Monthly Archives: March 2016

De Omnibus Dubitandum

For this blog I found it only fair to myself to listen to words whispered in my ears for many years now.  These words have pried open my mind to countless possibilities that await me in the form of the future, but the words have begun an endless debate in my mind, which I accept and dread.  This blog will analyze views by Mikhail Bakunin and Freidreich Neitzsche (La Gaya Scienza), followed by my own interpretation of the material.

The reason I chose this material is because of the possibility they may be right, mixed with the possibility they have no idea what they are talking about; yet, the allure is too addictive.  So without delay: Why does humanity need God?

Bakunin is straightforward in God and State of his opinion of God and His place in humanity.  Bakunin gives Jehovah characteristics such as “most jealous, most vain, most ferocious, most unjust, most bloodthirsty, most despotic, and most hostile.” (P.2) “Our first ancestors, our Adams and our Eve’s, we’re not gorillas with two precious faculties–the power to think and the desire to rebel.” (P1-2)

To further this line of thinking Bakunin then desires to know why did God create man, if Christian dogma is true? This is where his version of the myth of original sin and human humans being the loyal slaves of God is introduced.  Bakunin has Satan being the great emancipator of the human race by “stamping the seal of Liberty and humanity upon our brows.” (P2) Yet, with God’s all fore sightedness, a divine faculty, God allowed the transgression to happen and then smote humanity for doing what was “forbidden.”

Bakunin claims humanity does not need God for multiple reasons.  It can begin and be seen in the “manner religions debase and corrupt the people.” (P14). Religions are cruel by destroying human reason, the “principal instrument of human emancipation, and reduce them to imbecility, the essential condition for their slavery.” (P14) The religious system is based on the idea of sacrifice, but no man can truly answer if there is a heaven of not.  Bakunin then asks, why not make this life as close to heaven as possible, then, and concludes that the answer to God and everything associated with God is, “if God existed, only in one way could He serve humanity, by ceasing to exist.” (P15)

Fredrich Nietzsche wrote a parable entitled The Madman where the madman ascertains that humanity has killed God.  The madman cries out in a marketplace that he seeks God, when no one answers he states, “Because we have killed him, you and I.”  This is followed by the multiple questions:

How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What are we doing when we unchained this Earth from its Sun? Which way is it moving now? Are we moving? Away from all Suns? Are we not plunging constantly? And backward, sideways, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying through an infinite nothing?Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morn? Do we not hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? (Chap. 125)

Now, as powerful as these questions and this verse may be, the answers to these questions is not what is necessarily important.  It is the fact that humanity has achieved the ability to question by ceasing to believe in a supra-sensible world as the true norm of our moral conduct.

“I have come too early, or too late, and God is dead and we have killed Him.” the madman continues.  This hints that God is not there and not coming; but humanity is claimed to have done this by accepting science as a possibility for achieving God-hood.  Without a healthy medium.

What are the options one can take to live a moral life with no higher standard to pit yourself against or to use as a support structure?  Neitzsche states that the acceptance of this can lead to despair, suicide, Nihilism (values do not exist but are invented), and Satanism (belief in the love of oneself/the individual). That you are a Star or a God, and that you can do as you want.

Another stance is whether there is a new justification and creativity that humanity can progress and achieve some “thing” greater the the individual could achieve alone.  That by giving up on God is the way humanity can progress, but together and not as an individual.

It is difficult to determine if people need religion to guide them, some claim they do.  Those that do not need a dogma, man, thing, or external idea to tell them what to believe or guide their moral compass could be in a more balanced or narcissistic state than others who are told how to believe.  But that is not for me to conclude.

It is also difficult to understand that humanity has an emptiness in its existence.  An emptiness so great that through our own imagination conjoured an imaginary friend to fill this emptiness, to quell the fears of the unknown, and creator of a moral compass and ethical reasoning.

Why couldn’t it be the other way around?

So is the answer to give up on everything, all knowledge of your being and go back to being like an animal, is that what the world needs to find peace, for a huge step back?  This cannot happen, because as stated by Bakunin and Neitzsche, humanity progresses.

So, with God being dead the strongest and most evil will give the most to humanity by reawakening the sense of self-compassion that society put asleep.  By pitting opinion against opinion, does humanity continue the curse of Babylon?  Even more, continues the social structure of vertical organization.

Vertical organization is solely about profit and the individual gain. As long as profit is the end-game for every strategy, the system will develop methods of control to ensure profits.  Fear has been the main control method in human history, followed by ignorance and doubt.

This is nonsense because progression has shown that it does not have to be along historical guidelines.  The Renaissance and Enlightenment periods where progressions that embraced another social system.

The use of a system that inherently incorporates stereotypes and biases, and uses violence, cohesion, and greed to progress its agenda, is a system that should be used anymore as a dominant social system, i.e. Vertical organization.

So I say with courage, De Omnbius Dubitandum, “All is to be doubted.”

As long as organizational methods are set up primarily along vertical methods, it matters not what is said, because the end-action is always profit.

The “Isms” of Political Ideologies

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  • Anarchism: Can be grouped around socialistic or individualistic strains. Anarchists believe that the state and forms of compulsory government are harmful or unnecessary to people’s lives. Anarchism holds the state to be undesirable, unnecessary, and harmful. While being anti-statist is central, anarchism entails opposing authority or hierarchical organization in the conduct of all human relations, including, but not limited to, the state system.
  • Communism: Communists believe that the capitalist system is damaging to the interests of the masses, and that workers must unite and overturn it by revolutionary means. Communists also believe in the state ownership of all land, natural resources and industry. A socioeconomic order structured upon the common ownership of the mearns of production and the absence of soctal classes, money, and the state, Communism includes a variety of schools of thought, which broadly include Martist, anarchism,(anarchist communism), and grouped political ideologies around both.
  • All these hold in common the analysis that the current order of society stems from its economic system, capitalism that in this system, there are two major social classes: the working class– who must work to survive, and who make up a majority of society – and the capitalist class– a minority who derive profit from employing the proletariat, through private ownership of the mearns of production(the physical and institutional means with which commodities are produced and distributed). Political, social and economic conlfict between these two classes will trigger a fundamental change in the economic system, and by extension a wide-ranging transformation of society. The primary element that will enable this transformation is the social ownership of the means of production.
  • Conservatism: Conservative thought is clouded by the belief that – over time – history has produced institutions and modes of government that function well, and which should be largely preserved for the future. They also believe that political change should be organic and gradual, rather than revolutionary.
  • A political and social philosophy promotes retaining traditional social institutions in the context of culture and civilization. Some conservatives seek to preserve things as they are, emphasizing stability and continuity, while others, called reactionaries oppose modernism and seek a return to “the way things were.” The term, historically associated with risn’t-wing politics has since been used to describe a wide range of views.
  • There is no single set of policies that are universally regarded as conservative because the meaning of conservatism depends on what is considered traditional in a given place and time. Thus conservatives from different parts of the world—each upholding their respective traditions—may disagree on a wide range of issues.
  • Environmentalism: The key concern is protecting and improving the condition of the natural environment. Many believe there is a need for much greater regulation of human interaction with the environment, as well as aspects of our lifestyles that are environmentally unsustainable.
  • A broad philosophy, ideology, and social movement regarding concerns for environmental protection and improvement of the health of the environmental, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements, environmentalism advocates the lawful preservation, restoration and/or improvement of the natural environment, and may be referred to as a movement to control pollution or protect plant and animal diversity. For this reason, concepts such as a land ethic, environmental ethic, biodiversity, ecology, and the biophilia hypothesis figure predominantly.
  • At its crux, environmentalism is an attempt to balance relations between humans and the various natural systems they depend in such a way that all the components are accorded a proper degree of sustainable ith. The exact measures and outcomes of this balance are controversial and there are many ways for environmental concerns to be expressed in practice. Environmentalism and environmental concerns are often represented by the color green, but this association has been appropriated by the marketing industries for the tactic known as greenwashing. Environmentalism is opposed by anit-environmentalism, which says that the Earth is less fragile than some environmentalists maintain, and portrays environmentalism as overreacting to the human contribution to climited change or opposing human advancement.
  • Feminism: The belief that society and the political system are patriarchal. Feminists seek to improve the political, social, and economic position of women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. Feminists typically advocate or support the rights and equality of women.
  • Feminist movements have campaigned and continue to campaign for women’s rights, including the right to vone, to hold public office, to work, to earn fair wages or equail pay, to own property, to receive education, to enter contracts, to have equal rights within marriage, and to have maternity leave. Feminists have also worked to promote bodily autonomy and integrity, and to protect women and girls from rape, sequal harassment, and domestic violence.
  • Feminist campaigns are generally considered to be one of the main forces behind major historical societal changes for women’s rights, particularly in the West, where they are near-universally credited with having achieved women’s suffrage, gender neutrality in English, reerily time rights for women (including access to contraceptives and abortion), and the right to enter into contracts and own property. Although feminist advocacy is and has been mainly focused on women’s rights, some feminists argue for the inclusion of men’s liberationwithin its aims because men are also harmed by traditional gender roles. Feminist theory, which emerged from the feminent movements of the late 1800s, aims to understand the nature of gender inequality by examining women’s social roles and lived experience. It has developed theories in a variety of disciplines in order to respond to issues such as the social construction of gender.
  • Some forms of feminism have been criticized for taking into account only white, middle-class and educated perspectives. This criticism led to the creation of ethnically specific or multicultural forms of feminism, including black feminism.
  • Liberalism: The belief in protecting the rights of the individual, to ensure their maximum freedom. There have been shifts in liberal thought, the most prominent of which was the move from classical liberalism (minimal role of state, unsecured liberties) to progressive liberalism in the early twentieth century. Progressive liberals argued that civil liberties and freedoms must be safeguarded and actively protected by the state.
  • A political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality.  Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, fred markets,  civilization rights, dego ratio societies,secular governments, and international cooperation.
  • Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and econnomists in the Westers world. Liberalism rejected the prevailing social and political norms of her editors privilege, state religion, abro lute monarchy, and the DI inte Right of Kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natrial right to life, liberty and pRoberto, while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed tradiational conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law.
  • Prominent revolutionaries in the Glotions Revolution, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of what they saw as tyranical.  Liberalism started to spread rapidly especially after the French Revolution. The 19th century saw liberal governments established in nations across Europe, South America, and North America. In this period, the dominant ideological opponent of classical liberalism was conservative, but liberalism later survived major ideological challenges from new opponents, such as fas sim and communism. During the 20th century, liberal ideas spread even further as lI real democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars. In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism became a key component in the expansion of the welf are state.
  • Socialism: Socialists are motivated by the desire to improve the quality of life for all members of society. They believe in a political system characterized by strong state direction in political and economic policy. Another key idea is the redistribution of resources to redress inequalities inherent in a free-market economy.
  • Socialism can be divided into both non-market and market. Non-market socialism involves the substitution of an economic mechanism based on engineering and technical criteria centered around calculation performed in-kind for factor markets, money and the acommutation of capital; therefore functioning according to different economic laws than those of capitalism. Non-market socialism aims to circumvent the inefficiencies and crises traditionally associated with the profit system. By contrast, market socialism retains the use of monetary prices and factor markets for the allocation of capital goods between socially-owned enterprises and, in some cases, the profit motive with respect to their operation. Profits would either accrue to society at large in the form of a social dividend or directly to the workforce of each firm. The feasibility and exact methods of resource allocation and calculation for a socialist system are the subjects of the socialist calculation debate.
  • The socialist political movement includes a diverse array of political philosophies that originated amid the revolutionary movements of the mid-to-late 1700s out of general concern for the social problems that were associated with capitalism. In addition to the debate over markets and planning, the varieties of socialism differ in their form of social ownership, how management is to be organized within productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism. Core dichotomies associated with these concerns include reformism versus revolutionary socialism, and state socialism versus linert arias socialism. Socialist politics has been both centralist and decentralized; internationalist and nationalist in orientation; organized through political parties and opposed to party politics; at times overlapping with trade unions and at other times independent of, and critical of, unions; and present in both industrialized and developing countries. While all tendencies of socialism consider themselves democratic, the term “democratic socialist”is often used to highlight the advocates’ high value for the democratic processes and political systems, and usually to draw contrast to other socialist tendencies they may perceive to be undemocratic in their approach.
  • Facsism: a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascisti) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition

A Movement to Change the World: Three Questions About Non-Violence to Black Power

1. How did the participants in the Civil Rights movement (people and organizations) think about and use non-violent direct-action?  What strategies did they employ and why?

Stated in Retreiving the Past by Mark Espisito, historians do not agree with the event that really started the civil rights movement.  Rather than trying to come to terms with something as trivial as a date, one should be looking at the hardships all African Americans have faced since they were first put on boats and sold into slavery, up to the present day.  All those events, combined, are the starting point of the Civil Rights movement.  With that said, and moving on to the question at hand, how did the participants of the movement think about and use non-violent action–only one word comes to mind:patience.  Negros have shown a determination in a foreign that rivals most heroicalstories of the past.  The methods used by the people and organizations were sit-ins, rallies, boycotts, speeches, marches, trials, and union; all of which saw the strength of the young to usher in a new age of peace without discrimination.

In 1941, there was a push to mobilize and coordinate the masses of youth so government could give defense jobs to Blacks and Whites.  By these means FDR quickly issued an Executive Order abolishing discriminations in all government departments.  It was through the tactic of broad, organized, aggressive as action against economic centers that things could change for the black man (but for everyone, if they think about it).  Another  example of non-violent direct-action was the strategic boycott of the bus company that threw Rosa Parks in jail because she refused to move to the back of the bus.  THe bus company almost went broke because it probably did not realize that a good amount of its profits came from Negros.  The strategy eventually kicked off, Parks not being the only one protesting, only that the cry rallied around around her.  Regardless, the boycott, though threatened, spat upon, physically harmed or threatened, gaimed the notice of enough politicians to create legislation protecting Black lives. Also, the forming of non-violent groups in and around colleges to spread the word about the various movements spurred actions of desegregation in school.

2. What are the main ideas of Black Power and the Black Panther Party? How did they differ from earlier ideas?

Black power was introduced to American culture as a slogan to the Civil Rights movement becasuse of the slow pace of progress.  Capitalizing on showing their strength in numbers and not ateaching fears of White America to the questions Negros had of the times is a clear interpretation of Black Power.  Black Power rallied behind the basic fact that all Negros had two problems: 1. They were poor, and 2. They were black, which all other problems seemed to rise from.

The Black Panther Party was committed to armed self-defense, and the idea of the party was that America’s ruling circle will not give up their power without a fight; changing policy in the ballot box would get nothing truly accomplished.  No one was going to give them their rights so the B.P.P. chose violence to get their goals accomplished.

These ideas of Black Power and the B.P.P. differ from earlier ideas because Negros now had confidence behind them and were able to speak up and speak out more.  Negros were winning legislation and securing jobs, boosting the morale for all.  The fist ideas were that of patience and trying not to cause too much turmoil so the whole movement would not suffer, but the the time Black Power and the B.P.P. came about morale was high and Negroes were more educated in the ways of the world to understand the tactics they had to employ to get things accomplished

3. Which Ideology was more effective? To what do you attribute Civil Rights gains for Blacks?

How can one say one ideology is more important than the other.  Without the initial, in many respects, there can be no latter.  Without the Black Panther Party causing turmoil in the inner circle of White America, America may never have listened to the peace the Dr. Martin Luther King was striving toward.  Without organizing peaceful parties (SNCC, SCLC) there may have never been a party that saw violence as their only way to change things.

Everything is related to another, and things might not have turned out the way they did without peace and violence.  Also, the deaths of those involved on both sides could be seen as the biggest gain to the Civil Rights, because that is when those in the inner circle saw that change must happen.  The voices of those that were killed and beaten, on both sides: black and white, cop and not, young and old, those afraid and those who are bold.  Everyone suffered during this movement, and still do, and maybe even in modernity, with little that has changed, there needs to be another non-violent direct-action movement to remind the inner circle that violence is also an option.

Primal Religion? Origin Story? Myth?

Shinto Story of the Creation of Japan:  (From 8th century Japanese scholars compiling many collected oral stories in the Kojiki, produced in 712 CE) (From: Religions of the World, Neilsen et al., 1983 by St. Martins’ Press)

The first kami arose from the primordial chaos and dwelt on the high plain of heaven.  Next were created the kami of birth and growth.  Finally, the original parents–Izanagi, the male principle, and Izanami, the female principle–descended from heaven along a rainbow-like bridge.  (Heaven and Earth were closer together in those times) Standing on the tip of this bridge, Izangi thrust his spear into the ooze below.  When an island emerged, the two kami stepped down to it, mated, and produced the eight greet islands of Japan.  In this cycle the male-female love that turned to hate was the dominant theme and was never wholly resolved.  Many kami were born to the couple but only after the dominance of the male was recognized.  When the male god of fire was born to Izanami, his mother was killed by the flames.  Izanami thus went to Yomi, the land of the dead beneath the earth, and in his grief Izanagi followed his wife.  DEspitethe warning of Izanami, whose body body was now corrupt, he could not keep from looking at her.  They quarreled, and Izanagi fled back to the upper world, pursued by the polluting forces of decay, disease, and death.  These forces turned into the thunder demons, Kati who bring disease and death to humanity.  Seeking to repair the harm he had unintentionally caused, Izanagi vowed to create life even faster than the thunder demons could destroy it.  Thus the present balance between death and life was established.

Judeo-Christian Story of Creation: (Early Hebrew stories of origins of the world were passed orally for many centuries before being written down some time after 1000 BCE) (From: Genesis 1: 1-32 in The New Oxford Annotated Bible, 1962)

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.  And God said, “let there be light”; and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night.  And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

And God said, “Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the firmament and separated the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament. And it was so. And God called the firmament Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.

And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called the seas. And God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let the earth put forth vegetation, plants that yield seed, and fruit bearing trees in which is their seed, each according to its kind upon the earth.” And it was so … [God creates the stars, sun and moon, and creates living creatures].  And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind.  And God saw that it was good.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and overall the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” So God created man in likeness, in the image of God He created him; male and female He  created them.  And God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.” And God saw everything made, and behold, it was very good.  And there was evening and there was morning, a sixth day.

Creation Story of the Native America Crow Tribe: (From The Religious World by Bush, et al.. Macmillan, New York, 1988)

In the beginning the earth was covered by water.  Old Man Who Did Everything was wandering over the water.  He heard voices and found four ducks, two large blue-eyed ducks and two small red-eyed ducks. Old Man Who Did Everything Asked the ducks to dive under the water in order to discover if anything existed.  After the two large ducks failed to discover anything, the two small ducks dived and returned with mud in their bills.  Out of this mud Old Man Who Did Everythingcreated the sky, plants, trees, animals, and finally humans.  After testing the humans he created, he sent two groups away and kept the bravest group with him.  This group became known as the Crow people.

Hindu Story of Aditi and the Birth of the Gods: (A part of the Rig Veda, going back over 2000 BCE) (from: Anthology of World Scriptures by Robert Van Voort Wadsworth, 1994, Belmont CA)

Lets us speak with wonder of the births of the gods, so that someone may see them when the hymns are chanted in this later age.  The lord of sacred speech, like a smith, fanned them together.  In the earliest age of the gods, existence was born from non-existence.  After this the waters of the sky were born from her who crouched with legs spread. The earth was born from her who crouched with legs spread, and from the earth the waters of the sky were born.  From Aditi, Daksa was born, and from Daksa, Aditi was born.  For Aditi was born as your daughter, O Daksa, and after her were born the blessed gods, the kinsmen of immortality.  When you gods took your places there in the water with your hands joined together, a thick cloud of mist arose from you that was hidden in the ocean.  Eight sons are there of Aditi, who were born of here body.  With seven she went forth among the gods, but she threw Martanda, the sun, aside.  With seven sons Aditi wen forth into the earliest stage. But she bore Martanda so that he would in turn beget offspring and then soon die.