Now Politics: the Political Opinions of Thomas Sarebbononnato

A Friend of the People Opposing Elites; Social and Political Commentary of Thomas Sarebbononnato; Publishing and Contributing Editor, Jay V. Ruvolo [Copyright (c) Jay Ruvolo 2018]

Archive for February 2019

CURRENTLY POLITICAL, WINTER 2018, THE FALLING LEAF REVIEW, PUBLISHING AND CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, JAY V. RUVOLO

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Written by jvr

February 28, 2019 at 11:18 am

HUMANITY IS A THESIS

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Humanity–that collection of everyone here, in a common fate, on this very small planet, in an infinitesimally large universe—has been caught in a “whirpool of reduction,” as Kundera reminds us in The Art of the Novel. We have discussed some of these many “reductions,” as has Glover in his Moral History of the Twentieth Century,Humanity. We have been having this discussion for a long time, but most assuredly since the advent of that first modernism we could say was inaugurated with the likes of Montaigne.

Our discussions have borne debate; they have endured a certain distress,; they have weathered our dissatisfaction; our discontent; our disappointment,; all of them over whether any headway toward a sane and clear understanding of what we mean by the term ‘humanity’ will ever be reached for ourselves, either individually, or in the fore stated “common fate,” which is where our humanity rests mostly, does it not?

It is our commonality as a species–and I am not herein reaching for an overarching definition  of humanity, totalized in some imaginary way outside of its capabilities as a term to designate what we experience beyond culture or beyond gender–yes, our commonality is what has become the axis on which every theory or programmatic of the new humanism rotates, revolves. We are all 99.9% identical in our DNA, and this identicalness in biology sits at the center of all attempts at being humane toward others. These attempts are even aimed at those who are truly “other” than we are—whoever this we may be—and in the more traditional sense of those who are obviously unlike ourselves, but to include those who are other as either one of twins are each other for the other. There is a transcendence of culture possible in our analyses even if we never find a person outside of a cultural context. Not being outside a cultural context and that cultural context have metaphysical primacy over our humanity–our Humanity–are not the same thing.

This new as well as some forms of the traditional, humanism, also sits at the center of most of our atrocities, our inhumanity —although I do see the new humanism as being central to our atrocities, where the traditional humanism wa one from which we deviated every time we entered into atrocity after atrocity. [see Christian humanism]

We do not live biological lives as much as we do cultural lives; of course; yet and still I have to insist that humanity is something that transcends culture. Although it is there in culture that we maintain our identity as that identity is framed by, supported by, social conventions, we need to understand that the complex of human in the mind is something that in every individual is greater than the forces of identity as a social construct–super-ego, as Freud would or might call it, does not have greater weight by necessity than does ego or Id.

The fact that the idea of a supremacy of culture over one’s humanity or humanity in general has easily been used to support the most heinous of human political programs—a neo Nazis anti-semite might reason as thus: But why is it that we believe that this common biology should inspire us to respect each other extra, love each other more deeply, be for one another as brothers and sisters. . . nothing wrong with the latter, eh, unless we examine some simple facts: Murder victims are killed most often by people they know, and that means most people who are murdered are so by family, friends, neighbors, co-workers or other acquaintances. The fact that we are 99,9% related genetically does not in itself guarntee that anyone will feel brotherly love unless a metaphysic of brotherly love were adopted by all of humankind, which would mean to adopt the kind of humanism that would be pan-humanism for a pan-humanity transcending culture, race, linguistics, religious dogmas and gender or sexual orientation.

This “common fate” is other than just a biological harmony among humans. I am also 98% identical with a chimpanzee; I am not–although obligated to respect another species, as we often say in our efforts to sound as if we were humane creatures. It’s not a crime to kill a dog.

This usually results in painting the human as a new Adam—no, I am not going herein to argue for broadening our sense of humanity to include other animals. And thus a special problem arises—our animal nature. What do we do with our animal nature? How is it that we address such a duality in each of us: human and Homo Sapiens?

Much of Native American, or African, tribal wisdom has returned in our contemporary biology; there is an intricate web of interconnection between the cosmos and ourselves, our being. But without a further exploration into the realm we call ontology, anything said hereafter might prove a bit unwieldly to manage. This too will be discussed in the upcoming pages. For now, let us consider what our responsibilities to the future are, perhaps Any future that will not share our cultural heritage, our cultural bigotries, dogmas, manias, et cetera?

In a well organized, thesis driven essay, of about three pages in length, discuss how Kundera, in The Unbearable Lightness of Being addresses this question of our responsibility to each of our own humanity and our collective humanity? Do not forget to use evidence from the text; be inside the text. Quote often to support all assertions and conclusions. We will work out in revisions the most effective ways of using quotes.

Written by jvr

February 27, 2019 at 12:28 pm

Just What the Doctors of Spin Ordered

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A Brooklyn woman who has been a member of the American Jacobin Party speaks of contemporary politics in the City of New York and Washington, singling out one of our contemporary political darlings, the pseudo-socialist, her alleged socialism self-pronounced; herself being the space created by Power for the now mimicked subversion to emerge in order to give us the illusion of subversion to forestall any potential radicalism of our politics.

Now, Any member of this (well-imagined) American Jacobin Party would find Congressperson Ocasio-Cortez only a diverse exemplar of the status quo. Congressperson Ocasio-Cortez is only going to aid the Power and the Monied elites keep what they have; because she will only attack middle income as part of her design to help lower income; and she wont’t even attack the middle income levels that allow her 90% White hometown to have an annual average income of 100k; those 9.9% after the top 0,1% will be left alone. The bottom 5% of the top 10% won’t even get a sideway glance. It will be the bottom of middle income she will seek to attack, just as New York state raised minimum wage jobs by nearly 100% while not mandating a proportional increase for those who had been previously making 15 dollars an hour, or 17, or 22 et cetera.

This runs completely consistently with Orwell’s analysis of poor and working poor and middle income strata in a society and how they act and react to each other politically and electorally, most often manipulated into separation by politicians targeting one to the exclusion of another, one of the others similarly affected; much the way we have hermetically sealed race completely off from class and class dynamics and class struggle.

Almost as if the Director of the program where I work should get nine thousand dollars less a year, so that both office clerical help can each get three thousand dollars more a year. Where does the other three thousand dollars go, to raising the salaries of congresspersons. I have yet to find that she is anything but a lot less than genuine.

I had a friend of mine ask: Why cannot Congressperson Ocasio support the 15 dollar per hour minimum without capping the top level staff in her office at 80k. The staff currently paid 80k would have been paid 125 to 150k, but are now capped at 80k. So, instead of making this a fight against the monied elite, it becomes an attack on the mid-Middle Class from lower income. A great example of how the Power and the Money use members of the middle  and lower income strata to drive a wedge further and deeper between lower income and middle income. I genuinely do not know, so please answer, if someone has the facts: has she offered to lower her salary, not to take it, or to put some of it in a pool to pay her staff?

Perhaps someone has an answer because the one I am formulating is going to take a bit longer than I have herein available to me while writing this. I could leave this for another article/essay.

The devil, in many of the folklore of peoples who have the Devil or devils, always comes in the guise most appealing to you–beware if you like her, which I did. Beware if you put too much faith in any politician.

 

 

Written by jvr

February 26, 2019 at 12:49 pm

STATES ACCEPT MURDER AS A MEANS TO REDUCE UNEMPLOYMENT [FICTION]

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“What is really behind DeBlasio’s elimination of stop-and-frisk? We could ask; I am now doing such: what is behind this seemingly pro-active support for civil liberty? I know that most of us did believe and continue to think that Mayor De Blasio’s policy change in the matter of stop-and-frisk was motivated by a need to strike a chord for liberty and for equality. It seemed then that he was, and it continues to seem now that he is, fighting endemic racism because the principal target was designed or in effect became young African-American males in areas of the highest incidence of civilian shootings, that is, as we correlate, murder. Racism rearing its hideous visage in state policies, most heinously by police forces, was something De Blasio set himself the task of addressing even before he became Mayor. How is it that we miss the fact that all policies are police measures of a kind, and that all police actions are themselves policies of the state, is another essay. But De Blasio’s motive is the question now, although pin-pointing that motive will be next to impossible. What then do we ask? How then do we see his measures–his new policies aimed at relieving tension and stress in African-American communities, especially with respect toward the policy of stop-and -frisk, has resulted, many believe, including the Manhattan Institute, in a rise in the city’s murder rate,” she said.

She continued, “Were there African-American supporters of stop and frisk? I imagine there were. What were the rationales? I am not naive enough to think that African-Americans can be represented monolithically. Now, if there were African-American supporters of stop-and-frisk, are there African-American detractors of De Blasio’s policies on how to police? I am sure there are. Where are there voices? Do they not fit into the packaged ideas the media wants us to receive and swallow, in this instance, on just what race relations in America, particularly our urban centers, are?” She asked.

“What was De Blasio’s real motivation behind the elimination of stop-and-frisk? Hasn’t The Manhattan Institute just recently drawn a correlation between the rise in New York City’s murder rate–a rate significantly greater in the arc of its rise in African American communities than for the city as a whole–and the elimination of stop-and-frisk? Is it true that stop-and-frisk had an impact on the decline of murder in the city as a whole and in African American communities specifically?” She asked.

“So then,” she concluded “beside naivety, what could have compelled Mayor De Blasio to eliminate stop-and-frisk? Could the real reason behind DeBlasio’s elimination of stop-and-frisk be that State’s are always going to be wiling to accept murder as a way to reduce unemployment? Could it be that instead of creating jobs to combat African American unemployment, we create a condition where more young African Americans are murdered? If we can also do this while allowing the efforts, that is the new policies, to parade about in the cause of liberty, especially for minority groups, that is, people of color, all the better. De Blasio uses freshman level introductory sociology and race studies to justify raising murder rates as an acceptable measure in the fight against unemployment, or so it seems to me,” she said.

She went on to say, “The fact that virtually no one sees this as such only means to me how much most of the allegedly educated in our society are ruled by the received ideas disseminated by the media elite at the behest of the power or monied elite. That De Blasio can be hailed as a liberal defender of minority civil liberty at the same time he can employ traditional Statist methods for reducing unemployment by raising murder rates is a trick worthy of Old Scratch Himself.”

Written by jvr

February 25, 2019 at 12:53 pm

GUILTY, NOT GUILTY

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No one is ever declared innocent in an American court of law. Innocence is not the issue to be settled by trial. There is only guilty or not-guilty at the end of any trial in a court of law. This presumes there must be something valent, something viable, something credible in any suspicion that brings a person to trial. In fact, the court is not even interested in guilt. There is guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and that’s irrespective of actuality. There is something of the art of performance in court trials; they are theaters. There is something of sport in them too; they are games to be played on a field, so to speak, with rules of foul and fair, can and cannot.

Trials are places where we weigh evidence and testimony to judge guilty or not guilty. Every trial hangs in a balance; the balance itself one of the symbols of justice. You can see her atop many municipal courts; the blind folded lady holding up a balance in her hand. Yes Justice is blind as Tiresias is blind. Their blindness not the same as Oedipus’s blindness, or Lear’s.

The two sides of the scale are hinged, thus extremely close as are guilty and not-guilty separated bt a razor’s edge that cuts sharply. Remember, we the people are only “innocent until proven guilty” in a court of law; innocence, though, it must be reiterated, is only a presumption, a convention in the playing out of the trial. Once a person is a suspect in any crime, or even the potential of a crime, he is not innocent. There are in this act suspicion or being a suspect only degrees of guilt, form most guilty to least guilty; from maybe guilty to yes, guilty, or no, not guilty, this latter only after the fore mentioned trial.

Once a suspect goes to trial, he is only ever either guilty or not guilty. There is no longer the sense of innocence.  The latter of the two, guilty or not guilty, is agreed on only if there is too much doubt over the evidence to say guilty. Yes, it is true that an innocent man is not guilty, but it is not collaterally true that a not guilty man is necessarily innocent. O.J. was not declared innocent. In face of occurrences historically where innocent black men were frequently found guilty in courts of law, finding a man not guilty who for many was certainly not innocent, was an instance of justice being met, or at least I have presumed. The police do not pursue innocent people, understand. This is why it has to be established as a convention to be upheld, presumed innocent. But since when, in anyone’s mind, is a presumption a positively reenforced action or position?

 

Written by jvr

February 22, 2019 at 11:36 am

A Piece of the Main

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A huge mistake that many college educated under forty here in America make when calling Trump a Nazis is their gross error in imagining that the Nazis had initially garnered support through raising the specter of the conspiring Jew, tapping into veins of antisemitism in the German political geology, if you will. This is in error on a number of points; the first people targeted, and the great unifying force, in the late 20s and early 30s, even garnering support from German Jewish Bourgeoisie, was to attack social deviancy, as it was maligned, targeting homosexuals and transvestites and pornography and prostitution, along with their first great enemy, the communists–in fact, their only tactile opposition was the communists.

The Jews of Germany were too assimilated and mainstream to attack right up front and/or singularly; even policy measures against Jews were carefully calculated for the effect it would have on German economy, German social functions; that is, until the final solution was passed in 1942, yes! I had a history professor in college whose father was a Furier doing business in Germany until 1940! She wrote a book, the title of which I have forgotten. I will insert it when my research is completed.

Yes, in 1929 there were many victims of the Nazis to come who found themselves agreeing with Nazis speeches in the Platzes of Berlin when the targets of those speeches were Gay men, lesbians, transvestites, prostitutes and communists. Even when they rounded up Gypsies long before the Jews because it was so much easier, it was okay. It was not until April 26, 1938 that German law required Jews to register their wealth. On March 1, 1938, it was decreed that Government contracts could no longer be awarded Jewish businesses which means until 1938, Jewish businesses had acquired government contracts under the Nazis.

 

 

Written by jvr

February 20, 2019 at 12:05 pm

KETTLES, POTS AND POLTICAL FRYING PANS

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Pots and kettles must fill our dreams. We are caught now, as we have been for decades, in a Political Party Ping-pong that holds as much fascination as that other  favorite American past-time, baseball. We suffer the delusion that Democrat and Republican manifest real differences on the stage of the State, when in fact they are all of a piece. Rhetorical hop-scotch is another game we play; ethics, politics, even our families are situated in one or another square we hop into from another. Identity is therein contained, a board drawn by our media who tell us who we are, what we are, when and where we are. They draw the boxes.

There is no  Truth in America, none that we believe in as a noble pursuit. We have succumbed to a materialism as gross as the one that subsumed the Bolsheviks. There is only material; there is nothing of spirit. We no longer believe in any Absolutes, and thus we have abandoned Truth and all the little ‘t’ truths that accrete in the former’s evolution.  What we are left with is the Will to Power, and how we imagined that this was going to give us greater freedom is impossible for me to imagine, not while we further the transformation from a People to a State serving Public, which is what the Public is, has always been, the people in service of the State. It’s not only Media Presidential Candidates we are faced with every election, candidates formed by the media to meet our wants, not as they had been rooted in real needs and rational discourse we could engage with power as The People (that is, Jefferson’s We the People), but a media formed Public from the material of the People, one that has been formed by a Media that is more than the message. The media shows us who we are, not by what we are in ourselves but by what we must become according to the needs of power that the media elite support.

The First Amendment has been under assault from the Left as well as the Right, and the semi-literacy and systematic under education of the college educated class of the last quarter of a century or more has only aided this consolidation of power. How we ever hoped to manage liberty or democracy with as poorly as we read and write is beyond me.

We do assume that there are ideological differences between Obama and Bush when they are, in fact, flip-sides of the same coin. They are of one minting, and it is a tribute to how endemically racist we are that we imagined Obama had a hotline to the little man and woman because he was black. One is the oil gangsters’ baby and the other the bitch of the bankers, but this is only a small part of the picture.  The differences among the Presidents of the past fifty years have not been heartening to anyone committed in his life, engaged, as the Existentialists used to say, with Liberty and Democracy. There are no ideological differences from among Reagan, Clinton, Bush I and II, and Obama–none. The difference today is in the critique, the level of the critique, the focus of the critique. Too much of multiculturalism has been co-opted by the media and the bureaucracy; it has thus lost its edge, has become Status Quo, and has been used to change the color and the dress of the old power establishment. Power has become multi-culti, that’s all, and those who are in hegemony from among the various groups in the new critique have made their pact with the Devils of the elite. In our degraded literacy, thus our degraded ability to manage and use rhetoric, thus degrading our ability to fulfill our responsibilities as citizens, we are all of us living “The Emperor’s New Clothes”

Written by jvr

February 18, 2019 at 12:15 pm

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