I had the privilege of hearing david horowitz when he came and gave a lecture/defense of his book "The Professors," http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Y676GIDIJI , specifically stating the liberal arts department (that I was in!) made UCSC the worst school in america.
A lot of people couldn't get in to the lecture since it was in a very tiny auditorium, but the one thing I remember him saying was something to the effect of "left wingers believe in the fundamental goodness of people and it is institutions that corrupt, whereas right wingers believe in the fundamental evil of people, and it is the institutions that instill benevolence in them." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KANihiAnt-s&feature=related (he doesn't say it on this link)
That is quite a conclusion, and i think it gives the context of what forces govern his life. By associating with neo-cons he has just given away the fact that he believes that people are fundamentally evil. I think this has to do greatly with his past.
He was a former marxist and New Left founder in the sixties, and i think his opinion changed when his friend was shot and killed by black panther nationalists, a group he was a confidant of. Adding to the "outrageous" actions of the blank panther party, Angela Davis, a philosophy professor (and later a tenured faculty member in the history of consciousness dept. at Santa Cruz, as well as President Chair of African American and Feminist Studies department in the U.C. system, woo hoo!) purchased a shotgun used in the hostage taking of a federal judge and attorney who were prosecuting one of the members brothers and friends, who were in a prison marxist gang. you can sort of see here the grudge he has against UCSC, the black panthers, and the marxist ideals they adopt.
Anyway, coupled with these actions and that horowitz believed America was being taken over by these left-wing, marxist idealogues, he sort of did a 180 and became a neo-conservative. These guys' mission statement is up at http://www.newamericancentury.org/ and basically wants to use military power to spread u.s. ideals across the world.
Even despite his ultra-right leanings, I kinda like him. He's definitely a shit-stirrer, but considering that there are a lot of liberals who unquestioningly agree with radical theory without much thought to the evils it brings, I think there is a need for the kind of criticism that he brings. I definitely think he's been traumatized by the political turmoil he was involved in and that very much skews his point of view, but he studied marxism in depth, and he realizes there is obviously a lot of room for improvement.
My thoughts on the weather underground are mixed too. I think they were a bunch of kids, not much older than us, who were anti-authoritarian and brought militancy into their campaigns. I support their jailbreak of timothy leary, and i have to say that it is my view that banks and police departments have serious problems that might be best resolved by dissolving them altogether, though there needs to be a new way of thinking to make sure this won't lead to destructive chaos. I think they saw themselves as heroes or soldiers in a global war, capitalists vs. communists, and saw the need for violent opposition to a violent and oppressive foreign and domestic policy that America seemed to have adopt. However, violence in general is often considered to be declasse, so any group that aims to bomb a bunch of buildings and kill bystanders will automatically lose support quickly, which I think is why there was a large movement recently to associate Obama with these people.
Unfortunately, the term "conspiracy" will often immediately distance people from others. Inside jobs etc... will force people to conclude whether or not an authority they believe in, are loyal too, take pride in... could be capable of enacting such a horrific event. The acceptance that it is a possibility might be much too overwhelming for people, or simply too complex to understand why it could come to this, and can act as a catalyst for them to make a decision that is against there own self-interest. So, rather than just flatout convince people by saying its an inside job, etc... I think its important to understand the context of the catastrophe. Movies like Fahrenheit 9/11, Zeitgeist/addendum, Esoteric Agenda, etc... i think do a good job painting an excessive picture pointing out a scape goat, but at the end of the day i think its important to just accept there is no "bad guy," rather, this is what exists, and we are all a part of it. How the big picture evolves is up to us, since we all have self-agency and the ability to affect our environment/outcomes with a greater efficacy.
btw, im not saying any of these are necessarily right, but that they are just theses trying to come up with an understanding of why we are where we are. If nothing else, they are entertaining, which is what we are all trying to do in this crazy world--create a pleasurable experience.
It is definitely true that there have been many plots to carry out massive killings etc... conceived of at the top of the political spectrum in the name of a specific ideology (whether capitalism, "freedom," or what have you), but if the imposition of freedom necessitates taking those freedoms away, i think something is lost in the translation. The numbers that are presented as deaths by those military leaders are staggering, and there is something certainly repulsive about that degree of organized murder.
However, U.S. trade embargos, unrestrained warfare, and unrepentant policies do much to undermine the health of the world as well. 160,000,000 + is a very large number, especially in 70+ years, but so are all of the numbers that are involved in killing those who don't agree with a certain ideology over the entire course of history. Religious wars, tribal wars, political wars, even the economic "war on poverty" that we are trying to fight now does little to address the main cause of why people are poor while others are rich, at home and abroad. The war on drugs kills thousands of people every year, while the war on terror may kill hundreds of thousands, but who is to blame? laws? the people who create laws? the people who enforce laws? the people who don't abide by laws? Its all a cycle of energy that gets appropriated for profit (at who's expense?). Until the underlying problems are identified and rectified, its going to be the same, with bystanders paying the price while those authorities write the legislation that affects their lives.
This, I believe, is what Karl Marx was trying to get at when writing about capital, human labor, resources, and the relationships between society. I haven't read too much of Marx, but one thing a did take away was his desire to abolish wages. Seeing as my own goal is to abolish money, i think there are similarities.
i think there is a difference between capitalism and the free market, and while the free market leads to competition and lower prices, competitive employment, (good things)..., the gap between the wages that are paid to employees and the value of the product itself (which the company gets back at discriminately higher percentages, are a form of forced slavery. Capitalism evolved out of feudalism, where lords paid serfs by letting them live on their land, while collecting taxes. when these peasants were displaced after the privatization of land, all they had was their own labor, and lords could pay minimal prices to a starving workforce, thereby retaining their own wealth and developing it at a disproportionate rate.
today we see the same thing. when the economy falters and there's "no more money", banks need to get bailed out, institutions that hired large amounts of workers fold, and, while fighting two wars on a different continent AND trying to bring all of the nations citizens under a single proposition for healthcare, there are serious considerations about how to pay for everything, and get everyones needs met. so, the tax payers are called on to fund these institutions that supposedly benefit them, since we all have a stake in their future. This is obviously controversial, since many people don't actually want their money to go to these projects, but the person who "represents" us does it anyway, putting us all in debt for the good of us all (according to him).
debt, to me, is an abstraction that doesn't really concern me. it is the law of the banks and THE fundamental starting point for how they make money. In fact, it can actually be a good thing: how many people are taking out student loans to "buy" education on credit? that creates a competent workforce/citizenry, and the trade-off is that a little bit of your paycheck will go to paying back the institution that provided you the opportunity in the first place for as long as it takes.
however on a larger scale, countries are locked into contracts that strip them of their resources, and have to adhere to how global organizations think things should be run. materialism arises out of this, as we attribute value to products we create out of the worlds resources to sell for money, and forests are lost, oil is drilled for, carbon emissions rise, and the population either gets richer (the top 1%), or poorer (everyone else). the reaction to this is fundamentalism (christian, muslim, whatever) and when the two collide, you get something like 9/11 where fundamentalists (like, bin laden, a trained cia operative with ties to the bush family (also fundamentalists striving for that "new world order"), and financed by saudi arabia, who most of the attackers were, one of the most religiously repressive states there is) fly their little planes into the World Trade Center towers, killing a few thousand and leading to a world wide cleansing of "Terror" defined by whoever is in charge, which contracts specific businesses (namely those who specialize in creating war tools) which get even more money--like dick cheneys haliburton.
There is something here fundamentally corrupt, and i think people see marxism, or communism, or socialism, as the answer to what to do about that corruption. yet, when people in charge want to abide by a new system or ideology, they eliminate their competition. that is thug economics 101, and those millions of people are sacrificed so the theory can live on. unfortunately, neither Hitler's national socialism, stalins socialism or tse-tungs were anything reminiscent of what Marx envisioned (in my opinion), just like Christianity today is most likely nowhere near what its founders desired. In a communist system, the ruling class is supposed to wither away, and the "dictatorship of the proletariat" is supposed to lead to a global workers' paradise. seeing as all of those countries were super poor to begin with, there was a fundamental problem in acquiring the wealth to compete with capitalistic countries, and those in charge made sure they were taken care of first, opposing the entire basis of marxist concepts. On the other hand, i think i read that the USSR was one of the only countries that wasn't affected by the great depression, which made people fear that the working class would look to it as a model.
anyway, there's a really good book called "The Alphabet and the Goddess," that i think is quite enlightening. it states that basically because we interpret reality through words, a left-brain process makes us completely assume that anything not in line with these words are "wrong" and therefore must be destroyed. thus, christians and the "people of the book", including marxists (whose bible is das kapital...) will be more likely to kill anyone who does not abide by the same texts as them, leading to massive population cleansings. however, those cultures who are illiterate are usually more female freindly, and use images (appealing to right-brain processes) to describe reality, leading to a more tolerant civilization, like the medieval romanticism and chivalry of the dark-ages.
so yea, that's my thoughts. its probably obvious that im not an economist, mostly because when i took those classes, i realized that it was just a bunch of rules, where graphs led to charts and logical courses for how to adjust inflation rights, stuff i did not give a shit about. however, human thought is organized by how we come to understand the world we live in, and for a real revolution to take place, we all need to become informed about the reality of our situation, where we came from, and where we are going.
personally, i cannot support ron paul because for me, he seems like a crowd pleaser. his views on abortion and gay marriage are that these issue should be decided by the states. thats the same argument that slave holders were using before the civil war. there are universal principles (freedom) that must be protected, and not relegated to a particular portion of the world. if women's suffrage or slavery was decided state by state, and similarly abortion and gay marriage, then gays, slaves, women, etc... would not be protected in certain parts of the country.
in terms of his ideas to "abolish the fed" and go back to a gold standard, i think that's a mistake as well. why would we want to value gold? what possible benefit does gold provide? its value is based on scarcity, which is what the entire capitalistic system is predicated on. Rather, we need to work to eliminate scarcity, creating a system of COPIONICS (look it up). money represents the limits of potential, acting as a medium of exchange and the capital of human achievement. it is also how society relates to each other, giving money to OTHERS in order to receive something necessary. if we end this way of thinking, realizing that we are a collective organism, and we are in a fight to preserve our species, we can have a better opportunity to provide for everyone, letting our population's demand dictate supply.
right, anyway, thats my thought, maybe you read this all or not, it was a bit long but my reflections always get carried away and go on tangents. Let me know when you're ready to take over the world, and we can create a new system and be the revolution that everyone is waiting for!
in closing, abolish money, free society, legalize drugs, and let the world change into what it wants to be.
Here's a funny clip showing how nothing the tea party people stand for makes sense.
also, read how marijuana will save the world, cause the answer to everything is in there too. have fun!
if you dont have time to watch the entire video that i sent in the last post, skip to 8:30 i think, when a small town meeting decides its time to burn all the books, and take all the students out of school because the professors are brain-washing them. pretty fun stuff.