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An Argument For dabegbugsgrrl
Here’s paradox. I think people can live much better under the present “choice set” than they actually do. A simple thing is that people are presented a series of inputs and react to these in “instinctive” ways. And the results are fairly terrible.
This is also a situation where people are being given stresses which normal evolution has not prepared them for. Still, often once people acquire the habit of distorted instinct, such habits become self-reinforcing. You can see people act in fucked-up way.
Also, there are ways around such traps, to an extent. People can train themselves to not respond to various inputs. With a bit of this, you can make the world a better place. And this doesn’t have to do with revolution.
OK, so it sounds like I’d endorse some reformism or sub-reformism here. But not really. I always say that making the world a better place is a good thing. I don’t spend twenty for hours a day in the middle of an intersection telling people they must rise-up. My point about revolution is about the ways that this present way of life is becoming untenable. So lets look again at the ways of improving life.
One thing to remember is that the training which we might give people is essentially around making life more tolerable. It goes from getting people not buy every bit of junk they see to getting exercise and thinking enough that they become flexible instead of being rigid. Alternative medicine and bodywork come, learning to be cooperative, all that.
Ah, one can look at this and see that such transformations are learning to live well with less and by such they lower the minimum survival wage. In Portland, OR, a medium sized city where I live, corporate health food stores are presently replacing the older supermarkets as the main food stores. And these health food stores operate by replacing unionized clerks who are paid $20+/hour with casual hippy-ized laborer who make $8-10/per hour. So in larger scheme of things, the lowering of minimum standards of survival is resulting in capitalism forcing people to live on that lower standard of survival.
I should also mention that these corporate health food places still intend to their “hippy-ized” workers to have the same attachment to their workplace that workers at small health food places have – they like to hire sort-of idealistic twenty-ish folks who make their co-workers their social life. Currently, they can’t find enough of these types and seem to be hiring anyone but that’s another story.
The big point I’d make is that in the longer run, when the simple methods of “making the best choices” become institutionalized, they allow the system to
And the quality of “making the best choice” is that it leaves the order of this society unchanged. This order separates the behavior of each person and only gives people relations in terms of separate choices.
And if so all the individual improvements to our lives we create with this approach simply wind-up with us collectively chasing their tails.
I would point to ways of struggling that do the opposite. I think we need to struggle in a way that gives us power of what is around us. And we need to struggle collectively for this power.
Of course, one could equally argue that the political system is where such questions should be debated. But any reasonable look at this will that it is total bleepin’ joke. Indeed, the way that voters are parceled out using emotionalistic rhetoric and hot-button issues shows how voting has become or worse as a game of empty choices (Yes, feel free to prove me wrong).