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Fatwah / September 5, 2012

Cross-posted from OfByForBook.com

The great nullity at the center of American politics, disallowing all constructive dialog, is actually quite simple. It is the inability of the right, conservatives, libertarians, Republicans, whatever they wish to call themselves to acknowledge the growth of big government was necessary for the growth of big corporations. While the left, liberals, progressive, Democrats, whatever they wish to call themselves today, cannot accept that the growth of big corporations was necessary for the growth of big government.

Maybe it is a simple fault of history. The modern corporation was birthed at the same time as our modern republic, but left out of the great debates about power which forged the republic. What was debated were questions about centralizing government power. Those who had learned from history, such as Jefferson, and simply the experiences of the disparate legions of anti-federalists, saw the creation of DC as inevitably, over time, stripping away their own power. Yet, they did not see clearly the role the modern industrial corporation would play in this stripping process over the next two centuries.

Of course as the corporations grew, many came to understand, from the Populists to the Progressives to Labor, and there was a reaction to the growing unholy, or more accurately, the growing anti-democratic alliance between government and corporation. This new centralized system would become codified and institutionalized with the New Deal, in response to the great national economic meltdown of the 1930s, fostered by the now dominant centralized national economy. Slowly, over the next half-century, it would become clear to all who cared looking, the mega-corporations were running the show. Now, this new crisis we face is one created by the global corporation, which, problematically, has no global government counterpart, that is if you rightly discount the faltering and insufficient Pax Americana.

So, we are told the solution to the problems of centralization is more centralization. Europe should have one bank — one bank to rule them all and in the darkness bind them. While China’s much ballyhooed neo-mandarins should continue packing their warehouses with unsold goods and build ever more empty apartment blocks. And here in America, municipalities should be starved, insuring all funds are directed by DC or the one bank. And of course, all we really need to succeed are better CEOs.

What we are witnessing is the breakdown of industrial centralization, whose faults over the past two centuries have been covered by the abundance of a seemingly infinite planet, which could with a little technological manipulation provided by the great Newtonian revolution, and a lot of exploitation, provide a consumer cornucopia for 10% of a global population of 6 billion.

However, last century, brought with it a new scientific revolution, the world of biology and quantum physics. And with it the knowledge that there is no central control room for the planet’s environment, power is not of large objects, but combinations of trillions and trillions of small objects. Centralized systems become increasingly incapable of dealing with complexity, thus democracy becomes not simply a right, but a necessity.

Thus the great nut of present American politics, explain to the single mother with a couple kids buying milk and school clothes at Walmart she’s being ripped-off, though I believe she does understand, just not quite how, and from there can be launched a politics of the 21st century.

Joe Costello is the author of  Of, By, For: The New Politics of Money, Debt & Democracy

Click the cover, buy the book!

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46 Comments

Add your own

  • 1. Anarchy Pony  |  September 5th, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    “Centralized systems become increasingly incapable of dealing with complexity”

    For more on this theme, look at the work of Joseph Tainter.

  • 2. Dammerung  |  September 5th, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    What?? A good article about economics on eXiled? Shock! Yes, socialism and corporate monopolies that libs love to hate actually depend on each other to exist. If you want to kill the vampire squid you also have to kill the drug war and Pentagon. Worrying about Obama v Romney is WWE wrestling for pseudo intellectuals, and until you’re willing to give up the vast entitlement bureaucracy you’ll always have the Goldmans of the world using it as yet another reverse Robin Hood device.

  • 3. Epsilon  |  September 5th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    “Worrying about Obama v Romney is WWE wrestling for pseudo intellectuals…”

    I assure you, people that are deeply invested on Obama vs. Romney are anything but intellectuals.

    The corporate/govermental chimera won’t rest until all the wealth of the world is on it’s hands, and 99% of the world population are either slaves on a factory/mine/farm or dead.

    If I didn’t find them so annoying and clueless, I would pity the partisan peasants. Deep down they have surrendered to everything except watching their puppet candidate “win”.

  • 4. blubby  |  September 5th, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Right, the counterpoint to global corporations is not Pax Americana (that’s just a different industry sector) but the UN specialized agencies: (UNCTAD, ECOSOC, ILO, UNESCO) and blocs like G-77 and CELAC. Even some regional banks, like the Asian Development Bank, are counterweights in specific areas like labor rights. They all engage civil society so Joe Blow can help out. Corporations, through their vassal states, are at war with the UN agencies and independent blocs. More attention to the work they do would make the fight a bit fairer.

  • 5. The Real James  |  September 5th, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    What the bloody fuck!?!

    The Exile is now posting anti-federalist screeds? What’s next, ads for Brawny Paper towels? Yep, I’m a fucking tool and probably on the Koch payroll. Why? Because this article is clearly an attack on corporate power and its relation to the state, rather than a pure anti-federalist screed. But I agree, Hamilton was a suck up to monarchy power.

  • 6. The Real James  |  September 5th, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    Oh NO! I pissed off the hipstertarians! I attacked their blessed ironic attack on “both” sides. With that big Koch brothers check I can now move to Williamsburg by using J.B Hunt Transport, the most reliable transport in the business.

    The AEC hears you prayers and acknowledges you pain. We now command your sister to seal this bond between our families by putting her hand under the thigh of AEC her master.

  • 7. az  |  September 5th, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    Looks like Costello hasn’t read his Marx.

    http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1867-c1/ch31.htm

    In short, the first corporations appeared as trading companies chartered by monarchs in Europe, with the East India Company being the prime example. Funded by merchants who put their capitals together to achieve greater volumes of trade and gross profit, they undertook trade expeditions, colonized lands they had exclusive rights to, and maintained a monopoly of trade with those colonies.

    At the same time, the creation of the national debt, to fund such expenses as the military used for colonization created a constant rate of the cost of capital that would allow a measure of whether capital would be better utilized by putting it into a venture or by using it to finance the national debt. This made it possible for holders of capital to form and invest in companies based on concrete ideas of the return on their investment.

    So yes, corporations were never separate from government to begin with, and the two continue to march hand-in-hand. Government protections have of course been made — the nationalization of colonial chartered companies, anti-trust acts and various progressive legislation. However, they were made more to protect the corporations which were incapable of making judgments that would leave them sustainable — the British East India Company for example, was unable to maintain control over India and was nationalized so that Britain’s dominance over the region could continue and it could continue to be exploited by corporations which do not exclusive rights to the region, but are able to continue doing business under the state’s protection. Similarly, Progressive legislation to limit the power of corporations was made with the same idea in mind — corporations were unable to hold exclusive control over the environment and their consolidation led to production inefficiencies of the economy as a whole, such as in the case of Standard Oil controlling the price of petroleum products and insolvencies of large companies leading to the collapse of entire sectors of the economy, bringing down the rest into an economic depression.

    Today the issue is more that the labor movement, which was able to dent capital’s monopoly on the price of labor by negotiating raises and benefits, has eroded and essentially returned this monopoly back to capital. As a result, as it is not in the interest of corporations to keep wages up so that workers are able to buy the products that they make, we are back on the path of corporations having exclusive rights to setting the wages at which they hire, and as a result leading to the same contractive cycles that reduced buying power creates. While bigger government could remedy the problem by giving more protections to corporate monopolies like this one at the expense of reduced profits, it has at this point become so controlled by corporations over civil society that there are no longer any checks for them to encounter in the quest for greater profits, which is after all the corporation’s stated obligation to shareholders.

  • 8. Zirb  |  September 5th, 2012 at 9:12 pm

    What’s the difference between government and large corporations (naive textbook definitions aside)?

  • 9. COCKSON  |  September 6th, 2012 at 12:11 am

    Thanks, Joe. Don’t see a crisp link between a need for a more decentralized system of control and a need for democracy just yet, but I suppose that’s what your book is for. Looking forward to reading it.

    Best,
    Cockson

  • 10. COCKSON  |  September 6th, 2012 at 1:01 am

    btw, aec: http://nazbol.info/rubr1/9606.html

    noticed the domain went down a while back, but just saw this. not surprising, i’m afraid.

  • 11. Ticklemonster  |  September 6th, 2012 at 2:43 am

    Hey guys, I’ve got it! Let’s get everyone in on this discussion about how to ‘decentralize’ our current ‘centralization’. We need a think tank. A collective effort to decentralize is needed no doubt.

    In truth Citizens United was the correct ruling. Here’s a bit of a complex formula but I think you’ll get it: US = Corporation, got it? Ok, now let’s go further… Cambodia = Corporation. Nope, scratch that last one. Not applicable. It turns out Cambodia = Cambodia.

    To #7 Marx is still taboo, give it a good decade or so.

    To #8 There is none, provided you reside in the States or UK however Venezuela might be a little different.

  • 12. PaperMoon  |  September 6th, 2012 at 6:09 am

    Trying to read this article for the first time left me angry that the exiled had apparently started putting out libertarian bullshit articles. But on the second reading, it isn’t really libertarian it’s just completely non sensical (easy to get confused).

    Modern corporations have nothing to do with the corporations of even 150 years ago. Which were set up on an ad hoc basis to deal with specific problems and based on fixed immobile wealth (land). As apposed to the immortal unaccountable free individuals with totally mobile wealth that we have today.

    This modern corporation was created by, if anything, small government. After world war 2 the US stated to become a real democracy, a country in which the government was genuinely held to account by the people. The response to this was creating corporations that did the things governments used to. Like say important infrastructure or education. This change moved these things away from the newly created democratic sphere that gave ordinary people genuine control and put the back in the hands of the powerful. These powerful simply ran corporations now instead of government. So it’s the shrinking of government that has created a power vacuum that allows these corporations to have total power over everything that’s important to you (healthcare, education, you’re livelihood, water, housing, etc).

    Another way to put it, is do you really think the little local government of whatever state or town that’s had it’s “power stripped by central government” could really fight back against a major corporation if it still had it’s “power”? Of course not. What is a decentralised government going to do about a few corporations getting together to make a purchase on the forex exchange that tanks your currency?

    A few more things:

    Our “Seemingly infinite planet” is actually infinite, it’s not a closed system. Exploitation in the third world doesn’t create a consumer paradise in the first world. Productivity created first world wealth. Outsourcing abroad is a response to being unable to profit off factory workers that are crazy productive and have workers rights. All of that profit (from third world slaves) needless to say never get’s seen by anyone but the wealthy in the first world. And what the fuck does the scientific revolution have to do with “centralised systems can’t deal with complexity” in fact what does that even mean?

    Btw you tell that single mother that she’s being ripped of by her employer and you do it by showing her how wealthy she’d be with socialism.

    SON, YOU CLEARLY WERE EDUCATED IN A VOUCHER SCHOOL. THE AEC WEEPS FOR YOU AND YOUR SEED.

  • 13. Adam  |  September 6th, 2012 at 6:35 am

    @az

    Great analysis; and I’m sure Costello has read his Marx, but in this kind of environment, who would want to announce that? Any mention of Marx in upright society, gets the reactionary gastro juices all a bubblin’.

    On another note, in vol. 3 of Das Capital, Marx reveals the tendency of profit rates to decline over time. This inherent contradiction within capitalism necessitates it’s complete control over public forces in the pursuit of new markets. With the advent of globalization, a process that started even before Marx’s time, capitalists used cheap commodities to invade foreign markets previously closed off to them. Yet overproduction will always dog the capitalists, and the answer to that has been the increased reliance on financial mechanisms over the past 40 years which brought insane profits to the ruling class and has landed us in the current crisis. Now we see the ruling class using its age-old tactic for solving the crisis of the decrease in profit returns by using government and trade unions to force low wages, gutted benefits, and general austerity on the masses. It is a temporary solution that only ensures, to paraphrase Marx in part 1 of The Communist Manifesto, that the next crisis will be more severe and the solution even more ruthless.

  • 14. Harry  |  September 6th, 2012 at 8:36 am

    I’m looking forward to a decentralized system of control considering that the GOP will likely be in charge for the rest of my working life (20-40 years). Also, my coworkers and neighbors are really into Jesus and People magazine, so the hell with democracy. But if NYC or other salt water cities became city-states, then I’ll embrace democracy.

    But fuck that dream! Discrimination based on merit/political maneuvering or social class, or both, it is!

  • 15. http://www.ubcome.com/AsimovSaveCivilization.html  |  September 6th, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Democratic world federal government or death

  • 16. Epsilon  |  September 6th, 2012 at 9:58 am

    I’m probably going to get pooh-pooh’ed by the peasants for this, but:

    http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/09/juli-n-castros-message-what-san-antonio-can-teach-the-us-about-government-and-growth/261921/

    “In our interview, Castro acknowledged that the bedrock of San Antonio’s economy was not in bright shiny venture capital industries (in fact, the city’s information sector is shrinking), but rather in safe and conservative industries that were largely non-cyclical, and therefore recession-proof. He further conceded that the city was blessed by the most uncontrollable factor of all: geography. “We’ve got lots of affordable land,” he told me, which helps keep housing prices low. The proximity to the border creates a “constant supply of labor [that] feeds the hospitality industry” and keeps wage levels down.”

    The One Party, ladies and gentleman. If you don’t surrender your Labor laws, they will hire people that will, whatever here on in China.

  • 17. Friedmanite  |  September 6th, 2012 at 12:27 pm

    #13 Marx killed 100 millions and everything he said was disproved by neoclassical economics. Neoclassical economics have been disproved by the fact that slobering bottomtroll like myself believes in it.

  • 18. jonnym  |  September 6th, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    Costello’s thesis here seems to be that government and corporate go power go hand-in-hand even without merging together the way fascists like. I think we all sensed that, but I don’t think it’s ever been spelled out like that and I think maybe it needed to be.

    The collapse of capitalism that started in ’08 has created a weird situation where many just don’t dare fight back against the system , for fear of losing what little they have. There have always been bourgeoisie who felt that way, but now I guess we’re all bourgeoisie. The corporate overlords know it, too. Bastards have us over a barrel and they know it — if we’re lucky enough to still have a decent paying job we aren’t gonna risk losing it by trying to change things.

    So, yeah, explain to that single mom that she’s getting ripped off, she might sense it already and be angry enough to fight it — but at the end of the day, she still has to feed her babies and Wal-Mart’s maybe her only option. In a choice between political activism and feeding your kids, guess what wins?

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I see no real solution to the current situation – barring full-on, worldwide revolution which opens up all kinds of other cans of worms.

  • 19. Sir Hendersson  |  September 6th, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    Dear Zirb,
    like the lads used to say back in the great days of the East India Comapny – The advantage of being a corporation is that if it goes into the red, you can bring in the reds. Ah, good times.

    Eventually we had to bring in the reds to cut our costs on mercenaries when the ungrateful tribesmen started to resist us making civilised men out of them, one thumb at the time. Nothing good lasts forever.

    Perhaps you mean for the rabble? I doubt they even noticed the shift. But if they did, well the Company did not title the ruler of India as Viceroy. That is about it.

  • 20. darthfader  |  September 6th, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Does this book actually attempt to derive democracy from findings in quantum physics?

    Is Joe Costello a physicist?

  • 21. darthfader  |  September 6th, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    To cut the passive aggressive shit, I am not going to buy a book where Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign manager describes how antimuons tell us to reform the Electoral College so we can elect Howard Dean. I can get plenty of that crystal ESP bullshit from real life crazy ass physicists like John Hagelin and Jack Sarfatti, and plus, their books also tell me that I can fly and will soon travel to the far future by inverting my asshole.

  • 22. aec bait  |  September 6th, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    The opening graph of this article is wrong, willfully or not. as other aec’d comments hint at, libertards love to make the argument that corps couldnt exist without big gov, in fact that is their sole answer to occupys critique of excess corp influence: get rid of big gov and the market will fix corps automagically. What’s up with crypto-bottom baggers like me suddenly coming on here and trying to smear the good name of the AEC, blessed be his wisdom in improvement? See, I know that Mr. Costello said nothing about “markets,” that’s just my bagger brain playing tricks on me. And like a good bagger I cannot stand idly by while Mr. Costello sullies the honor of the Walton family, which continues to bless America with job creation and fine bargain priced stores. Have you no shame, sir!

  • 23. SN  |  September 6th, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    This article confuses the increasing complexity of the technical and sectoral division of labor, with the increasing scale of economic organizations (due to concentration and centralization of capital) with the increasing scale and complexity of the capitalist state. And then seems to conclude that decentralization is a better vehicle for democratization. The US is already a profoundly fragmented political system and elites are quite adept at playing use those 50 states, 7,000 counties and 30,000 municipalities off of each other in a competitive race to the bottom. Similarly, a single transparent and democratic currency central bank is the only rational way to organize an economy. The EU is falling apart because it is internally competitive capitalism, not because it is too big to be unified. the messy slippage of how he uses the term ‘centralization’ allows Costello to get all these different but related process muddled.

  • 24. The Idlest-wheel  |  September 6th, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    Yeah, democracy’s great, until everybody gets together to decide I get to die because they don’t like the way I express my faggotry.

    I can’t help but look at the internet when I hear about how all this populist shit is supposed to go down, and how it’s governed mainly by a few old-boys’ clubs, businesses, whoever’s skillful enough at propaganda to rally people to their agenda, and whoever’s nuts enough to spend the time needed to enforce their rules.

    Power’s eternal. Not only has the Empire never ended, but it cannot and will not end. It’s built into the fucking universe.

  • 25. damn red  |  September 6th, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    I honestly fail to see how quantum physics negates planning, it’s effects are barely felt on the atomic level alone and by the time you take multiple samples of the random behavior of particles it ends up agreeing with classical physic observations. Now if you go with chaos theory which he might have meant when he mentioned biology which had some overlap with population growth models and feedback that helped lead to it. But point is attributing uncertainty in macro scale events to quantum mechanics is something I always look on with extreme suspicion.

  • 26. super390  |  September 6th, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    #18,

    Yeah, the game of building civilization seems to work very differently in reverse. When it was on the way up, the workers had the overlords scared shitless; that’s why they sicced Pinkertons and the National Guard on them. Eventually they were worn down and cut deals with the most conservative unions based on workers giving up demands for economic democracy in exchange for supposedly permanent high wages.

    But that was the point when the rich turned the tide; dismantling modernity. When the workers were poor they were crammed together in shacks going to thes same factory and hating the same boss; when they were rich they moved to suburbs and pretended to be the bourgoisie and lost solidarity with coworkers. That in turn destroyed their interest in all forms of equality. Once they could be played off against each other again, their first instinct became to protect their jobs regardless of wage cuts, and protect their bosses regardless of outsourcing treason.

    What is most depressing about this is the proof that the Affluent Society is not a stable equilibrium point, as all us college kids were once taught. Either the rich fuck over the poor into Medieval conditions, or the poor terrorize the rich back to socialism. The middle class is a historical aberration, a transient phenomenon. But Aristotle’s point about the middle class being necessary for democracy has not been refuted, so democracy as we know it is also down the tubes, and so is the entire concept of America.

    The last practical hope is that a new economic region will reignite the ascent of labor. The only logical candidates are those which have escaped Wall Street’s grasp: most of Latin America, and East and South Asia. But the best they can manage is creating alernative Wall Streets to finance their growth. Then it becomes the same arms race between business and government/labor that happened here. But that’s assuming that pollution and resource depletion doesn’t collapse the whole thing.

  • 27. super390  |  September 6th, 2012 at 8:25 pm

    #13:

    What would happen if we had perfect competition? According to stone-age capitalist theory, then profits would decline to zero. So the entire capitalist world was built on the requirement that its basic theory never be realized.

    But if both capital and labor (and thus presumably consumers) had perfect information and mobility of money, profits would collapse, investors would move away, and then what? Would the world consist only of small shops and factories with near-zero advertising budgets and no economies of scale? Would it be like the oil glut of the 1920s and ’30s where competition was so perfect that everyone nearly put everyone out of business? Or would it be like the music industry crisis of today, where the labels give up new act development but musicians have more freedom to partner with their fans to eke out a living with a backlist on iTunes and raise Kickstarter money for an album?

  • 28. huh?  |  September 6th, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    What exactly does the author of this article envision as an alternative to centralization? Empowered regional government, I am guessing, because this entire piece was extremely vague and poorly written.

    For all I know Mr. Costello may be 110% right, but those paragraphs I read were a rambling, incoherent mess. It was like reading something written by a high-schooler.

    I enjoy exploring new ideas and all, but this blurb just isn’t up to par w/ the usual high quality writing one encounters here. Maybe someone a bit more articulate could have a few beers with the author and write out his ideas for him, because I just read a whole bunch or words that said next to nothing. You could probably compress the whole thing down to six sentences without spilling a drop of actual content.

  • 29. COCKSON  |  September 6th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    yes, joe costello is a physicist and his book provides an argument for why our belief in quantum physics also commits us to the belief that democracy is the only feasible form of government for the 21st century.

    learn more about him here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Costello

    best,
    cockson

  • 30. Trickle Down  |  September 7th, 2012 at 6:39 am

    This was a strange article.

    It was 7 short paragraphs that didn’t say a whole lot. It had about as much length as the flag picture and the book cover picture. The author seems to be advocating for decentralization, but doesn’t explain its advantages, only blames various unrelated social problems on “centralization”, much like a Tea Partier blames everything on “socialism”.

    Paragraph 1: Politics are dysfunctional because liberals and conservatives disagree with each other.

    Paragraph 2: The US Constitution probably should have said something about corporations, despite the fact that modern corporations didn’t yet exist.

    Paragraph 3: Some people dislike the rise of corporate power, which was somehow enhanced by the FDR’s New Deal. Now corporations are more powerful and multinational than any nation state. The US isn’t a superpower anymore.

    Paragraph 4: The reason shit sucks is what I will call “centralization”. I also watched Lord of the Rings. Greece wouldn’t have any problems if it had never joined the EU and China really isn’t becoming a superpower because they build apartments that don’t have tenants and they store goods in warehouses.

    Paragraph 5: Everything is going to shit because we’re running out of stuff. This is not rehashed Malthusian Economics, this is my original ideas, don’t steal.

    Paragraph 6: My hypothesis is right because science.

    Paragraph 7: Once single mothers read this article, it will start a revolution.

    I think I’ll take a pass on the book. Not to mention, the three 5-star reviews all look fake.

  • 31. DSCH  |  September 7th, 2012 at 6:39 am

    I think that’s a different Joe. This Joe worked for Howard Dean.

  • 32. Galtic Warrior  |  September 7th, 2012 at 7:49 am

    NO YOUR WRONG. READ AYN RAND SHE WILL TELL YOU HWY

  • 33. joe  |  September 7th, 2012 at 9:21 am

    @ 8. Zirb
    With the government every American citizen is an equal shareholder. (this dose not mean that shareholders are confused and misguided by the public relations industry)

  • 34. braindeadfuckface  |  September 7th, 2012 at 11:06 am

    How did the Exiled go from waging Holy War on Beigests to pimping around the work of what appears to be one of the greatest beigests of all time?

    This guy’s schtick is so fucking boring ‘Centralized systems become increasingly incapable of dealing with complexity, thus democracy becomes not simply a right, but a necessity.’

    Yawn. Not only have I heard it before but its like neo-liberalism inverted, ‘No Mrs.Perkins! There’s too much centralization in this world and it can’t deal with the complexity of the modern economy. Elderly Indian women are happy to eat cat food, that’s the glory of the decentralization (and decentralization=democracy) that capitalism provides.’

    In one interview he suggests that the solution to our problems is talking to our neighbors! Sorry, everyday regular Joe SixPack is part of the problem. What will actually get accomplished by talking to my tea partier and kock-loving neighbours? The most desirable solution would be to put them in the gulag… hey I’m not being mean…I just want tea partiers to have their conspiracy dreams come true.

    Interesting though, states like venezula who have favored state-ownership and centralization have had booming growth rates in spite of the recession (combined with a more equitable distribution of wealth than before in the country) while the experience of ‘decentralized’ neo-liberal states has been despair and cat food.

  • 35. damn red  |  September 7th, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    @29
    Great, still doesn’t change the fact that there is the correspondence principle. Large quantum numbers leads to classical results. How does the random behavior of quantum systems immediately jump to democracy is the only solution seems more like fanciful thoughts then something actually grounded in science, which runs into more problems since quantum physics there are more views then just the Copenhagen interpretation.

    I refuse to trust any claim that makes large sweeping claims based on quantum effects. Now if you can reduce government to a few quantum states then it would make sense.

    Now I can see why arguing for a more direct smaller democracy might be the only working government with chaos theory. But again neo liberals and Austrians used chaos theory to explain why markets and consumerism are the only thing that give us freedom.

    So you will forgive me if I rather not put any trust in a CEO voicing any claims about that either.

    But again it might change I will read the book as soon as it comes in.

  • 36. darthfader  |  September 7th, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    @29

    You have mistaken this Joe Costello, a physicist and graduate of Harvey Mudd College, Yale and UC Berkeley:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Costello

    for this Joe Costello, a graduate of Boston College:

    http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/OFBYFOR

    The second Joe Costello is the one who wrote this book and the excerpt above. He is not a physicist, and his credentials seem to mainly include his work with Democratic politicians, marketing work for environmentalist documentaries, and work as a United Nations representative – no physics or biological sciences background listed.

    For the record, there is also a cellular biologist Joe Costello at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill:

    http://www.med.unc.edu/cellbio/faculty-research/costello

    and a neurological surgeon Joe Costello at University of California, San Francisco:

    http://cancer.ucsf.edu/people/profiles/costello_joseph.3550

    Neither of these is the Joe Costello you’re looking for, either.

  • 37. Mr. Bad  |  September 7th, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    @ 34. braindeadfuckface

    AMEN my faggot brother from another mother, this guy epitomizes queer rejoinder academia where one faggot talks and talks and then something else happens and then we all go home. Amiright? You will all have your come to C.H. Douglas moment but it will be too late and I just hope my illegitimate children are there to rape yours before the poles flip, the asteroid hits or what have you.

  • 38. Mr. Bad  |  September 7th, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    Also, is this a paid ad placement? If so please say so, I hope it is, because if it’s not I’m ashamed to have given you $! Can’t you even shill right?!?

  • 39. The Idlest-wheel  |  September 7th, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    @24

    Also, “faggotry” was in the original post because I wanted to use something that brought up uncomfortable feelings in people w/r/t things we used to hate

    It was purposefully chosen

  • 40. Zhu Bajie  |  September 7th, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    “NO YOUR WRONG. READ AYN RAND SHE WILL TELL YOU HWY” — Garlic Wartior

    Ayn Rand is dead and was a pretty unsuccessful cult leader when alive. Even Lyndon Larouche has more (entertaining stupidity) to offer than Ayn Rand.

  • 41. Epsilon  |  September 7th, 2012 at 9:45 pm

    @34

    “…states like venezula who have favored state-ownership and centralization have had booming growth rates in spite of the recession (combined with a more equitable distribution of wealth than before in the country) …”

    Bzzzt. Wrong answer. Here’s some “booming growth rates”:

    http://www.indexmundi.com/venezuela/gdp_real_growth_rate.html

    As we can see on the recent years, is just a bubble caused by high oil prices that went up and then went down fast.

    “Equitable distribuition of wealth”. Do you mean this one?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/27/opinion/27iht-edrodroguez.html

    http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/industry-insights/energy/venezuelas-poor-bearing-the-cost-of-a-ruinous-oil-policy

    http://www.nowpublic.com/world/venezuela-oil-rich-dirt-poor

    I would like that, for once, partisan peasants would read about what they are talking about, because praising third-world dictators sure makes them look stupid.

    Also, Chavez and Co. have business with the Koch Bros. (documented on this very site) and Chevron (Dubya is a shareholder there).

  • 42. Petkov  |  September 8th, 2012 at 7:34 pm

    @41. Epsilon:
    and you REALLY expect the new York Times to say something positive about Venezuela?
    Plus that site: http://www.indexmundi.com works with Fortune 500 companies. Enough said.
    Yeah, let’s NOT talk about how badly off we are, let’s instead talk about how bad our neighbors are. An olde Bulgaria proverb.

  • 43. Epsilon  |  September 9th, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    “We” is too many people (not American). I read here mostly to laugh at the absurdity of the world and check the latest movements of the IMF/Banksta fuckers.

  • 44. Mr. Bad  |  September 9th, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    @39. The Idlest-wheel

    Nice job, if “faggotry” is wrong I don’t want to be right

    @ 41. Epsilon

    How come you get an AEC pass? Everyttime I bring up left wing hypocrisy they make my comments read look like Ryan Seacrest looks!

    http://www.hiyoooo.com/

  • 45. adam  |  September 11th, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    You know what, guys? I’m fed up. The cynicism is too much for me. We gotta believe in something in order to make things better. I know this site and its readership is partly based on a deep-seated hatred for Joe Six pack and his dip shit, bullying kids, but by gods, read some Marx, some Lenin/Trotksy, there’s fucking hope, man! The Russian Revolution was possibly the most significant historical event in recorded human history! The working class of a underdeveloped nation rose up and took power into its own hands! It’s been attempted many times, sure, but when had it ever been successful? Now, all that bullshit with Stalin was just because the workers were feeling in the dark – they’d no historical precedent for such a situation! They didn’t know how to move forward! By the mid-20s of the two men upon which the fate of human progress rested, one died (Lenin), the other was eXiled (Trotsky). Their followers were dragged in front of the firing line by the hundreds of thousands and there you have an end to all alternatives to Stalinism. The petty-bourgeois left was horrified and embarrassed by this turn of affairs and blamed not the absence of revolutionary leadership, but the innate propensity of the human being to destroy itself in pursuit of its own selfish, narrow minded interests. The postmodernists and the petty-left developed their new ideas as a result of the tragedy of the Soviet proletariat. They see the project as doomed from the get go and have infected us with their pessimism which just wants to stay in default mode, continue to get fucked by the ruling class and hide cowardly behind the bankrupt maxim “new boss same as the old boss”. This is stinking, philistine bullshit; a result of refusing to learn the lessons of history and replacing it with an ethos of cynical nihilism.

    Sorry, it had to be said.

  • 46. QUEENSLANDER  |  November 17th, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Australia has had pretty much uninterrupted benevolent and marginally competent Government since 1901, and I say that as someone who applauds fascist rule, and we have plenty of big business (most concentrated banking system on the planet, for example) and no special rules against money in politics. We’re also very “free market” (perhaps moreso than USA) but that is tempered by the world’s most Robin Hood tax and transfer system. We also have a two party system.

    The 2 major reasons why Australia is great and USA is fucked: 1) hardly any money in politics, so those going into politics usually care about the country and want what is best, and don’t get so corrupted along the way and 2) crazy executive power so that when something needs to be done you can do it. Simple as that.

    On point 2), if Obama had been elected under Westminster he wouldn’t have to negotiate like a little European pussy with the enemy; he would instead just sit in Parliament during question time, grin smugly at the Opposition and say “fuck you”. Then he’d ram through all his reforms like a boss. On point 1), there is little money in politics here because of the super strong Westminster party system; as an MP you don’t “cross the floor” like a faggot and vote on your own conscience; you toe the fucking party line like a Communist and if you don’t you get sent to the Gulag or shot (kicked out of the party). If you don’t like the party line you work within the party to change it. This all means that it is impossible to externally influence individual MPs to any significant extent; instead you gotta bribe the whole party which is nigh impossible. The result is little corporate influence in politics.

    To illustrate the above, the main crisis in Australian politics right now is that the parties have become too strongly influenced by the whims of the electorate and the political cycle. As such they’ve been stop-start, indecisive, and haven’t shown conviction; for example Labor was set on introducing a carbon tax, then they said they were gonna wait for the rest of the planet so no carbon tax, then suddenly they’re bringing it in again. As such the public is absolutely disgusted; what is universally desired and expected here is strong leadership that knows what it wants to do and doesn’t give a fuck about the electorate, the media, or the Opposition.

    My point is that you need strong executive power so a government with a reform agenda can actually get shit done. But the American system is specifically designed to avoid that, despite the efforts of Hamilton patch it up, because your founding fucktards were too scared of the even then fading threat of authoritarianism. Instead you ended up with something much worse. You could have avoided this all if you’d just been good British subjects of course; you would’ve been allowed independence when you were ready for it and the Commonwealth of America would be a utopia today. Damn shame.


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