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"Kicking and Screaming" Part 2

“Kicking and Screaming” Part 2

By Dennis Loo (3/1/18)

Trump et al have gotten their way so much that some have gotten disoriented and discouraged. The impact of an all-right-wing media, all-the-time solo diet and the segregation into only that which you want to hear (which has also happened to other segments as well) and Obama’s failure to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine have had a far-rearching effect.

Because many of you have never heard of the Fairness Doctrine, here is a Wikipedia description of it:

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC), introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses both to present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was—in the Commission's view—honest, equitable, and balanced. The FCC eliminated the policy in 1987 and removed the rule that implemented the policy from the Federal Register in August 2011.

This doctrine, then, prevailed from 1949 till 1987, President Ronald Reagan’s last year, who was lobbied successfully to eliminate it - through a veto - by deep-pocketed right-wing interests who knew they couldn’t build their right-media empire if the Fairness Doctrine was still in effect.

Read more: "Kicking and Screaming" Part 2

Why the Current System is Wrong

Why the Current System is Wrong 

By Dennis Loo (2/10/18) Revised by adding 2/11/18

I am going to clarify some things that bear underscoring. I will begin this by excerpting from a prior article of mine, the full implications of which may have escaped full notice.

Yet another distinction is helpful at this point: the difference between area specific knowledge and skills and more general awareness. When you are trained in area specific knowledge as, for example, in medical school, you are learning things that those who do not receive this training largely do not know. Your knowledge of that area is greater than that of others as a result. Even if hypothetically we exposed everyone to medical training, not everyone would acquire the same level of knowledge and skill as a result of that training. Some individuals would be better at this than others and some individuals would have a knack for this and others would not.

Likewise, learning how to be a carpenter draws upon a different skill set and some of those who would make good physicians would not make good carpenters, and vice versa. And so on. Area specific knowledge and talents, however, are not the same as the kind of general awareness that everyone would benefit from if they were trained for that. This is the general awareness that Durkheim is referring to when he advises that a liberal arts education should not be given to most of the working class.

If everyone, through the institutions of higher learning and/or through mass media - a radically different mass media than the currently existing mass media – received a general education about how things actually work in the political and economic arenas, then the existing division of labor would have to break down and be utterly transformed. If people learned how political and economic power were actually exercised, then they would not tolerate the gross inequities that now exist and are fostered. If political decisions were actually made through a process of real transparency and full consultation and debate, not just between the party bureaucracies’ designated spokespeople but through the entire society in mass meetings and smaller groupings everywhere, then the society would be radically altered.

Read more: Why the Current System is Wrong

Dialectics Precede ... Part 6

Dialectics Precede … Part 6 (Why God Does Not Exist and Why It's Materialist Dialectics, Not Dialectical Materialism)

By Dennis Loo (1/10/18)

There are several different threads that could be continued on the themes and topics so far in this series.

Since I concluded in Part 3 of this series that proof for some people will never suffice because their worldview is so radically different, I will just say one more thing about so-called proof(s) of god, and then move on to other matters. Proof of God’s non-existence will not satisfy some people after all – not so much because they can’t see the proof but because there are social reasons why they are believers.

St. Thomas Aquinas in the 1200’s offered up what he called five proofs of god. His proofs are as good as any since his time. The first – and, according to him, his strongest argument - of his proofs will suffice: No. 1, motion. Per Aquinas, we cannot have an infinite series; it must begin somewhere and that original mover is god. Some things undoubtedly move, though cannot cause their own motion. Since, as Thomas believed, there can be no infinite chain of causes of motion, there must be a First Mover not moved by anything else, and this is what everyone understands by God.”

This is like throwing up your hands when you encounter something you can't deal with. Why can we not have an infinity? Why is throwing up your hands his "best argument"? Admittedly, they hadn't yet discovered infinity in the 13th Century, let alone come to terms with it. There are many people still who can't wrap their heads around infinity. But what is more difficult to believe: an omniscient, omnipresent, disembodied Spirit or infinity? We know that infinity exists. We don't have any proof that a God exists. 

Contrary to St. Aquinas, there is no reason to reject out-of-hand as he does an infinite universe and every reason why the universe in some form must have always existed and be unbounded – even before the Big Bang - and thus does not have a beginning or a boundary beyond which it is not part of. A beginning and an end in fact make no sense. The only thing that makes sense is that the Universe is infinite and has always existed in some physical form.

Read more: Dialectics Precede ... Part 6

Elaine Brower 2

Elaine Brower of World Can't Wait speaking at the NYC Stop the War on Iran rally 2/4/12