Header Image, 'Invisible Hand Hypothesis, The Theory of Self-Regulation', courtesy of Softpanorama.[http://www.softpanorama.org/Skeptics/Financial_skeptic/Casino_capitalism/Pseudo_theories/invisible_hand_hypothesys.shtml]]
Absolute (scientific) objectivity is a myth. Gurdjieff pointed this out in recognition of how our conditioning effects our perceptions. Scholars look at various perspectives, counter narratives, rationales and evidence in an effort to use reason, and critical analysis to educate themselves on a given issue to overcome personal predilections and minimise if not eliminate bias. The strategy has its value but in reality the best we can hope for due to the emotional part of our mental apparatus preceding the intellectual, is, as Gurdjieff states, to be relatively objective.
Perceptions are affected by a complex of elements which include word and memory association, past experiences, internal chemistry, to an extent, innate knowledge.
Added to this our perceptions often alter with time and mood. To decouple influences that skew judgement a hyper aware consciousness through intelligent information processing that places things in the correct context is required. The Buddhists talk about the general need for mindful awareness and Fritjof Capra applies this to the matter of interpreting reality by reminding us not to confuse, “...the map with the territory.”('Tao of Physics', 1975). The main function of words is to communicate, to describe things, but they are not in themselves absolutes, or independent truths, they are representations of ideas, usually derived from someone else's experiences and opinions. In fact, academically, students are not supposed to present their own opinions but develop arguments based on datum and information via secondary and tertiary sources. This is a slippery slope for the purposes of serious definitive investigations and the accumulation of authoritative knowledge as it is not based on personal experience and is hard to verify.
Politics is a classic example of how this difficulty plays out and is able to skew opinion individually or en-masse. We hear iteratively, '24/7', as they say, that the media is Left wing, that the US Democrats are Left. This is however, 'non-sense on stilts', (as Hobbes might have put it). Left Wing is broadly open to interpretation, but in certain specifics, it cannot easily be confounded as it has been. War, and exploitation are inimical to the core principles of Left Wing politics, yet that is not to deny that Bolshevism and other pseudo Left deviations have not been steeped in such. What further muddies the waters is that Marx, like Engels, espoused eugenics ideology in certain obscure tracts. We also know that Marx was educated in England and funded by British intelligence, to act as a stalking horse that was to spawn subsersive movements in Russia, Eastern Europe and beyond. What many choose to ignore is that Left Wing, or non-Conservative philosophy has been around since the dawn of civilisation. It is prefaced on mutual co-operation as was common and necessary in village and agrarian life. The classical Left paradigm recognises common unity, social duty and communal responsibility. It recognises and empathises with the plight of other 'workers' and looks critically at elites sense of privilege and exploitative ambitions. In principle it does not give oxygen to superficial differences, race or gender, but is used to promote equality not of outcome as it has now been perverted to do, but of opportunity, 'brotherhood' and mutual well being. The Left has been warped by the dominant Conservative paradigm since the late 70's, and has become complacent, hypocritical and subversive. Some of this was engineered by Right intelligentsia, and some is due, as Gilad Atzmon indicates, to the failure of the Left to unite and decisively act on principles of universalism and equality. The great transformation of society never came and Left intellectuals have either passed away, compromised or fallen into identity politics (as have the Right). [https://www.gilad.co.uk/writings?offset=1540107589396]
Conservatism by comparison is based on elitism, which by definition is advantage for the few and the disadvantage of the many. Mrs Thatcher, (British prime minister 1979-1990) a Conservative icon propounded the 'X, Y' philosophy.
The notion is that society is overtly made up of 2 types of people.
1: The X type are irresponsible, unproductive, basically lazy and need to be coerced into useful activity and labour.
2: The Y's are the doers, the leaders. They are highly productive, self-motivated responsible and work hard.
Their Conservative philosophy justifies privilege and wealth for the elite and poverty and disadvantage for the poor. A society governed by this perception results in socio-economics that restrict social mobility thereby reinforcing the class system. The Indian class system is an extreme example of this wretched hierarchy. An intelligent person will rightly conclude that people do not possess equal abilities, but that does not mean that they should be disadvantaged, or indeed that those with greater ability are more deserving of anything. The notion of meritocracy is a chimera, a philosophical mirage. Consider that people with great ability in one or other way are born with either the capacity, or the will to acquire it. The desire that drives an individual toward proficiency and ambition are mental qualities that are part of their essential personal and genetic makeup; i.e., they cannot help being that way. It is not necessarily earned, overtly, such people are wired that way. Being born with a drive to become an athlete, and with a body that is athletic is in part providential, some would say part of random speciation. Where then is the merit of happening to be born with a certain psychology and body, and conversely, where is the fault in being born with less ambition and limited ability? But even these arguments are facile; a thing that becomes obvious to those who work with disabled or even ill people.
It is well known that working with the disabled is very rewarding and alters the perception of the able in beneficent ways, particularly with the mentally disabled and/or those with Down's syndrome. Patience is cultivated, a sense of achievement is part of the experience and values become adjusted toward a unifying and more spiritual life affirming direction. Using one's strength and ability to aid a fellow human being is not debilitating but enlightening. However, if society is framed to reward selfishness and make kindness and philanthropy problematic as it is increasingly doing, that society becomes artificially engineered to be exploitative and survivalist that some argue, (myself included) has led to materialism, eugenics and ultimately, Satanism.
This understanding is built into an empathic and fairer society – but such a society is incompatible with modern Conservatism and the laissez-faire economics that once unleashed, particularly since the Reagan and Thatcher period in recent history, puts personal gain and materialism above all else. In such an environment we can see all the way back to the decimation of the steel, coal, fishing and engineering industries in both the UK and US, for example, and the subsequent mass privatisations of public utilities, the health service, public transport and the latter wars and bank bailouts so that the fruits of the ingenuity and labour of the masses flow ever upwards. This trickle-up welfare for the already elite has a devastating effect on society and a global knock on effect.
Although the info above needs to be supplemented with research and deep study, the basic polarities of genuine Left and Right hold. If we remove labels and earnestly examine what kind of society it is that we want to live in, we might be liberated at the conceptual level, released from dogma and self imposed limitation.
This week Trump cunningly made the 'switch and bait' move of replacing the trigger word of Communism with Socialism.
Both philosophical trajectories were developed by Karl Marx on behalf of England, France and latterly America in order to eventually dominate Russia, Germany, Poland and the Balkans (see Alex Thompson's incisive podcast entitled, 'The History of Evil', here: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=2aaDr6joUdc].
Serious opponents of Socialism should acknowledge that on no place on earth has any version of working Socialism been allowed to exist. The whole of society from cradle to grave has been geared toward competition, exploitation, engineered scarcity for the many, and abundance and entitlement for the elite. Watch 'The Empire Files' 11.5 mins in, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii5MlQgGXyk] and Aaron Bastani's 'The Coup in Venezuela, Explained', here, [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STcepwXxwWA].
The war against the former Yugoslavia was partly fought because it was a functioning Socialist block. The Disaster Monopoly model that the West has followed and foisted upon its colonies cannot be seen to be optional. In line with this hegemonic policy Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, Honduras, Iran and other nations continue to be heavily [often, illegally] sanctioned in an effort to force regime changes that have as yet, failed to ensue. (See John Perkins, 'Confessions of an Economic Hitman').
So called Capitalists almost universally ignore the fact that Adam Smith's 'Wealth of Nations' (1776) notion of the equalising influence of the hidden hand in trade and commerce relies on relative equality between traders.
Smith was explicit about the need for society through increasingly efficient industry to create ever increasing wealth so that its surfeit can benefit society and be reinvested in industry and innovation. Granted, taxes were to be kept to a minimum but all that was predicated on citizens operating on a level playing field not within a rigged system that favours the 'chattering- classes'. Furthermore, Smith wrote a supplementary book, 'The Theory of Moral Sentiments', that focused on the importance of morality, sentiment and sympathy for a well functioning society. He regarded charity, benevolence and philanthropy to be intrinsic to successful Capitalism.
The truth however, is that Capitalism did not operate in an 'equal' environment, one of the elusive free market. Monopoly was always the name of the game. Exploitation, 'unenlightened' self-interest, wage slavery and economic violence has been practised almost without restraint. The fact that we do not have a Capitalist system is conveniently overlooked by its proponents. Many peddle all manner of non-sustainable and irrational market philosophies that fuel our patently visible and consistent cycles of boom and bust - which if traced to their origins are on the whole, engineered to leave the 'proletariat' bereft and the fat-cats rolling in the doe.
Capitalism does not exist
the system is rigged
there are no free market economies.
Critiques and analyses should start from this premise in order to get a clearer view of how our economies are structured, how they will mutate, and the inevitability of periodic socio-economic collapse as the fruits of labour, imagination and ingenuity of the people flow out of their pockets ever upwards into the grasping hands of a few elites.
Posted by Luco: [Final] Part 7: The Rapunzel Effect: Wealth & Hell-Being