What if Samuel Adams tried to start the Revolution by blogging?

Summary: What is the point of individuals publishing about politics and geopolitics on the internet? These writings — seen as a collective project — tell us much about the current state of the Republic. This post looks at the internet (of which the FM website project is a microcosm) as a mirror of America and draws some useful conclusions. This concludes with the question in the title.

Samuel Adams

Contents

  1. Surveying the scene.
  2. An alternative path to reform.
  3. Results so far.
  4. Reflections on failure.
  5. Other posts on this series.
  6. For More Information.

(1)  Surveying the scene

Some, like Mish (Mike Shedlock) at Global Economic Trends and Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism have built profitable websites providing information to communities on the Right and Left respectively.  Perhaps the most successful of these is law professor Glenn Reynolds, who has built a mass audience as the Instapundit. Some bloggers have transition to successful careers, building  their audiences into businessess (e.g, Matthew Yglesias, Ezra Klein). Many academics (e.g., economist Brad Delong and attorney Eugene Volokh) write as a natural extension of their professional work. There are thousands of other websites doing variations of these on a smaller scale.

These are tremendous accomplishments. However, what is the service they provide? They provide entertainment and catharsis for the outer party plus self-expression for the authors. The outer party is politically impotent, but likes to believe themselves otherwise. So they write posts or comments, consume information (becoming well-informed). In effect they become fans cheering and booing political actors.

These websites — posts and comments — seldom point to ways for direct political action, beyond voting or (rarely) contacting elected officials. It’s no longer in many (most?) American’s world view that we have responsibility for the actions of our government, which would mandate our involvement — or even that we have the power to run America, which would imply political action as a personal priority for each of us.

Internet lounge

Typology for our time: the bourgeois (in the Marxist sense of the property-owning class, the 5% who own 60% of America; details here), the inner party (the leadership class), the outer party (the managers and professionals), the proles (other workers, including the underclass).

(2)  An alternative path to reform, one that might work

Problem recognition is the most difficult step. After 3 years of writing I hit upon what I believe is the clearest formulation of our problem, which I published on July 4, 2006: Forecast: Death of the American Constitution. It’s passionately if not well-written (I’ve learned much since then), but imo still the most valuable post of the 3,106 on the FM website.

But what’s the cure? I grappled with this question for years, slowly realizing that providing information was futile. It’s the Ann Landers’ fallacy. E.g., the numbers of unwed births would drop if young girls in the underclass were told about birth control methods (Ann, they know more about sex than you do).

Finally I stumbled upon a useful path, and in 2009 re-envisioning the FM website as an instrument, however small, to help Americans become politically powerful again — working to retake the reins of America. It’s not a partisan project, as I urge everyone to become active. Liberal or conservative, radical or reactionary. Together our collective action will get America back on track.

But I still had no idea, right or wrong, as to the underlying cause of the problem. On New Year’s eve in 2011 I stumbled upon a useful perspective (in response to a comment, as has happened very often):

One of the constants in the comments about American politics is preemptive surrender. We don’t try to use the Constitutional machinery because we’re confident that doing so would be in vain. It’s an ideal excuse for our lazy and feckless generation, betraying the generations of work by our ancestors.

Self-government is neither fast nor easy. When we again step onto that road we might not see the eventual victory; it might lie too far in the distance. But it’s there.

In May 1764 Samuel Adams took his first steps to end British rule in America (see here for details). That same year in Boston the first of the Committees of Correspondence was formed, one of the major tools of the revolution. The Revolution ended with the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

In 1774 Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush founded America’s first anti-slavery society. The Fourteenth Amendment was ratified in 1868. The government-sponsored oppression of Blacks ended with the great Civil Rights legislation in the mid-1960s.

While diagnosis is a step forward, it gave no clue to effective treatment. My breakthrough came in October 2012.

IMO today we are {in terms of political reform} where the Revolution was in the early 1760s. Their response was to form the Committees of Correspondence.

These groups spent a decade laying the political foundation for the revolution.  They prepared answers to the vital questions.  Why was change needed?  Change towards what goal?  And they built the basic machinery: organizing, collecting petitions, developing leaders, fund-raising, etc.

We have the same need; perhaps the same solution will work.  We have hundreds of groups, dozens of coalitions — mostly special interest groups — and thousands of websites. Today they are either apolitical or focused on influencing the two major parties (on a local, State, or national level).  This is similar to the late colonial times. They were able to knit their groups into a larger whole; we should be able to do so as well.

Failure

(3)  Results so far

For the past 30 months I’ve attempted to on a small scale help set up something like the Committees — people of varying ideologies interested in political reform. I’ve reached out to other people via personal contact, email, tweets, and comments on websites. I’ve had zero success (nicely complementing my total failure at local political work).

During the years of attempting diagnosis of the Republic’s illness the most frequently requested topic was about specific recommendations for cures. What can we do? I had written several posts about this, but was told these were inadequate. After October 2012 I began to write frequently about this, about the details of organizing political reform.  Now there are almost 5 dozen such posts. They are among the least popular posts (i.e., few readers).

The reaction to my posts during these 30 months — posts totaling roughly a million words — reveals the problem. The comments show the problem even more clearly. The overwhelming majority of comments deny that success is possible. So far as I can tell, we have already made the mental and spiritual change from citizens to subjects. Telling Americans how they can work to fix America is like anti-matter. Americans close their eyes and run the other way.

This was my greatest fear, first expressed in as a cautionary note in an otherwise cheerful 2007 post:

To see where this leads, read Christian Meier’s great biography Caesar.  He describes how the Roman people grew tired of governing themselves, perhaps finding the burden too great to bear. Inevitably, strong men came forward to take this load from the people’s backs.  People who will not govern themselves have no right to complain about the decisions of the elites who rule them.

Join or Die
True in 1776. True today.

(4)  Reflections on failure

So this project has failed. I have exhausted my ideas. I described this to one of the brightest people I know, Steve Randy Waldman (writes at Interfluidity), who immediately went to the heart of the issue: “What if instead of forming the Committees of Correspondence, Samuel Adams had become a blogger?”

There probably would have been no revolution. We’d be swearing allegiance to the Queen, eating kidneys for breakfast, and playing soccer and cricket instead of football and baseball. I’d live in Californiashire. For details see this letter from the Queen to us.

More seriously, there is no core constituency for political change.

(5) Other posts in this series

  1. What if the Founders’ generation read the news as we do?
  2. Samuel Adams started the Revolution because he didn’t have Twitter.

(6)  For More Information

I strongly recommend reading Christian Meier’s great biography Caesar. It’s an inspiring history about the incredible deeds of a great man, but also the story about the decline of a great people. Today’s America is often compared to late imperial Rome, which I consider absurd. It’s seldom compared to late Republican Rome, imo because that analogy is both accurate in many ways and so quite disturbing.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about the decay of the Second Republic (built on the Constitution), and those about ways to reform America — paths to a new politics.

Always remember: revitalization is an inherent capacity of the human soul, the Founders’ machinery remains idle but still powerful, and we are powerful when we act together.

Phoenix
In our future lies a better America.

43 thoughts on “What if Samuel Adams tried to start the Revolution by blogging?

  1. What if Sam Adams the blogger posted 3000+ posts on everything he perceived to be wrong with America and Americans? What if Sam Adams demonstrated open contempt for his country and the people in it and love and admiration for Europe? What if he was derisive and contemptible to his commenters treating them as massholes,referring them continually to previously unread posts of his and imposing some unlisted high school debating rules when he didnt like their comments instead of educating them?

    On the other hand,what if Sam Adams found 3000 things about America he liked ? 3000 things that worked and needed to be expanded on? 3000 things that could bring about the change he wishes to see and maybe even be a part of? What if this Sam Adams worked to build a future he would want his children to live in instead of merely tearing down the present?

    Which Sam Adams would be more likely to succeed and be listened to?

    1. Elle,

      (1) “referring them continually to previously unread posts of”

      I provide references to additional information, which many people find useful. It’s standard practice in almost every professional and academic work. The alternative is making assertions without showing they are correct. AKA blowing hot air. There’s already a horde doing that on the internet, without my addition to their number.

      (2) “imposing some unlisted high school debating rules”

      Most active websites consider moderating comments is as a necessity. I’ve tried several methods before settling on the ones used now. They are extraordinarily light by comparison with those in many other active websites, which range from heavy prior approval (e.g., Brad Delong and RealClimate, which don’t post most criticism) or the increasingly popular no comments allowed. See here for descriptions of comment policies at other websites, with their reasoning.

      (3) “he didnt like their comments instead of educating them”

      I spend an absurdly large amount of time in dialog with commenters, including providing references to other sources of relevant information (not just on the FM website). Often dozens of rounds, even with obvious trolls. Please cite another website that does this on the same scale.

      (4) “Sam Adams demonstrated open contempt for his country”
      Let’s see you provide an example of that.

      (5) “what if Sam Adams found 3000 things about America he liked ?

      See the posts of Good News About America. As anyone in the news or publishing business could predict, these get few page views. “If it bleeds, it leads” is what people want.

      (6) “3000 things that worked and needed to be expanded on?”
      You must know that is the bulk of the content on this website.

      (7) “3000 things that could bring about the change he wishes to see and maybe even be a part of?”

      That is a large part of the content of the 56 posts about political reform, plus the many others about specific movements (the Tea Party, Occupy, the Ferguson protests, the response to the revelations about the NSA surveillance programs). I’ve been critical, saying that none of these were likely to succeed. You appear to consider my correct analysis a problem. Each to his or her own.

      (8) “What if this Sam Adams worked to build a future he would want his children to live in instead of merely tearing down the present?”

      I don’t see what you are attempting to say. This sentence seems to sum up your comment, but makes even less sense as a criticism of the FM website than the previous lines.

      (9) “Which Sam Adams would be more likely to succeed and be listened to?”

      I am certain that neither of your conjectural Sam Adams would have any effect. The follow-up post explains why.

      Summary: perhaps the difference between you and me is that I’m trying — so far spending almost ten 3 thousand hours on it. You are criticizing me form the sidelines. Why don’t you writing posts with some similar goal? Report back on your results. I suspect you will learn much from the effort.

    2. I need to support FM on this one. He has been surprisingly patient and extremely informative for those people who read his articles and check his sources. Although I have, no doubt, frequently irritated him, he has never cut me off or modified any of my comments and he has given me much to think about.

      You accuse him of being pessimistic. That’s odd, I have accused him more than once of being far too optimistic. Regardless of anybody’s opinion, you need to respect the intelligence of the writer and the fact that he is struggling his way through an enormous web of lies we tell ourselves (“drone strikes have never killed innocents”), that we tell about others (“Iran will have the bomb in 5 years (c. 1992)”) and that others tell about us (too many to name). These lies have led the US to a dark place and many of the roads from here lead to places that are obviously even worse.

      We have all struggled with that same web and many of us have come to different conclusions about the best way out. That’s natural and is actually a good thing. Now we need to test our models of reality to see which one provides the best result.

    3. Adams would need a passive, constant media like radio, a la Limbaugh, or TV ..like Fox. Blogging will not do it. Look at the audience. Look at the red state map. These people might do some face-book .. but read blogs? Guess again. Repetition of lies or truths, by men with deep authoritative voices ( preferably with menace) works, whether audio or visual. Yes, The Man, still rules.

  2. FM,

    I think that there are Samuel Adams on the web with proper influence. They encourage young men and women to travel to the Middle East and fight the Great Satan, today’s last empire.

    We, the United States, are no longer a colony seeking rebellion. We are not the underdog.

    Reforming a massive buracracy is much more difficult.

    Samuel Adams didn’t have the patience for that.

    Mike

  3. FM,
    I’ve been reading you for at least six months and I appreciate what you do. Lot’s of good information here on quite a few topics. I’ve sure that Sam Adams spent a great deal of time informing people as to why they should take action. I don’t see why having a blog would have harmed the cause, the British would have had one too. Having blogs does not prevent the militants of our day from carrying out actions.

    One major difference between you and the successful cases of change that you cite is that they were focused on narrow goals: independence from England, ending slavery, achieving specific rights, etc. From what I can tell, you do not have a similar single priority. (On this point I tend to agree with Elle that you scatter your focus with such frequent changes of topic.)

    Also, it should be noted that there are groups(probably dozens) that are politically active on most if not all of the various issues that you raise.

    On the handling of comments. I have been guilty of storming in with cryptic, sarcastic, and poorly expressed comments. FM, deserves great credit for being patient with me. Many blogs simply ban anyone who disagrees. FM has not banned me despite sharp disagreement between us on some issues. If you’re going to disagree with the editor of a blog you’ve got to expect some push back which may appear abrupt. Both parties should seek clarification before giving up, and while it’s not easy, both parties should try to keep in mind that they are both well-intentioned. Elle should return and expand on her well-intentioned comment.

    1. Gloucon,

      My message might be too simple: get involved. I believe that if we get involved solutions become possible. Left or Right is not my concern; you pick the cause that excites you. I’m not in the business of providing those solutions — which the internet overflows with. Our apathy and passivity are the problem. Out of the clash of citizen activism will come movements which find the right combination of causes and organizations.

      That matches the audience of the FM website, which is politically diverse (unusually so, I suspect, for our time).

      As for comments — I never ban people for disagreeing with me. In fact I ban very few people, and only for extreme troll like behavior (frequent long argumentative posts that drown out discussion, lies, racially incendiary, etc).

  4. FM In a previous post (A guide to the players in the Middle East’s newest war – in Yemen you quoted Machiavelli on the topic of Exiles. Browsing that book a bit, I thought this was really interesting for this topic: Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings of Niccolo Machiavelli, tr. from the Italian, by Christian E. Detmold. THIRD BOOK. CHAPTER I.

    To Insure A Long Existence To Religious Sects Or Republics, It Is Necessary Frequently To Bring Them Back To Their Original Principles.

    There is nothing more true than that all the things of this world have a limit to their existence; but those only run the entire course ordained for them by Heaven that do not allow their body to become disorganized, but keep it unchanged in the manner ordained, or if they change it, so do it that it shall be for their advantage, and not to their injury. And as I speak here of mixed bodies, such as republics or religious sects, I say that those changes are beneficial that bring them back to their original principles. And those are the best-constituted bodies, and have the longest existence, which possess the intrinsic means of frequently renewing themselves, or such as obtain this renovation in consequence of some extrinsic accidents. And it is a truth clearer than light that, without such renovation, these bodies cannot continue to exist; and the means of renewing them is to bring them back to their original principles. For, as all religious republics and monarchies must have within themselves some goodness, by means of which they obtain their first growth and reputation, and as in the process of time this goodness becomes corrupted, it will of necessity destroy the body unless something intervenes to bring it back to its normal condition. Thus, the doctors of medicine say, in speaking of the human body, that “every day some ill humors gather which must be cured.”

    This return of a republic to its original principles is either the result of extrinsic accident or of intrinsic prudence. …

    It is important for people, organizations and nations to periodically go back to their original principles which made them great, but of course apply them in the new present day situation. This includes wisely taking into account the inclination of humans to cling to the familiarity of old rituals and forms.

  5. I consider this the most thoughtful site I am currently looking at. I hope FM that you don’t burn out (two posts per day is a lot). Remember that this is the most powerful empire in world history with a tremendous inertia.
    That being said I tend to agree with Gloucon X that perhaps we should focus on some achievable goal.

    1. Socialbill,

      Picking objectives is a complex matter. Lasting organizations can grow in many ways. Sometimes they start with near-term goals, and move on to greater things afterwards (sometimes following victory, sometimes despite defeat). Like the civil rights movements. Sometimes they start with big goals and move towards them (e.g., abolitionists, suffragettes).

      What matters is the organization. What matters is not the goals, but the commitment of even a few like-minded people — and a willingness to be serious and smart. With that much becomes possible. Unfortunately I don’t see that we have the necessary combination of ingredients today.

  6. Tribes” by John Robb at Global Fuerillas, 6 March 2009:

    This may fill in some gaps for people thinking about surviving the future intact.

    How do you manufacture a strong community that protects, defends and advances the interests of its members? You build a tribe. Tribal organization is the most survivable of all organizational types and it was the dominant form for 99.99% of human history. The most important aspect of tribal organization is that it is the organizational cockroach of human history. It has proven it can withstand the onslaught of the harshest of environments. Global depression? No problem.

    If you are like most people in the ‘developed world,’ you don’t have any experience in a true tribal organization. Tribal organizations were crushed in the last couple of Centuries due to pressures from the nation-state that saw them as competitors and the marketplace that saw them as impediments. All we have now it is a moderately strong nuclear family (weakened via modern economics that forces familial diasporas), a weak extended family, a loose collection of friends (a social circle), a tenuous corporate affiliation, and a tangential relationship with a remote nation-state. That, for many of us, is proving to be insufficient as a means of withstanding the pressures of the chaotic and harsh modern environment (D2 in particular).

    The solution to this problem is to build a tribe. A group of people that you are loyal to you and you are loyal in return. In short, the need for a primary loyalty to a group that really cares about your survival and future success.

    So how do you build a tribe? A strong tribe, in this post-industrial environment*, isn’t built from the top down. Instead it is built organically from the bottom up. A simple tribe starts with cementing ties to your extended family, a connection of blood. The second step is to extend that network to include other families and worthy individuals. A key part of that is to build fictive kinship, a sense of connectedness that leads to the creation of loyalty to the group. That kinship is built through (see Ronfeldt’s paper for some background on this):

    Story telling. Shared histories and historical narratives. Rites of passage. Rituals of membership. Membership is earned not given due to the geographic location of birth or residence. Obligations. Rules of conduct and honor. The ultimate penalty being expulsion. Egalitarian and often leaderless organization. Sharing is prized. Multi-skilled. Segmental organization (lots of redundancy among parts). Two-way loyalty. The tribe protects the members and the members protect the tribe. If this isn’t implemented, you don’t have a tribe, you have a Kiwanis club.

    The development of fictive kinship will likely be key to the development of resilient communities (as it is already for global guerrillas). We can already see this process at work in the UK’s Transition Towns movement with their story telling, honoring elders, re-skilling, and leaderless approach (see the 12 steps).

    *Nationalism is a form of fictive kinship manufactured/bent to serve the needs of the state during our industrial phase of economic organization.

    1. OWS,

      John Robb is a brilliant guy, and he’s done a great job marketing this survivalist malarkey. This article would be more interesting if he cited the slightest shred of evidence from the vast body of history and social science research about tribes to support this mess of assertions.

      Here we see the difference between the FM website and most of what’s on the internet. There is little or nothing on the FM website in this form. It’s seldom found because it’s difficult to write well-supported posts, and that unless done by really super people they don’t get a big audience.

    1. OWN,

      “Justifying yourself is a sign of weakness”

      Wow. I doubt that many successful organizations consider supporting proposals with more analysis and information to be “a sign of weakness”. My guess is such thinking is found most often at ineffective or outright failing groups.

      It would be great to see a discussion of that among B-school professors or successful leaders.

      For a far better way of running a group I recommend reading Robert Townsend’s great book Up the Organization. See section 26 about “momuments to ego” and #27 about the importance of decisions made by frank discussion (avoid easy consensus).

      For further reading see the sections “distrust your instincts” and “vanity, all is vanity.”

  7. Each of you has a particular style, to be honest with you, I prefer his style, because as I said, strong men dont justify themselves, because they dont need to.

    John Robb brilliant, I concur, he’s not your competition, he might be your coopetition.

    In your day to day life… when you make an assertion to people… do you present them with an extensive justification of your assertion? or do they do or dont beleive you based on your reputation, you should exploit your reputation more.

    You are not talking to a congress of scientists here, you are talking to honorable people of every walk of life.

    Regards,
    Occupy Wall Street Buenos Aires

    1. OSW,

      My experience is in academia, community service organizations, and business. In all three I have found analysis and proposals are strongly challenged before acceptance. I was not involved in the Occupy movement, but suspected that they had exactly the attitude you describe — where wild assertions are accepted by the extent they match people’s biases and preconceptions. Which explains what happened

      In casual conversation, at a tailgate party for example, people don’t expect supporting documentation. But forming opinions based on people’s gasing will quickly lead to a large divergence in thinking from the real world. Perhaps that explains the increasingly delusional state of America’s Left and Right — as tribal truths disconnect from reality.

  8. “perhaps the difference between you and me is that I’m trying — so far spending almost ten thousand hours on it. You are criticizing me form the sidelines. Why don’t you writing posts with some similar goal? Report back on your results.I suspect you will learn much from the effort.”

    Its been my privilege,and occasional exasperation to follow your blog since its early days,back when Instapundit used to link with you which is how I discovered you.Its also been my privilege to serve as a blog mistress for four blogs,one of which was a humble freedom\guns\aviation blog which used to link to you here regularly with your permission.I closed down that blog because I was unable to continually come up with fresh material consistently and developed a pessemistic attitude which my readers called me on.

    My attitude’s improved but I still am unable to come up with enough intellectual fodder to feed another blog like that without going pessimistic, and who needs another pessimistic blog on America anyhow? The other three blogs are doing well,I’ve enlisted the aid of co bloggers with subject knowledge, enthusiasm and humility. If I spent ten thousand hours on all my blogs with diminishing returns I would consider at least a change of tone or topic.

    Our friend Sam Adams was also well known in his community and able to relate to the sensibilities of the common man of his times.He wasn’t represented by a bust of a Roman with an “about” section of unverifiable information. However,it can be prudent in this day and age to do such things.

    I love it when I can find things on your blog I can wrap my feeble mind around,I wish this blog success and look forward to the next installment of Sam Adams!

  9. You are wrong, we dont help OWS because we are as delusional as the people in the states, we help them because they are fundamentally right, here in argentina, we are beyond left and right.

    Preconceptions do indeed form a great part of the ability to convey concepts, thet preconceptions of your audience, that is, of couse, reputation is the most basic human trust system, put that a la internet, you have reputation, maybe a new blogger would need to justify himself, justifying yourself in your case is detrimental, for no reason.

    BTW, OWS is an organization that never existed, its a TAZ

    1. Occupy,

      “You are wrong, we dont help OWS because we are as delusional as the people in the states”

      I never anything like that. I have not the slightest knowledge about Occupy movements in other nations. I was referring to why the Occupy movement in America flared and faded without effect.

      “OWS is an organization that never existed.”

      You’re thinking of “organization” in too narrow a sense. A “movement” is an “organization” in the usual sense of the word, however loose it might be.

  10. “What matters is the organization. What matters is not the goals, but the commitment of even a few like-minded people — and a willingness to be serious and smart. With that much becomes possible. Unfortunately I don’t see that we have the necessary combination of ingredients today.”

    FM,
    Thanks for that very important point. And I know that you know from your link to G. William Domhoff’s Who Rules America? that our elite is highly committed and organized in just such a way. They were smart enough to know that they had to destroy any effective organizations formed by non-elites, and so they attacked and very effectively destroyed American labor unions. Domhoff has some very good discussions of this. I’ve been meaning to bring him up, as we were both government/poli-sci majors I had a feeling you were familiar with his work. Of course, 99.99% of Americans know nothing about the truth about our system that he reveals.

    1. Gloucon,

      Domhoff gives a account of one of the pivotal battles in US history, the equivalent for the 1% of Midway (we’re the Japanese in this analogy). But like Imperial Japanese, the citizen power of the America created by the New Deal was an accident of history. It resulted from the hard-won successes of the unions during the previous 50+ years, and the progressive era reform movements. But equally important was the role of events scaring the 1%: the communist revolutions, the expansion of the Soviet Union, and the Great Depression.

      The resulting America — with a large and prosperous middle class, broadly active in social and political matters — was a house of cards. The 1% relatively easily knocked it down, and we seem unable to mount a serious political response. That was my point — poorly expressed — in this post about the rise of citizen writers (Naked Capitalism, National Review, Instapundit, etc). What is their political effect — or are they providing entertainment plus catharsis?

      My guess (emphasis on guess) is that these outlets would be far less popular if they imposed a burden of responsibility on their audiences — to act on the information provided.

  11. Trivia fact about this post: there are 13 comments here (not including mine) on a post with 350 page views. That’s almost 4%, by Internet standards an off-the-chart high number.

    But its common on the FM website. I don’t know what that means, but it might mean something.

    The 350 page views are typical for a post up this long (half a day), on a weekend.

  12. “I don’t know what that means, but it might mean something.”

    Diversity has its drawbacks, as well as its benefits. And participation is encouraged
    when diverse participation is allowed. Who else from South America contributes to this blog?

    1. Salient,

      “who else from S Am contributes”

      Good question. I try not to look at the identify of commenters, so that each comment is seen as fresh. Otherwise my preconceptions and biases tend to dominate my reading. Even so they often do anyway.

      WordPress tells me the geographic origin of traffic. 2/3’s comes from the US. The smallest fraction comes from Latin America: 2% (the 2 largest sources being Argentina and Mexico). Each nation contributes a few page views so far this year, including 5 each from Grenada and Antigua (10 from Cuba).

  13. ” In all three I have found analysis and proposals are strongly challenged before acceptance.”

    Certainly they are, but justifying yourself with academic papers is not the most
    efficient nor effective way of conveying concepts, I agree with ocuppy.

    1. Salient,

      “but justifying yourself with academic papers”

      I doubt that’s 10% of the links I use.

      This must be one of the dumbest debates I’ve had (which is pretty amazing). If you prefer people who just blow smoke at you, fine. Ignore the links. I cannot imagine why they bother you.

  14. Editor, What you refuse to allow to permeate your analysis
    is that when insanity is sanity, justifications are of no use.

  15. “I doubt that’s 10% of the links I use.

    This must be one of the dumbest debates I’ve had (which is pretty amazing). If you prefer people who just blow smoke at you, fine. Ignore the links. I cannot imagine why they bother you.”

    Thats not what Im saying, I, particularly ME, I love those links,
    but only 5% or less will follow those links,
    95% is left with the impression of you justifying youself,
    never reading the justification.

    Im not arguing about what is correct, but what is practical.

  16. Editor, This is not a dumb debate, whet you perceive as “dumb”
    is a cultural/linguistic/semantic/semiotic barrier

  17. This is not a dumb debate, wh(a)t you perceive as “dumb”
    is a cultural/linguistic/semantic/semiotic barrier
    …. That You seem to not be able to overcome
    I can.. :)

  18. FM
    This is perhaps the silliest post I have encountered so far on this site. I am almost certain that in Sammy Adams time agencies such as CIA/NSA/FBI had yet been formed. This would probably make blogging your way to revolution in todays world rather hard. A half way intelligent monkey would realize there are really only 2 possibilities. This site is monitoring traffic and responses and any serious “revolutionary” would there for steer clear; or, above mentioned agencies are well aware of the site and deem it to be of little or no threat.

    But why revolution? I have often pondered the possibility that the only reason the 99 percent is disgruntled by the 1 percent is because there is no longer the opportunity to join the club. It is my experience that you could take any human being place them in the shoes of a 1 percenter and with in a very short time they would be behaving just as repulsively as those they once condemned. My solution is much more fun, get a big bowl, fill it with popcorn and watch as it slowly falls apart. Then I will laugh most joyously at a history professor I once had who Declared “history does not repeat its self”.

    ” I was cynical in my youth. I observed the world around me and wondered how we had survived so long. Our history spent in constant conflict; leaders rising and falling with the frequency of sea tides. Pharaoh’s, Emperor’s, Kings, all in turn destroying that which proceeded them; each time falling victim to the belief that their power endowed them with superiority beyond judgment. People were viewed as beasts of burden, a resource which existed to provide the powers with provision. We were blinded by carefully crafted propaganda that played on the fears of our mortality. So eagerly did we rise up feasting on the promises of a new dawn, blooding the ground with the lives of those who did not see the light…”

    …And the clock keeps ticking.

    1. KA,

      Did you read the post, or just the title? If you read the post you’d see this is about ways to contact people — the value of broadcasting vs. building networks of personal relationships — and determining the actual problem facing us.

      Although your comment about government surveillance is irrelevant to the post, it is an important consideration for political organizers (not just revolutionaries). As I have said several times, the best policy is …

      “Be transparent. Assume total surveillance by the police, so keep only secrets necessary for marketing purposes (e.g., like Apple does for new products). Between infiltrators and electronic surveillance, the police will know as much as they want to know.”

    2. FM
      Yes I read the post…my issue is in your “determining the actual problem(s) facing us” My point was that you can build and rebuild a million times…but…IMMHO…the problem isn’t with the system but the people managing it. AND…that it is my observation regardless of who is put in charge…whoever is elevated to the top…will in time grow just as corrupt and indifferent to the “commoners” as those who proceeded them.

      There are always issues in societies regardless of time or area and the problem is almost always the people in charge. One power casts out the last only to become an echo of that which they replaced. The problem is people, I don’t think we have the ability to create and sustain large organized societies with out those societies and the governing bodies proceeding over them eventually growing corrupt and falling apart. I see this as the result of our own inability to transition from one phase of social (and perhaps biological) evolution to the next with out letting the last phase… phase out… if you will, and then rebuilding.

      I believe this to be one of the issues we are facing today. We are a short sighted people who press forward with out a clear notion of where we are going or why; then when we find ourselves (as we are currently) in a situation where some drastic changes will need to be made to continue on in our current state, there is resistance from those who are either invested in the current situation or set in their ways (afraid) of said needed changes. So the only way to fix it, let it fall and those who opposed a smooth transition fall with it.

    3. Mr. Maximus;
      Not an excuse, but rather a logical observation. Let’s assume we the people were to find an outgoing charismatic individual capable of leading the people into action to reform America…what exactly do you suppose they will want to see reformed? Economy first so they can return to jobs that provide the incomes necessary to sit on their butts indulging in wasteful oblivion comfortably ignoring the issues they leave to our governments to solve with out allowing the power necessary to do so. It’s how we got here to begin with. We deny and ignore issues that are legitimate problems to focus on those that make more interesting twitter material.
      So as we grow dumber our machines and gadgets get smarter, replacing our own intelligence with the simplicity of google.
      After said charismatic outgoing leader arouses the people into action to insure that our leaders are actually listening to their newest strain of infectious and ignorant whining and giving them what they want…what next?
      It is a perfect fix if we could just find that leader. We can continue pupping out worthless waste in the name of generating jobs that allow the income necessary to purchase the same junk you earned the money making. We will continue to shelve new and innovative technologies (those that are not black budgeted in the name of really cool new weapons (toys) for our military) so people like the Koch brothers can continue to increase their empire (for what purpose I’m still trying to figure out). We will continue to dumb down education in the name of illegal immigrants who can’t keep up (and because stupid people are easy to control), creating the next generation of biological drones who march down the streets in protest of their Liberty (driving pollutant spewing extra cab four wheel drive ford f 350’s to work at the mill each day) Justice (getting away with that you expect others to be punished for) Pursuit of Happiness (screwing like wild cats and posting the results on youtube, stuffing our faces with extra biggie sized meals from McDonalds in honor of Ferns beloved Wilbur and thoughtlessly reproducing offspring that resembles something from a Hitchcock horror flick who will inevitably be cussed out at the local Walmart while 350 lb momma drives a wheelie cart to purchase potato chips and soda pop with this months wic. And last but not least LIFE…

      See the issue… it’s what I was trying to point out in the previous comments. Of coarse there is hope there is always hope…just not if your human. There are an endless number of things that could be done to insure our continued progress…they just are not going to be done because progressive peoples with the courage to stand up and do what is necessary, are an endangered species.

      …And…just because I don’t agree with your enthusiasm that people are going to rise up and make the world a better place, does not mean I am making an excuse to watch TV. I rarely watch TV it’s garbage.

    4. KA,

      (1) “if we the people were to find an outgoing charismatic individual capable of leading the people into action to reform America”

      I reject your premise. NONE of the great British and American reform movements centered on or required a charismatic individual: abolitionist, suffragette, or American civil rights.

      (2) “to sit on their butts indulging in wasteful oblivion comfortably ignoring the issues”

      OK, you are uninterested in this premise. My guess is that this is yet another in the comments justifying your surrender, your apathy, and embrace of passivity.

      (3) “So as we grow dumber our machines and gadgets get smarter, replacing our own intelligence with the simplicity of google.”

      I have lost interest in reading further. You’re just making up a vision — one without grounding in our present or history — to justify your conclusion.

    5. My My, The keepers of the Fabius Maximus legacy are indeed tough eggs to crack. I find this a common issue when confronting the delusional (or in this case overly optimistic) individual with a truth to hard to face.

      Grounding one’s opinion to prove one’s point in any thing but historical or current facts; is the name of this game. Most do this without even being aware, omitting details to ensure their version of reality remains a place of security within which they can exist.

      A wonderful place to start a debate.

      The human mind is at best, underdeveloped. A more honest statement would be to simply say we are still a highly primitive being. Our current success as a species is primarily the result of having complex communicative abilities (speech) not from a highly developed intellect. We arrived at our current state through a series of evolutionary stages. Each stage creating the facilities necessary for the continued success of our species. (To put it very simply) we eat because a chemical reaction in the brain encourages us to do so. The same can be said about anger/fear (fight or flight) love/sex (reproductive). These among others are the drivers of any complex spices. Over time (and still somewhat unexplained by scientists) we developed the frontal regions of our brain that allow for complex analytical ideas and emotions. In our current state the average person uses emotion as a sort of biological system of control…meaning when my brain tells me I’m hungry I don’t run over to the neighbor mowing his lawn and chew off his leg; I would feel ashamed and guilty for doing this.

      Within the higher IQ ranges people are able to employ logic in much the same way, where their reasoning for not chewing off the neighbors leg would be out of rather quickly deducing the legal consequences for this action.
      The issue with humanity is that our frontal brain and primitive brain is in flux. Much of humanity is still driven by the primitive impulses that were designed as a survival mechanism for nonthinking animals. In short people do not exhibit the amount of self control necessary for long term social order. (and yes I would say this is supported by both past and present)

      Why does any of this matter? Because within any system of social control and order one must first consider that which they seek to organize and control. We are in essence a exotic breed of bipedal babbling apes. (for proof of this look into the work done by Jane Goodall and Diane Fossey)

      From here one must question not only past and present BUT also consider where the species should go next and why (one of the issues I mentioned above as being problematic within our leadership past and present)?

      We have employed several types of governing systems and each time the system fails we design new systems with the expectation it will achieve the goal of long term social organization and control.

      My argument…the systems were and are not the issue. Feudalism is Ideal, Dictatorship is logical Republic/Democracy philosophically ethical, in a situation where the body being governed is able to dictate their own behavior according to the guidelines of the system within which they live. We do not do this, hence the need for police/military; we not only have to have laws but systems that enforce those laws.

      Many of this sites posts ask the question “how do we restore the republic?” My point is we don’t.
      The question on the minds of our and future generations should not be how to return to the past but better prepare for a future we can not avoid HENCE “and the clock keeps ticking” the American republic did it’s job so far as propelling people to a state of being where our behavior is less barbaric less tribal and more aware of our individual differences and needs. An important step in sentient evolution, but not one we have finished taking.

      An interesting post Mr. Maximus would be addressing the form of government needed to lead us into the future not how to fix one that is already becoming a part of our past. And to do this one must except that the issue within any system are the bodies within it.

      Who are we and what is the value of our lives. To what purpose should we set our goals and what type of leadership/government, will succeed in this task. This is where our founding fathers began… with philosophy…not politics… and they sure as hell did not seek to restore their current government but to destroy it and create something better.

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