McCain v Obama

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby ryguy » Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:04 pm

Access Denied wrote:The problem in my opinion is special interests, political correctness, and pork… and I don’t see how that’s going to change anytime soon. As I said before the only reason I like Obama more than McCain is I believe he’s still “young” (naïve?) enough to have a conscious and at least try to do the right thing… even if it can’t be done.


That's exactly right...someone younger, and who doesn't (yet) have so many lobbyist's claws in him (as much as the old-timers do anyway) means that he might have the vision and drive to get things done.

What pisses me off is while all this political posturing is going on nothing is getting done in Washington...


I think things getting done in Washington would be the exception, not the rule... lol

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 15, 2008 3:46 am

Access Denied wrote:
You Can Call Me Ray wrote:I'll take that apology now. :) I never said madrassa!

I know you didn’t but not just yet…. :) Not until you explain exactly why you think going to a public school in Jakarta, Indonesia for 2 years makes a difference for Obama on the Iraq issue given…

[from the article I linked to]

This is a public school. We don't focus on religion," Hardi Priyono, deputy headmaster of the Basuki school, told Vause. "In our daily lives, we try to respect religion, but we don't give preferential treatment."

Vause reported he saw boys and girls dressed in neat school uniforms playing outside the school, while teachers were dressed in Western-style clothes.

[snip]

"It's not (an) Islamic school. It's general," Winadijanto said. "There is a lot of Christians, Buddhists, also Confucian. ... So that's a mixed school."


Well, Tom, I must say I always thought you were the type of person who would readily admit when they pulled a trigger a bit too soon. I will see your quote from your link, and raise you a more powerful quote from the same link:

Obama lived in Indonesia as a child, from 1967 to 1971, with his mother and stepfather and has acknowledged attending a Muslim school, but an aide said it was not a madrassa.


Admitted it was a Muslim school. Hence the basis of my statement for why Obama would likely be more sympathetic to Muslims (even radical ones) than McCain. I cannot make it any clearer.

Check and mate. But I think an apology at this point would be somewhat of a diminshed denouement. :wink:

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby Access Denied » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:59 am

You’re right Ray, I’m sorry. I guess I didn’t realize Muslims in general were the enemy in some people's minds.

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby ryguy » Fri Aug 15, 2008 8:27 am

http://www.lsinstitute.org/King.html

Back in the 1960s, the John Birch Society used to circulate a picture postcard of a very young Martin Luther King at the Highlander Folk School, an alleged Communist front nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. The implication is that King's radicalism was deeply rooted even before he began his public career.


Same radical right-wing conservative tactics to slander yet another black man? I guess if it isn't the communists, then it's the Muslims. :shock:

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:24 pm

ryguy wrote:http://www.lsinstitute.org/King.html

Back in the 1960s, the John Birch Society used to circulate a picture postcard of a very young Martin Luther King at the Highlander Folk School, an alleged Communist front nestled in the mountains of Tennessee. The implication is that King's radicalism was deeply rooted even before he began his public career.


Same radical right-wing conservative tactics to slander yet another black man? I guess if it isn't the communists, then it's the Muslims. :shock:


And you have been the one to say I take cheap shots, Ryan? :roll: Did you purposely ignore the separation I made between normal Muslims and their radical counterparts? Did I not choose my words carefully enough for you?

Seeing as how you brought up radicalism and left-wing implications... How much have you studied the past history of Obama the "new Messiah"? Here is an interesting thing to read about his history which is much more solid than mere "implication" as you quote above:

http://www.stoptheaclu.com/archives/200 ... y-in-1996/

Here is some interesting as well as character confirming info about one of Barack Obama’s former runs for office. Apparently, Obama actively sought and received the stamp of approval of a Marxist third party that operated briefly in Chicago between 1992 and 1998. The group was called the “New Party” and was started in 1992 by Daniel Cantor (a former staffer for Jesse Jackson’s 1988 presidential campaign) and Joel Rogers (a sociology and law professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison).

(snip)

This news pretty much confirms that Barack Obama is at the very least a neo-Marxist and also confirms the claim that he is one of the most far left leaning Senators we have in office today.

This man is no “new” politician, no “centrist,” and not interested in ever “reaching across the aisle.” This whole “new way” line of bunkum is all smoke and mirrors.


And you might be interested in following the links in the "snipped" part. This is Obama's explicit political history. You cannot ignore that or brush it away as someone trying to make him look bad. These are the people he has chosen to hang out with and seek endorsements from! :shock:

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Fri Aug 15, 2008 6:30 pm

Again I point out: This is not implications nor smear tactics. These are historical facts of how and from whom Obama got his start in politics. If you think he has cast these people (and ideologies) aside, then perhaps he is playing the political game perfectly...and has you snowed:

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticle ... 5112205121

It's natural to be skeptical of excessive claims about Obama's radical associations. After all, there are so many. But one bears attention — because it helped him get his start in politics. In 1996, he won an Illinois state senate seat on a "fusion" ticket of the Democratic Party and leftist group called the "New Party."

The New Party, founded in 1992 with 7,000 members at its peak, had been an explicitly anti-capitalist party of ex-Communists, socialists and activists from ACORN, the hard-left group that's constantly in trouble over voter fraud. The New Party didn't ask for Obama's association; he asked for the New Party's endorsement.

Blogger Rick Moran of the American Thinker has found disturbing particulars. First, the New Party didn't give its support and campaign volunteers to just anyone. Obama actually had to audition for it. According to a September-October 1995 update on the New Party-aligned Chicago Democratic Socialists of America Web site:

"About 50 activists attended the Chicago New Party membership meeting in July. The purpose of the meeting was to . . . to hear appeals for NP support from four potential political candidates."

Anyone wanting a New Party endorsement had to "be approved via a NP political committee. Once approved, candidates must sign a contract with the NP. The contract mandates that they must have a visible and active relationship with the NP," the Web site said.

So Obama signed on with this group and now remains in its debt.

That raises questions about what was in the New Party platform that drew in Obama. Maybe its own statements saying it was formed "to break the stranglehold that corporate money and corporate media have over the political process."

Sound familiar? One of the few things Obama reveals in his vague "change" agenda are plans to punish corporations. He rails against "corporate profits" and even worked in a condemnation of them in his first defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. So there's little doubt he shares a lot of what the New Party believes.

The New Party also has advocated a bill of rights for children, a shorter work week, a universal "social" wage and military spending cuts. These will undermine parental rights, lower competitiveness, lard up welfare and make the U.S. less secure. All are echoed in Obama's proposals. They are the hardest battle cries of the left.

Obama should come clean on why he sought these radicals' support and, better still, disclose just how he intends to pay them back.


And you guys are worried about special interest businesses lobbying him??? I'd say you have bigger worries about who influences Obama! :shock:

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby ryguy » Sat Aug 16, 2008 12:55 am

That raises questions about what was in the New Party platform that drew in Obama. Maybe its own statements saying it was formed "to break the stranglehold that corporate money and corporate media have over the political process."

Sound familiar? One of the few things Obama reveals in his vague "change" agenda are plans to punish corporations. He rails against "corporate profits" and even worked in a condemnation of them in his first defense of Rev. Jeremiah Wright. So there's little doubt he shares a lot of what the New Party believes.

The New Party also has advocated a bill of rights for children, a shorter work week, a universal "social" wage and military spending cuts.


That all sounds good to me...why are those concepts being called "radical" by the Rush-Limbaugh types?

Secondly...these connections are hardly anywhere near as disturbing as the document trail exposing big oil and huge corporate interests to Bush....yet you were more than willing to overlook those?

By the way...my reference above in regards to racism wasn't aimed toward you - it was toward those who are the source of those conspiracy/smear theories against Obama. The parallels between what they were saying about MLK, and what they're trying to say about Obama today, are just wrong. They were wrong back then, and they're wrong today.

To be completely honest I find those kind of smear-tactics to be really distasteful and disgusting. Even when I used to *like* listening to the likes of Rush Limbaugh...those sort of comments and statements would always trigger a "I-know-deep-down-that-comment-is-horrible" twinge in my gut that never went away until I swore off all things right-wing and migrated back toward the moderate ground where the likes of McCain and Susan Collins (our senator) now stand today. I see Obama as pretty close to the center too. These right-wing attacks are just unnecessary. They need to focus on the current social, economic, and global issues facing the country today - not personal character attacks.

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby Access Denied » Sat Aug 16, 2008 5:02 pm

ryguy wrote:These right-wing attacks are just unnecessary.

Agreed, as a conservative it's embarrassing.

Actually, I’m not sure what I am anymore. I’ve considered joining the Common Sense Party but they don’t seem very well organized…

http://commonsenseparty.org/

Image

Having never listened to Rush Limbaugh before, on the recommendation by friends I started to when he was highlighting the obvious BS coming out of Hillary’s camp but now he seems to have become the “Drive By Media” he’s so fond of complaining about and is looking for any excuse to criticize no matter how tenuous… and falling way short of the mark.

His insistence on calling Obama “The Messiah” every other sentence was the last straw for me…

[pops in a CD and cranks it up…]

Residents Of A Blank Planet - PORCUPINE TREE
http://www.residentsofablankplanet.com/

[click on the link above to hear the first track]

Fear of a Blank Planet
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_of_a_Blank_Planet

[Ryan, it’s a reference to Public Enemy’s Fear of a Black Planet]

The lyrics deal with two typical neurobehavioural developmental disorders affecting teenagers in the 21st Century: bipolar disorder and attention deficit disorder, and also with other common behaviour tendencies on youth like escapism through prescription drugs, social alienation caused by technology, and the feeling of vacuity product of information overload in the mass media. In an interview with Revolver magazine, Wilson described the main character of the story as:

"...this kind of terminally bored kid, anywhere between 10 and 15 years old, who spends all his daylight hours in his bedroom with the curtains closed, playing on his PlayStation, listening to his iPod, texting his friends on his cell phone, looking at hardcore pornography on the Internet, downloading music, films, news, violence... He's also on prescription drugs. Parents these days seem to deal with their kids' problems not by sitting down and talking to them but by sending them to the doctor and getting them prescription drugs—which is kind of tragic, really."

[speaking of social issues]

Anyway, I suppose the good news is this will all be over soon and we can all go back to throwing our tax dollars down a big black hole…
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby torbjon » Sun Aug 17, 2008 6:48 pm

Ray, Ry, et al.

So, if I'm reading this right, one of you is down on the hippy freek because he bashes 'big business', wants to put a leash on them, punish them, take them down a notch or two and that's perceived as a slam against 'free enterprise' or some such, yes?

I'm sorry but didn't this super white non hippy all American war hero and former prez from the Other Party say we gotta keep a close eye on 'big business', keep a leash on them, and make sure they don't get too much sway over both government and our population?

http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/ ... ndust.html

So the hippy of today is basically saying he wants to do what the red neck of yesterday suggested we do as regards to 'big business'... so does that make the red neck of yesterday a hippy today or what?

I'm confused.

But

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Sun Aug 17, 2008 10:21 pm

torbjon wrote:So, if I'm reading this right, one of you is down on the hippy freek because he bashes 'big business', wants to put a leash on them, punish them, take them down a notch or two and that's perceived as a slam against 'free enterprise' or some such, yes?


I don't know how to make it any plainer than to quote a former President while still on his way to win his office: "It's the economy, stupid."

To be clear: I am not calling you stupid, Torb. I am calling the candidate who wants to "get back at the evil oil business" stupid. You simply do not get out of an economic slump by taking profits from economic engines (that is exactly what all businesses are, if they make profit). Do you think "big oil's" stock is going to go UP when the government acts to limit its profits? Of course not. And energy stocks are a sizeable component of the markets in general. In a bad economy your goal should be to (at least) prevent the markets from going south... a declining market works to deny retirement $ for many people who have worked their entire lives, and invested in their 401Ks. Plain and simple, Obama's plan is bad for the economy in more than just the stock market. No one who thinks Obama's plan is a good idea can or will deny that it will also increase gas prices. When people are hurting from gas prices, you don't take decisions that will be guaranteed to make prices higher. It is lunacy.

I'm sorry but didn't this super white non hippy all American war hero and former prez from the Other Party say we gotta keep a close eye on 'big business', keep a leash on them, and make sure they don't get too much sway over both government and our population?

http://coursesa.matrix.msu.edu/~hst306/ ... ndust.html


Well, Ike is dead and can't be President anymore. McCain is the alternate to the economic stupidity offered by Obama. And you don't see McCain calling to punish business in a time of economic trouble. But beyond this, I would like you to do a little search on Eisenhower's speech for me. Search for any of the following words and tell me how often Eisenhower talks about them:

1) "excessive profit" or even "profit".
2) "tax"
3) "corporate greed" or even "greed"
4) "windfall"
5) "business"
6) "economy"

You probably get it by now. Could you please show me exactly where Dwight said "take profits from the bad guys who provide energy to our economy"? Please? *pokes*. Indeed, why don't we see exactly what President Eisenhower said about the economy... this is the only place in his speech that he uses the word...let's have a look:

But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs -- balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage -- balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.


Economic progress does not come about by penalizing business. The national welfare is literally fueled by energy, in all forms. Not only the form we would like energy to take. It would be great if suddenly all our energy needs could come from green sources. But that is not Reality (Covered or Uncovered). It would be great if we never had to build another nuclear plant. But that is not reality.

Plain and simple and to the point, again: Obama's plan to "get back at big oil" is not progressive, nor is it in the best interest of our national welfare of the future. It is stupid economics most of the time, but certainly dumb at a time of economic hardship.

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby torbjon » Mon Aug 18, 2008 12:19 am

Ray:

For the record I am not pro Obama or pro McCain... I think they are both a couple of dorks and lack the insight and leadership skills required to save this country from itself.

So, you are concerned about the 'economy', is that it?

Interesting...

And supporting the continued exploitation of petroleum products is good for the current economy, and therefore good for you in the here and now, correct?

That's fine and dandy for Today but what about Tomorrow Ray? When EXACTLY do we ween ourselves from petroleum dependency? Next year? Ten years from now? After the last drop is gone? Do we have to wait for you to die first so YOU don't have to 'sacrifice' anything and in the process make this my kids problem?

If you make it hard for ANY fat cat business to turn a profit by continuing to do business the way they have in the past they are going to... what? Curl up and Die? Is that it? Is that your opinion of Big Business? That they are just Too Dumb to learn a new trick?

You make it sound like if Big Business gets severely penalized for doing business "the old way" that they are too dumb to learn or devise "a new way". They are going to just sit on their butts and do Nothing while their empires collapse.

Honestly Ray, you are supposed to be smarter than this *sighs*

Make it impossible for Big Oil to turn a profit and what are they going to do?

You're implying that we'll all just DIE if that happens... chaos in the streets... end of the world... doom and gloom *rolls eyes*

Make it impossible for Big Oil to turn a profit and they will be dumping money into some other profitable venture faster than you can say Duracell and you KNOW it.

So why do you preach doom and gloom??

Because it's an Emotional Argument aimed at the Hearts, not the Heads, of people. Hit them with their FEARS. Terrify those poor unsuspecting boobs, keep them chewing on their nails and glancing over their shoulders all of the time, that's the ticket.

A terrified population is remarkably easy to control....

You guys are supposed to be Smart, damnit, but all I'm seeing here are basically emotionally charged arguments as to which bozo is the lesser of two evils and a lot of fear mongering.

Is this REALLY the best you guys can come up with?

If you both really believe that the ONLY option is to vote for bozo A or vote for bozo B and that that "choice" actually represents "Freedom" and is a good thing and that there's No Other Options,,,,

well...

mmph. just mmph.

Sorry, I shouldn't be here. You guys Want to chat about this and I'm just raining on your parade...

30 seconds of Global Oil:
http://www.torbtown.com/demo/oil.mov

40 years later and the beat still goes on:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApdxIpwSwgU
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:46 am

torbjon wrote:For the record I am not pro Obama or pro McCain... I think they are both a couple of dorks and lack the insight and leadership skills required to save this country from itself.


And I agree, as I have said. But when one of them makes proposals that are just plain stupid, and counterproductive to recovering our economy, I am one to point that out.

So, you are concerned about the 'economy', is that it?


Perhaps you can answer some questions for me. I will make them multiple choice to keep them simple:
1) The people most negatively impacted by our current economy are: (a) the rich, or (b) the poor.
2) So if the economy contracts, rather than expands, the people who will continue to be more severly impacted are: (a) the rich, or (b) the poor.

And supporting the continued exploitation of petroleum products is good for the current economy, and therefore good for you in the here and now, correct?


It benefits way more folks than just me. It benefits anyone who pays for gasoline. It has been proven as a fact, over and over again, that: In the face of constant demand more supply drives prices down. Less supply drives prices up. That is not emotional. Those are the facts. Reality, as it were. I am simply "uncovering" it for you to either acknowledge, or believe something that does not match facts. The choice is yours.

That's fine and dandy for Today but what about Tomorrow Ray? When EXACTLY do we ween ourselves from petroleum dependency? Next year? Ten years from now? After the last drop is gone? Do we have to wait for you to die first so YOU don't have to 'sacrifice' anything and in the process make this my kids problem?


And I assume you believe that this rhetoric of yours is not emotional? *shrugs*. Water off this duck's back, Torb. This tactic cannot work with me, for as I have said I am personally engaged in doing something about the energy situation. I have already told folks here that I installed a 3.3KW solar PV system on my home back in 2003, before it was gauche to be a solar electrical generator. I have also explained that my primary commute vehicle is a Honda Civic GX. It operates on Compressed Natural Gas (GNG), which is not only a helluva lot cheaper but so damn green that the exhaust gases it gives off are actually CLEANER than the smog-laced air it sucks in here in SoCal. So if you want to sling emotional arguments about my personal "sacrifices", then let me ask you: What, personally, are you doing (*poke*) to wean us off of oil? Where have you put your effort with your mouth is?

If you make it hard for ANY fat cat business to turn a profit by continuing to do business the way they have in the past they are going to... what? Curl up and Die? Is that it? Is that your opinion of Big Business? That they are just Too Dumb to learn a new trick?


Don't try to put words in my mouth or attribute thoughts to me. Obviously this is not true, and I do not believe it is true, and evidence that it is not true would be the answer to: "Do you know who is the largest producer of solar PV systems?" The answer may surprise you.

You make it sound like if Big Business gets severely penalized for doing business "the old way" that they are too dumb to learn or devise "a new way". They are going to just sit on their butts and do Nothing while their empires collapse.


The answer to the question I posed just above will help answer this: British Petroleum is the largest producer and seller of Solar PV products on the planet. Imagine that! An OIL company is also the biggest in solar energy! :o That is because they are more than just "big oil". They are an energy company. But none of that means boo when it comes to money they invest to FIND oil. Moreover, here is irony for you: If a big oil company is also invested in alternate energy means, the proposed "windfall profits tax" which is planned to ONLY be levied on "big oil" (according to Ryan and Obama) will tax "big oil" indiscriminately. Since profits come from ALL means of energy that a company sells, that means profits will be taken away from such oil companies across the board, even those profits that may not come from oil. Is THAT the right thing to do? To fix such an injustice would require that government get further in the shorts of a critical business (energy companies). You would now have to schedule the tax such that it is ONLY windfall profits agains their oils sales. Right, that will fix it... correct?

Wrong. Because here is another thing. A windfall profits tax passed by Congress is only a law that applies to American companies! Hence, since BP is not an American company, guess what? They don't report their profits here. They report them in Pounds Sterling to the UK GOV. So now we would see that a windfall profits tax will make American oil companies less competitive in the world market to find, refine, and sell oil. This makes it even more imperative that they pass the cost of the tax onto their (American) customers... and let's not forget who suffers the most... the POOR who need to buy gas to earn money!

Honestly Ray, you are supposed to be smarter than this *sighs*


I am, but you are not giving me credit for being this smart because you refuse to believe that my ideas are economically sound. I assure you, they are. You will see the class of people who make economics their business that agree with me shortly.

Make it impossible for Big Oil to turn a profit and what are they going to do?

You're implying that we'll all just DIE if that happens... chaos in the streets... end of the world... doom and gloom *rolls eyes*


I am implying no such thing, and I resent that you infer this. Let me state explicity what I am saying: I am saying that by taking profits from them, and their resulting increase in gas prices to pass the cost onto the consumer, it is the poor who will suffer the most.

Make it impossible for Big Oil to turn a profit and they will be dumping money into some other profitable venture faster than you can say Duracell and you KNOW it.


Of course I know it. But this does not bring the price of gas down. In fact, it will do the opposite. But what is really amusing is that, I hope you realize, that this argument you make right here cuts BOTH WAYS. What do I mean by that? Well, perhaps Mr. Tim Worstall can help explain that to you. He is one of those bigshots in economics I told you about above. He is a Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute. In case you don't recognize the name Adam Smith, he is considered the father of modern economics!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adam_Smith

Smith is also known for his explanation of how rational self-interest and competition, operating in a social framework which ultimately depends on adherence to moral obligations, can lead to economic well-being and prosperity. His work helped to create the modern academic discipline of economics and provided one of the best-known rationales for free trade. He is widely acknowledged as the "father of economics" [1][2] and his Wealth of Nations has been identified as one of the most influential books ever written.


So anyone who works for the institute that bears his name is likely no slouch in economics, right? So let us see what Tim Worstall says about Obama's windfall profits tax...especially as it relates to just what you said above:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/13 ... page2.html

Simply put (and the real theory has a number of caveats) there's a general idea of a natural rate of profits. This is risk adjusted though, so that people in riskier ventures do make more money until they don't. If people are making more than this (so called "excess profits") then all those other greedy capitalists out there will see this, after a time, at least. So they'll invest more of their own money in that sector, making that extra cash. This will, again in time, increase the supply of whatever it was making that extra, and thus bring prices down and profits back to that natural level. Writing here for a technical site the most obvious example would be the PC business: there are so many players now that it's not really where you want to be to make those big profits - while it most certainly was way back when in the days of only a few box makers.

So theory (and that theory has been around a long time, Adam Smith remarked upon it when he published in 1776) tells us that excess profits attract the competition that wipes them out... and do so by lowering the prices of those things which were in short supply. Which is, I think, exactly what we all want to happen, no? Let's make gas cheap again! So confiscating those extra profits will mean that first, no one making them has the money left to look for more and, secondly, no one is going to dive into the industry if they think that they won't be allowed to keep the profits they might make.


So why do you preach doom and gloom??


No gloom and doom. I am reporting facts. The stuff above by Mr. Worstell is factual, based on the evidence of economics as practiced since the time of Adam Smith himself.

Because it's an Emotional Argument aimed at the Hearts, not the Heads, of people. Hit them with their FEARS. Terrify those poor unsuspecting boobs, keep them chewing on their nails and glancing over their shoulders all of the time, that's the ticket.


Wrong. What I offer is aimed smack-dab at people's heads!!! It is based upon verifiable facts.... and science! Are you aware that when you get an undergrad degree in economics that it is a Bachelor's of Science degree? I must say that I resent you attempting to paint me as using emotion when I have relied on (and provided) facts from people who have an even greater grasp of the science of economics than I do.

You guys are supposed to be Smart, damnit, but all I'm seeing here are basically emotionally charged arguments as to which bozo is the lesser of two evils and a lot of fear mongering.


I am making economically-based not emotionally charged arguments. And when it comes to Laissez-Faire economics "the lesser of two evils" is actually what is called for most often! The guy who is going to tamper THE LEAST with market economic forces is likely the best guy (even if he is the lesser of two evils).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laissez-faire
Laissez-faire capitalism is supported by proponents of libertarianism, classical liberalism, neoliberalism, minarchism, conservativism and Objectivism. Libertarians argue that laissez-faire produces greater prosperity and personal freedom than other economic systems. The Austrian School of economics and the Chicago School of economics are important figures supporting of laissez-faire economics.


Do you know the kinds of heavy hitters in economics that came from Chicago? HINT: Barack Obama, while he lectured at the University of Chicago, was NOT teaching economics nor does he possess a degree in economics! Perhaps the name Milton Friedman might be an economist whose name you might recognize?

Is this REALLY the best you guys can come up with?


If a Nobel Laurate in Economics and the father of modern economics is not good enough for you, then I don't know how to satisfy you. But you can keep thinking I am using emotional arguments if it makes you feel more secure in your own beliefs on how economics works.

If you both really believe that the ONLY option is to vote for bozo A or vote for bozo B and that that "choice" actually represents "Freedom" and is a good thing and that there's No Other Options,,,,

well...

mmph. just mmph.


I do NOT believe that! There you go attributing ideas to me just because you think this is what I think! More than most people, I believe it is time for a 3rd major party. If you have read any of my posts that talk about the science inherent in Qabalah, then you will know that I am a HUGE proponent that stability and balance comes from sets of threes that can impact and affect each other. I would LOVE to see a better candidate. But the ones offered to us by our dominant parties are the ones that the majority of people are going to select from. The only way that lil ole me can do anything about that is to present FACTS about what some loony ideas about stealing profits from legitmate businesses will do to our economy.

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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby torbjon » Tue Aug 19, 2008 7:00 am

Ray, Ry, et al.

(Nola is back and I'm on full daddy duty... But I didn't want Ray to think I was blowing him off. This is what I managed to get done so far. Some of this is transcribed, some is paraphrased, some is cut and paste, some are my words, some is omitted... All of this you were supposed to find on your own. I'll finish it out as Nola permits... more later this week for sure.)

(So, Ray, I'll see your Father of Modern Economics and raise you the Father of Modern Psychology AND the Father of Public Relations. *grins* Uh, sorry I was so snooty earlier, but c'mon man, loosen up a bit, it's only the fate of the entire world we're talking about here, no big deal, ya know?)

Here we go.

100 years ago a BRAND NEW THEORY was put forth by Sigmund Freud. He claimed to have discovered primitive sexual and aggressive forces hidden deep within the minds of all human beings. Forces which, if left UNCONTROLLED, would lead individuals and societies to chaos and destruction. At that time, those in Power used Freud's theories to try to Control the 'dangerous' crowd in the new age of 'mass democracy'.

Sigmund Freud was not alone. Other members of his family were also involved. At the top of the pyramid was his nephew, Edward Bernays. Bernays' influence on the twentieth century was at least as great as his uncles, if not more so. Bernays was the first person to take Freud's ideas about human beings and USE them to Manipulate the Masses.

Bernays showed American corporations, For The First Time, how they could Make people Want things they Didn't Need, by linking mass produced goods to their unconscious Desires. Out of this would come a New Political Idea on how to control the masses. By satisfying peoples inner selfish Desires one made them 'happy' and thus docile. This was the beginning of the all consuming SELF which has come to Dominate our world today.

Freud's ideas about how the human mind works have now become an accepted part of our society, as have psychoanalysts.

However, 100 years ago Freud's ideas were Hated by Viennese society. At that time Vienna was the center of a vast empire ruling central Europe. To the monarchy of the time Freud's ideas were not only embarrassing, but a Threat to their Absolute Control.

In 1914 the Austrian/Hungarian Empire led Europe into war. As the horror mounted, Freud saw it as evidence of the Truth of his findings. "The saddest thing" he wrote, "is that this is Exactly they way we should have expected people to behave from our knowledge of psychoanalysis."

Governments had unleashed the primitive forces in human beings and no one seemed to know how to stop them.

At that time Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays, was working as a press agent in America. His main client was the world famous opera singer, Caruso, who was touring the United Sates. On the night that Caruso opened in Toledo, Ohio, America declared that it would enter the war in the fight against the Germans and Austrians. As a part of the war effort, the U.S. government set up a committee on public information. Bernays was employed by this committee to promote Americas war aims in the press. The president (Wilson) announced that the United States would not fight to restore the old empires, but rather to bring Democracy to all of Europe.

Bernays proved to be extremely skillful at promoting these ideas both in America and abroad. At the end of the war Bernays was asked to accompany the president (Wilson) to the Paris peace conference. Bernays was only 26 at the time. One of Bernays' slogans is still in use today: Make The World Safe For Democracy.

Wilson's reception in Paris astounded Bernays and the other American propagandists. Their propaganda had portrayed Wilson as a Liberator of the People, the man who would create a New World in which the individual could be free. They had made him a Hero of the masses. And as Bernays watched the crowds surge around Wilson, Bernays began to wonder whether it would be possible to do the same type of "mass persuasion" in peace times.

"When I came back to the United States" said Bernays, "I decided that if you could use propaganda for war, you could certainly use it for peace. But 'propaganda' got to be a bad word because of the Germans using it, so what I did was to try to find some other words. So we founded the 'Council on Public Relations'."

Bernays returned to New York and set up his Council on Public Relations in a small office off of Broadway. This was the first time the term "Public Relations" had ever been used.

Since the end of the nineteenth century America had become a massive industrialized nation, with millions of people clustered together in the cities. Bernays was determined to find a way to Manage and Alter the way these new crowds thought and felt. To do this he turned to the writings of his uncle, Sigmund Freud. Bernays began to wonder if he might be able to make money by manipulating the unconscious minds of the masses.

One of the things that Bernays learned from Freud was that there was a lot more going on in human decision making than had previously been accepted. Prior to Freud the idea was that "information determines behavior", now the idea was that we were ruled by some dark, hidden, primitive, and irrational force.

Bernays formulated the idea that you have to play to peoples irrational emotions. That concept moved Bernays immediately into a New category from other people of his field (and most government officials and managers of the day) who thought that if you just hit people with all of this "factual information" they would look at it and go "oh, of course."

Bernays had "discovered" that that was not the way people, and especially Groups of people, worked.

Bernays set out to Experiment on the minds of the popular classes. One of his more dramatic Experiments was to persuade women to smoke. At that time there was a taboo against women smoking, and one of Bernays early clients, George Hill, the president of the American Tobacco Corporation, asked Bernays to find a way of breaking that taboo.

Bernays hired a psychoanalyst (A. A. Brill) to find out what cigarettes meant to women. Brill told Bernays that cigarettes were a symbol of the penis and of male sexual power. He told Bernays that if he could find a way to connect cigarettes to the idea of Challenging male power then women would smoke, because then they would have their own penis's.

Every year New York held an Easter Day parade to which thousands came. Bernays decided to Stage an event there. He persuaded a group of rich debutantes to hide cigarettes under their clothes, then, they were to join the parade, and at a given signal from him they were to light up the cigarettes dramatically.

Bernays then informed the press that he had heard that a group of Suffragettes were preparing to protest by lighting up what they called "torches of freedom".

He knew that this would be an outcry, and he knew that all of the photographers would be there to capture this moment. He was ready with a phrase: "torches of freedom". He had a symbol: young women smoking a cigarette In Public.

The phrase (torches of freedom) plus the symbol (woman holding a flame on high) is what this country is all about. This IS "Liberty".

This campaign had it all. There's emotions, there's historical memory, there's a rational phrase. By the next day this 'story' was not just in the New York papers, it was across the United States and around the World.

From that moment forward the sale of cigarettes to women began to rise. That one picture/slogan made it socially acceptable for women to smoke.

What Bernays had created was the (false) concept that if women smoked, it would make them more powerful and independent. A concept that still persists today.

Bernays proved that it was possible to persuade people to behave irrationally if you linked products or services to their emotional desires and feelings. The idea that smoking actually makes women freer is completely irrational, but it made them FEEL more independent. It meant that irrelevant objects could become Powerful emotional symbols, a reflection of how you wanted to be seen by others.

What Bernays was doing Fascinated American corporations. They had come out of the war rich and powerful but they had a growing worry: The system of mass production had flourished during the war and now millions of products were pouring off of the production lines. What they were frightened of was the danger of Over Production, that there would come a point where the people had had enough goods and would simply stop buying.

Up until this point in history the majority of products were still sold to the masses on the basis of Need. While the rich had long been used to 'luxury' goods, for the millions of working class Americans most products were still advertised as "necessities". Goods like shoes, stocking, even cars were promoted in purely Functional Terms. The aim of the advertisements was simply to show people the products Practical virtues, and nothing more.

What the corporations realized they had to do was to transform the way the majority of Americans thought about products. One leading Wall Street banker, Paul Maser, was clear about what was necessary: "We must shift America" he wrote, "from a Needs to a Desires culture. People must be Trained to desire, to want new things even before the old have been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America. Mans desires must overshadow his needs."

The man who would be at the center of this "shift" was Edward Bernays.

Beginning in the early 1920's New York banks funded the creation of chains of department stores across America which would be the outlets for the mass produced goods. Bernays' job was to Produce a new type of customer.

Bernays' began to create the many techniques of mass consumer persuasion that we now live with. He was employed by William Randolph Hearst to promote his new line of womens magazines. Bernays glamorized the magazines by placing articles and advertisements that linked products made by other clients of his to famous film stars like Clara Bow (who was also his client). Bernays also began the practice of 'product placement' in the movies. He was (he claimed) the first person to tell the automobile manufactures that they could sell cars as symbols of male sexuality. He employed psychologists to generate reports that stated that products were good for you, then pretended these reports were 'independent studies'.

In 1927 an American journalist wrote "A change has come over our Democracy. It is called Consumptionism. The American citizens first importance to his country is now no longer that of Citizen, but that of Consumer."

This growing wave of Consumerism helped, in turn, to create a stock market boom. And yet again, Edward Bernays became involved, promoting the novel idea that Ordinary People should buy shares of stock, borrowing money from banks (which he also represented.) And yet again, Millions of people followed his 'advice'.

Bernays soon became famous as the man who understood the mind of the crowd, and in 1924 the President contacted him. President Coolidge was a quiet taciturn man and had become a national joke. The press portrayed him as a dull, humorless figure. Bernays solution was to do exactly the same as he had done with products. He persuaded 34 famous film stars to visit the White House.

For the first time ever Politics became involved with Public Relations.

The publication of Freud's work in America had an extraordinary effect on journalists and intellectuals in the 1920s. What fascinated and frightened them was the picture Freud painted of submerged dangerous forces lurking just under the surface of modern society. Forces that could erupt easily to produce the frenzied mob which had the power to destroy even governments. It was this they believed had happened in Russia. (Bolshevik Revolution) To many this meant that one of the guiding principles of mass democracy was wrong; the belief that human beings could be trusted to make decisions on a rational basis.

The leading political writer of the time, Walter Lippmann, argued that if human beings were in reality driven by unconscious irrational forces then it was necessary to re-think democracy. What was needed was a New Elite that could manage what he called 'the bewildered herd'. This would be done through psychological techniques that would control the unconscious feelings of the masses.

And so here you have Walter Lippmann, probably the most influential political thinker in the United States, who is essentially saying the basic mechanism of the mass mind is unreason. He believes that the mob in the street (which is how he sees ordinary people), are people driven not by their minds but by their spinal chords. The notion of animal drives, unconscious and instinctual drives, lurking beneath the surface of civilization; and so they started looking towards psychological science as a way of understanding the mechanisms by which the popular mind works specifically with the goal of figuring out how to understand how to apply those mechanisms to strategies for Social Control.

Edward Bernays was fascinated by Lippmann's arguments and also saw a way to promote himself by using them. In the 1920s he began to write a series of books which argued that he had developed the very techniques that Lippmann was calling for. By stimulating people's inner desires and then sating them with consumer products he was creating a new way to manage the irrational force of the masses. He called it the Engineering of Consent.

And then in 1928 a President came to power who agreed with Bernays. President Hoover was the first politician to articulate the idea that consumerism would become the central motor of American life. After his election he told a group of advertisers and public relations men "You have taken over the job of creating desire and have transformed people into constantly moving happiness machines. Machines which have become the key to Economic Progress."

What was beginning to emerge in the 1920s was a new idea of how to run mass democracy. At it's heart was the consuming self which not only made the economy work but was also happy and docile and so created a stable society.
"Both Bernays and Lippmann's concept of managing the masses takes the idea of democracy and turns it into a palliative, turns it into giving people some kind of feel good medication that will respond to an immediate pain or immediate yearning but will not alter the objective circumstances one iota. The idea of democracy, at it's heart, was about changing the relations of power that had governed the world for so long; and Bernays' concept of democracy was one of maintaining the relations of power, even if it meant one needed to stimulate the psychological lives of the public. And in fact in his mind that is what was necessary. That if you can keep stimulating the irrational self then leadership can basically go on doing what it wants to do." - Stewart Ewen - Historian of Public Relations.

Bernays now became one of the central figures in a business elite that dominated American society and politics in the 1920s. He also became extremely rich.

But Bernays' power was about to be destroyed. At the end of October 1929 Bernays organized a huge national event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the light bulb. President Hoover, leaders of major corporations and bankers like John D. Rockefeller were all summoned by Bernays to celebrate the power of American business. But even as they gathered news came through that shares on the New York stock exchange were beginning to fall catastrophically.

Throughout the 1920s speculators had borrowed billions of dollars. The banks had promoted the idea that this was a new era where market crashes were a thing of the past. But they were wrong. What was about to happen was the biggest stock market crash in history. Investors had panicked and begun to sell in a blind fury that no reassurance by bankers or politicians could halt. And on the 29th of October 1929 the market collapsed.

The effect of the crash on the American economy was disastrous. Faced with recession and unemployment millions of American workers stopped buying goods they didn't need. The consumer boom that Bernays had done so much to engineer had disappeared. And he and the profession of public relations fell from favor. Bernays' brief moment of power seemed to be over.

In March 1933 the National Socialists were elected to power in Germany and they set out to create a society that would control human beings in a different way. One of their first acts was to take control of business. The planning of production would be done by the state. The free market was too unstable as the crash in America had proven. Workers leisure time was also planned by the state through a new organization called Strength Through Joy. One of it's mottos was Service Not Self.

But the Nazi's did not see this as return to an old form autocratic control. It was a new alternative to democracy in which the feelings and desires of the masses would still be central but they would be channeled in such a way as to bind the nation together. The chief exponent of this was Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda.

Goebbels organized huge rallies whose function, he said, was to forge the mind of the nation into a unity of thinking, feeling. and desire. One of his inspirations, he told an American journalist, was the writings of Freud's nephew, Edward Bernays. In his work on crowd psychology Freud had described how the frightening irrationality inside human beings could emerge in such groups. The deep, what he called 'libidinal' forces of desire, were given up to the leader, while the aggressive instincts are unleashed on those outside the group. Freud wrote this as a warning but the Nazis were deliberately encouraging these forces because they believed they could master and control them.

And in America too democracy was under threat from the force of the angry mob. The effect of the stock market crash had been disastrous. There was growing violence as an angry population took out there frustration on the corporations who were seen to have caused this disaster. Then in 1932 a new President was elected who was also going to use the power of the state to control the free market. His aim was not to destroy democracy but to strengthen it. And to do this he was going to develop a new way of dealing with the masses.

President Roosevelt, in his inauguration speech: "I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of stricken world may require. But in the event that the national emergency is still critical I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis - broad executive power."

It was the start of what would become known as The New Deal. Roosevelt assembled a group of young technocrats and planners in Washington. He told them that their job was to plan and run giant new industrial projects for the good of the nation. Roosevelt was convinced the stock market crash had shown that laissez faire capitalism could no longer run modern industrial economies. This had become the job of government.

Big business was horrified.

The New Deal attracted the admiration of the Nazis, especially Joseph Goebbels.

"I am very interested in social developments in America. I believe that President Roosevelt has chosen the right path. We are dealing with the greatest social problems ever known. Millions of unemployed must get their jobs back and this cannot be left to private initiative. It's the government that must tackle the problem." - Joseph Goebbels speaking in a news interview.

But although Roosevelt, like the Nazis, was trying to organize society in a different way, unlike the Nazis he believed that human beings were rational and could be trusted to take an active part in government. Roosevelt believed it was possible to explain his policies to ordinary Americans and to take into account their opinions. To do this he was helped by the new ideas of an American social scientist called George Gallup and New York Fortune Magazines analyst Elmo Roper.
Gallup and Roper rejected Bernays' view that human beings were at the mercy of unconscious forces and so needed to be controlled. Their system of opinion polling was based on the idea that people could be trusted to know what they wanted. They argued that one could measure and predict the opinions and behavior of the public if one asked strictly factual questions and avoided manipulating their emotions.

What Roosevelt was doing was forging a new connection between the masses and politicians. No longer were they irrational consumers who were managed by sating their desires, instead they were sensible citizens who could take part in the governing of the country. In 1936 Roosevelt stood for re-election. He promised further control over big business.

To the corporations this was the beginning of a dictatorship.

Roosevelt was triumphantly re-elected. Faced with this, business now decided to fight back, to regain power in America. At the heart of the battle would be Edward Bernays and the profession he had invented, public relations.

Following that election business people start to get together and start to carry on discussions, primarily in private and they start talking to each other about the need to carry on ideological warfare against the New Deal. And to reassert the connectedness between the idea of democracy on the one hand and the idea of privately owned business on the other. And so under the umbrella of an organization that still exists which is called The National Association of Manufacturers and whose membership included all of the major corporations of the United States a campaign was launched explicitly designed to create emotional attachments between the public and big business; it's Bernays' techniques being used on a grand scale.

The campaign set out to show dramatically that it was business, not politicians, that created modern America. Bernays was an adviser to General Motors but he was no longer alone. The industry he had founded now flourished as hundreds of public relations advisers organized a vast campaign. They not only used advertisements and billboards but managed to insinuate their message into the editorial pages of the newspapers.

In 1939 New York hosted the World's Fair. Edward Bernays was a central adviser. He insisted that the theme be the link between democracy and American business. At the heart of the fair was a giant white dome that Bernays named 'Democracity', and the central exhibit was a vast working model of America's future constructed by the General Motors corporation.

The World's Fair was an extraordinary success and captured America's imagination. The vision it portrayed was of a new form of democracy in which business responded to people's innermost desires in a way politicians could never do. But it was a form of democracy that depended on treating people not as active citizens, like Roosevelt wanted, but as passive consumers. Because, this Bernays believed, was the key to control in a mass democracy.

Shortly thereafter the Second World War breaks out.

The second world war would utterly transform the way government saw democracy and the people they governed. The American government, as a result of the war, became convinced there were savage, dangerous forces inside all human beings. Forces that needed to be Controlled. The terrible evidence from the death camps seemed to show what happened when these forces were unleashed. And politicians and planners in post war America would come to believe that hidden under the surface of their own population were the same dangerous forces.

They would turn to the Freud family to help control this Enemy Within. And ever adaptable Edward Bernays would work not just for the American government, but the also CIA. Sigmund Freud's daughter Anna would also become powerful in the United States because she believed that people could be taught to control the irrational forces within them. Out of this would come vast government programs to manage the inner psychological life of the masses.... us, the American Citizen.

And we're only up to World War II. We haven't even scratched the surface yet. It gets "better".

Sources:

This guy did basically what I did, transcribed. It's pretty good but he missed some words here and there. It's more full than my version but not 100% and, of course, no images.

http://hareloco.spaces.live.com/blog/cn ... !239.entry

Original Documentary:
Century of the Self, Adam Curtis. Part one. This was shown on BBC in 2002. To my knowledge it has never been shown on American television.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 9151&hl=en

Audio Only version for those who can't sit and watch but can listen: (54 Megs)
http://www.torbtown.com/cofspt1.mp3

The wiki entry:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Century_of_the_Self

Because "whacked out" documentaries are often full of BS I have been trying to cross reference stuff while transcribing, so far I have not found any reason to believe the data presented is non factual.
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby torbjon » Wed Aug 20, 2008 12:43 am

(Nola is really sick today and stayed with her mom... I used the time to work on this but my mind is not totally on it... Again, these are not my words. I worked from the original source file and a transcription I found. I've also omitted some passages. Sources at the bottom)

So, we're up to World War Two now...

Sigmund Freud's ideas about the unconscious mind were used by those in power in post war America to try and control the masses. Politicians and planners came to believe that Freud was right to suggest that hidden deep within all human beings were dangerous and irrational desires and fears. They were convinced that it was the unleashing of these instincts that had led to barbarism of Nazi Germany. To stop it ever happening again, they set out to find ways to Control this hidden enemy within the human mind.

At the heart of this story are Sigmund Freud's daughter Anna and his nephew Edward Bernays who had invented the profession of public relations. Their ideas were used by the US government, big business and the CIA to develop techniques to Manage and Control the minds of the American people. Those in power believed that the only way to make democracy work and create a stable society was to repress the savage barbarism that lurked just under the surface of normal American life.

The story begins in the middle of the fierce fighting of the second world war. As the fighting intensified the American army was faced by an extraordinary number of mental breakdowns among its troops. Forty-nine percent of all soldiers evacuated from combat were sent back because they suffered from mental problems. In desperation the army turned to the new ideas of psychoanalysis.

It was the first time that anyone had paid such attention to the feelings and anxieties of ordinary people. At the heart of the experiment were a number of refugee psychoanalysts from central Europe. They worked with American psychiatrists to guide and shape the project.

"When I first came to America I worked in the psychiatric service with soldiers trying to rehabilitate them. And I travelled in the train from the east coast to the west coast I was enormously curious what goes on in all of those little towns that the train is passing. After my years in the army I knew exactly what every one was doing in the little towns. Because I saw so many people who came from there and I understood their aspirations, their disappointments and so forth. So it was as if somebody had invited me to a privileged tour into the inner soul of America." - Professor Martin Bergmann - Psychoanalyst, US Army 1943-45

The psychoanalysts used techniques developed by Freud to take the men back into their pasts. They became convinced that the breakdowns were not the direct result of the fighting. The stress of combat had merely triggered old childhood memories. These were memories of the men's own violent feelings and desires which they had repressed because they were too frightening. To the psychoanalyst it was overwhelming proof of Freud's theory that underneath, human beings were driven by primitive irrational forces.

Victory in the second world war was celebrated as a triumph of democracy, but in private many policy makers were worried about the implications of the analysis of the soldiers. It seemed to show that underneath every American were irrational violent drives. What had happened in Germany seemed to bear this out. The complicity of so many ordinary Germans in mass killings during the war showed just how easily these forces could break through and overwhelm democracy.

"Planners and policy makers had been convinced by their experiences during World War II that human beings could act very irrationally because of this sort of teeming and raw and unpredictable emotionality. The kind of chaos that lived at the base of human personality could in fact infect the society, social institutions, to such a point that the society itself would become sick. That's what they believe happened in Germany in which the irrational, the anti-democratic went wild. It is a vision of human nature as incredibly destructive and they were Terrified that Americans would in fact behave that way or were capable of behaving that way and they wanted to avoid a rerun of that." - Ellen Herman - Historian of American Psychology

Psychoanalysts were convinced they not only understood these dangerous forces, but they knew how to control them, too. They would use their techniques to create democratic individuals because democracy, left to itself, failed to do this. The source of this idea is not only Sigmund Freud, but his youngest daughter Anna. She had fled with her father to London before the outbreak of war, and after he died Anna Freud became the acknowledged leader of the world psychoanalytic movement. She saw her job as to fulfill her father's dream of making his ideas accepted through the world.

Freud himself had seen the role of psychoanalysis as allowing people to understand their unconscious drives. But Anna Freud believed it was possible to teach individuals how to control these inner forces. She had come to believe this through analyzing children, above all the children of her close friend Dorothy Burlingham. Dorothy Burlingham was an American millionairess who, in the 1920s, fled a failed marriage and brought her children to Anna Freud in Vienna. They were suffering terrible anxieties and aggression, but Anna Freud was convinced she could free them from this by changing the world around them.

From her analysis of the Burlingham children Anna Freud developed a theory of how to control the inner drives. It was simple - you taught the children to conform to the rules of society. But this was more than just moral guidance. Anna Freud believed if children like the Burlinghams strictly followed the rules of accepted social conduct then, as they grew up, the conscious part of their mind, what was called the ego, would be greatly strengthened in its struggle to control the unconscious. But if children did not conform, their ego would be weak and they would be prey to the dangerous forces of the unconscious.

The analysis seemed to be a great success and in the thirties the Burlingham children returned to America. They settled down to happy, married lives in the suburbs. What they didn't realize was that their experience was about to become a template for a giant Social Experiment to control the inner mental life of the American population.

In 1946 President Truman signed The National Mental Health Act. It had been born directly out of the wartime discoveries by psychoanalysts, that millions of Americans who had been drafted suffered hidden anxieties and fears. The aim of the act was to deal with this invisible threat to society.

Two of the principal architects of the act were the Menninger brothers, Carl and Will. Will had run the wartime psychotherapy experiments and now he and his brother begun to train hundreds of new psychiatrists. The Menningers were convinced that it would be possible to apply Anna Freud's ideas on a wide scale, and to adults as well as children. The psychiatrists job would be to teach ordinary Americans how to control their unconscious drives. Psychoanalysis could be used to make a better society.

In the late forties a vast project began in America to apply the ideas of psychoanalysis to the masses. Psychological guidance centers were set up in hundreds of towns. They were staffed by psychiatrists who believed it was their job to control the hidden forces inside the minds of millions of ordinary Americans. At the same time, thousands of counselors were trained to apply psychoanalysis to marriage guidance, and social workers were sent out to visit people's homes and advise them on the psychological structure of family life. Behind all this was the fundamental idea of Anna Freuds' - that if people were encouraged to conform to the accepted patterns of family and social life then their ego would be strengthened. They would be able to control the dangerous forces within them.

"They just felt that the road to happiness was in adapting to the external world in which they lived. That people could be un-crippled from their own neurotic conflicts and impulses; that they would not engage in self-destructive behavior, that they would in fact adapt to the reality about them. They never questioned the reality. They never questioned that it might itself be a source of evil or something to which you could not adapt without compromise or without suffering or without exploiting yourself in some way. So there was this fit with the politics of the day." - Dr. Neil Smelser - Political Theorist and Psychoanalyst

But it was only the beginning of the rise to power of psychoanalysis in America. Psychoanalysts were about to move into big business and use their techniques not just to create model citizens, but model consumers. Now a group of psychoanalysts were going to take what Bernays had begun in the first part of the century and invent a whole range of techniques to get inside and manage the unconscious mind of the consumer. They were led by Ernest Dichter. Dichter had practiced next door to Freud in Vienna, but he had come to America and set up The Institute for Motivational Research in an old mansion north of New York.

"We don't go out and ask directly why do you buy / why don't you.... What we try to do instead is to understand the total personality, the self image of the customer; we use all the resources of modern social sciences. It opens up some stimulating psychological techniques for selling any new product." - Ernest Dichter,

Like the other psychoanalysts, Dichter believed that American citizens were fundamentally irrational beings; they could not be trusted. Their real reasons for buying products were rooted in unconscious desires and feelings. And Dichter wanted to find ways to uncover what he called 'The Secret Self' of the American consumer.

"And so he said why can't we have a group therapy session about products? And so Dichter built this room up above his garage and he said we can have psychoanalysis of products, they can actually act out and verbalize their wants and needs. And they could be observed and watched and other people could comment and they could talk about it and everybody could join in. He was the first to do this, this was absolutely the first time this was ever done. And he had a movie projector up there where you could show advertisements and things like that and people could react to them and he invented the whole technique for mining the unconscious about the hidden psychological wants that people had about products. This became the focus group." - Fritz Gehagen - Psychologist and employee of Ernest Dichter

Dichter's breakthrough came with a focus group study he did for Betty Crocker foods. Like many food manufacturers in the early fifties they had invented a new range of instant convenience foods. But although consumers had told market researchers they would welcome the idea, in fact they were refusing to buy them. The worst problem was the Betty Crocker cake mix. Dichter did a series of focus groups where housewives free associated about the cake mix. He concluded that they felt unconscious guilt about the new image being promoted of ease and convenience.

"In other words he understood that the barrier to the consumption of the product was housewives' feeling of guilt about using it. They basically on one hand wanted to make it easier for themselves but they felt guilty about it. So what you've got to do in those circumstances is remove the barrier, the barrier being guilt. And the way you do that is you give the housewife a greater sense of participation."

(And how do you do that?)

"By adding an egg."

(As simple as that?)

"As simple as that." - Bill Schlackman - Psychologist and employee of Ernest Dichter

Dichter told Betty Crocker to put an instruction on the packet that the housewife should add an egg. It would be an unconscious symbol, he said, of the housewife mixing in her own eggs as a gift to her husband, and so would lessen the guilt. Betty Crocker did it, and the sales soared.

"The consumer may have basic needs that the consumer himself or herself doesn't fully understand. You have to know what those needs are in order to fully exploit the consumer. Is it wrong to give people what they want by taking away their defenses, helping remove their defenses?" - Bill Schlackman - Psychologist and employee of Ernest Dichter

Dichters success led to a rush by corporations and advertising agencies to employ psychoanalysts. They became known as the "Depth Boys" and they promised to show companies how to make millions by connecting their products with people's hidden desires. Dichter himself became a millionaire, famous for inventing slogans like 'A Tiger in Your Tank'. Even the marketing of the Barbie doll came from a children's focus group.

But Dichter was convinced that this was far more than just selling. Like Anna Freud he believed that the environment could be used to strengthen the human personality, and products had the power both to sate inner desires and give people a feeling of common identity with those around them. It was a strategy for creating a stable society. Dichter called it the "Strategy of Desire."

By the early fifties the ideas of psychoanalysis had penetrated deep into American life. The psychoanalysts themselves became rich and powerful. Many had consulting rooms overlooking Central Park in New York. Politicians and famous writers like Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams became their patients. They were seeking not just help, but to understand the hidden roots of human behavior.

"We were sought after. Washington was interested in what we think. The important writers, important politicians were undergoing psychoanalysis. We had waiting lists because there were so many patients that wanted to be analyzed. So it gave us a little bit of a swelled head." - Professor Martin Bergmann - New York Psychoanalyst

And as the psychoanalysts ideas took hold in America, a New Elite began to emerge; in politics, social planning, and in business. What linked this elite was the assumption that the masses were fundamentally irrational. To make a free market democracy like America work, one had to use psychological techniques to control mass irrationality.

"They actually believed that this elite was necessary because individual citizens were not capable, if left alone, of being democratic citizens. The elite was necessary in order to create the conditions that would produce individuals capable of behaving as a good consumer and also behaving as a democratic citizen. They didn't see their activities as anti-democratic; as undermining the capacity of individual citizens for democracy; quite the opposite. They understood that they were creating the conditions for democracy's survival in the future." - Ellen Herman - Historian of American Psychology

The power and influence of the Freud family in America was about to grow even more. Politicians were about to turn to Edward Bernays for help in a time of crisis. He was going to manipulate the inner feelings and fears of the masses to help Americas politicians fight the cold war.

In 1953 the Soviet Union exploded it's first hydrogen bomb and the fear of nuclear war and communism gripped the United States. Those in power became concerned about how to reassure the population. Committees were set up and public information films made appealing for calm in the face of new threats like nuclear fallout.

At this point Edward Bernays was living in New York. In the 1920s he had invented the profession of Public Relations and was now one of the most powerful PR men in America. He worked for most of the major corporations and advised politicians, including President Eisenhower. Like his uncle Sigmund, Bernays was convinced that human beings were driven by irrational forces. The only way to deal with the public was to connect with their unconscious desires and fears. Bernays argued that instead of trying to reduce people's fear of communism, one should actually encourage and manipulate the fear... But in such a way that it became a weapon in the cold war. Rational argument was fruitless.

"What my father understood about groups is that they are malleable. And that you can tap into their deepest desires or their deepest fears and use that to your own purposes. I don't think he felt that all those publics out there had reliable judgment; that they very easily might vote for the wrong man or want the wrong thing, so that they had to be guided from above." - Ann Bernays - Daughter of Edward Bernays

One of Bernays' main clients was the giant United Fruit Company. They owned vast banana plantations in Guatemala and Central America. For decades United Fruit had controlled the country through pliable dictators. It was known as a 'banana republic'. But in 1950 a young officer, Colonel Arbenz, was elected president. He promised to remove United Fruits' control over the country and in 1953 he announced the government would take over much of their land. It was a massively popular move but a disaster for United Fruit, so they turned to Bernays to help get rid of Arbenz.

"United Fruit brings in Bernays and he basically understood that what United Fruit Company had to do was change this from being a popularly elected government that was doing some things that were good for the people there into this being, very close to the American shore, a threat to American democracy. This being at time in the cold war when Americans responded to issues of 'the red scare' and what communism might do, he was trying to transform this and brilliantly did transform it into an issue of a communist threat very close to our shores; taking United Fruit again, as a commercial client out of the picture and making it look like a question of American democracy, American values being threatened." - Larry Tye - Journalist, Boston Globe

In reality Arbenz was a democratic socialist with no links to Moscow, but Bernays set out to turn him into a communist threat to America. He organized a trip to Guatemala for influential American journalists. Few of them knew anything about the country or its politics. Bernays arranged for them to be entertained and to meet selected Guatemalan politicians who told them Arbenz was a communist controlled by Moscow.

During the trip there was also a violent anti-American demonstration in the capital. Many of those who worked for United Fruit were convinced it had been organized by Bernays himself. He also created a fake independent news agency in America called the Middle American Information Bureau. It bombarded the American media with press releases saying that Moscow was planning to use Guatemala as a beachhead to attack America. All of this had the desired effect.

"What was profoundly new in terms of what Bernays did was he took this menace to our backyard in Guatemala. For the first time we saw reds a couple hundred miles from New Orleans, who Eddie Bernays had us believing were a true threat to us. There was going to be a Soviet outpost in our backyard." - Larry Tye - Journalist, Boston Globe

But what Bernays was doing was not just trying to blacken the Arbenz regime, he was part of a secret plot. President Eisenhower had agreed that America should topple the Arbenz government, but secretly. The CIA were instructed to organize a coup. Working with the United Fruit Company the CIA trained and armed a rebel army and found a new leader for the country called Colonel Armas. The CIA agent in charge was Howard Hunt, later one of the Watergate burglars.

"What we wanted to do is have a terror campaign; to terrify Arbenz particularly, terrify his troops, much as the German Stuka bombers terrified the population of Holland, Belgium and Poland at the onset of World War II and just rendered everybody paralyzed." - Howard Hunt - Head of CIA Operation, Guatemala, 1954

As planes flown by CIA pilots dropped bombs on Guatemala City, Edward Bernays carried on his propaganda campaign in the American press. He was preparing the American population to see this as the liberation of Guatemala by freedom fighters for democracy.

"He totally understood that the coup would happen when conditions in the public and the press allowed for a coup to happen and he created those conditions. He was totally savvy in terms of just what he was helping create there in terms of the overthrow. But ultimately he was reshaping reality, and reshaping public opinion in a way that's undemocratic and manipulative." - Larry Tye - Journalist, Boston Globe

On June 27th 1954 Colonel Arbenz fled the country and Armas arrived as the new leader. Within months Vice President Nixon visited Guatemala. In an event staged by United Fruit's PR department he was shown piles of Marxist literature that had been found (it was said) in the presidential palace.

Bernays had manipulated the American people but he had done so because he, like many others at the time, believed that the interests of business and the interests of America were indivisible. Especially when faced with the threat of communism. Bernays was convinced that to explain this rationally to the American people was impossible because they were not rational. Instead one had to touch on their inner fears and manipulate them in the interest of a higher truth. He called it the Engineering Of Consent.

"He was doing it for the American way of life to which he was devoted, sincerely devoted. And yet he felt the people were really pretty stupid. And that's the paradox. If you don't leave it up to the people themselves but force them to choose what you want them to choose, however subtly, then it's not democracy anymore. It's something else, it's being told what to do, it's that old authoritarian thing." - Ann Bernays - Daughter of Edward Bernays

The idea that it was necessary to manipulate the inner feelings of the American population in the interest of fighting the cold war now began to take root in Washington, above all in the CIA, who were going to take it much further. They were concerned that the Soviets were experimenting with psychological methods to actually alter the memories and feelings of people. The aim: To produce more controllable citizens. It was known as brainwashing. Psychologists in the CIA were convinced that this really might be possible and that they should try do it themselves.

"The image of the human being that was being built up at that particular time was that there was a great deal of vulnerability in every human being and that vulnerability could be manipulated to program somebody to be something that I wanted them to be and they didn't want to be. That you could manipulate people in such a way that they could be automatons if you will for whatever your purposes were. This was the image that people thought was possible." - Dr. John Gittinger - CIA Chief Psychologist 1950-74

In the late fifties the CIA poured millions of dollars into the psychology departments at universities across America. They were secretly funding experiments in how to alter and control the inner drives of human beings. The most notorious of these experiments was run by the head of the American Psychiatric Association, Dr. Ewen Cameron. Like many psychiatrists at that time, Cameron was convinced that inside human beings were dangerous forces which threatened society. But he believed it was possible to not just control these forces but actually remove them.

"He thought that psychiatry should not just concentrate on sick people and the mentally ill, but should actually go into government, that politicians should listen to psychiatrists; psychiatrists should be in every parliament and should direct and monitor political activities because they knew in a rational, scientific way what was good for people." - Dr. Heinz Lehmann - Psychiatrist and colleague of Dr Cameron

Cameron had set up a clinic in a hospital in Montreal called the Allen Memorial. It has now long since closed down. Cameron took patients who suffered a wide range of mental problems. His theory was that these resulted from forgotten or repressed memories. But he was impatient with the idea of using psychotherapy to uncover them. Instead, he would simply wipe them. Cameron used drugs including LSD and the technique of ECT, electro-convulsive therapy. It was conventionally used at that time to relieve depression. But Cameron was going to use it in a new way - to produce new people.

"He was really using it to try and change the fundamental function of the individual. To alter their past memories, their past ways of behaving, and as I think he said at one point, to just sort of erase everything from their past so that you then had a slate in which you could record new ways of behavior. And so he used massive doses of shock, people receiving several shocks a day and over a course of time hundreds of ECT treatments so that they were just reduced to sort of a very primitive vegetable state. And then having depatterned somebody or brought them down to where basically nothing but the essential functions of the body were going on in terms of breathing and things of this nature, then he would begin to feed material into these individuals; positive material such that the brain would be programmed in a positive way so that the individual would be completely altered." - Laughlin Taylor - Assistant to Dr Cameron 1958-60
In fact Cameron's experiments were a complete disaster. All he managed to produce were dozens of individuals with memory loss and the ability to repeat the phrase 'I am at ease with myself'. And it was not an isolated case, almost all the experiments the CIA funded were equally unsuccessful. Despite their ambitions, American psychologists were beginning to find out how difficult it was to understand and control the inner workings of the human mind.

"We had really been chasing a phantom, if you will, an illusion - that the human mind was more capable of manipulation from the outside, by outside factors than it is. We found out that the human being is an extremely complex thing. There were no simple solutions. But you've just got to bare in mind that these were strange times." - Dr. John Gittinger - CIA Chief Psychologist 1950-74

The psychoanalysts had come to power in America because of their theory that they knew how to control the dangerous forces inside human beings. But now the psychoanalysts were about to face a high profile failure that would lead people to begin questioning the very basis of their ideas. It began in Hollywood.

The film industry had become fascinated by psychoanalysis, and Anna Freud was a powerful influence on dozens of analysts in Los Angeles. They treated film stars, directors, and studio bosses. Anna Freud's closest friend was the most sought after of all, Ralph Greenson. And in 1960 the most famous star in the world turned to Greenson for help. Marilyn Monroe was suffering from despair and had become addicted to alcohol and drugs.

What Greenson did is follow Anna Freud's theory. If Marilyn Monroe could be thought to conform to what society considered a normal pattern of life, that would help her ego control her inner destructive urges. But Greenson pushed it to an extreme. He persuaded Monroe to move into a house nearby that was decorated like his own. He then took her into his own family life, and he, his wife and his daughter played at being Monroe's own family. Greenson himself would become the model of conformity.

But despite all his efforts, Greenson was unable to help Marilyn Monroe. On August 5th 1962 she committed suicide in her house. The suicide shocked many in the analytic community, including Anna Freud. And high profile figures in American life, who had previously been enthusiasts for psychoanalysis, now began to question why psychoanalysis had become so powerful in America. Was it really because it benefited individuals, or had it in fact become a form of constraint in the interests of social order? The critics included Monroe's ex-husband, Arthur Miller.

"My argument with so much psychoanalysis is the preconception that suffering is a mistake, or a sign of weakness, or a sign even of illness. When in fact, possibly the greatest truths we know have come out of people's suffering. That the problem is not to undo suffering or to wipe it off the face of the earth but to make it inform our lives. Instead of trying to cure ourselves of it constantly and avoid it, and avoid anything but that lobotomized sense of what they call happiness. There's too much of an attempt it seems to me to think in terms of controlling man rather than freeing him; of defining him rather than letting him go. And it's part of the whole ideology of this age which is power mad." - Arthur Miller

At the same time, an onslaught was launched on the way psychoanalysis was being used by business to control people. The first blow came with a bestseller, The Hidden Persuaders written by Vance Packard. It accused psychoanalysts of reducing the American people to emotional puppets whose only function was to keep mass production lines running. They did this by manipulating people's unconscious desires, to create longings for ever new brands and models. They had turned the population into unwitting participants in the system of planned obsolescence. The second blow came from an influential philosopher and social critic, Herbert Marcuse. He had been trained in psychoanalysis.

"This is a childish application of psychoanalysis which does not take at all into consideration they very real political systematic waste of resources of technology and of the productive process. For example, planned obsolescence; for example the production of innumerable brands and gadgets who are in the last analysis always the same; the production of innumerable different models of automobiles; and this prosperity at the same time, consciously or unconsciously leads to a kind of schizophrenic existence. I believe that in this society an incredible quantum of aggressiveness and destructiveness is accumulated precisely because of the empty prosperity which then simply erupts." - Herbert Marcuse

Marcuse's argument was not simply that psychoanalysis had been used for corrupt purposes, it was more fundamental. Marcuse said that the very idea that you needed to control people was Wrong. Human beings did have inner emotional drives, but they were not inherently violent or evil. It was society that made these drives dangerous by repressing and distorting them. Anna Freud and her followers had increased that repression by trying to make people conform to society. In so doing, they made people more dangerous, not less.

"Marcuse challenged that social world and he said that's a world that should not be adapted to. And in fact what the individual was adapting to was corrupt and evil and corrupting. In other words he switched the source of evil from inward conflict to the society itself. That the sickness of society lay at the society level not at the sickness of human beings in it. And if people did not challenge that then they were in fact submitting to evil." - Dr, Neil Smelser - Political theorist and psychoanalyst

The political influence of the Freudian psychoanalysts was over. Instead they were now accused of having helped to create a repressive form of social control. Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham lived on in Sigmund Freud's old house in London. In 1970 Dorothy's son Bob died of alcoholism, and in 1973 his sister Mabbie returned for yet more analysis with Anna Freud.

"She went back for more analysis; she was living at 20 Maresfield Gardens in the Freud house, as I guess she did when she wasn't with her husband, and she committed suicide. She took an overdose of sleeping pills."

(In Freud's own house?)

"In Freud's own house, right. So obviously there are a lot of implications one can draw from that and I just happened to think she reached the end of the rope there. Although it would seem to be a very pointed act. Obviously suicide is a very politicized act and to do it in Sigmund Freud's own house is certainly different from doing it Riverdale back in New York." - Michael Burlingham - Bob Burlingham's son

===

So, we're half way to the here and now... who's got the ball? What controls 'the market'? Who really calls the shots? Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream....

Century of the Self, Part 2, by Adam Curtis. Originally aired on BBC in 2002. To my knowledge this has never been aired on American television:
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid ... 0614&hl=en

A transcript of this episode I found online. I think this guy did just what I did, transcribed it himself, but I've noticed a few glitches here and there:
http://hareloco.spaces.live.com/blog/cn ... !243.entry
Expendable Guy. The show is no good without them.
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Re: McCain v Obama

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:01 pm

Let's have a brief intermission while Torb prepares the next installment:

I believe the Democrats have suddenly developed a keen sense of morality.

John Edwards has been banned from making a speech at the Democratic National Convention for having an affair and lying about it.

Instead Bill Clinton will be speaking in his place!

Ray
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