Okay…and my thinking…and when my thinking…where is my thinking? Does thinking have a size or shape when my thinking? And is there a difference between my thinking and our thinking?
From the article on Finnish education. “You must always factcheck. The number one rule: no Wikipedia, and always three or four different and reliable sources,” said Mathilda, 18. “We learn that basically in every subject.”
This is a procedure, and a good one, for critical thinking skills. And yet what is a fact? How do you know a fact? And where does a fact come from? And who checks the facts of the factchecker?
It seems to me that there is already a presupposed theory operating. And a commitment to a certain kind of logic? A logic that presuppose an objectivity that may not be real but is more like a fiction than a fact. As you are claiming that capitalism and democracy are compatible, and that power dynamics corrupt them in their ideal forms, I would strongly disagree. I would agree that power certainly can change what can be expressed but I still hold that capitalism and democracy are wildly incompatible in our current planetary crisis. Let me elaborate upon this theme…
And some example of mixed up logics from history. In 1882 married women were granted the right to own property for the first time. Previous to then a woman couldn’t own her own work, nor could a father pass on property to an unmarried daughter Her inheritance was given to her husband to administer.
When the law was changed and women were property owners some women showed up to vote. They were not allowed to vote. Only property owners are allowed to vote. But, the women declared, I am a property owner. Everyone was stuck in an impasse. This was not just a clash about power but a clash about logics. I think we need to consider this clash also when you claim that democracy and capitalism are compatible.
Graham Priest would say that was was needed to solve this contradiction is a para-consistent logic, that includes the excluded middle. Aristotle’s logic claimed this was not possible. The law of identity must be preserved.
Godel’s Incompleteness theorem, of course, changed all of that. A formal system, he proved, that is consistent and complete can’t exist. He brought into logic the tendency towards self reflexivity. Who or what decides what a fact is? This calls into question the whole idea of objectivity as a standard for truth. So, what determines a fact from a factoid?
Cady Stanton was told by the Dean of the Harvard Law School that women would not be allowed to study law at that institution because of the blood flow to her uterus would interfere with her cognitive ability. That was, according to the Dean, a well established scientific fact. Cady, who was the mother of five and spoke five languages, and was a legal scholar, trained by her father, felt that the Dean could not be right. It took her ten years of her life to research and mobilize the thinking and feeling of her fellow citizens, ( both male and female) to change the policy. She eventually won that but she did not live to see women’s right to vote happen, though she created the conditions for that to happen. Cady had a vision.
Frederick Douglass was not allowed to learn how to read or write. It was illegal in the state of Maryland where he lived to teach a slave to read. The penalties for doing so were stiff. Jail time and fines were given to anyone who would help a slave escape or to read. So, how did young Frederick learn this complex skill? As he lived in a wealthy house, and had access to the kitchen, he could grab a loaf of bread, that would not be missed. He took the bread and gave it to little white urchins, poor kids, who played on the street, who were happy for the bread. Frederick got the lads ( who could read) to teach him the strange signs of the English alphabet. He spoke years later to wide audiences in the USA and in England on the evils of the slave trade, which was a highly profitable, world wide institution, that had its base in the US South, where cotton was grown and reached England, so that garment were manufactured, enriching the owners of the slaves and the factories. Douglass was considered one of the greatest orators of his time, and through his language he persuaded many people to break with this ancient institution .He spoke of those poor white boys with great affection. Frederick played an infinite game.
Was Capitalism a driver of the Slave trade? Who profited from it? Who was destroyed because of it? And how did the US government respond to this dilemma?
And what are the boundaries between the US government, Capitalism, Science, Free Trade and free speech?
I’m most interested with the following definitions.
.12 and .13 are the most interesting in this list.
But none of them satisfy me. As you say, TJ, these definitions are just snap shots. And my response to your reasonable statement is to say," it don’t mean a thing if it aint got that swing."
And power…where is power? In my gut
And does that power in your gut have a size of a shape?
Yeah…it sort of feels like a winding shape, twisted, able to stretch, expand…strike out of my solar plexus…it can get very hot…
and that’s like what?
It’s sort of like a snake…with fangs,that can strike…
And what does that snake want to have happen?
To be left alone…stay away…I want to rest in the garden.
And what happens to that power when snake wants to rest in the garden?..
Well…the power in the snake in the gut who wants to rest in the garden … has also a snake in the head…and that snake in the head area ,a coiling , vibrating, sensation, that moves up and down the spine but can move in the cranium is much like a mobius strip…
And is there a relationship between that mobius strip in the head and the snake in the gut?
Power, for me, comes from people who know the difference between a metaphor and a simile. Power, for me, comes from people who can tell if someone is speaking the truth by listening to the tone of the speaker’s voice, feeling what is behind the speaker’s words.
Like I said…it don’t mean a thing if it aint got that swing…and if it does that that swing…what happens next?
As you may notice, TJ, I can work with definitions and with an embodied sense and I believe that you can, too.
So, can we who can do both talk to people who can only do one or the other? To skip over such differences can create a skewed view of capitalism, socialism and democracy.
The most taboo topic in US politics is socialism.
I believe in a version some of us are calling cosmopolitan socialism…or better yet, a libertarian socialism. The nuances this new political categorization create could change the left/ right divide. And this would evolve us out of the need to throw pasta at each other. Power in the future will belong to those who can diffentiate between the digital and the analogue, the virtual and the subtle. We are, I believe, making that happen.
As always, it is a pleasure to do business with you, sir…