Added February 4, 2014
There is an evolution to this blog which is born of various elements. That I have been writing consistently for now nearly 4 years is the predominant component. One does not know what one thinks until one tries to write it down. I have in this sense influenced my own ideas.
I initiated this blog just before the mass revolutionary uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia. I still believe that these events will prove to be defining historical moments and that the aspirations announced by millions of people in the initial months of the ‘Arab Spring’ will find their full expression over time. History proves itself over and again to be as painful as it can be inspiring. Patience, faith and steadfast determination, must be the creed of the revolutionary.
Because what I thought at a certain time must have some relevance to what I think today, I am reticent to erase or make substantial changes to certain posts. The essential theoretical text of this blog found in the category The Analysis of Mature Capitalism, has as of this writing 4 versions and it is not even close to its full development. I have kept each major version in tact as much for myself as for the interested reader.
The writing below stands up well for the most part but it misses a question which has risen in importance to me since I began here. This is the matter of power in society. In order to obtain the goals expressed below the basic question of social power and the state must be addressed by the movement of our class. I am not raising any particular tactical or even strategic proposal in this regard but to say that our class in assembling itself to demand the decency of life which is our due can not be content to simply ask and hope for change. We will achieve these goals upon realizing through organization our preponderant strength and potential power in society as the producers of all material culture.
Below As Published with only minor changes August 13, 2010.
I like to read and write. My primary interest is broad economic and geopolitical theory.
I believe that in the 21st Century military force and violence is not an effective means of achieving political change. This is less a moral position than it is a political one. Political movements that assume a military orientation tend to be subsumed by battle plan, military exigencies and military order. They lose connection to their principal goal of building a movement and speaking for and to the interests of their constituents. Additionally the “collateral damage” resultant from the direct engagement of the imperial militaries and police forces tends to fall hardest upon those already oppressed. Imperialism in the 21st century has refined the tactic of drawing out the battle in which the conflict itself becomes a further weapon of oppression as it becomes the justification for still further oppression. Ours is to evade this cycle rather than to engage it directly. In the case of this blog the mission is to speak to the interests of the vast majority of people in this world, the working class and its social allies.
I am, a defender of the Second Amendment to the U.S. constitution–and the other amendments which protect liberty as well.
I identify politically with the social interests of the working-class. I believe that the measure of progress of any modern or advanced society is taken by understanding three things
- The level of social development of working people vis a vis the society as a whole;
- the time and space and investment of material resources afforded for the involvement of working people in political life, recreation and creative activity;
- the health of the working class including nutrition, physical recreation, housing, vacation time, health care and humane retirement;
- the quality of the work experience in the process of production and the relationship of this to the educational process for workers, not only in childhood but continuing into adult life.
- The degree of integration of women into the society at every level.
- This includes the degree of involvement in civil, political and creative life, protections for reproductive choice, and protections against oppressive domestic conditions;
- It includes the facility for the full and unjealous provision of child care so that proper health care, nourishment and education for children and young people is treated as a human right rather than as a privilege or commodity;
- The degree of development of civil society including protections of human rights and civil liberties *
- This includes vigorous defense of the rights of individuals to free speech, freedom of worship, the right to privacy, the right to freedom of choice in form of employment and economic pursuits, and for lack of a more precise term, “the pursuit of happiness”
- This also includes developed civil institutions and the rule of law such that it is possible to live one’s life in peace and safety under the reign of a reasonably predictable and stable order.
I do not begrudge the right of nations to self-determination up to and including necessary acts of self-defense against imperialism. I think that most of the greatest political mistakes and state crimes of the 20th century involved various attempts to manipulate or interfere militarily or otherwise with the natural historical development of independent nation states. I think that it should be obvious enough to most people now that these mistakes and crimes carried over into the beginning of the 21st century and are at the roots of the situation in Afghanistan at the present time. Let it be said that I wrote about this in a fairly articulate manner in the winter of 2001 before the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. See: No to Terrorism and War
I am a more or less well-educated person. The son of a successful historian of early American history. I was born in New York, but lived most of my youth in Colonial Williamsburg in the state of Virginia . My father was a writer of relatively obscure history books (not much money in it), so I started working in restaurants just after the age of 14. I have been manually employed and have lived in working class communities ever since. I worked right through college, and after. I have been employed for most of my adult life in the construction industry and for the past decade or so self-employed as a carpenter and project manager in residential construction.
My influences are The Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible, Pythagoras, Epictetus, Alexander Hamilton and George Washington, Adam Smith, John Calvin, Martin Luther, Issac Newton, Immanuel Kant, Mary Shelley, Hegel, Karl Marx, Turgenev, Charles Darwin, Vladimir Lenin, Ibsen, Leon Trotsky, Evegny Preobrazhensky, Joseph Schumpeter, Dashiell Hammet, William Faulkner, Zora Neal Hurston, Salvidor Dali, Woody Guthrie, John Bowlby, Malcolm X, Fidel Castro, Andre Breton, Che Guevara, Joseph Hansen, Martin Luther King, Carlos Fonseca, Charles Mingus, Isaac Asimov, Nelson Mandela, Daniel Ortega, Louise Bourgeois, Walter Mosely and Mohammed Ali.
Also Mariano Rivera and Arjen Robben–I like sports.
*There is a tendency amonst some advocates for the political power of the working class to conditionalize the demand for democratic, civil and human rights. It is my contention that these conquests of social struggle, which were originally won in the 18th and 19th century revolutions against feudalism, the “bourgeois revolutions,” are not something to be dismissed or turned back in 21st century struggles for the political power and social rights of working people. Rather these are essential to current demands against social oppression and imperialism and they will also be essential to the construction of just, equitable and free societies going forward. [added May 15, 2011 RV]