The State-Corporate Complex: A Threat to Freedom and Survival

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    Jan 11, 2012 9:00 AM GMT
    A lecture by Noam Chomsky from 2011. It's long, but well worth the watch to provide a concise understanding of the world.

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    Jan 11, 2012 10:15 AM GMT
    Thanks MeOhMy, There's a lot going on in our world that is affecting all of us but being covered up, But if there's any population 'asleep at the wheel' its we Americans, it seems as a whole we'd rather believe convenient lies rather than search for and face the uncomfortable truth.

    One of the most glaring examples is what little ripple of dissent there's been over a supposedly progressive president Obama signing into law the government right to hold even Americans in indefinate detention, doing away with Habeas Corpus for whomever the government deams a terrorist. What a slippery slop this is. We've lost a lot for Military corporate profits to maintain this supposed 'war on terror'. Do we feel 'safer' yet? Seems to me the more middle eastern/international interference for corporate profits / 'our interests' the worse off we are.
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    Jan 11, 2012 6:26 PM GMT
    Well, there's a very simple reason for that: the State is not there to protect you, or to make you feel 'safer', or even to ensure a decent standard of living; it is there to regulate, control, co-opt, repress and dominate. That has always been the nature of the State, and of course, the present period is no exception.
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    Jan 11, 2012 10:46 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    MeOhMy saidWell, there's a very simple reason for that: the State is not there to protect you, or to make you feel 'safer', or even to ensure a decent standard of living; it is there to regulate, control, co-opt, repress and dominate. That has always been the nature of the State, and of course, the present period is no exception.


    And isn't that what we want?

    The "state" orders us to purchase health insurance.

    The "state" now dictates how many cupcake sales per year a school can have.

    The "state" controls what kind of light bulbs we have in our homes.

    It's all for the "greater good."


    You... missed the point. The threat of the state is not in regulating light bulbs, but in the regulation and repression and domination of all life; and in the case of the United States, in its domination of the world: the economic, social, political, cultural and historical domination and oppression of the world and the vast majority of its population, done for the benefit of an extremely small and extremely rich elite in America, and within the Western imperial nations more generally.

    The points you make represent the State's advances into every realm of personal and private life, simply the natural extension of its inclination towards domination of life and society. Your points are symptoms of the nature of the State, not the causal or determining factors, nor even the more relevant and important.

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    Jan 11, 2012 10:47 PM GMT
    MeOhMy saidWell, there's a very simple reason for that: the State is not there to protect you, or to make you feel 'safer', or even to ensure a decent standard of living; it is there to regulate, control, co-opt, repress and dominate. That has always been the nature of the State, and of course, the present period is no exception.


    For white Liberals, "safety" and "control" are synonymous.
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    Jan 11, 2012 10:49 PM GMT
    JackNWNJ said
    MeOhMy saidWell, there's a very simple reason for that: the State is not there to protect you, or to make you feel 'safer', or even to ensure a decent standard of living; it is there to regulate, control, co-opt, repress and dominate. That has always been the nature of the State, and of course, the present period is no exception.


    For white Liberals, "safety" and "control" are synonymous.


    And for white conservatives, what they describe as a "free market" or "capitalism" is, in fact, "state capitalism," or Corporatism.
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    Jan 11, 2012 10:57 PM GMT
    Benjamin Franklin said:They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.
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    Jan 11, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
    Noam Chomsky is one big YAWN.
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    Jan 11, 2012 11:01 PM GMT
    What most of the comments here fail to realize, and obviously the commenters did not watch the lecture, is that this is not a left-right paradigm issue: this is an issue of power, which transcends the simplistic and false paradigms set up by these very same systems, structures and ideologies of power in order to divide people into opposing camps: so that they may segregate each other and compete with one another instead of working together against the structures and systems of power that dominate their lives.

    Until you are able to discard your mythical left-right paradigm in favour of the pragmatic and logical power-liberty paradigm, you will continue parading through life with two left feet, going in circles.

    Progress and true change come from accurately recognizing present conditions, the nature of our society, how we got here, who brought us here, for what purpose, when did this begin, apply a historical understanding and then assess the direction we are headed, and ultimately, what we can do to change it.

    So long as the discourse consists of "you liberals blah blah" or "you conservatives etc.", nothing will progress, and the general well being of the whole of humanity will indeed digress.
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    Jan 11, 2012 11:04 PM GMT
    Haaretz saidNoam Chomsky is one big YAWN.


    For people raised on television and 3 minute commercial breaks, incapable of reading anything beyond a few sentences at a time, I would imagine he might be challenging to absorb.

    But for those who actually listen and investigate and do research and read, he is actually incredibly concise for the issues at hand, and impeccably well researched, succinct, direct, logical and insightful.
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    Jan 11, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    Also if there were there were some attractive men wearing little to no clothing, more people might watch it.
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    Jan 11, 2012 11:06 PM GMT
    Haaretz saidAlso if there were there were some attractive men wearing little to no clothing, more people might watch it.


    More would watch it? Certainly. But they wouldn't be listening to it, now would they?

    When was the last time you went to see male strippers or watched porn for the discussion?
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    Jan 11, 2012 11:10 PM GMT
    It is more about liberty vs. ever encroaching statism.

    Whether dealing with a Soviet style command economy or the mixed economy of the USA, it will always be human nature for the strong to prey upon the weak, and for those with power to seek to dominate and control those without, so as to prevent those without from ever becoming a threat to their power.

    Basic human nature: we all a bunch of sum'bitches.
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    Jan 11, 2012 11:12 PM GMT
    MeOhMy said
    Haaretz saidAlso if there were there were some attractive men wearing little to no clothing, more people might watch it.


    More would watch it? Certainly. But they wouldn't be listening to it, now would they?

    When was the last time you went to see male strippers or watched porn for the discussion?


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    Jan 11, 2012 11:25 PM GMT
    I've always found a lot of wisdom in Chomsky's work, though I'm rarely in strong agreement with his entire position. He sheds light on legitimate patterns and articulates the first principle issues well enough, but then, IMHO, he projects them to be more than they are. In his view, every noxious weed left unchecked will grow to the sky.

    But I'm very glad OP started the thread! Very worthwhile. The best new thread, I think, since "Noam Chomsky or the guy above you?"
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    Jan 12, 2012 2:18 AM GMT
    MeOhMy saidWhat most of the comments here fail to realize, and obviously the commenters did not watch the lecture, is that this is not a left-right paradigm issue: this is an issue of power, which transcends the simplistic and false paradigms set up by these very same systems, structures and ideologies of power in order to divide people into opposing camps: so that they may segregate each other and compete with one another instead of working together against the structures and systems of power that dominate their lives.

    Until you are able to discard your mythical left-right paradigm in favour of the pragmatic and logical power-liberty paradigm, you will continue parading through life with two left feet, going in circles.

    Progress and true change come from accurately recognizing present conditions, the nature of our society, how we got here, who brought us here, for what purpose, when did this begin, apply a historical understanding and then assess the direction we are headed, and ultimately, what we can do to change it.

    So long as the discourse consists of "you liberals blah blah" or "you conservatives etc.", nothing will progress, and the general well being of the whole of humanity will indeed digress.


    That's very true, particularly in the US Democratic/Republican paradigm. However, I think the basic problem - even with people like Chomsky, Klein, etc. - is that what we would consider the Left no longer offers a compelling vision of how government would function outside of the current paradigm. Obviously, the USSR was not real communism but even where populist movements have taken hold the vision of where they would taken people beyond a reduction of quasi-capitalist predation is sorely lacking. I'm not saying I have anything better to offer at this point, but while critiques from Chomsky et al are accurate and prescient I'm not sure we move the needle significantly without a compelling alternate vision.
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    Jan 12, 2012 2:31 AM GMT
    MeOhMy said
    JackNWNJ said
    MeOhMy saidWell, there's a very simple reason for that: the State is not there to protect you, or to make you feel 'safer', or even to ensure a decent standard of living; it is there to regulate, control, co-opt, repress and dominate. That has always been the nature of the State, and of course, the present period is no exception.


    For white Liberals, "safety" and "control" are synonymous.


    And for white conservatives, what they describe as a "free market" or "capitalism" is, in fact, "state capitalism," or Corporatism.


    Hell no. You don't remember the Tea Party? Crony Capitalism is at the top of their hitlist, as it is mine.

    But remember, in Crony Capitalism, the head Crony in the relationship is the STATE.
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    Jan 12, 2012 2:42 AM GMT
    AlphaTrigger saidIt is more about liberty vs. ever encroaching statism.

    Whether dealing with a Soviet style command economy or the mixed economy of the USA, it will always be human nature for the strong to prey upon the weak, and for those with power to seek to dominate and control those without, so as to prevent those without from ever becoming a threat to their power.

    Basic human nature: we all a bunch of sum'bitches.


    I hope you're kidding.

    You are applying an equivalency to the USSR and USA.

    There is none.

    The seemingly "scientific" economies and societies implemented by the Commies and Nazis defied actual logic (although internally, they were brutally logical).

    In fact, central economic planning, command and control etc. (and incidentally, today's "Liberal" view of money and economics in general) ultimately defy the very laws of physics, as can be shown.
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    Jan 12, 2012 2:43 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ said
    MeOhMy said
    JackNWNJ said
    MeOhMy saidWell, there's a very simple reason for that: the State is not there to protect you, or to make you feel 'safer', or even to ensure a decent standard of living; it is there to regulate, control, co-opt, repress and dominate. That has always been the nature of the State, and of course, the present period is no exception.


    For white Liberals, "safety" and "control" are synonymous.


    And for white conservatives, what they describe as a "free market" or "capitalism" is, in fact, "state capitalism," or Corporatism.


    Hell no. You don't remember the Tea Party? Crony Capitalism is at the top of their hitlist, as it is mine.

    But remember, in Crony Capitalism, the head Crony in the relationship is the STATE.


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    Jan 12, 2012 3:14 AM GMT
    realifedad said Thanks MeOhMy, There's a lot going on in our world that is affecting all of us but being covered up, But if there's any population 'asleep at the wheel' its we Americans, it seems as a whole we'd rather believe convenient lies rather than search for and face the uncomfortable truth.

    One of the most glaring examples is what little ripple of dissent there's been over a supposedly progressive president Obama signing into law the government right to hold even Americans in indefinate detention, doing away with Habeas Corpus for whomever the government deams a terrorist. What a slippery slop this is. We've lost a lot for Military corporate profits to maintain this supposed 'war on terror'. Do we feel 'safer' yet? Seems to me the more middle eastern/international interference for corporate profits / 'our interests' the worse off we are.


    Not a Chomsky fan,
    but your comments above in my sort of informal poll people who voted for Obama when asked about the detention/Habeas Corpus issue are not happy with it.

    However they trust Obama wouldn't abuse it this clearly illegal Presidential power grab. Future presidents they are not sure about, but a reason to make sure Obama stays in office. ( unbelievable)

    I find a general lack of understanding of how are Constitution works. For many a Monarchy or Parliamentary system seems to be easier to understand, and somehow the default way they think about these sort of things.

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    Jan 12, 2012 4:21 AM GMT
    No matter how worthy the cause, it is robbery, theft, and injustice to confiscate the property of one person and give it to another to whom it does not belong.
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    Jan 12, 2012 4:27 AM GMT
    JackNWNJ saidNo matter how worthy the cause, it is robbery, theft, and injustice to confiscate the property of one person and give it to another to whom it does not belong.


    Which is why we can't elect another Republican who will steal from the middle class and poor to enrich the wealthy...

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    Jan 12, 2012 4:29 AM GMT
    Christian73 said
    JackNWNJ saidNo matter how worthy the cause, it is robbery, theft, and injustice to confiscate the property of one person and give it to another to whom it does not belong.


    Which is why we can't elect another Republican who will steal from the middle class and poor to enrich the wealthy...

    FTW!
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    Jan 12, 2012 4:30 AM GMT
    White Liberals happen to think that all "capitalism" is Crony Capitalism.

    It is one of the sacred (yet erroneous) beliefs of white Liberaldom: That in order for one person to gain, another must lose.

    Fallacy of fallacies.

    To further their fallacy, they never apply the principle when it comes to the "Little People." The Little People are struggling and hurting, you see - A Little Peep could never screw another Little Peep out of money.

    I guess the world of the Little People is analogous to the quantum world. The customary natural laws (seemingly) do not apply at that low level.

    And lower is, as we know, a morally superior condition.
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    Jan 12, 2012 4:31 AM GMT
    Apparently, this thread managed to anger some people, since I just got an email from someone saying only:

    "youre a moron."

    Well articulated, I might add.