Bare Bones Biology 342 – Fear

I have said (not very loudly) that America has become a nation of cowards. Red-faced bullies, pushing other people around, and shrinking do-gooders rationalizing that everything is OK if we “care” deeply.

And this at a time when we are faced with collapse of our Biosystem and the ongoing destruction of our constitution, that are basically caused by behaviors of our modern corporate/political/economic system – the corposystem.

 

1611239-brazoscliffs-asc_8507rlss-copyCorposystem behaviors (like human behaviors) are encoded in what could be termed “world views,” with the difference that the corposystem is not human in the same way that you and I are human, and the corposystem doesn’t care about things that humans care about, such as compassion, happiness, fear and hatred. The corposystem is a system – a different kind of system from a person; it has no central nervous system. That is, it has no brain.   And also no nerves and sensory receptors. It does have channels of information flow, but it has no feelings and no soul, no compassion, no way to process the information wisely.

 

The corposystem doesn’t “care,” because it is not a person. It is a money-making system that survives and only can survive by growth and more growth, without regard to the harm that this growth is doing to the people it uses to make the money.

 

The corposystem world view (its emergent properties), those that lie behind its destructive behaviors, can be summarized as growth by domination for corposystem gain.   What that means in this generation is growth of the population and the economy in order to make a profit, at the expense of the other systems that make up the Life system of Earth. The other systems are you and me and all other living species.   The corposystem is running out of resources from the environment – it leaves you and me and all the people to fight over the scraps. That’s how it makes its money.

 

Growth by domination over all of Life.

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And even though we, all of us are victims of the corposystem — instead of challenging the corposystem ethic, “growth by domination for profit,” most of us – apparently more than half – are resorting to a thousand rationalizations or blaming someone/something else.

 

We work assiduously to prove that our way of life is not coming to its painful end, trying harder and harder to maintain and validate our insane belief in the possibility of infinite growth, rather than working together to get rid of the cause of our problems.

 

His Holiness The Dalai Lama has said:

“If you want to get rid of painful effects, you must get rid of their causes.”

And Wisdom is: “analyzing the facts and discerning the actual situation.”

 

Denial, rationalization, blame-placing and ignorance never solved anything – certainly cannot change the Facts of Life. The way to deal with a factual problem is to respond to it in ways that relate to the root cause of the problem. The root cause of the problem is the Fact of Life that nothing can grow forever. The problem is that we (or at least the corposystem) are not willing to cut back.

 

161115-standingrock-asc_8184rlss-copyThe truth is that we humans have understood and predicted the primary root cause of our major current human problems for a couple of hundred years at least. And now we have hit the wall.

 

The root cause is excess growth. The rest of it – including climate change and economic failure to thrive and political chaos – are the symptoms that arise out of the excess growth. That ONE CAUSE generates MANY SYMPTOMS – that’s the way nature works — and we will not succeed in dealing with the symptoms unless and until we also find the courage to address the cause.

 

Balance is sustainable, growth is not.

 

That is a fact of biology, physics, chemistry, Life; in fact it’s a basic fact of our universe, because our universe consists of naturally evolved systems that can only survive if they maintain their balanced relationships with the other systems that together make up the whole. Growth for any reason is not long sustainable. Growth by domination for gain is not sustainable, like it or not, believe it or not.

For example, this growth cycle cannot go on forever:

growth-cycle

 

If we look at the facts, we can see this cycle and similar interdependently linked cycles that describe the way the domination ethic creates more domination, and the craving for profit creates more craving for profit, and none of the people can have all these things, until the balance among them is lost and the whole shebang crashes into chaos. And of course all the cycles are linked together in the phenomenon of LIFE. All are related to hundreds of other systems that make up the whole of our corposystem.

 

I choose to talk more about growth, domination, gain because they are the downside of the corposystem world view that will lead to our destruction if we continue to be controlled by it. Of course we know the three-fold path of the corposystem, growth-domination-gain also has an up side No system is all bad or all good, and the three-fold path has benefits along the way to its certain ending.

 

The up side includes other linked cycles such as those of compassion and communication, that also characterize our corposystem. Otherwise we would have gotten rid of it long ago. However, the three-fold path is not sustainable. It is a Ponzi scheme and it will crash (because it is not in balance) if we do not take charge of it and force it to change — and soon.

 

The corposystem is a Ponzi system, and no Ponzi system can grow forever. You can research this for yourself. For two big reasons and many little ones. The first big reason is that the system of humans cannot survive if it eats up all the resources that it needs to stay alive. Our human resources do NOT come from the supermarkets and banks. Our resources grow in the Biosystem and the corposystem harvests them and sells them to us as part of its profit-making ethic.

 

The second big reason is that systems grow by levels of organization – not by more and better. Levels of complexity. Every new level is more complicated than the one before, and then if the system continues to grow it becomes again more complicated and the old way doesn’t work anymore. You can see this happening to the corposystem. We can see this in our biological history. Our own bodies are a complex system that is made of smaller systems that work together to maintain our own Life. This is the Law of Life of the whole universe. If we took one cell, and the cell is a wondrous thing, and blew it up to the size of a person – it would not work, because people are several levels of organization more complicated than a cell is.

 

If we continue to “fix” all the old processes (our constitution, our banks, our communications, our World View) to avoid backing off on physical and economic growth, then everything you are fighting for will collapse around us. And there is no way for humans to fight for anything if there are no humans left on earth. That’s the way it works.

 

The corposystem has brought a wondrous outpouring of human creativity and compassion that would not otherwise have occurred. But these CANNOT SAVE US and CANNOT BE SUSTAINED unless and until we are willing to make a genuine effort to establish a balanced corposystem – to control the growth, and the domination ethic and restructure the human gains that the system generates — not one or the other, but all three – but the restructure can wait, if we survive, and we will not survive the overgrowth of our resources, so the primary root cause that must be addressed now and forever is overgrowth by overpopulation.

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Even the wondrous up-side of our unprecedented compassion and creativity will have a devastating downside, if we continue to use these good qualities in a way that is nearly certain to generate the final great extinction of all higher organisms. Including us.

 

Some people find it exciting and compassionate to save the victims that our corposystem worldview creates, and of course it is. A compassionate upside that is exciting and personally rewarding; also a short-term necessity. I think you will agree, however, that the long-term challenge is far more responsible — to prevent the suffering of victims by not creating victims in the first place — even though we never will be called heroes for making sure a tragedy doesn’t happen. Again, balance is required between short-term benefits and long-term survival.

 

Those of us on the home front have a great responsibility to the future of human kind – and to the young people (it is primarily the young, who fight these battles on the front lines). Probably the greatest responsibility of human history. Our responsibility is to restore and maintain a viable balance within and among the up-sides and the down-sides of the systems over which we have control, and the only way we can do that is to study the unsustainable imbalance – to analyze the facts and discern the actual situation. You won’t get this information from the corposystem — a dying system that is trying to perpetuate itself in the only way it knows how, by growing.   But certainly the facts are amply available from other sources.

 

Our responsibility is to study and learn to understand, and then discuss rationally the Facts of Life and how they function to maintain the balance of Life and so also our survival. That’s a job that every one of us can do in one way or another. And then to bring our wisdom to the issues the young are trying to protect us from — the collapse of both our viable social system and our sustainable environmental system.

 

Some are – increasingly, a few of us are making life-changing and even life-sacrificing choices in their efforts to prevent the destruction of our constitution and the final great extinction that will come with ongoing climate change.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

A copy of the podcast can be found at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_342.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology 340 – “Happiness”

            “I love to do a good job more than anything else I can think of.”

161109-seniordance-asc_7959rlsbss(Archie Goodwin in The League of Frightened Men, by Rex Stout).

 

Me too.

 

And yet our modern corposystem tells us that the way to be happy is to have what you want; that “everyone wants to be happy;” and that we can buy our “happiness” from the corposystem, our modern American socio/political environment.

 

I once had a mini-debate about this with a Tibetan Lama I was tutoring. When he said the word “happy,” I could tell that he was NOT thinking about what that word means in modern American English. So I did some research.*

 

Happiness is a 20th century British mis-translation of a Tibetan word referring to that for which all sentient beings strive.

 

Of course it is true that sentient beings strive to survive. It is one of the four foundational facts of creation and is instinctual, or physiologically automatic, in all species of living organisms. Life strives to stay alive; that’s why it does stay alive.  But that is not at all the same concept as the American “happiness” myth that teaches us to suck at the teat of the corposystem (buy more stuff, grow the economy) in hopes of our eventual reward. And if you aren’t happy, it’s your own fault – suck harder

 

Like Archie Goodwin, I was taught that: “A good honest job is its own reward.” And the reward is NOT happiness, but a sort of pride in doing a good job of being alive – a certain miracle of Life.

 

But pride is not the right word either.

 

It may be that we no longer have a word, in American English, for the pride that we take in our own well-lived lives. The job done, and done well, to benefit the community of our roots rather than the “happiness” of our selves – regardless of the environmental accidents and realities of our birth. Not a fulfillment of self, but a fulfillment of responsibility to the future of the whole of Life.

A good job of living life.

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Buddhism – that is, American Buddhism, tells us that we want to be happy. Buddhism provides us with an eightfold path which could could lead to a sustainable human future, within a sustainable Biosystem environment.   But of course the word happy is then defined by the corposystem and applied to its

own toxic propaganda.   Growth by domination for profit. Which is very non-Buddhistic. And to survive in this corposystem culture, Buddhism must be profitable. Or we never hear about it.

 

What my Lama seemed to mean, when he used the word happiness, was much closer to eudamonia, a term favored by one of my contacts on the web — an obviously well-educated Brit. I looked it up:

“In more general terms, Eudaimonism can be thought of as any theory that puts personal happiness and the complete life of the individual at the center of ethical concern.”

 

No, no, no. That is just another variation of the corposystem con.

I remember my first trip to Japan, sitting in front of a television that I could not understand the words that were clearly explaining to me different ways that Japanese people take pride in the nature of their lives and work, and the excellent job they do of it (or did, in the 90’s). I was fascinated, and from time to time I still am, as I rerun lifestyle stories that I taped. Japan was telling me something very important that I already knew in my bones, but could not find in my own failed corposystem culture that glorifies growth by domination for profit, a three-fold path that can only lead toward collapse and increased suffering, because it eats up the source of its own life.

Life is based upon and depends upon the perpetual balanced recycling of all the basic materials of Life – clean air, clean water, clean fertile earth, using energy from the sun. Growth cannot continue forever, and no technology can change that law of Life.

 

Unless we are willing to take pride in our job well done FOR THE FUTURE, there won’t be a future for humans on this earth.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, production of https://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at: http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_340_-_Happiness.mp3

 

*References

Archie Goodwin in The League of Frightened Men, by Rex Stout

Eudamonia http://www.philosophybasics.com/branch_eudaimonism.html

“According to Aristotle, eudaimonia is constituted, not by honour, wealth or power, but by rational activity in accordance with virtue over a complete life, what might be described today as productive self-actualization. This rational activity, Aristotle judged, should manifest as honesty, pride, friendliness, wittiness, rationality in judgment; mutually beneficial friendships and scientific knowledge.

Immanuel Kant was an important opponent of Eudaimonism. He rejected the view that happiness is the highest good, and insisted that happiness can be an ingredient of the highest good, but only if it is deserved.”

Bare Bones Biology 339 – Life is Confusing

MOULTRIE DIGITAL GAME CAMERA

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LYNN! She shrieked. It’s Jessica! And planted a bright red kiss on my right cheek

Blessings on all people who do NOT say: “Do you remember who I am?” Of course I remember who Jessica is, but on this day I am trying to deal with about five categories of my history of culture shocks, beginning with The Canyon, where there are no bright red kisses — and driving down the mountainside through a couple hours of memories, and arriving behind the view finder of my camera at the solidarity demonstration –which is the deepest focus of my attention. And here is Jessica – in the wrong place from where I remember her.

 

It’s a bit of a culture shock. It rearranges the building blocks of my world view.

 

And so – today – this blog is dedicated to Jessica — with love, in the right place at the right time. And to the culture shock we humans need if we are to survive on this living earth.

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Is all that confusing? It should be. My life is confusing, especially when five different threads of my reality – five different truths — come together in one environment. I am confused.

People confuse me, and there are several hundred people here in front of the Bank of America trying to make several points about reality, all at the same

time. All symbolized, for the most part, around the issue of water. I have come to Santa Fe, New Mexico, to photograph the New Energy Economy as it stands with Standing Rock.

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Water is Life.

 

That’s one truth, and I suppose my five truths can be folded in there.

But the real truth is much more basic, and unless we can find a path toward that fact, the demonstrations will be more fun, sad and humane than they will be useful in our efforts to save ourselves from ourselves. It’s not just water; Life is not only about water. Life is about, all at the same time, earth, air, fire and water, as the anciens have always known, and even deeper than that, Life is about the BALANCE among these – the balance of earth, air, fire and water.

 

Life is not about winning, it’s about living, and living is not about who wins what or who can dominate whom. Life — and I am not talking about human life. Human life is inconsequential in the context of all of Life because all of Life is essential to the survival of human life.

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Unless we can use these demonstrations as educational tools to rearrange the building blocks of our communal Western world view so that we understand the most basic fact that Life is about balance, we humans cannot survive in the real world.

 

Balance is the root of all Life the elk, the canyon, Santa Fe, the Bank of America — and even earth, air. fire and even water, cannot maintain life unless they and we all are balanced in the cycles of environmental reality and environmental need.

 

But we have decided it should all be about us. We the bad guys and also we the good guys – we have forgotten that Life is not about us. Life is about Life. Earth, air, fire and water – all balanced in an interconnected system that cannot stay alive if it is not balanced – cannot stay alive if it is not connected up – cannot stay alive if it is connected up wrong – cannot stay alive if one part if it decides to change all the other parts around.

 

Unless we can use these demonstrations as educational tools rather than wars to be won – education to spread the concept of the reality of, and the requirement for, interconnectedness BEYOND human omnipotence — we will lose even the water in the end.

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It’s not a game we are playing, nor a TV drama, nor a career to build, and nor a photo op. It’s a responsibility to our truths, the basic facts of Life, and to the human children of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com.

 

If you are listening to this, it will be a lot better with the pictures that you can find at:https://factfictionfancy.wordpress.com/2016/11/17/bare-bones-biolo…ife-is-confusing/

 

If you want to listen, go to:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_339_-_Confusing.mp3

 

Bare Bones Biology 187 – Wisdom Repost

140120-MLK-ASC_7712RLSRLS wethepeopleBitsy and I like to participate every year in the parade, walking up Martin Luther King Street, behind the big, green garbage truck, around the corner in front of the African-American Museum on Pruitt Street, and then on through downtown to the school. Bitsy loves a parade, and walking that way, with the community, brings to my mind a very simple, very important event in my life that had nothing to do with Martin Luther King, Jr. He was in college at the time. Unknown. I was in high school.

It happened during our family cross-country road trip to – I forget where, but it was someplace in the south where we stopped at the fairgrounds and climbed up high in the old wooden outdoor grandstand to watch a horse show. Special treat for me. I was one of those horse-crazy girls, very blond, very white, very shy, raised up mostly in small-town California, really not very much concerned, not even very much aware of the various colors of human complexions.   That must have been – good grief — in the mid-forties, about 65 years ago, more or less.

 

So there I was watching the horse show in this strange place when nature called and would not be denied. So I climbed down from my perch, wandered around for quite a while and finally, unawares, ended up in the “colored” ladies’ restroom. And that’s pretty much the story. I don’t remember the details, only today the visual is photographically clear, as though those ladies have been standing still there in my head through all this time. I see a fairly long line of smiling, chattering black ladies who stopped stock still, maybe I should say shocked still, staring at me, as I went in, used the facility, and then left.

 

I cowered under their glare. What? I thought. What did I do wrong? Some years later I understood — those ladies – that image in my head – represents the first important realignment of my world view.

 

Yesterday morning I read another individual story on the web. The author claims that Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., did not change white people’s lives, but only black people’s lives. That same afternoon, two of us white “girls” were brought nearly to tears talking about how Martin Luther King, Jr. changed our individual lives. Indeed he did; he changed the whole culture and we all are part of the culture.

 

But, you know, he didn’t do all that changing by himself. In fact I doubt he did any of it by himself. And every person, white or black or other, then or now, who spends time and effort trying to understand the wisdom of Martin Luther King’s world view, was and is a part of his legacy – changed by his wisdom, changing our own world views to be more like his, continuing to change our world.

 

MLK Jr was a wise young man. Sometimes we forget the wisdom; sometimes we forget his message and focus on his charisma, his courage, and character. But the measure of his legacy will be the changes we make in our own lives, not because of his charisma and courage, but because of the wisdom that he tried to leave with us.

 

Nobody by himself, not me, not you, not Martin Luther King Jr., nobody can save a culture. But nobody can stop us each, as individual helpers, from studying, trying to understand and talking about what he was talking about (not what we want, but his own vision), trying to live by the wisdom, and so bringing his legacy into our culture. Martin Luther King was, most importantly, a wise elder to our entire culture. He explained the vision; it’s us, his helpers on both sides of the tracks, who bring the vision to life.

Or not.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of FactFictionFancy and KEOS Radio, 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas.

 

The podcast of this program can be downloaded at:

http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Bioloy_187_-_Wisdom.mp3

“Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anaemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.”

Martin Luther King, Jr., “Where do we go from here?”

 

http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/documentsentry/where_do_we_go_from_here_delivered_at_the_11th_annual_sclc_convention/

http://www.upaya.org/newsletter/view/2014/01/21#story9   Open the Newsletter. Scroll down to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “To-Do List,” by Rev. John Dear

 

Tags: Martin_Luther_King, Jr., legacy, Brazos_Valley_African-American Museum, wise compassion, wise power

 

Bare Bones Biology 187 – Wisdom

This is my statement on this tenth day of November, 2016.

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140120-MLK-ASC_7709RLSBitsy and I like to participate every year in the parade, walking up Martin Luther King Street, behind the big, green garbage truck, around the corner in front of the African-American Museum on Pruitt Street, and then on through downtown to the school. Bitsy loves a parade, and walking that way, with the community, brings to my mind a very simple, very important event in my life that had nothing to do with Martin Luther King, Jr. He was in college at the time. Unknown. I was in high school.

It happened during our family cross-country road trip to – I forget where, but it was someplace in the south where we stopped at the fairgrounds and climbed up high in the old wooden outdoor grandstand to watch a horse show. Special treat for me. I was one of those horse-crazy girls, very blond, very white, very shy, raised up…

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Bare Bones Biology 338 – Creation Song

e=mc2. Energy (e) = mass (matter, m) multiplied by the multi-dimensional speed of light (c2) .161018-reservation-asc_7321rlss

In the beginning of our universe was the “big bang,” when a universe of matter was released as a universe of energy in an explosion that echoes today in the “noise” of an old-time television set.

In that instant the exploding universe consisted of the most basic of its natural phenomena: energy, information and the ability to evolve. At that instant, our initial complex adaptive system, our universe, was born from the infinity of released energy and the basic “Laws of Nature” that permit it to respond to changes within itself.

 

That is, the big bang generated a naturally evolving “complex adaptive system,” our universe, and from that time to this it has continued to give rise, out of those raw materials of energy/matter/information/entropy to naturally evolved complex adaptive sub-systems of increasing complexity that include the universe itself, our milky way, our sun-star and the life that generates our blue skies and fertile earth Biosystem.

The characteristics of the resulting multi-millions of naturally evolved complex adaptive sub-systems thus result from the laws of nature; that is, the nature of phenomena as they interact, and the factual reality of their history. Thus our creation song consists of two sorts of “Facts of Life” that humans cannot change, no matter the power of our current human war to generate profits at the expense of our environment. Facts that humans cannot change: 1) historical fact; 2) the universal natural laws that determine the nature of gravity, energy and entropy and their interactions.

 

Historical Fact

 

Historically, systems have arisen from other systems, resulting in our universe that is composed of “nested systems” and parallel systems that are able to communicate (share information) among themselves. The natural tendency of evolved complex adaptive systems is clearly observable, for example, in biological evolution.

 

More specifically, we see examples in the work of Dr. Lynn Margulis and others who study the evolution of eukaryotic cells that contain membrane bound subcellular structures, and apparently arose from commensal relationships among prokaryotic cells that do not containor membrane-bound ganelles. The resulting increase in complexity of the eukaryotic cells permitted their further evolution, that is, diversification as naturally evolving complex adaptive systems and subsystems, into millions of biological niches, ultimately generating the living earth.

 

Naturally evolved systems are complex adaptive systems. Unlike artificially created complex adaptive systems, the naturally evolved systems are co-adapted – all the evolved systems co-adapted to survive (or not) together – co-adapted by billions of years of their common history during which the systems exchanged information (communicated) among themselves..

 

Natural Law

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The Laws of Nature – most basically — that characterize our naturally evolving nested set of systems are: 1) the relationship between matter and energy, entropy and information;   2) gravity; 3) the natural capacity for self-assembly; and 4) natural selection of each complex adaptive system and subsystem and parallel system in response to the other naturally evolved systems that form its environment. More about these in future blogs

 

The primary difference between human complex adaptive systems and naturally evolved systems appears to be the deep time – the 14 billion years of history that gave rise to the latter.

 

Creation Song

 

This blog is not meant to be a presentation of the whole creation story in 600 words or less, and in fact it is not meant to be specifically a creation story, because that is not what we need to save our place in this universe. Neither is this blog meant to be a scientifically documented hypothesis, because what we do need, if we should decide to choose human survival over corposystem profit-by-growth, is to use all resources at our disposal, social biological and physical, to stop our attack upon our environment and try to re-establish a viable relationship between our naturally evolved human species and our naturally evolved environment. None of our major current human problems can be solved until and unless we attend to the imbalance between and among our systemic relationships.

 

We already know enough about how the universe works, how it functions to maintain itself so that we could align our behaviors with the reality rather than continue the desperate effort to attain further growth for profit. We know clearly that those two endpoints are incompatible and only the cessation of growth can lead to any possibility of human survival within the environment that we require for life.

 

When the facts are available – when we do understand the reality of our universe as sets and subsets of complex adaptive systems and we study how these systems function – not separately but together as a naturally evolved complex adaptive whole universe that contains a whole living earth – when we understand how it works, even in a general way – then it is up to us to choose how we will behave within the whole so as to align our behaviors with the immense power of The Creation in which we live, rather than continuing to take arms against it.

 

If we choose to continue our destruction of the environmental system in which we live – and if we fail to hold our leaders to account for their betrayal of power and responsibility within the democracy we have evolved — then, yes, the destruction is caused by our own rejection of reason and common sense. It is our own fault and our responsibility and the consequences are pre-ordained by natural law. Because we do know how to behave in this world we have created. We are informed not only by our good basic science, but also by all the religions at their best; and that knowledge is the foundation of our evolved democratic ideals.

 

We cannot have everything we want, no matter how powerful we may be. If we are to survive, we must want to do a really good job with what we can have.

 

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of Http://FactFictionFancy.Wordpress.com

 

A copy of the podcast can be downloaded at:  http://traffic.libsyn.com/fff/Bare_Bones_Biology_338_-_Creation_Song.mp3

 

Godspeed, populists!

Leaving Babylon

The time has come, the walrus said, to reopen this blog. I promised a tribal post, but that will have to wait for final touches. Meanwhile, to go along with the current political frenzy (and yes, I am voting this time, in case you wondered), I offer you a timely post that emerged this afternoon from a discussion on the Small Farm Future blog, which itself was provoked by that blog’s response to JM Greer’s recent musings on liberalism.

First, I hastened to refresh my understanding of classical liberalism. I compiled this vignette from quickly perused sources.

Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government.

Main features: freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and markets; rule of law and equality before the law; government by consent (constitution, checks…

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