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
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!


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