their behaviour by evidence-based investigations
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> of the
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          likely results of their behaviour.
>>>>>>>>          >>> People don't set out to "grow a bigger economy" or
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> "have
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          more wealth than someone else". The thinking of an
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> individual
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          has to be understood (I would contend) within the
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> contexts of
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          the projects to which they are committed. That is the
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> reason
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          for the relativity in the enjoyment of wealth (which is
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> itself
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          of course relative). People make judgments according to
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> the
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          norms of the project in which they are participating,
>>>>>>>>                 
>> and
>>     
>>>>> that
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          means semantic, theoretical and practical norms.
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> Understanding
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          the psychology of political economy is as of one task
>>>>>>>>                 
>> with
>>     
>>>>>>>>          that of building a project to overthrow the existing
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> political
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          economic arrangements and build sustainable
>>>>>>>>                 
>> arrangements.
>>     
>>>>> That
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          requires a multitude of projects all willikng and able
>>>>>>>>                 
>> to
>>     
>>>>>>>>          collaborate with one another.
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>          >>> That's what I think.
>>>>>>>>          >>> Andy
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>>>>         
>>>>>>>> ---------
>>>>>>>>          >>> -
>>>>>>>>          >>> --
>>>>>>>>          >>> *Andy Blunden*
>>>>>>>>          >>> http://home.mira.net/~andy/
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> <http://home.mira.net/%7Eandy/>
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>          >>>
>>>>>>>>          >>> David H Kirshner wrote:
>>>>>>>>          >>>   >>>     >>>      >>>> I've been sketching out in
>>>>>>>>                 
>> my
>>     
>>>>>>>>          mind, but not yet had time to research and write, a
>>>>>>>>                 
>> paper
>>     
>>>>>>>>          tentatively titled:
>>>>>>>>          >>>> The Psychology of Greed: Why the Ultra-wealthy are
>>>>>>>>          Despoiling the
>>>>>>>>          >>>> Planet, Tanking the Economy, and Gutting our
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> Culture In
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          the Quest
>>>>>>>>          >>>> for More
>>>>>>>>          >>>>
>>>>>>>>          >>>> The premise is that the psychological metric of our
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> sense
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          of material well-being is not accumulation, relative to
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> our
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          own past wealth, but the comparative measure of our own
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> wealth
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          in relation to that of others. (I believe this is a
>>>>>>>>          well-established principle of social psychology.) So,
>>>>>>>>                 
>> for
>>     
>>>>>>>>          example, instead of trying to grow a bigger economy
>>>>>>>>                 
>> which
>>     
>>>>>>>>          requires a large and healthy middle-class (this is what
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> would
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          provide more actual wealth for the ultra-wealthy), they
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> are
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          eroding the middle-class as quickly as they can--a
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> strategy
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          that maximizes disparity.
>>>>>>>>          >>>>
>>>>>>>>          >>>> The major thesis (in the U.S. context) is that the
>>>>>>>>          gradual shift in political control of the economy over
>>>>>>>>                 
>> the
>>     
>>>>>>>>          past 50 years by the ultra-wealthy has reached a kind of
>>>>>>>>          tipping point in which the gains in disparity are so
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> dramatic
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          as to overwhelm any sense of actual self-interest.
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> Hence, we
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          see increasingly irrational and self-destructive
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> behavior by
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          the ultra-wealthy (e.g., the fraudulent housing bubble
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> that
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          created what U.S. economists refer to as The Great
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>> Recession).
>>>>>           
>>>>>>>>          The conclusion, of course, is a call to action to take
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> back
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          control of our political systems so we can set more
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> rational
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          policies for the economy.
>>>>>>>>          >>>>
>>>>>>>>          >>>> I don't know if this thesis extends so easily
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>> beyond the
>>>>         
>>>>>>>>          U.S. situation to the world, but if this project
>>>>>>>>                 
>> appeals,
>>     
>>> I
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          would welcome a collaborative effort--perhaps even one
>>>>>>>>                 
>>> that
>>>       
>>>>>>>>          somehow encompasses the whole XMCA listserv as
>>>>>>>>                 
>> co-authors.
>>     
>>>>>>>>          >>>>
>>>>>>>>          >>>> David
>>>>>>>>          >>>>   >>>>
>>>>>>>>          >>>>     >>>>       >>>>        >>>   >>>     >>>
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>>>>          >>   >>    >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>          >
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>                 
>>>>>           
>>>>
>>>>         
>>>
>>>       
>>     
>
>