Independence?

Independence is the story
That ruined reality
The lie or myth
That led to…
Where we are not.
It looks good
On paper
Or sounds good if
You say it out loud…
Independence
But if you whisper quietly
And let the truth
Reverberate
It is really just
A synonym
For
ALONE

Interdependence is a different story
A shattered illusion
Reconstructed
As a new truth
That shows the way
to somewhere else.
It looks complicated
On paper
And sounds confusing
If you say it out loud…
Interdependence
But if you whisper quietly
And let the meaning
Sink in
It is really just
A synonym
For
TOGETHER

Reality Confronts the Taxman

Call me coyote, I am a fictional character. I am not real. I am fake news. Do not believe me when I tell you about the revolution. It is an imaginary revolution, it is not real…

To pay or not to pay, that is the question; whether it’s nobler in the mind to submit to the demands of authority and feed its power with compliance or stand up to that power with the exercise of free will and thereby risk being destroyed and ruined by that power?

There are two fundamental ethical arguments in favor of the payment of taxes. The first reason to pay taxes is the capitalist reason. It is the contractual notion of fee for service. In this regard, we have a theoretical moral or ethical obligation to pay the government for the services it provides us. If we want the government to fix and clean our roads, set up medical services and emergency rescue services and schools, and educate our children and do a million other things, then we have to pay them “money” for the services they provide us. Theoretically, we as citizens agree to pay taxes because that is one of the mechanisms the government uses to collect the fees for the various services it provides. Of course, within the context of the capitalist metaphor and the rationally competitive consumer, it is the goal of each and every competitor in the system to acquire the most possible services for the lowest possible price. And, of course, it is the goal of the system to provide the fewest possible services to each customer for the highest possible price. The two sides compete with each other in the never ending game of negotiation and the end result is our very complicated tax collection system and federal spending programs.

The second reason to pay taxes is the socialist one: from each according to his ability, for each according to his need. Taxes are a manifestation of our moral/ethical obligation as citizens to contribute to the community/government/state that we belong to. Paying taxes is the primary mechanism by which we participate in government. It is our expression of loyalty to the central authority and our explicit recognition of the governments legitimacy. We pay taxes because it is our duty as citizens to contribute to the well being of the nation state in which we live. Of course, within the context of the socialist metaphor, your ethical obligation to contribute to society translates into a legal requirement. In other words, if you don’t pay your taxes (support the government) you will go to jail. Continue reading

Imagine the Revolution

Imagine the revolution…

A new Social Contract based on the concept of a dynamic relationship between the individual and the community.

Democratic currency (money) and voluntary taxes are the organizational tools used to implement the contract.

The community/government invests in each and every individual the fair market value of… food, shelter and basic healthcare, etc… The media generally refers to this as a universal basic income but I believe that is a mischaracterization of the concept. It makes it seem like welfare or charity or a handout to the losers of capitalism. Instead, the monthly payment of currency to every single person is part of the social contract and it represents the persons legal right to participate in the economic system. In exchange for the monthly investment, each individual agrees to return to the community/system (voluntary tax), 50% of everything they earn above their monthly investment.

According to the concept of the imaginary revolution, the United States is way too large of a territory with too many people for a manageable dynamic organic currency system to function smoothly. We would recommend breaking it down into at least twenty independent systems. And the US already has an oligarchic mechanical linear currency system that would be difficult but not necessarily impossible to replace through legislation. The people who control the real levers of power of the corporate state would never allow it to happen. Nevertheless, as way of explanation, we will use the US as an example for discussion purposes.

ONE LAW would have to change in the US. Corporations would no longer be allowed to add new money to the system (create money (currency)) by lending money or extending credit that they do not have in their accounts. Corporations could only lend or create sophisticated financial instruments using money they actually have possession of in their accounts. New money would only be added to the system through the form of an equal democratic investment. Old money would be subtracted from the system when the citizen recipients of the democratic investment pay their voluntary tax of 50% on what they earn above their monthly investment.

The amount of the monthly democratic investment rights each individual gets is, of course, a matter of some import. In practical terms, it is the bargaining position of the working class. Nowadays, the oligarchs so control the narrative such that even supposedly “left wing” commentators refer to the so-called “safety net.” When, in reality, it should be consistently referred to as the opposing side in a dynamic system. Every human has a legal and moral right to interact with the economic value available in their community. In a law and order state where all natural resources are legally “owned” by something (an individual, a corporation or the state), the legal right to interact with the economic environment is controlled by currency. In other words, it costs money to do anything and everything. Presently we have an oligarchic currency system wherein new money that is added to the system is always given to the wealthy. The imaginary revolution would replace that system with one whereby every single citizen (human) would receive a monthly investment package and in exchange for that agree to pay a 50% tax on everything they earn above that monthly investment.

Here in the US, for example, I personally would recommend a monthly investment package of $1500 per month, + a basic health plan. My personal experience teaches me that a single person can live a simple and decent life on such a budget if they don’t have a car and have to drive long distances to a job or need expensive consumer products. Food, shelter, and the ability to pursue your particular passions are all you really need. $1500 a month is $18,000 a year. So then you consider the 50% tax on earnings from the investment. If a person works in the “free market” as a laborer or entrepreneur and earns $36,000 in a year, they would pay $18,000 in taxes and receive $18,000 in return on investment and thus break even. Anyone who makes more than $36,000 would pay back more in taxes than they receive in investment. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet and Jeff Bezos would each receive their monthly $1500 per month and a basic health plan from the government and in exchange, they would have to pay 50% of everything they “earn” on the “free market”. Bill, Warren and Jeff could, of course, choose to not participate in “the system,” but then the system and powers of the state or government would no longer recognize or enforce or protect any of their “property rights.”

The argument…

The oligarchs would, of course, never allow the presently functioning capitalist hierarchy taxation/money supply system to be replaced by the above described dynamic system because doing so would give workers real bargaining power. The goal of the capitalist system is to get obedient workers to do as they are told in an organized functioning workplace. The great bullshit metaphor of capitalist freedom pretends like employees “choose” their jobs in a fair contract setting wherein the party of the laborer and the party of the boss “negotiate” a fair working relationship. That is why the Federal Reserve which “manages the money supply” is tasked legislatively with the goal of “full employment” and the high priests of capitalism blow so much hot air propaganda about that absurd statistic known as “the unemployment rate.” This helps them self-rationalize their myth that employees choose (freely) their jobs because they have the option of “choosing” another job instead…

Reality check. Most humans “hate” their jobs and “dislike” their boss. That is because self-realized humans want to interact with other humans dynamically rather than hierarchically. No one wants to be a peon who follows orders. What is the difference between a state bureaucrat and a corporate manager? There is none. They are both bullshit bosses with illegitimate authority over your life. The ruling class goes through great effort to make those people who are at the bottom of the “economic pyramid” as miserable as possible. They don’t do this because they are particularly mean, but because they are implementing the very essence of capitalist economic theory. People have to be forced to work. Since slavery is technically illegal, there has to be another mechanism to force people to do what they don’t want to do. The mechanism capitalism uses is the abject misery of existence that will befall a person if they don’t “choose” to work and the continuing stream of Hollywood metaphorical narratives about the “nobility of work.” In the 1980s and 90s this brain washing narrative reached epic proportions. That is when the forces of propaganda transformed the idea of economic rights for the underclass into a kind of charity for the losers in the capitalist game… i.e. “the safety net” or “welfare.” The story line was all over the television back then and they passed key legislation to effectively criminalize poverty. Social services were stripped to the bone and the mass incarceration of the underclasses was begun. In the early 1980s, there were roughly 300,000 people in prisons and jail cells in the United States. Now there is close to 3 million. Obviously, it is no longer a “criminal justice system.” It is capitalist economic system that seeks continuous growth. The incarcerated poor are now assets to be owned by the “investors” and managed by the employees. The institutionalized capitalist incentives require continuous expansion so that investors make more profits and there is more and more work for more and more lawyers and judges and prison guards and cops and security people. More recent Presidents have expanded the mass incarceration business world wide and significantly into immigration. Who will be the next asset to be rounded up and incarcerated for profit?

The truth is, if the money system was revolutionized from an oligarchic system to a democratic system, a significant number of “employees” would immediately quit their jobs. The fast food industry, for example, would have a labor problem immediately. So would all the bullshit horrible jobs that people are forced into for “survival.” Indeed, it is the long term vision of the revolution to see all humans who work for corporations quit their positions and go independent. No doubt they will join together and form new kinds of working relationships… Sort of like cooperatives but more dynamic than artificially egalitarian. Since all humans will approach employment possibilities with a real fall back position (the monthly democratic investment) they will never choose to be an exploited peon on the bottom of a hierarchy. They will instead be free individuals choosing to participate in mutually beneficial organizations. Or, to look at the same reality in a warped mirror; unions could strike forever until they got a “fair share,” of the company’s profit because they would have the monthly democratic investment to fall back on while they were striking.

The other big societal transformation that could occur because of a democratic currency replacing the oligarchic currency would be serious interference in the ability to recruit new soldiers. The military propaganda is relentless nowadays. We often get to hear the story about “the all voluntary military.” Then they tell you about the financial incentives of joining the military. And then they concentrate their recruiting on low income neighborhoods. In reality, the military recruit agrees to be on the bottom rung of a strictly hierarchical institution. They can’t quit until the term of their contract is finished. They are taught to strictly obey the chain of command. They are taught to kill strangers on command. That is what “good soldiers” do. At first, many soldiers have noble ideals. They believe in their commanders and believe that they fight for the good of the people in the US. But after a while. Most soldiers realize that they are not fighting for ideals. They are only fighting for money. Their own steady paycheck and the return on investment of the war profiteers. When noble human beings realize that they are being used as mercenaries for the corporate state instead of as defenders of freedom, they don’t usually want to be soldiers anymore. But they have no opportunity to do anything else. The existence of a monthly democratic investment for each and every person would give the soldier the option of quitting. Perhaps all those brave young men and women in the military would rather spend their considerable talents protecting people from natural disasters here at home instead of following orders to cause unnatural disasters elsewhere.

Of course, some people will choose to never work…. That will be the big complaint of the capitalists and the corporate media in response to the idea of a democratic money supply. Inherently lazy people will do nothing. They will accept their “handout” and sit on their asses and leach off the hard work of everyone else…. But in reality, it would be good for the environment if lots of people chose to just live off the democratic investment and not try to make more to spend more. As a matter of fact, the imaginary revolution encourages it. To a very large degree, monetary spending (utilizing economic value) is directly proportional to environmental footprint. Capitalism has brought the world to the brink of ecological collapse. It’s not just climate change but mass species extinctions, chemical contaminations, and host of other inter-related ecological fractures as well. Capitalism is designed to destroy the liveable planet. That is the ultimate goal… the end game. It’s all in the math. The linear progress concept only goes in one direction… consumption of the entire planet. There is no built in incentive for the opposite pole… The simple life is bad for capitalism. That’s why poverty is criminalized and basic economic rights are called, “handouts, welfare or safety nets.”

Frankly, the notion that human beings “won’t work” if they have economic rights is ridiculous. They may not work “for you” as an “employee.” But they will probably work on something. They may very well work for free because they make a decision that limiting their environmental footprint to the spending of the monthly democratic investment is a healthy way to interact with the world. Or they may seek material wealth through the mechanism of the now “fair market” as long as they return half of what they earn to the community. But the important factor is the reversing of the polarity of the linear progression forward. Transforming the linear economic system into a dynamic one. Balancing the equation so that the goal of the system is dynamic sustainability rather than “growth”. Quality of life is the focus not quantity of income and ownership. The monthly democratic investment becomes the opposing pole to the greed machine. The simple life is encouraged by the new system instead of criminalized. This systemic transformation (imaginary revolution) will not resolve the world’s ecological problems by itself. But it will create a framework so that humans can at least choose to live “within their environment” instead of having to fight to dominate it.

Implementation:

The US is too big and the oligarchic war currency too strong such that it is not realistic on a national level to try and transform the currency system through participation in the corporate controlled federal election competition. It would make more sense to set the alternative system up at the regional or state level. How big is too big and how small is too small? I don’t know. It has to be big enough in terms of territory and economic resources such that it can sustain all the participants and you have to convince a large number of people to participate (the hard part of any revolution).

One possible strategy would be participation in electioneering for purposes of educating the general public about the concept. A new political party would have to be formed because none of the present parties are pushing for the fundamental philosophical and structural transformations that an organic economic system requires. The new party would be sort of like the bastard love child of The Green Party and the Libertarians. Maybe call it the imaginary political party because it doesn’t exist in reality.

It is perhaps, possible, that the imaginary party could become popular and win big at the state level. Get a governor spot or a take over a state legislature. Then, maybe, they could try to implement a dynamic currency system at that level. But the federal government would never allow it. According to the constitution, the federal government controls the currency. No state has it’s own sovereign currency. If a small state tried to introduce an alternative currency based on dynamic democratic principles instead of linear hierarchical principles, the Feds would prosecute the state leaders for federal counterfeit violations or possibly treason. If, on the other hand, a small state tried to set up a dynamic tax and money supply system using US dollars, the investor class that has the “special legal rights” to add new money to the old system would manipulate currency flows to try and undermine the new system.

Ultimately, the best method would probably be the establishment of an independent organization sort of like a public bank that is not connected to the government but would operate like the opposite of the federal reserve. It would invite all people who live within the region where the new organization operates to join the organization. Instead of lending money at interest. It would give people a new kind of “money” in monthly installments. In order to avoid federal counterfeit charges, they could call the new “money” something different. It’s not money because it operates on different principles… it is just game pieces. In exchange for the monthly installment in games pieces, all the members of the organization agree to accept game pieces as monetary value and agree to return 50% of everything they earn elsewhere (in whatever currency.. dollars, rubles, yen, bolivars or game pieces back to the organization.). Thus, at first, the new currency would be backed primarily by the agreement of the participants and the economic potential of all the participants. But, after a while, the new organization would be backed by a basket of currencies it has collected through the voluntary taxes as well as the agreement and economic potential of the participants.

Once a parallel dynamic democratic monetary system was set up, it would compete as an institution against both the federal government monetary system and the federal government social welfare system. People within the territory of the organization could choose to use the new peaceful dynamic currency system or use the traditional oligarchic hierarchical conquest currency system. At first, many people would probably use both systems simultaneously (trade in dollars and game pieces). But ultimately, the revolution would have to convince people to stop using dollars as a matter of moral or ethical principle. Do you want to invest your time, energy and economic value in perpetual war and the ideology of corporate conquest (capitalist competition) or do you want to invest your time, energy and economic value in peaceful sustainability and the ideology of ecological inter-dependence (organic cooperation)? Could a loose collection of friendly dynamic currency systems put the corporate empire out of business. I don’t know. But I can imagine how it would be possible.

Imagine the revolution.

This essay is not copyrighted, feel free to copy it, paste it, steal it, share it or re-print it in any shape or fashion. Critiques and commentaries are encouraged. This is only a seed of an idea. It needs a lot of shit to grow…

The Imaginary Revolution in the Voting Booth

Call me coyote, I am a fictional character. I am not real. I am fake news. Do not believe me when I tell you about the revolution. It is an imaginary revolution, it is not real.

To vote or not to vote… that is the question. Whether it is nobler in the mind to participate in an outrageous charade and pretend that it is legitimate or to stand on principle against the propaganda and thereby oppose the whole system?

The first fundamental problem has to do with voting for a person rather than a policy. Elected officials are not at all legally required to uphold, enact or enforce any of the various promises they make while campaigning. If you are voting in a referendum on a specific law or policy proposal there is a logical and rational relationship between the act of voting and the action of government. If, however, you are voting for a person, who is only theoretically going to do some of the things they say while campaigning, there is no logical and rational relationship between the act of voting and the action of government. Usually, you don’t even know the candidate personally. So you are voting for a media image.

The second problem has to do with statistical relevancy. It is a simple question of mathematics. It is the scientific reason why power needs to be decentralized. The greater the number of voters in any given election, the less relevant each individual vote. If you are one voter among a few thousand, your vote might mean something. A candidate or elected official might have to respond to the concerns of all constituents. If, however, you are one voter among tens of thousands or even millions, a candidate or elected official can’t realistically respond to the concerns of all constituents. Instead, they respond to the concerns of the people closest to them… their financial donors and/or the team of professional political handlers that manage their campaign.

Understood realistically, the corporate state (America, inc.) puts on a show with the theme of politics and government and the economic system wants customers (voters) to spend money, time, and energy on that show. America, inc., sets up two teams of oligarchs… The democrats and the republicans… Both teams recruit stars to perform around the country in debates and town halls. The two teams invest lots of money to craft media images for their stars and a media image for their team brand. There is a big tournament or competition that takes place all across the country. It’s a lot like the NCAA basketball tournament or the playoffs in football or baseball. Go team go. The debaters debate, the commercials run, and the social media troops dodge, feint, and crash into each other in various ways. The real goal of the system is to get “customers” to participate in this “tournament” by investing time, money, and energy. The ritual of vote casting is the climax event of the tournament but it is not the main concern of the system. The system needs customers, as a function of the internal dynamics, the system needs a growing customer base… more participants… more people to spend money on election related “products”. Continue reading

Capitalism vs. Socialism and the Imaginary Revolution

Hummingbird is still lost in the Serpent’s Cave in Guatemala.   Meanwhile, my friend coyote is on his soap box again…

Capitalism vs. Socialism

Call me coyote, I am a fictional character.  I am not real.  I am fake news.  Do not believe me when I tell you about the revolution.  It is an imaginary revolution, it is not real…

I see some variation of the never-ending “kitchen debate” every time I turn on “social media” and it seems to consume the passions of the professional media as well. At least a third of the commentators on my favorite website waste a lot of time and space because they analyze everything from a “socialist” or “left” perspective. It’s like reading the “capitalist” Wall Street Journal in the mirror. They learn the story in university and repeat it in various forms for the rest of their lives. The children are engaged in a food fight… Left versus right. Right verses left. My team is going to win the competition.

As any theoretical physicist will tell you; the thing about light is; sometimes it acts like a particle and sometimes it acts like a wave. The thing about humans is; sometimes they act “individualistically” and sometimes they act “socially.” Capitalism as a metaphorical construct is based on the the notion that the inherent nature of human beings is to act like particles… Rational self interest, selfish gene theory, greed is good. Socialism as a metaphorical construct is based on the notion that human beings can and should act like waves…. We are all connected and responsible for each other, Che Guevara’s “new man,” from each according to his ability for each according to his need. In reality, light is not a particle and light is not a wave, but is instead a manifestation of the dynamic tension between particles and waves and the magical uncertainty that separates the two opposing universal forces. In reality, the same can be said about human beings (and all living things). We are not inherently selfish and we are not inherently social. But rather, human beings are a manifestation of the dynamic tension between our individualistic selfish nature and our social connected nature and the magical uncertainty (free will) that separates the two opposing universal forces. When I read a so called “socialist” ranting and raving about the “the goodness of socialism and the evils of capitalism” all I see is a ten year old child jumping up and down and crying and saying, “it’s a wave damnit, it’s a wave.” And when I read a so called capitalist ranting and raving about the, “the goodness of the free market and the evils of socialism,” all I see is a ten year old child jumping up and down and crying saying, “it’s a particle damnit, it’s a particle.”

I live within the legal boundaries of the United States because this is where I was born, this is where my family and friends are, and I am most comfortable in the ecosystem of the territory known as upstate New York. I certainly do not stay here because of the political/economic system. Metaphorically, the US is a capitalist country. Or, to be more precise, the national economic metaphor (religion) of this nation state here is “capitalism,”. Most of the “elected representatives,” talk in terms of “free markets” but really that is just another term for the capitalist metaphor. Nowadays, there are a few “elected representatives,” that call themselves “socialist” but what, exactly, they mean by “socialist,” is a little ambiguous. Mostly, I think what they mean is, “not capitalist.” This is where the problem with engaging in political discussions or conversations always seems to run into a brick wall. The real world evidence is fairly overwhelming that capitalism is a broken concept (climate change, mass species extinction, continuous war, extremes of poverty and wealth; mass incarceration). But when I attempt to point out this fairly obvious reality in a discussion, I am usually told in some manner or other that I must be a socialist. I then have to listen to the well-rehearsed story lines that are played over and over again on “social media” about how and why socialism is a failure. Haven’t you heard, the debate is over. History ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Socialism doesn’t work. Capitalism is the only viable system. The only possible solutions to present problems involve tweaking the capitalist system. Or more to the point, electing more “enlightened” or more “progressive” managers over the capitalist system. Continue reading

The Imaginary Revolution and Student Loans

Call me coyote, I am a fictional character. I am not real. I am fake news. Do not believe me when I tell you about the revolution. It is an imaginary revolution, it is not real.

Free speech and student loans. If you think about it, it is perfectly obvious. But it takes a while for the concept to seep in and take hold in the brain. Someone out there in the land of law and order should learn to weaponize student loans as a form of political speech. With a little enthusiasm and organization, it should be possible to unify a constituency and it would be a very effective way to protest.

The argument is a winner. Student loan payments are not freely agreed to contractual responsibilities based upon a legitimate contract wherein two equal parties decided upon mutually agreeable terms. They are a tax imposed on citizens by the “corporate state” to fund the “educational system.” In legal terms, there is a nexus of operations between the corporate financial institutions and the federal government such that the financing of education and the collecting of payments afterwards constitute a federal government activity. Accordingly, the US constitution, including the First Amendment, applies to the activity of processing student loans and collecting student loans even if the collector agency is a nominally independent corporation. Furthermore, the Supreme Court has clearly stated that the payment of money is a form of speech…. especially political speech… that is protected by the First Amendment (Buckley v. Vallejo; Abood; Citizen’s United). Therefore, if you want to withhold payment of student loans to protest some particular nefarious activity of the federal government, The First Amendment of the Constitution protects your right to do so. Indeed, if you withheld payment of student loans for clearly stated political reasons and a collection agency harassed you with phone calls or letters you could theoretically sue that collection agency for punitive damages under the Federal Civil Rights Code.

Continue reading

Universal Basic Income and the Imaginary Revolution

Call me Coyote… I am a fictional character. I am not real. I am fake news. Do not believe me when I tell you about the revolution. It is an imaginary revolution. It is not real.

There has been much talk of basic income in the alternative press lately. Some of that talk has even slipped into the mainstream press (usually accompanied by a guffaw). Indeed, there are even now some very wealthy and famous liberal capitalists who support the idea. Unfortunately, the “basic income” under discussion usually misrepresents reality and fucks up the revolutionary metaphor. “Basic Income” as a concept is characterized or framed as a handout from Capitalism. The narrative must be changed to capture the economic transformation that the imaginary revolution envisions. It is not a question of handouts and charity for the unfortunate losers in an otherwise functioning system. It is an issue of basic economic rights and a revolutionary transformation of the economic system. All humans have a natural moral right to interact with their environment and use the resources available in their communities. Currency or money is the tool or mechanism that governments use to regulate and control human interaction with the environment. In the present economic system, currency is used undemocratically. Oligarchic currency, quite literally, trickles down from the top in order to re-enforce the hierarchical superstructure. The imaginary revolution would replace the oligarchic currency system with a democratic currency system that bubbles up from the bottom and thereby transform the economic system from a linear hierarchical system into a dynamic/organic system. Continue reading