Tuesday, March 27, 2007

read it and find out

The Abolition of Work by Bob Black, 1985

"Work makes a mockery of freedom. The official line is that we all have rights and live in a democracy. Other unfortunates who aren't free like we are have to live in police states. These victims obey orders or else, no matter how arbitrary. The authorities keep them under regular surveillance. State bureaucrats control even the smaller details of everyday life. The officials who push them around are answerable only to higher-ups, public or private. Either way, dissent and disobedience are punished. Informers report regularly to the authorities. All this is supposed to be a very bad thing.

"And so it is, although it is nothing but a description of the modern workplace. The liberals and conservatives and Libertarians who lament totalitarianism are phonies and hypocrites. There is more freedom in any moderately de-Stalinized dictatorship than there is in the ordinary American workplace..."

Friday, March 09, 2007

Morality lesson from our betters

China issues human rights record of the United States

It's that time of year again, when China kindly steps in to correct a deficiency in the U.S. State Department's annual reports on human rights around the world. That deficiency, of course, is that the State Department overlooks the human rights violations in the United States.

This year is pretty good, thanks to the continuing havoc neoliberal economic policies are causing in the U.S., with wealth and income increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, extreme poverty expanding, nearly 50 million people without access to health care, huge racial inequalities, etc.

However, the classic moment came last year, when the retards at the State Department thought to include evidence of gender discrimination in China, namely, that women earn only 79% of what men earn. China was quick to point out that in the U.S., women earn only 76% of what men earn.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Guns and butter (the butter to feed the soldiers)

Mismeasuring the Defense Budget by Winslow T. Wheeler

Keynesianism is far from dead. The government pump-primes the economy to the tune of nearly $1 trillion a year, pouring the money into the military. Given the danger the 'founding fathers' saw in having a standing army - let alone a standing army more expensive than all other armies on the face of the planet combined - I think Keynes had a better idea on how to have the government subsidize demand.

Bury money, and pay workers to dig it up.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

read it and find out

Lack of sleep may impact upon moral judgement by Phil McKenna

Overworked people who don't get enough sleep have difficulty making moral judgments. Might go towards explaining why the ruling class here act like such amoral barbarians.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fun with cognitive dissonance reduction!

The myth of Muslim support for terror By Kenneth Ballen

Think that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians" is a good definition of terrorism?

Yes, right?

Now, if you are a United Statesian, read with me and watch your very own cognitive dissonance reduction mechanism kick into play.

According to a December 2006 poll conducted by the University of Maryland's Program on International Public Attitudes:

86 percent of Pakistanis believe that "bombing and other attacks intentionally aimed at civilians are never justified."

In the US, only 46 of people take the same stance.

Who are the terrorist sympathizers again?


So did it work? Did cognitive dissonance reduction make you change your opinion of the definition of terrorism above, or did it perhaps make you question the poll's methodology?