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I'm Mad! How About The SOCIAL CONTRACT? (Alert, This Is a Bit Of a Rant...)

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Aug 3 in Politics & Government ✌ by Virginia (2,688 points)

Why didn't the folks in charge of the economy do a better job than running us over a cliff twice within 85 years? If I had performed so poorly as that in my own profession (health care), I would be ashamed of myself!

I have NO interest in the economy, nor politics either, but here at the age of 72 I feel obligated to try and get all this sorted out because if we the common people don't do it, who will? Apparently it looks like we could go into yet another (3rd) meltdown, and our second crash 2008 destabilized the whole world and if it happens again we could end up in REAL chaos.

Because from what I am reading, the factors which led to the crash of 2008 are still in place! (Thanks Obama and company...who is clearly NOT an FDR...not to mention Bush II, Reagan, and Bill Clinton who I read might be the worst.)

* * *

Shouldn't the Social Contract mean that people all work together and hold up their own end in a society???

(End of rant, ty for listening...)

4 Answers

Rooster Aug 3

I believe that another crash is imminent in more ways than one. The government washed their hands of the "social contract" years ago and only work for themselves. When the next melt down occurs? This country will be totally owned by China and it will become a third rate third world country.Our governments have driven it to the ground and I don't know if there is any way to jump start it back. I love this beautiful country and fought for it but I wouldn't lift a finger now to help any politician. We need some serious changes but I don't think we'll see them in our lifetime.

Maybe we should ask the British to take us back! But I don't think they're much better off. I work for a British company and through many chats, have found out some real horror stories of their healthcare system.

Russia and China will rise to be the super powers while our glorious Fuhrer tweets his way to hell for all of us,

Virginia Rooster Aug 3

Rooster, you mention some scary things...and from what I read, such a scenario is possible.

I became disillusioned with health care many years ago, but did not realize that same self-serving attitude was taking over everywhere, and truly might be driving our wonderful country into the ground.

I am not giving up and I am sure you are not either, but what we face now is truly daunting.

Virginia Rooster Aug 9

Rooster, if you get a chance...you might like to scroll down to look at O'Tink's photo of Cologne Cathedral, bombed in WWII...and then below her photo, I posted an explanation I found of the cathedral.

Ladyhorse Aug 3

Maybe this is not appropriate here, Virginia, but thought I'd share what upset me yesterday.

I just heard that Congress & the Senate were declared small businesses so the government pays something like 73% of THEIR health care. 

Virginia Ladyhorse Aug 3

I think that is very appropriate here, Ladyhorse.

Marianne Aug 3
Sadly enough, certain mentalities did not change - or not enough, and multiple interventions, drastic measures, sacrifices or restructurings, worsened the situation for the lower and middle classes.
 
History seems to repeat itself, everywhere, and the American dream turned repeatedly into a nightmare:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_economic_crises

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/shame/201510/why-narcissism-greed-and-power-go-hand-in-hand

Some examples of unsustainable systems:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crony_capitalism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oligarchy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plutocracy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Despotism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercantilism
Virginia Marianne Aug 3

Marianne, I find your collection of references here quite fascinating. In the list of economic crises, for example, is the Great Depression of British Agriculture from 1873-1896. After Britain repealed its Corn Laws, tariffs no longer protected English grain growers. At the same time, the vast prairies of the USA were coming under cultivation, with cheap shipping. British agriculture crashed! It is a bit like the USA manufacturing currently outsourced to 3rd World countries! Except that the British landed gentry lost their wealth, whereas USA elite has grown wealthier.

Also especially interesting to me was the article on Mercantilism: Apparently that had a lot to do with the rampant Imperialism of European countries which finally (mostly) ended in the 20th century. The article includes this: "(Mercantilism) promoted governmental regulation of a nation's economy for the purpose of augmenting state power at the expense of rival national powers." 

And then, especially amazing, look at this! "Mercantilism functioned as the economic counterpart of the older version of political powerdivine right of kings and absolute monarchy."

* * *

Well, I may be irritated by studying all this in which I have never had any real interest, however I must admit it is a fascinating look at one aspect of human history.

Marianne Marianne Aug 4

Yes, Virginia, and these are only a few elements. After all, most ancient and newer systems had enormous flaws, and Lady Justice is blinded:


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperialism

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonialism


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lady_Justice

TheOtherTink Aug 7

Hi Virginia, I found this interesting article.

https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/05/late-capitalism/524943/

It seems the theoretical armchair Marxists, sensing another crisis in capitalism, are at it again, this time resurrecting an old term, "Late Capitalism".

Hope springs eternal from the Marxist breast: after 50 million needless deaths and no matter that the Marxist god has failed 100 times, they'll get it right THIS time. :ermm: :D

Hi O'Tink, well the article was very interesting...I had to google "flash crash," for example, and still do not really understand it because it was defined in terms of 'black-box trading' and other terms I just get exhausted about coz I cannot seem to really take it all in anyway!

But the article was interesting because this concept of 'late capitalism' does seem to reflect other reading; "Everything, everywhere, became commodified and consumable."

I think the situation as we now have it is extremely unstable. For example, back in Iowa? When the old folks there started gathering to discuss options for dealing with the repression, the company promptly installed security cameras! Yes there were a couple at (already secure) entrances, but most of all there were at least a dozen on EACH floor; one trained on the door of every apartment, plus several watching every public gathering place...amazing, here in America??? We all knew what the cameras were REALLY for, and they did effectively stifle these rebellious oldsters...

When I started exploring right here on SOLVED, and Marianne's post led into Mondragon...to my amazement our Iowa experience was reflected everywhere...

Bottom line, I don't think we have the option to choose capitalism as it now operates; I think change is already happening, and I am doing my best to help that go peacefully.

Virginia, change always happens. The problem is what do you replace the present system with?

Many of the abuses listed are made possible by technology, precisely the kind of technology that would make Big Brotherism possible.

And that is precisely what the latter-day Marxists would wish for: a system in which THEY are in control (because they are so smart and wise, don'tcha know), presiding over the dumb, dependent proles who need to be guided and told what's good for them. And of course, the smart and wise Marxists would not fail to enrich themselves in the process, at least they never have failed to do so in the past. :ermm: :angry:

O'Tink, your Q, how to replace our present system? Well I have already started DOING that, and still putting more of the pieces together...one such piece, a clue comes from Marianne's link on mercantilism. I read that discussion went on for a whole century, with John Locke and Adam Smith pointing out the flaws of mercantilism. And weren't those two instrumental in the principles of capitalism, a natural successor to mercantilism? 

I doubt that Locke and Smith had the capitalism principles down pat all-worked-out, rather it evolved; and capitalism taught humankind many good things. 

Well, likewise there are excellent voices today pointing out the flaws of the present system, and suggesting directions to proceed. One person says that even community gardens can be a political act now, as it reduces our dependence on agribusiness and fossil fuel transport.

Also, I am talking to all my oldster friends, 'splain about commodification and how people only have worth if they contribute MONEY into the elite coffers. That is why they are getting kicked to the curb, and I tell 'em to hang on, don't die, we lived the first thirty years of our lives in the wake of the New Deal and we KNOW how to value people intrinsic worth; and we need to model that for our grandchildren and for the whole society.

I am concerned we could descend into violence before all is said and done, and I do all I can to help avoid THAT bad detour.

I think the worker-directed enterprises could have a role to play, also the mom-and-pop family businesses (known as 'penny capitalism')...but we need to move away from the large totalitarian corporations that take over government and politics too, and control everybody's life even to killing people legally.

But I think we can do it, and we will find out what it looks like when we get there.

Well, that's the trick, Virginia, making good changes without violence, either revolutionary or reactionary.

The historical track record is not great. :(

O'Tink, while I wasn't looking things may have gotten far enough toward totalitarian to be scary...democracy possibly NOT healthy now in the USA...one of the folks I listen to most does think that is so. 

And he is emphatic NOT to drift toward violence; he is a Pulitzer Prize investigative journalist, and he has a rather dismal view of things because he was there for Sarajevo, Gaza, Bosnia, Leipzig, etc...saw the really nasty stuff, vomiting up the nasty characters.

But what he says that struck me, is that he claims that what causes the downfall of EVERY totalitarian regime is when the cloistered elite sends its soldiers to kill the masses of hoi polloi...and the troops refuse to fire on the unarmed populace.

...emphasis unarmed; if the hoi polloi tries to fight, they. will. lose. (He says.)

Well, Virginia, your friend is generally correct, but he seems to have overlooked Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan as counter-examples.

They fought to the very end, for years after there was no longer any doubt as to the ultimate outcome. :'(

image

O'Tink, I recently read a really good book about Japan in WWII (suggested by Rooster), and even when the Japanese emperor DID finally decide to surrender, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there were those around him who were outraged, and wanted to continue fighting!

Spectacular photo, btw...where is it?

It's Cologne, Virginia.

One reason the cathedral was spared is that the bombers used it as a landmark for positioning purposes.

O'Tink, I found such a good explanation of the cathedral that I am going to see if I can post the WHOLE thing...utterly magnificent. Very moving, ty for posting that photo.

"Seen here is an aerial black and white photo of the famous Cologne Cathedral during WWII. Kevin Trotman (The Rocketeer on Flickr) said he found the photo along with 19 others tucked inside a book that he bought for $1 at a library book sale.

"Cologne Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church in Cologne, Germany. It is a renowned monument of German Catholicism and Gothic architecture and is a World Heritage Site. It is also Germany’s most visited landmark, attracting an average of 20,000 people a day.

"Construction of Cologne Cathedral commenced in 1248 and was halted in 1473, leaving it unfinished. Work restarted in the 19th century and was completed, to the original plan, in 1880. ... The cathedral is the largest Gothic church in Northern Europe and has the second-tallest spires and largest façade of any church in the world.

"The cathedral suffered seventy hits by aerial bombs during World War II. It did not collapse, but stood tall in an otherwise flattened city. The twin spires are said to have been used as an easily recognizable navigational landmark by Allied aircraft raiding deeper into Germany in the later years of the war, which may be a reason that the cathedral was not destroyed."

http://twistedsifter.com/2013/08/cologne-cathedral-during-wwii/

Oh T(h)ink, I couldn't help giggling after having read: "It seems the theoretical armchair Marxists, sensing another crisis in capitalism, are at it again, this time resurrecting an old term, "Late Capitalism".


Such a brilliant definition

grants linguistic ammunition,

matching venturesome ignition

to extend one's erudition

with a witty acquisition,

vanquishing strong inhibition.

:):angel::D:D:D

Marianne you have done it again! 

Oh such ravishing poetic waxing...

Bewitching, beguiling alluring and aesthetic...

Hurrah for Marianne and O'Tink, 

Our resident poets laureatic!

@ Virginia,

And the Cologne Cathedral has a large gilded reliquary, said to contain the bones of the Three Kings. It's quite impressive to look at, but I dunno, the bones came from Constantinople, and they had quite an industry there, selling phony relics to gullible Crusaders. :ermm:

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2016/10/13/the-shrine-of-the-three-kings-in-cologne-cathedral-is-the-largest-reliquary-of-the-middle-ages/

@ Marianne,

Excellent!  :)

You know, O'Tink, at some level it almost doesn't matter whether the THREE KINGS relics are 'authentic,' the magnificent artwork in the link, so tenderly done...their belief in the mystery is authentic...

Have you been there? Has Marianne? Makes ME want to go...who knows maybe I will just do that, too! Anyway, I began a 'bucket list' on Blurt days, and ima add Cologne Cathedral to it!

@ Virginia,

:blush: :) :D  Thank you!


@ Virginia,

Yes, I have been there, and climbed up the 500+ stairs to get to the top of one of the steeples. Just as we were passing the huge bells, they started ringing:O

@ O'Tink, Leonardo putting in HIS 2¢ on the Three Kings matter...his ADORATION OF THE MAGI...

image

Dear Virginia, I can't express -

or, rather, stammer to "address"

enlightened words, "hot of the press",

to say how much you can impress -

bright kudos can, of course, caress,

but true respect needs to "undress" ...


To answer your question about Cologne, no, I did not have the occasion to visit there - although it is an interesting historical and cultural place:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colonia_Claudia_Ara_Agrippinensium

One of the mainstream pictures we saw in the news, on TV, etc.:

image

Marianne, through you I am gaining a new respect for the comprehensiveness of Wikipedia! Apparently, the name COLOGNE derives from Agrippina, born 15 AD and the wife of the Roman Emperor Claudius, who convinced her husband to elevate her birthplace to the status of a colony, with the name Colonia Claudia Ara Agrippinensium (Colony of Claudius and Altar of the Agrippinians)...

The photo is beautiful, and also heart-rending...comparing with the one O'Tink found...

Marianne TheOtherTink 4 days ago

Thank you, Virginia - thank you.

:):)

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