Be ye as one of these little ones…

Some people conflate absolute, unconditional love and acceptance of a child with spoiling the child. While actually spoiling the child does have actual negative effects please don’t deny your unconditional love, acceptance, esteem and value of the child because of the fear of spoiling them Overcoming a little spoiling is far, far and away easier than someone learning to be fully functional with a lack of self-esteem, self-respect and a soul based on love and acceptance. For without these we have the most selfish and self centered individual in existence.

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On the nature of being exploited

There are woefully misinformed people in this world and while this diseducation does present them as stupid, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are indeed stupid. I am trying to learn not to resort to such terms, ( I might mention, with less than perfect success, still…) considering that the use of such terms as “stupid,” “racist,” etc. serves the purposes of the MONEYED CLASS who are manipulating them and those like them who are mostly poorly educated persons of average intelligence who have never come to terms with their need to identify with others, in similar circumstances as they are, instead of identifying with those who use and exploit them and us.
I am struggling to develop this more inclusive mindset as it seems to me to be the best (perhaps the only) way to effectively combat the exploiting class. Basically, if we who are not so woefully undereducated and/or misinformed don’t learn to identify with those who are how are we to ever assist in raising the consciousness of the world at large?
After all, these “woefully undereducated and misinformed” people are victims just as we are and that seems to make it incumbent upon me and like minded people to maintain our personal sense of identification despite the inability of some of our “kindred” to be capable of a similar identification.
Sometimes there is no way of gently dismantling a crumbling ruin; however, this fact should never be allowed as an excuse not to try. It is written that we should never tear a person’s house down unless we are ready, willing and able to build that person a better home.
Learning to live harmlessly while not being idly complicit in evil is very difficult. Tolerating the evil and claiming no collusion is much easier as is engaging in harming others ourselves with the excuse that “they are doing it” is also much easier. But to stand against evil while not unnecessarily causing is most difficult. How do the buddhists say it: the difference between karma, even good karma, and merit is perhaps a subtle but a difference well worth the investigation.
May the powers that be aid me in this endeavor as it is a most tedious shift in my mindset to implement with effectiveness.
There is at least one caveat (or is it an addition)?
To succeed in life one must find connection, or can I suggest a sense of identification with others. Not just others like the self but all others. This includes, as much as possible, identification with those most unlike them in ideological perspective. I often find myself attacked because of this philosophy because some think and/or feel that to identify with a nazi, for instance, is antithetical to what they seem to view as “right living”. But I say if I can’t find identification with the person (not the ideal the person subscribes to) then I have failed. Sadly, I fail a lot, but not because I refuse to try.
 
In my opinion, all other valid forms of the definition of “success” (capitalism notwithstanding) stem from this core definition.
Roger Willis Mills, II

On the Value of Wealth

Of course, the ideals of men like Charles Ernest “Chuck” Grassley* [this must be a pun because there is nothing earnest about Chucky except his determination to create ever greater disparities in wealth] and all those who have colluded to create this atmosphere where the crass selfishness of the rich is on its fullest display in some 88 years [and as some 45 years after the Democrat (gotta love me some “rush”) Party started openly, crassly and unashamedly cultivating the financial support of the (then) Millionaire (now) Billionaire Class…] Of course these values ARE NOT “Christian” values. The thing is they ARE also NOT Muslim, nor Buddhist, and they ARE MOST DEFINITELY NOT human values. They are selfish values. Values of the ideals of individualism, id est, they are the values of a separated, individual, personal self:

“Us (us, us, us, us) and them (them, them, them, them)
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Me and you
God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do…”** 

–Modern christianity like other Abrahamic Traditions is constructed on a basis of separating humanity into an into “saints and sinners” or whatever your favorite Manichean Dichotomy of the day is. Either you are worthy or you are not, but as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of… the only way we can achieve inclusion is to be submissive to the will of those who are our betters… whatever your definition of that “better” be, you are never worthy and that attitude in the poor is perfect for the Capitalist Exploitation of those who actually produce wealth. Wealth their “betters” take from them thus calling themselves, the wealthy, as worthy and us, the produces, they call takers.
But if one studies the “higher ideals” of christianity, like the higher ideals of all interpersonal interconnected(ness) ideological perspectives–that is, socially responsible perspectives–instead of the individual, separated, personal (sub-group) identities–individualism–then we can see the “arc of justice” that a humble doctor once spoke of. Most unfortunately the referenced doctor was dead right when he said that that arc is long, long indeed. What he failed to mention, but that may have been because there was acknowledgement among the publicly conscious in the US of A that there was serious cognitive dissonance in their society… what he failed to mention was that that arc is not a smooth curve, but that it has dips. Dips where the ideology of SELF in ascendant. And that Sir Issac was right that for every action there is a reaction, but in the consciousness development realm may we be forgiven if we dare to hope that that reaction is not always equal in strength and potency.
poor people more connected?
People like Grassley, Trump, The Clintons, Peolosi, “Mr. Wall Street himself” Schumer and 99% of the 1 percenters (who claim to represent the 99%) have no consciousness of an inclusive perspective within their purported “higher ideals”. This as their purported “higher ideals” are all for the “lower, individual, separated, personal self” and a consciousness for and of the advancement of humanity, as a whole, or of “life” itself, as an essence is wholly lacking in their personal consciousnesses.
========================
*http://www.newsweek.com/rich-people-deserve-credit-not-wasting-money-booze-women-republican-senator-729971?yptr=yahoo
We Are One
**US and THEM by Pink Floyd

Oh, but for the days of old…

Laura, Rachel, Lawerence & Sean

Having just awakened, Steve is watching one of the Fake News Networks, matters little which one, which is par for the course. (He suffers PTSD yet still feeds the hyper-vigilance.) In this case the “personality” is demeaning Colin Kaepernick, who I am likening to the Biblical prophet, Amos. (The reason should be clear to any who dares to read that short book with a discerning mind.) The reason I am making this allusion is that the “personality” being used to assassinate Colin’s character is clearly playing the part of a chief Pharisee who has no real concern for the inhabitants of the land. She is always too busy selling “the innocent for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals,” and “trampling on the heads of the poor as on the dust of the ground and denying justice to the oppressed.”

Money Changers

In this case it was Fox News Channel and the “personality” was Laura Ingraham but she has been on the side of White Nationalism for as long as I have been aware of her and (I’m sure) much longer than that. Her concern for justice is clearly displayed by her ridicule of a humble, pious man and she has no qualms about lying either outright or tacitly to smear the name of any who would point out the injudiciousness in my nation of birth which sets of injustices she is a central proponent of. She is as the councilors and priests and princes surrounding Zedekiah’s throne as the forces of Nebuzaradan, commander of Nebuchadnezzar’s army, and destroyer of Jerusalem, battered the walls of the city down just prior to killing all the kings sons and blinding and binding Zedekiah himself.

pharisees

This is for those who worship at the alter of “ultra-conservatism” or of “market-fundamentalism” or of “neoliberalism” and especially those of you who worship at the alter of the ever great “White Nationalism” your days are nigh for the world you seek to create is an abomination unto the Great Lord of the Universe. Study closely the words of prophets like Amos and Hosea and the record of “Zedekiah, the last king of Judah” for there is much instruction available there for your edification.

My experience with Depression

Most of the lessons [I dare not claim I have learned them all, yet] I have learned I learned only after great resistance and thereby at great pain and emotional and mental fatigue. A fatigue which repeatedly drained me of all my vitality thereby forcing me to lose much time in service to my fellow beings. By the time I was 15 years old I had determined that while I didn’t want to kill myself (despite thoughts of suicided) I did often want to crawl up in a corner somewhere and simply cease to exist.

When I would become thusly drained I would enter periods of abject depression which would last for days, even weeks where I would spend 22+ hours a day sleeping. At some point I would awaken and want to read which I could usually do only for 5-10 minutes before I would be mentally exhausted and fall asleep yet again. At this point I would usually feel a dim sense of relief as I would know that I had began a long slow crawl out of the depths of abject depression. As these moments of consciousness repeated I would be able to read for a few extra minutes until I would be conscious for perhaps an hour then more. There were several of these portions of my life where this process would go on for a month or more before I was able to face another person outside my readings which were usually of a somewhat aspirational nature. The entire process of rejoining, as Morpheus called it, “The Real” world could take me months, even 5 or 6 months at a time. Usually after a few weeks I would be able to face family long enough to prepare my food or get something to drink. The rest of that period would be spent in my room, reading and sleeping. After some time I would read, think and sleep and then I could be sure that I would eventually rejoin life, but not yet.

Not the last time, but the last really serious period of abject depression I had lasted for well over a year and two years or more before I was fully able to engage in the act of living again. In this spell or bout of depression I spent at least one full week, I think two maybe more, asleep. [However, it is difficult to be sure when you have no memories of whole days at a time.] Not just in my bed or in my room, but fully unconscious. Even when I would awaken to eat a couple bits, drink a glass of water or relieve myself there was no thought, just a mental numbness. Then I spent the following two, maybe four weeks reading some and sleeping much. Followed by another, potentially, month reading a bit more, thinking for a few minutes and sleeping somewhat less. By this time in this process [and a process it has always been for me] between 3 and 4 months passed in this way. [In this I am lucky for some people suffer at this level for years.] When I was able to finally start working, I was ecstatic, well as ecstatic as a near zombie could be, to find that the partner I was assigned was nearly as depressed as I. This meant that I didn’t have to worry about interacting more than absolutely necessary (that little interaction was only work related and as we worked largely apart so that was very little) I was, therefore, required to spend only enough mental energy to utter 50-100 words a day. This lasted 3 or 4 months before he and I starting having anything like a conversation. After more than a year riding and working with him, listening to the music he choose, I would have preferred no sound, I suddenly realized that I was getting old. This realization occurred because for over a year of listening to the music of a younger generation I had heard no more that 3 or 4 songs that appealed to me in any manner at all.

Eventually I entered a psych-ward and was given a diagnosis and prescribed some medications which helped me greatly to control the process of highs and lows in my life. A process I learned early in life to attempt to control as I quickly learned that the higher my highs were the deeper and more prolonged my depressions would be. But this is something I still struggle with just with much less difficulty than I used to suffer.

 

Roger Willis Mills, II

Do we need a return to the spirit of Pietism?

This post is a response to the following article to be found at:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/november/todays-church-needs-timeless-spirit-of-pietism.html?start=2
And which I reproduce here in it’s entirety for your convenience:

My response immediately follows the reproduction of said article below.

Given reports of declining religious affiliation and rising social tension, it’s no surprise that 2017 has offered up a catalog of books charting the future of the Western church. How can we not only survive this cultural moment but thrive as well?

In the spring, Rod Dreher’s The Benedict Option tackled the question by channeling the wisdom of Saint Benedict, who established monastic life in the wake of Rome’s collapse. Evangelicals’ response was mixed, in part because Dreher’s vision carries high-church and magisterial assumptions that many evangelicals do not share.

Enter The Pietist Option, a new book by Christopher Gehrz (a historian) and Mark Pattie III (a pastor). Like Dreher, Gehrz and Pattie look to the past to figure out how to navigate the present. But unlike The Benedict Option, The Pietist Option will feel very familiar to evangelicals, even those who have never heard of Pietism before. 

We often use the term pietism as linguistic shorthand for any inward-focused spirituality that is anti-rational or holier-than-thou. Gehrz and Pattie argue that historic Pietism is better understood as a set of instincts about the Christian life: that true knowledge of God cannot come apart from relationship with him; that the church has a divine call to pursue unity; that Christianity is both simpler and more demanding than we realize; and that the Resurrection calls us to hope.

First emerging as a reform movement within the Lutheran Church of the late 1600s, Pietism quickly spread to other churches, eventually influencing the Puritan, Baptist, Methodist, and Brethren traditions. Despite its reach, Pietism doesn’t leave a clear structural trail. “Suspicious of faith becoming too institutional or too intellectual,” Gehrz and Pattie explain, “Pietists did not generate the denominational structures or doctrinal documents that would have set up their movement for long-term survival.” Describing Pietism as yeast, they see it as a “timeless spirit” or “ethos” that brings out the potential of various traditions while leaving behind little trace of itself.

While evangelicals may not know the history of Pietism, we would quickly identify with its commitment to a personal relationship with God, biblical literacy, spiritual formation in small groups, and active lay ministry. “How goes your walk with Christ?” was a classic catch phrase of those early Pietists who believed that broader cultural change began in the hearts and lives of individual Christians.

So why Pietism now? In an age of radical individualism, wouldn’t a movement emphasizing personal faith and downplaying institutional structures exacerbate the problem?

Perhaps not. Gehrz and Pattie identify distinct parallels between current society and the milieu that birthed Pietism. One hundred years after the start of the Reformation, central Europe descended into the Thirty Years’ War, a bloody religious conflict that ultimately claimed eight million lives. In its wake, Gehrz and Pattie note that “competing churches [were] more concerned with maintaining doctrinal boundaries than encouraging evangelism, spiritual growth, or social reform.” It was into this context that Philipp Spener, the founder of Pietism, penned his 1675 classic Pia Desideria (Pious Desires).

While the evangelical church may not have resorted to physical violence, we have invested heavily in culture-warring, though with little to show for our efforts. As tempting as it is to want to pursue political or social reforms, Pietism suggests that change begins in our own hearts first, which in turn enlivens our political and social activity.

Of all of Pietism’s instincts, perhaps the most important are its emphases on hope and commitment to unity. Despite the bleakness of the Thirty Years’ War, early Pietists believed that the same power that had brought them from spiritual death to spiritual life could remake the world.

For Pietism to work, its focus on individual faith must happen in settings like mid-week prayer meetings and small groups. Here, in the intimate presence of our brothers and sisters, our personal encounters with God are confirmed (or corrected) and activated for the good of our neighbors.

Like any system of belief, the parts work in relationship to each other. Commitment to unity without a commitment to the authority of Scripture quickly leads to authoritarianism. Individual faith without commitment to unity ends up prioritizing personal needs above both Scripture and fellow believers. In this sense, Gehrz and Pattie’s thesis calls for a return to basics, embodying one of the key instincts of Pietism itself: The Christian life is both simpler and more radical than you know.

There is much we can learn from the spirit of Pietism, and like most ideologies Pietism can help us weave our way through the great miasma of life: the “Grand Illusion”, as it were. Nonetheless, it is necessary we guard against becoming lost in this ideology, as with any other, lest we lose connection with the spirit which “informs” Pietism itself. If we lose our perspective, in this manner, this loss will prevent us from being capable of clearly discerning our way through the fogs that ever compose a psychic soup such as this psycho-emotional pollution which has precipitated into the socio-politico-economic life we live today. That is to say the very mental, emotional and psychological illusions through which we are attempting to navigate as we discuss this book.

It is, in my opinion, the fact that Pietism stems from an instinctual level which is what makes it so potentially valuable to society. Yet the question whether this instinct is to be used for the benefit of humanity, “in toto”, or is it to be used primarily to prop up a select portion of humanity, considered by the practitioners of said philosophy, to be some version of “The Elect”. 

Such a grouping as this would be most unfortunate. A grouping which, by its most essential quality, separates creation into various groups thus promoting an “us/them” mentality? An “us/them” mentality produced not only in the adherents of such a narrow interpretation of the “spirit of pietism” but also in those who would thereby find themselves separated by mere virtue of being excluded. For if it is to be used in some such parochial manner then that spirit of parochialism can only serve to accentuate the divisions that have come to characterized this age of “us vs. them” from which we now suffer so greatly.

Further, the fact that this “spirit of unity”, to which the authors refer, must be achieved though an utterly selfless “devotion to others” is pietism’s greatest strength. It is, also, from whence its greatest usefulness originates and flows. This “selfless devotion” must in its turn be fostered by a spirit of pure humility or it will be largely impotent.

The greater the percentage of individuals who achieve this “identification with humanity” “as a family” the greater the potential benefit is for those whom this spirit is intended to serve. After all is it not taught that humanity is God’s greatest work? therefore, How can we serve God if we deny even the “lest of these”, his greatest creation? At the risk of over emphasis (which I doubt possible here) if this is not accompanied through a true and pure humility the degree of service to others will be limited to the extent that that humility is absence.

I would, further, posit that humility is the “yeast,” and “unconditional love,” the “timeless spirit,” and that the pair, working together, as a vivifying essence, are the very core “ethos” of a life of service to humanity. For without humility true “unconditional love” is not possible and without “unconditional love” no vivification of a spirit of service will be possible.

This “life of service” requires an interpersonal intimacy (which some may think of as personal since they perceive it through their personal perceptual apparatus) for without this interpersonal connectivity there is no identification possible. This “interpersonal connection” with humanity must ultimately take the form of “identification with” if it is to have any real existence. This “identification with” that which is the expression of God’s very manifestation on the plane of mundane existence must be informed with a literacy in the forms and actions of “selfless love” and “unconditional acceptance” of the totality of God’s creation and not just “my part” of that creation. 

For all but a tiny fraction of us, this “interpersonal intimacy” is capable of expression in, at best, a limited set of venues. This is to be perceived as a mere observation and not as a value judgement for this limitation is merely a function of the very nature of our personal spatiotemporal existence. As there are few of us who possess the capacity to impact the greater realm of human existence, as a “King” or a “Gandhi” might, we each of us, must therefore, impact some, if not all, of our local and/or personal spaces. Spaces in which, I contend, we must be actively engaged in, or we will not exhibiting the spirit of pietism. Perhaps some form of self-delusion but not the “spirit of pietism” despite perhaps observing the forms thereof. In this active engagement we are most effective when we are capable of banding with others who live a “life of service” though humility and with the absolute and utter “forgivingness” that produces “unconditional love” and “absolute acceptance”. 

Thus the catch phrase I would suggest for today might be simply “How goes your walk?” as this would indicative of an outgoing concern for the persons being loved. An outgoing concern with no expectations that the other person must somehow live up to our personal expectations of them. This is to say that there should be no sense of any desired benefit or return for the individual, separated, personal self. Which desire would necessarily place the “spirit” informing pietism in a handicapped position.

An emphasis on the “personal” as opposes the “interpersonal” connection would exacerbate the sense of isolation that comes from too great an emphasis on the individual, separated, personal self. An emphasis on the personal necessarily creates a sense of division that prevents a “total identification” with “creation itself” for how can there be a personal without a non-personal? This “sense of division” in turn necessitates a “sense of exclusivity” or an “us and them” quality which cannot be fully overcome without “identification with the whole”. If the “whole of those being served” is not the “whole of humanity” then that “spirit of service” would be to a portion only of the whole creation. Being service to only a portion would, thereby, be contributionary to the divisions which I hope the authors of this book are attempting to address.

The “social conditions” which birthed the “spirit of selfless unconditional love” from which Pietism emerged are ever pregnant with the spirit of “service to humanity” for those “social conditions” are ever such that screams for the need to connect with our fellow beings. With a return to this spirit of service we can hope for an expansion in human consciousness. An expansion which must become more inclusive thereby more unifying if it is to function to diminish the divisions and hate characterizing our present age. 

I pray, may we not require ourselves to suffer the extreme travails (which so horrendously characterized the moods, mentalities and actions of humanity, during and surrounding the “Thirty Years War”) before we learn to live a humble life of service to our fellow beings. I believe that for this to occur we will have to cease all doctrinal prescriptions and all dogmatic stances which, I fear, many of us as yet suspect still exist. 

Today we live in an age of division which I doubt could have existed then as, among other things, we have divided ourselves into nation-states so that Euro-Americans can view Latin-Americans or Native-Americans or African-Americans as an “other” that has to be either assimilated or eliminated. This, of course, is not to suggest that there could be an even “stranger” stranger such as those from yet  other and even stranger lands with even “stranger” religions or no religion.

I would argue that positive change must begin first in our consciousness, that is, in our awareness before it can even begin to seep into our “hearts”. But, I recognize that, if it does not come through our “emoting apparatus” whatever change may be hoped for will never occur due to a lack of vitality and impetus to enliven it. In a word, attempted change not coming through our “hearts” would be still born.

However in our age, unlike the 17th century, the “end-time” might truly “be nigh” in ways never before imagined. If we fail to make significant reductions in the emissions of “greenhouse gases” very soon we will soon have no summer ice in the northern polar region which may already be a surety. And a “green” Greenland will inundate all low-lying regions on the planet as has not occurred since the age of the last “common progenitor” of humanity. This inundation would thereby be disrupting life everywhere on our “Little lsland in the Sky”. 

If we don’t find a method of placing an honest person in charge of the people’s treasury and sane person in charge of the nuclear arsenal of the US of A there will come a day we live to regret that failure. That is not an if. That is a certainty. 

Consider what has transpired as a result of a decision in 1979 to interfere with the course of events in arguably the most backward most inaccessible nation on earth, outside of Africa, at the time. I mean Jimmy Carter’s decision to back a group of extremely regressive persons known as the “mujahideen” who morphed into the Taliban and al Qaeda. al Qaeda has since morphed into several other groups including the dreaded Islamic State, al-Shabaab and others who, collectively, represent less than 2% of all the Muslims on earth. And this was in relation to a nation a great many Americans could not have placed on a map that that time. I wonder how many could place it even today?

For a movement fueled with the spirit which germinated “Pietism” to succeed it will have to be focused on the totality of creation not just the European portion of Christendom. It will have to be a movement which fully embraces all humanity if it is to succeed in today’s world.

Hope and commitment to unity are important, but from a perspective which could be useful in our modern situation there must be much more. Hope, like faith, without works is dead, or, in other words, “hope given without works” is purely delusional. That is a “hope filled with expectations of someday, somewhere, someway…” will not survive the trials and tribulations that ever precede any unification between the greater creation and our personal identities. An identity which must manifest as an expansion of consciousness inclusive of the greatness of all creation. An identity which erases all separation in each of our consciousnesses.

I would here, also, suggest that our “individual faith” must become sublimated or subsumed into the needs of that “great self” which is humanity itself. Of course a continual contact with like-minded persons of goodwill is of great benefit in aiding us in our acts of consciously guiding our re-creation of creation, if I may be allowed such a phrase.

In regard to commitments to an authority, I must strenuously contend that “a commitment to the authority of Scripture” is not the only means of avoiding the authoritarianism referred to in the article. Nor is it a certain means, in and of itself, of avoidance of that fatal trap as we are often faced with the question of whose version of Scriptural interpretation we should hold to be authoritative. 

This very question of whose interpretation is the authoritative one is a very large problem being faced by the Islamic World in regard to a very narrow interpretation of Islamic law. An interpretation propagated by the House of Sa’ud and it’s many branches such as Wahhabism and Salafism. These two very doctrinaire versions of Islam are the spiritual progenitors of al Qaeda and its many offshoots. Wahhabism is also the branch of Sunni Islam that the Royal House of Sa’ud are adherents to. Only about 2% of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims are practitioners of these destructive versions of that faith. Lest we in the West get too sanctimonious, this is also the same in Christianity: most White Nationalist Christians firmly believe theirs is the only valid and authoritative version of Scriptural exegesis thereby contributing to a confusion which enhances all exegeses of hate and separation. Make no mistake hate cannot exist without some sense of separation. The only solution that can, of a certainty, counter this is to find “identification with”. An identification with all creation whether “like us or not”. Identification is most necessary when that which is to be identified with is different from us for that sense of difference is the cause of the separation which produces hate, or even just a feeling of unconcern.

I, therefore, dare to submit that Christians of a Pietist bent must somehow find a method of identifying, not just associating with the portion of Muslims who are also persons of goodwill and that each learn to view the other as an essential element in who we are in and of ourselves. This should be held true whether a person of any faith tradition or a person of no faith tradition. We must learn that we are all one.

The introductory image is “The Washing of the Feet” by Ghislane Howard.

Roger Willis Mills, II

On the Nature of Incrementalization

Without economic equality there can be no political equality and until we have democracy in the workplace we will never have actual democracy in the political sphere.

By the 1950s, many will say as early as the 1930s, the “conservative Republicans” started calling New Deal programs “socialism”. While the programs that constituted the New Deal did originate in socialist thought, the core idea of “The New Deal” itself was to save and preserve the “capitalism”. This mix of some socialist-type programs overlaid on a superstructure of capitalism describes a system of economics often referred to as Keynesianism. These were the economic programs that produced such a large and thriving middle class in the US and after the war in Europe as well. These socialist ideas overlaid on a capitalist superstructure were created to “save capitalism” from being overturned by a revolution either from the left (communism) or from the right (fascism).

The development of this form of what some have come to call “state capitalism” was filtered through the experience of years of economic depression. An economic depression which followed a century or more of a consistent, nearly continuous process of what is called the “business cycle” (aka, bust, boom, bust again and again). This was a continual shifting between depression (often called an “economic panic” or “boom/bust cycles”) followed by THE GOOD TIMES followed by yet another depression ad nauseam until the great depression beginning in 1929 when lasted for over a decade. This process was a constant strain on the working class as they had no means of survival in the lean times except to sell their labor for starvation wages if they were lucky enough to find work at all.

The English economist, John Maynard Keynes, was developing his system of wealth redistribution at about the same time that FDR and his body of devoteès were working out the programs of The New Deal. John Maynard Keynes literally wrote the book, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money, which defined how much of the Free World (read capitalist countries) would operate for the next 70 odd years economically.

Banking Crises

After the Capitalist’s War v2.0, the capitalists in the US began to scheme on how to recoup “their losses” which they had suffered at their own hands in 1929 and then politically at FDR’s hands in 1933 with the beginnings of The New Deal. Foremost in their scheme, was to disassociate organized labor from their best, most natural and ultimately their only allies, the socialists and the communists. This was pretty much accomplished by the election of Eisenhower by a combination of the “House UnAmerican Activities Committee” and the McCarthy Hearings. The later ended little more than a year after a Republican President took office, but as long as a Democrat was in office he was backed by the Republicans in congress as a means of smearing the Democrats as communists.

McCarthy Hearings

Then the young upstart JFK stepped in. Jack was supposed to be one of them, the rich, but like FDR he was proving to be something of a… well may I term it, “a canker on their rump” of those who viewed themselves as his superiors since they nor their Dads had not been caught rumrunning nor smugglers of opium [the Fitzgeralds (whom John was named after) made their fortunes dealing opium to the Chinese)]. Well, Jack was proving as intransigent as Franklin had and that could not be tolerated long at all.

Hell, Jack was even doing deals with Nikta Khrushchev which was diminishing their likelihood of profiting from a nuclear conflict or, perhaps better yet, the threat of a nuclear conflict. This was threatening the Military/Industrial Complex’s ability to bilk fortunes from the American taxpayer. Fortunes which they had come to be addicted to during the Great War v2.0 and the little war (Korea) that soon followed on its heels with the attendant fear of the “Russkies” that had developed after the WW II. By the mid to late 1950s there was no “left” left in this country.

But Jack was being a little too accommodating with those “pinko commie-fascist pigs” and not really as friendly toward corporations as he had been hoped for during his campaign for president. Then the corporate Democrats (who had always been in the background and were still there) began to sell out the “working American”. (Capitalists have to live by the “golden rule”-“He who has the Gold Makes the Rules” or they will cease to be-you can read that as “the profit motive.”) The point here is that there is no “political left” in this country despite what FOX and MSNBC tell us.

We have people whose politics are presented as being somewhat “left” of another person’s politics but Prince was taller than Danny Devito, however, no one is likely to call either of them tall so why do we accept the idea that Neo-liberals are leftists just because they are not full fledged Nazis? What passes for a “political left” in this country today is what was once thought to be “center right” in the 1970s or the 1960s or the… 1890s. Some people will dispute these dates, but my prime point is not when it occurred but that the political spectrum in the US has for a long time been truncated to exclude what is the actual left politically speaking, thus center right feels to many like political center or “middle of the road.”

Consider that as recently as 2009 Senator Arlen Specter R-PA (once a poster child for the so-called “conservative movement”) switched parties to become a Democratic. Considering the hard shift the Democratic Party had taken since 1972 his changing political parties to become a Democrat should have come as a surprise to no one, but the fact that he was readily accepted as a Democrat should have been a huge wakeup call to the rank and file. Sadly, it did not serve as a wake up call for hardly anyone. But, why not? Was it because the rank and file had long since felt disconnected from the party apparatus? It is this break, this disconnect that you (the democrats who claim to be interested in regaining the working class vote) will have to mend, nay you will have to re-construct it (there is no mending what has been so broken for so long). To this we could add that after the 2000 Supreme Court appointment of George W. Bush as president the Democratic VP candidate switched from the DNC to the RNC demonstrating that even at the highest levels there was so little difference betwixt the two parties that the Democrats VP pick was really a Republican.

Since I am sufficiently aware of the state of politics and economics that I know there is no left left… when I hear people tout Neo-liberal programs, as the DNC has done since 1973, and call themselves “the left” my brain goes into convulsions. At such times I seem to suffer this “wild, unimaginable” psychic form of epilepsy. I’m not sure how else to describe what happens in me during these spells. It recalls to my mind a big, round tin man wildly waving his upper appendages emphatically uttering, “Danger! Will Robinson, Danger! Will Robinson.”

Danger Will Robinson

As long as the means of production (that is the means of wealth creation, such as factories, farms, service providers, etc.) are left in the control of the “1%” (much less the real figure of the “1/10 of 1%”) the means of undoing any gains the working class, and marginalized communities might gain, regain or, even, hope to gain will ultimately be taken from them… to reiterate: as long as this, the means of producing wealth remains in the control of those who have the incentive to undo those gains then those gains will be undone. Only when the people, the working people of this nation, nay the world, have control of their own means of producing the goods and services that actually produce the wealth which their manual labor creates will any gains to benefit all humanity be secure.

As long as we do not tackle this inconsistency in who profits from this wealth creating labor remains in the control of those whose only means of accumulating wealth is to exploit those who actually create it then there will never be an equitable distribution of wealth and there will always be artificially created scarcity. The changing of this system to an equitable system cannot, I repeat, it cannot be accomplished incrementally. I do not care if the right did it that way… in other words, what the right has done to us cannot be undone piecemeal. It will have to be done, as it were, “whole hog”.

Besides if we study what they, the REGRESSIVES who call themselves “conservatives”, did we will learn that they did not do it incrementally. Once they took over the political stage in 1980 they have never looked back. They have had no need to look back because every step to the right they took followed a step to the right by the DNC. This all occurred a mere eight years after the DNC made the decision to sell out the working men and women of America and by openly courting the billionaire class on Wall Street.

Yes, I am accusing the Democrats of leading the shift to the right in American politics.

The development of a Leftist Politics or even an actual Centrist Politics in America will have to be accomplished boldly not timidly. It cannot be accomplished by appealing to the working class and the marginalized classes as some incremental accomplishment meant to benefit them “Some Sweet Day” in the “Sweet Bye-and-Bye” “On the Other Side of That River” in some “Perennial Garden,” somewhere, sometime and not to be achieved until their children’s children’s lifetime.

Garden of Eden

We, the Americans who claim to care for a just and equitable society will have to do this in big, strong, bold demonstrable steps that the working class and the marginalized of our society can see will occur in their lifetimes. Else all is already lost. This incrementalist plan has only gotten us a full fledged Nazi in the White House and a congress full of Neo-liberal politicians mixed with out right fascists whose only real difference is in which group will get to financially rape the American people of what little wealth we have left.

If we are to gain control of our lives and our political system such that we have a just and equitable land we MUST offer the American people a viable alternative, that is, a person who believes in a “quantum level change”. And a person who has, what I call, “people talents”* (aka political skill) else we are already lost. In which case we will have already been lost–even should we win. This is because if we cannot offer this to the people of America all we are offering is more of what got us in this present situation and that is no way out of this sad, demented and delusional political situation.

Without Economic Equality…

*    [The reason I like using the phrase “people talents” is that puts the emphasis where it belongs––on the people not on the politicians nor their politics.]

Your friend,
Esiódoxos

My thanks to Marino Hernandez who has stacked the final graph image to demonstrate how great the difference is in the actual distribution of wealth in the US of A. His set of graphs can be found at the following linkhttps://www.facebook.com/notes/marino-hernandez/how-wealth-has-emerged-in-usa/10210055909809037/

Roger Willis Mills, II