Saturday, October 3, 2009

Schema of Radical Progress

An outline aimed at breadth and depth, but not exhaustive

1) Domains of reality :



Social Movement






2) Developmental Stages (from narrow to broad):

Primal Self


Simple relations

Complex relations

Tribal Identification




3) Categorical Trajectories (in reverse alphabetical order):









Friday, October 2, 2009

My Love Affair With "Capitalism"

Tonight, I went to see "Capitalism: A Love Story" (hereafter CALS) by Michael Moore. I rarely go see movies on their opening night, but I had to see this one.

I call this movie a "four-star tear-jerker." Moore certainly knows how to dig deep into human pain and misery and make us ask ourselves why our world is so messed up. I was a fan of Faherenheit 9/11, Bowling for Columbine, and Sicko, too, but this one moves me at levels those others did not.

One of my conservative friends accused Moore of being a hypocrite because he has made millions from his movies. I find this charge disingenuous. Moore became rich by making movies that people want to see. If I could design the perfect economic system, it wouldn't be possible to get rich that way or any way, but he could still make the best movies possible.

It's not hypocrisy that his movies are popular. His movies are not nearly the highest-grossing ones ever made. The premise of CALS is that 1% of the US population owns over 90% of its wealth, an obscene disparity. Michael Moore is nowhere near that kind of wealth.

I won't give a movie review, just encourage everyone to see it. Moore's solution to capitalism isn't radical enough, but he is basically on the right track.

Now, about that radical solution to the problem of capitalism's obscence wealth disparities....

I consider myself a libertarian socialist, combining a radical critique of capitalism with a passionate commitment to freedom. One of the failings of classical socialism was that it was not committed to freedom. I don't believe we have to follow capitalism to defend and extend radical freedom. In fact, capitalism denies basic freedoms. We are told what to do almost every minute of every day. Sometimes it's work we hate, sometimes it's work we like or even love, but it is work that is making somebody else much richer than it is making us.

Once upon a time, unions were the best way to organize resistance to capitalism. We are a long way from those days, and CALS covers some of the story of how Reaganomics initiated a decades-long battle by capitalism to overthrow unions and social programs. It may be that our society can find the will to rebuild a new economic justice movement, but I suspect that it won't be carried out by unions.

Perhaps we could start something like an "Alliance for Economic Justice" that could attract millions of people to organized resistance to capitalism, outside of the weak labor unions.

Peace! Charley