I spent the day in Canada (Toronto where I gave a talk on Zombie Economics last night). As in Australia, it’s now called Remembrance Day, but its a much bigger deal here, with lapel poppies de rigeur and two minutes silence observed in public venues.
If only we could mark 11/11/11 with a new armistice.
21 thoughts on “Armistice Day”
Julia Gillard keeps leading me to totally dislike her and everything she stands for
on the one hand she spoke of the sacrifice of those who have fought (to defend a way of life that we would now probably label as communist)
and on the other she ushered in the US to yet another unwanted military base
i guess they run focus groups to find out what aussies actually want
if so then what a slime race we are
If these remembrance days were remembered for the complete waste of life and the unnecessary misery associated with militarism and war that would be good. But if they are instead simply a recruiting tool, I would do away with the day.
Peak Oil Poet, I’m interested in your description of ‘…a way of life that we would now probably label as communist’. Could you elaborate?
back in my parents days the people (ie we the people) owned:
all of the roads
all of the banks
all of the services
all of the medical infrastructure
all of the education system
i’m sure others could add more to the list
roads were free
banks never needed bailing out
all, every one, of all government services were free with almost no exceptions
all hospitals were free and most medical
education was free
i’m not saying it was good or bad
and i’m not saying it was not anachronistic
but for much of what it was if it was painted today it would not be something we would defend
so what do we defend?
i don’t think we defend anything anymore
we are just lackies to the military-industrial complex
You’d think the “people’s” party would be more on side with the working classes instead of robbing them to pay for weapons and bloodshed
but like i said, i am very sure the average Aussie wants us to be aligned with the US terrorist state
i know my old school friends mostly do
because they fear the Chinese and expect them to invade sooner or later
Interestingly this fear of the chinese is far from new and we do defend something, we defend the right of every citizen to become a bastard like james packer. you never know, every dog has his day etc ……
@The Peak Oil Poet
Dear Pop (Peak Oil Poet),
I agree with you (in part). Our way of life back then was as a Commonwealth (of Australia) based on the common weal, meaning the common good. That has laregly been lost to coporate capitalism. The soldiers who fought to protect that Commonwealth would not recognise the Australia of today. They would regard Julia Gillard and the current Labor party as extremely right wing, snobbish and pretentious. They would rubbish it and Julia remorselessly.
I might mention that prose (including proper sentence structure, capitals and full stops) is easier to read and better at conveying everyday, economic and political ideas.
You described utilities as publicly owned which is not communism. Communism is where employees own means of production (of capital which includes services) as in employees owning all of the corporate shares and with it the profit, not about owning public utilities. Private owning of all utilities is a new system without name that comes from fascist ideology and had no precedent in history.
Many civilisations have had systems for distributing water throughout urban areas and in the countryside. Presumably these were state owned in at least some cases. And whether these services were charged for directly or not, presumably they are correctly described as public utilities. Were these civilisations fascist? And if they were I suppose that would also make them ultra-historic?
I believe that you took opposite meaning of what i wrote. Fascist ideology where corporations own government and crux of it is that government is bad and private sector always does better job. No matter history of things that only government can do: Standardized and united education, communication, electrical and energy grid, banking system, post delivery, police and health care throughout one country. In short utilities can be created with one and united standard that is essential to a modern economy only by government. Imagine traveling from one state to another and encountering different traffic signs that you do not know the meaning of it, then stopped by police that treat such conditions with arresting you while in your state you would be only fined for it. That’s how corporation do it while they fight out who will own the new standard. As in dvd fight, blue ray disc fight and so on and on and on. Imagine in one state they teach creationism while in another they teach evolution, all within the same country.
Fascist ideology is forcing the government to give up utilities to private hands, first by private banks incurring the debt then transferring that debt onto public and then forcing the state to reduce that previously private debt by selling utilities. That’s why banks should be treated as utility. In my opinion that is the crux of the neo-liberal policy.
I agree, banks should never be bailed out no matter how much economic disaster it will cost when it collapses. Bailing out banks will cause multi-billion dollar corporations investing in speculative bubbles without the fear that it might fail. Also this will be used as a precendent-like tool when they fail again in the future will they blame the government if the future government refuse to bail them out. Corporates have already forgone much of they responsibility such as preventing environmental damage and social damage. If they are now loose of their own responsibility to invest wisely, then the economic will go bust anytime without a doubt.
“While the poor and middle class fight for us in Afghanistan, and while most Americans struggle to make ends meet, we mega-rich continue to get our extraordinary tax breaks,” – Warren Buffett
Nothing much changes.
“I might mention that prose (including proper sentence structure, capitals and full stops) is easier to read and better at conveying everyday, economic and political ideas.”
gee, who’d have thought eh?
here’s some things to ponder
if i asked an english speaker what he thought the linguistically most advanced languages might be he’d likely think maybe of Esperanto but he’d be very unlikely to consider that english was not near the top of the list
but he’d be wrong – there are more evolved grammars and there are languages which have had quite recent redefinition
the reason english is not such an advanced language is that once a language gets written down it can fall prey to evolution constraint – the so called “rules” are imposed by the educated and consequently prevent the very natural tendency of languages to evolve along lines of practicality
the second thing i might add is this – if we as humans must change our ways of seeing the world where is it not more valuable to start than by attacking our presuppositions about the “rules” of our language?
the third thing i might point out is that i recall a study that those who tend to see the “mistakes” are less likely to see the message – but not just where “poor” grammar or punctuation is involved but in all cases of message conveyance (sorry it was a while ago and i don’t have a link but i got it from an article about how Steve Jobs fired someone for correcting his spelling or something)
lastly i might add this
i have a brother who is a little ethically challenged at times. He hides this behind a facade of “properness” – claiming to have high moral standards
one day i was in conversation with him and i noticed that if i cussed he’d flinch and lose track of the conversation
so i steadily and purposefully wove more and more cussing into the conversation until it got to where i was using so many cuss words that they outnumbered all other words – it was a bit of a challenge actually
then he finally stopped me and asked why i “swore” so much
my answer was “because you always react”
as a student of linguistics and formal grammars i’m not so impressed with the “rules” of languages – and having studied a few languages that make people jump through hoops to perfect such that they are used very pointedly as part of a class system i’m not to worried about upsetting anyone who struggles with how i write
but if you are anything like my brother
you wont get it
Reading your book on my new kindle. Enjoying it very much. I didn’t expect to laugh out loud but I have on occasions. Even zombies have their funny side I spose. Cheers.
The state and federal governments have never owned *all* the banks, medical infrastructure or educational institutions.
It appears you are hankering for a time that has never existed.
I am not hankering for your prejudice either Bobalot, if you read the last sentence i am hankering for state to treat banks as utilities, not to own in. The country you live in does not own banks, medical or educational infrastructure but some other countries do. UK owns almost all medical infrastructure, most of the eastern Europe does own education system, Sweden and Switzerland treat their banks as utilities with strong regulations so they are still solvent comparing it to other banks in countries where neo-liberal policies took hold.
Banks are necessary utility for economy just as electric power or telephones are essential to us. In 2008 Ali Velshi recommended creating a brand new banking system instead of bailing out the totally messed up old system. Using TARP money for base for new banks. I read somewhere that Obama considered such measure but US hegemony that was implemented trough old banking system was more important then doing the right thing.In the end, i believe, both efforts will go down in flames.
@The Peak Oil Poet
Well Pop, I guess you can’t be told. I indicated an area of genuine agreement with you first (partly to induce some good will) and then I made a mild constructive criticism. This prompted a long, and it must be said, rude, arrogant and pseudo-intellectual tirade. Your chief delight, by your own account, is to find what antogonises and discommodes people most and then pursue it to the hilt. In this you would be successful, particularly in your bruitistic doggerel, if anybody ever bothered to read you. Avoiding “caps” does not instantly turn you into e. e. cummings nor does it make you in any way avant garde.
you are right
i wont be told 🙂
Thanks, Ikonoclast. I’ve always said it’s OK to feed the trolls once, but after that, well, we all have better things to do with our time. As you’ve responded twice, and have politely said what I’d politely say, I figure on average you and I have both fed the troll.
So, read any good books lately, apart from (plug alert) Zombie Economics (/plug alert)?
No, I haven’t read any good books lately. But then I tend to believe no good novels at any rate have been written since about 1901.
Europe is starting to look like it is run by the zombie economists. They want to implement pro-cyclical policies. That is, in a recession they want to cut government spending. It’s the textbook perfect way to turn a recession into a depression. That is, if you read real economics text books that base their anlaysis on empirical investigation rather than blind ideology.
Armistice Day. Geez they were good in their day. Not that this is anything like their best stuff.
(This second submission of the same post includes corrections to the date of JFK’s assassination and the number of years which have elapsed since then.)
Next Tuesday 22 November is the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The whole world is indebted to JFK more than to any other single individual in history for preserving the peace and, on no less than three occasions, preventing global nuclear holocaust. I think it is time we commemorated JFK’s selfless bravery and his sacrifice no less than we have just commemorated the bravery and sacrifice of tens of thousands of Australians who have fallen in the two World Wars and other wars of this and the last century.
It is most instructive to read President Kennedy’s speech to the American University on 10 June 1963, 5 months before his murder. Here are some excerpts:
“We do not need to jam foreign broadcasts out of fear our faith will be eroded.” (Contrast that to NATO’s jamming of radio broadcasts from Libya during its recent invasion.)
“Above all, while defending our own vital interests, nuclear powers must avert those confrontations which bring an adversary to a choice of either a humiliating retreat or a nuclear war. To adopt that kind of course in the nuclear age would be evidence only of the bankruptcy of our policy–or of a collective death-wish for the world.”
“World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.”
“So, let us not be blind to our differences–but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved. And if we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity. For, in the final analysis, our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”
It is also most instructive to compare JFK’s words and actions with those of President Barack Obama and his unspeakable predecessor who, between them, have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands and the devastation, so far, of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya. Let’s hope Obama and his new Australian Deputy Sheriff can be stopped before they do the same to Syria, Iran and — who knows where else?