New website

August 13, 2010

http://www.mimdown.org

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m trying to restore the previous etext.org/Politics/MIM website
at the www.mimdown.org.

There’s been some limited progress.

Back on break

August 7, 2010

I’m going back on break after that brief flurry of articles.

People who know me well understand that I liked role-playing games somewhat in my 20s and almost not at all now. It’s not a good idea to pitch me a role and hope that I bite. I prefer strategy games.

Increasingly I believe that key people understand my position and use it to compare notes. As someone not in an official role, I feel that there is often an ethical problem in my partaking in short-run politics and following diplomacy. Although I believe I am a more transparent writer than anyone else available in comparable position, the short-run questions also damage my writing occasionally, from an analysis mistake or opaqueness.

At this point, I believe that even my strategic thinking of the next few months may be clear to those that need to know.

I hope I am wrong, and it certainly won’t be up to me, but it seems that Obama will turn down the huge peace package and domestic deal he has had a chance to take. I am far from an expert on diplomacy and only ended up thrown into a vacuum by conspirators, but it’s clear that the Alinskyite and former New Left movements do not show much influence of diplomatic thinking and know even less. We seem to lack the key constituencies to provide political battle on behalf of diplomacy. Once again, I hope I’m wrong.

“Inception”

August 7, 2010

This is a deep movie and deserves credit for that. However, I would say it prepares the superstructure for Obama’s continued rule.

When the movie is all-said-and-done, an East Asian man completes a brainwashing scheme to help compete with an energy company owned by a white man. However, we can be pretty sure the movie is not talking about Cheney’s company or Bush’s, and that is what makes the movie negative. On the plus side, with most of the characters white, the racial danger is often softened for most of the global audience. White characters help both sides of the struggle in the plot.

Various agents go on a mission of dreaming three dreams at once. One ends up going for four dreams at once.

The positive aspect of “Inception” is the constant struggle between reality and dreams. Characters have to check on reality at all times and struggle to arrive at wakefulness. As such, “Inception” is a good metaphor for the haze of espionage and counter-espionage struggles.

In MIM’s case, there are the lowly Democratic activists who believe they did one thing innocently. There is another layer where some Democrats know they did not campaign innocently but still support lynching. Then there is the foreign element as another layer and back up a few years and there is another layer.

“Inception” may have a little of the post-911 disease. It’s not carrying around a talisman that keeps a persyn real. Certain events cannot cause certain others and there is also the matter of watching who benefits.

  • How did I force Obama to say “uncle”? I could not.
  • How did I force anyone to start the careers they did in the plot? I did not. On this it’s a question of doing one’s homework. One either understands the payouts or one does not.
  • Can you think of anything I would not have done if I were campaigning the way Obamautons say?

    Angelina Jolie’s “SALT” movie also handles the plot within the plot idea and does it better. It’s inescapable that various Soviet operations have upended around the world, and not just within U.$. borders. In simplified form, one agent kills others. In one situation, one kills pretty much the whole National Security Council. Being right about reality is important to plots within plots in “SALT” as in “Inception.”

  • Thank you note

    August 7, 2010

    Count this as an international thank you note.

    Recently, a demonstration in Pakistan managed to send me Aesopian cheerfulness. Likewise, Russian intellectuals.

    I have a thank you for Thailand and would like to credit Koreans and other peoples for finding ways to tell me what is going on in my life. There are people holding firm in the struggle.

    I regret that I do not study the whole world consistently and also do not credit everything I see for fear of ruining it or enabling spies.

    Labor bureaucracy gets in on the Aesopian junk

    August 7, 2010

    I don’t want to say we at MIM never get support from any labor aristocracy, gender aristocracy or the bureaucrats that represent them. Nothing is ever 100% pure, even as we generalize that those social groups are generally reactionary. The international proletariat is not pure in its thinking either, or the whole struggle against imperialism would have finished long ago.

    Two unions have been having battles with a third union, the SEIU of my lyncher #2’s fame (and by the way, I myself worked for ACORN once). The UFW and UNITE-HERE are calling for unity with SEIU and transcending the mess Andy Stern left.

    UNITE-HERE has fought a battle with SEIU that the labor bureaucracy is painting as a defeat for outgoing SEIU chief Andy Stern. “Beyond Chron” San Francisco’s “Alternative Online Daily” shows a new truce with SEIU and the UNITE-HERE paper-shufflers getting tens of millions of dollars in property back from SEIU, thanks to an agreement with Mary Kay Henry.

    “Of all the boneheaded moves that came to typify Andy Stern’s last two years, none surpasses his belief that UNITE HERE would respond to SEIU’s raids on its members by quickly calling uncle.”

    It turns out that UNITE-HERE organizers claim to have had physical threats from SEIU going back to 1989.

    It appears that the writers covering the labor bureaucracy struggle understand very well what MIM has said about a lynching conducted to support the Afghan war. “One could say that Henry had the political courage to do what Barack Obama has failed to deliver in Afghanistan, which is to withdraw from their predecessor’s misguided conflict. SEIU cannot be happy with the exact terms of the deal, but Henry made her allies happy by getting it done.”

    MIM has also seen signs in New York that the labor bureaucracy increasingly understands that diplomacy-as-usual costs people who have nothing to do with the stodginess of diplomacy leading to war.

    People who know MIM understand we do not cater to any labor bureaucrats, but when one pulls a tight line, class struggle happens and people have to take sides. The way we think of it theoretically is that by allying with the international proletariat first, and the national bourgeoisie second, the bourgeois internationalists start to notice and then in turn some of the imperialist country labor bureaucrats also take note.

    Probably some labor bureaucrats get Russian money, others Chinese. In any case, whatever the real underlying situation, the labor bureaucracy has demonstrated a metaphorical understanding of the spy situation in my life including that it looks like SEIU got itself woven right in among federal spies, indistinguishably, politically-speaking. I hope some labor bureaucrats can win by purging themselves of Alinskyism.

    Ironically, members of both the investor class and the labor bureaucracies can see that money is going to waste on wars carried out because of the federal government’s unwillingness to go to the all-out diplomacy that MIM has come to represent — if only for heuristic purposes right now. Currently, the federal government and die-hard Democrats are active in throwing up all kinds of COINTELPRO junk in our faces.

    On the need for unblocking diplomacy, fiscally conservative tax-cutters and portions of the labor movement can agree. When the politicians are gutless, it’s not just the 19-year-olds sent to fight in the developing countries who pay.

    I have to express gratitude to anyone has bothered to pay attention to what I’ve been saying.

    Note:

    http://www.beyondchron.org/news/index.php?itemid=8357

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dolores-huerta/an-open-letter-to-seiu-pr_b_668660.html

    “Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore”

    August 7, 2010



    This particular poster has metaphorical meaning for me.

    The two reviews I checked say the movie is no good, other than the spoof of James Bond. Spy mania is still running huge at this time, as befits a country with as many spies as the United $tates.

    “Red” due out October 15

    August 7, 2010

    I have thought of three reasons for an incorrect approach to “two-line struggle.” First, some have it both ways by sending people to both sides of a cause, because they are CIA spying. Secondly, some set up career networks, spying or otherwise. Thirdly, there is the petty-bourgeoisie infecting the communist movement with a have-it-both ways approach.

    Now apparently, MIM fans will have to take into account another possibility — that the CIA has internal demographic conflict. There has been much hiring in the intelligence community since 9/11. The “Red” movie trailer suggests that sometimes the CIA actually has real conflicts within.

    In my situation there has to be some truth to that, because I’m reviewing history of the Cold War and the Mideast, not just the last 10 years, which taken alone are misleading.

    October 15 is the birthdate of the Black Panther Party in 1966 and so we are on the look out for political significance in another upcoming Hollywood movie.

    On break

    August 2, 2010

    I’m on break.

    P.S. Boston and Los Angeles were too good, so I thought it was great that LeBron James and Chris Bosh started an anti-dynasty movement in Miami. Who needs another ring in Boston, L.A. or Chicago?

    Then Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley made good points, that two MVPs on one team is almost cheating.

    LeBron James and Barkley can’t both be right.

    Maybe I always agree with the guys my age. Favre is still in the news. I love cheese and at the same time try to go on a diet, but cheese is really enslavement of animals like the vegans say and sometimes we should just leave a whole era behind for the benefit of the environment for younger players that need a chance, even if a whole state will be less famous for a while until the new players get going. Favre made his bucks and now some other folks need jobs! That would be an example of a cultural change.

    Wow it’s easy to get worked up about sports, so we should try not to get stuck on the trees like Barkley and appreciate the whole forest.

    Unemployment and what MIM can do right now

    August 2, 2010

    The unemployment rate is twice what U.$. people would like it to be. Some Harvard Business School authors have already argued that government’s role is not associated with increased employment in the United $tates. Just calling for the government to fix unemployment might not work, and Marx provided reasons why that could be true in a situation like the U.$. one. By MIM’s calculations of surplus-value, there is not a straight-forward solution of the types being discussed in the media.

    What I find more interesting in this question is the employment-population ratio. There is now a nifty little Internet tool for data available: http://data.bls.gov/PDQ/servlet/SurveyOutputServlet

    I obtained data from 1948 to 2010. Employment of people 16 years and older never crossed 60% annually till 1985. True, it was not till January 2009 that that number fell below 60% again.

    There is no doubt that the figure implied crushed dreams of prime working age men and some would say female employment is in a bad trend too. Yet, every generation has its unique aspects.

    At 58.9% in June, 2010, the employment ratio is still higher than the 1950s numbers. Gender roles may have to change. Competent females may have pushed men aside or perhaps men are too pussy-whipped to push aside incompetent females. Given what happened in the 1950s and 1960s no one can say that there might not be a new pattern ahead for the 2010s.

    The central Keynesian proposition is over-debated and confined to a national space. Increased GDP right now means more military activity, more climate degradation and delayed intellectual grappling with how the crisis came about — various forms of waste. Maybe there are some people who really could use a break from work too, if they thought about it. Questions of trade and immigration along with cultural trends are under-debated, not that we favor dumbocracy.

    My civil rights should not depend on my stand on unemployment, taxes, Arizona’s new law or any other domestic issue. I don’t mind talking about foreign affairs seeing as the situation I am in requires allies from somewhere.

    In any case, talking to MIM on a reformist basis points to geopolitics first. If it were up to us, there’d be no unemployment and Ayn Randians would be calling us slave-drivers, but socialism is not on the agenda here, despite the delusions of the 20%. Without the international proletariat in position to fix things the way we think they should be fixed, we go to where the gains can be had more in line with bourgeois internationalist thinking. How far in the reformist direction the international economic system can go by ganging up on the labor aristocracy and gender aristocracy is more along the lines of what we can think about for buying some time for the species to survive militarism and climate degradation.

    It may be that global class struggle can be structured in a more orderly way after we seize the key link of geopolitics. Hence, in place of a domestic debate about unemployment, if MIM were forced to come up with something for right now it would be about reforming the entire global capitalist system and going from there. While some would see that as buying some time against militarism and climate change, others might see that as patching a system that might have collapsed sooner. On the whole, it’s an incalculable question, overly heavy in its implications; however, Niall Ferguson reminds us that young people make revolution. At the moment, we do not see class consciousness to allow the sooner collapse of the system with revolution right now. What we see is class consciousness developing and pushing the system down, so that more likely, developing country youth will break through more and more often.

    MIM’s readers should appreciate that most of MIM’s writing is for the youth. It’s only in recent years that the imperialists give me a ring-side seat on questions of “national security,” thereby obliging me on questions of reform and short-run geopolitics.

    MIM reminds the social-democrats that long before the current economic crisis, our position was that social-democrats stir up imperialist country fears of economic degradation, which fascism then harvests. The perverse effect of talking about unemployment all the time is sociological, not economic. The result will be guilt followed by anti-social activities ranging from alcoholism to murder to fascist movements.

    Iran and sociological time: college education and wimmin

    August 2, 2010
  • See another comparative article about out-of-wedlock births in Iran
  • See a page of articles on gender issues
  • See me complain to Theda Skocpol about having to write articles like this one

    BBC reported in 2006 that in Iran, wimmin had become the majority in college: “Well over half of university students in Iran are now women.”(1) This fact is evidence that Iran has a more advanced road to wimmin’s liberation than the United $tates.

    In the news we are apt to hear about stoning of adulterous females in Iran.(2) Next door in Afghanistan a womyn with a chopped off nose is in the news as evidence of the anti-wimmin views of the Taliban. She’s the cover of “Time Magazine.”(3)

    Iran is more than 99% Muslim(4) and ruled by a theocracy. This is liable to get the journalists in the West excited, but while we hear about stoning in Iran, we also hear about a French mother who killed eight of her babies.(5) So the question begs for asking, which society is more patriarchal, the Western society or Islamic Iran.

    There is no mystery that richer people can afford more education. Poor and working-class families cannot always educate all their children equally, and so in most societies excruciating choices are made. When families start to make more money, there is no surprise that they seek to educate their children more.

    According to the UN, in 2006, when the BBC article came out, Iran had a per capita income of $3198. The year before it was $2584.(4) What is more, the United $tates also had a female majority in college in 2006. So I am not going to compare two similar proportions. What the scientist should want to know is what the U.$. female college enrollments were when the United $tates had a per capita income of about $3000 per year. That is an example of thinking in sociological time to sort out class and gender.

    The snooty can always brag that they can afford more education for their whole families. The poorest of the poor do not make it through primary school. So the question is what was the U.$. attitude toward gender when the United $tates was poorer.

    It’s tough to answer this question. In 1967, which I just got done talking about, male college enrollments among U.$. youth aged 18-24 were about 50% higher than female college enrollments. Yet the U.$. per capita income in 1967 was about five times higher than Iran’s in 2006.(8)

    I’m lazy but experienced with data, so I already know the United $tates does not have the most advanced road to wimmin’s liberation. Just to spot my critics an advantage, I went to look up figures from 1929, when per capita income in the United $tates was just over $8000 (in 2005 dollars).(8) That’s more than double the per capita income what Iran had in 2006 according to the UN. In 1934 in the depths of the Depression, the United $tates was earning $6281 per capita in 2005 dollars. That’s a much closer comparison than 1967 or 2006. (Being only a factor of two apart also brings the method of calculating comparable incomes per capita across cultures into play.)

    Tough times you say? 1929? Even 1934? It gives one a measure of how difficult it is to understand economic conditions across cultures.

    The Britannica says there is evidence U.$. female college enrollments declined after 1929. So by picking 1929, we are spotting our critics another advantage of not going into the Depression.(9) Yet in 1929 we see again about a 50% U.$. male advantage over females in college graduation if we count two-year degrees and a more than 2 to 1 advantage in four-year degrees.

    It turns out that up till 1910, if one counted teacher’s colleges (two-year programs), U.$ females had been pretty even with males for decades.(10) I found this surprising, and it was only in looking at full four-year bachelor’s degrees where there was always a difference until recent times.

    Iran also has associate degrees for two or 2.5 years, so to make an apples to apples comparison we must dig into the four-year degrees, the universities. We can go to the bourgeois think tank Brookings, and we will obtain an answer for Iran and the Arab countries generally from Djavad Salehi-Isfahani.(11)

    If we look at his figure one, it is clear that the higher the income in the country, the more females outnumber males in the universities of the Islamic world. In fact, when the United $tates is put into the data, it shows up closer to the value for Algeria, but of course much richer. I’m fairly confident that what he found is not a fluke for the United $tates, and if he put in more countries from the West, we would see two separate lines to connect, one for the more feminist Islam and one for the more patriarchal West. It would become especially clear by putting in historical data from the West in order to see the picture of how the female proportion of college enrollments grew.

    People who grew up in the United $tates of the 1930s onward have no reason to look down on Iran regarding gender in education. In sociological time, the Iranian gender revolution was much faster than the Amerikan one, because the Iranian revolution occurred when people were much poorer. That is to say the Islamic revolution has been more feminist than U.$. imperialism.

    Even in regular chronological time,(12) the Amerikans and Iranians reached the state we are in now with more females than males in universities, at about the same time. One could even say that it was Amerikans that held back that change, because Amerikans backed the Shah up till the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Iran’s gains for wimmin came after Amerikan-backed puppets got the boot.

    Sensational stories about stoning and nose-chopping create the image of Islam that Amerikkkans are prepared to buy as they take military contracts to go to war. The media is filled with self-righteous questions about what will happen to Afghan wimmin if the United $tates withdraws from Afghanistan. Yet Afghanistan and Iran are not rich like the United $tates. Snooty Amerikans should learn to distinguish class and nation from gender. Bragging about how females have it so great in the United $tates is really bragging about the looting of the rest of the world via Ponzi schemes and super-exploitation. It has nothing to do with having a superior gender culture.

    When you are rich, you hire migrants to do the housework and raise the kids while you and your own female children go to university. It’s especially nasty to brag about that to people from developing countries.

    Notes:
    1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5359672.stm
    2. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-10832482
    3. “Time Magazine” featured the womyn on its cover http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/greenslade/2010/jul/30/time-magazine-news-photography
    4. http://planipolis.iiep.unesco.org/upload/Iran/Iran_EFA_MDA.pdf
    5. http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/Prosecutors-French-Mother-Confesses-to-Killing-Her-8-Newborns-99590654.html
    6. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa5294/is_200408/ai_n24287501/
    The same study found evidence of economic convergence only within the richer countries MIM refers to as imperialist, further evidence of MIM’s class analysis.
    7. http://www.prb.org/articles/2007/crossoverinfemalemalecollegeenrollmentrates.aspx
    8. http://www.forbes.com/2006/10/16/demographics-income-population-biz_cx_tvr_1017median.html
    U.$. GDP per capita was almost $20,000 in 2005 dollars in 1967.

    http://www.measuringworth.org/datasets/usgdp/result.php

    9. http://www.britannica.com/bps/additionalcontent/18/23270279/The-Homecoming-of-American-College-Women-The-Reversal-of-the-College-Gender-Gap
    maybe citing http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/goldin/files/homecoming.pdf
    10. http://www.economics.harvard.edu/faculty/goldin/files/homecoming.pdf
    11. “Are Iranian Women Overeducated?” http://www.brookings.edu/opinions/2008/0305_education_salehi_isfahani.aspx
    12. Gulp, Iranians are at 65% female in college as of 2008,

    http://bazardispatch.blogspot.com/2008/02/iran-parliament-and-women-in-higher.html

    even higher than U.$. figures closer to 60% female.


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