1478. Sex

Curious the way society handles sexuality. On the one and it is making sex amore youthful activity embodied in skinny packages of instant orgasm elegance. At the same time that youthfulness looks closer to the 16 year old line of don’t touch. The do-don’t world of psychic parallysis.

It is striking how deep the sexual current is yet how infrequently like an artesian well it is allowed to break to the surface. The original example of complexity? Society interacts with sexuality, not to make it easier, but to control us. Food is apparently different until we realize that food is the ultimate market. There almost is none that has not passed through the markets. Food then is used to enhance the market idea, and of course in more remote times the village market was mostly food, as in Zola’s paris marche.

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1477. Economics and political theory

It is striking to me how much economics seeks stability and equilibrium whereas politics is a study of managing conflict.

I suspect deep political and economic motives for both. What if it turns out that economics is motivated by politics (a system favoring those with money) and political thinking is motivated by economics – how to  break the concentration of those with.

Economics says hold on, politics says break the hold.

 

 

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1476. From all things shiny, dreyfus.

Quoting Moby Dick

If hereafter any highly cultured, poetical nation shall lure
back to their birthright, the merry May-day gods of old;
and livingly enthrone them again in the now egotistical
sky; on If hereafter any highly cultured, poetical nation shall lure
back to their birthright, the merry May-day gods of old;
and livingly enthrone them again in the now egotistical
sky; on the now unhaunted hill;

I treat this quote with great seriousness.

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1474. Populations, tech and belief

From
http://io9.com/how-farming-almost-destroyed-human-civilization-1659734601

Are we experiencing something similar, our old religions are maladaptive for network societies, we need a new spirituality

The problem is that people in Neolithic mega-villages had inherited a system of social organization and spirituality from their nomadic forebears. Because nomadic life requires everyone in the group to share resources to survive, these groups would develop rituals and customs that reinforced a very flat social structure. Certainly there would be families that had more prominent positions in a hunter-gatherer group or small village, but if they ever started hoarding resources too much that would be bad for the entire group. So people would strongly discourage each other from ostentatious displays of social differences.

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1473. Democrats and the country

Three important perspectives.

Eliz drew

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/nov/08/midterms-why-republicans-won/

On an insider and relation to obama policies

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120170/valerie-jarrett-obama-whisperer

Chris hayes

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/08/lets_nominate_chris_hayes_imagining_the_new_activist_democratic_base/

Obama never was  , seeks to be an insider, has no sense for  ruining the country with wars and banks.

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1472. The democrats and the country

Three important perspectives.

Eliz drew

http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2014/nov/08/midterms-why-republicans-won/

On an insider and relation yo obama policies

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/120170/valerie-jarrett-obama-whisperer

Chris hayes

http://www.salon.com/2014/11/08/lets_nominate_chris_hayes_imagining_the_new_activist_democratic_base/

Obama never was progresive, seeks to be an insider, has no sense firn ruining the country with war and banks.

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1471. Politicians will be foolish promising upward employment.

headline,

 

Francois Hollande: I will quit if I fail on unemployment

 

But the problem is, with robots and decreasing demand for products as we know them, this is hard to do. As the tide goes out toward redeploying the entire workforce in new ways, politicians will get hyper about  providing for more jobs. Looking at where the tide goes, the redeployment, is getting to be a very interesting and worthwhile question.

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1470 fukuyama on the state of the US.

article

Quoting the last two paragraphs.

Perhaps Fukuyama’s most interesting section is his discussion of the United States, which is used to illustrate the interaction of democracy and state building. Up through the 19th century, he notes, the United States had a weak, corrupt and patrimonial state. From the end of the 19th to the middle of the 20th century, however, the American state was transformed into a strong and effective independent actor, first by the Progressives and then by the New Deal. This change was driven by “a social revolution brought about by industrialization, which mobilized a host of new political actors with no interest in the old clientelist system.” The American example shows that democracies can indeed build strong states, but that doing so, Fukuyama argues, requires a lot of effort over a long time by powerful players not tied to the older order.

Yet if the United States illustrates how democratic states can develop, it also illustrates how they can decline. Drawing on Huntington again, Fukuyama reminds us that “all political systems — past and present — are liable to decay,” as older institutional structures fail to evolve to meet the needs of a changing world. “The fact that a system once was a successful and stable liberal democracy does not mean that it will remain so in perpetuity,” and he warns that even the United States has no permanent immunity from institutional decline.

Over the past few decades, American political development has gone into reverse, Fukuyama says, as its state has become weaker, less efficient and more corrupt. One cause is growing economic inequality and concentration of wealth, which has allowed elites to purchase immense political power and manipulate the system to further their own interests. Another cause is the permeability of American political institutions to interest groups, allowing an array of factions that “are collectively unrepresentative of the public as a whole” to exercise disproportionate influence on government. The result is a vicious cycle in which the American state deals poorly with major challenges, which reinforces the public’s distrust of the state, which leads to the state’s being starved of resources and authority, which leads to even poorer performance.

Where this cycle leads even the vastly knowledgeable Fukuyama can’t predict, but suffice to say it is nowhere good. And he fears that America’s problems may increasingly come to characterize other liberal democracies as well, including those of Europe, where “the growth of the European Union and the shift of policy making away from national capitals to Brussels” has made “the European system as a whole . . . resemble that of the United States to an increasing degree.”

Fukuyama’s readers are thus left with a depressing paradox. Liberal democracy remains the best system for dealing with the challenges of modernity, and there is little reason to believe that Chinese, Russian or Islamist alternatives can provide the diverse range of economic, social and political goods that all humans crave. But unless liberal democracies can somehow manage to reform themselves and combat institutional decay, history will end not with a bang but with a resounding whimper.

If we have a consensus. What next?

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