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Book Review: Occupy World Street

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Book Reviews 284

jsuda writes "For those billions of people for whom the current political-economic system doesn't work–the Occupy Wall Street people, the Tea Partiers, the 99%-ers and have-nots, the middle and lower classes, and the rest of the unwashed masses, Occupy World Street is a starburst of enlightenment and a practical vision of hope for a new and advanced society." Read on for jsuda's reviewThe book is subtitled appropriately "A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Order." It functions in a substantial way as the missing "content" for the Occupy Wall Street movement people who know that global capitalism and its political elite are screwing the middle and lower classes and the world environment but don't know exactly how they are doing it and how to change things. The book provides an unusually lucid analysis of the American political-economic system which should make clear to the Tea Partiers what their real targets of rage should be (it's not merely the Democrats nor the federal government.) Nearly everyone else who wants a "big picture" comprehensive analysis of the global economic system will be educated by this book.

The author, Ross Jackson, identifies who and what is responsible for the 2008 financial meltdown and many other problems in society. Most prominent are a seriously-flawed "neo-liberal economic philosophy" and the political-elite class which sponsors that philosophy for self-interested reasons at the expense of the rest of us. Jackson makes clear that economic philosophical theory is not value free and is class politics in disguise. But way more importantly than the mere class versus class struggle, the neo-liberal economic philosophy has created severe energy and environmental problems which are almost certain to lead soon to major economic and political disruptions affecting the entire globe.

The author's main perspective is as an environmentalist; he utilizes a systems approach of an overarching environmental model where the global environment is a closed, finite system and the economic, political, and other topics are subsystems of the whole. The book explains (in six parts and 17 chapters) how and why our existing economic model is failing and will create environmental, economic, and political chaos unless it is replaced soon with an economic model emphasizing "sustainability" and "development" versus simple "unlimited growth." Jackson explains in the second half of the book what we can do about it, hopefully before it's too late for future generations to have a chance for civilized life.

I have never heard before of Mr.Jackson, but he is bound to be (or at least should be) hailed as a top-notch public intellectual. He is a brilliant analyst of global economics, politics, and environmental matters; and a clever synthesist of the relevant economics, politics, philosophy, environmental science, psychology, sociology, history, physics, and biology, which apply to his examination.

He has an unusually broad and diverse background as a global currency trader, executive of a nonprofit environmental organization, software designer and businessman, and degrees in engineering physics, industrial management, and operations research. This may explain, in part, his ability to see major categories of human life with such a wide lens while also being able to analyze the subcategories and the factual data.

Part One explains the scientific and economic reasons why the neo-liberal approach of unending growth is unsustainable and a lie. It is a lie because it implies, at least, that everyone has a chance ultimately to achieve the high level of consumption of the successful capitalists and that the high consumption gravy train will go on forever. He uses biological, environmental, and mathematical data to show that the neo-liberal assumption of infinite natural capital has already resulted in net deficits of global energy resources, and that the world (and the neo-liberal economic system) will end frightfully unless we reduce population, give up the idea of "more of everything is better," redesign and downsize our economies, use less fossil energies, and emphasize sustainability.

The next two parts explain the politics and human factors which drive the irrational economic policies. He goes into good detail about historical economic theory from the mercantile period, to the classical free trade period, to our existing neo-liberal period. He clearly explains how and why the 2008 financial crisis occurred and why it is likely to repeat itself, and how the current debt crisis in Europe (and elsewhere) happened and why the European Union is not equipped even now to successfully deal with it. Any effort to address it (using the existing neo-liberal strategies) will be temporary and the crises will deepen.

His discussions on the neo-liberal insistence on a deregulated economic environment, free flow of global capital, and the use of exotic financial instruments and transactions, especially naked short sales, are the clearest I've read about how these elements de-stabilized the global economy. They will continue to do so as long as those who (very lucratively) benefit from them (the political elite) insist upon them regardless of the consequences to hapless small nations and their economies, small businesses, and people like you and me. He thoroughly and lucidly explains how this political-economic philosophy destroys real democracy, including in America. What we have, he says, is a corporatocracy which dominates much of political and social life through the forces of wealth and ideology.

Mr. Jackson is also a political-economic visionary of the highest order as shown in the second half of the book by his "break away" strategy where he sets out his alternative environmentalist paradigm. It is a new worldview emphasizing the finite reality of our natural resources, especially energy ones, and how we should alter much of what we do to comply with that reality. He argues for a new set of social values harmonious with a holistic sense of people and nature being part of one "system." The values of that system include smallness, localization, quality versus quantity, interrelationships, and long-term perspectives.

These values are organized into a moderately sophisticated set of new global political and economic institutions modeled much like the European Union but emphasizing environmental issues and designed to satisfy long-term environmental needs. This process will also lead to enhancing of true human values in the political sphere, especially in more effective democracies.

The "breaking away" strategy starts with small nation states building a new economic paradigm based upon the environmental perspective, rejecting the flawed and elitist global institutions we have now (the WTO, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund), and even developing new currency systems. The nation states will be supported by a grassroots activist movement which will create local eco-communities and more self-reliant economies while lobbying existing political powers to get on board with the new paradigm. The measurements of success will not be GNP or GDP but the broader-based measures of social happiness and human rights. (Take the case of the nation of Bhutan which measures its activity by a standard called "Gross National Happiness Index.")

The parts of the book explaining the roles of the neo-liberal economic philosophy and the political elite are solidly presented and not really new. The program of change he proposes, however, is new and intellectually sound. Being intellectually sound, however, is not sufficient to affect change. There is a gap, it seems, between the ideas and what is necessary to activate people at the grassroots level. Relatively few people in reality will even read this book. The ideas need to be connected to "street-level" understandings, perhaps tied to basic human values of respect and dignity. The roadmap proposed here, Mr. Jackson acknowledges, needs much more development.

You can purchase Occupy World Street: A Global Roadmap for Radical Economic and Political Reform from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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Why these ideas will not gain traction (5, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#39280767)

Putting aside the obvious problem of going up against the incredible, almost god-like, power of the huge megacorporations that own almost every major government in the world, there is an even bigger problem that you're going to face with your "sustainability" message (especially in the U.S.):

Your first message to the masses is going to be "You have to make real sacrifices."

You won't even get the final "s" in sacrifices out before they tar and feather you and run you out of town on a rail. This is a country where a dollar-per-gallon increase in gas prices almost starts a riot, where "keeping up with the Joneses" is considered a birthright, where not one single President or politician has asked *any* American to sacrifice *anything* in over 40 years. No politician here has EVER won on a message of "I'm going to make things materially worse for you" irrespective of whether or not he adds "But things will be better in the long-term for your grandchildren."

They only way your revolution will ever happen will be by force (force of economic collapse or force or arms, but certainly not by popular vote). No one is going to vote for the guy who is asking them to give up their new car, their big house, their HDTV. You can't guilt someone into making REAL HARD material sacrifices.

Social movements in the U.S. do occasionally succeed in getting minor sacrifices out of the public, but the MAJOR ones that this would require? Good luck with that.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280779)

Barack Obama is a stuttering clusterfuck of a miserable failure.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280857)

Because joblessness at 4 year lows, Multiple dictators either killed or unseated, american buisinesses going from bankrupt to record profits, the stock market up higher than when he took office and taking a negetive GDP to positive clearly spells out his failures right?

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280875)

4 year lows hahahaha. they don't count ppl that gave up you know. they keep playin games with numbers cuz idiots like you keep believin it. thats why they went from jobs created to jobs saved to lives touched cuz their real numbers look so great yeah sure. youre not hard to figure out. you think hes the messiah or something and can do nothing bad so you gotta cheerlead for him any way you can just like apple fanboys.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281069)

I liked how you took one small 3 word segment of that, declared the poster thought obama was the messiah, and ignored the rest.

Yes, democrats are the ones with the messiah complex.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (3, Informative)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281549)

I would suggest, based on your grammatical skills, that the problem lies not with the market but with you.

I lost my job in the recession. I make over 150% of what I was making in 2009.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280885)

Yes, the president has absolute power and all gains and failures go to them...

But really, anyone who didn't veto the NDAA (even if it would be passed anyway) is a corrupt imbecile in my books. He's bought and paid for just like any other politician is.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280955)

Because joblessness at 4 year lows, Multiple dictators either killed or unseated, american buisinesses going from bankrupt to record profits, the stock market up higher than when he took office and taking a negetive GDP to positive clearly spells out his failures right?

Problem is that most people rightly attribute those positives as being accomplished in spite of Obama and not because of Obama.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (5, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281187)

I get it. The economy is bad because of Obama, except that it's improving, despite Obama.

Something's faulty with your logic, mate.

Here's my theory. Economics is too big and too complicated to be able to pin the blame or the credit on politicians. At best, their policies take years to begin to alter the system in any appreciable way. Politicians will, of course, claim credit for the good things that show up during their term(s) and will deny responsibility for the bad things that appear, and the opponents of said politicians will, inversely, claim the good things had nothing to do with the politician in question or possibly happened despite said politician's unbelievable and never before seen incompetence, and the bad things, well, those are obviously the politician's fault, again due to said politician's unbelievable incompetence.

It's sort of like a conspiracy theory, but you don't have to wear tin foil hats or be a paranoid schizophrenic to play. Mind you, do have to have another mental disorder; blinding partisanship.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281275)

. Economics is too big and too complicated to be able to pin the blame or the credit on politicians.

Politicians can not 'fix' the economy, but they can do (or avoid doing) things that will make it much, much worse.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (-1, Flamebait)

chrisj_0 (825246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281399)

Look, we watched as the economy was failing and the US was shedding jobs like a dog in July... what did BHO do... Healthcare... WTF? Who was asking for that? We wanted jobs and economic stability not government mandated health care.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (4, Informative)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281489)

And now you're getting jobs and economic stability and mandated health care. The US is still a little uneven, but Christ man, look across the pond, where Europe can't even begin to right the boat. Besides, considering how health care continues to eat more US GDP than even the most socialized industrialized nation, you would think it might actually be an improvement.

This is what I mean by extreme partisanship. It fogs the mind, prevents someone from viewing a policy on its merits. It simply becomes "fuck that, I want this", even if the "this" is probably impossible, whereas the "that" is at least something can be done.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (4, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281555)

And now you're getting jobs and economic stability and mandated health care.

Weird. Last I looked 'unemployment' was going down, but so was the number of Americans with jobs.

As for 'economic stability', you'll get that when you stop increasing the national debt by more than a trillion dollars a year.

The funny part is that Obama will probably win the election anyway because the best the Republicans can find to oppose him is Bob Dole #2.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (5, Interesting)

scot4875 (542869) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281593)

Healthcare... WTF? Who was asking for that? We wanted jobs and economic stability not government mandated health care.

Polls, at the time, showed 80% of respondents saying "yes" to "do we need healthcare reform?" So, in response to your question, EVERYBODY is who the fuck was asking for it.

As for the jobs? That was the whole point of the stimulus bill -- you know, the one that passed in like the first month he was in office? Oh, but that's right -- the stimulus bill was nothing but government waste. He had to do something else to create jobs that didn't involve spending money, such as go beg CEOs and other job creators to hire more gardeners for their personal estates.

There are lots of legitimate gripes about Obama. Yours? They're bullshit.

--Jeremy

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (5, Insightful)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281697)

Polls, at the time, showed 80% of respondents saying "yes" to "do we need healthcare reform?" So, in response to your question, EVERYBODY is who the fuck was asking for it.

1. They were asking for 'healthcare reform', not mandatory insurance.
2. Just becasue people think they need something, that doesn't mean it's a priority. I'm guessing that if you asked them to list the most important things Obama should be doing, mandatory health insurance with free condom cover wouldn't have been anywhere on the list.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (2)

chrisj_0 (825246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281709)

reform != mandate

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281619)

You need to spend less time pointing fingers and more time paying attention to what your government is actually doing. I'm not even American and I find your comment brutally ignorant. Even if you don't like your politicians, just bitching about their biggest ticket item is little more than self-effacing defeatism.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280993)

Lots of replies saying im wrong, with no data to back it up, keep it up.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281115)

Lots of replies saying im wrong, with no data to back it up, keep it up.

Where is your data?

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281271)

Data [portalseven.com]

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281387)

Thank you for proving my point. How soon people forget that Obama took over in '09, AFTER the shit hit the fan, and now unemployment is back where it was when he took over 4 years ago, aka he stopped the bleeding and now we are recovering.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (2)

chrisj_0 (825246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281685)

wait? your point was he hasn't done anything? didn't fix it, didn't move it, it's right back where he got it all fuckered up? If that's winning after 3 1/2 years for you can you be my boss?

Incidentally, he (and the Senate) also have not passed a budget in this time that he's been keeping unemployment right at 8.3% (15.1% depending on the numbers you use).

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281729)

Apparently you forgot that unemployment hit 11%/17% and was looking to go deeper before his stimulus passed. You apparently dont know what "stopping the bleeding" means in terms of a massive unemployment jump.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (2)

chrisj_0 (825246) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281559)

joblessness at 4 year low
uh, no. The economy didn't crash until Sept/Oct '08. Also the second stimulus, in Obama's own words, was supposed to keep the joblessness rate below 8%. That was 3+ years ago.

... dictators killed..
if you're referring to the Arab spring Obama didn't really do anything. Sure once the UN said it was ok he bombed Libya for a day or 2 then refueled French planes to do it for us (that a big WTF??). And now what do we have? The Muslim Brotherhood controls half of the Mid-East, which many experts think is a proxy for Iran. Good job Mr POTUS!

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1, Troll)

BlueStrat (756137) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281051)

Because joblessness at 4 year lows, Multiple dictators either killed or unseated, american buisinesses going from bankrupt to record profits, the stock market up higher than when he took office and taking a negetive GDP to positive clearly spells out his failures right?

Ah, the infamous "Ferris Bueller" political strategy!

Find a parade, jump up on the big lead float, and claim credit for the parade!

Oh, you mean we weren't supposed to understand that?

My bad.

Strat

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281197)

Just WOW. Political discourse is officially dead. The economy tanks in Bush's second term and it's somehow Clinton's fault, and it starts recovering under Obama and it's NOT his doing. (And I say STARTS recovering, so far it's only really good for the 1%). The big bank bailout somehow IS Obama's fault even though it was done during the Bush administration, etc etc.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281243)

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (4, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281449)

Both GWB's and Obama's economic advisers had a historical model; the Hoover administration, which chose to keep its head above the economic crisis during its early stages at a point when intervention might have at least stabilized the economy (despite what people the, crash of 1929 didn't lead to a decade-long down, it lead to high volatility, which is in many ways much worse, and it was that that lead to the Depression). By targeted bail outs to prevent a complete freeze up of the movement of global credit, both GWB and Obama prevented a nightmare scenario. Yes, it sucks that some really incompetent bastards got saved from their own wickedness and idiocy, but history will show, I think, that as bad as the 2008 collapse was, it was the actions of the outgoing and incoming American administrations which prevented it from becoming another Depression.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (4, Insightful)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281235)

Because joblessness at 4 year lows,

Amazingly, jobness is also at a 4 year low (number of people who have jobs). Amazing what statistics you can come up with when you leave off people who have run out of unemployment insurance.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281481)

A c-c-c-c-clusterf-f-f-f-failure?

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280797)

$lashdot reviewer$ - - - they never $aw a book they didn't like!

bunch of nigger$

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (3, Insightful)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281081)

While I agree with your sentiment, what a movement needs is a main figure who will "make real sacrifices". People are not stupid and will no go out on a limb if they feel they are going to be out there alone. If you get at least one person who feels strongly enough about something to actually go it alone, others will and do follow suit.

It really follows a bell curve, you get the people who feel strongly about it first. When you have enough of them, you get people who agree with you and feel the time is right now that more people are being active, after the peak you get the people who don't really care but will go with the crowd and at the far end the people who probably disagreed but won't go against the crowd.

The fuel is there, there just needs to be enough "spark" to get critical mass.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (3, Interesting)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281325)

The movement needs more than a leader. It needs a point. By the time the Occupiers were finished, you had everybody from homeless advocates (and homeless) to raving Marxists, neither of which represent in any way the alleged 99%. At least the Tea Partiers had a tangible set of principles and goals. Being reactionary Libertarian, I despise much of what the Tea Party stands for, but there was at least some sense that there was a direction beyond "we're just against those guys".

Political movements that cannot solidify a single set of goals die out. It's not the leaders alone that do it. The problem with the Occupiers is the same as the peace movement of the 1970s. At the core, one of the founding principles is that everyone has their own idea of where the movement should go. There's a core kind of philosophical anarchism which means that no one is ever really going to become a leader, and if they did, they'd just end up fracturing the movement if they ever did anything faintly leader-like.

Beyond that, revolutions are dangerous things. Smashing existing economic, political and social structures rarely actually ends with something stronger. The American Revolution is an exception, rather than a rule. I much prefer the more evolutionary approach that lead to democracy in Britain, from the Glorious Revolution to the greater and lesser reform acts of the 19th to the 20th century. No burning down buildings or taking emperors and their families out into the woods and gunning them down.

The last thing you want is fanatics. The Tea Party almost brought the US debt into discredit for the first time in the history of the United States through some sort of mad desire to remain ideologically pure. No thanks, don't want that kind of revolution.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (3, Insightful)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281613)

The last thing you want is fanatics. The Tea Party almost brought the US debt into discredit for the first time in the history of the United States [...]

Almost? Our credit rating dropped. I'm not sure you can use a more cogent term than "discredit".

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281683)

One word: default.

A main figure, a leader! A Spark! (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281495)

Ghandi, Jesus, Buddha etc.

Eh. Wait... That didn't work. I know. Lets try it again and see if it works this time!

No what it needs is for people to understand the truth rather than the fantasy being sold to them by the mainstream media and start acting in their own self interest. Understand exactly how things really work and why the vested interests want them that way.

That will only happen as the shit hits the fan btw.

Re:A main figure, a leader! A Spark! (2)

Dutchmaan (442553) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281603)

Out of morbid curiosity... whats your "truth" that people need to understand? When people use buzzwords like "mainstream media" and talk about people needing to be more selfish.. I can already smell the position your coming from.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281533)

While I agree with your sentiment, what a movement needs is a main figure who will "make real sacrifices".

It almost sounds like Warren Buffett could fill this requirement: he complains that his taxes are lower than his secretary's, and dares the government to do something about it -- in other words, he's saying "please help me (and others like me who aren't as willing) to sacrifice."

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (-1, Troll)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281725)

Yeah, because writing a cheque for a billion dollars and sending it to the government would be so much like hard work. If Buffett doesn't think he's paying enough taxes, why isn't he voluntarily handing over that money?

Actually, you're right, his behaviour would make him an ideal figurehead for the 'Occupy' movement.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281091)

That is because marketing it as a sacrifice is simply wrong. It is not a sacrifice unless you discount the good of it. It is a decision of casting away some pros for more pros and less cons.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (5, Insightful)

RyoShin (610051) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281169)

Oh, that I had mod points. However, one note:

This is a country where a dollar-per-gallon increase in gas prices almost starts a riot

It will never come close to starting a riot. All it will do is make a lot of talking heads on TV talk about gas prices more, some people will drive a bit less, one guy will start taking the bus, three guys will each buy a bike but only one will ever use it, and everyone will post to Facebook about how much gas prices suck.

The only thing that will make Americans in general riot these days is if their sports team of choice does... something. Win, lose, disband, it doesn't seem to matter, it all leads to civil unrest. (I really don't understand this, either.)

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (3, Insightful)

Thing 1 (178996) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281643)

The only thing that will make Americans in general riot these days is if their sports team of choice does... something. Win, lose, disband, it doesn't seem to matter, it all leads to civil unrest. (I really don't understand this, either.)

It's "tribal thinking". The good news? The participants also don't understand this, either.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281259)

Yup , you're on the money there.
Better get a lil place in the boondocks and maintain a low profile if you want to pretend to live free. Be smart enough to be self sustaining, learn to barter,farm,engineer,hunt and cook. I realize that camping in a park probably qualifies many to fend off bears and armadillos, so we stand a fighting chance.
Just be ready to die for the freedom you made on that little chunk o' property. I suggest arming yourself to the teeth. Try the Instructables.com hydrogen bomb trebuchet or the light anti tank potato gun. Now that's the spirit of those who freed us the first time....

No riots. Dancing with the stars is on! (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281315)

http://xkcd.com/1007/ [xkcd.com]
Sustainable is already boring.

Infinite debt and economic collapse for the win!

Malkovich. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281543)

Malkovich. Malkovich? Malkovich Malkovich!

The conclusion of that XKCD chart always makes me think of that movie, Being John Malkovich [imdb.com] . Fun, crazy-ass film.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281369)

I could agree with you but... I'm in, actually. If there is a solid plan that gets our country back on track as a Republic then I personally am willing to drop the partisanship and do something useful. Just help me figure out what is actually useful.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1, Informative)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281601)

Just help me figure out what is actually useful.

Cut regulation, cut spending, cut taxes.

Obvious and simple, but politically impossible.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281385)

Whatever happened to "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?"

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (2)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281447)

Sounds like you and the author are standing on a pile of 100 million people murdered by various tyrants looking to build a better society and shouting, "Let's try again!"

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281539)

Clearly the answer is to increase the scale. One billion corpses or bust!

I really wish I could say that the above is satire and no one really thinks that way, but I've met people who do, and now I think I need some rum.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (5, Insightful)

mspohr (589790) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281499)

The summary said nothing about sacrifices. It does say:

"The "breaking away" strategy starts with small nation states building a new economic paradigm based upon the environmental perspective, rejecting the flawed and elitist global institutions we have now (the WTO, World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund), and even developing new currency systems. The nation states will be supported by a grassroots activist movement which will create local eco-communities and more self-reliant economies while lobbying existing political powers to get on board with the new paradigm. The measurements of success will not be GNP or GDP but the broader-based measures of social happiness and human rights. (Take the case of the nation of Bhutan which measures its activity by a standard called "Gross National Happiness Index.")"

It looks like it is proposing a system based on strengthening local economies and freeing them from the tyranny of corporations while at the same time causing less damage to the environment. If you measure happiness by how much petrol you burn or how much cheap shit from China slave labor you consume, then I guess you might consider this a sacrifice. Many other people measure their happiness by health, security, family and friends as well as having adequate food and shelter. I believe this is what the book is proposing, not sacrifices.

I disagree: framing austerity (1)

Geof (153857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281573)

There is truth to what you say, yet I think it's a question of framing, not of whether there are actual sacrifices.

Many people support austerity, even though it means significant sacrifices for the majority (even as it is twinned with tax cuts for the few). You might argue this is because people do not perceive themselves as beneficiaries of government spending (see: Alaska), or because they have an aspirational view of themselves living the American dream and benefiting from tax cuts, because they believe that the pain is necessary in order to grow the economy and create jobs, because they believe current spending is unsustainable so there is no alternative, or because it is linked to their sense of patriotism or identity.

I don't buy any of this, but my point is: people are willing to accept sacrifices. While I don't deny that people are often too much focused on what's in it for them rather than the greater good of the society or the future of their children, if they believe it is necessary, or inevitable, or ultimately for the best they wholeheartedly embrace sacrifice, even making it a point of pride.

What the OP proposes is an agenda with long term benefits, one that is necessary if we are to avoid serious negative consequences. The sorts of arguments made for austerity could easily be made for it or something like it. Such arguments are not being presented by mainstream media - but that is for reasons of power, politics, ideology and institutional rigidity, not because it's not possible to get the American people on side. Therefore, we need to fight on the terrian of politics and communication. We cannot afford to surrender democracy, excusing ourselves because of a belief that the American people are iredeemably selfish.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281637)

The political and social elite are of the following mindset...

Do as i say not as i do

That's the core if not *only* problem standing in the way. Aside from selling people on the idea, there must be genuine leadership behind the helm of any moment. And you know damn well as I do that this will never happen short of some religious experience. And even that is not guaranteed to be enough of a mover and shaker.

Re:Why these ideas will not gain traction (1)

icemanwol (2446776) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281659)

Exactly right, the only way the changes in this book could be implemented is by force. Now, what force would that be? Well, government of course. With that said, i will just leave these two definitions here.... Socialism play /solzm/ is an economic system characterized by social ownership or control of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy,[1] and a political philosophy advocating such a system Communism is hypothetical classless, moneyless, stateless social order structured upon common ownership of the means of production, as well as a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of this social order. I'm so glade that Slashdot is promoting books for political hacks....

What do you want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280841)

And despite all this, i'm sure Erin Burnett will ask "What do you want?!??!?"

OWS: Obama Wasn't reSponsible (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280869)

Does the book go into the fact that OWS was a smokescreen to blame private corporations for the results of government misregulation for the aid of the Obama re-election campaign?

Re:OWS: Obama Wasn't reSponsible (3, Interesting)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 2 years ago | (#39280971)

Exactly. I'm sure the author goes on and on about the evil banks and corporations, without acknowledging the fact that they would never have had the power to do so much evil in the first place if the government hadn't given it to them. The notion of an entity that's "too big to fail" is the farthest thing imaginable from a capitalistic perspective... yet look who gets blamed.

Regardless of the question you're asking, more gatekeepers and middlemen are not the answer. That applies to governments as well as corporations.

Re:OWS: Obama Wasn't reSponsible (3, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281013)

the governments and corporates and mega-banksters are all in bed together, and what do you call it when government and finance & industry are in bed together? it is called Fascism!

Re:OWS: Obama Wasn't reSponsible (1)

NIN1385 (760712) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281641)

You called it, that is exactly what kind of country/world we live in today. Love the sig by the way, made me really think.

Re:OWS: Obama Wasn't reSponsible (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281037)

You mean the same way the Tea Party is a racist republican astroturf funded by the Koch brothers?

Re:OWS: Obama Wasn't reSponsible (4, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281255)

Does the book go into the fact that OWS was a smokescreen to blame private corporations for the results of government misregulation for the aid of the Obama re-election campaign?

If you honestly believe the de-regulation of private business (that subsequently led to multiple economic implosions) has only been going on as long as Obama has been president, you haven't been paying attention. [rollingstone.com]

Oil will run out, but energy will not (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280909)

We will not run out of energy until the Sun expands and swallows the Earth. Oil will run out, but by then, long before then, solar, wind, and geothermal will replace it. We don't have to go back to the stone age. Population will level off as new population's are educated. All governments need to do is get out of the way and just regulate the commons, to avoid tragedy :-P

Review Bias? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280931)

Why does this book report read like OWS propaganda?

Re:Review Bias? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281105)

It reads more like Kim Stanley Robinson's Blue Mars. Just as boring and neo-Marxist, by the looks of it.

Re:Review Bias? (2, Insightful)

Shimbo (100005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281551)

It was so one-sided there seemed to be no point actually reading it through; I wouldn't learn whether the book was worth reading or not. All I took away was "this book is popular with people with limited critical thinking skills", which is hardly the best advertizement.

Programmers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280953)

Programmers haven't had it this good since the dot com days, unemployment is low and pay is high.

I think this is the wrong audience of construction workers.

Very different groups lumped together in summary (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39280985)

the Tea Partiers, the 99%-ers

/

Please do not lump these two groups together. While I have seen a few rational 99 percenters, most seem to be demanding a more interventionist government. In effect they yell "Nothing is working, give us more of the same!". At least most of the tea partiers have realized government is the problem. And to any who counter that the rich purchasing control of the government is the problem, realize that any government large enough (powerful enough) to be worth buying off will be bought off.

Re:Very different groups lumped together in summar (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281089)

Profit motive is the problem.

As long as people will only work enough to make themselves and their close friends filthy rich, a short-term goal, instead of out of a sense of value for their community, we're all fucked.

which is why Washington hated the Tea Party (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281133)

both the RNC and DNC hated it, oh the RNC liked it for the fact it helped them win control of the House but they resented the fact that those people didn't have the decency to go away. When the RNC tried to gain control, either directly or through sycophants they kept getting rebuffed.

That is why I found the OWS so distressing. It was a fake protest, one that the politicians could control. Nothing made this more obvious than having "unions" suddenly appear to add their voice; you notice how fast these same people vanished? When the real down and out people showed up they were scorned (the homeless and such). The OWS was needed when the previous "Tea Party" counter protests organized by unions; complete with bus loads paid for by the same; came to Washington but only trashed the place and didn't put up real numbers, nor did they have any lasting group - it all faded away as any generated for the moment organization does.

Washington and their press sycophants are desperate to shut down or vilify any true protest to the status quo. Wall Street toes the line because they love their money and Washington politicians love the same.

The Democrats need a true grass roots organization similar to the Tea Party to spring up. The problem is again, how can they tell when it truly from the grass roots and not manufactured. The key to knowing will be how those in power react to it and how the press reacts.

Simple rule : If the politicians and press both lap it up then its probably not real.

Re:Very different groups lumped together in summar (3, Insightful)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281403)

They both started out as protest movements against the banker bailouts, so I'd say it's entirely appropriate to be linking them together. That and I'd come across the same core group of people at both functions. Yes, their solutions are quite different. But it's the Tea Party/OWS/Arab Spring vs our crooked establishment and the apathy of their neighbors (at least in the early days before each movement fell apart). I'm sure we'll see another similar movement with a whole new name by 2013.

They're nothing but (-1, Troll)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281001)

a bunch of fucking hippies who destroyed one of the only bits of green I can see out my office window with their bloody tents. It's been a month since they've been evicted and the grass still hasn't grown back.

Re:They're nothing but (1, Insightful)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281075)

it is a shame isn't it!!?

http://i.imgur.com/VJrE5.jpg [imgur.com]

Re:They're nothing but (-1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281137)

So, you're suggesting two wrongs make it right? Or that a little more damage is better than less damage? I'm not sure I'm catching your point.

Re:They're nothing but (1, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281413)

Perhaps the point is, there's a galaxy of difference between fucking up a tiny urban park (term used quite loosely), and fucking up the global economic system.

Re:They're nothing but (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281377)

You must feel so smart and proud of yourself, posting that link on a website owned by a corporation who is out to make money. At what point do you stop being a "good corporation" and start being a conspiracy of evil plutocrats? Is Rob Malda an evil capitalist for selling out? Or do we like him, so he's not. but all the other ones are.

Go ahead and call me an AC. I've read this website on and off for 10 years and never cared to sign up for an account - because I'm too busy doing actual work and being paid quite handsomely for it.

Life is what you make of it - and all the class envious in these threads arent doing a damned thing to make their lives better. You just wait for the big friendly government to give you something you didn't earn. For shame.

Unrelated, it amuses me how in 4 years we've gone from "Its Bush's fault" to "its the evil bankers/corporations/other imaginary plutocrats" fault. Because the guy in power has a D, so it CANT be his fault. Quick, someone get another demagogue!

Re:They're nothing but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281223)

Yeah fuck those hippies always tearing down forests to make their concrete hippie communes. They have ruined the environment while honourable businessmen strive to preserve a balance on the planet. Before the Industrial Revolution, man's impact on nature had nearly caused the destruction of the planet.

While I assume you're trolling, I never really thought of the poetic justice you describe: that the hippies have demonstrated on a small scale what their detractors have done on a global scale.

Re:They're nothing but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281465)

You should have just told them to get off your lawn.

This could become a WSJ best seller (2)

hguorbray (967940) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281007)

and it probably still wouldn't drive any measurable change...but one can always hope

because the powers that be combine appeal of lasissez-faire capitalism with the fear of losing what little status quo remains to pit us all against each other through the tactics of divide and conquer

as elrous0 says above -there will have to be some painful changes and some ugly battles before things will improve for most people on earth an most of us are not yet willing to make them -and I'm afraid I am probably among them. Maybe your children will see enough of what has been lost and can rise up before it is too late...

-I'm just sayin'

Re:This could become a WSJ best seller (1)

Urban Nightmare (147344) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281161)

I'm sure my children won't see this. Even though I don't buy them every new laptop or iPad that comes out and try to teach them that material goods are not a statement or worth. They see all their friends with the latest gadget and they want it to. Maybe someday they may see why we don't have cable or satellite and every fancy thing but until then I'm the bad guy because I don't want to spend the money on it. Even more probable is when they get out in to the work force they will just buy all that crap themselves and be happy. They won't have money to retire or for medical care but who cares... They will have their iPad.

Poor countries are poor for a reason (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281095)

Poor countries full of poor people - starving people - are poor for a reason. Countries need three things to get rich; peace, low taxes and a tolerable administration of justice. *EVERY SINGLE POOR COUNTRY LACKS ONE OR MORE OF THESE THREE REQUIREMENTS*.

All this talk about the current political-economic system is, in my view, a rationalization towards other ends, because it has nothing to do with this basic truth. It's people talking off at the mouth about this and that and *actually* doing nothing about what really causes human suffering.

Re:Poor countries are poor for a reason (4, Insightful)

PhotoJim (813785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281579)

I don't mean to imply that I support high taxes carte blanche... I don't. However, I do have to point out that there are countries with high taxes and yet high standards of living, peace and very good levels of procedural justice. Countries like Sweden, Finland, and Denmark come to mind.

I think this idea that government is inherently evil and can't do anything productive is rather sad. Perhaps it's true in the US, which would be more of a commentary on the flaws of American democracy than on government in general, but there are countries where governments are, by American standards, very interventionists and yet there are high levels of happiness among the nation's population, along with a high standard of living and high levels of individual freedom.

This rigid debate about the evils of tax increases in the US reminds me of what we went through here in Saskatchewan in the mid-1990s. The economy here was terrible. We were in debt up to our eyeballs as a province and international banks were telling us that we were not far from being in a position where acquiring loans to finance future debt was going to be a difficult proposition. Our credit rating had been downgraded significantly. The government of the day severely reduced spending and significantly increased taxes. Roads got neglected, schools got overcrowded, and in general, it really sucked to be here for awhile. But do you know what happened? The provincial debt got significantly reduced. That permitted a gradual reduction of taxes. That allowed the economy to improve - slowly at first, very quickly later - and now we are one of the two strongest provinces in Canada economically, with very reasonable levels of debt a fraction of what it once was, and with a real hope of being retired completely in a few years.

Fix the US political system so that political actors act for the benefit of the nation and its citizens instead of special interest groups, and think with a mind toward the future. This petty bickering and inflexibility are not only increasingly making the US a laughingstock in the international scene, they are seriously damaging the US's ability to have a strong economy. Yes, that may mean a few years of significantly higher taxes, but the dividends in the long run would be huge.

Utopian (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281121)

This book falls into a long-standing category of works called "utopian," in which the author creates a model perfect world but totally fails to explain how to get from here to there (suggested reading: "Socialism, Scientific and Utopian" by F. Engels). Pass laws? But it's the very "political elite" he condemns that makes the laws. And the idea that the mass of ordinary people, who are the ones who suffer under the existing system, should have to live *worse* in order to make the world *better* is just incorrect. Many of us are already living worse--pay cuts, job losses, cuts in all kinds of social spending (and it's going to get worse) and how has that benefitted us or the world? Raise oil prices? What effect will that have besides making the owners of Exxon even richer? Without doing away with the dictatorship of capital all of this is just spitting into the wind.

Re:Utopian (1)

PhotoJim (813785) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281625)

The US can't unilaterally increase oil prices unless it military destroys oil production capacity, which seems a little self-defeating. The only way it could act, practically speaking, is to increase taxes on fossil fuels. That money wouldn't go to the oil industry - it would go wherever government wanted it to go; research into better energy sources, road construction, income tax reductions, whatever Americans decide is most important.

As for laws, you're right and I have no easy solution for this. The lobby groups in the US have a lot of power and it would take a huge undertaking by the average American to yell louder than the special interest groups do.

Wow-I am on the wrong website (3, Insightful)

shoottothrill (1806688) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281127)

I was looking for stuff that matters. Not this socialist dribble that seems to be dominating the "news for nerds."

Re:Wow-I am on the wrong website (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281311)

I was looking for stuff that matters. Not this socialist dribble that seems to be dominating the "news for nerds."

Aw, hell, that ain't socialist - THIS [constitution.org] is socialist!

There is no form of government more dedicated to socialism that a constitutional republic... Well, I guess a constitutional republic with democratically elected leaders, maybe, but who's crazy enough to do that??

Re:Wow-I am on the wrong website (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281509)

I was looking for stuff that matters. Not this socialist dribble

This is the "Occupy Sony" website. Daily Kos is three doors down take a left.

Re: Deregulation (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281177)

The US deregulated? When? Government spending and all the laws and statutes in the Federal Register has been always growing and never stops. The rate of growth might change, but it always grows.

I take major issue with this notion that some how the US a free market. It would be more correct to call it mercantilism or proto-fascism.

Fact is, there isn't anything remotely resembling a free market in the US. It's mixed economy. To say it's deregulated is to forget all the agencies that cover it, whether it be employment, food, drugs, stockmarkets, currency, transportation, utilities, or healthcare.

Compiled quickly with a short search, here is a short list:
Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac)
Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae)
Federal Housing Finance Agency
Student Loan Marketing Association (Sallie Mae)
US Dept of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Import Export Bank
US Dept of Treasury, and it's dozen of so sub-offices
US Department of Commerce
Federal Reserve System
Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF)
Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC)
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
Employment and Training Administration (ETA)
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
US Dept of Energy (DOE)
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
US Department of Labor (DOL)
Farm Credit Administration (FCA)
US Dept of Transportation (DOT)
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (FDIC)
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC)
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EREN)
Federal Highway Administration (FHA)
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC)
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Transportation Security Administraion (TSA)

And this doesn't included other, multiple layers of city, county, and state laws, codes, and regulations.

There is ***NOTHING*** that isn't regulated in the US.

Look, I agree with the sentiments of the OWS crowd. There's some straight scum bags out there. But wouldn't it make sense, if you create a massive apparatus, you're also creating a new power center---A power center that these scumbags can use to their own ends against everyone else? A larger regulatory state requires smart, honest people to run it. If you look at something like military contractors at the DOD or large Wall Street banks at Treasury or the Fed, you see back door scam deals left and right. And just because you elect the right guy in office once, there's no guarantee that the next guy in charge will be just as nice.

Re: Deregulation (3, Informative)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281441)

Do some research into the relationship between the SEC and the banks they are supposed to regulate, then get back to me.

Matt Taibbi's blog [rollingstone.com] is a good place to start.

Shorter summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281221)

It's horseshit.

Comrades Unite! (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281261)

Comrades, the author of this book is right. We need more regulations to keep those evil capitalists from getting richer. Also we need more bureaucrats to put those regulations in practice. I mean, we all know that our well-being is directly proportional to the size of the bureaucracy. Also, in order to live better we must make ourselves poorer, voluntarily of course. We must stop pursuing material wellbeing and start living in harmony with nature.

And another thing that is wrong with the current world order is the social class "system" that we have. We only need two social classes the ruling class (i.e politicians and bureaucrats) and regular people. And yeah, lets implement his idea of measuring peoples happiness instead of their monetary wealth. Once those enlightened bureaucrats can agree on a definition of happiness I have no doubt that our leaders can take us there.

Dear God... (1)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281287)

The words... they fail.

Re:Dear God... (1)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281343)

Anarchocapitalism/Libertarianism is not good for the upper classes, which is why they never push Anarchocapitalism/Libertarianism. They push this shit instead...

Re:Dear God... (1)

Nicknamename (2572429) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281563)

The rich want a system which will protect their already-acquired wealth and stave off any potential competitors. The powerful want a system which will preserve and enhance their power. Which is exactly what hyperpolitically-correct Socialism does.

What about the 98.6%? (1, Redundant)

istartedi (132515) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281453)

What about the 98.6%? We aren't billionaires. We aren't communists. We just want common sense. We're not radical. We're well-balanced, healthy centrists. The only options being presented are all burning with a deathbed fever of corporate fascism or hard-left radicalism that will leave us dying in a sweat-soaked poltical deathbed.

Do we need a 'Neo-Marxist' term? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281469)

Because "Class Warfare" and "Capitalist Society is Doomed to Fail" isn't exactly new.

Visionary?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281517)

Mr. Jackson is also a political-economic visionary of the highest order as shown in the second half of the book by his "break away" strategy where he sets out his alternative environmentalist paradigm. It is a new worldview emphasizing the finite reality of our natural resources, especially energy ones, and how we should alter much of what we do to comply with that reality. He argues for a new set of social values harmonious with a holistic sense of people and nature being part of one "system." The values of that system include smallness, localization, quality versus quantity, interrelationships, and long-term perspectives.

If you read John Stuart Mill you will see that those ideas aren't exactly new . And it wouldn't surprise me if Mill got his ideas from folks from an earlier time.

99% wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281591)

this book is about one thing, making it from the 99% to the 1% by selling a lot of copies. take a look at self-help-books. the only one these are going the help is the author. by getting rich.

Doesn't conform to the review guidelines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39281649)

"Writing a Slashdot review should be fun -- and reading it should be, too. Write conversationally but seriously, as you might in a topical letter to an acquaintance who's asked you to send your impressions of a book. At the same time, please be sure to write a review, not just a summary. Do explain the content of the book, but don't stop there: the whole point of a review is to offer insight on a book's worth, not just whether it has a chapter on interfacing with MySQL. Compare it to other books, explain whether this one met your expectations, criticize, parse."

Of course, that's no problem, because when you are a servant of the Global Socialist Class Warfare Jihad for Humanity, it's about fighting the good fight, not following rules.

"not sufficient to affect change" (1)

wild_berry (448019) | more than 2 years ago | (#39281675)

"Being intellectually sound, however, is not sufficient to affect change"

Can we have the argument about affect and effect here? I would have used 'effect change' here, unless OP means that change, in some way, is to be altered.

Also, there an enormous issue about how invested we all are in the existing system, with jobs and housing provided by it. That makes it very costly to change - but it's quite costly to stay paying a mortgage which supports the lifestyles of the people who sold created and sold CDOs and which is also rescuing the present situation.

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