Quote Arundhati Roy in "Capitalism, A Ghost Story":


The Dholera SIR is only one of the smaller Matryoshka dolls, one of the inner ones in the dystopia that is being planned. It will be connected to the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), a 1500 km long and 300 km wide industrial corridor, with nine Mega-industrial zones, a high speed freight line, three sea-ports, and six air ports; a six-lane intersection-free expressway and a 4000 MW power plant. The DMIC is a collaborative venture between the Governments of India and Japan, and their respective corporate partners, and has been proposed by the McKinsey Global Institute.

The DMIC web site says that approximately 180 million people will be “affected” by the project. Exactly how, it doesn’t say. It envisages the building of several new cities and estimates that the population in the region will grow from the current 231 million to 314 million by 2019. That’s in seven years’ time. When was the last time a State, despot or dictator carried out a population transfer of millions of people? Can it possibly be a peaceful process?


A deconstructive synthesis of the terms "public" and "private" has occured through the permutation or perhaps transmutation of "capitalism" over time. The terms "public" and "private" have been synthesized under the term "private", transformed from abstract principles which denoted seperate spheres of application in reference and action to a single rubric of capitalist political ideology. The above quote demonstrates the completion of capitalism as a political philosophy, in the process of subsuming all aspects of public life into the private domain of capital and in this process negating the applicability of the term "private" to the individual. The privacy of the individual no longer exists as a quantity within the public sphere, as the expression of individual volition within the political-economic social sphere. The private nature of capital itself becomes a public project, and it is in this sense that "capitalism" is - and perhaps has always been - a thoroughly political concept.

In the "country" called the "United States of America", the transformation of capitalism has progressed through roughly three stages of ideological rhetorical corrolaries. First, capitalism was seen as the economic system most suited to the US form of democratic society. Next, it was seen as the natural, necessary form of economic political life which defines democracy itself. Now, as Roy shows, it has negated the concept of the political except as a reference to the total synthesis of political economy as the sole discursive mode of contemporary modernity.

Roy's piece articulates the intersections of cultural and political discourse through the concept of "human rights" against the backdrop of a burgeoning police state which criminalizes all forms of dissent from the dominant order. Corporations cultivate this discussion and attenuate the expression of opinion, including protest, to the projects of the state. Roy describes the cultural projects of corporations, such as literary festivals and the commissioning of works of art, and laments the lack of oppossition to these countries practices. "This is only the burlesque end of the Exquisite Art." She continues her piece laying bare the history of philanthropy, the role of non-governmental organizations, and the facade of "pluralism" in promoting neoliberalism and privatisation (and thus corruption). Roy sounds an almost obligatory optimistic note that the Occupy movement can re-infuse society with a genuine progressive movement which addresses the plight of farmers dispossesed of their land by mining companies and the perennial hardships of the "untouchables".

During the late part of the nineteenth century through the years of the Depression and up until the end of WWII, there were major debates over the nature of political struggle and the desireability of different economic systems. It was during this period that the plutocratic class began propogandizing in favor of capitalism. The agrarian tradition influenced the outcome in favor of private property, and the constitutional guarantees of such mitigated in favor of an economic system which recognized existing inequalities of wealth as legitimate. Industrialism could benefit all classes, though capitalists lobbied hard against any variety of socialism including democratic socialism. The "Bolshevik threat" was largely concentrated among the urban workers, unlike elsewhere such as in Italy where it had roots among the peasant class which worked on the large estates (in South America "latifundia"). Democracy could still effect major reforms and regulations but capitalism was seen as desireable to communes or central planning, the other major concepts rooted in the theories of socialism and communism. Many on the left today intuitively grasp at similar models of social and economic organization by adopting the theme of "localism", but the theoretical underpinnings which could be used to effect a transformation to such a mode of political economy have been gradually and deliberately stripped out of the national discourse over the last several decades.

After the Second World War, the rubric of neoliberalism and neoconservatism began to take shape as US foreign policy adopted neofascist, imperialist global designs. The success of the CIA in infiltrating and coopting trade unions while the State Department worked in tandem with philanthropic organizations helped guarantee that there would be no effective opposition to the power of the elites. Democracy gradually became synonomous with capitalism as the role of politics became defined through the media as the participation of the masses in the dismantling of the state. The material wealth of the neoliberal years of the 1990's within the US, while "free-trade" devastated the rest of the world, convinced the US voters to reject the themes of compassion put forth by the "new liberals" and those such as Kennedy, Kucinich, Jesse Jackson in favor of competition. Competition itself became redifined as the individual attempt to situate him or herself in relationship to ever more powerful corporations in as advantageous a position as possible. All forms of power were ceded to these corporations during this period which followed that of acquisitions and mergers which created the transnational super-corporations we know today. The doublethink of portraying corporations as virtuous and benevolent actors in an arena of amoral, vicious competition allayed any fears raised by those who protested their emergence as a global government, for example at the meeting of the WTO in Seattle. The success of protesters in Seattle was a direct result of the fact that the corporatocracy did not expect serious resistance from the masses.

They would not make that mistake again. Shortly thereafter, the WTO having been forced to meet in Dubai, a stolen election and the events of September 11, 2001 resulted in the imposition of a police state and the military invasion of the Middle East. It is likely that radical terrorists falsely believed that they could carry out the attacks themselves, but that these attacks were aided and abbetted by elements within our government and society. But that's just one theory. The point here is that terms such as "free trade" have actually replaced "democracy" in the national discourse. When the term "democracy" is used, it is only in the sense of being thought to be synonomous with "libertarianism".

The planning described in the quote at the head of this post exemplifies this stage. Central planning has become a perogative of the capitalist state. The industrial components of development and the elements of transportation are facilitated through the higher levels of the state. The impacts Roy referrs to are handled by the lower levels. This stage will culminate in the elimination of the institutions of the state as privatization completes its course and adopts the tasks of security and licensure.


nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet 5 years 3 weeks ago

Well, so far as I know, despite her vehemence she has not advocated for you being banned. She, I, and media muse all found your comments to be at the very least questionably vague. Now that you have clarified things somewhat I'm sure that first and foremost we are all grateful that our worst fears appear to be assuaged. You've had run-ins with Zenzoe before though so I have to wonder if perhaps your rhetorical technique was designed to lay a trap for her. If so, I hope that you will realize that this is not a proper way to handle your resentments. I mean really, a box with rose petals in it with the ends busted out? How did the rose petals get into a box with the ends busted out? This seems like deliberate bait to invite an amateur Freudian interpretation.

I'm not sure how to characterize the point you were trying to make with your thread but unless you can state it better I think you are ill advised to persue it. Whatever you tried to say about creativity, your attempt to convey a sense of existential angst and anomie was misconceived and ill founded I'm afraid. Yes, its true, Anais Nin has been around for awhile. People probably read those passages and tucked them away in their memory without fully confronting them. They probably do that with other disturbing things too. Like knowing Nazis contributed to the space program. They are things people know but don't think about too much or talk about because its uncomfortable. In the case of incest, if a person has issues there they need to see a mental health professional to help them sort out their issues.

Also I think taking Zenzoes comment out of context and reposting it with a sarcastic title undermines rather than furthers your defense of yourself as the victim of harsh language. If a person has suspicions which most people interpret as valid suspicions, which in this case people thought so because they either shared them or saw how a person could have them, then its generally considered to be an exception to the rule of politeness when dealing with such a topic.

Zenzoe 5 years 3 weeks ago

Let us be very, very clear about incest: Perpetrated by a father against his child, it is nothing less than rape, and all the more so, if he has "groomed" his daughter or son in gentle stages, contextualizing his selfish conduct with words of love, or as a "special secret" between them. In fact, it is not about eroticism, or sex, or love; it's all about power and psychopathy.

Furthermore, the human characteristics that enable a father's rape of his child are the same characteristics that enable the rape of the land, our waters, economies and the planet itself. It's all about self-delusion, greed and selfishness, all without the least sense of guilt or responsibility.

Alberto introduced the subject of incest with this: "My grandmother once confided to one of my sisters that her father had violated (raped?) her. My sister responded with “How awful!” to which my grandmother replied 'But what else could he do? My mother had a vaginal infection.'" And he placed it there on the page, without noting his grandmother's bizarre logic, I assumed because it was so obvious and didn't need comment.

However, later, he wrote this clarification, after his approval of incest started to become apparent, and some of us expressed our disapproval: "As for my grandmother's experience I can assure you that it damaged no one in our family and certainly not my grandmother." Thus, what was I to think, but that he saw no problem, not only with his grandmother's logic ("Why not rape the child, when a man's needs must be satisfied? A man's needs come first, right?"), but also with "incest" (child rape) itself. It seemed clear to me Alberto could see no violence, no abuse of power, no harm in incest between father and child. Well, I'm so sorry, but at that point I felt no compunction to "act like a lady." Seems to me, at that point, one needs to call a spade a spade.

Quote Derrick Jensen:

This deal by which we adapt ourselves to the receiving, witnessing, and committing of violence by refusing to perceive its effects on ourselves and on others is ubiquitous. And it is a bad deal.

Alberto apparently wants us to feel his pain over my "vulgar comments;" this, while he feels no pain, apparently, for the victims of child rape by a parent. This is amazing, when contrasted to his attempt to apply an artistic gloss to incest, an attempt which is an act of extreme vulgarity, something akin to the vulgarity of kitsch. But then, Alberto fancies himself a connoisseur of the avant garde, if not le grand artiste himself, and holds firm to the myth of the artist as unconventional and iconoclastic in their private lives, even to the point of upholding their right to an "unconventional" practice like child rape. Such ego motivations sometimes blind a person to their own vulgarity.

Perhaps Nimblecivet is correct, and Alberto's comments were merely created to bait me. He does love the attention of a scandal he could create himself, to validate himself as the suffering, misunderstood artist among narrow-minded, conventional slobs like me.

However, as I said, this is not the first time he has indicated his approval of sex between adults and children. It may be bluster and noise, but there it is.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 5 years 3 weeks ago

Nimblecivet, that was in 1985, I believe, so I said that was my impression of Reich. I meant according to what I seem to remember about him. Don't expect me to accurately remember stuff from 27 years ago, but I am confident that it was Reich I wrote about after doing an internet search. Perhaps it wasn't that he had been made to have sex with either of his parents. The stuff I am looking up about him shows that he was an advocate of promiscuity, which he associated with social freedom as well. It states that he was a communist also, so he was concerned about the liberation of the masses, which he equated with sexual liberation.

I did find the following about him:

"Reich had admirers among the young analysts and the literary and artistic avant-garde. One observer of a Reichian lakeside gathering in 1930 described indulgence in "a voyeuristic exhibitionistic fashion of semi-public love affairs, dramatized promiscuity, risqué parties and play-acting, and bathing in the nude." As Turner also demonstrates, the idealization of sex had its victims. Reich took up with a former patient; months into the affair, she died, possibly of a botched abortion. Reich promptly pursued and then married and divorced another patient, Annie Pink, later Annie Reich. (She kept him from his children, out of concern over abuse.) The pattern of sex with patients, students, and acolytes—relationships that were often disastrous for the women—continued for the whole of Reich's life."

Note how his wife was afraid that he would have incestuous relations with his own children.

That was on this website: http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/books/2011/06/the_great_proselytizer_of_orgasm.html

Here is another website about Reich:


It's not loading on my computer and I am out of time, but it seems to show that Reich wrote about breaking through the incest taboo, which I figure means advocating incest.

There are a bunch of other sites which have similar things to say about Reich as well. I don't have my paper from 1985 with me, and it would be difficult to find even if it hasn't been thrown out. Perhaps I was writing not so much about incest in it, as the connection between Reich's personal life and his theory. I do know that I got an "A" on the paper. I also mentioned other theorists' personal biases as well in the paper, so Reich was only one of several mentioned.

I am pretty sure what you have seen about Reich is in a totally different context from this information about his dysfunctional personal life; information of both kinds is out there. There may be aspects of his theory which are valid, but his work seems to be dominated by his views on sexuality, which to me seem disastrous.

Zenzoe 5 years 3 weeks ago

Alberto continues to make light of the effects of child rape: I refer you to my comments here: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/03/womens-issues-are-side-issues?... as follows:


I'm sure I'm not the first to think of this but, maybe women should start wearing men's clothing. And maybe men who support women's rights should start dressing in women's clothes, just to flip the paradigm on its head. The fashions for women have, historically, been balls and chains. You can't out run a rapist in a hoop skirt. You can't defend yourself against charges of genetically predisposed frivolity by covering yourself in shiny baubles. Women have been set up by a male dominated society to disprove and disregard their own usefulness and some gladly obliged.

I want to take your comment metaphorically, for the moment, rather than as a literal call for cross-dressing. When you refer to "fashions," I'm thinking of the stereotypes society has designated for men and women, that is, woman ='s "frivolity" and also care, love, polite deference, etc., and man ='s aggression, dominance, "cruelty," etc. (and I agree it's insulting for male to be equated with cruelty) Of course, the literal meaning works as well, and I wholly agree with, "Women have been set up by a male dominated society to disprove and disregard their own usefulness and some gladly obliged," in a literal sense, thinking of high-heels, "shiny baubles," heavy, charcoal-lined eyes, and the rest of our feminine attire that set us up to be objects first and people last. However, the metaphorical sense means more to me right now, because of what has happened between Alberto Ceras and me over on the blog post side of this forum. It's on my mind this morning, and your comment fits perfectly with what I need to say.

Anyway, D's comment helps me to understand the problem with AC's complaints about me, beginning with this complaint: "I see you, Zenzoe, as confined in your box of feminism and never likely to get out of it." Notice that he sees feminism as a "box," in other words, a constraining ideology that prohibits freedom. He said this, after I responded to his excusing of father-child incest with what he objected to as "vulgarities," namely by calling him, "Mr. Self-satisfied, Creepy Son of a Prick," and telling him he was thinking with his gonads.

What I failed to point out is exactly what D_NATURED reminds me of: the box AC resides in wants women to behave like "ladies," i.e., as within the stereotyping assigned to us by a patriarchal culture, the one where we remain under control, posing no threat to the entitlements of men, even those granting them rights to rape their own children. Thus, he cannot help this next complaint about me: "Wild ravings such as Zenoe's are clear indications of a person who has lost control." Lost control! That is, I failed to wear the clothes assigned to me by his patriarchal mind-set —I did not respond with care and understanding to his opinion, but, instead, shot insults at him— and he was upset by that.

Alberto loves the tout the reputation of the creative artist as the iconoclast, the breaker of social norms, the flouter of conventions, both in art and life. He thinks of them as breaking out of "the box," and he loves to remind us how society responds with horror and disapproval, wanting always to ban the unconventionality it cannot abide nor tolerate. Well then, how ironic that when I refuse to dwell in his "box" of conventionality about women's roles and wish to break out of it, not only wish to but try to smash it to pieces, he decides he wants me banned from the forum! Ha! I am the iconoclast he wants to ban!

Alberto, in wanting me banned, exhibited a betrayal and abandonment of his love of the iconoclast and revealed his true character—a conventional, common, ordinary patriarchal poop.

Clearly, Alberto is the one who resides in a box— the box of sexism and patriarchy. And that box holds to a conventionality and tradition as old as any other. Thus, when he looks at feminism, he wants to describe it as a box, projecting onto me a pinched mind-set he himself practices and exhibits —the clothes he wears— every time he complains about women who don't behave according to convention ("those horrible feminists").

In fact, the feminist in me seeks freedom, true freedom from the sort of constraining attire imposed on me by the Albertos of the world. And freedom means I can wear any damn thing I want, whether it offends the delicate sensibilities of sexists or not. Try to imagine how little I care. I will care, when it's appropriate, and no sooner.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 5 years 3 weeks ago

Reasons for my staying out of this fight:

1. This is "Nimblecivet's thread;" thus, he gets first crack at being moderator;

2. This is not "my fight;" I find it is better to choose the time and place to make an issue of something. As I have often heard "discretion is the better part of valor;"

3. I am "damned if I do and damned if I don't" if I choose sides. I have already been clear that I feel incest often has lifelong, damaging effects to its victims and is a huge problem. Now that Alberto has clearly stated that he no more approves of incest than he does of murder, we all seem to be agreed on that basic idea.

I take your word for that, Alberto, and that your grandmother seemed undamaged by her incest experience, in your perception at least. Some people are very resilient and nothing seems to scar them emotionally. Also, a many years had elapsed since your grandmother had been molested, giving her all the more time to recover. Nonetheless, incest or molestation psychologically damages the majority of its victims. The research evidence on this is very clear. It is a violation of trust, an abuse of power, and a robbing of innocence and the intimacy that we desire to save for that someone oh so special.

I don't wish to create enmity among my friends; rather, I would like to alleviate it if I can. There is only so much a person can do, however. I don't want to see any of us banned, either. As far as my attributing something Dhavid said to Alberto, I have a "lousy memory" and don't remember that, but it could have happened. We all make mistakes at times. I never dwell on past "dust-ups." I guess it's not in my nature, which I think is a good thing.

Saying that incest is only wrong because society considers it so, does give the impression of approval of incest. Surely you can see that, Alberto. It is similar to the view expressed by some psychologists that schizophrenia is only abnormal because some cultures say it is. Actually, schizophrenia has been proven to be associated with out-of-control dopamine and/or serotonin circuits in the brain which lead to a person's perceptions being out of whack with reality. Of course, we should be understanding of schizophrenic people, try to help them and treat them humanely, but to say that culture is the problem rather than something about the schizophrenic person, is ludicrous. If we let schizophrenics with their strange perceptions and delusions run the show, society would resemble, well... an evangelical religion. In the case of incest, it is wrong for the reasons I described above.

That is about as diplomatic and professional as I can be.

Zenzoe 5 years 3 weeks ago

I don't hate you, Alberto, I hate the box you try to put me in. I hate your attempt to explain away the inherent damage of child rape by equating it with crossing a street where no traffic lights exist. That you cannot find it in yourself to unequivocally say, Yes, father on daughter incest damages the child, represents an abuse of power, and society correctly designates it as a crime, demonstrates your utter wrongheadedness on the subject and proves to me that your thinking derives of old concepts of male entitlement and privilege.

And I hate that your example of "proper femininity" is a woman who was raped by her father, then grew up to love being sexually dominated, and that you see no damage there.

As for your claim that I attributed something I said to you or your grandmother ("Why not rape the child, when a man's needs must be satisfied? A man's needs come first, right?"), that is simply your misreading. As you must know, sometimes, when you put quotes on a phrase or sentence, it is as if to say, "supposedly." And those two sentences were in response to your having inserted this into your text: "Not totally off the subject here’s a personal anecdote. My grandmother once confided to one of my sisters that her father had violated (raped?) her. My sister responded with 'How awful!' to which my grandmother replied 'But what else could he do? My mother had a vaginal infection.'" My text, in quotes, translated your grandmother's reply to your sister's proper response, that weird logic of your grandmother, which to me represented her denial of the outrage of her father's having raped her.

Denial, Alberto. You might consider the possibility that what looked to you like a lack of damage to your grandmother was simply denial, derived of her sense of her own unimportance, and her acquiescence to the family's dysfunctional requirement of secrecy about the abuse.

Derrick Jensen's father raped him. Take a look at the following Q&A with Jensen, and his feelings about his own survival:

Quote Derrick Jensen:

Q: It occurs to me how little intelligent people know about the incremental steps it takes to make a pedophile. How are monsters made? You wrote in one of your books that an ex-girlfriend said to you once that you wouldn’t be the writer you are today, if it wasn’t for your father. That is incredibly insensitive. What was your reaction to that when you first heard it?

Derrick Jensen: I’ve gotten that one a few times mainly from people who don’t know me at all. My answer I have developed is: He is responsible for me having insomnia; he is responsible for my fractured family relationships. He is not responsible for anything I have been able to convert into a gift for the community. That’s my doing. That’s the doing of loving communities. He traumatized me terribly. He terrorized me. Anything good that’s come out of that is my doing.

And then, this:

Quote Derrick Jensen:

Q: Have you ever given any thought to why universally peoples’ preference to the outrage that is sexual abuse has been, and is to this day, to avert their eyes elsewhere? And this amnesia that you spoke your family suffered from your father’s abuse is also prevalent in a cultural sense. E.g., When Madeleine Albright was US Secretary of State she went on a special Oprah Winfrey Show about children telling everyone how much she loved children yet she couldn’t make the connection that as Secretary of State the US Government simultaneously was bombing and murdering hundreds of thousands of children in Iraq at the same time. How does this double think work?

Derrick Jensen: Through my work in Endgame I know that everything in an abusive dynamic is set up to protect the abusers. So if a CEO denies responsibility for mass killing, or if George Bush denies responsibility for mass killing, I guarantee that if somebody jumped out of the audience and said, “How can you possibly say that when you are responsible for killing all those children?” then that person would be seen as being the terrible person. That person would have been seen as breaking the silence. That is rude. How can you possibly say that to such an esteemed person? The media would have gone head over heels into high gear to attack and erase all of that so that it would be all forgotten and we would go back to wondering who is the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s daughter. This isn’t just set up to protect the abusers, it’s set up to protect the entire System because part of what happens is you are taught to identify more strongly with the abusive System rather than identify with yourself, with your children or your living animal body. If the abusive System breaks down that identity of yours will die. You fear that, like you fear death.

It's all interrelated, as far as I can tell. And, if you abhor war, you should abhor father-daughter incest.

Zenzoe 5 years 3 weeks ago
Quote Alberto:

Except for your response to this idea it just got lost in the tizzy fits.

I changed my mind. I do hate you.

And I will change my mind again, when you give my thoughts the respect they deserve.

Alberto Ceras 5 years 3 weeks ago

Apologies, nimblecivet, for cluttering up your blog.

Alberto Ceras 5 years 3 weeks ago

More apologies.

Alberto Ceras 5 years 3 weeks ago

Yet one more apology.

Alberto Ceras 5 years 3 weeks ago

Another gone, another apology.

Alberto Ceras 5 years 3 weeks ago

Merrily along. Wouldn't it be great if we could just delete comments as we can with our blogs?

Alberto Ceras 5 years 3 weeks ago

Apologies again, nimblecivet, for the clutter.

Alberto Ceras 5 years 3 weeks ago

The last and final apology. I've copied and pasted the two comments of mine that I thought had some merit over where the ought to be: "Man Woman Relations."


Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 5 years 3 weeks ago

I was the one who brought up the topic of incest. Alberto was asking why people don't reply to posts about some of the more controversial topics, so I gave his Man-Woman Relations post as an example of one I wasn't sure how to respond to, especially the parts about incest. It was supposed to be an example. Oh well...things happen.

The schizophrenia reference is also supposed to be an example, of how sometimes, people say something is a cultural matter, but there are other more compelling issues in fact which transcend culture. Schizophrenia is otherwise unrelated to the incest topic, other than involving psychology.

The fact that Nimblecivet brought up Wilhelm Reich was a strange coincidence. I may have remembered the content of my paper incorrectly, but I do know it had something to do with Reich's strange ideas about sex which he advocated, as my internet search last night confirmed.

A couple more issues with incest I forgot to mention, are the possibilities of sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancies, to add to the list of problems it can cause.

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet 5 years 3 weeks ago

I'll review your links when I can, NL, but the truth is I have already seen a documentary or two and read an article or two about him. Unfortunately, that was too long ago to remember my sources. But I have to reassert that because your presentation of him is not the establashed historical record and because I have not up to now found any discussion at all of him having had a sexual pathology of some kind I am only going to look your links over as a matter of course. You're welcome to your opinion of course and we may have to just agree to disagree, but I think its unfortunate that someone who risked his life publishing a criticism of fascism while he was in Germany and while the fascists were still in power should have his reputation tarnished by others in the profession who apparently don't have any compunction against spreading rumors about something they wouldn't know about. I find it a little odd that you would see rumors of his having been molested as somehow on the same order as hearsay about his involvement at some point with some kind of countercultural movement. I suggest you pick up a copy of The Mass Psychology of Fascism and then see if you feel the same way about his theories. Really I am rather astounded and I don't know what to make of your assertions about Reich, but this does not change the fact that I have the highest regard for your integrity and good intentions.

It looks lke Alberto has decided to move the dispute over to his blog where the latest flare-up between him and Zenzoe took place. Its up to Zenzoe whether she wishes to continue dealing with what he says there. I'll do my best to follow what transpires and if possible I will offer any thoughts I think are helpful to resolving the dispute or controversy in the best way possible. I would like to take the time to review the dispute they had on Zenzoe's blog as well, but I simply don't have the time to do so. I think anyone who is capable of expressing themselves clearly should be able to respond to any accusation or what they feel is a false characterization of their position or statements.

Zenzoe 5 years 3 weeks ago

So, Alberto removed his comments demonstrating his sexual attraction to the young? Coward. Those paragraphs were so perfectly spoken, just like a pedophile. (In case you didn't notice, where he said, "Except for your response to this idea it just got lost in the tizzy fits" on this thread, he had also written a long defense of men being attracted to young flesh, and also some crap about other cultures where traditions of old men and little girls marrying was the norm. More defenses, more excuses, but then he deletes those comments, changing them to "apologies" for the subject. Dishonest and cowardly, to the end.)

Zenzoe 5 years 3 weeks ago
Quote nimblecivet:

Can't much argue with that, I'm afraid. Of course not everybody is fat, stupid, and lazy, but overall there has been quite a deliterious effect by industrialization and capitalism.

People used to cook and eat together and it was still labor intensive. So I think there are, as Berry says, a lot of potential jobs in the production and preparation of food which will be less wasteful. Some people are starting to get away from processed foods.

Have you heard of the "Slow Food" movement? If not, you should check it out. It began in Italy as a reaction against the encroachment of fast-food. It has developed into a worldwide movement promoting gardening, small-scale agriculture, etc. revolving around the idea that food should be a source of great enjoyment and an object of great care. They also have an important campaign to improve school lunches. Definitely a visionary movement.

A piece by Vandana Shiva at Common Dreams this morning reminded me that I had meant to respond to your question, above, and the subject too, that is, before I got distracted...

Anyway, in her essay, Beyond Fossilized Paradigms: Futureconomics of Food, The economics of the future is based on people and biodiversity - not fossil fuels, toxic chemicals and monocultures, she writes, "In food and agriculture, when we transcend the false productivity of a fossilised paradigm, and shift from the narrow focus on monoculture yields as the only output, and human labour as the only input, instead of destroying small farms and farmers we will protect them - because they are more productive in real terms. Instead of destroying biodiversity, we will intensify it, because it gives more food and nutrition.

Futureconomics, the economics of the future, is based on people and biodiversity - not fossil fuels, energy slaves, toxic chemicals and monocultures. The fossilized paradigm of food and agriculture gives us displacement, dispossession, disease and ecological destruction. It has given us the epidemic of farmers suicides and the epidemic of hunger and malnutrition. A paradigm that robs 250,000 farmers of their lives, and millions of their livelihoods; that robs half our future generations of their lives by denying them food and nutrition is clearly dysfunctional.

It has led to the growth of money flow and corporate profits, but it has diminished life and the wellbeing of our people. The new paradigm we are creating on the ground - and in our minds - enriches livelihoods, the health of people and eco-systems and cultures."

Vandana Shiva is a shero, in my book, another one of those wise-women of India who gives the impression of having a god's eye view, that is, a vision of all-knowing and all-loving, with all her values in their proper places.

But, yes, I've heard of the slow food movement, and I would certainly like to do my part on its behalf, though I can't imagine there's a chapter around here. Will have to check it out. My own little household can certainly count as a slow food island. I do my best to savor my home-cooked meals, grow fruits and veggies, buy local, organic produce, etc. The problem for us all, or so it would seem, is that we are islands unto ourselves. I once tried to convince the homeowner's association here to allow some of the common areas to be used for growing vegetables, but they'd have none of it: Not good for property values. They don't even want people growing vegetables in their front yards. Time to occupy the HOA?

Vandana Shiva must be considered a part of that movement, I would think.


Also, for Nimblecivet, at the end of my comment: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/03/womens-issues-are-side-issues?...

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago
Quote Nimblecivet:

t looks lke Alberto has decided to move the dispute over to his blog where the latest flare-up between him and Zenzoe took place. Its up to Zenzoe whether she wishes to continue dealing with what he says there. I'll do my best to follow what transpires and if possible I will offer any thoughts I think are helpful to resolving the dispute or controversy in the best way possible.

Your thoughts have been helpful, already. As for me, I've decided I need to avoid any interactions with A., because he has a toxic effect on me. I think all of our posts will benefit, if he and I avoid each other. If media_muse or any of you want to try to communicate with him, good for you; but you won't see me giving him the time of day anymore. It's like trying to work my way through toxic sludge.

Anyway, I hope you can, if you like, put your post back on track. And I thank you for tolerating whatever I may have done in helping to derail it. :-)

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago
Quote Natural Lefty:

2. This is not "my fight;" I find it is better to choose the time and place to make an issue of something. As I have often heard "discretion is the better part of valor;"

3. I am "damned if I do and damned if I don't" if I choose sides.

Quote Chris Hedges in "Death of the Liberal Class":

"The creed of “impartiality” and “objectivity” that has infected the liberal class teaches, ultimately, the importance of not offending the status quo. The “professionalism” demanded in the classroom, in newsprint, in the arts or in political discourse is code for moral disengagement. The righteous thunder of the abolitionist and civil-rights preachers... ...are gone. The remnants of the liberal class, and the hollow institutions they inhabit, flee from those who speak in the strange and unfamiliar tongue of liberty and justice."

No wonder you dislike Chris Hedges. He isn't afraid to take sides, where there's a clear moral distinction between the two. He isn't afraid to unequivocally shame those who would make excuses and rationalizations for an abuse of power.

How bad can it be to be damned by a person who touts the benighted attitude that father-daughter incest is not wrong in and of itself?

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet 5 years 2 weeks ago

Well, Zenzoe, your position deserves a response even though I would prefer to let this matter drop on this thread. But its not your fault I'm continuing the discussion here. I was going to post something on Alberto's thread and say something to the effect that he should clarify his position more. I think that's valid to let someone correct themselves or at least defend themselves and then let everybody come to their own conclusions. We might not all agree on every point regarding every aspect regarding the issue at hand. But, when I went to his thread and read the comments that were left since my last visit I was overwhelmed with the impression that I had improperly forgiven him his unsettling approach toward conversing about the issues he had brought up in his original post and initial set of comments. I was prepared to believe that he had allowed resentment toward Zenzoe to cloud his better judgement. I am probably the most forgiving person you will come across as I believe that usually disputes which involve a person's intentions or over what they have actually said versus how they said it, the proper characterization of their ideas, etc. are almost always more complicated than people are willing to admit or willing or capable of dealing with in a systematic manner of gaining resolution through discourse.

I hate to say this since I have almost always rejected any sort of positivist type schema for identifying aberrant or possibly violent behavior, at least in an institutionalized setting, but Alberto's comments are textbook examples of an unhealthy mind. The behavior of maintaining conversations between different "voices" (in this case, Alberto's comments are cryptic exchanges between I believe BB King ("BB" in Alberto's thread, who Alberto portrays as issuing lyrics to a "song" which Alberto phrases in Latin) and some other character I can't remember the name) for example, where the cryptic nature is another attempt to obfuscate the origin of ideas or propositions which the issuer believes he/she is distanced from via the denial of these ideas or propositions- where this denial in contrast to this type of behavior is meant to seek others who will be complicit in participating in the behavior suggested by these ideas and propositions as well as participate in their cover-up and denial. If you read the comments you may agree that media muse is one of Alberto's sock puppets there for the purpose of furthering the discussion which Alberto sets up in order to gain apparent "acceptance" of his "opinions" by a dissenter; a ploy designed to lure those who agree with his opinions to express this agreement in the false belief that these opinions are, after all, socially acceptable and merely subject to unfair condemnation by unfair laws. The viewpoint of society at large is represented by the "prig" or "prude" (I believe it was the latter) in Alberto's hypothetical example of a married couple who find out that they are siblings.

This hypothetical example of Alberto's is typical of a person who's subjective disposition differs radically from others', and therefoe is unable to comprehend how knowledge of such information would radically alter the couple's relation to each other. By relation, of course I do not mean merely the legal relation to each other or the relation of both/each to society and visa-versa, but the hard-wired "gut-level" reaction to such knowledge. It may be that Alberto intended to somehow call into question or initiate a dialogue about how society contextualizes discourse around these issues and behaviors such as incest which he states is more common than admitted. I myself believe that the real world is more complicated than cultural rhetoric admits of and that this reality forms a challenge to most of those who seek to combine compassion with principle. However, it is not impossible to do so while being consistent with principles stance, or while involved in philosophical discussion. What Alberto has done, in my view, if he is not after all a pedophile, etc., is to irresponsibly call into question all assumptions about these matters in a way not consistent with genuine intellectual discussion. At best this is oppositional-defiant behavior (another term I hate to use) which, in Alberto's case, at least suggests a nihilistic attack of the sort which so often leads to destructive and self-destructive attitudes and behavior. This type of suggestion is common to those who are on the brink of a mental breakdown or have been suffering long-term from personality disorders or an impoverished or disfunctional personal and social life. I've seen people spout things which are deliberately designed to flout convention or spur a reaction, etc., however Alberto's behavior is distinct from that as I tried to describe above.

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago

Dear Nimblecivet (reply to #72), I too would have been happy to let this issue drop from this thread and take it up with A. where he began it, except that (1) I refuse to give his posts attention now, and (2) my problem is more with any position that would allow father-child incest as anything but an atrocity against children, or any position taken that would give mealy-mouthed forgiveness to a person spouting implicit advocacy for such atrocities.

I appreciate the depth of your thoughts on the subject, though I tend not to know, or want to know, what drives such behaviors and attitudes, such as A's. I'd rather just put it in no uncertain terms, leaving no doubt as to the unacceptability of father-child incest, which to me, as you know, is rape, plain and simple.

I have a heavy cold today, so, all I have the energy for right now is Thanks. I never doubted your moral compass, nor do I doubt NL's moral compass; I just disagree with his "mucky" position.

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet 5 years 2 weeks ago

I read the articles. The first claims that he had, at one point, "child molesters" in his "inner circle." That claim is unreferenced and not elucidated at all so is not of much use, which leads me to suspect it is one of those unsubstantiated rumors. I'm not sure what it is about his views of sexuality that you find so "disastrous" or dangerous, whether or not you agree with them. However, it is true that you have done more research than I have on the subject so it may be that I have believed that the author of "The Mass Psychology of Fascism" was who I wanted him to be.

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago

Sorry to be occupying your post still, but, here's more from Vandana Shiva on "Earth Democracy," if you've got the time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOfM7QD7-kk 

Her definition of truth: "a lived reality of interconnections."

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago

FYI, and to give this post a bump and displace some spam: http://www.davidkorten.org/1996/PW3shiva

Vantana Shiva: "I am especially attracted to biodiversity as a central focus of my work because it brings together the larger philosophical issues of the democracy of life on the one hand-the intrinsic value of species-and very practical activities such as the creation of living seed banks on the other. It also brings in important questions of individual property rights. The biodiversity issue connects all these levels in a way that is less obvious say for climate change. It also connects directly to the equity issues relating to right of all people to access to a means of livelihood-to a place on the earth."

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 5 years 2 weeks ago

My position isn't that different from yours, Zenzoe. I said I fight with people, especially conservatives. I don't endorse moral neutrality, as Hedges claims that "the liberal class" does. However, we must choose our fights. Alberto has a toxic effect on you, so you have decided not to interact with him. I find that this fight among professed progressives is a distraction and the lack of real information plus its nasty nature makes this entire topic quite mucky. Thus, I also choose not to get too involved in the muck other than to hopefully find that Alberto doesn't mean what it sounds like he means about sex with children, so we can find some common ground. Some people take intellectual positions which defend those whose behavior they vehemently disagree with. The phrase, "I disagree with you but I defend to the death your right to say it" comes to mind. That isn't where I am at intellectually, and I don't know whether or not that is where Alberto is intellectually, either, but I see that attitude in a lot of liberals.

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago

NL, if you look over the entirety of A's comments on the subject of incest, I don't quite know how you could come to any other conclusion than that he thinks father-daughter incest is harmless. He even implied he hoped his granddaughter would not live within a "box" that would preclude incest: "I hope that in later life she never erects a closed box for either her body or her mind, that she will always be able to bust through.." If you had been following the discussion, you would have seen that my take on the implication there was valid. And, when I wrote, "I'm hoping my granddaughters never feel obligated to push themselves into areas that violate their personhoods, just because somebody who doesn't have their best interest in mind wants them too, or thinks it would be 'creative,' or 'artistic,' or 'cool.' I hope they follow their own hearts, their own bodies' inclinations, without coersion from outside," he said he and I had a different "understanding of what it means to be a creative person." You see, he's got incest all wrapped up in his notion of the avant garde, and he thinks it's acceptable on those terms.

I haven't read the totality of your FB comment, but I noticed you seem confused about father-daughter incest. You distinguished it from pedophilia. But, NL, it's the same thing. It's all pedophilia, i.e., rape.

Anyway, I don't see father-daughter rape as an issue any more difficult to take a stand on than female genital mutilation would be. Or honor killing. I don't see any room for cultural relativism there—it's all damaging in the extreme, regardless of culture, or societal mores. Would you be inclined to avoid taking a stand on those other issues? I kinda doubt it. What is it about the issue of father-daughter incest that makes you want to give him the benefit of the doubt? When you read him for coherency, why give him the benefit of the doubt: He makes himself quite clear.

See, I don't agree with defending to the death a person's right to say whatever they like, at least in front of me. Or, sure, say what you like, but don't expect me to be nice about it. Some things are not matters of opinion; some statements are purely racist or sexist, and they need to be confronted. Strongly.

Free Speech TV, or Link TV (I forget), has an advertisement they run every now and again on the subject of countering racist attitudes, for example. The scene is a restaurant, and this obnoxious white businessman orders wheat bread from the Hispanic waiter. The waiter brings him the wrong bread, so the man says, "Hey, I asked you for whole wheat bread. This is not what I wanted. You know, El Wheato?" Long story short, the man turns to another white guy at the next table and says, "You know, that's the problem with these people. If you want to serve Americans, you've got to learn the language. You know what I'm saying?" But the other white guy says, "No, sir. I don't." Then the ad ends, saying, "Imagine the power of one voice."

There are limits to toleration, is all I'm saying here. I don't feel the need to be friendly and tolerant of every creep who comes along here to post BS. I do not give Calperson the time of day, because he posts offensive material; why should I give A the time of day for posting an offensive philosophy? I don't forgive Calperson; why forgive A? He has crossed the line.

NC seems to think maybe A posts this stuff just to pull my chain, or whatever. Or he thought at one point maybe that was it. I don't think so. I think he's serious about everything he posts, such as zero population and everybody should be sterilized. There's just no end to his wackiness.

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 5 years 2 weeks ago

I don't know about that, Zenzoe. It still seems to me as well as NC that Alberto does things to pull people's chains, but there is a wackiness to a lot of his views, as well.

I must admit to zoning out when I see long comments about strange topics by Alberto, so I have never read most of his comments on incest. I did see that he disavowed incest, which seems inconsistent with some of his other comments you have pointed out. Again, that may be a sign of pulling people's chains, or, he is very confused. I perfectly well understand the difference between pedophilia and incest. They are two different forms of child rape. Incest is sexual abuse of a family member, actually, not necessarily a child, while pedophilia involves sexually abusing other people's children (children by definition). How is that confused? I know my definitions since I am a psychologist. Perhaps you disagree with the definitions that psychologists come up with, but I don't see how claiming that incest and pedophilia have the same definition helps or changes anything. People who commit incest usually do not have sex with other people's children, and most pedophiles would never have sex with their own children.

Yes, defending other people's right to say and do what you personally consider to be wrong is not something I agree with, either, but I choose my battles as I have stated. If I see conflict between people who I thought were friends, my first impulse is usually to act as peacemaker. There is nothing about the issue of father-daughter incest that makes me want to give Alberto the benefit of the doubt, but I think giving the benefit of the doubt in general is the wisest course. At least, that is my first impulse.

We all have different personalities, you know. I discover suspected cheaters in my classes, sometimes, and deal with them in my subtle ways. It's not usually a good idea to show moral indignation, rip a test out of a student's hands, and rip into a class for their lack of moral uprightness. I have seen professors do that and it ruins the classroom atmosphere. Cheating is difficult to prove although we may have our suspicions. The same is true of many suspicions we may develop here on the internet. You should see the Ds and Fs suspected cheaters in my classes get. I think a similar dynamic is at play here. Yes, I get angry with offensive people here as well as suspected classroom cheaters, and don't always forgive them. Some of them probably never know that, but they suffer the consequences. Of course, I don't have the autonomy or power here that I do in the classroom, but as a group, we have an influence on each other and can police our behavior.

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago

Sorry, NL, but father-daughter incest falls under the heading of pedophilia:

Pedophilia: Adult sexual fondness for and activity with children. Pedophilia is a form of paraphilia (deviant sexual behavior). If acted out, pedophilia is legally defined as sexual child abuse. Pedophilia includes fondling a child's genitals, intercourse, incest, rape, sodomy, exhibitionism, and commercial exploitation of children through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. Pedophiles who have sexually abused children require intense psychological and pharmacological therapy prior to release into the community because of the high rate of repeat offenders. Treatment is rarely effective because the disorder is not yet well understood. The incidence of pedophilia has been markedly underestimated. It is essential that pedophilia be reported so that appropriate steps can be taken to protect the children involved and all other children.



Perhaps you have some text that differentiates between the two, but in my search, even Wikipedia's discussion included incest.

I agree that in some settings it doesn't help to publicly shame people. I would absolutely agree it would be terrible to publicly shame a student for cheating. Cheating, however, is far less "criminal" than father-daughter, or son, incest. I trust you can see that.

I also agree that one shouldn't assume the worst, i.e., in this case, assume A is a pedophile. Nobody here has proof of that. However, he has indicated a tolerant attitude toward father-child incest, and that's what I refuse to countenance, if you'll pardon an old-fashioned word. (It fits there, don't you think?) He's probably just trying out his avant garde clothes, thinking, perhaps, to be a liberal is to have an open mind about everything, especially sexual matters. Of course, incest/pedophilia is not about sex, it's about power and sickness, as we know. But don't say that out loud. You'll be labeled a prude and a philistine.

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago

I was going to post this text by Vandana Shiva here, but I thought maybe I'd overstayed my welcome, and, it's something I wanted to post on my thread too. Anyway, if you're curious: http://www.thomhartmann.com/forum/2012/03/womens-issues-are-side-issues?...

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago

I am reading more of Vandana Shiva, specifically her book, Staying Alive. I took a break from it to return to Nimblecivet's original post here, and I found I could read it with new comprehension, or new eyes, I suppose. It's too bad I hadn't read her —and others— long ago, or I might have been able to pose some relevant questions and observations, such as, "Can you ignore the patriarchy in capitalism and still tell the whole truth? (with the risk of being accused again of being "myopic" or being "confined to my box of feminism," or whatever)). As it is, all I can say is that it appears to me it would help any discussion about capitalism to include the ecofeminist perspective. For one thing, as V.S. points out, capitalism is not a gender-neutral ideology. I'll leave it there, since yooze don't seem all that interested in continuing this discussion.

Quote Vandana Shiva:

"The capitalist-patriarchal perspective interprets difference as hierarchical and uniformity as a prerequisite for equality. Our aim is to go beyond this narrow perspective and to express our diversity and, in different ways, address the inherent inequalities in world structures which permit the North to dominate the South, men to dominate women, and the frenetic plunder of ever more resources for ever more unequally distributed economic gain to dominate nature…

"…everywhere, women were the first to protest against environmental destruction. As activists in the ecology movements, it became clear to us that science and technology were not gender neutral; and in common with many other women, we began to see that the relationship of exploitative dominance between man and nature, (shaped by reductionist modern science since the 16th century) and the exploitative and oppressive relationship between men and women and prevails in most patriarchal societies, even modern industrial ones, were closely connected…

"If the final outcome of the present world system is a general threat to life on planet earth, then it is crucial to resuscitate and nurture the impulse and determination to survive, inherent in all living things…"

Natural Lefty's picture
Natural Lefty 5 years 2 weeks ago

I stand corrected about the definitions of incest and pedophilia, then. The definition that you cited, Zenzoe, calls incest a form of pedophilia, making pedophilia the larger category. I still think it is quite true that the people who molest their own children do not overlap much with the population of pedophiles who molest other peoples' children. Anyway, this discussion is good for clarification purposes.

Of course I do not equate cheating on exams as the moral equivalent of incest. I was just using the cheating example as an example with which I have personal experience. Actually, I have a student in one of my classes who said he saw a student cheating on the exam before the most recent one. She didn't do well and hasn't been back to class, but I suspect he was correct about her cheating attempt. Then, on the most recent exam, he saw another student he thought was cheating. She also did poorly, the worst of her 4 exams, but again, he was probably correct. The student probably was not ready for the exam, and tried to cheat, but unsuccessfully. Students who try to cheat are usually desperate and their cheating attempts don't really work. I also may dock students "participation points" if I think they are likely cheating, and would never write a letter of recommendation for a suspected cheater or give a suspected cheater a grading break.

I agree with you about power and psychopathology being behind incest (or other forms of pedophilia), as I think I mentioned earlier in this thread. We certainly should not countenance a culture of acceptance of such behavior, even if it does become a compulsion for some people (an addiction, basically), and most of the offenders were abuse victims themselves when they were young. Addictions and cycles of abuse need to be broken, and psychologists are getting a better idea about how to do this over time (I think).

I like the Vendana Shiva quote. Again, it seems consistent with my perspective as well.

nimblecivet's picture
nimblecivet 5 years 2 weeks ago

I noticed while watching the youtube of V. Shiva at the Portland Community College that she had once rebutted the argument that technological advances in mass-agriculture somehow correlated to liberating women. That's an argument that advocates of technology made in relation to the communism of the early twentieth century. I happened to see a compilation of statements and writings by Lenin on the subject when I stopped by the Occupy SF table in front of the Federal Reserve. Unfortunately I did not decide to take it with me but I think the basic idea was of course that technology would liberate all of humanity from drudgery. I thought V. Shiva's retort to this person was wise, that she wants to put food (not women) "back in the kitchen" and that men and women should be in the kitchen together. So yes, I think there is a fundamental importance to the question of gender in understanding history but I think it is ubiquitous and not tied to any specific economic, philosophical, or religious perspective or type of perspective. Of course there is an association between all of those categories and more (art for example) regarding the variety found within them and the degree to which a particular manifestation of them reveals and conforms to a judgement of their expression of gender ideology. I think people try to trace this all back into the mists of pre-history and it has to be sorted out very carefully. That's one reason I was glad to bring up Wollstonecraft; she appeals to reason in a way that is different from many feminist theorist of the twentieth century who believed (to put it oversimplistically) that everthing is "ideological" in the sense of being relative in some sense. Its as though 20th century feminist thinkers needed to believe that there was no necessity in correllating one idea with another (thus embracing radical rejections of the notion of "truth" and embracing poststructuralism/postmodernism, etc.) in order to believe it was possible to rearrange ideas. I think people are more likely these days to accept that there are inherited ways of looking at things that can be recontextualized for a positive result and that V. Shiva for instance retains her femininity while also her individuality and equality with her male peers. I would just want to be careful not to validate the likes of Phyllis Schlafly. Sorry if that was too meandering a response to what you posted, Zenzoe.

Zenzoe 5 years 2 weeks ago
Quote Natural Lefty:

I agree with you about power and psychopathology being behind incest (or other forms of pedophilia), as I think I mentioned earlier in this thread. We certainly should not countenance a culture of acceptance of such behavior, even if it does become a compulsion for some people (an addiction, basically), and most of the offenders were abuse victims themselves when they were young. Addictions and cycles of abuse need to be broken, and psychologists are getting a better idea about how to do this over time (I think).

You may have noticed I tend not to like using the word incest, because it also includes brother/sister incest, which I kinda doubt involves a power dynamic. Maybe I'm wrong; I'm not an expert. But, anyway, your point about offenders having been abuse victims themselves seems entirely true. It's very sad, and I certainly would never think it's okay to persecute offenders after they've served time for their offense. What riles me are the arrogant types, the creeps who defend father-daughter incest as some sort of badge of liberal honor. Ick.

Quote Nimblecivet:

I noticed while watching the youtube of V. Shiva at the Portland Community College that she had once rebutted the argument that technological advances in mass-agriculture somehow correlated to liberating women. That's an argument that advocates of technology made in relation to the communism of the early twentieth century. I happened to see a compilation of statements and writings by Lenin on the subject when I stopped by the Occupy SF table in front of the Federal Reserve. Unfortunately I did not decide to take it with me but I think the basic idea was of course that technology would liberate all of humanity from drudgery. I thought V. Shiva's retort to this person was wise, that she wants to put food (not women) "back in the kitchen" and that men and women should be in the kitchen together.

I liked that part too. I think that's a part of her concept of “equality in diversity." She doesn't take the position of much of feminism (or the misconception about feminism) that sees progress for women, necessarily, in terms of their arriving at sameness and being able to out-do men in the capitalist game, where the value of masculine principles disallows the feminine principle to have a place. And I love her approaches about food, how she advocates for taking the power of nurturance away from corporations, which is really power over life, and putting it back where it belongs in the hands of small farmers, seed-savers and cooks. The wisdom there is great—how she encourages individual freedom and resistance against the tyranny of capitalist modes via small choices, such as saving seeds, rather than obeying laws against using any seeds but the seeds the corporations "own."

You mentioned something at FB to the effect that her ideas regarding boycotts left out the issue of treaties. I'm not sure exactly what you had in mind there, but I would say perhaps both would be in order. And I don't think of her ideas about resistance against corporate control of everything as being typical boycotts, though I could be wrong. The way I think of it is this: Every time we learn to be independent in producing products for our own uses, such as, making hand soap (like me, lately), we deprive corporations of power and make our lives healthier, in our own, small way (like spinning for Gandhi). They can go on producing soaps with all sorts of horrible chemicals and cancer-causing ingredients, but if we make our own soaps, as well as sew our own clothes, grow veggies, etc., etc., and if enough of us do this, then they have no markets to exploit.

My daughter-in-law says I'm sounding like an "alternative-world-hippie-type." But she's a little bit the same way, so, that's okay. The thing is, my hippie generation was right, but it arrived too soon. Now is when we need it, when it really makes sense.

Wollstonecraft—I'd like to read more about her. She seems to have been quite the wild woman for her day. Wouldn't she just love today's concept of femininity? But as for what you said in your last comment there about her, in contrast to feminists of the 20th Century, I'm afraid I don't follow. Probably, if I'd read more in my life about such things, I'd follow better. Ah, well...

And, yes, I do like how Dr. Shiva models womanhood for us and demonstrates how to be both a woman and equal, without sacrificing anything. People forget about womanhood these days. It's like, once a woman reaches a certain age, she's neither sexual nor beautiful; she's "over the hill" sexually and personally. But the concept of womanhood fixes that, it seems to me. Of course, then there's dreadful old age...and fuddy-duddyhood. Or maybe that's when you get to be a giggly girl again... ;-)

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Why American Democracy Has Turned Into a Circus Show

If you're looking for someone to blame for turning American democracy into the circus show it's become - Roger Ailes - who died yesterday - is your guy.

Predictably, many in the mainstream media are already talking about how complicated he was - how his flaws were balanced out by his talents.

But the truth is much - much simpler.