karma - humanist @ roua.org :

take the red pill

Written by Romeo Anghelache no comments
What with next year European elections and Brit fate you may do yourself a favour and save the next decade's time for yourself by filling this winter's holidays with these three emergency readings:
Anand Giridharadas: "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World" (there's a book behind it)
Jane Mayer - Dark money (there's a book behind it)
Rutger Bregman . Utopia for Realists- The Case for a Universal Basic Income (there's a book behind it)

All of the above on the background discussed here:
Yanis Varufakis with Professor Noam Chomsky at NYPL, April 16, 2016 | DiEM25

Then, meet Bernie.

maybe you want to sign the Manifest for democratization of Europe, or
[work | get along] with DiEM25.

or, briefly, if you aim to live in a free and democratic society, you have to aim for these principles in your country's Constitution:

  1. democratic principle: the personal wealth of each and everybody is limited from above (capped) to an amount equal to a max lifetime of average wages (assuming last year in your national economic system the average wage was 1000 units, your total personal wealth is limited to 130 years*12 months*1000~1.500.000 units).
  2. freedom principle: the society has an obligation to provide to every citizen the minimum wealth necessary to cover the basic living needs (roof, clothes, food, energy, means of communicating).
  3. education, healthcare and free access to research results are mandatory public infrastructure and off-limits to commerce (i.e. paid, in principle, directly from public taxes and not from private investments or acts of private benevolence which may follow the looting)
a society is stable and meaningful only between these two limits of personal wealth and on the infrastructure defined in point 3. debate it with your friends, put facebook/google to work in your favour for once.
in essence these are the parameters which will guide the economy and its modeling, and not the reverse.

Pay attention permanently whom you vote/let in public power: Any politician/bureaucrat who doesn't aim for these three principles explicitly is a demagogue, an impostor or an unevolved chimpanzee in a suit-and-tie, it doesn't deserve your vote=doesn't deserve an income from your trust/efforts/taxes.

See you younger next year!

future of EU: dare socialism

Written by Romeo Anghelache no comments
Free-market is a non-theory, liberal capitalism is a huge cheat scheme, Adam Smith was wrong from the very start, "property" in all the capitalist-praising texts does not refer to your property, the individualism refers to a consuming/slaving slot, not to a being, and any currently "developed country" is not really developed, in comparison with socialism.

The above is not a poetic figure of speech, the details come in these few lines:

  • free market is never a realistic approximation of an economy, market never comes empty: it's filled from the beginning and you, the gullible, are most of the times cornered by it;
  • liberal capitalism seems to work (for a minority) until it fails them, then you, the majority, pay, to make up for the difference: the free-market promoting US, bailed-out its own banks with non-market public money when push came to shove; the liberal global trading rules are becoming tariffs if they don't serve the bullshitters.
  • the self-interest of all living humans cannot create an invisible hand as in
    They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without know- ing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species.
    Anyone with a Physics 101, or some bits of neocortex, would discover immediately that the first thing someone self-centred, with a random economic advantage, would do is to continue growing that advantage as far as possible, meaning that the resulting society is a pyramid, with a few ultra-rich on top, and all the rest forced to work for them just for own survival. If that's too abstract to you, here's an example: A self-centred idiot in the market finds a 100 bill in a corner, next thing he does: pays two muscles to "lobby" some other participant to give up its products or its bought merchandise. Then he sells the stuff and pays some more muscles and does it all over again. Next year, he's writing the law of the markets where he's the chief. Until his self-centred idiot neighbour kills him and proclaims himself chief/lawyer of the market. History shows that these guys only stop when they are divinity, that is, never alive. History also shows that this is obviously outdated for countries which practised socialism.
  • all the capitalist systems insist on "the property", the problem is that only the socialist countries managed to make their citizens property owners: don't believe me? check the statistics of the EU countries in terms of house ownership, you'll be surprised to find that all the previously socialist countries have a larger proportion of house owners than all the capitalist ones. And here property means truly owning it, not having a mortgage to pay.
    So, in capitalism, it's not your property the economists and politicians are talking about.
  • no so-called capitalist "developed country" can or could afford free education and free healthcare. Socialist countries could. If you disagree, call your senator/president/prime-minister to prove it! I lived in a socialist country and I know it did.
So, to trash with capitalism and free-marketers and liberal economists: I certainly don't care to see them advising country policies for the next eon.

So, if we let a capitalist system evolve, it destroys the host society: it becomes a tribe with few rich and in power, and the rest of the population as a decorum fussing for the enjoyment of those few. A capitalist EU does not have a future, the Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union reads:

The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, including the rights of persons belonging to minorities. These values are common to the Member States in a society in which pluralism, non-discrimination, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality between women and men prevail.

Let's focus on "freedom": if one has to wake everyday up to work only to survive, that's not at all freedom, it's exactly the opposite. We can give some true, verifiable, non-bullshitting content to the word freedom: every person alive receives from society an Unconditional Basic Income, to ensure that freedom is not a word for suckers and really lets people live in dignity and all the rest above = anyone's personal wealth is limited from below.

Let's focus on "democracy": it doesn't mean only that anyone has a voting stamp, it means that each voting stamp is equal in weight with any other. Problem is, a person 1.000 times richer than you gets more ways into the political power than you do, gets a weightier voting stamp than you, then the rule of law becomes more and more his rule of law. It follows that the personal wealth should be limited from above, and I suggest anchoring this limit to a statistical fact about the society you live in: let each personal wealth be limited to an amount equal to a lifetime of average wages. A technical formula no political group can abuse because it includes all the negotiated economical life of, say, the past year. Make an arithmetical exercise and multiply the monthly_average_wage_in_your_country (400-3000) with a_lifetime (130 years*12months~1500): that's the personal wealth limit.

No society is stable or peaceful if the personal wealth is not limited both from above *and* below. This window of wealth is the one that affords the rest: equality, human dignity and the rule of law; it's an engineering truth history will test always.

Outside this personal window of wealth we, or EU, or US, or any other country, do not have any future.

Call it socialism, if you like, but briefly it's this: a country can have a future only if its citizens have comparable political power, that is, their personal wealth is limited both from above and below, and its society provides free education and free healthcare to each citizen. Anything else and your life is a few sandwiches short of a picnic.

what academics should be doing

Written by Romeo Anghelache no comments

The lecture series on Marx by Prof. Robert Paul Wolff. This week it's at its 3rd. If u're a zombie, don't pay attention to it.

This type of work (thank you, Professor) is what academics should be doing, instead of converting public money (their salaries) into private money (copyrighted knowledge), as they do now.

I would've recommended his book "Understanding Marx", but it's under copyright.

BTW, here's what "knowledge society" means, it's not what you thought: a society awash with knowledge, nope; it's a society hoping to extract rent from copyrighting whatever it touches (see WIPO, TRIPS and future like-horrors). Unsurprisingly, societies trying it become failed societies: knowledge is not shared (because you're supposed to make it a commercial item), so citizens become, individually, as intelligent as their pocket.

Circulation of knowledge degrades into the circulation of money. It's not bad just because it is a backward thing to do, but bullshit is promoted to "knowledge" just because its owners would be able to sell more copies of it. Just watch. Internet was supposed to allow collectively the society jump into a wiser, more knowledgeable state, instead, the legal notions of copyright and intellectual property are hoarding more economic power for some few, who never had a special relation with the creation of knowledge in the first place.

If u're a zombie, don't fight back the above with the creative commons license (CC) for intellectual works in general or GPL license, for software. If u want your children, or the society around you, grow stupid, don't use any of these and ignore this message, don't give it a like, it has no use of it.

bursa dinților

Written by Romeo Anghelache no comments

deunăzi, un dentist re-numit a afirmat că piața dinților în România a avut de suferit structural încă de la incepție: "comunismu' era de vină, că intelectualii erau obligați să'și lase dinții la poarta de intrare la Uniunea Scriitorilor, apoi îi încurcau la ieșire (d'aia GDS nici pân'acuma n'a lămurit ai cui sunt dinții rămași înfipți încă de la revoluție în fotoliu' managerului)". Ba chiar, Institutul pentru Memoria Pesimismului a dezgropat câțiva incisivi de pe vremea Anei Pauker, cariile (moarte'n chinuri) stau mărturie grozăviilor epocii.

Problema cu dentiștii ăștia re-numiți e că hemoroizii le lasă o urmă inconfundabilă pe expresia feței; deh, nici o cremă nu te scapă de gluma că exiști.

Expertu' de burtăbursă Gurău, venind parcă plecând pe sticlă cu echipa, confirmă părerea de mai sus a dl. Leechanus, și, mai mult, estimează că prețu' molarilor va scădea doar după ce România va acceda în Organizația Pactul Neuro Baltic. Pân'atunci, șefu' BNDR (Banca națională a dinților români) sfătuiește românu' dă viitor, de Piață Victorian, cu cont dă facebook, adică progresist (ce, nu știai, că fb e internetu'? de luni de zile e desenat în ASCII pe twitter, viral, did u live under a rock?), să investească în dinți din materiale necorupte, nu ca părinții lui ce l'au făcut cu dinți de ocazie.

Technocratiții consideră că bugetu' României nu'și poate permite, momentan, decât dinți de lemn, ci abia după ce firmele olandeze din Galați și Constanța vor putea absorbi fondurile strategice de apărare va putea și România să treacă la măsele cu amalgam, import de la aliați. Vor instala curând un lansator de pachete în fruntea partidului salvați România cu linkuri (USRL pe românește, URLS pe englezește=Uniunea România cu Linkuri Salvăm) (unii, mai tineri, propun sigla USSR: uniunea salvați sectoru' de răcani, părerile sunt împărțite peste și între dinți). USRL va propune programul social sustenabil, pt. clasa de mijloc, de închiriere a dinților: cei înstăriți își vor putea închiria peste noapte, sau în vacanțe, dinții, la prețuri modice, celor interesați (care au emisiuni la TV etc). Anticipez tropote de români venind la vot techno cu SiFönu', că toți știu deja căsni pianu' iar p'aia cu dinții au dat'o la spate încă de când au călcat în Pipera.

Eu zic totuși să urmăm exemplu' președintelui, nimeni n'are mai mulți dinți ca el, nici nu se vede că's falși (a smile a day keeps the people away), pe principiu' dinte cu dinte, casă cu casă, pas cu pas, tot așa cum din muc se face mare. Oricum, am văzut dinți ieftini, la ofertă, pe Realizarea TV (sopcast), între două lămuriri politice, luați d'acolo, ofertă limitată, până să cază guvernu'.

Visez la o Românie guvernată de technocrați în concediu fără plată de la EC: când termină de guvernat, ori se'ntorc la slujbă și'și mai cumpără niște dinți, ori se mulțumesc cu 7000 EUR net pe lună'n EuroParlament, ca, e.g., d'na Dintei, colega lu' Macovei.

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