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Dec 18, 2011

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michele

I like this:

"He did not want to be a president," said Petruska Sustrova, a prominent Czech dissident and one of the first to sign Charter 77. "Ideally, he wanted to sit in a pub and reconcile quarrels."

Sounds like a good kind of president to have.

Havel is lauded as an anti-Communist dissident who helped move Czechs from Communism to capitalism in the 80's. Fast-forward to present-day USA, where Occupy protesters want to overthrow capitalism in our country. Irony?

Billy Jones

Michele, "Fast-forward to present-day USA, where Occupy protesters want to overthrow capitalism in our country. Irony?"

Now why would you make such an erroneous claim?

michele

Billy, I'm familiar with the, "Occupy is anti-capitalist!," "Is Occupy anti-capitalist?", "Occupy is more than anti-capitalist..." debate. I'm not looking to engage in one.

Havel and his compatriots endured prison in their efforts to bring capitalism to their country. In America today, protesters who camp out, bang drums, hold assemblies and speak out against capitalism don't have to fear that the government will imprison them to silence their voices.

I think that sometimes we forget what a privilege and a blessing it is to live in a nation that not only grants us the right to publicly express dissent and actively work for change, but also, actually protects us and protects our rights while we do so. This is not true for everyone around the world. It's so easy to take freedom for granted. But shame on us when we do so.

Thanks for the link, Ed. :)

RBM

Capitalism, as Communism is merely a system of codified rules.

Any system made be men can be corrupted by men.

Such was the case of Havel's Communism and that is the present case with the Capitalism of the US, presently.

To not recognize such, is the sign of an ideologue - one whose allegiance is more to an idea in their head, than the reality of actual results of that idea.

There is one commonality among all the different expressions by OWS adherents and that is the recognition of the system corruption. We are in a eerily similar spot as Havel the dissident was.

The game is rigged and it's that rigging that needs to be undone.

Billy Jones

Michele, "I think that sometimes we forget what a privilege and a blessing it is to live in a nation that not only grants us the right to publicly express dissent and actively work for change, but also, actually protects us and protects our rights while we do so. This is not true for everyone around the world. It's so easy to take freedom for granted. But shame on us when we do so."

Obviously, you're not up to speed on the latest rules, rights and freedoms "granted" to American citizens. Perhaps you should pay more attention?

polifrog

RBM:

Capitalism, as Communism is merely a system of codified rules.

Any system made be men can be corrupted by men.

Such was the case of Havel's Communism and that is the present case with the Capitalism of the US, presently.

Communism is not corrupted by man. Communism's corruption, as well as its failure, is that it attempts to reshape man in its own immage. Man is not a thing to be shaped, but rather reflected.

And that is capitalism's strength; it is a reflection of mankind's natural tendencies toward trade and competition.

Thus, much of the corruption we see today is the direct result of a slow drift from a nation constructed on man's natural competitive condition toward a non competitive man dependent on the state that molded him.

And, as I have argued elsewhere, the solution to the problem of corruption is a reduced government, as a reduction in government would dry the teat upon which corruption feeds.

Alternatively we can turn on one another and silence particular groups of people for taking an unfair share of the government's milk as OWS argues.

michele

@Billy, the Levin/McCain bill doesn't impinge on your right to protest against the government. Fling something else against the wall. ;)

Ishmael

Facism often begins with the promise of a strong state which "protects" its citizens from outside threats. Too often these threats morph into something not so much outside and not so threatening.
A familiar quote about trading security for liberty comes to mind....

Billy Jones

Michele, "@Billy, the Levin/McCain bill doesn't impinge on your right to protest against the government. Fling something else against the wall. ;)

Spoken like a true authoritarian.

Brain dead, Amphibian, "And, as I have argued elsewhere, the solution to the problem of corruption is a reduced government, as a reduction in government would dry the teat upon which corruption feeds.

Smaller government means fewer politicians to bribe. And fewer politicians to bribe means the banksters can buy influence at a cheaper price. It's called the Law Of Supply and Demand-- read about it.

The real solution is the ending of the Fed and a return to only Congress having the right to create money-- something the Republican Party once strongly advocated before they started taking bribes from banksters. But then that's probably too much for your tiny reptilian brain to comprehend when all you're thinking about is sticking it to your next fly.

Billy Jones

Ishmael, "Facism often begins with the promise of a strong state which "protects" its citizens from outside threats. Too often these threats morph into something not so much outside and not so threatening. A familiar quote about trading security for liberty comes to mind...."

True, but authoritarians refuse to recognize anything other than authorities of their own authoritarian choosing. And in choosing authoritarian authorities they too often chose those with which they agree and not authority based in fact.

Jim Langer

Somehow, none of this rhetoric sounds remotely like Vaclav Havel's own great prose. Style actually matters, as much as substance, in his case.

polifrog

Billy:

Smaller government means fewer politicians to bribe. And fewer politicians to bribe means the banksters can buy influence at a cheaper price. It's called the Law Of Supply and Demand-- read about it.

Interesting point but I do not see how it applies to our Constitutional Republic.

The number of federal politicians is codified within the Constitution. The number of state politicians is codified in state Constitutions. The number of politicians is, therefore, fixed.

Smaller government, of course, has nothing to do with the number of politicians; it means fewer dollars collected and spent. It also means fewer bureaucrats which on the whole are not yet on the take so much as in other nations. So, I don't see how even bureaucrats would effect your supply and demand argument.

Furthermore, even if your theory of S/D as it pertains to smaller government could be made, the fewer number of politicians would likely drive up the price of a bribe for the banksters, rather than down as you claim, as there would be fewer politicians to shop the the bribes to.

Remember the "store" is the politician and the bankster is the customer. Fewer stores will result in higher prices to the banksters which would result in fewer bribes sold, at least within the reasoning of your argument.

polifrog

Billy, we agree on ending the Fed and returning the power to coin to the citizenry:

To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

While it is within the rights of Congress to outsource this particular duty, it is also within Congress' rights to end the FED.

Congress has shaken off too many of its duties via the delegation of authority. In doing so it separates the citizenry from governance. There should be no veil of secrecy surrounding our currency any more than we should have to tolerate a lack of direct control (via our representatives) over the EPA.

Billy Jones

Hey Fish bait... ah, I mean Froggy,
I think you're on to something there. Occupy is calling for an end to the Fed-- will you join us in ending the Fed?

michele

@Billy, Fec recently linked to some kind of Authoritarian test, and I failed it completely.

Cunningham

I thought the Czechs were fighting for democracy and against authoritarian rule.

polifrog

We do not stand entirely apart from one another, Billy.

Billy Jones

michele, "@Billy, Fec recently linked to some kind of Authoritarian test, and I failed it completely."

I've understood for quite some time that you don't understand your own political leanings even if you think you do.

michele

LOL. I think that I probably defy political labels.

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