Wednesday, June 19, 2019

791: The Crown Jewel of Capitalism....

Economy is not a science like physics. What happens in the world of physics is based on laws of nature.
Economists have the inclination to make us believe, that what happens in economy is also based on "laws".
Like Adam Smith wanted us to believe that you should not interfere with the economic processes,
with the market, because there was some "silent hand", that guided the processes.
Equally Friedrich von Hayek wants us to believe, that there is some natural social order, with which you should not interfere....leave the free market alone.
What we hear here are normative arguments in relation to individual freedom. When you interfere with a market you are limiting the freedom of the individual.
The basic idea is, and I am putting this in an 1960s context, we should be FREE. Don't f•ck with our freedom which is closely related to economic freedom.
Milton Friedman, the well-known Nobel Prize winning economist and economic advisor to President Reagan and Margaret Thatcher, 
essentially argued that economic freedom was part of freedom, in his book "Capitalism and Freedom", written in 1962.
Friedman, along with earlier writers, Friedrich Hayek, Ayn Rand, to mention the names most commonly associated with such views, 
essentially defined the philosophical and moral positions that came to comprise both libertarian and much mainstream Republican and Tea Party thinking.
In "Capitalism and Freedom ", Milton Friedman expressed the then rather unpopular proposition that the meaning of liberalism had changed in the 20th century, 
that we were far removed from the original 19th-century meaning of economic liberalism, a belief in free trade and free markets
and that liberalism now stood for a belief in equality that had to be established by a well-meaning government. 
His first goal was to restore the original meaning of liberalism, and his second to support that real freedom could only be achieved 
through a return to a real market economy, that real freedom could only exist if man was economically free, which implied NO government interference with the economy.
Position this against a 1960s background, just survived from a totalitarian regime, while behind the Iron Curtain dozens of countries had no economic or personal freedom.
Then the idea that freedom is connected with economic freedom and the right to private property  sounds like the perfect antidote against communism and socialism. 
However, free societies are focused on protecting the rights of individuals, and have no obligation to the rights of markets. 
Markets don’t have rights, only people do. Moreover, markets have impacts on lives and property. 
While it is clear that a free society embraces notions of protecting property and thus must have some sense that a person can decide what to do with his or her property, 

it is by no means clear and self-evident that freedom means minimal government regulation of markets.

On the contrary, it is possible to argue the exact opposite: that freedom includes the right of society to decide 
how much freedom to give its markets and how to balance the forces of the market with the protection of its citizens. 
Indeed, in a world where market forces are larger than governments, the need to protect individuals from market forces themselves certainly can be thought to be a role of government in a free society. 
And that problem we inherited from the 20th century: shouldn't the government protect the individual against the markets? 
Let the answer come from the Republicans or the Democrats....Your choice :-)
Thank you for your attention...

Main Sources:
MacMillan The Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2nd edition
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 1995
Peter Watson: A Terrible Beauty (2000)

The Discussion

[13:17] herman Bergson: Let me give you one example regarding freedom of the market....
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Economics running like that with no control wil only result in more and more greed where the rich try make the rest poorer to gain themselves
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): an evil spiral
[13:17] herman Bergson: a medicin producer is bought by some else...
[13:17] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): some form of control is needed
[13:17] oola Neruda: human nature... like greed, money laundering, doing only what is in one's self interest
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:18] herman Bergson: this buyer increases the price of the medicine by a factor of ten....
[13:18] oola Neruda: especially if you are rich rich rich
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and with 1 percent already owning 95% of all money
[13:18] oola Neruda: yes
[13:18] herman Bergson: amazing figures....
[13:18] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I think that even Milton is beginning to see his errors
[13:18] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats what happens with no control over economics
[13:18] herman Bergson: Greenspan did...
[13:19] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh right him too
[13:20] herman Bergson: it is the big debate these days....the smaal gernment....
[13:20] herman Bergson: small
[13:20] oola Neruda: and our corrupt government... here in the US
[13:20] herman Bergson: and when the government wants to play a role in a market they start screeming...SOCIALISM....
[13:21] CB Axel: But, Herman. Corporations are people!
[13:21] oola Neruda: hmmmph
[13:21] herman Bergson: I must admit oola, that the US government is openly corrupt....
[[13:21] herman Bergson: Yes CB..THAT is the worst   problem.....
[13:21] oola Neruda: and do not even blush
[13:21] herman Bergson: Corporations are humans they should have ethics....
[13:21] Rebecca (rebecca.rozen) is online.
[13:22] herman Bergson: and they don't
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well no wonder with Trump at the rudder who runs the entire US as one big corporation and not as a country
[13:22] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): money is everything!
[13:22] oola Neruda: right
[13:22] CB Axel: When "Citizens United" was upheld by the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) I began to seriously think about leaving the country.
[13:22] herman Bergson: What is Citizens United, CB?
[13:22] oola Neruda: mmm
[13:23] CB Axel: Bejiita, if Trump was the problem we could fix it with the next election. But the entire Republican party is corrupt.
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): all his supporters
[13:23] oola Neruda: it allows corporations the same priveleged as "people" and they can basically bribe their way into whatever suits them
[13:23] herman Bergson: That has become a very weird party indeed with McConnell in front and Graham on his tail
[13:23] CB Axel: Pretty much, oola.
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm sadly :(
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its a mess
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): that i hope will fix itself somehow
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and i used to have some respect for graham
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): tho i disagree with him
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): not anymore
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he is a toady
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he have probably fallen for the bait of greed as well
[13:25] herman Bergson: One thing that troubles me is....
[13:26] herman Bergson: thatt sometimes in the news they refer to the president of the US as the leader of the free world....
[13:26] herman Bergson: Well...believe me...I am done with that....
[13:26] CB Axel: We don't have 1 person = 1 vote any more. We have 1$ = 1 vote, so the people with the most money influence elections. My vote counts for nothing.
[13:26] herman Bergson: he isn't
[13:26] oola Neruda: McConnel is a particularly huge log jam
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): well as much as trump applauds HIS great economy it is the normal people that don't see it in their lives
[13:26] herman Bergson: I see him as a danger to the free world
[13:26] CB Axel: I agree, Herman.
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): true
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:27] herman Bergson: But this what we inherited from the 20th century....
[13:27] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): trump is clearly the one valuing people based on how rich u are so the poor ones he sees just as trash
[13:27] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and is losing the confidence of our allies too
[13:27] oola Neruda: he is delusional
[13:28] herman Bergson: this blind faith in the free market.....
[13:28] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm very delusional
[13:28] herman Bergson: and in thise century we are paying the bill for it
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): he belong in an asylum, not the white house
[13:28] oola Neruda: nods
[13:29] herman Bergson: There happened something "unbelievable" here in the Netherlands......!!!!
[13:29] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): jail not the asylum
[13:29] herman Bergson: Listen....
[13:29] herman Bergson: Our prime minister is a 100% liberal.....
[13:30] herman Bergson: and last week in a speech he said......
[13:30] herman Bergson: The profits of the companies are sky hugh at the moment....
[13:30] herman Bergson: and what do we see...???
[13:30] herman Bergson: The salaries of the top managers increase immense....
[13:31] herman Bergson: and the income of the workers in the factories don't rise at alll...
[13:31] herman Bergson: that has to change!
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): same here .. and maybe as more speak of the differences the pendulum will swing
[13:31] CB Axel: I scoffed at the "trickle down theory" back in the Reagan era.
[13:31] oola Neruda: right
[13:31] herman Bergson: otherwise the government will take measures
[13:31] CB Axel: But the GOP keeps trying to tell us trickle down works.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): so stupid
[13:32] herman Bergson: Yes that nonsense trickle down fairy tale
[13:32] oola Neruda: right... it works.... for them
[13:32] CB Axel: It didn't work back the, it's not working now, and it will never work.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): nope
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i was just gonna say that, the only one getting paid are the bosses, not the workers, they are barley paid often so they can make the day while the bosses slurp champagne and ride luxury cars
[13:32] oola Neruda: right
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we need more unions
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): again
[13:32] CB Axel: The only thing that trickles down to workers is piss.
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): champagne
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): at least in this past year we saw teachers stand up and walk out
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): adn win!!!!
[13:33] oola Neruda: !!!!!
[13:33] herman Bergson: \o/
[[13:33] herman Bergson: The most interesting here is
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and brexit stil looms
[13:34] herman Bergson: that the theory of only one person can have such an effect on the whole world...
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): no end
[13:34] CB Axel: The GOP is just going to use that as an excuse to open their own for profit schools.
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): sadly
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i guess
[13:34] herman Bergson: Well...
[13:34] oola Neruda: for profit schools is exactly what Betsy did....
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh es
[13:34] herman Bergson: what I am thinking all the time in such a situation is...
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yep
[13:35] oola Neruda: and now regular schools scramble for funding
[13:35] herman Bergson: that it is not ONE person.......
[13:35] oola Neruda: and poor neighborhoods are worse off than ever
[13:35] herman Bergson: there is a soil he feeds on.....
[13:36] herman Bergson: Trump can be there because there already was a 'Trump"
[13:36] herman Bergson: in the Tea Party people and others
[13:36] herman Bergson: and Democrates are real softies ^_^
[13:37] herman Bergson: we saved America.....well done :-)
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): we tried at least
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:38] oola Neruda: the republicans on the ground are just plain manipulated with promises and emotional "catastrophes" that only republican votes can fix... HAH
[13:38] herman Bergson: so it is Bejiita
[13:38] herman Bergson: Unless someone else wishes to save the rest of the world......?
[13:38] oola Neruda: so they vote for no abortion and the wall....
[13:38] herman Bergson: Class dismissed
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:39] herman Bergson: and thank you all again :-)
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well cu next time
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): hope to be here Thursday too
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then we can continue
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): with the rest
[13:39] CB Axel: There is no saving America. It's a lost cause.
[13:39] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): oh cb
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i think that was said at the civil war
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and after
[13:39] herman Bergson: Good plan, CB
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and other wars
[13:39] herman Bergson: Working on it ^_^
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and depression
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and
[13:39] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): and
[13:40] bergfrau Apfelbaum: thank you, Herman and class :-)
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well there will be total chaos there unless something changes for sure
[13:40] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but cu next time thursday
[13:40] CB Axel: See you all Thursday.
[13:40] CB Axel: Bye.
[13:40] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): bye
[13:40] herman Bergson: Don't worry Bejiita

[13:41] herman Bergson: Ok CB :-)

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

790: The Rise and Fall of Solidarity....

In the 1960s a collective shift took place in different areas of thought. 
The 1960s have often been described as a frivolous decade of fashionable frills, musical intoxication, sexual freedom and drug-infused nihilism, 
but it was above all a decade in which more people than ever in the West sought confrontation outside a wartime or were confronted 
with the fundamental dilemmas of human existence: freedom, justice, equality and mutual solidarity, with what they meant and how they could be achieved.
These existential questions were all the more urgent when you look at the political situation of the world at that time.
August 17, 1961 East-German construction workers began building the Wall in Berlin. The Cold war was a fact as was the nuclear threat.
 In 1961 there were, besides in Russia, communist regimes in Eastern Germany and seven Eastern European countries, 
in the Balkan states Yugoslavia and Albania, in the Asian countries China, North Korea and North Vietnam, in Cuba, 
and there were large communist parties in Italy, Chile, Egypt and Mozambique. 
The Soviet Union not only supplied weapons to various other countries, such as Syria, Congo and India, but also provided education and training. 
Never before has the world been so strongly divided between two rival systems: on the one hand 
the centralized, state-oriented and state-led communist economies, and on the other hand the free market economies of the West.
Communism looked like to be a huge threat for our values of freedom, justice, equality and mutual solidarity.
It is in that world, that people discovered the book "Road to Serfdom" (1944) written by Friedrich von Hayek, an Austrian economist.
Von Hayek wrote this book out of concern for the general view (mistakenly) in British academia that fascism was a capitalist reaction to socialism. It was written between 1940 and 1943.  
The Road to Serfdom is a powerful analysis of how the use of economic planning leads to the evils of totalitarianism when economic planning replaces the markets. 
A democracy is based on individual freedoms. Individuals have the freedom to make their own choices and decisions. 
One of the choices and decisions regards the choice of occupation and employment. 
A market allocates resources, one of which is labor, to different uses in response to market conditions. 
This happens automatically through changes in wages and prices without direction from a commissar. 
The market results in an efficient use of resources with output production in accordance with the preferences of consumers.
Whatever political opinion you have, but when you produce something for 10 dollars and you can sell it for 20 dollars, communist or socialist or capitalist, common sense tells it again...!
And Hayek claimed that freedom is related to private property and in that way you increase your private property and thus your freedom.
And in way he is right...We get freedom from worries about obtaining  resources and freedom to do whatever we like, when we make a profit.
We really inherited this from the 20th century, but also economy has become the new religion. What is good? That what is good for economy.......God = Free market.
Thank you for your attention again ..:-)

The Discussion

[13:23] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:23] th3runner: Thanks Herman
[13:23] herman Bergson: The floor is yours...^_^
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): GOD IS IN THE TV!
[13:23] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): lol
[13:23] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) whispers: sort of what c
[13:24] herman Bergson: Watch it, Bejiita! :-))
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): China is doing these days
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in Africa
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): South America
[13:24] th3runner: I have some questions, what do you think comparably speaking, free market or state-controlled serve as better model for human economy ?
[13:24] herman Bergson: doing qhat Gemma?
[13:24] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): repeat of what soviet Union did
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i just watched china play football on my tv but was kind of boring so came in here instead
[13:24] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): inserting itself all over the world
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): with money
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): projects
[13:25] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): etc
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): but indeed money rules the world it seems for sure
[13:25] herman Bergson: wait ....wait.....
[13:25] herman Bergson: there was a question of th3runner....
[13:26] th3runner: yes
[13:26] herman Bergson: free market or state-controlled serve as better model for human economy
[13:26] herman Bergson: the question is..what is better.....
[13:26] herman Bergson: Here we are confronted with a basic flaw in human thinking....
[13:26] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): still being argued
[13:27] herman Bergson: Aristotle invented his syllogistic logic and had some basic rules...
[13:27] CB Axel: Free market with government regulations to protect the weak from being taken advantage of.
[13:27] herman Bergson: one of them was  A can not be NOT-A
[13:27] herman Bergson: it ti either or.....
[13:28] herman Bergson: And th3runner has a simililar question......
[13:28] herman Bergson: either free market or state controlled economy
[13:28] herman Bergson: and that directs the whole debate in a wrong direction
[13:29] herman Bergson: at this very moment we see it happen in our least in mine....
[13:29] th3runner: but can't see how my question relates to that rule in syllogistic logic ?
[13:29] CB Axel: Neither system works when people get too greedy.
[13:29] herman Bergson: for the market politics are perfect...
[13:29] herman Bergson: no problem....resources and demand....
[13:30] herman Bergson: but they also implemented that idea in healthcare here in the Netherlands....j
[13:30] herman Bergson: just the idea!...Hospitals have to make a profit?!
[13:30] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): they already closed some hospitals
[13:31] herman Bergson: So  my conclusion isnt either / or....
[13:31] th3runner: So you mean we need a model that integrate elements from both? or a synthesis in dialectical sense?
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes Beertje...unbelievable...
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): we have so many for profit hospitals here
[13:31] herman Bergson: Yes th3runner...of course
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): thats just bad
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako) whispers: very bad!
[13:31] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): must be a middle ground in there
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): that is why it is still being argued
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i use to call it, pay or die
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): welll at least any emergency room must take people
[13:32] herman Bergson: Let me give you an topic in the in the Netherlands just a common for all
[13:32] theo Velde is online.
[13:32] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): in both types of hospital
[13:32] herman Bergson: just think....
[13:33] herman Bergson: what do you benefit of as a society.....healthy people who can go to work, feel safe an protected...
[13:33] th3runner: but does free market prevents state-sponsored health care?
[13:33] herman Bergson: suppose you live in a country you can't afford healthcare...
[13:33] herman Bergson: what happens to that society....
[13:33] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): I sure agree but some call it socialism dirty word here
[13:34] herman Bergson: it loses a lot of people who get sick , cant go to work, because they cant afford health-insurance
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): or medications
[13:34] herman Bergson: To call it socialism doesn't mean a thing....
[13:34] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): which are going nuts here
[13:35] herman Bergson: then first show me what is wrong with socialism
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): prices rising 200-400+ percent
[13:35] CB Axel: Eventually, we will have a good old fashioned plague that will wipe out 1/3 of the population, especially the people who do the actual work.
[13:35] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): to some Americans socialism = Soviet Union
[13:35] herman Bergson: Medication....another issue....
[13:35] CB Axel: Then people who don't think the poor deserve health care will have to work for a living for a change.
[13:36] herman Bergson: The pharma industry is a bunch of put it bluntly
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): agree
[13:36] herman Bergson: in fact the pghara industry should be nationalized
[13:36] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its inane
[13:36] herman Bergson: health is a common good of society
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): the pharma industry basically tells that only the rich should survive
[13:37] herman Bergson: so everything that concerns health should be controlled by the state
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cancer meds ect
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): they only want to make money, they don't care if u die cause u cant afford it
[13:38] herman Bergson: it is absurd to make a profit on the sickness of people!
[13:38] herman Bergson: it is unethical
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): VERY unethical
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and sad
[13:38] herman Bergson: Let me give you an example.....
[13:39] herman Bergson: a dutch university worked cooperation with a pharma company on a medicine....something against a cancer.....
[13:39] herman Bergson: normal costs for treatment were 60.000 euro per patient a year....
[13:40] herman Bergson: then that university developed a method that was more effective....would lead to a cost of 40.000 euro a year....
[13:40] herman Bergson: at that moment the pharma company stopped supporting the reseach....was  no longer in  its interest
[13:41] herman Bergson: unethical
[13:42] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): because their profits decrease, they are not caring that people get healthy, they just use it for their profits
[13:42] herman Bergson: So GOD i snot the free market, neither is what Americans call socialism the devil
[13:42] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): right
[13:42] herman Bergson: yes just horrible
[13:43] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): money is the religion worldwide
[13:43] herman Bergson: Espacially Americans have to learn to think more inclusive today.....
[13:43] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): same with oil companies there are at least rumors that there are already lot of technologies other then batteries ect for creating electric cars and similar but the oil companies have shut them all down cause the clean technology threats their profit
[13:43] theo Velde is offline.
[13:43] herman Bergson: A = free market, B = social solidarity...
[13:43] herman Bergson: it is not either A or B.....
[13:44] herman Bergson: it is somewhat A and somewhat B
[13:44] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): yes
[13:44] herman Bergson: but there you have to be a philosopher int he debate....
[13:44] herman Bergson: open, honest, logical, listening to arguments....
[13:44] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:45] herman Bergson: That is missing at the moment....
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): aaa yes
[13:45] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): needs a balance
[13:45] herman Bergson: you are DEM of r dumb...GOP...I mean  :-))
[13:45] herman Bergson: I watch it with amazement every day....
[13:46] herman Bergson: But sorry....this is just a side issue :-)
[13:46] herman Bergson: You are exhausted I guess :-)
[13:46] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): you are DEM of r dumb...GOP...I mean  ..what do you mean by this?
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate) GIGGLES!!
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ...LOL...
[13:47] herman Bergson whispers: So we'd better end our discussion for today ...:-)
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:47] herman Bergson: Class dimisssed
[13:47] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): was good as usual anyway
[13:47] herman Bergson: you are DEM or dumb...GOP...
[13:47] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): have you decided on  summer leave yet??
[13:48] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): cu tuesday
[13:48] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Hermand and class :-)
[13:48] th3runner: Thank you
[13:48] herman Bergson: Beertje...Dem = Democrats in the US and GOP, Grand Old Party os the Re[ublicans in the US :_)
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): ah:)))
[13:48] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i had no idea:)
[13:48] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i am a left leaning dem
[13:49] herman Bergson: Aren't you attending class to learn new things here? :-)))
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): republican party is NOT what it used to be
[13:49] CB Axel: I'm afraid I'm going so far left I'm falling off the chart.
[13:49] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): is not Trump party for now
[13:49] herman Bergson: I agree Gemma....
[13:49] CB Axel: At least compared to the GOP.
[13:49] herman Bergson: what has got into those people....unbelievable
[13:49] herman Bergson: just take that Lindsey Graham....
[13:50] CB Axel: Yes, please take him!
[13:50] CB Axel: Take him far away!!
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he used to be sensible
[13:50] herman Bergson: I really cant believe what he has been and what he is saying now....
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): i didn't always agree with him but sometimes
[13:50] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): now????
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): he is under trump spell
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): by playing golf with him lololol
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): omg
[13:51] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): OMG!!!
[13:51] herman Bergson: You used to call Trump a lunatic, unfit for office
[13:52] herman Bergson: Trump cheat at golf....guess he lets Graham win :-))
[13:53] herman Bergson: BTW cute outfit Gemma
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): ♥ Thank Youuuuuuuuuu!! ♥
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): lol
[13:53] herman Bergson grins
[13:53] Gemma (gemma.cleanslate): bye for now
[13:54] herman Bergson: Bye Gemma :-)

Thursday, June 13, 2019

789: Against Interpretation...

It is 1964 and men like Pollock and Warhol had defied the possibility  of interpretation of their work.
In "Against Interpratation" (1964), Susan Sontag (1933 - 2004) fights against the classical separation 
between form and content of a work of art, where content and its interpretation become more important than form.
-quote-"Directed to art, interpretation means plucking a set of elements (the X, the Y, the Z, and so forth) from the whole work. 
The task of interpretation is virtually one of translation. The interpreter says, Look, don’t you see that X is really— or, really means—A? That Y is really B? That Z is really C?"-end quote-
It is that peculiar situation in which someone means to know by interpretation, what the author really meant or what the painting really means.
According to Susan Sontag "..the effusion of
interpretations of art today poisons our sensibilities."
-quote-"It is always the case that interpretation of this type indicates a dissatisfaction (conscious or unconscious) with the work, a wish to replace it by something else."

"Interpretation does not, of course, always prevail. In fact, a great deal of today’s art may be understood as motivated by a flight from interpretation. 
To avoid interpretation, art may become parody. Or it may become abstract. Or it may become (“merely”) decorative. Or it may become non-art."-end quote-
Then she comes to her main question: "What kind of criticism, of commentary on the arts, is desirable today? 
For I am not saying that works of art are ineffable, that they cannot be described or paraphrased. They can be. 
The question is how. What would criticism look like that would serve the work of art, not usurp its place?"
And she concludes that "...a vocabulary - a descriptive, rather than prescriptive, vocabulary - for forms" is needed.
Her conclusion is: "What is important now is to recover our senses. We must learn to see more, to hear more, to feel more. 
Our task is not to find the maximum amount of content in a work of art, much less to squeeze more content out of the work than is already there. 
Our task is to cut back content so that we can see the thing at all. The aim of all commentary on art now should be 
to make works of art-and, by analogy, our own experience-more, rather than less, real to us. 
The function of criticism should be to show how it is what it is, even that it is what it is, rather than to show what it means." -end quote-
In this conclusion you read the typical attitude of the 1960s: a kind of anti-rational and think-with- your-feelings attitude,  an anti-intellectualism.
Did we inherit this from her? I don't know, but I happen to run into James Reich. He is a writer and  the founder and publishing editor of Stalking Horse Press, 
and a professor of philosophy and literature. He was born in England in 1971, and has been a resident of the US since 2009.
The tittle of an article by him tells the story: "A Dangerous Method: Susan Sontag's 'Against Interpretation'." November 2017.
Just a few quotes and you'll have content enough to dig into:

"It is by deliberate rejection of context that she strips the creative act of ritual, renders artists mute, depoliticizes, neuters, 
and demeans notions of depth and deception, implication and interrogation, makes the reader, the viewer, the listener a bland consumer, and susceptible to manipulations...
The greatest danger of Against Interpretation is that Sontag is willfully blind to the coercive facts of culture, to semiotics, propaganda, the insinuations of power in culture.
Against Interpretation encourages a laissez-faire laziness disguised as radicalism, and presumes that criticism is a burden to the mind.
It was a dangerously naïve essay then, and is more dangerous now. We must always be suspicious of the text." -end quotes-
Does art has form and content and can we describe the form and interpret the content? As you see the question is still alive...
Thank you for your attention again ...

The discussion

[13:20] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:20] oola Neruda: book by Ben Shahn... Form and Content...
[[13:21] oola Neruda: ooops  mThe Shape of Content
[13:21] herman Bergson: What I like of this subject is the hippie like approach of Sontag of looking at art....
[13:21] CB Axel: I can't help but interpret the content.
[13:22] herman Bergson: Brain turned off....all senses wide open.....experience.....feel....
[13:22] herman Bergson: The artist is, whatever he makes, working within a cultural context....
[13:23] oola Neruda: there were a lot of different kinds of approaches to art at that time...which meant that it was very difficult to have one approach....
[13:23] herman Bergson: The idea of Sontag looks like the "L'art pour l'art" principle from the 1880s
[13:24] oola Neruda: it helped to be part of the circle that is creating a certain style... for there will be a lot of talk that is just between people with that group or environment... "inside? ideas
[13:25] herman Bergson: I am no art critic, so I don't know what the mainstream of today is, but I don't think it is the "against interpretation" approach
[13:25] CB Axel: Her approach isn't dangerous when applied to art, but people (or at least people in the US) seem to be taking that approach with politics and news.
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): indeed there are so may type of art and how it is meant to be seen
[13:25] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): interpreted or not
[13:26] oola Neruda: a LOT of experimenting with style and media at that time... each direction took on different ideas or challenges
[13:26] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ah
[13:27] herman Bergson: Maybe it is interesting to look in some history of art of the 20th century and see what all happened then
[13:27] oola Neruda: YES
[13:27] herman Bergson: And it might be interesting to keep this form vs. content debate in mind then
[13:27] oola Neruda: one was rebellion against the gallery owners and their "rules".... taking advantage of artists
[13:28] oola Neruda: so they made art that could not be bought....
[13:28] oola Neruda: like environmental art....
[13:28] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as i get it one of these (Sonntag) says interpretation is bad and the other that it is definitley not and that she is all wrong. I say it depends on the art, how it is meant to be seen
[13:28] oola Neruda: spiral jetty
[13:28] oola Neruda: yes
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): as said there are sooo many types of art
[13:29] oola Neruda: some people were just pushing the boundaries on a certain medium
[13:29] herman Bergson: Yes could say that indeed
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and warhol is definitely an interpreted one
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): meant to be
[13:29] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): its not definite or distinct as other art forms
[13:29] herman Bergson: actually the opposite, Bejiita
[13:30] herman Bergson: his soup canns.....
[13:30] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i mean what does a soup can on a painting mean, its pop art but can it be seen as more then just a can of soup or a box of brillo
[13:30] oola Neruda: others reacted to the history of ar art... certain work with specific meanings... extended into the present... or the progression of the use of color or flat pictures... or reaction to space
[13:30] oola Neruda: they all take off in different "new" directions
[13:31] herman Bergson: That was the WAS just a soup can...
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): common items as art
[13:31] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i think of hidden messages and such
[13:32] herman Bergson: Yes.....which content was just to be a common item......
[13:32] oola Neruda: it was a statement about corporations and advertising... .... commercial reasons for advertising and making art just a PRODUCT
[13:32] CB Axel: But why was it a soup can? Why didn't he paint a box of Brillo?
[13:32] CB Axel: That's where the interpretation comes in for me.
[13:32] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): yes
[13:32] oola Neruda: anyone can be famous for 5 minutes... via commercial art
[13:32] herman Bergson: Simply because he didn't CB :-)
[13:33] oola Neruda: soup can was the symbol for making money with images... commercial art...
[13:33] herman Bergson: And that is where Sontag says that you make a translation of the artwork, change it into something else
[13:33] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i wonder however if i took a box of our Swedish version of Brillo - Svinto and made that an artwork would that become just as famous?
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): yes Bejiita:)
[13:34] herman Bergson: Give it a try Bejiita :-)
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:34] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): i have thought of that for a long time
[13:34] oola Neruda: portraits of mao... or marilyn...etc..... just products like soup
[13:34] herman Bergson: Plenty of time in the comming Summerbreak :-)
[13:34] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): now is the time toralize it:0
[13:35] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): to realize
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): Bullens pilsnerkorv and Armens Ärtsoppa (the Armys peasoup) could be 2 more items to try here
[13:35] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:36] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): :)))
[13:36] herman Bergson: Well, I guess plenty of homework for you all regarding modern art and what makes art art :-)
[13:37] oola Neruda: graffiti as "art"
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): ill go continuing combining all forms of art together again in my game engines
[13:37] herman Bergson: Some are specatular
[13:37] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): that's an art-form too
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): well it is art if made well, not just tags but actual paintings
[13:37] oola Neruda: yes
[13:37] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): then they are awesome many of them
[13:38] oola Neruda: but the one that was doing the graffiti... made images that were threatening....
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): and being in the street dance culture i  of course have to appreciate it
[13:38] oola Neruda: were base and violent
[13:38] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): hmm ok
[13:39] herman Bergson: I guess we may conclude our trip into the world of art and art criticism then
[13:39] oola Neruda: Banksy was different with his street art ...he was making comments on society and values
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): i our nearby town we have beautiful art walls with graffiti
[13:39] herman Bergson: conclude
[13:39] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): speciale made by artists
[13:40] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): no violent  at all
[13:40] herman Bergson: Unless you have the final remark or question, I'd like to thank you again for your participation
[13:40] herman Bergson: Class dismissed....
[13:41] .: Beertje :. (beertje.beaumont): thank you Herman
[13:41] bergfrau Apfelbaum: Thank you Herman!
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako): nice again
[13:41] Particle Physicist Bejiita (bejiita.imako):
[13:41] oola Neruda: thank you...very much
[13:41] CB Axel: Thank you, Herman.