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06/25/2014

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Oliver

I don't know how you do it Dave - these essays set out as clear as day the social/moral/political equivalent of the Theory of Everything so chased after by physicists.

As always, the truth is a lonely cold place. The vast bulk of humanity will continue to play along with the cosmic joke that is human society, whether in unconscious ignorance, numb acceptance of the status quo, deliberate denial or out and out elitist larceny. The few who bother to 'get it' are left isolated at the margins.

Speaking for myself, I feel endless nausea witnessing what's autonomically unfolding. Are we supposed to actually enjoy watching this pathetic Darwinian experiment implode?

Brian Gibb

Great read. I am wondering, however, that the liberalized market societies are not outright moral failures, rather they are informed by the strange moral code of the protestant wealth ethic grounded in cultural calvinsim,which from today's standards might appear amoral, but still functions in a weird way, uniting evangelical Christians with the top .01%.

Eric Thurston

Good essay Dave. In occasional conversations with acquaintances who are self-declared libertarians, I found some time ago that using the 'Utopian Fantasy' label to describe their quasi-political point of view was most effective in countering their bullshit. This essay is the first place I've seen someone use the label in a similar fashion for the core 'free market' ideology of the libertarian.

Yes, wouldn't it be peachy-keen if we could have all the freedom and none of the responsibility.

Eric Thurston

Given that Stiglitz and others have used the Utopian label for free markets, I should get out more.

Dave Cohen

@All

I do appreciate those of you who take the time to read these long essays.

I understand that most people will not put in the time and effort. Many others will have no idea what I'm talking about, or dismiss the subject matter as unimportant -- it's not about the collapse of society -- even if they read some of it.

So, thank you.

-- Dave

Brian

I think your comment on the parasitic nature of the rentier class is spot on and interesting becuase that class (and their media mouthpieces) always present the class as being symbiotic with society. However, invariably, as a whole, their actions always bely such assertions. The relationship is not symbiotic, but parasitic. Understanding this point is critical to understanding much or the economic, social and political structure that exists in such societies.

Another terrific piece of writing. Thanks.

Brian

I think I read this through 2 times the first time it was posted. It's just as good the 3rd time through.

Thanks.

Jack

After finishing Kolberts "The Sixth Extinction" and re-reading "Fooled By Randomness", I have come to the following conclusion about Man. In a nutshell, all flows from this. Everything is encompassed in this short statement.

"You have it. I want it"

J.
The eclectic skeptic

Mister Roboto

You have some good thoughts on the tonic-effect of World War II. I also tend to think that the memory of the Great Depression and the selfish "Roaring Twenties" that led to it in a very obvious cause-and-effect way, had something to do with the more community-minded American society from 1946-1976. Even after 1976, the erosion of that old notion took time as the narcissistic Baby Boomers and the vacuous Gen-Xers gradually supplanted the World War II Generation. And now that the old community spirit is gone, I also don't think it will ever come back, at least not in the form in which it existed back then.

Alexander Ač

Thanks Dave,

not a post even for a majority of "enlighted" DOTE readers! It always makes my head to explode talking to people about "free market economy". So thanks again,

Alex

Tom

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Dave. I was beginning to wonder whether you were visited by black SUVs and whisked away somewhere.

The fact that the fictitious construct called money corrupts the thinking of those who hoard it into becoming psychotically greedy and devoid of human feeling for others (beyond contempt) is completely laid out here. The "go-along to get along" strategy of "our" elected officials (yeah, right - voting is a rigged scam) ropes them all into the corral of the wealthy/corporatist vested interest groups, while the lobbyists do the same to "earn" their bread and butter.

If only there was a way to break from this destructive direction, beside the complete collapse of society that we're in, now would be the time to employ such an avenue. I believe all exits are blocked.

Ken Barrows

I want the rich to become poor. Most rich aren't "wealth creators," although they think they are. On the other hand, the rich have a disproportionate share of the blame for destroying the biosphere.

Jim

Happy to see the reposts here - definitely good to get a fresh look at them again. I'd read your fourth essay on the misreading (or intentional ignorance) of Adam Smith!

The utopianism of free market ideology is a really good point. That's really the glue that holds it together and the end justification for excusing excesses and externalities in the present. Thanks again for the insight and clarity.

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