Jill Stein – The Gentle Face of The Empire

Occupy Denver is holding a Stop The Empire Action at the Presidential Debates as I type this. 
Naturally the Green Party has acted quickly to take advantage of this for their own political agenda.
Jill Stein’s vision may offer more equality, but it WILL NOT bring about more freedom.
Jill Stein’s plan is to reduce spending via military cuts & preventive health. But she still wants a military. She still wants doctors to maintain the position of secular priests that every day people hold in reverence.


Jill Stein wants to leave the archaic institution of marriage intact, but give the “right” to people the dominant order considers “gay” to marry. She is not interested in destroying the institution of marriage that serves the Dominant Order or dismantling the social identities that are necessary for the Dominant Order to function.
She also had the audacity to claim the American Revolution “threw off corporate rule” although the American Revolution did not even benefit the great majority of colonists, slaves, indentured servants, women or anyone who wasn’t a rich, white property owner. (In other words the American Revolution only benefited the 1%)
She also wants to increase spending on public schools – these are the very institutions that indoctrinate young Americans into the values of the 1%!
I commend the brave people who are taking direct action against the Dominant Order. I just hope they don’t allow themselves to be manipulated by a rich, white, Harvard educated woman with a political agenda every bit as brutal as Obama and Romney’s.
 

your arguments

It appears you think abolishing marriage (if that's what you mean by "destroying the institution") and making it off limits to any consenting adults who want it would "bring about more freedom."  While I do not wish to be married, I cannot agree that refusing that choice to others would give them "more freedom."

You also seem to think that "preventative medicine" would not "bring about more freedom."  If you had ever had a potentially lethal illness and been refused medical care, due to not having money, insurance, or government coverage, you might have a different opinion.  I have been through that experience twice in the past few years, and I would like the freedom to be healthy, whether I have the ability to pay or not.  There are currently about 50 million of us, in this country, who do not have that freedom.

You also think that spending on public schools would not "bring about more freedom."  I was fortunate to attend public schools when there was massive investment in public education and critical thinking was part of the curriculum.  That was during the first few years after Sputnik, when it was hoped that critical thinking would help and encourage us to resist "communist propaganda."  I put this last phrase in quotes, because a great deal of what we were supposed to resist was neither communist nor propaganda.  But the plan backfired, largely because it worked too well.  That is, too well by the standards of educators, who, given enough resources, were able to teach us to resist all kinds of propaganda--capitalist, as well as other kinds.

One kind of propaganda a lot of people resisted was the suggestion that blind obedience to government is patriotism.  So the new educational models were quickly buried, and the funding drastically cut.  The freedom to learn and to use the learning in a way consistent with values that one develops on one's own was severely curtailed.  I don't know if Dr. Stein wants to see a resurgence of this particular kind of education, but since it happened by accident the last time (and at other times, historically), I think it is worth trying again.  And, whether or not the intention is to "bring about more freedom," that has been the result, when funding was adequate.  (You are correct, of course, that this was not the reasoning behind government's assent, after many years of public demand, to create publicly funded education. )

One argument you did not make, though I think it is important, is that the Dominant Order is now so far developed, so dominant, if you will, that electing a different president will not bring sufficient change to solve the problems brought about by that order.  In my opinion, there is no individual anywhere who, even if elected president, and even with the best intentions and abilities, could bring about that much change within the framework of the presidency.  If Dr. Stein were elected, I am certain she would discover this, rather quickly. 

Tina, I would like to address

Tina, I would like to address some of your arguments from my own personal perspective:

 

It appears you think abolishing marriage (if that's what you mean by "destroying the institution") and making it off limits to any consenting adults who want it would "bring about more freedom." While I do not wish to be married, I cannot agree that refusing that choice to others would give them "more freedom."

I personally feel the institution of marriage is inherently patriarchal. Its very existence creates  the illusion that hetrosexuality, monogamy and breeding are "normal." If the institition of marriage was abolished, people would be free to associate intimately in whatever way they preferred. A man and a woman could still commit to each other and be monogamous, but the existence of the instition of marriage makes it appear that heterosexual monogamy is "natural" and any alternative forms of intimacy are abnormal. 

You also seem to think that "preventative medicine" would not "bring about more freedom." If you had ever had a potentially lethal illness and been refused medical care, due to not having money, insurance, or government coverage, you might have a different opinion. I have been through that experience twice in the past few years, and I would like the freedom to be healthy, whether I have the ability to pay or not. There are currently about 50 million of us, in this country, who do not have that freedom.

I can see both sides of this argument. From a reformist perspective, preventitive medicine and healthcare for all would be a good thing. But it fails to address the problem of our self-domestication and dependence upon "experts" to fix us. The reason people get so many diseases these days is because we are living out of balance. Humans evolved to live as hunter/gatherers in small, non-hierarchal, nomadic band groups. The enslavement of plants (agriculture) and the enslavement of animals (domestication) are the cause of most modern diseases. The best civilization can offer is to try to come up with cures for the diseases it creates. 

You also think that spending on public schools would not "bring about more freedom." I was fortunate to attend public schools when there was massive investment in public education and critical thinking was part of the curriculum. That was during the first few years after Sputnik, when it was hoped that critical thinking would help and encourage us to resist "communist propaganda." I put this last phrase in quotes, because a great deal of what we were supposed to resist was neither communist nor propaganda. But the plan backfired, largely because it worked too well. That is, too well by the standards of educators, who, given enough resources, were able to teach us to resist all kinds of propaganda--capitalist, as well as other kinds.

First off, I would hope everyone would learn critical thinking skills and basic logic. Unfortunately public schools rarely teach such things. They teach some useful basic skills - reading, writing and basic math, but are public schools necessary for that? Does the government think parents are too stupid to teach their own kids that? And why should it be the responsibility of The State to do that? A lot of stuff comes along with that education - mainly indoctrination into what bell hooks would describe as the values of the White Supramacist Capitalist Patriarchy. 

If I was to look at the issue from a Leftist/Progressive POV that encourages dependence on The State, I would want a lot of money invested in public schools with a focus on logic, math and critical thinking. But since I am of the belief that The State is unecessary and undesireable, I would prefer to see public schools abolished along with The State. I believe individuals are capable of educating and taking care of themselves. Humans did it for millions of years before the surplus value created by agriculture/domestication made civilization (human slavery) necessary. 

One kind of propaganda a lot of people resisted was the suggestion that blind obedience to government is patriotism. So the new educational models were quickly buried, and the funding drastically cut. The freedom to learn and to use the learning in a way consistent with values that one develops on one's own was severely curtailed. I don't know if Dr. Stein wants to see a resurgence of this particular kind of education, but since it happened by accident the last time (and at other times, historically), I think it is worth trying again. And, whether or not the intention is to "bring about more freedom," that has been the result, when funding was adequate. (You are correct, of course, that this was not the reasoning behind government's assent, after many years of public demand, to create publicly funded education. )

I think possibly the biggest obstacle we face is the public relations industry. Ever since Edward Bernay's discovered his uncle Freud's writings, propaganda (or public relations as it is called today) has been used to control what Walter Lippmann would call "The Bewildered Herd." The very idea behind American democracy is that the general public is too stupid to make the right decsions so they must be guided. Bernays himself said this: The engineering of consent is the very essence of the democratic process.. (The Engineering of Consent", Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science No. 250 (March 1947), p. 113;)

One argument you did not make, though I think it is important, is that the Dominant Order is now so far developed, so dominant, if you will, that electing a different president will not bring sufficient change to solve the problems brought about by that order. In my opinion, there is no individual anywhere who, even if elected president, and even with the best intentions and abilities, could bring about that much change within the framework of the presidency. If Dr. Stein were elected, I am certain she would discover this, rather quickly. 

I completely agree. I have no idea what Stein's motivations are, but even if she wants to do what she says she wants to do, she will not be allowed too. I am convinced that the process of Corporations replacing Nation States is well under way and cannot be changed through voting, protesting or any type of reformism. 

In the CIA's "Global Trends 2015" they stated that their biggest fear is the indigenous movements teaming up with the anti-globalization movements. If that is what they view as their biggest weakness, expoliting that weakness should be a priority. And that will never be done through voting or waving "No War On Iran" signs on Broadway & Canyon. 

 

 

It took a long time, but here is my rebuttal

 

Your use of the sexist, ageist, and frequently racist word “breeding,” in reference to human reproduction, is so offensive, I have found it difficult to reread and study your comment enough to write a response to it. But there is a lot more than that one word here that demands rebuttal.

 

It is worth noting that you also use words like abolish, which means to command and enforce an end to--and destroy, meaning to obliterate by the use of force, against things that, by your own admission, simply don't suit your personal preferences, and things that you say “appear” in a way you don't like. You give no other reasons, beyond your own wishes.

 

Marriage has evolved over thousands of years, and has been shaped by both men and women, but it was probably invented by women. By refusing to provide sexual services without an enforceable, publicly taken pledge of support, women protected their offspring and their own ability to provide maternal care. Polygamy may have been a compromise that allowed men to have additional partners, without abandoning their children and the mothers of those children, but it has survived mainly where it was used to provide for large numbers of widows and their children. In recent years, marriage has been evolving toward more egalitarian and liberatory forms. But you have decreed the axe for marriage, because you say it conjures up images you don't like. While some marriages and some forms of marriage are and have been patriarchal, there is nothing more patriarchal than a privileged, white male telling everyone else that they must accede to his wishes, regardless of their own.

 

I doubt if many people could be found who would agree with your views on health care. The system we have in this country was shaped largely by the American Medical Association—long dominated by greedy, territorial alpha males-- which, for a century, fought every effort to make health care more accessible, make room for alternative disciplines, and shift emphasis to prevention. These expansions and alternatives, many of them woman-centered, have re-emerged only because more women have finally broken the barriers and entered the field as doctors. Most people see this as improvement. But you would prefer to eliminate health care altogether and send people with curable illnesses to an early death, to atone for choices made by our ancestors, thousands of years ago. No wonder you want to impose this by force; it could not be brought about any other way.

 

You make only the most superficial effort to examine things that may have minimal connection to your own life, before condemning them. Your only actual arguments against public education are that you “would hope” children could learn a minimal curriculum without it, and, again, that you “would prefer to see public schools abolished,” so we could return to an earlier way of life that our ancestors apparently saw fit to abandon. But you don't even bother to explore the relevant issues of why most of us—billions of us, worldwide-- value public education and want to keep and improve it.

 

I am a parent, and not a stupid one by anyone's definition, but I could not have provided an adequate education for my children, on my own. I did not have the specific knowledge of how children learn, nor the objectivity to assess their progress, to say nothing of the time to teach them or the expertise and resources to select and provide materials. Nor could I have accommodated their interests. My son studied calculus and German—two subjects I do not know. My daughter studied choral music, which requires assembling a chorus of other children who also wish to learn it. For reasons like these, parents who could afford to do so have been delegating the education of their children to professional teachers, for thousands of years. In recent centuries, people have demanded and fought for public funding for education, so that all children could benefit. When adequate funding is provided, and when educators are allowed to do their work without censorship, children have excelled at learning all disciplines, including critical thinking, which is taught in stages, over a number of years. In the present time, public funding is provided through The State. Troublesome as it is, that is the only sufficiently large mechanism we have, and providing public goods is what that mechanism was created for. Other organizations, such as private schools and churches have taken up part of this task, but their reach is not adequate, and their product is not appropriate for all families. So we use the state. As we evolve new forms of providing for public needs, the best chance for moving the provision of education into these new formations is to make education as strong as we can. That means using the best educational methods we can devise, which does not come cheap, and prioritizing the use of our tax monies to pay for it.

 

You cherrypick a few words from bell hooks. She would be outraged, if she knew you did this. Prof. hooks has been a strong advocate for bringing the best educational methods to all children. She wants to democratize education, not hand it over to a hater who would destroy it. She has worked to create new methods of teaching critical thinking, specially designed for the most underserved students and their teachers, to enable them to break their chains. She remembers, as I do, when white supremacists wanted to abolish education for people who looked like she does, and when they succeeded in doing so, temporarily, in a few places. You would expand that project to all children, permanently.

 

My next argument was to cite a historical proof that well funded public education can work, has done so in the past, and was attacked by the Capitalist War Machine, for working to its detriment. At that point, you attempted to change the subject. But you brought in a set of sources that, if read correctly, would agree with my argument.

 

Propaganda did not begin with Bernays. Indeed, classical thinkers wrote numerous texts about it. What Bernays did was to capitalize on it—to put it at the disposal of the highest bidder, and to mass produce it. Utilizing Freudian concepts enabled Bernays and his successors to apply the scientific method to propaganda. This enabled them to make even the most mediocre propaganda more insidious, and thus more effective. Earlier forms of propaganda, called “rhetoric,” had been more of an art form, relying on the intuition and talents of those rare, persuasive speakers, whose agendas might not coincide with that of a paying customer.

 

The best antidote has always been education. Lippmann saw this. He teased out how people think when they do not have sufficient information on a subject or the experiential tools to analyze it properly. They use the only tools available to them—the “pictures in their heads,” though these are unreliable. Lippmann concluded that decisions on complex issues should only be made by highly educated elites. But he made this analysis in the 1920's when most people had very little education. High school graduation rates were only 10%, with only 20% of young people ever setting foot in high school. My grandfather, born in 1902, was typical of his time. Though a lifelong reader, very much interested in learning everything he could, Grandpa had to quit school in the fourth grade, to earn a living. His voracious reading was not complemented by an exchange of critical questioning with a teacher, or by close comparisons between texts with conflicting messages. Nor did he get the opportunity to study much science, history, or arts and music, nor any advanced math or linguistics (all subjects you do not deign to include). So he did not learn to see through these lenses, nor to properly question the authors he read.

 

Unlike my Grandpa, I benefited from several units of focused study of propaganda, as well as critical reading of hundreds of texts, and essay writing accompanied by intensive discussions on a full range of disciplines. This was standard, when I went to school. As my generation put our education to use, creating new forms of culture, an economy based on sharing, and as we demanded radical democracy, rather than empty, top-down republican forms, and an end to war, the educational genie and his bottle were buried, and the money to restore him quickly pulled away. You support this repression, though literally billions of people oppose it.

 

Engineering consent is not democracy. It is the opposite. A good case study on this is Mussolini, a brilliant propagandist who fused business techniques (extreme despotism) with government. But he did not fool his people for very long.

Contrary to what you say, people are not stupid enough to consistently make the wrong choices in matters where they have full knowledge and all options are on the table. That is why the elites who designed our government created a polyarchy, instead of a democracy. That is also why we have an electoral college, an aristocratic senate, and other checks and balances that work against the people. James Madison wrote a great deal to promote this system. I think the most effective summation of his reasoning is in The Federalist # 10, written for the benefit of wealthy persons who had reason to fear the masses. And, the desire of The Few to engineer consent is the very reason why The Few want to do away with high-quality, public education.

 

You end by making a vague reference to the growing alliance between indigenous peoples and the anti-globalization movement. Yet none of your demands concur with the goals of these movements. And your very presumption to make such demands is at odds with every bottom-up, mass movement that ever existed. For one person or one small group, of any description, to claim a right to command everyone else in the world, has nothing to do with creating “more freedom.” Nor is it anarchism. It is the exchange of one set of masters for another.