Archive for the 'Politics' Category

ROLDO RIGHTS ON: TRAFFIC CAMERAS SHOULD GO…

October 30th, 2014

Cleveland traffic cameras are emblematic of the inequality built into so much of what happens in the city. First and foremost, I’m told that City Council members have a veto over where (and whether) a stationary camera is placed in their ward. How does that square with the claim it is a safety program? When […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V H…

October 30th, 2014

Western Sovietologists often exaggerate the role of individuals in the post-totalitarian system and overlook the fact that the ruling figures, despite the immense power they possess through the centralized structure of power, are often no more than blind executors of the system’s own internal laws-laws they themselves never can, and never do, reflect upon. In […]

$172,669 FOR NEW RIOT GEAR AHEAD OF VERDICT…

October 30th, 2014

This internal thread concerning events in and about Ferguson, Missouri, is stuck to the top of the blog, newer, less vital, posts appear below. Meanwhile, comments on PZ Myers’ Good Morning, America now exceed 1,600… The police department overseeing the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, over the killing of an unarmed 18-year-old has spent tens of […]

ROLDO RIGHTS ON: OHIO’S RACE FOR GOVERNOR,
VOTE FITZGERALD; DON’T ENCOURAGE KASICH…

October 29th, 2014

There are a lot of voters—Democrats—out there who want to use Ed FitzGerald as their punching bag this November. [Full disclosure, Roldo most likely count me in that club, for good reasons.] Henry Gomez already has secured that job. FitzGerald has turned out to be a sad candidate. He’s taking an ongoing beating in the […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V G…

October 29th, 2014

Because of this dictatorship of the ritual, however, power becomes clearly anonymous. Individuals are almost dissolved in the ritual. They allow themselves to be swept along by it and frequently it seems as though ritual alone carries people from obscurity into the light of power. Is it not characteristic of the post-totalitarian system that, on […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V F…

October 28th, 2014

If ideology is the principal guarantee of the inner consistency of power, it becomes at the same time an increasingly important guarantee of its continuity. Whereas succession to power in classical dictatorship is always a rather complicated affair (the pretenders having nothing to give their claims reasonable legitimacy, thereby forcing them always to resort to […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V E…

October 27th, 2014

Yet, as we have seen, ideology becomes at the same time an increasingly important component of power, a pillar providing it with both excusatory legitimacy and an inner coherence. As this aspect grows in importance, and as it gradually loses touch with reality, it acquires a peculiar but very real strength. It becomes reality itself, […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V D…

October 26th, 2014

As the interpretation of reality by the power structure, ideology is always subordinated ultimately to the interests of the structure. Therefore, it has a natural tendency to disengage itself from reality, to create a world of appearances, to become ritual. In societies where there is public competition for power and therefore public control of that […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V C…

October 25th, 2014

The whole power structure (and we have already discussed its physical articulation) could not exist at all if there were not a certain metaphysical order binding all its components together, interconnecting them and subordinating them to a uniform method of accountability, supplying the combined operation of all these components with rules of the game, that […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V B…

October 24th, 2014

If ideology was originally a bridge between the system and the individual as an individual, then the moment he steps on to this bridge it becomes at the same time a bridge between the system and the individual as a component of the system. That is, if ideology originally facilitated (by acting outwardly) the constitution […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART V A…

October 23rd, 2014

WE HAVE seen that the real meaning of the greengrocer’s slogan has nothing to do with what the text of the slogan actually says. Even so, this real meaning is quite clear and generally comprehensible because the code is so familiar: the greengrocer declares his loyalty (and he can do no other if his declaration […]

RALPH NADER RIGHTS ON KASICH AND ROLDO…

October 22nd, 2014

Governor John Kasich State of Ohio Riffe Center, 30th Floor 77 South High Street Columbus, OH 43215-6117 Dear Governor Kasich: I have recently been reading articles describing your compassionate conservatism as compared with the more hard-bitten practices of your Republican colleagues. You seem to have a genuine concern for some of the plights of the […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART IV C…

October 22nd, 2014

The post-totalitarian system touches people at every step, but it does so with its ideological gloves on. This is why life in the system is so thoroughly permeated with hypocrisy and lies: government by bureaucracy is called popular government; the working class is enslaved in the name of the working class; the complete degradation of […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART IV B…

October 21st, 2014

Ideology, in creating a bridge of excuses between the system and the individual, spans the abyss between the aims of the system and the aims of life. It pretends that the requirements of the system derive from the requirements of life. It is a world of appearances trying to pass for reality. From The Power […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART IV A…

October 20th, 2014

BETWEEN the aims of the post-totalitarian system and the aims of life there is a yawning abyss: while life, in its essence, moves toward plurality, diversity, independent self-constitution, and self organization, in short, toward the fulfillment of its own freedom, the post-totalitarian system demands conformity, uniformity, and discipline. While life ever strives to create new […]

I APPROVE OF ANTHONY FOSSACECA…

October 19th, 2014

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: PART III C…

October 19th, 2014

The smaller a dictatorship and the less stratified by modernization the society under it, the more directly the will of the dictator can be exercised. In other words, the dictator can employ more or less naked discipline, avoiding the complex processes of relating to the world and of self-justification which ideology involves. But the more […]

HAVEL ON THE POWERLESS: IIIB…

October 18th, 2014

Ideology is a specious way of relating to the world. It offers human beings the illusion of an identity, of dignity, and of morality while making it easier for them to part with them. As the repository of something suprapersonal and objective, it enables people to deceive their conscience and conceal their true position and […]

OHIO COAL THRIVES UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA…

October 17th, 2014

As angry bipartisan crowds of Ohio politicians gather to defend “our coal jobs” from the US EPA’s proposed new rules for coal power plants, it’s worth noting just how many jobs we’re talking about. Yes, those are the actual numbers—no zeros have been omitted. (It’s off topic, but note the increase in Ohio coal employment […]

JONNY JOO’S HAUNTING HOMES…

October 17th, 2014

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