From UnwelcomeGuests
Jump to: navigation, search

Myths & errors -- Criegod 07:46, 24 August 2012 (PDT) -- Criegod 07:46, 24 August 2012 (PDT)

I just listened to most of the first half of this episode last night (before falling asleep) and i have a couple of points i want to make that are, perhaps, somewhat tangential to the main "thesis" of the show (which i haven't even finished listening to yet).

First, the idea that Lincoln issued greenbacks in lieu of borrowing from bankers is, in many ways, apparently a myth. Some people even speculate that this is a factor in why he was assassinated. Not that the issuing of fiat money didn't happen, but that Lincoln was a proponent of this (is the myth). For instance, see and many other, related links, of Gary's.

What's the first rule of U.S. history? Everything you've been taught is a lie. So it is with Lincoln. I've long felt that Lincoln deserved no praise for being almost singularly responsible for the Civil War being as bloody and decisive (until the end of Reconstruction threw all the "gains" away) as it was. Did any of the states enter the Union understanding that this was irreversible? On what moral basis did Lincoln stubbornly insist that his job as president was to keep the Union together? Buchanan was a hell of a lot better, in my opinion. He just wanted to get out of the job and leave all the troubles behind him. Brazil didn't need a civil war to free the slaves (circa 1885, i believe). The U.S. didn't need one other, but Lincoln insisted on it. He was really a bit unbalanced, mentally, i believe, to put his "idea" ahead of so many lives. A psychopath, perhaps?

My second point has to do with Robin going on about psychopathy (again). I have communicated with him privately my disagreement with him on this issue. My kind of person takes disagreement as an opportunity to learn. As far as i can tell, Robin simply ignored what i had to say. I've gone into my objections with him in greater length than i will here. But suffice it to say that if you will grant that those members of native american tribes (and examples are legion) who were willing to attack, steal from and kill members of other tribes (on a regular basis, yet) were psychopathic, then i will grant his point.

The fact is that human social factors play a role within a social milieu. In modern society the "1%" (or 1% of 1%) largely exist within an entirely distinct and non-overlapping social milieu which most ordinary people are completely unfamiliar with. Call them psychopaths (or sociopaths) if you don't wish to understand the real issues involved.

I will grant that there is something nasty going on when, for instance, Jack Welch lays off tens of thousands of GE workers (which he did when i was living in Albany, NY). But, from a social-humanistic point of view, he avoided all personal contact that would convey any of the personal ramifications of what he did to him in a direct, concrete, "feelable" manner. Being paid to be a slasher, his social milieu was, i believe, a bit unhealthy, a bit distorted, from a socio-humanistic perspective (although within the milieu they all try to make it as "normal" and "healthy" as possible). But if you want to know whether he was really a psycopath or not, you have to look at his personal relationships with other people (i contend). From this point of view, you will find that this whole idea of psychopathy/sociopathy and the idea that it, genetically, constitutes some 1-4 percent of the population extremely dubious. The problem is systemic. Within the range of normal human variability an overwhelming majority of the human population, when put into the right (capitalist) context, will behave "psychopathically". I don't claim that Jack Welch was representative of your "average" human being. I think he resided towards one end of the range of normal human variability. But the great majority of people are not substantially different at all. This is normal human variability playing out within an environment extremely hostile to what we think of as the social good.