A 'Big Picture' Blog
There are many serious and controversial ideas within these wide-ranging blog posts and frank discussion is encouraged. We ask that you keep the discussion relevant to the post at hand. The idea is to keep the commenting real.
Comments are moderated for spam, personal attacks, baiting language and sloganeering. No comment will be denied for its point of view.
Thank you for reading and sharing your views.
Please use the social media bar at the bottom of your browser to spread the word.
anonym - n. ăn'ə-nĭm'
- An anonymous person.
- A pseudonym.
[French anonyme, from Late Latin anōnymus]
"Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult."
& "I'm Not Ovary Acting"
A 90 block chunk of NYC's prime weekend retail businesses were effectively shut down, and within that zone none of the City's nominally 'open' streets or avenues remained open, all occupied by the sheer overflow of women, and men, struggling to be a part of this massive, May-like January uprising. This was a joyous rehearsal for revolution!
It had been a while since I'd gone hiking mid-town Manhattan. Normal Saturday traffic, pedestrian and vehicular, can be intimidating enough, but today the streets between 55th and 40th, Avenues Second to Fifth, witnessed a spontaneous uprising of NY #Solidarity against Donald Trump. Stupendous numbers of protesters over-jammed all of the cities resources and the police were effectively hoist in the petard of their own barricade system, which blocked all crosstown movement, causing the cross-streets to become clogged and overwhelmed with sheer numbers. Assembling marchers were prevented from ever reaching their planned rendezvous points, so side-streets and sidewalks everywhere became rallies and mini-marches of their own.
The police seemed oblivious as every corner of space inside and outside their fences were filled to human capacity. The mayor may have given them laissez-faire orders, or they knew instinctively they were impossibly outnumbered, as well as thoroughly woman-shamed by the stunning spectacle of indignant females of all ages, colors and classes, many pushing baby carriages, along with dads galore carrying youngsters on their shoulders. It was, for all of the chaos, a sublimely subversive NYC afternoon...
Nearly every cross-street had assemblies that had failed to reach the 'waiting pen' they were supposed to be in until they joined the main march. The long line of interlocking police fences—and the solid mass of placard bearing marchers on either side of it—effectively rendered cross-town movement impossible. All pedestrian progress any which way was made with a wing and prayer—even doorways were filled with demonstrators who'd given up trying to move in the sidewalk mob.
Meanwhile cars, trucks, and buses ad nauseam jammed the midtown, mid-afternoon avenues and streets that were supposed to be open to them. Marchers locked traffic in place good and proper for hours on end, angry horns and catcalls notwithstanding. This was New York City disruption at its finest, an unequivocally revolutionary civic expression.
Taking the initiative, the womens' groups occupied the cross-streets and marched there. They occupied both of the sidewalks, and marched there. They occupied the side of the avenue intended to allow an open lane of car traffic, and marched there. If police barricades were intended to restrict marchers to the assigned route, they did not only fail, the effort was crushed, most-hearteningly, by an army of placard bearers and their moral force.
This was unlike any march I have ever joined in NYC. The sun broke early in the afternoon with such a splendor I am sure everyone felt its warmth and affirming effect. This march was at least half the size in number as the City's 2014 Climate March, some five times what was expected here today, and I am not alone in a half million head estimate. This was raw, untapped power, true anarchy on the streets of mid-town Manhattan, from the whole spectrum of humanity, from arm-walker grandma's to punk teen lesbians, sore HRC Dems to red beret commies. This was an inspirational day for activism the world over.
It is instructive to imagine Hillary had won. These streets would be smug with quiet 'lesser evil' complacency, and we would continue to baa like sheep another four or eight years while she followed Obama and her husbands footsteps in betraying everything they ever campaigned for or promised in pursuit of a barefaced neoliberal agenda. That's the hard truth of it. Trump's turn to go down is coming too, the question being whether he is smart enough to quit on his own or waits until the GOP has no choice but to vote for impeachment for its very own survival. Thence Pence, who may arguably be worse. Trump's ouster will be a Pyrrhic victory for the left.
Having read all of the arguments thus far at the Noam Chomsky/John Halle blog post, including those presented elsewhere as pingbacks among the comments, and supporting articles where links have been provided within comments, my respect for the Lesser-Evil Voting (LEV) point of view has grown, though I am no closer now to changing my mind than I was at the outset. Some of the arguments, both pro LEV and con, where they differ from mine, I have found to be excellent, and though this should not be a beauty contest, so has been some of the writing itself. In particular, http://editor.currentaffairs.org/2016/07/why-leftists-should-have-no-problem-voting-for-hillary-clinton/ on the pro side and http://topwallshd.com/the-logical-and-practical-bankruptcy-of/ on the con side are equally compelling.
I am saddened to see Halle, Donahue & company indulge in ad hominem sneering in some replies to those critical of LEV, which is a disservice to their own arguments and the debate, and according to Danial Falcone at CounterPunch ( http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/07/14/what-readers-need-to-know-about-noam-chomskys-position-on-lesser-evil-voting/ ), Noam Chomsky himself will not condescend to respond to those pointing out the many leaks in his LEV boat, least of all those apparently too-low-to-kick critics at CounterPunch. I admit the quality of writing there is erratic, sometimes appalling, and the views expressed betimes juvenile as well, but again, this should not be a beauty contest, and much at that venue is superb, needs to be said, and is just not to be found anywhere else.
My respect for this point of view has grown in that I would no longer fault a 'pragmatic' voter holding their nose to vote for Hillary Clinton in a swing state, though I myself would nonetheless vote conscience and take the long term, third-party-affirming pragmatism over the immediate, duopoly-affirming, stop-Trump kind, and I now find these are evil choices all around, with no clear winner.
Which leads me to the burning questions I have on the subject of third-party voting and building, answers to which may indeed compel me to change my mind on lesser-evil voting.
It is inevitable there will be both reactionary pro-capitalist critiques of Paul Mason's theory of PostCapitalism, along with anti-capitalist views frothing in his support. There are too many beneficiaries of the system in the first case, and too few articulate anti-capitalists around, after all, in the second.
To me his theories are devoid of specifics for mid-wiving an otherwise laudable post-capitalist vision, and therefore, more resembles dreaming, not to say fantasy, than prescription. I have real concern over his giddy optimism, and facing the daily capitalist grind of body and soul, I am tempted to say distracting optimism, bordering on 'laissez-faire' delusion—the revolution is already in progress, ye workers of the world, he seems to be saying, techno-determinism has replaced.dialectical materialism, just sit back and enjoy the ride. I'm afraid throwing in a few 'we must do this' and 'the state must do that' hardly mitigates this giddy obfuscation of class war and the more sanguine approaches to overthrowing capitalism. Hoping nicely, what dear Mason seems to be doing, albeit emphatically, doesn't bring about change any more successfully than anything else that has previously failed.
Ask the capitalist machine if they are ready to give up property, monopoly, and extractive profit for a network of peers and a 'project zero' transformation. Ask the governments they own, their wholly or partially owned subsidiaries pretending to act for 'the people,' whether they will not shoot you dead in the street rather than allow the dissolution of capitalism, bloodless or otherwise. As for his 'new man' notion, this seems to me the self-serving 'be the change you want to see in the world,' (something Gandhi never said, by the way), which egotistically and vainly supposes that personal lifestyle choices somehow mysteriously aggregate into social determinism, a fantasy to be sure.
I have to swear off reading this kind of coverage for the nausea it occasions. O'Malley, referring to Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, puts it well: 'The presidency is not a crown…for two royal families.’ Or is that precisely what it now is?
There is no question in my mind that Hillary is a cynical hypocrite, with bait & switch oozing involuntarily out of every attempt at authenticity. And she is a corporate shill; indeed, with Dems like Hillary who needs Republicans? She's up there for no reason other than she figures it is her turn to further the police state, engage in illegal wars, and propel the 'corporate rights' agenda of her husband and Obama (via so-called 'trade' agreements—NAFTA, TPP & TTIP). Like Bill Clinton and Obama, she is a crypto-Republican who 'believes in markets' over human rights and existential equality.
If she had a democratic bone in her body, she'd never have run, or would quit now to support Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders, but no. She has corporate elite royalty in her bones, through and through. No Black hugging photos should fool anyone. But just as Republicans are characteristically paranoid, so are Dems gullible.
America desperately needs to 1. Overturn Citizens United / publicly fund elections; 2. Push Dems to reform the winner-takes-all Electoral College; and 3. Establish multi-party proportional voting. Then we can start to look at numbers 4 through...
February 13, 2015
A group of roughly 200 hardy demonstrators rallied in bitter cold before the NY Stock Exchange at Wall Street and Exchange Place in NYC to call for institutional divestment from the fossil fuel industry, with particular emphasis on university divestment, as these institutions of higher learning really ought to know better than to continue such support with their endowment and pension monies—an excellent point to be making.
Braving near zero degree wind chills, participants heard from several speakers over the course of a half hour, posed with their banner for a photo op, then dispersed. The NYPD presence was smiling and accommodating throughout, as indeed the protest itself, organized by 350.org, was essentially pro-capitalist, advocating for institutional divestment from fossil fuels by raising the specter of 'stranded asset risk,' while advocating investment in alternative, renewable energy technologies that hold a greater risk/reward promise for the future.
The 350.org premise is that, if Wall Street is incapable of reforming on moral grounds, then it may be scared into reform on a risk/reward basis, especially resonant at this time due to the fall in oil prices, and that a symbolic disinvestment by a small group of highly visible institutions will have an exponential ripple effect in the public relations war against the fossil fuel industry. But can this suffice to bring about the radical economic and cultural changes needed to avert climate catastrophe?
If major universities do lead the way, will Wall Street follow? It has shown itself immune to calls for voluntary divestment on humanitarian principles, and we would do well to question whether greed/market driven capitalism is not itself the root threat to humanity and the planet, a threat that will simply add green-washed technology to the fossil fuel base with no lessening of energy consumption or meaningful carbon reduction at all.
Is the divestment movement failing to reckon with the monumental entrenchment of capital in perpetual industrial growth and growing energy consumption? Is divestment a well-intentioned but delusional strategy? Should we be playing the capitalist risk/reward game with planetary survival at stake?
I would argue yes, we should make the effort to use capitalism against itself in the short term, but with the express long term view of ending the rule of capitalism on earth. We should not temporize with the necessity of capitalism's demise, or mistakenly perpetuate capitalism under the illusion that it can reform itself against its essential destructive nature.
National Day of Anger - #MillionsMarchNYC
Despite the biting wind chill on December 13, some 40-50,000 strong turned out to voice their protest in NYC for the National Day of Anger. Protests continued through the night in Brooklyn, Harlem and mid-town Manhattan snarling traffic and keeping the police busy.
As for the police, I've never seen so many smiling, polite and helpful police as those at this afternoon's march, clearly under 'smiling orders' from on high.
Confronting Climate Change: Insights from the Nuclear Disarmament Movement
Having attended this talk, authentic and concrete as it was, I can tell you that it personifies, painfully, the liberal delusion that industrial capitalism can somehow be scaled back to a well-regulated, sustainable version of same and still call itself 'capitalism,' all that via the extant political parties, process and private industries, and within the 20-50 years before climate change starts to get ugly.
It is perhaps a moot argument whether radically transforming or otherwise overthrowing capitalism, the _de facto_ driver of climate change, is any less delusional, given a similar set of highly improbable factors. And, it is worth noting that the me-too industrial consumption in any so-called 'socialist' regimes has always been dwarfed by consumption in real existing capitalist cultures. At least the anti-capitalist viewpoint is honestly confronting the real driver, not hiding the perpetual growth mantra of capitalism per se behind the blanket of global craving for industrialization as progress.
It is also worth noting that during the Q&A as Ms. Oreskes articulated her supercilious pro-capitalist liberal stance, many in the audience saw fit to get up and leave.
We should perhaps be discussing which perspective is the more dignified way for us individually and as a species, and for industrial civilization as we know it, to end. The fantasy of the market or that of political revolution?
As usual, we commemorate mass NYC activism events with free downloads of An Epiphany on Wall Street and the People's Climate March along with Monday's #FloodWallStreet are no exception.
Free downloads will be available today through midnight Tuesday September 23rd at http://nineinchbride.com/download-novel-now.html. If you read eBooks now is the time to get it without cost.
Paperbacks remain available at Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Epiphany-Wall-Street-Nine-Bride/dp/0985389788/ ).
This is a fictional work as relevant to our times as the best non-fiction and journalism out there today. We'd appreciate a review on your blog.
From Nine Inch Bride Book one, An Epiphany On Wall Street.
We recently posted the following excerpt from chapter 4 when invited to join the Collaborative Commons group on Google+:
“'The earth is finite, like our lives. Such facts bind us, if nothing else. Common cause and commonweal are for your own selfish sake and for the planet of such alike as well. To see beyond property is hard when you are at the teat of it, but the root of all scarcity is there to be found for the looking. I refuse the ethos of owners, alms and trickle downs. Thus, I am a revolutionary.'
'In time, you will understand me so. There are consequences to knowing me. A point shall come there will be no turning back for either of us. I do not appeal to your concern for others. When I say to you, ‘join me in revolution,’ it is because you are yourself afflicted. You have a bad case of affluenza, the disease of a culture of scarcity. You do not want to be tramping down Hetty and Neil’s path, following their scent, widening the way for the next assenting generation, quite selfishly, because it aggrieves you, and quite as selfishly, because it infects and afflicts everyone.
'Genius lives best for itself living the truth of its commonality with all. This is not obvious to the Big. To restore clarity to the individual and all fair meaning of distinction, our human needs must be met unconditionally. There is no other valid purpose, or moral justification, for governing structures.'
She paused. I strained my ears, but the quiet was absolute. My stomach churned..."
I'm begining to see a future for this 'blog.'
I knew from the get-go I'd be wandering off hither and yon with short form writing, whether in-micro on twitter, which is I'm afraid too much fun for anyone's good, or in comments to articles I come across through twitter or otherwise, and thus end up becoming a lapsed blogger here, a subject I anticipated in one of my earliest postings.
One answer to this is to re-post some of those impromptu comments I put up on the blogs of others, especially those comments which are too hot- (or cold-) blooded for the moderators where intended. Click here to skip ahead to the first of these. I may also take to re-posting here some of the multi-tweet riffs from twitter, or the brief excerpts from the articles or books on which they rely. Even with technical assistance, it is daunting to keep up in every short form venue as I am told an author must nowadays, and the time is coming for me to conclude research and begin book three.
I should be doing lengthier articles for general publication, as it increasingly seems to me the only way to get ideas across is to hit people over the head with them in non-fiction political opinion venues. Embedding or diffusing such in fiction does not seem to be working as well as originally hoped, at least not yet. A discussion of incremental transitions in consciousness, for example, relative to and independent of whatever starting or ending point, which is to say the learning effect and the actual meaning of progressivism, complementary to and in contrast with exit and protest actions, is one such mid-form essay I'd like to get out, along with related thoughts on party building alternatives.
If I find others doing this sort of work well enough instead of me, so much the better. I'll be free to deal with such gaps within the Nine Inch Bride fiction instead. Happily, I see quite a lot of sound opinion pieces in all sorts of venues, many brilliantly written, and we're glad to promote them on twitter and elsewhere along with our books and blogs.
I'll begin with this Ad Hoc snippet on the subject of democracy.
I came across an article via tweet by the ever controversial @JustineTunney in the course of one of her anti-liberal twitter rants. Entertaining enough in her own right for all of her many talents, it is frightening sometimes to see in these tossed off tweets how mistaken she can be, at minimum in her choice of words, seeming to so earnestly misdirect all that intellectual horsepower with dire provocations just to get a chit-chat going. Who is going to answer you, Justine? Who's going to play tutor to your gaveling? I'll rise to the bait this once, because democracy in capitalism is the stuff of my book. But there is a reason people learn first and speak later, instead of speaking first in the hope of learning (or teaching) from arguments, and that of all places on twitter, a dreadful chat medium. We need you for greater things.
The linked-to article in question seemed to me a kind of litmus test for shallow thinking or gullibility, but I can see how it might be superciliously used to vindicate if not glorify Silicon Valley and 'techies' (a/k/a 'the digital proletariat') in general. The article conflates the status quo with democracy and is therefore false in premise ab initio. [ Read more... ]
I am a product of our times, and the spirit of our times is expressed in my work. Any resemblance to persons, movements or other acts of revolution, enlightenment or brilliance in the real world is, as they say, unintended. That my work reflects many of the questions, contradictions & crises the leaders of Occupy Wall Street are facing today is not to be dismissed as 'mere coincidence' however, not at all. It speaks tomes about the 'kulture' and times we share.
It is worth re-mentioning that both books one and two in the Nine Inch Bride series were written long before Occupy Wall Street was a gleam in anyone's eye. Drafts were completed early in 2011, editing was ongoing throughout that year, and book one was published in the fall of 2012 under the earlier title. Book two was completed at the same time as book one, as they were originally intended to be one much larger work but later separated.
It is further worth mentioning that the story is narrated by a Wall Street analyst dealing with a stock market crash and, inter alia, his personal ruin. The 'epiphany' is his. [read more...]
Some have said this scene is too dark, too morbid for their taste. But we do live in a culture of wrack and ruin.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suicide_in_the_United_States In 2012 and 2013 suicide topped vehicle accidents as a leading cause of death in America, add in the countless attempts that fail, the virtually universal contemplation of it that is not acted upon, the exposure to it in the media that is ignored, and the case is made for this scene, particularly when the circumstances are related to unemployment.
Excerpt from An Epiphany On Wall Street, Chapter 4:
I passed the day in calm reflection, posing questions of life and death, and the sun had at last come down on my forever Sunday island. The twilight was clear, the early moon’s luminance on the balcony lovely to the eye. Soon the moon would swing away and the city lights would dwindle, allowing the glimmer of stars.
I reached for the cold coffee, drank, and replaced the cup, reached for the whiskey and mixed the delicious flavors, chasing the taste of the smoke. How many more pleasures do you want, I asked myself? My luxuries, at least, I would spend to the last.
I was finished then, no more flip-flopping. The future was too late. All this looking in, looking out, was my consciousness, awaiting the inevitable and permanent power outage. That was the long and short of it.
[Excerpt from Book One, Chapter 6: The World According to Sa.]
“We squander unpromised tomorrows until death calls out our name, and only then does its faint shadow, ignored life long, darken into the bogeyman that takes us.
“We guzzle the earth to extinction in secret fear of death. Children distant in time will be made to pay for our consumption. We diddle the future in a confidence game, a perfect crime in which the culprit is long gone by the time the next generation comes upon the scene. We hide from death, as the dying cannot. We should contrive a mortal scare, the end of the world.”
“The end of the world?” I repeated, losing her.
“A deus ex machina or two, wobble some metal sheets for thunder. If imminent death led your royal bankster to rethink, the rented masses to clamor for release, it might be worth the toll. Change is a function of time, the present time is in flux, and in the flux we have a Consciousness Exchange on the pinhead of the moment. What if the future tense were to lose all meaning and leave us just the moment? A singular exchange in the flux of time, the stitch that saves nine?”
I had no real way to know where her earnestness ended and fantasy began.
“Let us imagine the end of the world. We have Death to thank for so much of our propensity. Our towers and monuments are homage to him, our property is clung to in defiance of him, our worship a bribe to forestall him or dilute his power. Yet, in our culture, death’s shadow is pale or hidden and comes slowly, to one at a time. What if the shadow of extinction were to get up and speak at once to all humanity?”
“Tell me you’re joking.” [read more...]
[You have to love Russell Brand. See the embedded video at the end of this post in which he waxes eloquent on the subject of electoral politics. It has since gone viral, and deservedly so.
He sounds a lot like Sahar on the subject, with an important exception. Here's a snippet from Chapter 6, book one:]
“Our domestic condition is a misery of financial neurosis for most Americans. Our chief global export is financial gangsterism, rapacious extraction, and military empire, along with the lie of affluence for the hard working, the lie of power of the people, and the lie of freedom of persuasion,” she said with blistering intent. “These are mere jingo markersfor the expansion mandate of corporate wealth. We liberate the rich where we conquer, to deepen their entrenchment and power.”
She paused, and I could see she was making an effort to simmer down. “These, you see, are words from my own anger and revulsion,” she added quietly.
She returned to the candle for a moment, as if for sustenance, then turned to face me again. The light was behind her now, her form a silhouette, the flame behind her head made her hair seem ablaze. She appeared supernatural for a moment, the impression lingering around her voice.
“We shall never know our talent in a world of need. That’s big bad Karl in ten words.” [read more...]
Again it seemed the drunken dream had passed, and I nearly slept before she spoke once more.
“I am as I seem, living in the Big world, your world, a person diminutive in scale and a human being. I live among you, and I study you and the world you have made.”
Time stretched on before she spoke again.
“To regard a great city, one must ask: Are we humans not a species of master path-makers and habitat-shapers? We are. And yet we dare not take our craft to the social estate, nor to the state of our lives beyond the physical. In this our higher realm, we remain like deer, making a trail through the woods as we find them, no vision of a human garden, but paths made in forage of instinct alone. Generation after generation follows these single-minded trails of scent and happenstance through the tangled woods, until we have worn a whole civilization of paths.
“Why not? One might ask, if the experience of conscious creatures depends on the laws of nature, why not follow the vitality of instinct for our paths? Why allow higher faculties, like Science or the Arts, to show us the way to move through the social domain?”
She paused, gathering silence, then answered her question.
“Because we are not deer. Our faculties can be applied to the most fateful decisions in the navigation of human life. Science transcends bias and self-deception to observe with reason, why then does a Science of moral paths have no standing in the order and economy of human life? Why do the Big require that a Science of Ethos be what no other science is required to be: the Word of God?”
Quiet enveloped her words again before she spoke. [read more...]
[Sa and Ken, from book two in the Nine Inch Bride series: A Stone of Conscience.]
“Some food for thought on your journey.”
“And ego. It may seem at first beyond your reach, but I think you will catch up with it.”
“Shoot,” I said.
“We do have to ride our miniscule difference,” she continued, “just as you say, but our human commons show the prize of individuality and its precious freedom the most dependent part of all we are. Within that mite of distinction, the span from least to most highly endowed is all of tick to tock. It is a fragile thing too, our prize. A gift of talent, fettered, is as useless as a fault, and survival anxiety is all it takes to fetter the gift. A culture of implicit fear will suffice to bracket human potential, and survival anxiety is the essence of Big culture, its fuel and product.”
She was working at my motivations, I figured, angling for commitment, as if she had intuited the questions and answers I’d been juggling earlier on the beach. It scarcely surprised me to hear her address what I had on my mind, even hours ago. She seemed to be adept at some kind of empathetic understanding.
“Among our little, threatened gifts, imagination is greater than reason, and more essential to the species, and yet imagination and reason are set against each other in the closed systems and recursive isms of the Big wide world. To define myself in your inelastic isms would take dozens of them, the exercise ending in gibberish.”
I followed her, but still could not guess where she was going, and the tenor of her words made me anxious for some clarity. She wasn’t one to meander without purpose, I knew.
“Our thought-objects and our words are abstractions from experience, and our thought-objects and words idealize in the process of abstracting. So we perceive allurements, desires and aspirations out of all reckoning with the reality of them, or we perceive evils as evil incarnate. Thinking men form their views from these idealized thought objects, and so we have extremes and absolutes, closed systems and isms, the consequence of idealization. As for an ism like individualism, the most I can legitimately say is that I am sur- or sub-individualist, some if not most of the time.” She smiled at her own equivocations.
I was learning to follow the leaps in her dance of expression, and I understood her to be sardonic.
“To speak of it is silliness,” she confirmed. “The ‘supremacy of the individual’ is the American phrase we hear, with its proud and dangerous ring. One could make a case for it. Indeed, could one not reduce even the holy men, Buddha or Mohammed or Christ no less, to such a notion as the supreme individual?” she asked, airing out her thoughts, her fingers to her chin.
“Is it not possible to understand our divine saviors in this light, as supreme in a mere micro-percentage of difference from the rest of us? Christ was supreme for being sent by God the Father, Mohammed for being Allah’s messenger, Buddha for attaining enlightenment and teaching its path. Were God an ego-individualist, like the pagan god Atlas, like the vain accidents of industrial fortune such as Bedaux or Wellingham, might he not as soon shrug the world as bear it on his shoulders?
“Yet no divine messenger shrugs; rather, all saviors sublimate and diminish the ego-individual in their practice and their teachings, even the pagan Prometheus. This is the paradox of talent, I think, even the most rare talent, revered as holy spirit.”
A big idea began to gel and I marveled how my unimaginable friend had led me there.
“The musician is subsumed in the music, the physicist in his natural laws, the inventor in his inspiration, all larger than the individual, all antecedent to the individual, all surviving beyond the individual. And all the power in their craft derives from commonalities of desire and need, and the larger antecedent of common survival. The supreme iota itself serves and is made possible by our lumpen selves and the consciousness shared by all.
“So it is with my iota of difference and with yours.” She let quiet ensue.
She’d managed to pull her rambling idea together at last, and remarkably, I thought I got it, albeit just. “The gifted are nothing much without the rest, without some common basis, they’re not even possible...”
“Well enough said,” she answered, brightening. “Justice and genius can be served in a political economy. With imagination and will, we shall prove this in our lifetimes. That is the thought I’d like you to take away on your journey.”
Now here's a person who was certainly not into the 'exceptionalism' of a race. Einstein explains a goal for humanity; striving for inner security.
[Excerpt from Book One ~An Epiphany On Wall Street~ in the Nine Inch Bride series.]
“The word socialist is wrecked in the American psyche,” she replied. “Two centuries of questioning and thought have been rendered taboo and blanked out of mainstream consciousness. But no, the making of new parties must await proportional representation and the demise of winner-take-all. The task before us is to unwind these undemocratic, race and class biased electoral structures. That is prerequisite to successful third parties.”
She stepped away from the candle and caught a glimmer of light along one side, her cheek bone visible now, the rest of her face in shadow. The curve along her neck and shoulders was distractingly delicious to the eye.
“You are alienated from both sides, Ken, because you are middle class,” she said, grabbing back my attention. “Not to be one of the elite honeycombs your soul, and yet you can no longer sit down to dinner with the unwashed common man you consider yourself superior to and more deserving than. I offer you a chance to mature in your human potential to its fullest. All else is waste of time.”
I squirmed at that.
“Democracy is a learning machine. No ism is complete, or sufficient in all times. There can be no forbidden party, even the most noxious side of ourselves we must hear. All barriers must come down. Folly will learn better and fade. True democracy is immune to utopias and final solutions by other name. This discourse between twin capitalist parties, keep-all and tweak-some, is a black tie affair in a museum for democracy.”