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Thread: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

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    Avalon Member T Smith's Avatar
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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    Quote Posted by Praxis (here)

    Quote Posted by T Smith (here)
    Perhaps I should come in at this from another angle. We are on the same page identifying the problem. However, I am not suggesting the "Deep State Corporatists" and the "Capitalist Populists" maintain mutually exclusive interests.

    .

    Let's just say, for sake of illustration the "Deep State" represents the Kings in the image above and "Trumpism" represents the Hearts... They both don't give a damn about the Endangered Species Act or Juiian Assange. Trump is rogue and has foolishly (and arbitrarily) followed some policy advice from his neo-con advisors, while at times he has agitated the very same advisors by ignoring similarly-delivered advise. On these matters there is no consistency in this Administration, which suggests to me a situation just the oppose of being controlled. In other words, being manipulated and/or cajoled by said interests is not the same as being controlled by said interests. On these issues, among others, we may refer to the King of Hearts in the image... Anyway, you get the gist.

    All this really has nothing to do with the Democrats; they just so happen to be the most vocal political mouthpiece of the Kings at the moment (I would also point out that it was not too long ago that both Democrats and Republicans were firmly in this Deep State bloc. Both parties adamantly opposed Trump, we sometimes forget, until Trump hijacked, co-opted, and essentially commandeered the latter political party, essentially bending it to his will).

    In sum, I am not refuting the problem. What I am refuting is the notion of "meet the new boss, same as the old boss, puppet of said problem..." That's not what is going on, in my estimation. We can avoid talk about specific politicians if it serves the topic best, but in my view The GCN/Deep State bloc does not control DJT.... there is something much more complicated going on here. If we can't continue our discussion on this premise it won't serve our mutual understanding of the problem, in my humble estimation.

    Of course we can agree to disagree on this point if you judge I am mistaken. And I am of course open to your arguments. What seems clear to me, however, is Trump’s regulatory reforms and anti-corporatist policies favor the Hearts (save for the King of Hearts), e.g. the small businesses and a brand of throw-back capitalism counter to corporatist interests, whereas the yellow-dotted corporations in your model are best positioned for a regulated global economy, unlimited immigration, and unencumbered foreign access to U.S. markets.

    Perhaps most unsettling of all for those who oppose the current Adminstration is not the idea that the GCN/deep State is controlling Trump, but the notion that it is not controlling the current Administration...
    You are praising a con man that is conning you just because he is not conning you for the wrong people.

    For those paying attention to policies, we are watching the same thing again and again and again.
    I'm not sure what part of my post appears to you as if it is praising, but regardless, I think you have may have misunderstood my post if that is how you infer what I am saying.
    Last edited by T Smith; 15th February 2020 at 17:02.

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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    Society Is Too Complicated to Have a President, Complex Mathematics Suggest
    By Jason Koebler
    Nov 7 2016
    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/w...matics-suggest

    (From a few years ago, but still descriptive of the basic problem.)


    Society Is Too Complicated to Have a President, Complex Mathematics Suggest

    "We’ve become fundamentally confused about what the decisions are, and what their consequences are. Roughly two-thirds of Americans believe the country is going in the "wrong direction," and Tuesday the country will vote for two of the least popular presidential candidates of all time. Both the left and the right say that the United States' government is ineffective.

    One potential reason for this? Human society is simply too complex for representative democracy to work. The United States probably shouldn't have a president at all, according to an analysis by mathematicians at the New England Complex Systems Institute.

    NECSI is a research organization that uses math cribbed from the study of physical and chemical systems—bear with me for a moment—and newly available giant data sets to explain how events in one part of the world might affect something seemingly unrelated in another part of the world.

    Most famously, the institute's director, Yaneer Bar-Yam, predicted the Arab Spring several weeks before it happened. He found that seemingly unrelated policy decisions—ethanol subsidies in the US and the deregulation of commodity markets worldwide—led to skyrocketing food prices in 2008 and 2011. It turns out that there is a very neat correlation between the United Nations food price index and unrest and rioting worldwide that no one but Bar-Yam had picked up.



    The countries listed are where food-related rioting occurred. Numbers in parentheses are number of deaths related to the violence.


    When considering our system of government, the link between these policies and unexpected global violence is an illustrative but hardly unique one: Bar-Yam was able to describe these cause-and-effect relationships in detail because he looking at very specific inputs and very specific outputs. He was zooming in on specific parts of the "system" that is human civilization in an attempt to explain one small but important part of the world.

    It is absurd, then, to believe that the concentration of power in one or a few individuals at the top of a hierarchical representative democracy will be able to make optimal decisions on a vast array of connected and complex issues that will certainly have sweeping and unintended ramifications on other parts of human civilization.

    "There's a natural process of increasing complexity in the world," Bar-Yam told me. "And we can recognize that at some point, that increase in complexity is going to run into the complexity of the individual. And at that point, hierarchical organizations will fail."

    "We were raised to believe that democracy, and even the democracy that we have, is a system that has somehow inherent good to it," he added. But it's not just democracy that fails. "Hierarchical organizations are failing in the response to decision-making challenges. And this is true whether we're talking about dictatorships, or communism that had very centralized control processes, and for representative democracies today. Representative democracies still focus power in one or few individuals. And that concentration of control and decision-making makes those systems ineffective."

    The 'Complexity' of Human Society




    Society has been increasing in complexity since the beginning of human civilization.


    This idea of a quantifiable, measurable "complexity," refers to the difficulty of describing what the hell is going on in a system. And Bar-Yam says that human society is just like every other system.

    An individual human is made up of atoms, which make up cells, which make up organs, and so on. Describing the behavior of each individual atom is incredibly difficult; describing the behavior of organs is less difficult, and it's trivially easy to tell you that my organs are doing something inside me right now to allow me to type on a computer right now. Collective behaviors are inherently more "simple" than individual ones, in other words. Describing the behavior of atoms is more complex than describing the collective behavior of the many atoms that make up a human being.

    This analogy extends to humans living in society. Predicting the specific behavior of a car factory worker in his day to day life is much harder than predicting that he and a collective of other people will produce cars at the factory.

    "In human organizations, coordination occurs because individuals influence each other's' behavior," Bar-Yam wrote in a paper explaining this hypothesis. "A control hierarchy is designed to enable a single individual to control the collective behavior."

    Governance, then, is an attempt to organize the behavior of many individually complex humans (like the atoms above) into something simpler and more coherent.

    "During the time of ancient empires, large-scale human systems executed relatively simple behaviors, and individuals performed relatively simple individual tasks that were repeated by many individuals over time to have a large scale effect," he added.



    C-individual is the point at which one person cannot effectively make decisions. Representative democracies are not strict hierarchies, however they still centralize power in a few individuals (the "hybrid" model). Bar-Yam suggests society will need to move toward a more team-minded decision making process to cope with the complexity of human society.


    The relatively simple nature of the world at the time allowed one single person to be a master of all aspects of governance, in other words. The collective behavior of the whole of a city, town, or empire in early society was easily describable, because everyone was doing more or less the same thing.

    The issue here is that the sheer scale and interdependence of society has vastly increased since the days of ancient empires, increasing the overall complexity of society. To take this back to the biological analogy, it is as if society itself has evolved from being a very simple organism, such as a microbe to something much more complex, like a human (in all likelihood society will get much more complex—maybe a better analogy is something like a jellyfish right now). This is what you would expect—physics theory suggests that all systems increase in complexity over time.

    "We've become fundamentally confused about what the decisions are, and what their consequences are. And we can't make a connection between them"

    Technological advances during the industrial revolution allowed the automation of menial tasks and diversified the number of tasks human beings could perform. The industrial revolution led to advances in transportation and shipping that connected disparate parts of the world, and the internet, computers, and smartphones, of course, have served to intermingle nearly every corner of the world.

    "Human society" is now one gigantic, incredibly complex system or organism rather than many smaller, isolated, and simpler ones.

    This is how you end up with ethanol policies signed in America in the the late 1990s leading to widespread global unrest decades later. There are, of course, an unknowable number of decisions and events that have untold and difficult-to-predict effects on disparate parts of the world.

    Complexity and the presidency



    The complexity of our governance system needs to stay on the good side of the "survive/fail" line



    A framework put forward by cybernetics pioneer Ross Ashby in the 1950s that served as the underlying basis for Bar-Yam's work suggests that organizations will begin to fail if the demands placed upon it exceed the complexity of the governance structure of that organization. When that governance structure concentrates power in one or a few people at the top, that means the demands placed on the structure can't be any more complex than one person can handle.

    In the case of a representative democracy, we are expecting a president—aided by advisors and Congress, of course—to ultimately make decisions in an environment that is far too complicated for any one person. Democracy as we know it is failing.

    "We cannot expect one individual to know how to respond to the challenges of the world today," Bar-Yam said. "So whether we talk about one candidate or another, the Democrats or Republicans, Clinton versus Trump. The real question ultimately is, will we be able to change the system?"

    "We've become fundamentally confused about what the decisions are, and what their consequences are. And we can't make a connection between them," he added. "And that's true about everybody, as well as about the decision-makers, the policymaker. They don't know what the effects will be of the decisions that they're making."

    Bar-Yam proposes a more laterally-organized system of governance in which tons of small teams specialize in certain policies, and then those teams work together to ultimately make decisions.

    "We end up with people who will say, 'I will do this, and things will be better.' And another person who will say, 'I will do this. And things will do better.' And we can't tell," he said. "Right now the danger is that we will choose strategies that will really cause a lot of destruction, before we've created the ability to make better decisions."

    When you vote Tuesday, don't vote for blowing up the system—Bar-Yam advocates for a gradual move to more lateral governance structures. But know that the person you're voting for will certainly be in over their head."
    Last edited by Bill Ryan; 15th February 2020 at 18:44.
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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    T, I think you and I are probably not that far apart in our understanding, and I don't feel the need to attempt to convert you on the rest (and think you're saying the same to me.)

    I observe that US high office politicians, and especially the president, are not literal marionettes, micro-managed by their oligarch bosses. The deep state overlords don't give a crap about what they would see as low level stuff. Trump's servitude to Israel and abandonment of Palestinians, for example. That's Trump (with Adelson and AIPAC in his ear), but that's Trump's own sociopathy showing. The deep state/oligarch overlords, the New World Mafia Dons, primarily just need whichever liar-in-chief that the Democrats or Republicans can install in office to be obedient to the oligarch's grand agenda.

    If there were billions or trillions of dollars to be skimmed off the top of an agenda of literally saving the Palestinians from Israeli slow-motion genocide, reigning-in Israel's power, and removing Israel from occupying Palestine, then the sitting president would not be allowed to throw a monkeywrench into the oligarch's agenda, and Trump would not have been allowed to help the Israeli's continue to steal Palestine and genocide the Palestinians. I think the racism aimed at Mexicans and Arabs by Trump is actually from Trump - again, if it doesn't really significantly affect the "take" of the Big Mobsters, they don't care (in fact, it helps them hide in the shadows where only a conspiracy nut would blame the oligarchs.)

    But, if Trump actually did something to reduce the flow of money into the oligarch's pockets, if he tried to thwart their master plan/agenda, well... not to worry, Trump supporters (or Obama supporters, or Bush supporters, or Clinton supporters, or Bush supporters...) it isn't going to happen. The message of who actually calls the shots on big issues was sent loud and clear on Nov 22, '63.

    I believe that you are wrong about Trump fighting (or even really believing that he is fighting) the Deep State/oligarchs that he is fully enmeshed with (see diagram above.) The bigger picture that there really is a fully visible Global Corporate Network that is the host organism for both of the US political parties and their politicians, and that not only do US citizens have no control over these politicians, but also have no control over electing them or replacing them. Being in US high-office is nothing but mid management/crowd control to the oligarchs.

    On deregulation of corporations, you have to think like a capitalist (C corporate charters meet DMS IV definition of sociopath) to think that deregulation is "good." Of course it's good for the corporation's profits to remove environmental safeguards (most of what "deregulation" is), but loosening environmental safeguards is obviously bad for the environment and all life forms. Deregulation of corporations isn't heroic, it's anti-citizen and anti-environment. Deregulation of citizens would be heroic.


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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    Onawah, that's an interesting concept. It isn't going to happen, but it reminds me of some thoughts I have had that the US presidency should not be one individual, but rather at least three.

    Flashback to 1971, with Class of '72 student body elections at my high school. John Schultz was just too cool, the white-skinned conduit for Motown music, smart, athletic, good looking, with a very likeable personality, confidence, and warm smile. How in the hell to defeat this guy, running for class president... Then it came to me. I got 4 other seniors to join me on the ticket, and we won. So, rather than a class president, there were 5 class co-presidents at my high school my senior year. I admit that was a strategy to beat the probable winner, but also knew it would both divide the labor and provide a whole lot more ideas. We got a lot done (including creating a student lounge, and starting an intramural sports program), but more importantly, the reality of 5 co-presidents limited any one person's power, prevented autocracy, guaranteed cooperation, and reduced expressed egos.

    Corporations have a CEO, but the CEO's job can be terminated by the board of directors, if the CEO is going against the wishes of the board. So, a CEO is not a "king." A lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is maybe even closer to a king's coronation than the US presidency's possible 8 year stint, but the US presidency gives far too much power to one person.

    Obviously, 3 or 5 or 7 sociopathic co-presidents is not much of a solution, but - years after the successful takeover of the election system by citizens, ensuring that candidates cannot be connected to the Global Corporate Network (which will still exist, it just won't be fascistically controlling government) - I'd present the possibility of changing the constitution to have multiple co-presidents. (I'd say 3 - maybe the top 3 in the vote count, rather than a pre-assembled team.) I realize that the current system, with a vice-president and cabinet, is supposed to ensure that the president sees multiple sides of issues and buffers the president from making stupid or misinformed decisions, but it appears to be a vestigial mechanism to me. We have 9 supreme court justices to make important top-tier legal decisions (but of course in the present system, they were all appointed by corporate duopoly partisans, D and R) - why would we want just one person making presidential executive decisions?


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    Exclamation Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    Bernie Sanders: What You're Not Being Told — With Larken Rose:

    Larken Rose
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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    That sums it up nicely!
    Quote Posted by ExomatrixTV (here)
    [B]Bernie Sanders: What You're Not Being Told — With Larken Rose
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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    Larken Rose's state of the union would probably be similar to a few of my bullet points describing the current reality (he gets that Bernie is just another puppet of Empire, gets that the Democrats and Republicans are Kabuki theater, and that mobsters control the US government), but his recommendations for what to do about it are completely different than mine.

    I think he doesn't understand that a society made up of millions of individuals operating collectively isn't going to ever be able to morph into millions of totally independent, autonomous, totally self sufficient ranchers/homesteaders with zero public infrastructure - even less infrastructure than Amish or Quakers. Maybe his vision could work for a small cluster of already rich and already skilled and vibrantly healthy young ranchers, but it can't scale up to millions of people of all ages and degrees of physical capability. It's kind of a ridiculous fairy tale to preach that it could, and quite frankly, the "EVERY MAN FOR HIMSELF!" mindset is based on selfishness, not love and compassion, so it fails my sniff test as an ideology. His main bullet point is that government should not exist because it requires taxation to run and that all taxation is a gun-to-the-head threat if you don't pay up. It's a clever talking point - who's going to argue that they want a gun to their head?

    (I do agree that some - even most - taxation should be ended, such as property tax.)

    I know one guy (he's a member of this forum, and a dear brother) that actually lives off-grid, way back in the woods, a long drive on a 4-wheel drive gravel road that he has to repair or his car would get stuck in the ruts from the last rainstorm. He built his house and other buildings on the property, with his hands. A long hose to a pond at a slightly higher elevation than his house provides the running water in his kitchen sink. He hauls drinking water from a well at a state park 10 miles away, and showers there. No flush toilet and a wood burning stove that he has to go out and chop wood to feed. Etc., etc., etc. I visited him (full of romantic notions that I too could live the off-grid life) and was disabused of my notions. I honestly don't personally know anyone else who could actually live the life. It's much tougher than most people imagine. He himself could not have created a homestead when he was young (nor would he have had the money to buy land, and building materials), and at my age, couldn't start over and do it again.

    So, it is something only an extremely determined, strong, healthy person - maybe 20 to 50 years old - with a previously-earned "grub stake" could have ever pulled off. What percentage of society does that describe? I'd guess less than 5%, and I may be being generous. So, Larken, are you OK with the fact that 95% of individuals would perish, you know, 'survival of the fittest?' And being willing to look the other way is sociopathy, to have your vision become reality. Is this Darwinian sociopathy really better than the oligarch's sociopathy? Hey, they just want things their own way too, right? Wanting your own self-sufficient ranch, with no public infrastructure (oh those roads and bridges that Larken says anyone could build and maintain, with volunteers) is great. Assuming that everyone else would want that (or could actually do it) is a big blind spot. Reading Larken and thinking that he has a cogent plan is like reading the Tao te Ching and thinking that everyone could be a "man of Tao." Unicorn poop.

    There is also no pathway to go from the current reality to anarchy, and the repeated meme from anarchists is that the path is waiting for the complete collapse of the Western world - not much of a game plan if you ask me.


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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    Not much of a game plan, but not that unlikely either, unfortunately, or at least, not completely....
    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)

    There is also no pathway to go from the current reality to anarchy, and the repeated meme from anarchists is that the path is waiting for the complete collapse of the Western world - not much of a game plan if you ask me.
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    Default Re: State of the Disunion Address by Dennis Leahy

    Quote Posted by onawah (here)
    Not much of a game plan, but not that unlikely either, unfortunately, or at least, not completely....
    Quote Posted by Dennis Leahy (here)

    There is also no pathway to go from the current reality to anarchy, and the repeated meme from anarchists is that the path is waiting for the complete collapse of the Western world - not much of a game plan if you ask me.
    Actually, a meltdown of "Western civilization" would leave all of the global ruling class relatively intact, at least the ones that have personal fortresses, stockpiled gold, ammunition, and food. They would be the only ones with the means (and will) to hire mercenaries (paid in gold, water, and food, and allowed the protection of the fortress) to protect them and their fortress. The rest of us would indeed be living in anarchy (no governmental control.) Once the initial phase of murdering anyone who dared approach the fortress was complete, and when supplies started to run low, the mercenaries would become raiding parties, stealing food from the peasantry, possibly taking a few strong slaves to do farm labor and a few women and children to rape. If Larken's ranch was far enough away from the ruling class' fortresses and raiding parties, he would only need to contend with scores of have-not peasants coming to take his food. A meltdown of Western civilization is not the panacea it is made out to be.


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