"Who are You to Say?" Reprise
By Dennis Loo (10/18/16)
I am republishing an article of mine that dates from a little over two years ago. It covers in depth certain key questions that are posed by this election and by these times. Some of these questions are timeless and some are more particular but if you are in any way dissatisfied with the level of public discourse now and even with the heightened level that key questions are analyzed and addressed in whatever arena (e.g., particpating and attending or presenting at a university, studying from a book of philosophy...) you may be in, this article devotes concentrated analysis to these issues. You will want to spend time mulling over these questions and reread very thoroughly sections of this piece to savor what is there because if you are an open-minded person and you sincerely want to figure out what's going on and what to do about it, then this was written with you in mind. Pay close attention to what is said and how it is said because the message and how the message is delivered are all important and apply to many different things.
For example, its discussion of the necessary and inevitable connection between freedom and necessity has major implications. Its discussion of the relationship between leadership, the led, and the true nature of group life bears close attention:
"If material reality exists, then distinctions must be made between different interpretations or understandings of what exists or else material reality (e.g., the greenhouse effect caused by burning fossil fuels) will slap you in the face, regardless of whether you want to recognize it or not. The question of material reality may be understood to include importantly within it the question of what is necessity relative to freedom. If you act as if there are no necessities and refuse to take necessities into account (e.g., global warming and ice caps melting due to it), then you are less free, not more free."
What Even One Person Can Do
By Dennis Loo (8/5/16)
The New York Times reported August 1, 2016 that only 9% of the American people voted for the major party nominees to be Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
I’ll say that again: 9% determined that these two should be the rest of the nation’s choices for POTUS.
Yet despite how small a percentage this is, these two nominees and the two parties dominate the airwaves and print media. The pundits and politicians – even satirists - tell us that we have no other choice but to vote for either Clinton or Trump, if we act politically at all.
This is a myth. The truth is not what appears on the surface.
Be Careful What You Wish For: Is Clinton Your Only Choice?
By Dennis Loo (8/1/16)
Donald Trump just keeps getting wilder and more bizarre. Here's someone who simply can't keep his defective opinions to himself and is unable to resist showing the whole world how "great" he is, revealing in the process how completely uninformed and lacking in some of the most basic, let alone presidential, sense he has. We are witnesses to the spectacle of an out-of-control narcissist who can barely and only sometimes manages to complete a thought and sentence, usually interrupting himself with interjections after interjections. Talk about a short-attention span!
A few days ago, it looked like Clinton in suppressing liberals, in or drawn to the Democrats, or at least in the case of their putative leaders Sanders and Warren, giving Trump a free pass to be the outsider.
Clinton's committed to children? Just as long as they aren't children born in other nations, like the half a million Iraqi children to die under the Clinton sanctions, a price Madeleine Albright has publicly and explicitly called "worth it."
As for Trump, they're going to have to invent a new term for foot in mouth. Perhaps "little hands" in his mouth?
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)