20.1.08

Power of the Literary Elite

It is perhaps indisputable to say that even from the earliest Hellenistic cultures, the educated and literary elite have held and protected the power granted to them through the knowledge of the written word. Guarding that power from the general public so as to more effectively control and exploit its general lack of understanding thus sustains the elite's own hierarchical advantage within society. In a time when the laws of nature were not fully realized; when people worshipped the sun as a god, knowing full well that their own lives were subordinate to the changing world that encompassed them, it is not surprising to see a large portion of the population put their faith and trust in those self-described magicians who declared they could commune, and indeed control the gods (and the laws of nature) by subjecting them to their own will through the mastery of language. The benefits of acquiring privileged knowledge must have been enormous in such a time: those who professed that they were humanity's ambassadors to the gods essentially had complete control over the fate of the world and subsequently, its inhabitants as well. What is indeed equally, if not more extraordinary to recognize, are the measures taken to prevent such Magic (or knowledge) from falling into the "wrong hands" -- those persons that could potentially manipulate the described power for their own purposes, namely to usurp the power and authority carried by the elite aforementioned. 

In 12th century BCE Egypt, magic was amoral, not considered to be good or bad. However, when King Ramses III was "attacked" by the magical rite of a disaffected priest who acquired the incantation from the royal archives, the very first trial of "sorcery" came into being. (Reader 53) The legality of the use of magic (or ancient literature) in and of itself was not what was on trial, but rather its use to undermine the King's power and authority-- as the trial concerning sorcery masked the underlying trial that concerned treason. 


In a time when just knowing how to read and write became a skill not often attained by most, we can see just how the power elite held onto that power. While most people were preoccupied with farming, fishing, and generally sustaining their lives, those persons in privileged positions were much more likely to have the free time to pursue "education" in order to fill the roles of those able to control the gods, in order to "preserve civilization." For instance, Prince Khamwas, son of King Ramses II was able to spend his time studying ancient monuments and books, looking for new books of magic while robbing graves to do so. (Betz xlii) Because he was freed from toiling and manual labor thanks in part to his privileged position, he could spend his time acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to justify and preserve his power.


Just as the egyptians had their own elite, so did the Greeks, Jews, and Manichaiens. However, the path to becoming a magician was so long and arduous that no one born in an unprivileged position could hope to learn the trade. For instance, the PGM IV 2359-72 Business spell (Betz 81) said that orange beeswax and the juice of the aeria plant and ground ivy were needed for the incantation to work. An elaborate set of steps were needed to ensure the spell to work and an offering of a cock topped it off. The obscure ingredients, specific steps, and skills concerning literacy to write down and read long and complicated words made sure that this knowledge could only be retained by those who had the time and knowledge to acquire it in the first place, leading to a cycle of privilege- the powerful would keep their power. Because no one had the skills to read or write, nor did they have the time to search for the ingredients, nor did they have access to any of these books because priests and magicians would often times bury their books with them when they died, the public had to rely on magicians to help them with their problems. To try to attain this knowledge on an individual level would be much too time consuming to seem reasonable.  


Thus, magicians from all different sects travelled around the country in order to better demonstrate the power of their tribe. These persons essentially became the very first "intelligentsia" of the times. However, as different groups came into contact with one other, their knowledge conflicted and the in group/out group mentality set the battlegrounds for political disputes over whose magic was stronger (and who was more powerful). As time progressed and those in magical positions of power were contested, much of the magic deemed "evil" was suppressed and destroyed. The homogenization of magic was thought to promote a more uniform and efficient social system, but instead proved to be more of a hindrance than a help. More and more sects demanded that they be allowed to practice their own idea of magic, and a rift between acceptable "religion" of the in-group and the unacceptable "magic" of the out-group established itself. In Acts 19:19, the apostle Paul declares Christianity to be the one true religion and many of the historical magical texts are burned and destroyed to ensure and promote a uniform belief. This kind of book burning should remind us of  the ceremonial book burnings the Nazis underwent in 1933 in which those texts that did not correspond with Nazi ideology were destroyed. As cultural dissidents were purged from mainstream thought, we can see the resulting environment that promoted religious persecution until the puritan immigration to America in the pursuit of religious freedom. 


The idea that education is the key for social mobility is very real even today. Education stratifies the general population into a hierarchy that is often times difficult to break out of. Higher credentials are given to those students who have more time and money to pursue higher education, reinforcing circles of prosperity and circles of poverty: the rich and powerful are afforded the means to acquire the education necessary to hold valuable and desirable jobs, while the poor, though given the slight chance for a full scholarship at times, are often times more likely to drop out to take on vocational jobs that are not given such prestige. Since there are only a small number of powerful jobs, education provides access for only a small number of students. It is in recognizing these similarities between the cultural and educational elite of today and those of the Hellenistic periods that we can see they have preserved their power and authority for over two thousand years. 

5.1.08

Why money doesnt work

capitalism is a kind of social system that always must be growing. capitalism combined with imperialism leads to globalization. we are always producing more and more in order to make more and more money. the problem is when the things we produce destroys the world. human beings need resources to thrive: water, food, and ENERGY! the sun warms the earth and gives us energy. before, we equated land with value, because land gave us energy (fossil fuels, coal...). now there are too many people within land. this is evident in china. there are too many people! china is using too much energy because of it! their energy use is actually polluting OUR country. we have traced pollutants found on the west coast as having travelled from china. there are consequences to this. when nature stops being hospitable, it becomes uninhabitable. up until now, the cost has not met the benefit of switching to clean energy. this cost is now including lives. WE ARE PRIORITIZING MONEY OVER LIFE! 

human nature includes economics, culture, politics, society and its relation to environment, and spirituality.  right now, our economy is prioritized at the expense of every single aspect of human development. the world relates to each other in the pretense of money, when really it relates to each other through labor. simply the existence of money creates classes, those with "better, more necessary" jobs and those in unskilled jobs with no money. money inherently makes people better than others, privileging some and oppressing some.  

abolition of money provides FREE EDUCATION. free education makes everyones labor equal through the simple idea of EQUAL OPPORTUNITY. 

the problem we see is how can we get everyone to be the same. democrats want to tax republicans to provide them with services. republicans want to keep their money and want tax breaks so that a "trickle down effect" can take place and they can "help" the economy through their own spending. 

the problem comes here- if you make over 200,000 dollars, you are more heavily taxed. but what happens if you make 200,001 dollars? you cant stop before you make 200,000 dollars, so now you are screwed, fucked, or generally wiped out. its a problem!!

the democrats (or poor) are regarded as slave labor to make the rich wealthy. the rich are frightened of being taxed and want to keep their wealth.

ABOLISH MONEY!!! the rich still have their homes, their cars, and a general head start, but now the poor have a chance to have things too.

the problem that arises is over consumption. through the expansion of capitalism and the greed that accompanies a society based on money, we are looking to spend our money on more and more things. 

WE ARE TURNING OUR WORLD INTO PRODUCTS TO SELL BACK TO OURSELVES. THIS IS DESTROYING THE EARTH!

our politics are based on our economy which is why we have such political unrest. cultures are wiped out as globalization homogenizes people to fit into capitalist society. social relations with the earth and ecosystem are creating chaotic environmental problems. religion becomes a tool in which to endorse and justify slavery. ALL OF THIS IS BECAUSE OF MONEY!

crime is related to theft. theft is related to poverty. if we end poverty, we end theft, and we end crime. abolition of money/FREE SOCIETY fixes this problem!

this is no longer a choice. we must demand the abolition of money as it has previously affected a powerless group UNTIL NOW. WE DEMAND THE ABOLISHMENT OF MONEY IN ORDER TO FINALIZE THE ABOLISHMENT OF SLAVERY.

the governments role is not to oppress the poor in favor of the rich, but to facilitate happiness for all. the cia already transports drugs and has been for years. but we do not recognize south americas cash crops marijuana or cocaine, africa's khat, or the middle east's popeye as ligitimate sources of agricultural wealth, even though we manufacture an even more harmful crop, tobacco.

money creates hypocrisy and oppression. we must demand a new situation where we are dependent on our government and economic injustice no more, but rather on our own labor.

end money now

www.abolishmoney.com

reflections on aspiring teachers, standardized tests, increased pay for teachers, student morale, and general worldwide change...



For those aspiring educators…

 

a good teacher, I think, generally cares about people. All people. And cares about learning who people are and what they like to do. This love as caring translates into teaching because love is essential for teaching knowledge effectively. It takes genuine interest in a person's future to realize that you want them to succeed. Whether you do this on a small scale (in a classroom or conversation), or on a bigger scale (education reform, or administration) however, is up to that individual. I think quality education is a huge part of a culture or society's success, especially since the incoming generation being taught will one day run our country. But sometimes it seems inconsequential to teach math or spelling to fifth graders. Like if i don't do it, someone else will. I want to teach kids something that will change how they perceive reality, how they deal with real problems, how they can challenge conventional wisdom to add their own values and perspectives to a culture that seems doomed to be stagnant forever. I want to impact the world, and i don't know if i want to do that by actually doing it myself, or teaching a lot of other people how to do it. I guess I could try to do both…

 

teaching is often described as a way to transfer knowledge to students through active discovery such as concrete experiences and contact, to help kids grow and understand concepts. Teachers also represent the adult world and guides into that world. Yes, they have influence over children. Yes, it is all about connecting to a student. It is important to bring them up to speed by giving them the tools they need to be able to compete and succeed at higher levels in the subjects. when free thought is given more priority, progress can be made. teachers need to love their students and care whether they learn the material, because if you don't care, they wont care.

 

If we label students, we will not be able to completely help them. Definitive categories lower our sights, misdirect our vision, and mislead our intentions.” If we label kids, we will always see them in one way and since they are always growing, our fixed ideas of who they are will hinder our success at teaching to them and we will miss their ever changing strengths and weaknesses. Every child is different and the key to teaching is finding those differences and learning how to play to every child’s strength, while improving on weaknesses. Teachers must commit themselves to understanding their students and care for them, because then the child will have a deeply personal relationship with the school experience, as he or she will individually be challenged to build on their strengths, abilities, and interests, to help the classroom culture, to bring their own perceptions and contributions to the rest of the class so that everyone can be better nurtured and challenged.


“each person is and remains an ultimate mystery...the contradictions, oppositions, and dazzling array of patterns and themes that mark each human life—and the ways each life embodies humanity's universal quests...each person mirrors all people, and that each is also a unique and specific expression of life's longing for itself. The teacher draws our attention to the depth and complexity of each life, the dynamic nature of a life being lived—always in construction, forever part of the matrix of a larger humanity.” 


standardized tests-

 

They suck. Apart from the fact that they specifically target minorities to do poorly on them, the idea of filing students into passing and failing categories is pretty extreme, and besides creating biases for admissions criteria based solely on test results that hold more significance than they probably should, they can create for the student a negative, self deprecating image of who they are. It is pretty ridiculous to create one national standard in a country filled with as much diversity and complexity as in America. Projects, portfolios, and performance are all much more important parts of the curriculum. They are a better kind of evaluation, more sensitive to differences, more complex, more useful to teachers, and more rooted in reality. If our educational system begins to substitute a written test for men and women who are actually trained to educate and assess their students in their class, then what are we really paying them to do? We spend millions and millions of dollars on more tests every year. What else could that money be going to? Probably a lot. Dewey believes that the education process “begins unconsciously almost at birth, and is continually shaping the individual's powers, saturating his consciousness, forming his habits, training his ideas, and arousing his feelings and emotions.” If that is what learning and education is, how can a single test judge that? In the class i observe, when glancing over the tests, its interesting to see that probably less than half get a c or better. But when tests are less than a quarter of the accumulated and graded work, does it really matter? I can safely say that if given those exact tests right now, i would probably fail too, knowing that i had passed that same test seven years earlier. So then, if all we are doing is teaching kids how to memorize facts to pass a test before forgetting about it completely, what is the point? It is much more necessary to develop tools like abstract thinking and creativity, in order to make connections that will help students rise above the others later in life.


more pay for teachers-

 

Should teachers get paid more money? Meh. The majority of the people who are concerned about education say that schools need better teachers. But students who are receiving better grades in high schools and colleges are shying away from teaching as a profession. Students with worse SAT scores are usually the ones with the education majors, strengthening the idea that if you are not going anywhere in your field, you might as well teach. But should teachers get more money? Would more money convince those with better academics to pursue a career in teaching? Honestly, i think so, but it is true that the best teachers are probably the ones that would forgo a bigger paycheck for the rewards of teaching students in general. If teaching was a profession that paid a lot, everyone would want to do it, not because they actually care about helping people to learn, but because they want a big house or a few cars. The motivations for becoming a teacher would change, and probably not for the better. It is interesting to note that money is not even always a factor for teachers. Private school teachers are often times happier than public school teachers even though they are paid less, because morale is high at their school, they feel valued, and they enjoy parental support. However, it varies from person to person. I observed a teacher once who actually took a pay cut when she changed schools. Though she is working in perhaps an environment that is less desirable than some would want, it is her choice to work there, and she is much happier about it. Teaching is a calling, not just a profession, and though an increase in pay would be probably very happily received, the best teachers will always overlook the difference in the money they could have made, in order to do what they love, and what is truly necessary in our system today.


Students don't care-

 

The students in my class do not care at all about learning. School to them is completely another location for socializing with their friends and arguing with their teachers. I'm pretty sure when i was in eighth grade i actually spent time learning the material i was supposed to while doing group work in order to complete an assignment i was given. I don't know if it is the fact that this is public school, or the teacher has no discipline, or these kids have no respect for the coursework or teacher or education in general but its almost funny to watch. Every time i observe the class it is the same routine every time. The teacher will lecture for a bit or ask questions, no one will respond, a discussion will last for maybe five minutes before the kids get tired of talking about something that has to do with learning and spend the rest of the time having side discussions while the teacher pretends not to notice. When packets are passed out to be completed before class, usually one person at the table will complete it, while the rest of the kids copy the answers down. In one particular class that i am observing, there is the main teacher, myself, a special education teacher that helps facilitate the class, and another intern that is in the process of getting her credential. Four people and between all of us trying to keep them engaged in the material, they just do not care. All they have to do is pretty much copy the answers right out of the book, and yet they still just talk and goof off (which is actually much more entertaining to watch) and drag what could be a ten minute study period into a twenty five minute waste of time. I do not want to judge but i would say that this school does not do too well in standardized testing. If i were their teacher i would just tell them exactly what percentile they fell into and if it were below average, i would hope that their pride in themselves would be enough to motivate them to actually try, because seriously nothing else is. In the chapter, “Liberating the Curriculum,” Ayers questions a rigid system of learning by asking whether there are opportunities for discovery and surprise, if students are actively engaged with primary sources and hands on materials, if productive work is going on, whether the students work is linked to any of their interests, and whether or not the work is actively pursued. The answer in all accounts was pretty much: no. When i got one group off of their conversation, i suggested that we all go in a circle and take turns reading, and when we came to the answer, we could all write it down. Half of these kids could not even read out loud well, and they were not even second language learners. It was clear they did not practice and so they were slipping behind. For instance, when it was reading time, the teacher would get them to take all of their books out as she would put on a tape player of a voice reading the same book. If she had instead had every kid take turns reading a page or two, then kids would actually pay attention and practice reading, instead of staring out the window listening to a tape. Either the teacher is not good here or the kids are not trying at all, or a combination of both, but it is really sad to watch as they will be going into high school next year without being able to know how to answer questions from out of the textbook All learning requires participation from both parties and if there is a failure to establish a connection, then lessons cannot be taught in correlation with the teachers practice. Although a small piece of his or her values may still seep through by auditory means,  most emphasis is lost without a personal reading of the text to re-enforce and ingrain these values. Furthermore, without substantial support from the educator, it is near impossible to effectively convert a child into a learner and expect that he or she will pass on such tradition effectively to future generations. Learning is achieved not only by example, but more importantly, the practice of the particular subject at hand.  Students need to learn to love learning again. 



Reclaiming the “Creative” in the English/Literacy Classroom


Creativity is not always entirely comfortable for people. It comes from the makeup of all the experiences we have accumulated over the years and reproduces itself through all aspects of our lives. Though we often times equate creativity with “artistic” classes like music or painting, or segregate it from standard English classes and call it “creative writing” or “imaginative fiction and poetry,” the truth is that creativity is fundamental to our economy and is the reason for the prosperity of our businesses and cities in general. Creativity is broken down into two sizes: “Big-ticket” creativity, which usually causes major innovations in particular domains and often times makes those persons (authors, Nobel winning scientists, policy-governing economists, etc...) successful, famous, or rich; and “Little-c creativity,” the universal creativity that we can all show in everyday life.  Though aesthetic learning helps to develop students cognitively in profoundly significant ways, it has recently been assumed that America has divorced the Arts from the school curricula. Funding for these classes have been drastically cut and entire programs are often times ended simply because these classes are not considered to be as important to education as other programs.

Teachers must be called to use creativity in a classroom atmosphere in order to more fully aid student learning to solve problems by making connections that are frequently intuitive. After school, students can use these skills to make money in the real world. Teachers must then realize the importance of fostering imaginative uses of language and consider creativity to be directly responsible for human interaction and thinking's effect on our culture and society, rather than passing it off as simply a hobby or pleasure. By teaching to exercise the “undermind,” or the intelligent unconscious, intelligence is created to become “the ability to make innovative responses to emergent circumstances.” This idea addresses a big problem in our school's way of teaching. Often times, creativity is sacrificed for a more positivist education, where kids spend the majority of their time learning the logical, mathematical “truths” we feel are important. But students who learn to think creatively become more independent, open to new ideas, interested in discovering things for themselves, and are generally more willing to work on their own time to pursue new ideas or visions. As a result, their pace of learning, levels of achievement, and self-esteem increase. This is what we need to teach those in our schools. If we are just to teach students basic principles in English, math, science, and history, all we are doing is preparing them to fit in to our society by giving them the knowledge we feel is essential for sustaining in a job market. If we emphasize creativity in our curricula, we are preparing students to change society to fit their ideas of prosperity and success through their abilities and talents.

For instance, when writing papers for different literature topics, many students are taught the structure they should conduct their essay in: an introduction with a solid thesis, three paragraphs that show examples to support the thesis, and a conclusion to tie everything back to the main point. While this way of writing papers is generally taught to many students, it becomes tedious for a teacher to read thirty or more papers that are almost identical to an extent. If students learn to apply creativity to those same papers, much more elaborate connections will be made as each student is unique and will use their own aesthetics to create a more interesting paper. Creativity can come across in discussions and arguments as well, and can help students to fuse together many different ideas and values from their peers around them in order to create their own perspectives on specific topics.

Creativity is the key to success. If we use our schools to foster creativity, our economy and society will flourish. Problems will be solved and advancements will be made. But if we continue down a road to promote our students to follow mindless rules and guidelines, our culture will become stagnant and surely decline. Aesthetic learning must then be promoted to ensure the survival and betterment of our way of life, as students will learn to respond positively to opportunities, challenges and responsibilities, to manage risk and to cope with change and adversity. 

4.1.08

The Massacre of Human Intelligence

In today's culture, television has replaced typed print as its primary means of communicating ideas into the “conversations” we hold in daily life। A shift is taking place in the media, whereas we are focused more on the visual imagery that television provides for us as opposed to the substance of any particular idea। Information has begun to be packaged and sold to us, often times received out of context and not at all on the basis of its intellectual content but rather on its ability to satisfy our appetite for entertainment। It is this idea that being entertained takes precedent over being informed that confuses and corrupts America's sense of itself। As information is replaced by unassertive images, and knowledge is turned into just another commodity for consumption, the overall awareness of the public to specific issues is compromised as its discourse disintegrates।

 With so many televisions in American (and international) households, our entire sense of understanding seems to stem from the information we receive from this particular medium. And have you seen what's on TV? Nothing worthy of being deemed too intellectually stimulating, that’s for sure. Happy faces and bright colors interspersed with shorter clips of happy faces and bright colors. I can flip to one of hundreds of channels to “learn” about a particular subject- politics, local events, history, geography, etc, but this style of learning is so divorced from any type of critical thinking or rational understanding that what is initially informative material falls flat on its face, opting to fail in its ability to educate and choosing instead to hold our interest for as long as it can before a competing channel grabs it. We are reduced to the passive receptive idea of learning rather than an active and critical one.

The argument that form excludes the content, or rather, that necessary ideas are lost on the public through its translation over the television, seems to warrant a serious reassessment of what should be addressed regarding any kind of restructuring of television and what it has to offer. Who's to say what is right and wrong, and what is newsworthy in general? If I turn on a nation-wide broadcast of a major network delivering material they consider to be of value to me, then why is it that I am either stuck watching a segment about whether or not Albus Dumbledore, a character in a children's book, is gay or not, or whether it is Clearasil or Neutrogena that makes my skin look softer? It is true that many TV news programs will choose one particular event to concern itself with over another, not because one is inherently more important than another, but because one produces better ratings for the program. If this is the case, to what extent (if any) should we mediate this medium? Does our capitalist social system even allow for the production of real knowledge at the expense of a profit? If not, we can begin to see public awareness sacrificed for public sedation, as a veil of “truthiness,” (a word created by Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report to mean what a person wants to be true, whether or not it is devoid of any type of factual evidence) descends around the public, keeping what is perceived as “reality” separate from what is in fact going on. This sets the stage for biased information, slander, propaganda, and a general “un-education” of the population to accompany the insertion of TV into the modes in which we learn. Television can be used to keep the status quo intact, propagating and reproducing the blinded and inefficient manner in which we stay aware. “What is happening here is that television is altering the meaning of ‘being informed’ by creating a species of information that might properly be called disinformation...information that creates the illusion of knowing something but which in fact leads one away from knowing.” (Postman 107) As fragmented piece of random information gives way to fragmented piece of random information, we realize that any information we receive becomes interchangeable with another, that a segment on international war has virtually the same effect in its ability to entertain a consumer of news as a special on new advances in hair growth may.

 

  Why is this? Has our culture become so completely absorbed in such a superficial and shallow existence of self-involvement and disconnection with others that we are unwilling to deprive ourselves of the luxury of amusement? Can we attribute this desensitization towards information to the mainstream ideas of capitalism and its inherent values that permeate our culture- that time is money and should be spent in ways beneficial to its holder. But what is beneficial? Is it right to say that to entertain oneself is detrimental to a culture simply because it digresses, detracts, and distracts from ideas that it is in our best interest to strive toward a common good, investing in the commonwealth?

 

The idea that we put so much trust in what our televisions say to us, how to think about what, may be a testament to our driving need for authority, or perhaps that we have no other source from which we derive our education. That we need someone like Bill O'Reilley or Jon Stewart to tell us what we should think about the way our world works bypasses any type of critical analysis we may undergo as we are told exactly what to think. “If on television, credibility replaces reality as the decisive test of truth-telling, political leaders need not trouble themselves very much with reality provided that their performances consistently generate a sense of verisimilitude.” (Postman 102) Instead of receiving objective news in which we can begin to formulate ideas about the events addressed, we can simply flip through the channels until we find a program whose content entertains us while giving off the impression that we are at the same time being informed fairly.

 

As I have previously stated, leaving ourselves vulnerable to having our minds warped by biased information leads to a general halt of any kind of mental progress. If progress comes from the fusing of information into a kind of thesis or argument to promote a certain ideal, then the absence of particular information can create an unfinished thesis that is completely ineffective, not because it comes from a less credible source, but because this new kind of knowledge is based on a half-truth, or even a non truth. By making decisions without knowing the entire situation and all the facts, we set ourselves up for failure, demonstrated in this modern age by such political messes like the one in Iraq right now. At the beginning of this administration's war on terror, everyone was glued to his or her television sets. As more and more of the American government's “information” came to us on various channels, the publics sense of duty and justice about what should be done became so completely dependent on what they were being told that when a discrepancy in the facts regarding nuclear weapons became apparent, we found ourselves in a very compromising position in which we had no real desire to be there in the first place. The result is the years of rebuilding that will have to be undertaken in order to produce a prosperous nation.

 

I have no real knowledge of the war in Iraq (I blame TV for not informing me), but my absence of real knowledge is a common theme in respect to where the future of our nation is going. When news programs are admittedly promoting specific ideals or pushing for different ideas, it is hard to distinguish between what is real, and what is made to resemble the real. Just as interest groups and those unnamed persons on the sidelines or in the shadows financially back the presidential candidates, every channel is out for its own best interest, but also for the interests of those who are invested in its cause.  Channels need no longer respond attentively to any demands of the public because the public is so uneducated they don't know what they want. All television networks need to do is to appeal to advertisers, selling their integrity to the highest bidders. And if networks no longer feel the need to promote the truth other than addressing briefly before switching to something completely irrelevant, then their audience is almost at their mercy as to what they are going to learn on any given day. “If politics is like show business, then the idea is not to pursue excellence, clarity or honesty but to appear as if you are, which is another matter altogether.” (Postman 126)

 

As long as we live in a capitalist society, where television adheres to the same rules as any other business and is considered to be the marketplace in which competing networks vie for advertising and ratings, educating the people and the entire notion of striving for the common good will always take a backseat to profit. Educational programs for children and channels that create their identity by catering to more “intellectual” audiences interested in history, travel, cooking, or whatever are created under the pretenses that television can be used as a tool to help people learn. Unfortunately the medium of the TV undermines any real learning process that could potentially take place, as it is inherently unable to stimulate any real process of active engagement. Television simply does not allow for any of the conditions needed to advocate intellectual stimulation and rational argument.

3.1.08

The Russian Intelligentsia's Impact on the Avant-Garde


"A Russian writer should never live in friendship with a Russian Government." (Kemp-Welch 1)


When we talk about the Russian Intelligentsia, it is important to recognize that the word intelligentsia is used to describe that group of people distinguishable from both intellectual workers as well as pure intellectuals, who give "life, warmth and beauty to the whole organism of Russia, to all her elements and classes of society,"(Nahirny 3) --namely the educated and half-educated public in general, the creative scholars, scientists and artists, as well as the ideologically oriented men in positions dealing with literacy. They are different from the intellectual workers in their concern with "ultimate questions," and from the pure intellectuals in their active commitment to human self-fulfillment in the fact that they reject the idea of engaging in any cultural activity for its own sake, believing instead the arts and sciences to be activities worthy of facilitating their journey for larger answers. They are historically crucial to the modernization of Russia in their critiques and internalizations of art and science, good and evil, order and chaos, fulfillment and unfulfillment, whether by putting new life and importance into these ideas, or by exposing their failures. "Glorified to the point of a kind of secular sainthood, Russian intellectuals were perceived to be utterly selfless in their devotion to the common good, which they expressed through either art itself or critiques of it." (Nagrodskaia ix) And though the intelligentsia may see the destruction of evil to be their main task while perhaps lacking a compelling positive set of goals, the Russian movement acquired much of its character from this particular movement along with its great "number of visions, designs, and experiments, most of which had some impact on the morale, ideologies, and strategies of future revolutionary generations." (Pomper 3) The intelligentsia is credited with a major role in the revolution, and thus the creation of Russian representative culture, leading to the arrival of symbolism, achmeism, and futurism -- key movements of the avant-garde, during a time when optimistic artists believed they could play progressive roles in achieving the goals of a new society. 


The Russian intelligentsia arose during the time when the dvorianstvo, the people of high social standing, were undergoing a series of transformations in the nineteenth century, when the demand that the Russian imperial governments accomplish new skills and assume leadership in all areas of modernization while the necessity of guarding and continuing traditional institutions and culture was at an all time high. While traditionalists felt threatened by modernization and adopted conservative romantic ideologies, believing that the strength of Russia lay in its ability to preserve the old military and administrative structure that they had run for many years before, another group, the rational bureaucrats, became a resource to modernize the bureaucracy, improve the economy while maintaining serfdom, uphold the legality and justice without creating a constitution, and expand education without taking away from the priviliged position of the dvorianstvo. A third group that came into existance at this time was the intelligentsia, an unforeseen and unintended consequence of this cultural change, encompassing not only merchants and commoners, but people of all estates who have been drawn together through education centering almost exclusively around the love of literature.  While the dvorianstvo were certainly the providers for most of the social thought as it was they who had the easiest access to any education, not all of their members became part of the intelligentsia। Rather, many were recruited to Russia's imperial government with the idea that they could enter the twentieth century as a major world power. "Privilege was a necessary condition of the emergence of the intelligentsia, but neither a sense of privilege nor any other attitude peculiar to the dvorianstvo is a sufficient explanation for the formation of the radical mentality of the revolutionary intelligentsia, or its democratic outlook." (Pomper 8) While it is almost impossible to produce a single source for the intelligentsia's radicalism, it seems as if it is certainly a unique response to its surrounding culture and society. 


Unlike the traditionalists and the rational bureaucrats, the intelligentsia were niether bound by class nor considered a distinct group of individuals that should be subjected to specific rights or priviliges derived from custom or law. Theoretically, anyone could join the intelligentsia if appropriately tutored and enlightened: "Only that writer, artist, or scholar served progress who did all that he could to apply his energies to the dissemination and strengthening of the civilization of his time, who struggled with evil, embodied his artistic ideals, scientific truths, philosophical ideas, publicistic strivings in creations which were fully infused with the life of his times, and in activities which strictly corresponded to the amount of his energies." (Nahirny 8) The intelligentsia was concerned not as much with the creation of cultural values, but rather with the ideological enlightenment of the people, namely the peasants and workers, believing that only those who fought unceasingly for the values consistent with the system of truth truly deserved the title of "Intelligentsia।" Within this system of truth lay certain ideas and standards which called for the creation of a critically thinking individual whose aim it would be to criticize the social world around him with the goal of reaffirming his commitment for truly enlightened action. 


After Russia's victory over Napoleon in 1812, a reaffirmation of traditional values ensued. Over time, uncomfortable alliances with conservative parties and nobility led to the painful process of reform and reaction that lasted until about 1917. Unfortunately, there was no support for the goals of modernization, as "neither the court, the extended nobility, the clergy, nor the numerically insignificant urban middle class could effectively lead the vast and backward empire into the modern world. Russia's enlightenend despots, while trying to demonstrate their capacity to create the future, revealed instead their inability to deal with the present." (Pomper 11) After the war, soldiers and generals both agreed that now that the Russian government had fought and overwhelmed European tyranny, freedoms would now be restored to the motherland equal to those restored elsewhere। These freedoms were denied, leading young liberals to realize that their experience of the horrors of war were insignificant in creating liberty at home, causing many to join secret societies with the goal of armed rebellion and the overthrow of a weak government. With the failure of military and agricultural agreements that were supposed to produce vast military, economic, and social benefits, liberals felt that their trust in the government had been exploited. While these individuals were advocates for social change, many of the aristocracy were unwilling to trade their heritage and heirarchy for the abstract ideas of the enlightened philosophers. Those that did see the need for change joined groups designed to band together as a moral and intellectual elite while giving righteousness and benevolence to themselves -- their romantic quest for truth and moral purity was a sure sign of early intelligentsia behavior. They expressed their frustration with patriotism, idealism, and individualism within their generation, calling for the replacement of autocracy with an establishment of a constitutional government as well as an abolition to serfdom. Feeling that they had protected Russia from an external enemy, these social reformers now felt they must deliver Russia from an internal one. However, the revolutions in Spain, Portugal, Naples, Piedmont, and Greece led Alexander to put down and disperse these secret societies that called for change, its members regrouping underground and splitting into even smaller groups with more definite ideologies and organizations. Though disbanded before any real progress could be made, the importance of these groups is undeniable, as the ideas of agragarian socialism became the dominant ideology of the Russian revolutionary intelligentsia, inspiring many others, among them the Decembrists, who believed that the "ancient and medieval Russia's liberties had been destroyed by autocracy and thought of themselves as restorers of lost freedoms." (Pomper 23) The group, whose rebellion was firmly crushed, made a profound impression on Russia. Seen as being more effective as martyrs than as rebels, they helped to start the spread of revolutionary activity among the educated classes, starting the rise of a new intelligentsia. It is in this sense that we realize that the intellectual life in Russian entailed "not so much a shift of interest from philosophy and literature to social issues and politics, as an attempt to ideologize all the spheres of cultural life and thereby harness them to the service of a cause." (Nahirny 90)


Because a Russian writer was considered by many to be the independent critic of the state, it is logical then that it was these individuals who first began to notice the ignorance, backwardness, violence, and contradictions of the Russian culture, using their observations to fuel the material needed for literary expression. Being critical of both society and state, these writers became the intelligentsia "whose rootlessness was treated as a unique vantage point from which to articulate the 'social interest' as a whole." (Kemp-Welch 1) So, it became the intelligentsia that began to be seen by many as the guardians of cultural and ethical values against the infringements of the state. One man in particular, Maxim Gorky, after becoming an established author deeply involved in both political and literary affairs during one of the most restless times in Russia's history, formed the Gorky Commission which took on this role, eventually meeting to organize protection for the country's historic monuments, erecting statues to the fighters for freedom and helping to provide the development of Russian art by calling for its complete freedom. Though considered to be the most advanced part of Russian culture, the intelligentsia eventually found itself abandoned by the revolution which it had done so much to fuel, leading to the reflection and renewal of its identities and expressions. Thrown into a mood of deep pessimism, what with the collapse of the rule of the cultured bourgeoisie, a movement of  anti-intellectualism -- makhaevshchina -- became quite popular। Even so, the artistic world was hardly thwarted. Artists and theatres, formerly financed by the state now began to manage themselves, leading to the rise of several major movements in Russian avant-gard, the newest influential wave of modern art.


The first group to surface in the political arena were the Russian Symbolists, representing an Eastern Orthodox branch of the 19th-century symbolist movement in European art, and seeking to express individual emotional experience through the subtle and suggestive use of highly symbolized language. Rebelling against the instructional criticism and realist prose that had dominated Russian literature for the past fifty years, writers began to experiment with literature in a new way and entered what is often referred to as the 'Silver Age', drawing heavily on deep feelings of mysticism, the belief in the possibility of attaining direct communion with God or knowledge of spiritual truth through careful meditation. Primarily an age of poetry, it also produced significant prose and drama, and "attempted to educate the public in 'symbolic' language which emphasized the musical and mystical at all costs, including, some critics thought, lucidity." (Kemp-Welch 4) The movement began with Nikolay Minsky's The Ancient Debate (1884) and Dmitry Merezhkovsky's On the Causes of the Decline and on the New Tens in Contemporary Russian Literature (1892), but did not really begin to flourish until the first decade of the 20th century, with three poets in particular -- Alexander Blok, Andrey Bely, and Sergey Solovyov -- who more or less led the second wave of poets as Symbolism slowly spread across the empire, proclaiming Moscow as the unofficial center of the movement. Blok, perhaps the greatest of the Symbolists, considered colors essential in his poetry, for they "convey mystical intimations of things beyond human experience." (wikipedia.org) Examples of these represational colors include blue or violet as colors of frustration, yellow as the color of treason and triviality, and black as something horrific, but with the potential of revelation for a chosen few. Along with the idea of colors representing moods or themes in human experience, Blok began to develop a system of poetic symbols: "In his early work, for instance, wind stands for the Fair Lady's approach, whereas morning or spring is the time when their meeting is most likely to happen। Winter and night are the evil times when the poet and his lady are far away from each other. Bog and mire stand for everyday life with no spiritual light from above." (wikipedia.org) Bely's influence is apparent too, as even his name "Bely" is the Russian symbol for white. Bely began to approach poetry with a greater attention to reality, believing the Symbolist art to transcend mere symbols to reach a higher state of revelation, while at the same time reminding those that "the novelty of contemporary art lies only in the enormous quantity of the entire past that has suddenly surfaced before us; today we are experiencing in art all centuries and all nations..."(Wachtel 5) The Symbolists saw art as a way to approach a higher reality, and accepted the revolution as an evolutional end to Russia's imperial period. Though losing most of its momentum by the end of 1910, the importance of the Symbolist movement was apparent, intending to bring about a new process of thought through which the intelligentsia's sense of individualism and creativity, mixed with a sense of community could be seen.


Another poetic school of thought, Acmeism, followed Symbolism in 1910 under the leadership of Nikolai Gumilev, Anna Akhmatova, and Osip Mandelstam, based on the greek word acme, meaning quite simply, "the best age of man।" Unlike Symbolists who saw themselves as priests floating above reality and life on earth, Acmeists preferred to imerse themselves in everyday events, accepting the idea that "the earth is not an encumbrance or an unfortunate accident but a God given palace," (Kemp-Welch 8) that true art expressed the essence of life and could do without allegories, symbols, or other adornments used only to embellish and take away from its basic nature. Acmeists sought inspiration in daily life, believing "poets (who were talented human beings rather than the prophets of Symbolism) should express ideas about culture, the world, and human existence." (ualberta.ca) Acmeism became a reaction to Symbolists, whom they thought clouded their poetry which too many intangible ideologies like mysticism and symbols, emphasizing instead clarity, compactness, simplicity, directness, and perfection of form in their work.


The Futurists were the final group of the Russian Avant-Garde. Rather than innovate and build on past traditions, they instead wanted to end all that came before them, starting anew, celebrating change, originality, and innovation in culture and society, embracing technology and the revolution. They saw themselves as the cultural counterpart to the political revolution, turning to pantomime, circus acrobatics, and dance as those theatrical forms worth exploring for their own sake, with absolutely no attempt at imitative realism, with the goal of inspiring public anger and amazement, arousing controversy, attracting widespread attention, and generally startling, astonishing, and confusing the audience, as one particular interview demonstrated:


Are you futurists?

Yes, we are futurists.

Do you deny futurism?

Yes, we deny futurism. May it disappear from the face of the earth!

But aren't you contradicting yourselves?

Yes, our aim is to contradict ourselves.

Are you charlatans?

Yes, we are charlatans.

Are you untalented? 

Yes, we are untalented.

Is it impossible to talk to you?

Yes, it is.

But what are your new year resolutions?

To be true to ourselves. (Parton 74)


And though the Futurists seemed "blithly unconcerned that their anti-art gestures, rejection of conventional syntax and vocabulary and affirmation of the right to innovate at all costs might be seen as incomprehensible to a public brought up on Pushkin as heiroglyphics," (Kemp-Welch 11) the movement became gradually accepted, and eventually declared to be the most advanced form of art। Loving speed, noise, machines, pollution, and cities, Futurists embraced the exciting new world around them, and the forces that made them possible. However, on a more negative side, Futurism also glorified war, belittled women, supported fascism, and called for the end of artistic tradition with the destruction of museums, libraries, and academies of every kind. The artists captured the modern machine and city-life atmosphere with revolutionary approaches and techniques in their paintings. Abstract light and color, Movement and speed, plastic dynamism and investigation of form, the interpenetration of subjects (where different parts of the picture merge into each other), and the prismatic (shattering) effect borrowed from cubism all made up themes that Futurists struggled to find and create in their art. After the first world war, it seemed that the inventive spark had left the Futurists, and the awe that accompanied the speed and movement of machines had passed, as the war had made it a commonality. Though perhaps finished as a major movement in art history, "There is no doubt that Futurism was the first 'modern' attempt to reorganise art and society around technology and the machine ethic and, as a common ancestor of most 20th century art, there are intrinsic vestiges of Futurism to be found throughout avant-garde art during the whole of the twentieth century." (Osborn)


While Symbolism, Acmeism, and Futurism were at their hieght, the Russian people became both scandalized and excited with the daring actions and implications of the avant-garde. The cultural development that occured carried many ordinary people into a world of more modern thought and imagination, setting the standard for how people viewed their government, lives, and society, with serious consequences for the future. The avant-garde was a highly individualistic period, with each man and woman having his or her standpoint and opinion. The Russian people were profoundly changed by the movement in their perspectives on themselves and history while the artists themselves gained tremendous energy in spite of the difficulty of material circumstances and vehement squabbles about the right way to proceed. When the tzar was toppled in 1917, it seemed to the Russian artists that it might finally be possible to attain the intelligentsia's nineteenth century goal to bring culture closer to its people. It can be said that the movement's infatuation with the surreal may have been a product of the feelings of betrayal at the nation's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War in 1904 and the ensuing economic depression as well as the political depression the country was immersed in after the massacre of revolting peasants in the revolution of 1905. Similarly, it may have also been a logical reaction to the tzar and secret police who were using any means necessary to control and suppress the revolutionaries with censorship among other things. The dream world of hallucination was now safer to show than the real world, as much of it did not reflect the contemporary instability and violence that characterized the political life of Russia. After the revolution, ideas of remarkable breadth and depth were brought together, and a period of experimentation took place as Russia entered an era involving a "powerful outburst of artistic, political, and social energy resulting in unprecedented change in Russian society and the flowering of a golden age of Russian theatre, whose vitality and accomplishment were to affect the Western theatre for the remainder of the century." (rutheater.home.att.net) What distinguished the avant-garde of the early twentieth century from earlier modernist groups was its ability to bring art away from the social abstraction, autonomy, and elitism of its past social circles into a more progressive and developing climate closer to the public. It brought about an increased number of new journals, newspapers, advertisements, and other print media, displaying the increased demand for information across social classes, leading also to new theories of reality and preception, the arrival of cinema, and the first Russian film in 1908, Stenka Razin. In a time when artistic discussions occured only between the intelligentsia at the turn of the twentieth century, the avant-garde helped to bring these discussions to the public, bestowing knowledge and culture to the Russian people, while trailblazing for and influencing later developments in abstract art।


If we begin to apply the intelligentsia to Russian culture socially, we can see that they served as a catalyst for their country's period of modernization, historically fusing itself to the Russian state. Their strive to modernize the state was not an attempt to overtake neighboring European countries, but rather to keep up with them. Though the intelligentsia provided potential for this modernization, the state could not effectively use them, and so were doomed. The intelligentsia thus looked for a new subject open to the possibility of having their ideals imposed on them, believing that they had found this trait in the Russian people, and a culture of experimentation destined to serve the public arose. 





Bibliography


Gella, Aleksander. The Intelligentsia and the Intellectuals: Theory, Method and 

Case Study. Beverly Hills: SAGE Publications Inc., 1976. 


Kemp-Welch, A. Stalin and the Literary Intelligentsia, 1928-39. London:

     MACMILLAN ACADEMIC AND PROFESSIONAL, 1991. 


Malcolm, Lindsay. The Silver Age of Russian Poetry

http://www.ualberta.ca/~lmalcolm/poetry/acmeists.html, 1999.


Nagrodskaia, Evdokia. The Wrath of Dionysus. Indianapolis: Indiana University

     Press, 1997. 


Nahirny, Vladimir C. The Russian Intelligentsia: From Torment to Silence. New

     Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Books, 1983. 


Osborn, Bob. Futurism and the Futurists. http://www.futurism.org.uk/futurism.htm


Parton, Anthony. Mikhail Larionov and the Russian Avant-Garde. Princeton, New Jersey. Princeton University Press, 1993.


Pomper, Philip. The Russian Revolutionary Intelligentsia. New York, NY: Thomas

     Y. Crowell Company, Inc., 1970.


Tompkins, Stuart Ramsay. The Russian Intelligentsia: Makers of the Revolutionary

State. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1957.


Wachtel, Michael. Russian Symbolism and Literary Tradition. Madison, Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin Press, 1994.


Wikipedia. Symbolism (arts). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolists. 2006


http://rutheater.home.att.net


2.1.08

FREE SOCIETY

What is FREE SOCIETY?


free society works in the idea that money must be abolished as it is the cause of the majority of the problems in the world. it reinforces poverty and prevents the sustainability of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. think of a begger outside a grocery store. he is prevented from eating because of money. think of a minimum wage worker. he would love to take a trip to the bahamas but he cant because he lacks money. someone who dreams of being a scientist, but cant pay the tuition needed to educate himself is also a victim of money


we labor so that we can have money, using that money to sustain our lifestyles

with no money, we can not sustain those lifestyles. we feed ourselves, house ourselves, clothe ourselves, get ourselves nice things, with money. 


we are essentially dependent on money


and how does money relate to labor? more valuable labor is given more money to compensate it. 


but what is more valuable labor? 


it is more "skilled labor."


 what makes that labor skilled? 


education. 


if we start from that everything is free, then we can say that equal opportunity for education is established and labor relations become a 1 to 1 ratio. 


what?? theres no way! doctors are way more valuable than burger flippers right?


well, only in the same way that models are more valuable than teachers, and actors  and athletes are more important than social workers. in reality, everyone is needed. doctors send their children to school and need teachers who go to the movies and need entertainers who have leaky faucets and need plumbers whose houses burn down and need firefighters whos own houses get dirty and need housekeepers and so on. besides, mcdonalds is a huge corporation and probably one of the wealthiest in the world. if the worker is making that happen, why shouldnt he be the richest in the world in the same way that the ceo is the richest? the ceo depends on the worker as much as the worker depends on the ceo. without one, the other would have no work.


the point is that demand is created and therefore must be supplied. economics are based on this simple rule. through demand, supply is created and sustained through labor.


in FREE SOCIETY, the labor relations are basically broken down into a system like this:


if i supply the demands of society with my own area of expertise (practicing law or medicine, educating people, fighting fires, running a restaurant etc...), my own demands will be supplied by society in return. it is in this way, all demands are free, paid for not by money, but by productivity and labor. 


give me a break. everyone knows that doctors are inherently MORE VALUABLE than burger flippers.


but why is that?


um, let me think...because its skilled labor and not everyone can do it?


why not?


because not everyone has the opportunity to get schooled as a doctor


exactly. not everyone has the resources to go to school to become a doctor. studying takes time, effort, and money. you are not making any money as a student and since your studying all the time you have to choose making money to sustain yourself or spend money to educate yourself. doctors are paid well because not everyone can pay to get the education needed or has the time to spend getting the knowledge needed to become a doctor


so?


so if education was free, everyone would have equal opportunity to pursue being a doctor, or a lawyer for that matter, or a scientist or whatever. in fact, some people hate school. some people dont want to do anything but a low skilled job so they can get back home and get on with their life. 


just as it prevents people from eating, money prevents people from being educated. with equal opportunity for education, people are free to do what they want to do, without worrying about making enough money to survive. when you were six, and your teacher asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, imagine saying a bus driver, and not changing it to a corporate litigator 10 years later just because you wanted a big screen tv.


money says one person is more important than another, when really they need each other to be productive: the bus driver drives the corporate litigator to work who in turn runs the bus company. FREE SOCIETY works on the supposition that all labor, as it is now freely available, reaches a 1 to 1 relationship.


why wouldnt everyone pick apples then if you dont have to work hard for your money?


because some people dont want to pick apples.  competition today works in the way that says, if i work harder than you, ill make more money, and i can buy more things, and have more stuff. FREE SOCIETY says that my incentive is no longer to make enough money to survive and buy the things i want. because i can survive and have the things i want anyway, i am free to be competitive in that now i can be the best doctor i can be, the best banker i can be, the best orange picker i can be etcetera.


hell no, people would not do shit if they didnt have to because everything would be free. everything would fall apart


your right, everything would fall apart if everybody did not do enough and demand was not supplied. which is why to sustain this economy, people would have to do the bare minimum at least. thats how a lot of people regard work now anyway. FREE SOCIETY makes the incentive to work the idea that if you do, everything will be free for you. therefore you will make good on your contract. also, if you go above and beyond, you are accepted as more relevant and necessary in that now you are a part of society that is more greatly desired, depended on, whatever. this is again what is reality now, except that the incentive is money. it is a false incentive that is actually a ceiling. tycoons often times expand and expand their businesses with no consideration of money. their business has gotten to be so huge, there is no real difference between 50 billion and 100 billion. your not going to need money. they simply do it for the advancement of their enterprise, which promotes the advancement of civilization. on the otherhand, many people work simply to sustain themselves and dont do anything once they have enough money to get by. once you ensure people will get by regardless and have everything they need, people are going do what they love, and do it to the best of their ability. no one wants to be mediocre at what they choose to do, and if they are, thats fine too. 


let me give you an example, or maybe an analogy....


let's take two card games and assign a social structure to each


we'll equivocate capitalism with texas holdem poker and FREE SOCIETY with blackjack. in texas hold em' everyone starts off with 20,000 dollars we'll say. the object of the game for the individual is slowly but surely get money from every single person until the winner has all the money 12 million dollars, and everyone else has nothing. sure the rich have it good, but everyone else has nothing.  theres only so much money to go around and one person wants it all, because what he can do with 12 million is way better than what he can do with 50 thousand, 100 thosand, and way better than nothing. his value is related to other people through his relation to money.


FREE SOCIETY or black jack is not this kind of individualistic, darwinian strong survives kind of mentality that inherently creates poverty. all the players are next to each other and playing simply to get more for themselves, regardless of, or at least independent of, the person next to them. each person is getting his chips from the bank, and each can potentially triple their money. in fact they actually help each other.  if one person gets a two, the other has a better chance of getting a king. if one sees the other get a king, they can strategically decide whether they want to hit again or not. in this way of competition with people rather than against people can everyone benefit. the bank is their own money anyway, provided by their own chips, their own labor


money prevents this joint partnership because money says that one person is better than another. if two people want a glass of milk, the one who can pay more for it, the "privileged" one, will get it. does he "deserve" it more? no. weve just discussed why everyone is necessary and how everyone needs each other. the elimination simply provides a more fair and balanced way to determine who gets what.


let me give you an example. 


ants are a more rudimentary civilizaiton in itself. or so we will accept for the purpose of this argument. there are certain ants who go out, scout, and find food, there are ants that make sure the population is created through reproduction, there is the queen and the ones that create the home for the ants. in this idea there are 4 types of ants. (im obviously not an ant specialist)


pretend for a moment one of these groups of ants decided their labor was more important than another groups. the ants who scout for food realize that everyone is dependent on food for survival, so they want to be priviliged. scout ants say that they get first priority on the food, or perhaps create a currency that dictates how much food will be provided in relation to the other ants work, which is not as inherently valuable, so they dont get as much money. the other groups of ants are only allowed to eat if they have money, even though their labor is just as important and without them there would be no ant species/population as the ants would have nowhere to sustain.  as  the scout ants become the privileged "guardians" because they are the ones who provide food for everyone, ant life becomes too oppressive to continue, and the species either goes to war to establish their rights, die off in a darwinistic model of the strong survive, or live in slavery to service the strong ants


just as in the ant population, the human population has a "guardian" class to. it is the educated class. once we establish the ability for anyone to become a guardian (equal opportunity for education-FREE SOCIETY!!) then all labor becomes inherently equal to itself. we do things not because it is affordable to do so, but because it simply needs to be done. it is in this way that humankind is finally granted equality by all members, and the problems that pose serious threat to our continued existence are alleviated. 


people supply demand, and supply demands people (or labor)



dude, that all sounds like commy bullshit. didnt they try this?


no, they tried a authoritative, abolishment of private property, government controls everything, type of deal. FREE SOCIETY says that you barter with your private property, to get other property that becomes your private property. you barter your labor for what you want. 


in communism, there was no private property. whereas before, the owners had the mode of production and the laborers provided the means, now the workers owned the means and the mode. workers became the owners. this was contradicted by the governments authority in its ability to dictate quotas, and what was necessary and what wasnt. in this way, the government became the REAL owners, and the workers, though they "owned" the work they were doing, were at the mercy of those who dictated how much of what was needed, and rationed products accordingly


this entire system is based on capitalism, but without money. we already trade with each other- our labor for money for consuming things, but what money does is prohibit certain people from having things. this is discrimination and must be abolished as it is the cause of crime. people wouldnt steal if they could have what they want themselves. 


i dont expect anyone to agree to this idea because it is so ludicrous, outlandish, extreme and radical, but so was the abolishment of slavery. the difference is that slavery is reproduced through money. if abolished, we can all contribute to the development of the country and the world.


our wars are fought because of money. no one wants to stop global warming because people would lose money. if money was abolished, they would have no reason to not stop it. they would have no reason to war, because there is nothing to fight over. 


in fact the majority of problems could potentially be alleviated- prisons are related to crime- most specifically theft and drugs.


in FREE SOCIETY, you recognize that demand requires supply. despite the war on drugs, demand has not decreased. therefore supply has not decreased. eliminate war on drugs, you eliminate drug crime. theft comes from poverty, if you want something and you cant afford it, you steal it. eliminate poverty and you eliminate crime pretty much. 


our country is housing an entire population, mostly minorities, simply because we have declared a demand to be illegal. poverty comes from lack of education also, proven by a decline in recidivism due to education. in FREE SOCIETY, these people would have no reason to be in jail and produce for the common good of society. billions of dollars and lives are being wasted when we could potentially alleviate the entire problem with a solution like abolition of money


my point about slavery through money is this. 


government wants to increase spending on education but it cant because that would take away money from the people through taxes. people do not ever want to give up their money unless they see a return. most people with large amounts of money that are taxed do not utilize these public schools or their children because they go to private school, because those educationa facilities are better recommended. the problem here we can see, is money. money is all the time trying to be redistributed "fairly", so poor people can have social security, educaiton, medical aid, food, housing... money is then taken from the rich and given to the poor, creating one group essentially supporting the other. this is essentially the reality that we are living in today. and by the way, america is leading in the grossest display of this-only one without healthcare this class is dependent as long as there is a difference in money between differnt people. if i rely on money to feed me, clothe me, educate me, house me, and generally support me, then its absence puts me at risk.  


immigration can be solved too. the main problem with immigrants is that they want to come here because we oppress their governments and wont let their economies flourish and thrive. if we invested in their countries, not because we could afford to, but because people would want to live south of us if they could, then immigration would decline and our own economy would be strengthened because our partner is stronger. think black jack again. 


FREE SOCIETY is not an off the wall utopian concept of a universe that never will be. it is simply an alternative to a social system that is perpetuating world war, poverty, and hunger, destroying billions of lives, and will eventually destroy the world. think of us as a bunch of separate groups of ants right now, red, black, yellow, brown, etc with little hierarchies within each group. 


now imagine if all of them realized that the only way to survive and avoid nuclear war, famine, global catastrophe, and general disintegration of ant kind was to work together to propagate the ant species. 


reality, i think, has set the stage for that realization.