Wednesday, October 21, 2020

876: The Origins of Liberalism...

 In the previous two lectures we discussed the political and economic problems, we have to deal with in the coming future.

   

This all has to do with what you read in the title of this project: A rough awakening from a neoliberal dream.

  

But what is this "Neoliberalism"? You find all kinds of definitions, like "Neoliberalism is a political approach that favours free-market capitalism, deregulation, and reduction in government spending."

  

Another interesting description I found on https://www.investopedia.com/terms/n/neoliberalism.asp

  

- quote - Neoliberalism is a policy model that encompasses both politics and economics and seeks to transfer the control of economic factors from the public sector to the private sector. 

  

Many neoliberalism policies enhance the workings of free market capitalism and attempt to place limits on government spending, government regulation, and public ownership. - end quote -

   

There are a few common terms in the descriptions, like deregulation, free market capitalism, reduction of government spendings.

   

Because there is a NEO-liberalism, there must be or have been an old Liberalism, the original theory, so to speak.

  

This raises a few questions like, what does this NEO refer to in relation to the original theory of liberalism, and where did this liberalism come from?

   

Let's have a look at the history of Europe. Since the Middle Ages Europe was governed by the political system called absolutism,

  

Simply formulated: there is only ONE  boss appointed by God... an emperor, a king, a pope. The herd needs a leader and the catholic church was of course supporting this political system.

  

Due to the Reformation this system began to break down. Not a pope, but in the most extreme convictions, it is the individual himself, who interprets the Bible for himself.

  

I am talking here about a proces of centuries, from 1500 to 1700. Eventually the severe hierarchical structure came under pressure 

  

by the discovery of the INDIVIDUAL as the center and origin of political power. Eventually the position of an emperor or king wasn't justified by pointing at god's will but by a social contract.

   

Hobbes and Rousseau have been regular guests in several of our projects, as well as the inventor of absolute individualism: René Descartes.

   

The improved position of the individual stood at the cradle of liberalism, although the term wasn't coined yet.

   

The heart of the new look at the position of the individual in the political arena was the concept of FREEDOM. 

  

The freedom to stand up against an absolute ruler or an oppressing state. The freedom to have possessions, which are inalienable possession, They were yours and yours only.

   

This brings us to the first spokesman of this new look on life: John Locke (1632 - 1704).

  

Writing in the 17th century, Locke saw individual liberty as defined through private property, contract, and market,

  

in other words, by individual ownership of economic possessions that could not be arbitrarily usurped by the state. 

   

Freedom for Locke amounted to more than absence from external restraint; it also meant living in conformity with a non-arbitrary law to which the individual had consented. He called it the law of nature.

   

I guess, that is how it all began......

  

Thank you for your attention again...

   


The Discussion

   

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:16] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:16] herman Bergson: I'll keep the floor but you have now free access to it :-))

[13:17] CB Axel: lol

[13:17] herman Bergson looks at Andrea

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): haha

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (get circular saw out)

[13:17] herman Bergson: She took a floor last time

[13:18] andrea (andromedaprime) smiles

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): she needed it I suppose

[13:18] CB Axel: I accidentally took the floor from a skybox I have. Everyone who wasn't sitting in a chair fell 3000 m to the ground.

[13:18] herman Bergson: So as a free person I am more cautious now with my private property :-))

[13:19] CB Axel: How are neo-liberals different from libertarians?

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:19] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i earlier times didn't people have private property?

[13:19] andrea (andromedaprime): so neo-liberalism is Locke on steroids?

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa just what i thought

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): out of control in the hands of greedier and greedier companies and  the stock market

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where profit is all

[13:20] andrea (andromedaprime): or is it really neo-feudalism?

[13:20] herman Bergson: Well I am still working on that...

[13:20] herman Bergson: I'll deal with the difference in oncoming lectures....

[13:20] CB Axel: What they don't seem to realize is that many services work best when everyone can access them equally.

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true cb

[13:21] CB Axel: Police, fire departments, sewer systems, trash collection to name a few.

[13:21] herman Bergson: More important now is this concept of individual freedom and the right to own property that can't be taken from you by a government

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but they don't car about the service, instead they think that there are enough if the rich, who can afford to pay can have the service because that will still secure their profit

[13:22] herman Bergson: Yes CB....most people don't see how socialist they actually are

[13:22] CB Axel: I forgot roads, bridges, etc.

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): infrastructure that just HAVE to work

[13:22] herman Bergson: In deplorable condition in the US, so I heard.....

[13:22] CB Axel: So why should those things be accessible by all but things like education and health care shouldn't be?

[13:23] andrea (andromedaprime): liberals/neo-liberals/neo-cons would own the floor and charge each of us to use it

[13:23] herman Bergson: collapsing bridges even....

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed I've seen a series about things like that and how horrible the outcome can be

[13:23] CB Axel: Yes, Bejiita and Herman. And it's the stupid libertarians who are causing the collapse of our infrastructure.

[13:24] CB Axel: Unfortunately, those bridges collapse from under all people equally whether they thing they should pay for them or not.

[13:24] herman Bergson: There are a lot of contradictions in politics....

[13:24] CB Axel: *think

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): if there is no profit they don't wanna service or do t in general

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that lifes might be at stake they dont care about

[13:25] andrea (andromedaprime): we had a nasty fire because people cut safety corners - Grenfell Tower

[13:25] herman Bergson: But you made a point, CB....why pay for bridges and having to pay for healthcare

[13:26] CB Axel: I remember that, Andrea. :(

[13:26] herman Bergson: I have to think about that....

[13:26] andrea (andromedaprime): because safe bridges and good health are a human right?

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some really horrible things ive seen in the airplane industry where in order to make profit they fly and fly the planes and tory dont service them because thats downtime that cost money for them

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 100s of lives have been lost that way

[13:26] andrea (andromedaprime): Boeing!

[13:26] CB Axel: Scary, Bejiita.

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): when the planes break in flight

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because of bad service

[13:27] herman Bergson: I mean...bridges are paid for by the community.....healthcare isn't....that was CBs point, if I am not mistaken

[13:27] CB Axel: Yes

[13:27] andrea (andromedaprime): Boeing 737 MAX

[13:27] CB Axel: Although, the neo-liberals (or are they libertarians?) probably think bridges and roads should all require tolls.

[13:27] herman Bergson: Puzzling point, CB :-)

[13:28] herman Bergson: For clarification.....

[13:28] andrea (andromedaprime): yes - they favoir sfae bridges but they want us all to contribute to their profiteering

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): what Boeing did before was murder id say, sneak a system in and not telling everyone, then charge extra for alarm systems telling threre is a fault in the syetem, result noone installed these fault systems and noone knew what went wrong and so crashed

[13:28] herman Bergson: What are libertarians....the term is not used in European politics....

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): 2 times in a row

[13:28] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a long time ago we had a healthcare system called "het ziekenfonds"were every one payed the same

[13:28] herman Bergson: Slow down Bejiita

[13:29] herman Bergson: Are libertarians in US terms Dems?

[13:29] CB Axel: That's what I'm wondering, Herman. I think maybe what you're calling neo-liberals are called libertarians in the US. I have heard both terms, though.

[13:29] CB Axel: No, Herman. Dems are liberals not libertarians. Libertarians have their own party.

[13:30] herman Bergson: Ohhh....

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): never thought much of it, i only recognize the term Libertarian

[13:30] herman Bergson: I really have to figure out what libertarians are then :-)

[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i thougt in the US are only 2 parties

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sounds like someone working in a library

[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes...me too Beertje

[13:31] CB Axel: I should have checked that out before I came here today. I'll have to look into it.

[13:31] andrea (andromedaprime): Dems are like UK Conservatives while Reps are the spawn of Genghis Khan er i mean further to the right

[13:31] herman Bergson: Liberals...which is Reps and socialists which is Dems ^_^

[13:31] CB Axel: No, Beertje, There are other parties in the US, but they don't have the money behind them like the two main parties.

[13:31] CB Axel: Dems are more like the Labour Party.

[13:32] andrea (andromedaprime): no they're not!

[13:32] herman Bergson: They aren't Andrea?

[13:32] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): why need a lot of money for a party?

[13:32] herman Bergson: What then are they?

[13:32] andrea (andromedaprime): perhaps like Blair's version of it i suppose

[13:32] CB Axel: Running a campaign costs a lot of money, Beertje.

[13:33] andrea (andromedaprime): no, i see US main parties as both Conservatives

[13:33] CB Axel: Sadly, andrea, that's true.

[13:33] herman Bergson: All political parties in the Netherlands are supported by governmental benefits and money from members....

[13:33] CB Axel: That's why I may end up leaving the Democratic Party and join the Independent Party.

[13:33] andrea (andromedaprime): the US has a crap party funding law

[13:33] herman Bergson: It is not allowed to accept money from companies etc

[13:34] andrea (andromedaprime): right Herman

[13:34] CB Axel: The US has crap politics in general.

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where the one with most money wins

[13:34] andrea (andromedaprime): sadly

[13:34] CB Axel: Kanye West was on my ballot this year. So stupid.

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and then mix religion into everything

[13:34] herman Bergson: Hmmm...this going to become a complex matter....because of the differences in American and European political theory

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sigh

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you want to vote for Kane?

[13:35] andrea (andromedaprime): and Boris is selling Britain into the same sewer with Brexit :-(

[13:35] CB Axel: Oh hell no!

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the systems are different for sure

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): way different

[13:36] herman Bergson: YEs.....I have to study our discussion to figure out how to continue....^_^

[13:36] andrea (andromedaprime): there is a Green Party in the US :-)

[13:36] CB Axel: We could just forget US politics for now.

[13:36] herman Bergson: We are speaking different languages here

[13:36] CB Axel: Yes, there is, andrea.

[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): we are so different Europe and the Us:)

[13:37] herman Bergson: Let's try to summarize.....

[13:37] herman Bergson: US and Europe have political parties that adhere liberalism

[13:37] herman Bergson: What we first have to get clear is what original liberalism means

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:38] herman Bergson: Locke already prepared the road

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): so lets Look a bit onto Lo(o)cke

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:38] herman Bergson: Later in the project we have to figure out what is still there of the original theory and what has changed

[13:39] CB Axel: Is liberalism liberty for individuals or for businesses?

[13:39] herman Bergson: This willl lead us to this neo-liberalism and to the present situation in our political systems

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i think it might have started out good and in a controlled way with liberalism but neo liberalism then spun out of control sort of

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we should see

[13:39] herman Bergson: Proimarily for individuals, CB

[13:39] herman Bergson: That is how it all began

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa

[13:40] andrea (andromedaprime): but the law is crap - it rates companies as people!

[13:40] CB Axel nods

[13:40] herman Bergson: The role of businesses became an important issue since the industrial revolution

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hm ok

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa true

[13:41] herman Bergson: In other words....there still is a lot of work for us to be done

[13:41] herman Bergson: cant deal with it in one discussion ^_^

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): early factory workers i know dod not had it easy the bosses were just as greedy if not worse back then

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): did

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): textile mills and similar

[13:42] andrea (andromedaprime): yep

[13:42] andrea (andromedaprime): at least the law does give some protection to workers these days ;)

[13:42] herman Bergson: We are approaching Xmas time Bejiita....I suggest you to watch Scrooge ^_^

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the age we now honor as retro and cozy charming (steampunk)

[13:42] CB Axel: Laws that our libertarians would like to eliminate. :(

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was probably not that charming to live in

[13:43] herman Bergson: Steampunk is romanticism....

[13:43] herman Bergson: unrealistic

[13:43] andrea (andromedaprime): those are libertarian in the sense they want a "free" i.e. wild-west market

[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even me feature steampunk in all games i program and design, big fan of it

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): beautiful buildings , massive machines

[13:44] herman Bergson: I know.....^_^

[13:44] herman Bergson: I played Syiberia..:-)

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): oki

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:44] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Mist and Syberia

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that one ive actually not tried

[13:44] herman Bergson: And Myst too, yes ^_^

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Myst though witch i make a clone of in UE4

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): at least try to

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] herman Bergson: After this complex discussion loaded with questions, I suggest we now look for some more relaxing activities :-))

[13:45] CB Axel: I've tried Myst and Portal but never got very far.

[13:46] CB Axel: Yes. I have to go help a friend with his art gallery.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now its more halloween horror though like Amnesia which im gonna head back into now a while to be chased by monsters

[13:46] herman Bergson: Your chance to try again now CB :-))

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:46] CB Axel: I'll see you all Thursday.

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we do

[13:46] herman Bergson: I have to study our discussion :-)

[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Bye CB take care

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:46] herman Bergson: Thank you all agian....

[13:46] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu then

[13:46] CB Axel: In the mean time, I'll try to make sense of neo-liberalism and libertarianism. :)

[13:46] herman Bergson: Class dismissed...:-)

[13:47] andrea (andromedaprime): ja wohl!

[13:47]  Carma   (carma.caerndow) is offline.

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (quickly fires up circular saw and cuts out the floor and take t with me) WRRRRIIIIIIIIIII!

[13:47] herman Bergson: Interesting point indeed....

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): MUAHAHAHAHA

[13:47] herman Bergson: Bejiita!

[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehehe

[13:47] herman Bergson: ^_^

[13:47] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol Bejiita


Monday, October 19, 2020

875: Shareholder's Capitalism Falls Apart....

 After discussing the worrisome developments with respect to liberal democracy let's have a closer look at the economic developments and changes.

  

Communism is the school example of a state controlled economy.. The Soviet Union was famous for its five-year plans.

   

Communism failed as an economic system and it had to give more room to a free market system, to more material prosperity for its citizens.

   

Although still state controlled the Chinese economy seems to follow a similar scenario. You can imagine, that neoliberal economists were cheering.

  

In 1962, the economist Milton Friedman wrote “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – 

  

to use its resources and engage in activities designed to INCREASE ITS PROFITS so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition, without deception or fraud.”

  

This line turned into dogma in the 1980s, when Friedman became an adviser to President Ronald Reagan, and his thoughts on deregulation for the purpose of market efficiency became law.

   

The maximization of profits became the holy grail of corporations. The profits increased indeed spectacular.

   

However the wages of the people who produced those profits stayed the same, except the wages of the topmanagers. Most of the money went to the shareholders, to those who already were rich.

   

Public sentiment began to change en masse when the financial crisis of 2007-2008 brought to light the staggering level of income and wealth inequality, as Picketty has confirmed.

  

The Business Roundtable is an association of CEOs of many of America’s largest companies, among which Apple, Google, IBM etc.

    

This organization has come with a statement, signed by 181 companies in 2019.

  

It is the first statement to reject “shareholder primacy,” a theory that states that a public company exists solely 

 

for the benefit of shareholders, which has guided corporate governance for the past four decades. It should exist for ALL stakeholders like customers, employees, and communities.

  

The belief in the free market and the alleged beneficial effect would lead to better prices, healthy competition and increased efficiency everywhere 

  

has proven to be a failure in education, health care, social care, nursing homes and the like. People are now reconsidering this belief.

   

This economic system is not the solution for solving the huge problems of climate change.

   

 Governments have to act and it is not realistic to expect, that the free market and its market forces are capable (or willing) to go for environmental conservation and climate recovery.

  

Shareholder capitalism has passed its expiration date. That is what these 181 corporations at least admit in words.

    

There is a lot at steak. Now it is wait and see, what the deeds will be of big corporations and the happy few on this planet....

   

Thank you for your attention again.....

   


MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
 http://plato.stanford.edu/contents.htm
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020

    

The Discussion

 

[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): wishes it were so

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still going on

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but greed seems to win as usual

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): crops buying back stocks too

[13:19] CB Axel: I have trouble believing that those in the Business Roundtable really want to change anything

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): corps that is

[13:19] herman Bergson: What strikes me the most is the meaning of Friedman in the 1962, that the only obligation of a corporation is to maximize profits....

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i know

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and that is clearly the case

[13:20] oola Neruda is offline.

[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and he is till quoted and respected for that

[13:20] herman Bergson: It never is questioned from a moral point of view

[13:20] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): of course not

[13:20] oola Neruda is online.

[13:20] herman Bergson: neither iI know of any clear argument for this opinion....it is not a law of nature

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the products made should be the first priority and all should be on the sharing table, not just the shareholders and bosses

[13:21] herman Bergson: yes...just take this.....

[13:21] CB Axel: He did say there should be some laws to stop unfair advantage.

[13:22] herman Bergson: companies make heavily use of the infrastructure of a society which is paid for by the taxpayers....

[13:22] herman Bergson: education, transportation etc....

[13:22] herman Bergson: yes all profits go to shareholders

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm   :(

[13:22] CB Axel: Libertarians who want to deregulate business don't seem to realize (or maybe don't care) that those regulations were put in place because some greedy bastards did all they could to cheat the system.

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ant the ones on the floor gets barley enough to survive

[13:23] herman Bergson: who evade taxes in the worst scenario

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the ones doing thee actual hard work

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and not payig taxes either yes

[13:23] herman Bergson: isn't that an odd situation?

[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is the reason for strong unions and sadly......

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): no, tax paradises and 20 lambos in their mansions garage is the norm

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because it sights STATUS

[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): signs

[13:24] CB Axel: I'm a tiny bit sorry that Covid hasn't killed more workers.

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sarcasm or a quote?

[13:25] CB Axel: In the past when plagues wiped out poor workers the wealthy had to treat those who survived better if they wanted workers.

[13:25] herman Bergson: Yes....some cynical thoughts crossed my mind here....

[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ha ok true

[13:25] CB Axel: Fewer workers mean the bosses have to work harder to recruit and keep them.

[13:26] herman Bergson: Isn't there a more pleasant view....

[13:26] Lente (lentelies.anatine) is offline.

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): mmm

[13:27] CB Axel: I'd hate to think this current plague was for nothing. lol

[13:27] herman Bergson: corparations pay taxes...true....but they evade more...that is the general idea

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tha is sarcasm

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): they do NOT pay many taxes here

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): get away with it

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): loopholes

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): Biden will raise the corporate rate

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): including those bloody tax paradises

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fingers crossed

[13:28] herman Bergson: That's the point......in fact this could be considered as unethical regarding the society they use to generate their profits

[13:28] CB Axel: Not only do they evade taxes, they use their wealth to buy politicians who will allow them to keep their advantage over the rest of us.

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): :(

[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): sigh

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed true

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): politicians are just as corrupt

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats why nothing changes

[13:29] oola Neruda: you are right CB

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they also want MORE MONEY

[13:29] CB Axel: And any more money they have to pay in taxes will be offset by reducing wages/benefits and increasing the price of their goods.

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): even they are paid sky high already

[13:29] herman Bergson: That is just a plain generalization Bejiita.....

[13:29] herman Bergson: not true...

[13:29] CB Axel: That's why I'm for "eat the rich." lol

[13:29] oola Neruda: in the recent hearings, Senator Whitehouse named names of the money people that are paying what i would call bribes.. for certain legislations

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well there are politicians and politicians but

[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): missed that oola

[13:30] oola Neruda: including the choice for the new judge

[13:30] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh interesting issue

[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:30] CB Axel: Citizens United will destroy American democracy if it hasn't already.

[13:31] herman Bergson: Here in the EU lobbyists wrote the texts of some legislation....politicians just copy/pasted those

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I voted yesterday by mail

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): fingers crossed

[13:31] herman Bergson: \o/

[13:31] oola Neruda: it isn't even CU.... these rich people put the money into a fund with a funny name and all of them remain unnamed...

[13:31] CB Axel: I voted over a week ago.

[13:31] oola Neruda: millions

[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ah nice

[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that law should be changed too oola

[13:32] oola Neruda: way to keep them from tracing the money back to "changes that the govt. might make in their favor

[13:32] herman Bergson: At least we can conclude that shareholder capitalism is questions....

[13:33] herman Bergson: Even the Dutch prime minister...he is a diehard liberal said...those huge profits.....those stalling wages for decades.....that is wrong

[13:33] herman Bergson: Everybody was flabbergasted.....

[13:33] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes:)

[13:33] herman Bergson: But I read it as a sign...

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed what to do with so much money other then boasting about how rich u are

[13:34] oola Neruda: nods

[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at least some states here have passed wage increases for minimum wage

[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): to be rich isn't about money

[13:34] oola Neruda: I agree Beertje

[13:35] herman Bergson: Bejiita....money is power.....As CB said last Tuesday...The US has the best senate money can buy

[13:35] CB Axel: Tell that to a family that has to choose between eating and paying for medicine.

[13:35] oola Neruda: but there are so many who measure it that way

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and boasters are the worst i know thinking they are better then everyone else

[13:35] oola Neruda: yes

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): like Mr T

[13:35] herman Bergson: No word about Mr. T today please....

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and yes equality

[13:35] oola Neruda: around here, they are having a huge "used yacht " sale

[13:35] herman Bergson: Then I prefer Mr. Ed more

[13:36] oola Neruda: spelled that wrong

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): equality need to increase and even out

[13:36] CB Axel: Yacht

[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): lol Herman

[13:36] CB Axel: Mr. Ed for president!

[13:36] oola Neruda: thank youDB

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaaa

[13:37] herman Bergson: I think there is hope for the future.....

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah yes

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): free  market sounds nice but is a misnomer i think

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): something WILL change and hopefully soon

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed Gemma

[13:38] herman Bergson: It was a tough lesson but a free market system is not THE solution to create a just society....

[13:38] CB Axel: It's a very expensive market. :)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): free as in free to runout of control

[13:38] CB Axel: Right, Bejiita.

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...

[13:38] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): greed taking over

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats how i think of the term

[13:40] herman Bergson: Well...then, to conclude this conversation.....let's hope for the best and where is time there is hope

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true

[13:40] oola Neruda: we neeeeed hope

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)

[13:40] herman Bergson: The real debate has started...that is for sure...

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): remember people are good :-)

[13:40] herman Bergson: Thank you alll agian....^_^

[13:41] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....

[13:41] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥

[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:41] CB Axel: So either people are good is wrong or politicians aren't people.

[13:41] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:41] oola Neruda: thank you...you made some really astute observations

[13:41] herman Bergson: Interesting thesis CB :-)

[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some turtles? i got none before as router mapped

[13:41] herman Bergson: Thank you oola:-)

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats why i crashed

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

874: A Dream Falls Apart.......

In the previous lecture, I discussed the optimistic belief in political, economic and technological development, as it existed in the second half of the last century.

  

Now we can conclude that this neoliberal dream has fallen apart, because exactly in these aforementioned fields we face serious problems today.

  

Let's begin with the politics. "The End of History and the Last Man" (1992) is a famous book of political philosophy by American political scientist Francis Fukuyama 

  

which argues that with the ascendancy of Western liberal democracy, which occurred after the Cold War (1945–1991) and the dissolution of the Soviet Union (1991),

  

humanity has reached "not just ... the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: 

  

That is, the end-point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." 

  

Is that so? We can observe that the liberal democracy is on the defensive or at least is not working that well, as we hoped.

   

In several countries autocrats come or even are in power. Russia, Belarus, Poland, Hungary, Philippines, Venezuela to name a few.

   

They organize "democratic" elections, even have a parlement, but they disregard all values and rules of the democratic game.

  

The same characteristics resonate in the developments in the US. The politicization of the Justice Department, the appointment of judges of one specific political color.

   

In Europe we see the rise of right-wing populist parties, which are nationalistic and xenophobic and which despise the neoliberal course of their administrative elite.

   

And in the country, that loves to portrait itself as THE example of democracy, THE winner of the Cold War and slayer of communist totalitarianism, we have to witness the most horrible things.

    

Where Europe has its right-wing populist POLITICAL parties, in the US you have even more dangerous groups: heavily armed militias, 

  

which are mainly extreme rightwing of even neo-nazi like, xenophobic, if not plain racist and white supremacist.

  

In stead of creating a country where everyone is able to vote left and right go to the extreme to suppress people to vote.

  

The most extreme trick I heard in the news was voter suppression under native Americans, the original owners of the land.

  

They live in reservations, a place where they had no streets or house numbers. Probably they used P.O. boxes at a central location.

  

That specific state passed a law that allowed the right to vote only to people who could show an address in that state, that is, street name and house number.

  

It may be clear that the current president of the US shows autocratic traits and he appears to be a fan of leaders, who are autocratic leaders.

  

What this all boils down to is, that we must conclude that Fukuyama wasn't right. The liberal democracy is not the political system everybody wishes to accept without debate.

  

A political system is a means to represent the interests of everyone in a society and to ensure that everyone's interests are served equally in a process of give and take.

     

The method we have invented for this proces is voting, representation in a political parties, a parlement, acceptance of the majority vote, etc.

  

We are not at the end of history. Our history is under pressure and November 4 will be a historical moment in the life of liberal democracy.

    

Thank you for your attention again......

  



MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
 http://plato.stanford.edu/contents.htm
Gabriel van den Brink:"Ruw Ontwaken uit een Neoliberale Droom",, 2020


The Discussion

  

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Thank you Herman

[13:16] herman Bergson: The floor is yours....:-)

[13:16] andrea (andromedaprime) takes the floor and runs off with it

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): a öity that the Americans are not here tonight

[13:16] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): except CB of course

[13:17] herman Bergson smiles

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): Pity

[13:17] herman Bergson: feel free andrea :-)

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:17] andrea (andromedaprime) grins

[13:17] CB Axel: I do get tired of having to represent the whole country. lol

[13:17] andrea (andromedaprime): poor thing!

[13:17] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): it's a lot, I agree CB

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the pressure is in u know!

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): (everyone watching CB

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): )

[13:17] herman Bergson: You do not CB, your just one citizen :-)

[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hehe

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I think this president is a danger for the world

[13:18] herman Bergson: But liberal democracy is at stake here

[13:18] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): not only the us

[13:18] herman Bergson: Poland, Hungary.....

[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well he shows more and more that he belong in the asylum instead of the white house

[13:19] CB Axel: At the very least he belongs in jail.

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he is really insane

[13:19] herman Bergson: slow down Bejiita....:-)

[13:19] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm

[13:19] herman Bergson: That is just an opinion, not a philosophical argument

[13:20] andrea (andromedaprime): i think Fukuyama only proposed that hypothesis unless he's an idiot

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i get it he staged his covid infection, it was  just a play so he can then say  that since he is now ok everyone should carry on and the virus is no danger

[13:20] CB Axel: Fukuyama may have been overly optimistic.

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): it was just a bluff to gain votes

[13:20] herman Bergson: Yes Andrea, in a sense he was right.....

[13:20] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): uugght

[13:20] CB Axel: I don't know, Bejiita. He looked pretty sick for a while.

[13:21] herman Bergson: the fight between liberal democracy and communism had come to an end.....

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well he is a clown so he know how to play and act

[13:21] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): a VERY BAD clown

[13:21] herman Bergson: We know who Mr. T is Bejiita.....

[13:21] andrea (andromedaprime): i see that Fukuyama received flack for attacking postmodernism

[13:22] CB Axel: What is it that Putin is doing? Is he trying to bring back communism or is he trying something different?

[13:22] herman Bergson: what concerns us now is our present state of our democratic system

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): u gotta wonder Cb

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he is also really scary

[13:22] andrea (andromedaprime): Putin is just another Tsar

[13:22] herman Bergson: Good question, CB....

[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and seems he have something going on  now for sure

[13:22] herman Bergson: SOmething like that , indeed, Andrea....

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): will the us be a democratie or an autocratie?

[13:23] herman Bergson: He wants to resotre the geopolitical grandeur of the old Soviet Union.....not communism....that won't sell anymore

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): to me he is even more scary cause since he is so new where i live he could no problem nuke Sweden to dust with a strategically placed attack from a sub sneaking about.

[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he is so near here

[13:24] herman Bergson: Yes Bejiita, but ask yourself the question...what would he gain by that

[13:24] andrea (andromedaprime): even then - in 1990's surely he was aware of the rapacious international corporates being the real force undermining democracy?

[13:25] CB Axel: One would think so, Andrea.

[13:25] herman Bergson: Due to globalisation it is the big corporations that really dominate and rule the world, it seems

[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully nothing and so he wont do that but he is also one of these crazy mad man's noways

[13:26] andrea (andromedaprime): Aha - found it: "As a key Reagan Administration contributor to the formulation of the Reagan Doctrine, Fukuyama is an important figure in the rise of neoconservatism..." - that explains a lot!

[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ok

[13:27] herman Bergson: Governments are sued these days for billions of dollars, because they accept for instance environment protection laws that conflict with corporate interests

[13:27] andrea (andromedaprime): subversion of democracy 101 :-(

[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): crazy indeed

[13:27] herman Bergson: You better call 911 here :-)

[13:28] andrea (andromedaprime): corporate takeover

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but money and profit always come first as usual

[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes

[13:28] herman Bergson: These are absurd situation with respect to democratic systems

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same with bolsonaro, rain forest is soon a burnt savanna and he just say to everyone that they sould not care about Brazils business

[13:29] andrea (andromedaprime): :-(

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ignoring that the entire planet is at stake

[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for business

[13:29] andrea (andromedaprime): the fossil fuel industry is wealthy and powerful i'm afraid

[13:29] herman Bergson: Corporations dictate the laws in several cases....

[13:30] herman Bergson: Not to speak of the many lobbyists

[13:30] andrea (andromedaprime): it's that trade law isn't it?

[13:30] herman Bergson: Yes

[13:31] herman Bergson: If a country passes a law that for instance orders to reduce CO2 production

[13:31] andrea (andromedaprime): how does it relate to the WTO?

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well one thing is for sure and that is that things are going in the wrong directions in many places, away from democracy and freedom

[13:31] herman Bergson: a global corporation can sue that country for harming their profits

[13:31] andrea (andromedaprime): yes

[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Poland, Hungary, Turkey, US

[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all ruled by power and money hungry maniacs/dictators

[13:32] andrea (andromedaprime): outrageous, Herman, isn't it?

[13:32] herman Bergson: It annihilates the power of democracy and its voters

[13:33] herman Bergson: The leaders of big companies aren't democratically elected.....

[13:33] andrea (andromedaprime): seems to me that this development in international economic law indicates we really don't have democracy at all

[13:33] herman Bergson: they are the ultimate autocrats in fact

[13:33] CB Axel: Oh, but the US Supreme Court has said that corporations are people. :(

[13:33] andrea (andromedaprime): that is also outrageous - same in UK law :-(

[13:34] herman Bergson: Yes Besos, Zuckeman, Cook....real people....indeed

[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): also russia have always been a global treat, its culture based on top secret military doomsday projects, bribing, espionage and spreading computer viruses around

[13:34] andrea (andromedaprime): compare the USA military - pure as the driven snow?! I think not!

[13:34] CB Axel: Well, they are real people, but I doubt that they speak for everyone who works for them.

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): add to that inferior  dangerous machines like the chernobyl reactor, the K19 sub and similar haphazardly made things

[13:35] andrea (andromedaprime): no, the point is that in these crap laws, corporations are counted as people which they aren't

[13:35] herman Bergson: Indeed CB...they only speak for themselves and nobody can check it

[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aa yes

[13:35] CB Axel: And they only fund politicians for themselves.

[13:35] herman Bergson: Indeed....

[13:36] CB Axel: They can give millions if not billions. Their employees can't do taht.

[13:36] herman Bergson: So much of liberal democracy and free elections......

[13:36] CB Axel: The US has the best congress money can buy. :(

[13:36] herman Bergson: We have to be watchful

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm indeed

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopefully all this will come out good in the end but....

[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hopes are low for now

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but the ship have to turn up again instead on continue to sink

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): soon

[13:37] CB Axel: 3 weeks from today may show things will get better.

[13:37] herman Bergson: At least the comming presidential election in the US will mean something for the future of liberal democracy

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah

[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well i hope for the best anyway

[13:38] CB Axel: I'm really worried about what's going to happen.

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that things will soon change

[13:38] andrea (andromedaprime): That nasty law is called the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS)

[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): for the better

[13:38] herman Bergson: So am I CB

[13:38] CB Axel: A friend of mine who has always been anti-gun recently bought one. He's afraid of what may happen if Trump loses.

[13:38] herman Bergson: If the incumbent president of the US will be re-elected Europe will be on its own

[13:38] CB Axel: He lives in Texas, so almost everyone there is armed and stupid.

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then we will start to brawl like a baby and start a nuclear war as revenge

[13:39] herman Bergson: no no Bejiita......

[13:39] CB Axel: Yes, Herman. European countries will have to stand together more than ever.

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but someone will grab him before that and drag him to the asylum/jail

[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): where he belong

[13:39] herman Bergson: Well be the keepers of liberal democracy......and keep the flam burning

[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): I think the US will be on it's own

[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well as said we can only hope for the best

[13:40] andrea (andromedaprime): what was it Canadians say about the US? ...a land of mad people run by children?

[13:41] herman Bergson: I think that  the US ends being a world leader indeed Beertje....

[13:41] CB Axel: I recently heard someone from the US military (I can't remember who, but very high-ranking) said that the military backs the Constitution and not any one person or political party. That made me feel a little better.

[13:41] herman Bergson: They have a point Andrea :-)

[13:41] andrea (andromedaprime): or is it a land of children run by madmen?

[13:41] andrea (andromedaprime) grins

[13:41] CB Axel: I'm afraid I have to agree, andrea.

[13:42] herman Bergson: There they have a point too Andrea :-)

[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): madmen acting like children/babies = trump

[13:42] CB Axel: Both. Insane children run by rich insane children.

[13:42] andrea (andromedaprime): yep

[13:42] herman Bergson: Ok...let me conclude.....

[13:42] andrea (andromedaprime): it wouldn't matter if they weren't a superpower!

[13:43] herman Bergson: What we can be sure of is that we are witnesses of an historical situation regarding our political system, about liberal democracy as it is known in Europe....

[13:44] herman Bergson: So, unless you still have that essrntial remark or question......?

[13:44] herman Bergson: LEt me thank you again for your participation....

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lets turn the tide around!

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we can do it!

[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): YAY! (yay!)

[13:44] herman Bergson: Good plan, Bejiita....:-)

[13:44] andrea (andromedaprime): peace and love, people :-)

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman

[13:45] herman Bergson: Class dismissed.....

[13:45] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hugs everyone

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): now back to BURn for a while

[13:45] Guestboook van tipjar stand: AndromedaPrime Resident donated L$20. Thank you very much, it is much appreciated!

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): before sleep time

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu son everyone

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): bye Bejiita

[13:45] CB Axel: Back to RL for me, I'm afraid. Good night, everyone.

[13:45] andrea (andromedaprime): thanks Herman, everyone ;)

[13:45] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you herman and class

[13:45] herman Bergson: Happy Burning bejiita

[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):

[13:45] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): goodnight CB:)

[13:45] bergfrau Apfelbaum: byebye Bejiita have fun!