Oct 14, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Here's What We Want.
Repete, I'm not really with you here, so a few things (my tone will be condescending at times, as I feel you've mocked me a bit, so be prepared for that):

Earlier you labeled me an anarchist, now this cute syndrome you've laid out, you've lumped me into whatever you might mean by adolescence... and finally, you suggest I've called for a utopia. What's the deal? You're wrong on all counts, yet ostensibly desperate to label?

And this idea that I should "read up on my history" is adorable. Please, what "history" might that be?

You've made this hilariously common move, in which you call "idealism during adolescence" perfectly natural. Humans get very confused with this term "natural" and "nature" (ask someone what "nature" is, and they'll look at you like you're an asshole. But, as it goes, any culture's most powerful tool is its unexamined assumptions — those things that are so "obvious" as to go unquestioned and unconsidered... Neil Evernden's The Social Creation of Nature might be useful to you.

You also conflate living meagerly (as I described)... not having great quantities of possession, with being poor. That strikes me as a mistake as well, and a common one.

So, none of this suggests you're of a generous mindset, perhaps a bit jerky, so I'll throw a few things your way that might clear an optional path... at least a bit. I'm trying to be generous:

First, this culture is clearly pathological, deeply diseased: spends all their "wealth" on militarization; has engaged in constant war for 100 years (with the stated goal, going back to McKinley, or American hegemony); rapes 25% of the women (40% either raped or have to fight off rapists); dumps plutonium into their living space — all while calling an economic system based on the wealthy few dominating the masses through mass coercion and a constant threat of violence (don't play by the dominator's rules? and expect to be homeless or imprisoned).

To want to change that paradigm is not seeking "utopia"... it's wishing that the great shift in the rise of civilization (a way of life driven by people living in cities) removed humans from a sense of belonging to the natural world, leading to one of the most destructive ego-trips that I can imagine.

So, if the culture is this sick — continuing to cling to hopes of economic growth, despite the depletion of all the NNR that could catalyze that growth: bauxite, copper, iron/steel, manganese, natural gas, oil, phosphate, potash, uranium, zinc (to name some of the most essential)... then its time to help people imagine a realizable future — as oppose to the nonsense peddled by what DeBord described as The Spectacle.

Side note: my family got wealthy through a long-line of executives at a mining multinational — so I'm pretty well versed business matters, and why economic growth is no longer possible on a global scale.

That was about 20 minutes, so unless you come back with something generous, this will probably be the end of our communication.

Enjoy, think about that labeling habit, perhaps.
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Oct 13, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Here's What We Want.
@14

And FNMA's policy are largely (if not totally) determined by the "revolving door" of bankers as government policy gurus... and then right back to the banks their hearts and allegiances will always lie... cha-ching!

I don't disagree that FNMA pushed bad policy (of course they did) but I think we're wise to remember who those policies were crafted by and who they served.
Oct 13, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Here's What We Want.
#11 — beautiful. that's an ethic worth supporting.
Oct 12, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Here's What We Want.
Quick follow up to my #7:

I mention growing up rich for a reason I failed to include:

Being around scores of very wealthy people gives you unique access to how they actually think — since they are wonderfully adept at using PR speak to hide their beliefs.

So I can tell you — they fucking hate anyone who challenges their claim to domination. For a pretty simple reason:

Has any group ever considered their own domination illegitimate? I don't think so.

This is important: the wealthy I've spent my life around do not value those below them (even the so-called progressives, my family are all voting democrats).

The problems of this country are not rational, and to believe irrational problems have rational solutions is very silly.

Again, enjoy.
Oct 12, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Here's What We Want.
Hey Repete, #4

I too could suggest (and I think quite rightfully) that continuing to believe that this system will respond to the demands of the least powerful is a dream world — surely, the ownership class has a vested interest in maintaining every ounce of power they have.

And I most certainly am not opposed to property — however, I would only support property for use... not profit. For example: landlords, collectors of rent — this is a societal position that needs to go.

Also, it would be wise to remember that what is "possible" is largely what people are willing to believe, so I suggest we all aim high — especially in our talking points.

It is quite clear this American Empire is poised to collapse under its own weight, and starting to engender some healthier ideas about how humans relate to each other and the land is worth pursuing.

As for your so-called respectful suggestion ("never talk"... nice call, fascist): in this country, one may not work the land that they do not own or rent... so this is impossible.

And, I am mostly sorry to say that I come from "the money"... and while I have zero gaudy excesses — no cars, no land (although, it is there for me should I choose), no financial wealth — I prefer to live meagerly, like those who have no choice.

So yeah, I raise chickens, and grow a lot of food, and am really happy to talk with people about how they see the world, and their relationships in that world.

You, on the other hand, seem quite dismissive, and marred in an ideology of pragmatism (which is, almost always, the best friend of the powerful).

Good luck, Repete.
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Oct 12, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Here's What We Want.
Another quicker one:

"building the roads, rail, bridges, schools, and other crucial public infrastructure we desperately need"

Why do we need these at all? And desperately, at that?

Schools seem like terrible places to me, where you learn about the prejudices of your own culture. Remember: nothing is more powerful than a culture's unquestioned assumptions.

Roads? They're used for cars and trucks, no? Wouldn't we be wise to re-think the future of those tools?

I'm with you, sort of, on the infrastructure... but only towards the goal and reimagining our cities (by taking them apart, mostly) and country land and get people back in touch with the land.

So far as I can tell: roads, rail, bridges, schools are all part of the path to enviromental destruction, and the spreading of humans with aims to dominate.

Enjoy
Oct 12, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Here's What We Want.
I know this is a stretch, and "more jobs" seems like a good mantra... but I'll offer this:

Jobs assume that a powerful few will determine who is allowed to have money. Now, we all play into this thinking by going (being forced) to school, and working hard (when the boss is looking) to "get ahead".

This is all wrong. Jobs are the tool of civilizations to get people to work towards ends that are not their own.

You all know Melville's Bartleby? The man who wouldn't allow the needs and goals of someone else be his own.

That's a healthier goal. There can be no fairness or justice in a system where a few are guaranteed power over many.

This is the nature of our absurd claims to property rights. And make no mistake, from the righest of the right to the silliest Nissan Leaf driver... Americans love them some property!

All of that needs to be given up, find a more harmonious balance with the land base, and stop letting someone else's goals become our own... hell, we never even have a chance to develop our own, thanks to mandatory schooling, dominating parents, and the constant advertising.

Keep fighting the good fight, Stranger Staff.

And enjoy
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Oct 12, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Fuck You, Big Banks.
To Goldy:

I love the sentiments, I stumbled upon how for-profit banking works a few years ago and went from Chase to BECU... and BECU is a nice step in the right direction (albeit only a step).

But I do have a quibble:

Moving your money to a locally organized credit union does not keep money in the community... not necessarily.

BECU still has a board of directors that invest money around the planet, in the multinational corporations that systematically destroy people, animals, planet... you know, the planet.

So, I love the move, but ending global trade and industrial capitalism is not as easy as moving your money to a bank that isn't run by plutocrats.

Good luck, bring down the system, don't vote for democrats or republicans, cut your wants, and work towards a world where the poor don't have to sell their time and energy to the rich.

Enjoy
Oct 12, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Fuck You, Big Banks.
To Number 1:

You're making a few assumptions that are worth examining.

Primarily: you assume that you have to pay to live on the planet. They were a harsh totalitarian regime for which I have little sympathy... but, the so-called communist government in the USSR at least guaranteed you a roof and utilities.

May not be great (as far as material stuff goes) but not feeling like you're one wrong-thing-said to the boss from being kicked out of your home sure saves a lot of stress... and that'll keep you healthy.

Broaden that view, #1.
Oct 12, 2011 Matt 11 commented on Fuck You, Big Banks.
It's all part of a bigger system in which the powerful dominate the powerless.

Take the job culture: A job is nothing more than finding a powerful person who thinks you could be useful to them. And what do you, the commoner get? The right to live on the planet. Otherwise, you have no place to go.

If you don't play the money game, you will always be breaking the law. Needless to say, there is no freedom here.

Play by the rules and suffer greatly if you don't: that is American freedom.