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THE EARTHIAN — 17

THE EARTHIAN, Number Seventeen, Effective Learning Publications, https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, June 13, 2020

THE EARTHIAN is a digest of articles containing facts, perspectives, theories, models, analyses, and recommendations concerned about existential states of affairs affecting all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth. Recent relevant articles written and published by intelligent hard-hitting truth-seeking writers in Internet journals about psychological, social, economic, political, military, religious, and ecological states of affairs around Spaceship Earth are linked below as sources, following a comment by the editor.

“ASK LESS WHAT YOUR NATION CAN DO FOR YOU—ASK MORE WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR SPACESHIP EARTH”

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME RIGHT NOW

By Richard John Stapleton

The Covid 19 virus is far from conquered, still thriving it seems, despite various countries, including the US, saying it’s not that bad, and therefore the economy should be opened back up. And then you can find numbers on the Internet saying just the opposite, another one hundred thousand deaths in the US by September, etc.

And there’s more climate change bad news, such as the recent cyclone in India-Bangladesh, the first of their season, causing three million people to be evacuated, hopefully not a harbinger of what the 2020 hurricane season has in store for the US.

And then there’s the stock market crash and federal government and Federal Reserve System monetary policy actions trying to stave off another Great Depression, with trillions of dollars of new funny money pumped into markets to stabilize them. Want to buy a little more stock now that the market has gone back up some? Go ahead and do it, may be the thing to do. But maybe not. You’ll lose your shirt some say, just like in the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

And a police squad of three Caucasians and one Oriental in the US killed George Floyd, a US citizen of African descent, callously, heedlessly, and brutishly, whether intentionally or otherwise, and got caught on a bystander’s cell phone video, that went viral. And riots and protests erupted in violence and flames across the US, and around Spaceship Earth.

And then Trump threatened to turn the US into a military dictatorship with himself, Mussolini-like, in “total domination” of the situation, to control the protests, demonstrations, riots, and looting.

And the US state department and military continue to play Games around Spaceship Earth, from eight hundred or so USian military bases, constructed near the borders of countries such as Iran, Venezuela, Russia, Yemen, China, and North Korea, and in Africa, and South America, acting as if the US had nobly and virtuously won World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, and its recent Middle Eastern wars, and thus has a sacred right to make sure USians and and other Earthian humans stay safe from all economic and political operations on foreign soil not acceptable to the US government.

Yes, of course, capitalism is the right and best economic system. Dog eat dog capitalism really works, doesn’t it, especially for the richest, the too big to fail, and the most powerful.

And just let the USian Federal Reserve System, and other Earthian central banking systems, keep punching more digits into computers and calling the resulting numbers money, and use the resulting funny money to pay military bills, pensions, and salaries for all government and military employees, and contractors, and provide subsidies for anyone who needs one, of whatever wealth level, occupation, race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or whatever, MMT it’s called, Modern Monetary Theory, so we can all live happily ever after. Whoopee.

It’s largely a psychological Game, rescuing, persecuting, or victimizing someone or some group or organization, or nation, whatever seems most profitable. Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

For more information regarding my use of Transactional Analysis  https://www.itaaworld.org/  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes see my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331 

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA see my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds   https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/   for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK—You’re OK life position.

This entails Earthians peacefully reducing through natural attrition the human population aboard Spaceship Earth for several generations, not doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/  

Riding aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows at clouds and lightning below with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

In the interests of full disclosure some of these ideas were learned from Buckminster Fuller reading his book Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth.

TO RESPOND:

As usual this edition of THE EARTHIAN  links and cites as SOURCES recent articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers on various Earthian states of affairs.

Some Game playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer may be psychologically persecuting, rescuing, or victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what they think is really going on.

Unfortunately it seems to me one can build a case politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games, also wasting time and energy pastiming, and doing rituals (shuffling paper, filling out forms, attending unproductive meetings), and raising money to buy advertising to get reelected. Almost everything done in so-called foreign policy around Earth is a move in a psychological Game it seems to me.

It’s not easy, impossible possibly, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet, and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about psychological, social, economic, or political states of affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong than dishonestly wrong. Telling someone something you know is fake as if it were true is worse than telling someone something that’s fake because of genuine ignorance.

It seems to me most lying is lying by omission, people not telling people things they know are true to gain some sort of psychological, social, economic, or political advantage. Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful than lying by commission, telling people things you know are false and fake, is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to know what’s fake and what’s not. Political parties, Earthian governments, and mainstream media lie by omission with alacrity.

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html go to this blog’s RESPONSES page and let us know about them at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html .

Feel free to respond with comments and criticisms about any of the SOURCES listed below using the RESPONSES post on this blog masthead at the top of this page; but please refrain from making ad hominem attacks. Criticize and correct any of the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles; but please refrain from slandering and defaming the characteristics and reputations of the authors illogically using slanderous or defamatory comments trying to prove their arguments and conclusions in their articles are wrong, and yours are right.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for THE EARTHIAN, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN and would like to reciprocate go to the Effective Learning Publications page and purchase one or more copies of my books at   https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html  .

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT AND THE EARTHIAN email rjstapleton@bulloch.net and enter the word Subscription on the subject line.     

Feel free to forward, share, post, print, or otherwise circulate The Earthian any way you see fit.  

Richard John Stapleton, certified transactional analyst, educator, writer, editor, publisher, and octogenarian emeritus professor of management. A full career vita is provided on the RJS Academic Vita page posted on this blog’s masthead at the top of this page.

SOURCES:

June 16, 2020

Very sad and scary

“False flags fail to derail national uprising,” by Werner Lange, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30108.

June 14

Yuk

“Truck Drivers Reject Delivery To Cities With Defunded Or Disbanded Police, by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/truck-drivers-reject-deliver-cities-defunded-or-disbanded-police-departments?fbclid=IwAR31nD8_2gLDbSWv_VEHYiJKpoRFhCDXm2qlR9VnMacbRsZILxxsiaKDbss.

June 14

Something new at least

“Republic Of Chaz Begins Reparations; White Participants Pressured To Give Blacks  $10 Each,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/republic-chaz-begins-reparations-white-participants-pressured-give-blacks-10-each?fbclid=IwAR3HqwgoqB_yhKORJoIm9nziJk5xsKUrdVxAqNCL1kClB1Brc4ULt5QXp1Y.

June 13

Unfortunately relevant

“The American Press is Destroying Itself,” by Matt Taibbi, REPORTING BY MATT TAIBBI, https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-news-media-is-destroying-itself?fbclid=IwAR1jKSPvBIhGqHGD43mfFbkH1vwOBJlM0HiUQ2RRUjZXKsHWAl_-A2YvJbs.

June 13

Maybe we USians have had a military coup and don’t know it.

“Removing a U.S. President Without an Election,” by Paul Ryder, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/12/removing-a-u-s-president-without-an-election/?fbclid=IwAR0141O9yf6B-ilq9q-G4J2GvPhIoz7EU2EupP1SO0k8X1-8L8z4Q9hema4.

June 13

Not such a bad conspiracy theory site after all.

“Twitter Reinstates Zerohedge After Admitting It Made An ‘Error’,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/twitter-reinstates-zerohedge-after-admitting-it-made-error?fbclid=IwAR2To4BsdLzgDB9Z2qtfL5KK6y-wTCRYWZS4rulz38ysw1k2h2z7W7oLygI.

June 12

Say it aint so Joe

“Engineering a race war: Will this be the American police state’s Reichstag fire?,” by John W. Whitehead, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30078.

June 12

Wise words from Bill Moyers

“We hold this truth to be self-evident: It’s happening before our very eyes,” by Bill Moyers, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30056.

June 12

Some sad numbers in this article.

“What George Floyd’s dying breaths tell our fractured nation,” by Michael Winship, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30084.

June 12

How could anyone think the US could function without police?

“Defund the police, defund the military,” by Medea Benjamin and Nicholas J S Davies, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30086.

June 12

Several wrongs do not make a right. Kneeling on the man’s neck and killing him while handcuffed was off the chart cruel and inhumane, and punishments for the crime should ensue; but as this article points out there are other considerations. Things have been taken out of context to serve various purposes. Here is a quote from the Berkeley article posted below:

“In the extended links and resources you provided, I could not find a single instance of substantial counter-argument or alternative narrative to explain the under-representation of black individuals in academia or their over-representation in the criminal justice system. The explanation provided in your documentation, to the near exclusion of all others, is univariate: the problems of the black community are caused by whites, or, when whites are not physically present, by the infiltration of white supremacy and white systemic racism into American brains, souls, and institutions.

“Many cogent objections to this thesis have been raised by sober voices, including from within the black community itself, such as Thomas Sowell and Wilfred Reilly. These people are not racists or ‘Uncle Toms’. They are intelligent scholars who reject a narrative that strips black people of agency and systematically externalizes the problems of the black community onto outsiders. Their view is entirely absent from the departmental and UCB-wide communiques.”

What is “agency”? Basically it’s believing that humans have the capacity to make independent decisions, which is not the same as saying free will exists and humans consciously choose to do what they do on the spot, poof, as if my magic, deciding what to do instantaneously, instead of being caused to decide and do what they do by preexisting causes linked in unbroken cause-effect regressive chains. If you ask Google “does free will exist?” you will find thousands of references for and against the idea that free will exists. No one can prove that free will exists, for Earthian humans of any sort, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or whatever.

One can build a case that no race is more to blame for what has happened than any other since all were caused to do what they did, or, as the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein propositioned in his book Prototractatus, “Everything that happens happens by accident.” I discussed this problem in my book Business Voyages: Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Discovering and Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds.

If free will does not exist then no one is to blame or praise.

“Anonymous Berkeley Professor Shreds BLM Injustice Narrative,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/anonymous-berkeley-professor-shreds-blm-injustice-narrative-damning-stats-and-logic?fbclid=IwAR3qjX2MPhqziS1neSkvGbV3xuA8nEz7bhkeglLuAyXfHMVRci_qmKy7OEA.

June 11

Another article on white privilege.

“Meditations on whiteness,” by Caitlin Johnstone, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30062.

June 11

No telling what kinds of considerations for money making are happening within pharmaceutical corporations caused by the need for a vaccine to prevent Covid 19.

“When profits and politics drive science: Rushing a vaccine to market for a vanishing virus,” by Ellen Brown, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/30076.

June 11

Say it aint so Joe

“Stocks suffer their worst day since March, with the Dow plunging more than 1,800 points,” by Fred Imbert and Yun Li, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/10/stock-market-futures-open-to-close-news.html?__source=sharebar%7Cfacebook&par=sharebar&fbclid=IwAR2lDu5faR-KYzD1UyvNshuXE2tsRLU240kwF13OdXI6EF8d4A9jz06ObEw.

June 11

Seems true to me. I have been saying for fifteen years the US needs more fiscal policy action rather than monetary policy action at the macro level, as this article points out. Chickens are comin’ home to roost. It’s past time to start using fiscal policy to enrich the poor by significantly increasing the taxes of the rich to create infrastructure jobs rather than continue to enrich the rich using monetary policy. Rabobank is a large international bank headquartered in the Netherlands.

“’Stupid and Ridiculous’: Rabobank Says The Fed Will Cause Everything To Come Crashing Down In Epic Ruin,” Michael Every, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/stupid-and-ridiculous-rabobank-says-fed-will-cause-everything-come-crashing-down-epic-ruin?fbclid=IwAR3z-jjh9-edompnfPnU3lXwItuhm_xS9iJKy9VK1kFhY4cJuYHCkaCL9_c.

June 10

Saying lowlifes and losers caused the riots is appallingly low class and low life-like loser language for a president of the US to use, especially when irresponsibly Tweeted when the US is in a serious crisis, as if trying to fan the flames of fires already lit. It’s hard to believe someone like this got elected president of the US. He’s got to go. Joe Biden will probably be a disaster as president but surely not be as disastrous as Trump, thanks to Dem voters in their primary not having enough sense to vote in their own best interests for Bernie Sanders, in a rigged corrupt primary from the git-go.

“NYC Bans Cars Below 96th Street As Riots Go Global,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/tensions-erupt-nation-burns-following-trump-threats-military-force-against-protesters?fbclid=IwAR3hU87_K6Yf67OaHw09ifdX8JqIAszhrn6TOZnbLyB7cdo9CaYYoqNRaRM.

June 10

We’ll see

“’This Time is Different,’ – Senate GOP Releases Draft Police Reform Bill,” by Tyler Durken, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/time-its-different-senate-gop-releases-draft-police-reform-bill?fbclid=IwAR0nCPyVsma3BKkjXi8j0dVm7JUV_6I70womJ1EYaUQvV7eopmYNKgyNJ20.

June 10

One way to rewrite history.

“History is ‘Gone With The Wind’ As Protest Movement Sparks Virtue-Signaling Show-Cancellations Worldwide,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/political/hbo-removes-gone-wind-erasing-first-black-woman-win-oscar?fbclid=IwAR03Zycfs9b-GiykiW5R1BGif972bL72A-raRrrPBk7FxUdJXNtN81Y0ypc.

June 8

Interesting

“Gundlach Warns Stock Market Likely To Fall From ‘Lofty Perch’ Despite ‘Superman’ Powell, Says Buy Gold,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/superman-jeffrey-gundlach-live-webcast?fbclid=IwAR2g4CRlO8BtEb5RtU_odiU9DGv7GIXP5QYHZkdNV2qtOj8iXJza9dJnKV8.

June 9

Straight talk from the son of the late great economist John Kenneth Galbraith.

“The Illusion of a Rapid US Recovery,” by James K. Galbraith, PROJECT-SYNDICATE.ORG, https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/united-states-economy-illusions-of-reopening-by-james-k-galbraith-2020-06?fbclid=IwAR1lpQevBlBalQs6lW_xLzWCJOtcbmlW_Dbg9wEF3kxNUC9b0rdht6ert68.

June 9

Well said

“Donald Trump is Afraid of Us All – His Barricaded White House is Proof,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/donald-trump-is-afraid-of-all-of-us-his-barricaded-white-house-is-proof/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR3JwE4FKoIPbFu_2welLioxMNEDK_r6e7v3D1BfRW6qBIolJU4PLUfLxy8.

June 9

Seems to me fascism similar to that of Franco that grew in the Spanish Civil War of the 1930s is more likely to happen in the US than fascism similar to that of Hitler that grew out of the Weimar Republic in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.

“Weimar 2020 — Gilad Atzmon and music,” by Gilad Atzmon, https://gilad.online/writings/2020/6/8/weimar-2020?fbclid=IwAR18Q-aoXQlVmJpSIdSbY7zc-EujHhTqRpjXM17hy6aSF4QPBvhWOdVaefk.

June 9

Yuk

“A ‘Biblical’ Plague of Locusts Has Put Millions On The Brink of Famine,” by Michael Snyder, THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/a-biblical-plague-of-locusts-has-put-millions-on-the-brink-of-famine-we-have-never-ever-seen-what-we-have-in-the-last-six-months?fbclid=IwAR3UPGB4jYV9CiBqB9iphLmHxa16TOxkjhOOc-WUOmlM2D8aGbys7VM9rJU.

June 8

Massive personal article artfully written and informative about environmental threats caused by climate change, based on the first cyclone this year in India-Bangladesh, hopefully not a harbinger of what the 2020 hurricane season has in mind for the US.

“An Unknowable Tragedy: Sundarbans After Cyclone Amphan,” by Subhankar Banerjee, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/08/an-unknowable-tragedy-sundarbans-after-cyclone-amphan%e2%80%8b/?fbclid=IwAR16AHUsegfltK3t6n21-usKjS77jjuLgnOw0R9ALtxh7zKp5s3M6vtVVps.

June 8

Say it aint so Joe

“’Light ‘Em Up’: Warrior-Cops Are the Law-and-Above the Law- as Violence Grips America,” by William Astore, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/08/light-em-up-warrior-cops-are-the-law-and-above-the-law-as-violence-grips-america/?fbclid=IwAR10GMQqzf2-QRrBxYtA7ogLT9QI0YB7ZooIv5Z1DQG3ufc_YzEmymV7cgc.

June 8

Say it aint so Joe

“The Shallow Deep-State Goes Deeper as it Moves Toward Martial Law,” by Edward Curtin, OFF GUARDIAN, https://off-guardian.org/2020/06/07/the-shallow-deep-state-goes-deeper-as-it-moves-toward-martial-law/?fbclid=IwAR2znoeiNYKP0DTfabjCM3fj03QOolunTIAt9jPiAtYh4o5zi-FSJn70Zzc.

June 8

Politics around Spaceship Earth

“John Pilger: The Forgotten Coup Against ‘The Most Loyal Ally’,” CONSORTIUM NEWS, https://consortiumnews.com/2020/06/01/john-pilger-the-forgotten-coup-against-the-most-loyal-ally/?fbclid=IwAR0FmiQpJiMN5Ga9WmwzJXDzdmkuwrykJz8j3fqAKaVdL4VWytNkvhK9L6s.

June 7

“As CO2 Levels Hit New High, Earth Experiences Its Hottest May on Record,” by Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams, TROUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/as-co2-levels-hit-new-high-earth-experiences-its-hottest-may-on-record/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR0I-4aq0uQN8ybJXsSLqj8tooTkF9gWi_cZ0o2Li2pjoTjkwdVEGGRDirk.

June 7

Largely nonsense. First of all governments and central banks are not printing money: They are just just punching digits into computers and calling the resulting numbers money, and then putting resulting funny money one way or another into banking systems and government treasuries, to be used to pay for military bills, pensions, and other things causing huge national deficits and debts. As to capitalism not being to blame for the whole problem, yes that’s right. It’s not to blame for the whole problem, but a lot of it. Capitalism, is nothing but a dog eat dog system of competition, which in some cases can motivate corporations and people to work harder and better, producing more. True, there has never been a fully successful socialistic or communistic system; but nor has there ever been a fully successful capitalistic system.

Capitalism has not been destroyed by federal governments, however much they contributed: The major culprit is large corporations, especially large too big to fail banks, that sold their workers down the river outsourcing jobs and who gambled their way to ruin in so-called “markets”, requiring federal governments to bail them out and rescue them with funny money, Yeah, right, dog eat dog competition for everyone but the biggest, the most powerful, and the richest, that’s capitalism for you. Capitalists at the top, not labor unions, worker-owned cooperatives, and welfare recipients at the bottom, are destroying capitalism.

Revolution into what if not socialism, communism, or capitalism? No, there won’t be any real revolutions, because there is nothing that has not been tried to revolt into. Any economic system would work if it was well managed, but that has never happened. All large economic systems have collapsed, most winding up run by fascist dictators near the end before they fully collapsed, which is where they are all heading now, once again, as in the 1930s, around Spaceship Earth.

“Governments Have Crippled the World’s Economies. Revolution may soon follow,” by Thorsten Pollett, MISES INSTITUTE, https://mises.org/wire/governments-have-crippled-worlds-economies-revolution-may-soon-follow?fbclid=IwAR3R4atRnuYwQnQwpC05rh31gfxEgCA96787Fcso7KYjGhA8tpQwcAmPf3k#.Xt11FmpaCKg.facebook.

June 7

Tradeoffs, tradeoffs, tradeoffs, including freedom of speech to decrease hate communications of all sorts that might dehumanize and militarize countries. Switzerland is probably the most democratic and peaceful nation on Earth and now it is having problems with hate communications. Do we need something like an American ECRI, an ACRI, to decrease hate speech, especially coming from US presidents?

The acronym ECRI in this article stands for European Commission against Racism and Intolerance.

Unfortunately Trump is the most read journalist in the US. All he has to do is impulsively tweet something, no matter how dumb and lowlife-like, and millions will read it. No other Internet journalist comes close to being that successful as a writer.

“Killing Free Speech in Switzerland,” by Judith Bergman, GATESTONE INSTITUTE, https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/15859/switzerland-free-speech.

June 5

Rout Logger leads his group again

“The Group—To Save Spaceship Earth—Episode Four,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-four/?fbclid=IwAR36YeRHvujbDFhsFXGbZFlzmNWZmZmD50jZyJbQtDjcxYTMEapKjeVQXYg.

June 3

Unfortunately we don’t seem to be getting governments as good as most people.

“Dehumanizing people debases us all—Jimmy Carter releases statement on George Floyd protests,” by Ursula Perano, AXIOS.COM, https://www.axios.com/jimmy-carter-george-floyd-protests-34acbc8c-fc18-4424-be24-c02467a0f820.html?utm_campaign=organic&utm_medium=socialshare&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR02JvtlpiZ2JHGwY_nngkJxXlb-2UZe7LTWQHLARWoGFKAoBK-cBncyhCE.

June 3

Say it aint so Joe

“The Sadism of American Power,” by Kinn Orphan, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/03/the-sadism-of-american-power/?fbclid=IwAR2Wx6kJS8sRQ6mI9z4Cnn70XFjetAK_ciHTo5I4o5TguXEF_89Uqx55atI.

June 3

Scary alright, this “total domination” fantasy of Trump’s

“’Total Domination’: Popular Rebellion in the Shadow of Trumpism-Fascism,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/06/03/total-domination-popular-rebellion-in-the-shadow-of-trumpism-fascism/?fbclid=IwAR3o4a0DYj9uWKl6htwZNEusvqG5DtSUPdyVyUm-qFvNKdJDc27dXnQc1jo.

June 3

Very sad state of affairs

“Poll Finds Clear Majority of Americans Want Military to Help Police With Riots,” by Paul Joseph Watson, SUMMIT NEWS, https://summit.news/2020/06/02/poll-finds-clear-majority-of-americans-want-military-to-help-police-deal-with-riots/?fbclid=IwAR0z0vYgmGAL8l0HWnTGCmNn_aZcbNVvzbUhXRoSAAKb7EfVxZ3CMppLJH4.

June 3

Getting insaner and insaner, as the Fed pumps more and more funny money into asset markets for the rich.

“’The Disconnect is Getting Wider and Wider’: Futures Storm Higher As America Burns for 8th Night,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/disconnect-getting-wider-and-wider-futures-storm-higher-america-burns-8th-night?fbclid=IwAR1QwcmstpINYzvr92uHQBvQo3xnn_yR6zyN-6v-8ubeN4pkk3NinsXlxfA.

June 3

Let’s hope not.

“This is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation,” by John W. Whitehead, RUTHERFORD INSTITUTE, https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/this_is_not_a_revolution._its_a_blueprint_for_locking_down_the_nation.

June 2

Say it aint so Joe

“Democracy is Broken: Why 51% of Sanders Supporters are Considering a 3rd Party,” DUE DISSIDENCE, https://duedissidence.com/2020/05/08/democracy-is-broken-why-51-of-sanders-supporters-are-considering-a-3rd-party/?fbclid=IwAR0WK39ftn_4oXUn6DLDxYX9bsfD8EinE0nNq_Vi1UB0iCM6kV75dgBFVhc.

June 2

Say it aint so Joe

“’America’s Moment of Reckoning’: Cornel West Says Nationwide Uprising is Sign of ‘Empire Imploding’,” DEMOCRACY NOW, https://www.democracynow.org/2020/6/1/cornel_west_us_moment_of_reckoning?fbclid=IwAR17GR6elz6Y0ol4I2bhV-P6oxX8A38LPoi1on2m1MEAd4uX5cRVt92pP9c.

June 2

Say it aint so Joe

“Will Zombies Feast on America’s Covid-19 Flesh?,” by Andrew Moran, LIBERTY NATION, https://www.libertynation.com/will-zombies-feast-on-americas-covid-19-flesh/?fbclid=IwAR3MZxXHSeV1W0xc1uZHhyXg5O-gAt7_IBBowgxpl7Y203hIYyRAfAsItqA.

May 31

In Japan the Bank of Japan, owned by Japanese citizens, will wind up owning more stock in large corporations than anyone else in Japan. In the US the Federal Reserve System, owned by private banks, will wind up owning more stock of US corporations than anyone else, if current policies should continue indefinitely. Is this a good way to nationalize all large corporations to run them to benefit all citizens? If so the US needs to set up a Bank of the United States to buy stock and other corporate assets to stabilize markets rather than let the Federal Reserve System do it.

“Here is the Stunning Chart That Blows Up All Of Modern Central Banking,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/here-stunning-chart-blows-all-modern-central-banking?fbclid=IwAR3cPN-biysXAZ0dJ0kSnCYGM-BQXAOEglXQsZNVtsDMVI1gglpXfEPl8y4.

May 31

Mainly caused by Repugs and neoliberal Dems relentlessly cutting taxes for the rich and gutting every social program they could get their hands on while relentlessly increasing military expenditures and giving funny money bail-out money to the big banks, while aiding and abetting large corporations sending USian jobs overseas to low wage countries.

“America Bravely Marches Towards ‘Failed State’ Status,” by Sam Pizzigati, COMMON DREAMS, https://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/30/america-bravely-marches-towards-failed-state-status?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=facebook&fbclid=IwAR04dfH-embmBbnZj_jK6FkpEtCV6gHXhokJAytXjKTEC_XeJXVwom543Rw.

May 30

Seems spot on to me.

“Sheldon Wolin and Inverted Totalitarianism,” by Chris Hedges, TRUTHDIG, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/sheldon-wolin-and-inverted-totalitarianism/.

May 30

Great talk by Cornel West.

“America is A Failed Social Experiment, Neoliberal Wing of Democratic Party Must Be Fought,” by Ian Schwartz, REAL CLEAR POLITICS, https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/05/29/cornel_west_america_is_a_failed_social_experiment_neoliberal_wing_of_democratic_party_must_be_fought.html?fbclid=IwAR0QKehSdtG9yPMUOVA96Ld12msAHf9L3RsGs_5IuW5NISgwMoOkZmh7-ts.

May 30, 2020

“A Transactional Analysis of Economic and Political States of Affairs Around Spaceship Earth,” Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-transactional-analysis-of-economic-and-political-states-of-affairs/.

HERE’S THE DEAL: HOW THE DEEP STATE WON AGAIN

BY RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

In the words of the now designated leader of the Dem Party, Joe Biden, “Here’s the deal:”

Ordinary Dem voters in the Dem primaries made a mistake choosing Joe Biden. Had Sanders been chosen he would have unified the Dem party. Biden has split it into two camps: conservative Dems and progressive Dems.

A unified Dem party would be able to defeat Trump, the greater evil.

Now, with the Dem party divided, beating Trump is more uncertain.

I, a progressive Independent, will vote for Biden as the lesser evil, much as I hate to; but I am only one progressive vote. There is no telling how all the other progressive Dems will vote.

Dem establishment insiders did not want Bernie Sanders because of fear of losing job security and funding, knowing the Deep State—the big banks, the drug companies, the credit card companies, the military industrial complex, the federal reserve system, etc.—did not want Sanders—because they knew there was some chance he might actually make changes harmful to their vested interests.

The Deep State has now won the Game regardless of which party wins in November. For them it’s head’s they win if the Dems win and tail’s they win if the Repugs win.

While there’s no guarantee the status quo of the US will work much longer even for the Deep State, given the exploding and ballooning Federal debt, the status quo of the US will be maintained if possible for another four and one-half years to preserve as many vested interests of the Deep State as possible, depending on possible force majeure events.

Biden has already told the Deep State there will be no major changes if he is elected, and we know what will happen if Trump is re-elected. He has given the Deep State even more than they asked for for three and one-half years.

The losers as usual in this deal are lower and middle income civilian voters of both the Dem and Repug parties who made it all possible by not voting in their own best interests in primary elections. Unfortunately they can only see trees, not the whole forest.

Here is what I have been advocating for several years at

https://www.effectivelearning.net/freefairprogressparty.html.

Richard John Stapleton, Writer, Editor, and Publisher, Effective Learning Report

A 4th July essay on statues, meaning in the Anglo-American world and historical facts.

BY COURTENAY FRANCIS RAYMOND BARNETT

By vocation I am a lawyer; by disposition I am a reader and a thinker.

On the latter limb in the year 2020 A.D. I note that the statues of formerly venerated persons in the personage of U.S. Confederate Generals and slave owners are being toppled  – while on the other side of the Anglo-American axis there in Britain Edward Colston’s statue ( got a baptismal  wash at the bottom of the Bristol harbour) and even Winston Churchill finds himself boarded up lest he too be toppled from his heroic pedestal. How is all this to be understood or interpreted when the ‘evil ones’ are actually challenging, questioning, even symbolically drowning heroes in the harbour – ‘our heroes’?

This is where the sentinel who guards the otherwise unquestionable issue of ‘meaning’ comes to the fore – and finally is to be questioned as to the true meaning of an  assumed  role as the guardian of truth, righteousness or even ultimately – divinity. I have not written the foregoing words without deep and careful thought, for that if Western civilization were to examine and conduct profound  introspection, then the deeper meaning of what I am saying might then begin to emerge. I shall try to explain.

Meaning

How do we come to understanding and then assign meaning?

Meaning as to – who I am – what is my country as regards its historical expression of an  identity – what gave rise to major historical personages and events – and similar cognitive points of reference?

I hazard a guess, from my own experiences, as with anyone else – family – culture – dominant belief systems – formal tuition – discourse – investigation lead to ‘meaning’.

In Jamaica, where I was born, I attended a Catholic school, St. George’s College. By reference to tuition, of my five years there, the third form ( my third year) remains indelibly imprinted in my pedagogic memory. There was a red-haired firebrand of a Scot, a historian by name, Clive Woods. Also, in the same year there were a few young Bostonian Jesuit teachers. Between those teachers they framed and changed my world outlook. It was the 1960s when the Vietnam War was raging and the Bostonians spoke of the horrors of ‘agent orange’, illegal bombings in Laos and Cambodia, defoliates with life destroying chemicals  being deployed, the use of ‘napalm’ and other US war crimes. Mr. Woods opened eyes to the real motivational factors behind Columbus, the Conquistadors and  the Catholic Church’s role in the ‘civilizing mission’ towards  the ‘natives’. On the British side, he went further and informed us of the truth behind the ‘amelioration period’ at the time leading up to emancipation in the Caribbean in 1838. He explained what the payment of 20 million pounds sterling to the slave owners meant as being compensation to the persons who owned ‘chattels’ – the enslaved Africans – without one jot being delivered as compensation to the enslaved people. Mr. Woods only lasted one year at St. George’s and I do believe that he was quietly asked to depart for reason of the impact he was having on the stimulated and excited students. And, to this day the myths and denials persist – despite the best efforts of Mr. Woods who tried to disabuse his Caribbean students of a history that included any benign or caring colonial overlord most concerned with the welfare of the colonised. The other case is told in the status quo accounts, the ‘conventional wisdom’, the official narratives that other than disdain, abuse and exploitation had been colonialism’s handmaiden. Hence 1776 in the United States of America does not surprise and neither should the ever present resistances throughout the British Empire, be it the 1857 Indian Mutiny or  the 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion in Jamaica, so long as the British Empire lasted.

George Floyd in the face of historical facts

I reverted in memory to my years in school for reason of the shock of seeing on video, the killing of George Floyd. The death  brought a torrent of early memories to the fore and – as with my recollection of Mr. Woods –  I shall explain in broader recall – how so.

When I arrived in England to continue my education at university at the age of sixteen,  I was then in the ‘mother country’. The country which had colonised and profited from Jamaica and the rest of the Caribbean and built herself tremendous wealth, entire  towns, cities ( e.g. Colston’s Bristol), cathedrals, expanded universities, established manufacturing industries from the labour of enslaved Africans. Yet when I spoke to the average English person about from whence I came, quickly I understood their delusional conception of their great and good British Empire. For any human being anywhere living across the globe, simply read Dr. Eric Williams’ tome, ‘Capitalism and Slavery’ which was based on deeply researched historical facts  which to this day from the 1940s when first published – not one human being has ever, despite having tried, succeeded in disproving Dr. Williams’ thesis. The Africans, the Asians, the Indian efforts, and all the ‘others’ who contributed to British wealth were largely irrelevant if not historically non-existent so far as my direct  participant observations of the British were concerned.

My point can be made quite simply following upon George Floyd’s killing and the dumping of Colston’s statue in the harbour. I have many White European friends of different levels of academic accomplishments. However, it is not whether they have doctorates or are professors or not which distinguishes their level of understanding about the British Empire’s deeds,  but the absence of a certain level of economic understanding about what was the British Empire’s methodology. Post Floyd killing, I made the point to a White European friend that the removal of Colston’s statue was perfectly justified in the same way that in Germany today, the idea of honouring Adolph Hitler in effigy in a public place by way of placement of a statue would not be acceptable. I was then chided for comparing Nazi Germany with the British Empire. So, let me ‘double down’ ( to use an Americanism) and then ask:-

  1. When the Boers  were corralled in concentration camps during the Boer Wars – was it the British who had invented this practice – or not?
  2. When the British moved into the highlands of Kenya and set up an Apartheid system and banned, in particular, the Kikuyu tribe from their ancestral lands –what then happened? Did the Africans not quite understandably resist their displacement? Yet again, did the British not on a large scale again corral and torture the Africans in these concentration camps? Did the Kenyans not recently win a court case and the British government not have to pay Kenyan survivors for the cruel and inhumane treatment experienced and suffered in these British concentration camps?

So, were the Nazis really the originators of this  practice? 

Actually, the inventor of the concentration camp was  Horatio Herbert Kitchener who first used the term ‘ concentration camp’ during the Boer Wars. Wonderful servant of the British Empire he was.

But now, do not forget just how benign the Empire was:-

  • The Irish famine of the mid-1800s   – due to British colonial policy.
  • The Bengal famine that resulted in the death of some 3 to 4 million Indians under the British Raj in 1943– was due to British colonial policy. So, we have a loving and oh! so ever caring overall demonstration of concern, in the  words of the British leader at the time:-

“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion. The famine was their own fault for breeding like rabbits.” Winston Churchill ( and you wonder why some people want to tear his statue down).

  • The death of some 8 million Iranians ( formerly – Persians) in 1917 – 1919 – due to British policy.

And on and on.

Such a wonderful Empire – indeed.

Conclusion

A four  time UK Parliamentarian recently made his own observations on the British Empire and he said this:-

“ When I was young I told my Irish grandfather that the teacher had told me that the British had an empire so vast that the Sun never set upon it. He answered “that’s because God would never trust the British in the dark.” I knew he was telling the truth. And now so does Venezuela.”*

  • Note:  The reference to Venezuela at the end of Galloway’s comment relates to the fact that at a point in time when the Venezuelan Government trusted the British ( read: Bank of England) the Venezuelan Government deposited some billions in gold in the Bank of England. When Venezuela required and still requires in 2020 that its gold be paid out – the British Government has refused so to pay.

May I therefore suggest that the contemporary American Empire is actually an outgrowth from the former British Empire. Elements of abusive use of power do exist within the American Empire. So far as the 4th of July is concerned the American people could well do with a few gifts. Maybe the American Government can start to live up to the ideals of the well drafted US Constitution; maybe instead of invading, bombing and manipulating internal political events in so many countries around the world in the name of ‘democracy’ – the U.S.of A. might now start a genuine commitment to pursue justice and equality and fight  discrimination within America. It should be noted that  nothing teaches better than a good example ( by which I mean – start at home) and leave other countries to determine their own future without continually interfering in their internal political processes.

Anglo-Americans have a lot to account and answer for.  George Floyd’s killing is just “child’s play”, when one seriously considers the murderous horrors which as a matter of historical fact, did precede that day and continues unabated this 4th July, 2020.

Footnote: What is the 4th July – a speech by Frederick Douglass – as relevant as ever:-

______________________________________

* COURTENAY BARNETT is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

An Internet Conversation on Reparations and Statues

By Richard John Stapleton and Courtenay Barnett

Hello Courtenay

Thanks for this well reasoned and presented response. Got to go to town early to get some groceries while it’s fairly early and fewer possible Covid 19 virus carriers in the store. Will get this posted to the article when I get back.

Richard,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

Obviously you have given more than a small amount of attention to the issue at hand.

For purposes of argument, we could just confine ourselves to the situation in the US:-

  • Highly regressive tax system.
  • Many large corporations pay little to sometimes zero taxes relative to their huge earnings.
  • The socio-economic system is highly discriminatory, such as in housing in both the private and public sectors.
  • The justice system is skewed against minorities.

Just a few of the realities the ‘Earthians’ in the US face. So, at least there in the US the prospects of equity are not promising at present, for as you correctly observe: “ But if humans should co-construct decent dependable social, economic, and political systems in the future along the lines of what I outline in my essay.”

My mind focuses on equity, for a quite obvious reason – I am a lawyer who defends people’s rights. However, I do not think along ‘utopian’ lines. By that I mean that I am not wedded to an ideological camp within which I hermetically seal my mind thinking that here resides the true solution. Utilitarianism, although not much in vogue these days in intellectual circles, does have a core appeal – the greatest good for the greatest number. In more concrete terms my mind flashes back to a speech of Dr. Martin Luther King in which he drew a contrast between the US and Norway. He was lamenting the high level of riches in the US with some seriously high levels of poverty such as in Appalachia. In Norway we find a high living standard accompanied by high levels of taxation which serves well to provide for the needs of the populace. Therein is the formula, for albeit it a totally different political order had existed in Libya, they too had achieved the highest standard of living on the continent of Africa ( until bombed away in 2011). In both countries the source of the wealth was from oil. The challenge is a will to structure a system which both generates wealth and ensures a social safety next accompanied by fairness within the social order. You encapsulate what I have just expressed when you say this:  “Capitalism in recent decades has led to the creation of a new aristocracy far richer than ever existed and inequality this has created will exist forever barring changes in tax laws, precluding any chance of Earthian peace.”

To bring things right down to earth, so to speak, the combinations of the unsustainable deficit, over expenditure on the military and the determination to print money in the trillions will be the undoing of America.

You have answered my concern about intergenerational wealth transfer, by permitting a portion to be bequeathed to the next generation. However, as a lawyer, I already have a way around your system for I simply effect an inter vivos transfer and that negates the death tax. 

More to the point is the concerns which I sense we both share of a need for some sanity being visited upon human societies, in the sense of provision for all in a world which actually has wealth in abundance. Just reflect for a moment on the Congo ( which I consider the world’s most resource rich piece of real estate). Name it and the minerals are there and consider the use of cobalt in cell phones and where much of it originates. Then reflect on the appalling living standards in the Congo past and present day. Welcome to the world.

We both can live in hope.

Cheers,

Courtenay 


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2020 9:11 PM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: In blunt and forceful format – and yes – I challenge. 

I believe the taxing away of family wealth (at least some percent of it) is necessary if Earth is to ever have a level playing field where all humans have decent lives. Inheritance taxes in the US for the richest used to be about eighty percent. Thanks to Republicans it’s now about thirty percent as I understand it for the richest.  Capitalism in recent decades has led to the creation of a new aristocracy far richer than ever existed and inequality this has created will exist forever barring changes in tax laws, precluding any chance of Earthian peace. Why should any human be advantaged because of inherited characteristics of any sort, racial, intellectual, physical, or economic merely because of being lucky enough to have been born to certain parents and inheriting genes, messages, and money? The bottom line is that no one should have unfair lifetime advantages due to inheritance if fair and dependable social, economic, and political systems exist, which has never happened. The world has always been a screwed up place, poorly managed, or not managed at all, dog eat dog, every person for her or his self, and yes it’s been much more unfair for some than others, especially enslaved Africans and native aboriginals, and people of all races with physical, emotional, and behavioral disorders, and low intelligence. If humans could somehow co-construct truly fair, efficient, and effective social, economic, and political systems, unlike what we have now, where one’s life is largely a function of the parents they had due to pure luck, there would be no need for inheritances. As an entrepreneurship and small business professor I have done research with a national survey attempting to find out how successful entrepreneurs will their wealth to their children. I assumed that almost all would will their wealth to their children on an equal share basis. Not so. I asked them in the questionnaire in a strongly agree to strongly disagree question whether they agreed with the statement “Anything I will my children will depend on my feelings at the time I make out my last will.” A clear majority agreed with the statement. I documented it in my book Business Voyages.  Not only is life not fair, many parents are not fair to their children and you can build a case that life will never be fair and the same insanity that has always existed will continue until Earth becomes a dead planet. No, I do not think everything you personally have should be taxed away and given to the common good as matters now stand. Given the sorry state of social, religious, economic, and political systems now I believe willing family estates to children is right and proper (at least some percentage of them). Given the fact parents caused their children to be brought into this sorry world it is morally right that parents should do what they can to protect their own children. But if humans should co-construct decent dependable social, economic, and political systems in the future along the lines of what I outline in my essay “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.” there will be no need for parents to will wealth to their children because all children will be born rich, just like a few lucky children born to billionaires are now. And then there is the matter of free will. If it does not exist, as I believe, and thousands of others believe, then no one is to blame or praise for anything, including how much or little wealth they have. If you don’t believe me on this just ask Google “Does free will exist?” You will find thousands of references. I believe everything is caused by infinitely-regressive cause-effect chains.


I have not yet shared the Internet Conversation article with my personal mailing list or any social media. Most likely no one but you has read it. Should I delete it? Or delete your name as a co-author? Or should I add what you and I have said here to it?

On Jun 26, 2020, at 6:32 PM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear Richard,
I initially went to the religious part of the discussion.
Now I go into the economics of the situation we in the world face:-
You are ultimately  saying  that everything my  father made should be taxed away to be applied to the general good and other people should be allowed to make and enjoy what they are able to during my  lifetime – to hold for their own.  Then any wealth I have accumulated on my own  should be taxed away and when I die then have applied to the general good, but my offspring ( after over 300 years of free planation slavery and Indian ( on my Mom’s side – servitude) should then be allowed to make and enjoy whatever they are able to have on our returns)?   That’s how I read it anyway.  Not to  pass wealth from generation to generation to provide anyone a fair advantage – despite the undisputable fact that Whites have overwhelmingly generated intergenerational wealth to eternity and beyond – and – at whose expense?
Answer if you can.
CB

On Jun 26, 2020, at 1:19 PM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:Yeah – no problem there Richard – we get on pretty well and the world can learn that it ain’t necessarily all black and white.
Cheers.
Courtenay 


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Friday, June 26, 2020 10:01 AM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The USA – cause and effect – REPLY 

Excellent response and article in Danielle’s Garden. I basically agree with you on myths but it still seems to me that religious symbols, pictures, crosses, statues and whatnot will perpetuate historical suspicion, agitations, intolerance, competitions, and hatred among various religious groups.  What do you think of the idea of my publishing this conversation in this thread verbatim in the Effective Learning Report? In an article entitled “An Internet Conversation on Reparations and Statues.” I’m sure it would be interesting and enlightening for a lot of folks, but would it be worth the risk?

On Jun 25, 2020, at 8:29 PM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:

Dear Richard,

Thank you for your thoughtful reply.

I agree with you in the main  but beg to differ on just – one point. That is ‘religion’.

I am not a religious person. I attended St. Georges College in Jamaica and before I departed at age 16 for further education in England, I came to understand a lot. By the age of 14, I raised questions about this ‘God’ – the white portrayed ‘God’ as Jesus and there my intellectual pursuits commenced from the embryo.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, because my mother was a devout believer and I was not, but she loved me dearly and so did I too of her, we agreed to disagree when at a certain point we debated. Maybe that is what led to me writing this nuanced essay:
http://www.daniellesgarden.org/dw-myth.htm

Myth – Danielle’s GardenDanielle’s Garden. TOWER HILL EDUCATIONAL FUND A/C 20067 Bank of Nova Scotia 1-3 Knutsford Blvd. kingston 5, Jamaica. E-mail: INFO@ DaniellesGarden.org . MYTH AS WORLD INSPIRATION. Each person is faced in life with certain primal existential questions.www.daniellesgarden.org

Always happy to hear a learned voice in response.
Kind regards.
Courtenay 


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Thursday, June 25, 2020 10:16 AM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The USA – cause and effect 

Hello Courtenay
I agree serious apologies and reparations to descendants of African slaves and native aboriginals who had lands stolen and were subjected to genocide and inhumane callous and mean exploitation are ethically required and appropriate. Regarding statues being taken down, I think all statues of religious, political, and military figures and characters of any sort should be taken down so as not to glorify past competitive conquests, victories, and losses, of any sort to set the Earthian human race on the march to a truly sustainable and peaceful existence devoid of superstitious tribalisms, which entails abolishing competitive capitalism from the production of the necessities of life around Earth. Competitive capitalism in small business environments can be retained as a form of sport and entertainment provided all booty taken in by winners is taxed away upon their deaths to maintain a level competitive playing field every generation. Plus Earthians must co-construct policies to peacefully reduce the Earthian human population for several generations to eliminate the need for dog eat dog win-lose economic competition around Earth and to put Earthian human production and consumption systems on a sustainable rational footing that will indefinitely protect the Earthian environment and existing species of fauna and flora living aboard Spaceship Earth.
Toward the Co-Constructing of Spaceship Earth, Inc. https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/ Cheers, Richard

On Jun 25, 2020, at 7:34 AM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote:

Richard,

I agree with you that it is well argued and presented. Some years ago I had watched a documentary on Levitz Town which was making similar points. However, this video welds together a lot more ideas which are clearly explained. 
Sorry, I only have the video as forwarded to me by a friend and do not have a link.
Since we are on the topic of race, I note that quite a stir has been caused by the question of whether or not certain statues should be removed. On that topic I share with you some thoughts I sent to another friend.
” I believe that the sentiments expressed( below – Gleaner letter) might not be as clear as one may state the issues:-

  1.  There are potentially different narratives coming from ‘victor’ versus ‘vanquished’ and this is quite evident in how the British have written their history.
  2.   A ‘villain’  such as Nelson Mandela, once labelled a ‘terrorist’ – versus a world renowned statesman well exemplifies the division of perspectives.
  3.  As with the absence of any statue in honour of Adolph Hitler right across Germany – the idea of not honouring any genocidal  maniac or any enslaver is not actually a ridiculous or outlandish idea. 
  4.  It is a meme where there is the honouring of those who committed genocide or enriched themselves through the enslavement and trading in human beings; its alternative is to have the direct acknowledgement of such persons by removing their place of honour in form of effigy – a statue. 
  5.  The issue is not the rewriting of history, since the documentation of historical events is an interpretative process within which the writer in actuality defines who is or is not the ‘villain’, the ‘savage’ , the ‘hero’ etc. By pointing  to the misdeeds of an individual and factually recording that aspect of the person’s conduct ( person in question Cecil Rhodes)  is therefore not at all any denial of nor rewriting of history – it is stating history is a fuller and more accurate and factual manner.
  6.  Many examples of reparations  being paid/allocated do exist – e.g. Germany to Jews; Native American/Canadians  lands grant in America and Canada; Maoris apology and compensation in New Zealand  etc. – so a Caribbean call for reparations does have legal precedent.
     

http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/letters/20200623/letter-day-take-rhodes-scholarship-form-reparation       “


Then we now have the Shaun King challenge from political iconoclastic to an actual iconoclastic challenge to the portrayal  of Jesus. Another debate for another time.
Cheers, Courtenay  


From: Richard Stapleton <rjstapleton@bulloch.net>
Sent: Wednesday, June 24, 2020 10:20 PM
To: Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com>
Subject: Re: The USA – cause and effect 

Best video I have seen about what went wrong with race relations, especially in the US. Agree completely with the analysis here. Jim Crow was bad enough, but the war on drugs was even worse. Well presented information, very relevant information. Yes, we should care. But most of all we should figure out why and how it happened and make it stop.
Do you have a web address for it?  I would like to post it.

On Jun 24, 2020, at 9:43 AM, Courtenay barnett <barnett46@hotmail.com> wrote: Genocide.

<VIDEO-2020-06-24-07-09-09.mp4>

  • RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON is the Editor & Publisher of the Effective Learning Report, a certified transactional analyst, and an octogenarian emeritus professor of management, living and working in the United States
  • COURTENAY BARNETT is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He has published several articles in the Effective Learning Report. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

THE GROUP—TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH—EPISODE FOUR

THE GROUP—TO SAVE SPACESHIP EARTH

INTERNET EPISODE FOUR

The Group: To Save Spaceship Earth is a novel work in progress. While settings, plots, theories, objects, and narratives in this novel may be analogous to what has happened in various realities around Spaceship Earth, the names of characters cast herein are fictional. All parts of this novel will be published in the Effective Learning Report at various intervals on the internet, subject to revision at any time, hopefully culminating in a final print edition offered for sale to the public.

Richard John Stapleton, Writer, Editor, and Publisher

Copyright 2020 by Effective Learning Publications. All rights reserved. No part of this work may be copied or printed on paper without permission. Share on the internet as you wish.

If you want to refresh yourself about what supposedly happened in earlier episodes, go to the following website addresses:

Internet Episode 1, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-part-1/.   

Internet Episode 2, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-2/.

Internet Episode 3, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-group-to-save-spaceship-earth-episode-three/.

The Truther selected Henry.

Henry—“Before we change the subject I would like to say there are plenty of folks these days who do not believe in any kind of god or religion, at least not a normal kind of religion.  Apparently some scientists believe it is possible the universe just happened from, poof, a big bang, caused by nothing, a spontaneous explosion, ten to twelve billion years ago, spewing gases, matter, electrons and what have you in all directions causing billions of galaxies of stars to form, some with planets, including ours, Earth.  I cannot imagine how such a thing could have happened but we know for a fact the universe exists and contains billions of stars and probably millions of planets.  It seems obvious to me a human-like creature called god could not have possibly created the universe.  If a god did it he, she or it had to be nothing like a human being.  There is no way in hell a human-like creature could do such a thing.”

Rout—“Ok, any other comments about religion before we move on?”

Matilda—“There are people who believe there is a god but it is nothing like the typical god of a mainstream religion, a jealous, vengeful father-like figure making his children obey and love him to earn the privilege living with him in heaven forever. 

       “They believe this god is rational and loves people unconditionally.  They believe this god really understands why people do what they do, how they are caused to be what they are and do what they do, feeling sorry for humans, but not judging them, making no pretense of being all-powerful or all-loving, that sort of thing.

       “Some of these people also believe in an afterlife of total bliss and happiness.  Frankly, I don’t believe in this sort of thing.  I think when you die the electricity in your brain is shut off and nothing works from then on.  You are like an unplugged computer, except your biological parts disintegrate and decay to nothing.  It’s like having a dreamless sleep from then on.”

Luke—“I now see, my lord, with all my heart, I am in the midst of unbelievers and deceivers, foolish men and women who dare to question your holy word thinking in their hearts they are superior to your word and your sacred gospels, full of pride and vainglory, on the road to hell.  I pray for their immortal souls and I beseech you to have mercy upon them.  In Jesus’s name.  Amen.”

Steve—“For whatever it’s worth, I don’t think it does any good to talk about religion.  Seems like no one ever really changes his mind about religion.  People believe whatever their parents believed, they get brainwashed into it at an early age, and they pretend to believe it from then on, however simple minded it might have been.  I don’t think most people professing to be religious really know diddly-squat about religions, or anything else for that matter.  All they know are a few sayings they have picked up here and there, such as Jesus loves you and such, or hell is hot and you better get right with god.  Almost none of them ever read the Bible they hold so sacred to see what it really says.

       “I would like to bring our discussion down to earth and talk about what I consider the most relevant problem facing us today, the erosion and decay of family-owned small businesses in the US. I work in our family business.  We manufacture metal stock tanks, hog feeders and other products for farmers.  We have been in business over 50 years.  I have a degree in business and I would like to continue the family business and pass it on to my children.

       “Up to the past few years we did not have that much foreign competition, for various reasons, transportation costs were too high, foreigners did not understand our technology and processes, whatever.  But now we do have serious foreign competition, thanks to NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, and we may not be around much longer.  We still make a profit, albeit a declining one, and our sales are going down. It’s almost impossible for small American manufacturers to compete with products made in low-wage countries.

       “Thousands of small manufacturing businesses like ours have been driven out of business in the US since 1980, and especially since NAFTA was passed in 1993.  And now we have to contend with problems caused by Trump’s trade war that caused the price of some of our raw materials to go up, while giving little relief from our foreign competition in our markets.

       “It may get to where there are no small family owned manufacturing businesses like ours left in the US. Thousands have been wiped out in the last 30 years. I’m worried sick about it, worried about my future and our family and worried about the future of our employees, who we really do care about.

       “Seems like there are no answers.  The problem has been getting worse and worse for years and it just keeps getting worse.  As much as I hate to say it, I think we would be better off with tariffs to protect our manufacturers and workers.  There are billions of poor people in the world willing to work for a pittance compared to what Americans have been paid, and if you allow free trade around the world American wages will inevitably gravitate down to the lowest level, if the companies they work for can stay in business.

       “This is already going on.  We still have some car manufacturing in the US, but wages for automobile workers are now about half what they used to be.  I read the other day an Indian textile company with 12 plants in India is now setting up a textile mill in a small Georgia town in the US to make yarn using American workers, in a town that had an American-owned textile mill up until five or so years ago.  At the ground breaking ceremony with the Georgia governor the Indian owner of the new plant, to be built from scratch on some industrial park, said his people had figured out with tax breaks, low land cost, and transportation advantages they could make a profit using American workers still living in the town that were laid off five years ago.  No mention was made of what kind of wages are to be paid, but you can bloody well bet they won’t be as high as they were in the American mill that shut down. 

       “America is being thirdworldized.  Wages in US manufacturing are being driven down toward the average level of the whole world, apparently now on a par with India.  Maybe manufacturing will return to the US, but if it does, America will begin to look more and more like India, with a rich corrupt political and economic elite at the top, a small percentage of doctors, lawyers, engineers and such and untold millions of poor people living in abject poverty and squalor.

       “Things got better in the US from about 1950 to 1980, but it’s been downhill ever since for everyone but the elite rich, and it remains to be seen how far we’ll fall before we hit bottom.

       “I recommend bringing back tariffs to protect US wages and manufacturing, and punishing US companies with much higher taxes for abandoning their employees and facilities in the US and sending US jobs overseas.”

Helen—“As you know nurses don’t make that much money, and we work hard for our money.  My take home pay has stayed about the same for a long time.  I get a raise every now and then and I don’t complain.  I enjoy helping people.  But I also don’t need higher taxes and tariffs to keep my job.  I worked to get an education and built my skill set to where I was worth something to an employer.  Anybody in America can still do that.  All it takes is being willing to work hard and get yourself the training you need to make yourself worth something to an employer.  I don’t understand why people expect taxpayers to keep on spending more and more money on welfare to help people when they can help themselves.  I think we should lower taxes, not make them worse.  And I don’t think we need a minimum wage. You ought to be paid what you’re worth, not what the government says you’re worth.”

Steve—“I agree with you about the minimum wage but I don’t think the problem is people not being able to work hard and get training.  It does no good to get training for a job that does not exist.”

Jimmy—“I agree with you, Steve, about the working hard part, but I strongly disagree about the minimum wage part.  As you may recall from our initial introductions, I am a labor union organizer.  I deal with these problems day in and day out, and I agree with much of what Steve said about the most relevant problem today being the outsourcing of American jobs.  Whew, where do you start?  This problem has been around in some form, but got going in earnest after Ronald Reagan got elected in 1980.  The root cause is greed and inhumanity to man on the part of rich capitalists, not caring about your fellow man, only caring about your own selfish hide.  On the other hand, you have the satisfied bystanders like Helen who do not have a clue what it is like to work in an industrial or big business setting as a wage earner alongside thousands of other workers doing jobs requiring specialized skills that can only be learned on the job.  Most people who have never worked in places like this have no idea what it feels like to be treated like a machine and watched over constantly by a supervisor who is paid for his blind obedience to a boss who is paid a salary to force those below him, or her, to work as hard and long as possible, for as little money as possible.

       “Skill sets, my ass, you don’t need a damn skill set to work in most businesses as a worker.  All you need is the ability to remember a few mental and manual manipulations peculiar to your job.  And this is true pretty much all the way up to the top, except in staff areas, such as engineering, accounting, marketing, law and such.  All general supervisors and managers all the way to the top spend the vast majority of their time simply watching others, bullshooting with cronies, brownnosing with bosses, and enforcing rules and regulations passed down to them by their bosses.  About the only skill set you need is the ability to talk and do what you are told.  As to so-called higher order thinking skills, forget that.  Nobody thinks in a corporation, except maybe those at the very top at times, but even they spend most of the time bullshootng and brownnosing, which are, I suppose, skills, the most important skills there are in business for those making the most money.

       “As to being paid what you are worth, who the hell knows how much someone is worth?  Do you really think you’re worth $5,000 a month to sit here and bullshit six hours one day a month?  Give me a break!  You are paid what you are paid because some idiot has decided to pay you that much, and this has nothing to do with what you are really worth.  Do you really think a corporate CEO can be worth $20 million a year?  You think you are well paid at $5,000 a day?  Some CEOs are paid $100,000 a day for bullshooting and brownnosing.

       “Worth what to whom?  You are worth a lot to your children and pets if you have any, since they depend on you and need you, but how much are you really worth?  Especially to a large corporation that could care less what you’re really worth, a heartless, soulless institution existing for the sole purpose of enriching its stockholders and higher management as much as possible by paying everyone else working for the place as little as possible, with every manager and supervisor in the joint being rewarded for putting the screws to everyone below them in the chain of command, or what I call the chain of obedience.  You think corporations are free and democratic?  Think again.  There’s almost no freedom in a corporation.  Prisons are freer than corporations, since inmates in prison can think for themselves.  Inmates in corporations can only think for the corporation.  The corporation owns your mind and brain when you are supposedly at work, even after work sometimes.

       “Corporations are freer than prisons mainly in the sense workers can go home at night, and move around in corporate facilities during the day in some cases, and do whatever they want after they get home, and they can quit any time they want, assuming they can find another job, which is damn near impossible for about half the people in the US right now who would like to work if they could find a job paying a livable wage. So most people working for corporations are not free to quit any time they might want to. Sure, they can quit any time they want to, and ruin themselves financially.

       “And those unemployed people are not able to find jobs because they are lazy and don’t have ‘skill sets’.  No, they can’t find jobs because jobs do not exist.  Some jobs do require so-called skilled sets, such as nursing jobs, and there might be some openings for those kinds of jobs now in the US, but I’ll assure you there aren’t enough of them.  No, dammit, we don’t need jobs requiring skill sets, we need jobs anyone can learn on the job that provide a decent income, like we used to have, if we are to have a decent country, like we used to have in the US. 

       “And I’ll assure you, you need people like me who will work to make sure ordinary workers are paid as much as possible by people who are out to pay them as little as possible, and your real worth be damned.

       “That’s just the way the system works, my friends.  The capitalist system that is.”

Harrison—“I’m angry and insulted.  I happen to be a corporate CEO and I can tell you this fellow is straight out of lulu land. Sounds like a commie.  Yes, corporate CEOs are paid a lot because they are worth a lot. Most of them are so valuable they could leave at any time and find similar paying jobs working for competitors. The market sets the price for anyone in the real world.  You are paid what you are worth in the market, and the only way you can find out what you are worth is try to sell yourself in the market.  Whatever you are able sell yourself for is what you are worth in reality.

       “On the other hand I don’t think any CEO is worth $100,000 a day, as this union sympathizer just told you.

       “As to a union sympathizer like you being able to raise the wages of workers, you might be able to raise them to some extent in a company that has excess profits, but in a competitive business with a standard profit margin there is no way you can go in there and significantly raise wages without ruining the company.  Significantly higher wages all of a sudden will cause the company to significantly raise prices for what it produces which will cause it to go broke because it will not be able to sell what it produces.

       “If a company is producing something in global markets its labor costs can’t be significantly higher than the labor costs of any competing company in any country or it will go out of business because nobody will buy what they produce. Too expensive.  If wages are lower in other countries than US living standards if you have free competition then goods in that industry cannot be produced in the US or the living standards of US workers must be reduced to the level of the foreign workers they are competing with.  That is the truth of the matter, my friends. 

Jimmy—“I’m so sorry you’re angry Harrison.  It’s a real shame someone as high and mighty as you would be subjected to my opinions.

       “By the way, I’m a union organizer not a union sympathizer.  As to your monetary pay being what you can sell yourself for in the market, I agree completely.  If there are plenty of jobs your pay will go up.  If there are no jobs you receive nothing, but that is not what you are worth as a human being, and what you receive has nothing to do with skill sets or what you are really worth. You are a mere commodity paid what supply and demand in the market determines.  Corporate CEOs are not paid millions of dollars per year for skill sets. They are paid as much as they are as bribes and hush money to make sure they enforce rules, regulations, policies and procedures that enrich their higher ups writing their paychecks, making sure the higher ups are paid what they want at the expense of underlings in the system.  In other words CEOs are paid as much as they are for having a greedy grasping dependable loyal system, with respect to those who write the checks, not skill sets.

       “As to no CEO being worth $100,000 a day, I could not agree more, but I happen to know some of them are paid more than that, counting all their pay, salary, stock options, profit sharing, what have you.  I saw in USA Today several years ago an article in which they reported a CEO had been paid $33 million that year.  I figured out that was about $100,000 a day.  How many days a year do they work, 300 maybe?  You do the math.”

Helen—“I don’t believe it.  Nobody could be paid that much.”

Steve—“Well, I can tell you nobody in our family subchapter S corporation makes anywhere near that much.  I’ll be lucky to take out $100,000 this year, as president, CEO, and owner for a year’s work.

       “I agree part of the problem is that people at the top are paid too much, but that is a minor part of the overall problem I brought up.  CEOs being paid too much is not causing family-owned manufacturing businesses to be wiped out.”

Bob—“A lot of people think we physicians make a lot of money, but it’s nothing compared to what some of these CEOs make.  I saw on the Internet the other day that the CEO of Walmart had been paid some $116 million dollars in one year in what they called performance pay.  That would work out to over $300,000 per day..

       “The highest paid physician I ever knew was an old fraternity brother of mine, a cardiologist.  He developed such a reputation as a chest surgeon that he could sit in his office and cut deals with rich prospective patients.  He said a billionaire once offered him so much money to travel to the home country of the billionaire to operate on him that it took his breath away.  I assume it must have been a million or more dollars for one surgery.

       “But I assure you that is not going to happen to most doctors.  In fact some of them are having a hard time of it now, paying back their student loans and finding good situations.”

Julia—“That can’t be right.  Why that’s insane!  Nobody could be paid that much for one day’s work.  You must have made some sort of arithmetic mistake.”

Mikhail—“I happen to be an accountant, and I have my calculator with me, which I just used to do the math.  If you divide $116 million by 300, which is probably about all the days a CEO works per year, the answer comes out to be $386,666 per day.”

Adam—“I think you have a pretty good grasp of things, Steve, especially your thesis that the worst hit of all have been small manufacturing operations in the US, that were essentially sold down the river by NAFTA and the World Trade Organization, and, I might add, by most economists and politicians.

       “Adam Smith back in the eighteenth century published his seminal economics book An Inquiry Into The Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations in which he discussed the benefits of free trade among nations.  He essentially argued all nations and peoples would become wealthier if free trade, and unfettered competition, existed among nations, since this would cause all nations to specialize in producing raw materials, goods and services at the lowest prices since competition would force them to produce what they had the greatest comparative advantage for producing, which would also cause the yearly output to be maximized, the assumption being the more goods and services produced, the greater the wealth of nations, and, presumably, the citizens therein.

       “This makes for a good story and it made The Wealth of Nations one of the most famous books in history, the most famous economics book.  It may be true that free trade and unfettered competition would maximize production, but we will never know for sure because it will never happen and never has happened.  There have always been trade restrictions, tariffs, subsidies, quotas and what have you, in the US and whereever.  Recent trade agreements have reduced or eliminated some of them, but free trade, even today is a myth.  The US has all sorts of tariffs and so does every other country.  NAFTA, the North America Free Trade Agreement eliminated some of them and bilateral trade agreements with China and others have eliminated some of them, and, it seems this has caused the problem Steve alerted us to, namely the loss of manufacturing jobs in the US, caused by smaller US manufacturing businesses forced into bankruptcy by foreign competition, and by the outsourcing of US manufacturing jobs by large corporations.

       “Whether the elimination of trade restrictions has caused the wealth of nations to be reduced is doubtful.  It may they have actually increased the wealth of nations and people. More goods may actually have been produced for more people.

       “The problem for Steve and people like him in the US is that they paid the price of the progress.  Their incomes and wealth went down so the incomes of and wealth of the poor in third world countries could go up, and so the incomes and wealth of American CEOs and stockholders could go up.  The incomes and wealth of CEOs and stockholders of large corporations went up because of the outsourcing of US manufacturing jobs brought about by replacing high wage blue collar jobs in the US with slave-labor-equivalent blue collar jobs in impoverished countries.

       “Was this fair? Well, it turns out, fairness is in the eye of the beholder. Was it fair some of the dirt poor of poor countries should have their incomes increased by freer trade and competition between the US and its trading partners? Yes, of course. Was it fair the US CEOs and their bosses and stockholders who made this happen should have their incomes and wealth increased significantly, while workers of the US had theirs decreased? No, it’s not fair, but that’s the way things go under dog-eat-dog capitalism.

       “Obviously, something went wrong, or maybe a lot of things went wrong. Should US tariffs be reinstated as Steve recommends to correct this unfairness?  That is a tough one.  Maybe a little, maybe not, depending on how you look at it.  But one thing is for sure; we need new rules and regulations to deal with this in the US, such as higher taxes on large corporations and the rich who reaped the windfall they fostered, and something should be done to improve the plight of those cast aside.  We need a jobs program to provide decent jobs providing decent incomes in the US for those cast aside, ordinary workers, as Jimmy called them.

       “I agree there is no way millions of unemployed people are going to learn new skills and magically find millions of unfilled job openings out there.  This is absurd.  Those openings do not exist. The jobs do not exist because aggregate demand is not high enough to cause entrepreneurs to create new products and services that would make enough jobs happen. The major problem since 1980 or so is that US economic policies enacted by US politicians have kept aggregate demand low, by decreasing the taxes of the rich and increasing military expenses, and not investing in domestic infrastructure and social programs, which has caused federal debt to explode. Monetary policy has been used instead of fiscal policy to take care of the Wall Street economy, not the main street economy. 

       “The unemployment problem is actually much worse than the officially stated employment rate, since the number of people officially defined as unemployed by the US government is people currently looking for work, not counting those who know it would do no good to look for jobs that do not exist. There are millions of unemployed people in the US who have given up looking for a job, who are not counted as unemployed. And there are millions more who would work if jobs existed. The actual labor force participation rate in the US for over ten years has been about 60 percent.

       “The only way this can be cured anytime soon is by creating a massive government funded jobs program in the US creating infrastructure jobs that will put incomes in the hands of ordinary workers who will spend the money with small businesses, including small manufacturers and construction companies, that will create a multiplier effect sufficient to produce economic growth and full employment.

       “Economic conditions during the Obama and Trump administrations markedly improved for the rich, and some jobs have been created for the poor, but the situation for millions remains dire. What’s especially ominous is there are no signs the situation will be significantly improved for the middle and lower classes anytime soon.

       “Unfortunately most of the new money created by the Fed wound up in the hands of bankers and the rich, who saved the money, much of it being moved offshore to tax havens in the Cayman Islands and elsewhere. If you want to significantly stimulate economic growth and help the poor you need to put new money in the hands of the poor, not the rich.

       “That’s what I recommend.”

END OF EPISODE FOUR

To be continued…

A TRANSACTIONAL ANALYSIS OF ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL STATES OF AFFAIRS AROUND SPACESHIP EARTH

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

It seems to me psychological Games have always been a major determinant of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been the most significant and pervasive psychological Game in business, economics, and politics.

If you’re thinking here I go again with more of that TA crap, looking at the world through a transactional analysis lens, I guess I have to plead guilty. I got hooked on TA back in the 1970s and have used it ever since. Here is a new application of transactional analysis using TA jargon to shed new light on the nature of economic and political behavior.

NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.) entails psychological Game players trying to reign supreme over others, to triumph over others, to become “one-up”, to be superior, to beat, to win, etc. NIGYSOB players are motivated by anger that they feel justified in releasing because of perceived social and psychological actions and manipulations on the part of Persecutors that might cause them to become loser Victims, causing them to feel their social, political and psychological standing and security are threatened.

All psychological Games include two sets of transactions conducted simultaneously between the Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States in all players, as the players also switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle”.

NIGYSOB Game-playing underlies all conflicts, competitions, and wars among nations and corporations domestically and internationally as well as among individuals within countries. You might think nations and international corporations competing constantly among themselves do not entail real anger, but it seems to me anger is a major factor when serious fighting breaks out. Leaders try to engender fear and anger among their followers before the first outbursts of fighting to psyche up the followers. You might think a war is not an ego trip for the leaders. You might think instead the leaders are simply doing their perceived ethical duty to preserve the safety and security of their followers, to Rescue Victims and Persecute bad guys. This might be true at the overt spoken social level; but the unspoken psychological truth is another matter. All wars are ego trips, with leaders trying to triumph over other leaders, wanting to become one-up top dogs.

This raises the question of whether it’s possible for a large organization such as a large financial, manufacturing, or communications corporation, or even most small businesses; or the Federal Reserve System, the FBI, CIA, or Pentagon, or the US government, to be fully OK?

Probably not, for long.

You can build a case competitions among political parties in presidential elections more than anything else are NIGYSOB Games, with leaders saying they want to improve the plight of Victim citizens, increase their relative share of national and international income, provide them with better and cheaper health care, and the like; but here too the contest is largely an ego trip for the leaders who are more interested in being the top dog one-up winner than anything else. It becomes an ego trip for followers as well as the leaders foment fear and anger among them to beat the bad guy Persecutors and run them out of office. If their party wins the followers also feel “one-up” because their party ideology won, regardless of nothing being done to improve their economic and social conditions.

Entrepreneurs may say their major motivation is to create a new business that will improve the lives of customers, but creating a successful, powerful business is also an ego trip, especially if the entrepreneur is able to take in much more money than others. The money may be important for what it can buy, but a major satisfaction a big pile of money generates is the ego satisfaction and recognition a winner gets because of being able to take in much more money than others, producing a bigger and better balance sheet to show off, proof one has won the business Game called BALANCE SHEET.

The capitalistic economic system is based on NIGYSOB-playing. It’s what makes the world go round. It makes everyone richer, the defenders of capitalism say, because it motivates people to work harder and longer and more efficiently than they would if they did not have to compete and do battle with others to make a living. Even the losers under capitalism get richer than they would under socialism, many imply, because they assume capitalistic countries are able to capture much larger GNPs (Gross National Products) than socialistic and communistic countries. Nations sometimes think they can win in international competition by NIGYSOBing other countries using sanctions and wars.

Capitalism does indeed make some NIGYSOB players richer, those who wipe out their competitors and those who exploit and dispose of their employees to get cheaper ones in impoverished countries; but, of about 7.6 billion humans now aboard Spaceship Earth under capitalism, most will never get ahead, and a billion or so or will stay dirt poor the rest of their natural lives, however long or short, if global warming and climate change, or nuclear bombs, do not render the Earthian human species extinct in the meantime.  

I was a decent football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I found it incredibly satisfying calling plays and running the team in a real game before cheering ecstatic fans on a football field, especially when we were winning, in total control of the team on offense, as was the case when I was in the eighth grade, when we won every game, eleven out of eleven. I don’t recall feeling serious anger caused by my football and basketball opponents but I seriously wanted to beat them, badly.

I read a post on my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago featuring Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics basketball superstar, back in 1980 or so, reminiscing about the intense anger he and his teammates felt when they played the Los Angeles Lakers. He said the anger was real and serious. Maybe you have to be a little angry to be a superstar basketball player.

Ten or so years ago Joe Moring, who coached me three years in junior high and high school football, basketball, and track back in the 1950s, telephoned me out of the blue. In the conversation, the first one we had had since the Texas state basketball playoffs in 1960, he told me “You may have been the ‘most coachable’ player I ever had.” This was quite a “stroke” coming from a superstar athlete and coach like Joe Moring, a stroke being what transactional analysts call a “unit of recognition”, which can be positive or negative. It never occurred to me back in the day that my success in sports may have been partially due to repressed anger released playing an underlying second-degree NIGYSOB psychological Game.

Capitalism may be a poor kind of economic system, but it’s better than the alternatives, some say. Just take a look at what happened to people in socialistic and communistic countries, they say.

Maybe so, maybe no.

As a certified transactional analyst with professional experience dealing with psychological Games in organizations, it seems to me under capitalism people are forced to play psychological Games to vie for a greater share of the whole pie generated by organizations, including not only money but recognition, structure, and stimulation, to satisfy their ego needs.    

There are basically two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological scripts and social scripts.  

Psychological Life Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees as various events happen in the environment, largely non-verbally by how they respond to a child, by how they get mad, glad, sad, or scared, or not, when the child does something when various things happen. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kinds of feeling, thinking, doing, saying, and living patterns. Transactional analysts call these basic “don’t” requirements Injunctions.

There are some generic “do” script messages called Counter-Injunctions such as brush your teeth, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken, but they are not as significant or powerful over a lifetime as psychological script injunctions.

Injunctions and counter-injunctions wind up creating a life script that includes a life position. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three generic TA life script outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

There is no way under capitalism for all people to be fully OK economically and politically, making the I’m OK—You’re OK life position impossible among humans en masse.

The bottom line is that most people are what they are because of family scripts, not economic conditions, and can only respond in adult life in certain ways because of their life scripts that cause the life positions and outcomes. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent, regardless of whether the economy is booming, flat, or imploding. In this sense the type of economic system is largely irrelevant.

Social scripts include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you like to play.

Social restaurant scripts for greeters, servers, and customers require more conformity than most, requiring these words in almost all restaurants to get the show started: “How many?”, “Two”, or “Four”, or whatever number in the party; and “Right this way please”.

All organizations require generic and particular social scripts for participants with words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organization. Organizations such as Disney World are the most scripted of all. Employees there are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters such as Donald Duck or Mickey or Minnie Mouse dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines. While all employees in all organizations have to pretend to some extent they are something they are not to keep their jobs, the scripting is not this extreme in most organizations.

Most people who get fired for cause in organizations are fired because of psychological scripts thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, and for being unwilling or unable to act out social scripts, not for not being able to perform the required algorithmic steps of the job.

A problem under capitalism is that the easiest way for upper managers to do a good job increasing the profit of the corporation is by eliminating jobs, regardless of how well their employees are acting out their required scripts and doing the algorithmic therbligs of their jobs. Therbligs are the smallest units of doing something your job requires, such as moving something from Point A to B or making some sort of calculation. Therblig is a made-up word using various letters of Gilbreath, the surname of two of the founders of so-called scientific management in the US.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain satisfactions dealing with others, such as by making yourself or someone else feel comfortable or by causing a loss of some sort for others, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something. All psychological Games entail players acting out one of three roles on a Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Common psychological script injunctions are Don’t Be Excellent and Don’t Be Important, among about fourteen kinds of Don’t feel, think, and do injunctions generally recognized by transactional analysts, widely transmitted in family scripting. I have covered them in detail in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn , easily found on the Internet. Why would any parent tell a child not to be excellent or important? Well, no rational parent would socially. They do it psychologically largely outside of conscious Adult ego state awareness mainly because they too did not have psychological permission to be excellent or important when they were children. People play psychological Games by “cathecting”, or turning on, all three of their ego states, including their Parent and Child ego states to create and maintain stimulation, recognition, and structure similar to what they experienced earlier in life, and in most cases they are not aware of what they are doing.

While all managers say they want excellent important employees many of them don’t want them to be too excellent or important, otherwise they might have to pay them more money, or one of them might take over his or her job as manager or supervisor, pushing him or her out the door.

I have described and explained the dynamics and significance of ego states, psychological Games, and scripts in my books, as they were first described and explained in a large gush of books and papers written by Eric Berne, MD (the originator of transactional analysis), and others, published since the 1960s that are still in print and offered for sale on the Internet. The International Transactional Analysis Association has published an excellent collection of refereed scholarly articles on transactional analysis quarterly in the Transactional Analysis Journal since the early 1970s. I studied and trained in transactional analysis at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina during 1975-1978, passing written and oral comprehensive exams on transactional analysis in 1978 administered by the ITAA.

Two major purposes of TA are to help people become more authentic and script free so as to gain more satisfaction from life in general and to see social and psychological scripts for what they are in organizations to help people learn how to adapt and flex to them to make a living.

Political races entail opponents playing psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for all stakeholders—vested interests, candidates, and voters.

Why vote in the first place? The best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, political party, or nation.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic generally-OK presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders with script-free ideas on how to improve the functioning of the economic and political system.

I remember a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me based on observing presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play to some degree a psychological Game called RAPO by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games are basically compliments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build up or tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A RAPO Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a RAPO player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Not all psychological Games entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con artist of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential. These Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Robin Hood, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Snow White, Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty-Dumpty, Hansel and Gretel, The Big Bad Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden won some big races largely because of being successful psychological Game players, having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to voters that they would deliver to them psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing them with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structures, and recognition. Whether these politicians produced for their voters the psychological satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be for these voters (for sure middle and lower income voters) to prove voting for these politicians produced any economic satisfactions for them. Any president during the last forty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income voters, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for them.

Seems to me Earthian humans are polarized intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be best described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered near the middle of the continuum.

Democratic idealists are not necessarily members of the Democratic party in the US; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican party.

A democratic idealist in my view is someone who visualizes new states of affairs that might make an unsatisfying situation more efficient, effective, just, and satisfying through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation.

Authoritarian nihilists in my view are dissatisfied with states of affairs as they are but do not visualize changing them by creating new states of affairs through democratic processes, believing instead that strong leaders in positions of authority should make existing systems and processes work better for them by out-competing others.

Most so-called liberals and progressives would be included in the democratic idealist category and most so-called conservatives would be included in the authoritarian nihilist category.

An extreme democratic idealist would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future; extreme authoritarian nihilists would be focused primarily on the here and now, caring little about achieving better imaginary states of being in the future.

Abraham Lincoln once remarked there are two kinds of people who never amount to much in life: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who cannot do anything but what they are told. Idealistic builders of imaginary air castles often have a hard time making a go of things in life, and people with no goals and imagination are pretty much stuck where they are, if they’re lucky. Probably most successful people lie somewhere in between the two extremes of idealism and nihilism.  

Extreme democratic idealists worry a lot; extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip.

I agree with most transactional analysts that Earthian humans are scripted to be what they are emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally in early childhood by Injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring.

According to Robert Goulding, MD and Mary Goulding, MSW, quoted in my book Business Voyages, page 160, there are about fourteen generic psychological Injunctions widely transmitted in family scripting:

Don’t Be

Don’t Be You (the sex you are)

Don’t Be A Child

Don’t Grow

Don’t Make It

Don’t

Don’t Be Important

Don’t Be Close

Don’t Belong

Don’t Be Well (or sane)

Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject)

Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think

Don’t Feel

Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc.

Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel (Goulding & Goulding, 1976).

These injunctions are transmitted primarily psychologically, meaning they are not overtly spoken. Rarely would a parent socially tell a child what one of the above injunctions requires. They are transmitted non-verbally primarily by the Parent, Adult, and Child ego states and mad, glad, sad, or scared emotions parents display in response to what a child naturally feels, thinks, and does as shared life events occur in early childhood. On the other hand, children are scripted by the ego states they observe parents using when parents feel, think, and do things. Children psychologically “introject” in living color the ego states of parents, including the accents, mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, and behaviors of parents, as parents and children deal with life events. To introject is to take in or absorb the personality and behavioral characteristics of another. So children more or less replicate their parents, and the replications become hard-wired in their brains for life in most cases.

For good or ill, the scripting process may determine not only the personality and behavioral characteristics of a child but also his/her life position and role in life, including determining whether a child grows up to become a democratic idealist or an authoritarian nihilist.

Therefore the scripting process largely determines which political parties win in any culture; and the fate of Spaceship Earth may depend on changing the scripting of humans, which entails a process of change that includes not only changing economic and political systems but also psychological and social systems.

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfactory lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans:  winner, loser, and non-winner— caused by inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to throughout life—and by the early decisions offspring make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

A purpose of TA is to help individuals and groups insert new causes into natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes in the populace.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or harmartic script messages recorded in his or her sub-conscious mind. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, perhaps requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, military, and religious troubles then everything would be wonderful for everyone. Not so, many people would not be happy and successful living in paradise because of script messages indelibly recorded in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live happily and successfully humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser script may entail changing the ego states one uses, the way one structures time (learning how to spend more or less time in different ways), withdrawing in their heads, pastiming (shooting the bull) with others, performing rituals, doing work activity, playing psychological Games, or being intimate with others.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this:  Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among organizations and groups around Earth.

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help individuals, groups, and organizations become more OK, OK not only in terms of achieving goals but more OK transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually agreed to contracts.

No one could blame you if you believe in tuning out TA and articles such as this one. Maybe the best strategy is to tune out the world as much as you can, burrowing up in your burrow as much as possible, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, trial and error, over and over, till something works. 

1—What is the problem?

2—What are the alternatives?

3—What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play AIN’T IT AWFUL more now than in the past, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for complaining about the evils and troubles of world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems and policies manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists, politicians, and religious leaders, however true that might be in reality.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Trump is doing a good job of playing IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU with Iran and Venezuela right now, and one can build a case about all he does is play psychological Games with his supporters and opponents.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU entails aggrieved humans psychologically acting as if opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused by circumstances and script messages to do what they did just like the aggrieved aggressive people were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems such as poor educational systems, poor family scripts, poor religions, and poor economic policies and systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis  https://www.itaaworld.org/  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds   https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/   for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK—You’re OK life position. 

This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

For details regarding my transactional analysis and management science qualifications see my RJS Academic Vita at https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.   

SOURCES for this article are provided in THE EARTHIAN FORUM  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-16/   with links to recent Internet articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I generally agree with these writers about what is most relevant about Spaceship Earth states of affairs, but each of them brought up facts, analyses, conclusions, ideas, or perspectives that were new to me when I read them during the last thirty days or so. 

Some Game playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer is psychologically Persecuting, Rescuing, or Victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what they think is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, and politically. Unfortunately one can build a case that politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games, wasting most of their time pastiming (bullshitting), doing rituals (filling out unnecessary forms, attending useless meetings, and the like), and playing psychological Games. Most expenditures of time, money, and energy in so-called foreign policy are moves in psychological Games it seems to me.

There is such a thing as Positive Critical Parent Ego State energy, and Critical Parent economic, political, and religious criticism is necessary and rational to stave off dire consequences staring humanity in the face.

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong than dishonestly wrong, saying something is true because you really don’t know it’s not true than to say something is true when you know damn well it’s not true.

Seems to me most lying is lying by omission  (people not telling people things they know are true to gain or preserve advantages in competitive situations). Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful in overall perspective than lying by commission (telling people things you know are not true to dispense fake news), is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to see what’s really going on in economic and political states of affairs.

Political parties, the US government, and mainstream media often lie by omission about what is going on with alacrity, presumably to protect national security and their corporate revenues, in many cases socially presenting true facts about states of affairs but omitting analysis about why they happened or what should have happened, enabling group-think mental illnesses.

TO RESPOND:

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html. go to the Effective Learning Company RESPONSES page and let us know about them at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html .

Feel free to respond with comments about any of the SOURCES listed in the Earthian Economic Forum cited in this article https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-16/  using the RESPONSES post on this blog masthead at the top of this page, or by emailing rjstapleton@bulloch.net . Feel free to criticize any of the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles, including this one; but please refrain from slandering the authors and the Internet journals to deny consideration of their arguments and conclusions.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for the EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from the Effective Learning Report and would like to reciprocate go to the Effective Learning Publications page and purchase one or more copies of my books at   https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html  .

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT AND THE EARTHIAN FORUM: Email rjstapleton@bulloch.net  and punch the word Subscription into the subject line.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus Professor of Management at Georgia Southern University specializing in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and business policy. See https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html for a full listing of credentials

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL BEHAVIOR THROUGH A TA LENS

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

It seems to me psychological Games have always been a major determinant of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been the most significant and pervasive psychological Game in business, economics, and politics.

If you’re thinking here I go again with more of that TA crap, looking at the world through a transactional analysis lens, I guess I have to plead guilty. I got hooked on TA back in the 1970s and have used it ever since. Here is a new application of transactional analysis using TA jargon to shed new light on the nature of economic and political behavior.

NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.) entails psychological Game players trying to reign supreme over others, to triumph over others, to become “one-up”, to be superior, to beat, to win, etc. NIGYSOB players are motivated by anger that they feel justified in releasing because of perceived social and psychological actions and manipulations on the part of Persecutors that might cause them to become loser Victims, causing them to feel their social, political and psychological standing and security are threatened.

All psychological Games include two sets of transactions conducted simultaneously between the Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States in all players, as the players also switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle”.

NIGYSOB Game-playing underlies all conflicts, competitions, and wars among nations and corporations domestically and internationally as well as among individuals within countries. You might think nations and international corporations competing constantly among themselves do not entail real anger, but it seems to me anger is a major factor when serious fighting breaks out. Leaders try to engender fear and anger among their followers before the first outbursts of fighting to psyche up the followers. You might think a war is not an ego trip for the leaders. You might think instead the leaders are simply doing their perceived ethical duty to preserve the safety and security of their followers, to Rescue Victims and Persecute bad guys. This might be true at the overt spoken social level; but the unspoken psychological truth is another matter. All wars are ego trips, with leaders trying to triumph over other leaders, wanting to become one-up top dogs.

This raises the question of whether it’s possible for a large organization such as a large financial, manufacturing, or communications corporation, or even most small businesses; or the Federal Reserve System, the FBI, CIA, or Pentagon, or the US government, to be fully OK?

Probably not, for long.

You can build a case competitions among political parties in presidential elections more than anything else are NIGYSOB Games, with leaders saying they want to improve the plight of Victim citizens, increase their relative share of national and international income, provide them with better and cheaper health care, and the like; but here too the contest is largely an ego trip for the leaders who are more interested in being the top dog one-up winner than anything else. It becomes an ego trip for followers as well as the leaders foment fear and anger among them to beat the bad guy Persecutors and run them out of office. If their party wins the followers also feel “one-up” because their party ideology won, regardless of nothing being done to improve their economic and social conditions.

Entrepreneurs may say their major motivation is to create a new business that will improve the lives of customers, but creating a successful, powerful business is also an ego trip, especially if the entrepreneur is able to take in much more money than others. The money may be important for what it can buy, but a major satisfaction a big pile of money generates is the ego satisfaction and recognition a winner gets because of being able to take in much more money than others, producing a bigger and better balance sheet to show off, proof one has won the business Game called BALANCE SHEET.

The capitalistic economic system is based on NIGYSOB-playing. It’s what makes the world go round. It makes everyone richer, the defenders of capitalism say, because it motivates people to work harder and longer and more efficiently than they would if they did not have to compete and do battle with others to make a living. Even the losers under capitalism get richer than they would under socialism, many imply, because they assume capitalistic countries are able to capture much larger GNPs (Gross National Products) than socialistic and communistic countries. Nations sometimes think they can win in international competition by NIGYSOBing other countries using sanctions and wars.

Capitalism does indeed make some NIGYSOB players richer, those who wipe out their competitors and those who exploit and dispose of their employees to get cheaper ones in impoverished countries; but, of about 7.6 billion humans now aboard Spaceship Earth under capitalism, most will never get ahead, and a billion or so or will stay dirt poor the rest of their natural lives, however long or short, if global warming and climate change, or nuclear bombs, do not render the Earthian human species extinct in the meantime.  

I was a decent football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I found it incredibly satisfying calling plays and running the team in a real game before cheering ecstatic fans on a football field, especially when we were winning, in total control of the team on offense, as was the case when I was in the eighth grade, when we won every game, eleven out of eleven. I don’t recall feeling serious anger caused by my football and basketball opponents but I seriously wanted to beat them, badly.

I read a post on my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago featuring Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics basketball superstar, back in 1980 or so, reminiscing about the intense anger he and his teammates felt when they played the Los Angeles Lakers. He said the anger was real and serious. Maybe you have to be a little angry to be a superstar basketball player.

Ten or so years ago Joe Moring, who coached me three years in junior high and high school football, basketball, and track back in the 1950s, telephoned me out of the blue. In the conversation, the first one we had had since the Texas state basketball playoffs in 1960, he told me “You may have been the ‘most coachable’ player I ever had.” This was quite a “stroke” coming from a superstar athlete and coach like Joe Moring, a stroke being what transactional analysts call a “unit of recognition”, which can be positive or negative. It never occurred to me back in the day that my success in sports may have been partially due to repressed anger released playing an underlying second-degree NIGYSOB psychological Game.

Capitalism may be a poor kind of economic system, but it’s better than the alternatives, some say. Just take a look at what happened to people in socialistic and communistic countries, they say.

Maybe so, maybe no.

As a certified transactional analyst with professional experience dealing with psychological Games in organizations, it seems to me under capitalism people are forced to play psychological Games to vie for a greater share of the whole pie generated by organizations, including not only money but recognition, structure, and stimulation, to satisfy their ego needs.    

There are basically two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological scripts and social scripts.  

Psychological Life Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees as various events happen in the environment, largely non-verbally by how they respond to a child, by how they get mad, glad, sad, or scared, or not, when the child does something when various things happen. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kinds of feeling, thinking, doing, saying, and living patterns. Transactional analysts call these basic “don’t” requirements Injunctions.

There are some generic “do” script messages called Counter-Injunctions such as brush your teeth, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken, but they are not as significant or powerful over a lifetime as psychological script injunctions.

Injunctions and counter-injunctions wind up creating a life script that includes a life position. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three generic TA life script outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

There is no way under capitalism for all people to be fully OK economically and politically, making the I’m OK—You’re OK life position impossible among humans en masse.

The bottom line is that most people are what they are because of family scripts, not economic conditions, and can only respond in adult life in certain ways because of their life scripts that cause the life positions and outcomes. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent, regardless of whether the economy is booming, flat, or imploding. In this sense the type of economic system is largely irrelevant.

Social scripts include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you like to play.

Social restaurant scripts for greeters, servers, and customers require more conformity than most, requiring these words in almost all restaurants to get the show started: “How many?”, “Two”, or “Four”, or whatever number in the party; and “Right this way please”.

All organizations require generic and particular social scripts for participants with words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organization. Organizations such as Disney World are the most scripted of all. Employees there are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters such as Donald Duck or Mickey or Minnie Mouse dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines. While all employees in all organizations have to pretend to some extent they are something they are not to keep their jobs, the scripting is not this extreme in most organizations.

Most people who get fired for cause in organizations are fired because of psychological scripts thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, and for being unwilling or unable to act out social scripts, not for not being able to perform the required algorithmic steps of the job.

A problem under capitalism is that the easiest way for upper managers to do a good job increasing the profit of the corporation is by eliminating jobs, regardless of how well their employees are acting out their required scripts and doing the algorithmic therbligs of their jobs. Therbligs are the smallest units of doing something your job requires, such as moving something from Point A to B or making some sort of calculation. Therblig is a made-up word using various letters of Gilbreath, the surname of two of the founders of so-called scientific management in the US.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain satisfactions dealing with others, such as by making yourself or someone else feel comfortable or by causing a loss of some sort for others, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something. All psychological Games entail players acting out one of three roles on a Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Common psychological script injunctions are Don’t Be Excellent and Don’t Be Important, among about fourteen kinds of Don’t feel, think, and do injunctions generally recognized by transactional analysts, widely transmitted in family scripting. I have covered them in detail in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn , easily found on the Internet. Why would any parent tell a child not to be excellent or important? Well, no rational parent would socially. They do it psychologically largely outside of conscious Adult ego state awareness mainly because they too did not have psychological permission to be excellent or important when they were children. People play psychological Games by “cathecting”, or turning on, all three of their ego states, including their Parent and Child ego states to create and maintain stimulation, recognition, and structure similar to what they experienced earlier in life, and in most cases they are not aware of what they are doing.

While all managers say they want excellent important employees many of them don’t want them to be too excellent or important, otherwise they might have to pay them more money, or one of them might take over his or her job as manager or supervisor, pushing him or her out the door.

I have described and explained the dynamics and significance of ego states, psychological Games, and scripts in my books, as they were first described and explained in a large gush of books and papers written by Eric Berne, MD (the originator of transactional analysis), and others, published since the 1960s that are still in print and offered for sale on the Internet. The International Transactional Analysis Association has published an excellent collection of refereed scholarly articles on transactional analysis quarterly in the Transactional Analysis Journal since the early 1970s. I studied and trained in transactional analysis at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina during 1975-1978, passing written and oral comprehensive exams on transactional analysis in 1978 administered by the ITAA.

Two major purposes of TA are to help people become more authentic and script free so as to gain more satisfaction from life in general and to see social and psychological scripts for what they are in organizations to help people learn how to adapt and flex to them to make a living.

Political races entail opponents playing psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for all stakeholders—vested interests, candidates, and voters.

Why vote in the first place? The best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, political party, or nation.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic generally-OK presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders with script-free ideas on how to improve the functioning of the economic and political system.

I remember a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me based on observing presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play to some degree a psychological Game called RAPO by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games are basically compliments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build up or tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A RAPO Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a RAPO player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Not all psychological Games entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con artist of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential. These Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Robin Hood, Superman, The Lone Ranger, Snow White, Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty-Dumpty, Hansel and Gretel, The Big Bad Wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and Joe Biden won some big races largely because of being successful psychological Game players, having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to voters that they would deliver to them psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing them with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structures, and recognition. Whether these politicians produced for their voters the psychological satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be for these voters (for sure middle and lower income voters) to prove voting for these politicians produced any economic satisfactions for them. Any president during the last forty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income voters, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for them.

Seems to me Earthian humans are polarized intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be best described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered near the middle of the continuum.

Democratic idealists are not necessarily members of the Democratic party in the US; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican party.

A democratic idealist in my view is someone who visualizes new states of affairs that might make an unsatisfying situation more efficient, effective, just, and satisfying through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation.

Authoritarian nihilists in my view are dissatisfied with states of affairs as they are but do not visualize changing them by creating new states of affairs through democratic processes, believing instead that strong leaders in positions of authority should make existing systems and processes work better for them by out-competing others.

Most so-called liberals and progressives would be included in the democratic idealist category and most so-called conservatives would be included in the authoritarian nihilist category.

An extreme democratic idealist would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future; extreme authoritarian nihilists would be focused primarily on the here and now, caring little about achieving better imaginary states of being in the future.

Abraham Lincoln once remarked there are two kinds of people who never amount to much in life: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who cannot do anything but what they are told. Idealistic builders of imaginary air castles often have a hard time making a go of things in life, and people with no goals and imagination are pretty much stuck where they are, if they’re lucky. Probably most successful people lie somewhere in between the two extremes of idealism and nihilism.  

Extreme democratic idealists worry a lot; extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip.

I agree with most transactional analysts that Earthian humans are scripted to be what they are emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally in early childhood by Injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring.

According to Robert Goulding, MD and Mary Goulding, MSW, quoted in my book Business Voyages, page 160, there are about fourteen generic psychological Injunctions widely transmitted in family scripting:

Don’t Be

Don’t Be You (the sex you are)

Don’t Be A Child

Don’t Grow

Don’t Make It

Don’t

Don’t Be Important

Don’t Be Close

Don’t Belong

Don’t Be Well (or sane)

Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject)

Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think

Don’t Feel

Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc.

Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel (Goulding & Goulding, 1976).

These injunctions are transmitted primarily psychologically, meaning they are not overtly spoken. Rarely would a parent socially tell a child what one of the above injunctions requires. They are transmitted non-verbally primarily by the Parent, Adult, and Child ego states and mad, glad, sad, or scared emotions parents display in response to what a child naturally feels, thinks, and does as shared life events occur in early childhood. On the other hand, children are scripted by the ego states they observe parents using when parents feel, think, and do things. Children psychologically “introject” in living color the ego states of parents, including the accents, mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, and behaviors of parents, as parents and children deal with life events. To introject is to take in or absorb the personality and behavioral characteristics of another. So children more or less replicate their parents, and the replications become hard-wired in their brains for life in most cases.

For good or ill, the scripting process may determine not only the personality and behavioral characteristics of a child but also his/her life position and role in life, including determining whether a child grows up to become a democratic idealist or an authoritarian nihilist.

Therefore the scripting process largely determines which political parties win in any culture; and the fate of Spaceship Earth may depend on changing the scripting of humans, which entails a process of change that includes not only changing economic and political systems but also psychological and social systems.

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfactory lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans:  winner, loser, and non-winner— caused by inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to throughout life—and by the early decisions offspring make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

A purpose of TA is to help individuals and groups insert new causes into natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes in the populace.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or harmartic script messages recorded in his or her sub-conscious mind. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, perhaps requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, military, and religious troubles then everything would be wonderful for everyone. Not so, many people would not be happy and successful living in paradise because of script messages indelibly recorded in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live happily and successfully humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser script may entail changing the ego states one uses, the way one structures time (learning how to spend more or less time in different ways), withdrawing in their heads, pastiming (shooting the bull) with others, performing rituals, doing work activity, playing psychological Games, or being intimate with others.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this:  Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among organizations and groups around Earth.

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help individuals, groups, and organizations become more OK, OK not only in terms of achieving goals but more OK transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually agreed to contracts.

No one could blame you if you believe in tuning out TA and articles such as this one. Maybe the best strategy is to tune out the world as much as you can, burrowing up in your burrow as much as possible, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, trial and error, over and over, till something works. 

1—What is the problem?

2—What are the alternatives?

3—What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play AIN’T IT AWFUL more now than in the past, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for complaining about the evils and troubles of world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems and policies manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists, politicians, and religious leaders, however true that might be in reality.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Trump is doing a good job of playing IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU with Iran and Venezuela right now, and one can build a case about all he does is play psychological Games with his supporters and opponents.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU entails aggrieved humans psychologically acting as if opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused by circumstances and script messages to do what they did just like the aggrieved aggressive people were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems such as poor educational systems, poor family scripts, poor religions, and poor economic policies and systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis  https://www.itaaworld.org/  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds   https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/   for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop an I’m OK—You’re OK life position. 

This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

For details regarding my transactional analysis and management science qualifications see my RJS Academic Vita at https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.   

SOURCES for this article are provided in THE EARTHIAN FORUM  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-16/   with links to recent Internet articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I generally agree with these writers about what is most relevant about Spaceship Earth states of affairs, but each of them brought up facts, analyses, conclusions, ideas, or perspectives that were new to me when I read them during the last thirty days or so. 

Some Game playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer is psychologically Persecuting, Rescuing, or Victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what they think is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, and politically. Unfortunately one can build a case that politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games, wasting most of their time pastiming (bullshitting), doing rituals (filling out unnecessary forms, attending useless meetings, and the like), and playing psychological Games. Most expenditures of time, money, and energy in so-called foreign policy are moves in psychological Games it seems to me.

There is such a thing as Positive Critical Parent Ego State energy, and Critical Parent economic, political, and religious criticism is necessary and rational to stave off dire consequences staring humanity in the face.

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong than dishonestly wrong, saying something is true because you really don’t know it’s not true than to say something is true when you know damn well it’s not true.

Seems to me most lying is lying by omission  (people not telling people things they know are true to gain or preserve advantages in competitive situations). Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful in overall perspective than lying by commission (telling people things you know are not true to dispense fake news), is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to see what’s really going on in economic and political states of affairs.

Political parties, the US government, and mainstream media often lie by omission about what is going on with alacrity, presumably to protect national security and their corporate revenues, in many cases socially presenting true facts about states of affairs but omitting analysis about why they happened or what should have happened, enabling group-think mental illnesses.

TO RESPOND:

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html. go to the Effective Learning Company RESPONSES page and let us know about them at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html .

Feel free to respond with comments about any of the SOURCES listed in the Earthian Economic Forum cited in this article https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-earthian-forum-16/  using the RESPONSES post on this blog masthead at the top of this page, or by emailing rjstapleton@bulloch.net . Feel free to criticize any of the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles, including this one; but please refrain from slandering the authors and the Internet journals to deny consideration of their arguments and conclusions.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for the EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from the Effective Learning Report and would like to reciprocate go to the Effective Learning Publications page and purchase one or more copies of my books at   https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html  .

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT AND THE EARTHIAN FORUM: Email rjstapleton@bulloch.net  and punch the word Subscription into the subject line.

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus Professor of Management at Georgia Southern University specializing in entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and business policy. See https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html for a full listing of credentials.

THE EARTHIAN FORUM — 16

THE EARTHIAN FORUM, Number Sixteen, Effective Learning Publications, https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html 32 East Main Street, Statesboro, Georgia, USA, May 10, 2020

THE EARTHIAN FORUM is a digest of articles containing facts, perspectives, theories, models, analyses, and recommendations concerned about existential states of affairs affecting all species of fauna and flora around Spaceship Earth. Relevant articles written and published by writers in Internet posts in the last month or so on ecological, economic, social, psychological, political, religious, and military states of affairs around Spaceship Earth are linked immediately following the introductory essay, Or So It Seems to Me Right now.

OR SO IT SEEMS TO ME RIGHT NOW

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON, PhD, CTA, Editor & Publisher

It seems to me psychological Games have always been a major determinant of Earthian economic and political behavior, and a Game transactional analysts call NIGYSOB has been the most significant and pervasive psychological Game in business, economics, and politics.

If you’re thinking here I go again with more of that TA crap, looking at the world through a TA lens, I guess I have to admit guilt. I got hooked on TA back in the 1970s and have used it ever since. If you can’t stand TA just skip my rambling here and scroll down to the Sources section. You’re sure to find some articles there you will enjoy that are free of TA terms and concepts, however well TA jargon might help you understand what is really going on in the articles and videos.

NIGYSOB (Now I’ve Got You, You S.O.B.) entails players trying to reign supreme over others, to triumph over others, to become “one-up”, to be superior, to beat, to win, etc. NIGYSOB players are motivated by anger that they feel justified in releasing because of perceived social and psychological actions and manipulations on the part of Persecutors that might cause them to become loser Victims, causing them to feel their social and psychological standing and security are threatened.

All psychological Games include two sets of transactions being conducted simultaneously between the Game players, a spoken overt social set, and an ulterior covert unspoken psychological set, with three basic roles, Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim being acted out by the players, involving three basic ego states used by the players, Parent, Adult, and Child, with switches of transactional vectors between various combinations of the Ego States, as the players also switch around from Persecutor, Rescuer, and Victim on a “Drama Triangle”.

I don’t have space here to get into lengthy detailed explanations or definitions of the above terms. If interested in learning more about them read my book Born to Learn: A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning that is listed on the Effective Learning Publications page on the masthead of this blog at the top of this page.

Suffice it to say NIGYSOB Game-playing underlies all conflicts, competitions, and wars among nations and corporations internationally. You might think nations and international corporations fighting constantly among themselves do not really hate their competitors, but it seems to me anger is a major factor when serious fighting breaks out. Leaders try to engender fear and anger among their followers before the first outbursts of fighting to psyche up the followers. You might think a war is not an ego trip for the leaders. You might think instead the leaders are simply doing their perceived ethical duty to preserve the safety and security of their followers, to Rescue Victims and Persecute bad guys. This might be true at the overt spoken social level; but the unspoken psychological truth is another matter. All wars are ego trips, with leaders trying to triumph over other leaders, wanting to become one-up top dogs.

This raises the question of whether it’s possible for a large organization such as a large financial, manufacturing, or communications corporation; or a Federal Reserve System; a FBI, CIA, or Pentagon; or a US government, to be fully OK?

Probably not, for long.

You can build a case competitions among political parties in presidential elections more than anything else are NIGYSOB Games, with leaders saying they want to improve the plight of Victim citizens, increase their relative share of national and international income, provide them with better and cheaper health care, and the like; but here too the contest is largely an ego trip for the leaders who are more interested in being the top dog one-up winner than anything else. It becomes an ego trip for followers as well as the leaders foment fear and anger among them to beat the bad guy Persecutors and run them out of office. If their party wins the followers also feel “one-up” because their party ideology won, regardless of nothing being done to improve their economic and social conditions.

Entrepreneurs may say their major motivation is to create a new business that will improve the lives of customers, but creating a successful, powerful business is also largely an ego trip, especially if the entrepreneur is able to take in much more money than others. The money may be important for what it can buy, but the major satisfaction a big pile of money generates is the ego satisfaction and recognition a winner gets because of being able to take in a much larger share of money than others, producing a bigger and better balance sheet to show off, proof one has won the business Game called BALANCE SHEET.

The capitalistic economic system is based on NIGYSOB-playing. It’s what makes the world go round. It makes everyone richer, the defenders of capitalism say, because it motivates people to work harder and longer and more efficiently than they would if they did not have to compete and do battle with others to make a living. Even the losers under capitalism get richer than they would under socialism, many imply, because they assume capitalistic countries are able to capture much larger GNPs (Gross National Products) than socialistic and communistic countries. Nations sometimes think they can win in international competition by NIGYSOBing other countries using sanctions and wars.

Capitalism does indeed make some NIGYSOB players richer, those who wipe out their competitors and those who exploit and dispose of their employees to get cheaper ones in impoverished countries; but, of about 7.6 billion humans now aboard Spaceship Earth under capitalism, most will never get ahead, and a billion or so or will stay dirt poor the rest of their natural lives, however long or short, if global warming and climate change, or nuclear bombs, do not render the Earthian human species extinct in the meantime.  

I was a good football and basketball player back in my junior high, high school, and college years. I found it incredibly satisfying calling plays and running the team in a real game before cheering ecstatic fans on a football field, especially when you’re winning, in total control of the team on offense, as was the case when I was in the eighth grade, when we won every game, eleven out of eleven. I don’t recall feeling serious anger caused by my football and basketball opponents but I seriously wanted to beat them, badly.

I read a post on my Facebook newsfeed a few days ago featuring Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics basketball superstar, back in 1980 or so, reminiscing about the intense anger he and his teammates felt when they played the Los Angeles Lakers. He said the anger was real and serious. Maybe you have to be a little angry to be a superstar basketball player.

Ten or so years ago Joe Moring, who coached me three years in junior high and high school football and basketball back in the 1950s, telephoned me out of the blue. In the conversation, the first one we had had since the Texas state basketball playoffs in 1960, he told me “You may have been the ‘most coachable’ player I ever had.” This was quite a “stroke” coming from a superstar athlete and coach like Joe Moring, a stroke being what we transactional analysts call a “unit of recognition”, which can be positive or negative. It never occurred to me back in the day that my success in sports may have been partially due to repressed anger released in an underlying second-degree NIGYSOB psychological Game.

Capitalism may be a poor kind of economic system, but it’s better than the alternatives, some say. Just take a look at what has happened to people in socialistic and communistic countries, they say.

Maybe so, maybe no.

As a certified transactional analyst with professional experience dealing with psychological Games in organizations, it seems to me under capitalism people are forced to play psychological Games to vie for a greater share of the whole pie generated by organizations, including not only money but recognition, structure, and stimulation, to satisfy their ego needs.    

There are basically two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological scripts and social scripts.  

Psychological Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees, largely non-verbally by how they respond to a child, by how they get mad, glad, sad, or scared, or not, when the child does something or when various things happen in the environment. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kinds of feeling, thinking, doing, saying, and living patterns. Transactional analysts call these basic “don’t” requirements injunctions.

There are some generic “do” script messages called counter-injunctions such as brush your teeth, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken, but they are not as significant or powerful over a lifetime as psychological script injunctions.

Injunctions and counter-injunctions wind up creating a life script that includes a life positions. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three basic TA life outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

There is no way under capitalism for all people to be fully OK economic and political winners, making the I’m OK—You’re OK life position impossible. The bottom line is that most people are what they are because of family scripts, not economic conditions, and can only respond in adult life in certain ways because of their life scripts that cause the life positions and outcomes. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent, regardless of whether the economy is booming, flat, or imploding. In this sense the type of economic system is largely irrelevant.

Social scripts include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role in any organization to make a living. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you like to play.

Social restaurant scripts for greeters, servers, and customers require more conformity than most, requiring these words to get the show started in most restaurants: “How many?”, “Two”, or “Four”, or whatever number in the party; and “Right this way please”.

All organizations have generic and peculiar social scripts for all participants requiring certain words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organization. Organizations such as Disney World are the most scripted of all. Employees there are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters like Donald Duck, Mickey or Minnie Mouse, or some fairy tale character like Snow White, or a dwarf, dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines. While all employees in all organizations have to pretend to some extent they are something they are not to keep their jobs, it’s not this extreme in most organizations.

Most people who get fired for cause in organizations are fired because of psychological scripts thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, and for being unwilling or unable to act out social scripts, not for not being able to perform the required algorithmic steps of the job.

A problem under capitalism is that the easiest way for upper managers to do a good job increasing the profit of the corporation is by eliminating jobs, regardless of how well their employees are acting out their required scripts and doing the algorithmic therbligs of their jobs. Therbligs are the smallest units of doing something your job requires, such as moving something from Point A to B or making some sort of calculation. Therblig is a made-up word using various letters of Gilbreath, the surname of two of the founders of so-called scientific management in the US.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain certain satisfactions dealing with others, such as by making yourself or someone else feel comfortable or by causing a loss of some sort for others, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something. All psychological Games entail players acting out one of three roles on a Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Common psychological script injunction are Don’t Be Excellent and Don’t Be Important, among about fourteen kinds of Don’t feel, think, and do injunctions generally recognized by transactional analysts, widely transmitted in family scripting. I have covered them in detail in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn , easily found on the Internet. Why would any parent tell a child not to be excellent or important? Well, no rational parent would socially. They do it psychologically largely outside of conscious Adult ego state awareness mainly because they too did not have psychological permission to be excellent or important when they were children. People play psychological Games by “cathecting”, or turning on, all three of their ego states, including their Parent and Child ego states to create and maintain stimulation, recognition, and structure similar to what they experienced earlier in life, and in most cases they are not aware of what they are doing.

While all managers say they want excellent important employees many of them don’t want them to be too excellent or important, otherwise they might have to pay them more money, or one of them might take over his or her job as manager or supervisor, pushing him or her out the door.

I have described and explained the dynamics and significance of ego states, psychological Games, and scripts in my books, as they were first described and explained in a large gush of books and papers written by Eric Berne, MD (the originator of transactional analysis), and others, published since the 1960s that are still in print and offered for sale on the Internet. The International Transactional Analysis Association has published an excellent collection of refereed scholarly articles on transactional analysis quarterly in the Transactional Analysis Journal since the early 1970s. I studied and trained in transactional analysis at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina during 1975-1978, passing written and oral comprehensive exams on transactional analysis in 1978 administered by the ITAA.

Two major purposes of TA are to help people become more authentic and script free so as to gain more satisfaction from life in general and to see social and psychological scripts for what they are in organizations to help people learn how to adapt and flex to them to make a living.

Sorry about the digression into TA, but it was necessary to explain my major point in this article, which is, political races are rife with psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for all stakeholders—vested interests, candidates, and voters.

Why vote in the first place? The best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, political party, or nation.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel over a lifetime. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic OK presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders, a hard-headed intellectual more interested in changing the whole system to optimize the functioning of the whole system to benefit everyone, rather than play psychological Games with people.

I remember a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me dealing with presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play to some degree a psychological Game called Rapo by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games are basically compliments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build up or tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A Rapo Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a Rapo player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Not all psychological Games entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con artist of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential. These Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Obama, Hillary, Trump, and Biden won some big races largely because of being successful psychological Game players, having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to voters that they would deliver to them psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing them with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structures, and recognition. Whether these politicians produced for their voters the psychological and social satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be difficult for these voters to prove voting for these politicians actually produced the economic satisfactions they socially sought. Any president during the last forty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income people, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for them.

Seems to me Earthian humans are polarized intellectually between two general extreme categories that might be best described as democratic idealists and authoritarian nihilists, with most humans being clustered near the middle of the continuum.

Democratic idealists are not necessarily members of the Democratic party in the US; and all authoritarian nihilists are not necessarily members of the Republican party.

A democratic idealist in my view is someone who visualizes new states of affairs that might make an unsatisfying situation more efficient, effective, just, and satisfying through consultation, collaboration, and cooperation with others.

Authoritarian nihilists in my view are dissatisfied with states of affairs as they are but do not visualize changing them by creating new states of affairs through democratic processes such as consultation, collaboration, and cooperation, believing instead that strong leaders in positions of authority should simply make existing systems and processes work better for them by out-competing others.

Most so-called liberals and progressives would be included in the democratic idealist category and most so-called conservatives would be included in the authoritarian nihilist category.

An extreme democratic idealist would focus primarily on ideal states to be achieved in the future; extreme authoritarian nihilists would be focused primarily on the here and now, caring little about achieving better imaginary states of being in the future.

Abraham Lincoln once remarked there are two kinds of people who never amount to much in life: those who cannot do what they are told, and those who cannot do anything but what they are told. Idealistic builders of imaginary air castles often have a hard time making a go of things in life, and people with no goals and imagination are pretty much stuck where they are, if they’re lucky. Probably most successful people lie somewhere in between the two extremes of idealism and nihilism.  

Extreme democratic idealists are worry warts; extreme authoritarian nihilists just don’t give a rip about anything.

I agree with most transactional analysts that Earthian humans are scripted to be what they are emotionally, intellectually, and behaviorally in early childhood by injunctions that are psychologically transmitted from the child ego states of parents to the child ego states of their offspring.

According to Robert Goulding, MD and Mary Goulding, MSW, quoted in my book Business Voyages, page 160, there are about fourteen injunctions widely transmitted in family scripting:

Don’t Be

Don’t Be You (the sex you are)

Don’t Be A Child

Don’t Grow

Don’t Make It

Don’t

Don’t Be Important

Don’t Be Close

Don’t Belong

Don’t Be Well (or sane)

Don’t Think About X (forbidden subject)

Don’t Think What You Think, Think What I Think

Don’t Feel

Don’t Feel X, Mad, Sad, Glad, Scared, etc.

Don’t Feel What You Feel, Feel What I Feel (Goulding & Goulding, 1976).

These injunctions are transmitted primarily psychologically, meaning they are not overtly spoken. Rarely would a parent socially tell a child what one of the above injunctions requires. They are transmitted non-verbally primarily by the ego states parents display in response to what a child naturally feels, thinks, and does. On the other hand, children are scripted by the ego states they observe parents using when parents feel, think, and do things. Children psychologically “introject” in living color the ego states of parents, including the accents, mannerisms, facial expressions, tone of voice, and behaviors of parents as if by osmosis, as parents and children deal with life events. To introject is to take in or absorb the personality and behavioral characteristics of another. So children more or less replicate their parents, and the replications become hard-wired in their brains for life in most cases.

For good or ill, the scripting process may determine not only the personality and behavioral characteristics of a child but also his/her life position and role in life. 

That includes determining whether a child becomes a democratic idealist or an authoritarian nihilist.

And the scripting process also determines which political parties win in any culture.

Ergo, the fate of Spaceship Earth depends on changing the scripting of Earthian humans, which entails a process of change that includes not only changing economic and political systems, but also psychological and social systems.

An assumption of transactional analysis is that humans can learn to “see what is really going on” with themselves and others as they transact with one another socially and psychologically living their daily lives so as to increase their chances of living satisfactory lives, regardless of how not-OK their economic, social, psychological, and political worlds might be.

According to transactional analysis theory there are three naturally occurring generic life outcomes caused for humans:  winner, loser, and non-winner— caused by inherited physical characteristics and “messages” one is exposed to throughout life—and by the early decisions offspring make about the messages that become determinants of emotional, intellectual, and behavioral responses throughout life.

Whether one inherits a winner, loser, or non-winner script is determined by naturally-occurring inevitable cause-effect chains one is accidentally exposed to. Some transactional analysts assume proportions of winner, loser, and non-winner scripts in the population remain relatively constant from one generation to another.

A purpose of TA is to help individuals and groups insert new causes into natural cause-effect chains so as to increase the probabilities and proportions of winner outcomes in the populace.

Changing a loser script to a winner script requires hard work but it can happen if a person somehow acquires new script messages powerful enough to control frustrating, debilitating, or harmartic script messages recorded in the sub-conscious minds of humans. TA can provide people basic concepts and tools for attempting such a thing, perhaps requiring learning to use different ego states and transactional patterns and learning how to communicate in more effective ways psychologically and socially.

Most people seem to think if only Earthian humans could solve their economic, political, military, and religious troubles then everything would be wonderful for everyone. Not so, many people would not be happy and successful living in paradise because of script messages indelibly recorded in their sub-conscious minds before they were eight years old. In order for everyone to live happily and successfully humans would have to solve not only economic, political, religious, and social problems, but also psychological problems.

Changing a loser script may entail changing the ego states one uses, the way one structures time (learning how to spend more time in different ways), spending more or less time withdrawing in their heads, pastiming (shooting the bull) with others, performing rituals, working, playing psychological Games, or enjoying intimacy with others.

The Prayer of Serenity goes something like this:  Lord give me the intelligence and strength to change what needs changing, and the wisdom to know what I can and cannot change, knowing full well that some suffering, losing, and grieving is inevitable.

Using TA in some cases can help people become more serene, by enabling them to see more clearly what is going on to make salutary changes, or by learning to accept one’s script and focus on finding a niche in which it fits. On the other hand, a basic problem or question is whether serenity is possible in today’s world, beset by global warming and climate change and by escalating tensions and agitations among organizations and groups around Earth.

TA never promised anyone any rose gardens, or eternal bliss in heaven, but it does advertise that it can help individuals, groups, and organizations become more ok, ok not only in terms of achieving goals but more ok transacting with others so as to live with more dignity, satisfaction, peace, and tranquility, based on Adult mutually agreed to contracts.

No one could blame you if you believe in tuning out TA and blogs such as this one. Maybe the best strategy is to tune out the world as much as you can, burrowing up in your burrow as much as possible, reading no newspapers and not watching television, with no Internet. The problem however if you do that is boredom. Most humans have an innate need for stimulation, achievement, and recognition.

Regardless of what sort of cognitive structures humans might use, TA or whatever, sooner or later they have to take action, and this entails defining problems, delineating alternatives, making recommendations, choosing things, trying new things, trial and error, over and over, till something works. 

1—What is the problem?

2—What are the alternatives?

3—What do you recommend?

We live in precarious times that probably encourage people to play AIN’T IT AWFUL more now than in the past, a psychological Game in which Game players collect strokes for complaining about the evils and troubles of world, positioning themselves as Victims of obsolete economic, religious, and political systems and policies manipulated and exploited by greedy self-interested power-mad sociopathic oligarchs and leaders and their corrupt bought and paid for lackeys, especially lobbyists and politicians, however true that might be in reality.

By the same token, it will do no good for humans to passively pretend everything is just hunky-dory and swell, with everything coming up roses for everyone, living in small imaginary Candide-like best of all possible worlds, playing a psychological Game called GREENHOUSE by transactional analysts, in which players are rewarded with plastic strokes for making nonsensical positive cheerful upbeat comments about the environment and political, economic, social, and psychological states of affairs, regardless of how bleak they are in reality.

It seems to me the most dangerous psychological Game played politically right now is IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU, involving polarized individuals, groups, and organizations who experience increasing insecurity and hopelessness causing them to blame others and find scapegoats for their plights, escalating their anger as they transmit threats from their angry Parent and Child ego states to the Parent and Child ego states of others, sometimes attacking others verbally and physically for their perceived misdeeds and beliefs. Some of the threats include the threat of international and civil war. Trump is doing a good job of playing IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU with Iran right now, and one can build a case about all he does is play psychological Games.

IF IT WEREN’T FOR YOU entails aggrieved humans psychologically acting as if opposing warring or competing parties maliciously and arbitrarily decided using free will to commit the harmful or heinous actions and deeds they are accused of committing, instead of realizing the others were caused by circumstances and script messages to do what they did just like the aggrieved aggressive people were. Getting rid of the other will not solve problems such as poor educational systems, poor family scripts, poor religions, and poor economic policies and systems.

For more information regarding the use of Transactional Analysis  https://www.itaaworld.org/  to create better discussion groups and democratic processes read my book Born to Learn:  A Transactional Analysis of Human Learning.  https://www.amazon.com/Born-Learn-Transactional-Analysis-Learning/dp/0692584331 

For more information on how to co-construct better organizations and economic systems using TA read my book   Business Voyages:  Mental Maps, Scripts, Schemata, and Tools for Co-Constructing Your Own Business Worlds   https://www.amazon.com/Business-Voyages-Schemata-Discovering-Co-Constructing/dp/1413480810

See my article “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc,”  https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/   for some management science ideas on how human Earthians might eventually co-construct an economic system that is viable and satisfying for everyone aboard Spaceship Earth, making it possible for all Earthian humans to develop and I’m OK—You’re OK life position. 

This entails human Earthians never doing work that machines can do better, and delegating the day-to-day management of systems for scheduling, producing, and distributing the necessities of life to artificial intelligence programs and supercomputers.

This can be done using linear programming based on the general algorithmic matrix algebra form

Max CjXj, s.t. AijXj ≤, =, or ≥ Bi

as explained in “The Evolution of Spaceship Earth, Inc.”   https://blog.effectivelearning.net/the-evolution-of-spaceship-earth-inc/  

Flying aboard an airliner about to land at night moving at four hundred miles an hour at thirty thousand feet with cloudy and rainy weather below, which would you rather have landing the plane, the plane’s computer system or the pilot and co-pilot looking out their windows with their hands clutching their steering wheels?

For details regarding my transactional analysis and management science qualifications see my RJS Academic Vita at https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html.   

As usual this month’s THE EARTHIAN FORUM  links and cites as SOURCES recent articles written and published by clear deep-thinking hard-hitting independent writers in various Internet publications on ecological, economic, social, political, religious, and military affairs around Spaceship Earth.  I generally agree with these writers about what is most relevant about Spaceship Earth states of affairs, but each of them brought up facts, analyses, conclusions, ideas, or perspectives that were new to me when I read them during the last thirty days or so, thereby teaching me something, which is why I included them in this issue of THE EARTHIAN FORUM.  

Some Game playing goes on in the articles, i.e., a writer is psychologically persecuting, rescuing, or victimizing someone, but it seems to me the writers are generally trying to paint accurate pictures of what is really going on economically, socially, psychologically, and politically. Unfortunately it seems to me one can build a case that politicians spend most of their time playing psychological Games. They waste a lot of time pastiming (bullshitting), engaging in rituals (shuffling paper, filling out unnecessary forms, attending useless meetings, and the like), and playing psychological Games. Almost everything done in so-called foreign policy is a psychological Game.

It’s not easy, impossible some say, to separate relevant from irrelevant focal points in order to comprehend global cases, systems, and processes, while being inundated with fake news and true facts of states of affairs generated daily around Spaceship Earth, made public on the Internet, and elsewhere, to see what’s really going on, using primarily inductive and analogical reasoning, based on probability, not deductive logic. Almost never can anyone prove with deductive logic that a general proposition about economic, social, psychological, or political states affairs is absolutely true. About the best humans can hope for is to develop consensual answers that are generally acceptable and true based on probability.

It’s better to be honestly wrong than dishonestly wrong, that is, telling someone something is true because you really do not know what is true than to tell someone something is true when you know for a fact it is not true.

It seems to me most lying is lying by omission, people not telling people things they know are true that others need to know. Whether lying by omission is more or less harmful than lying by commission, telling people things you know are falsehoods bu dispensing fake news, is debatable, as is proving whether it’s getting easier or harder for most people to know what’s true and what’s not. Political parties, the US government, and Mainstream media lie by omission about what is going on with alacrity, in many cases socially presenting true facts but omitting analysis about why they happened or what could have been done better.

TO RESPOND:

If you have ideas on how to democratically discuss in Game-free ways economic and political problems and opportunities in something like the Ogeechee Economic Forum at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/ogeechee-economic-forum.html. go to our RESPONSES page and let us know about them at  https://www.effectivelearning.net/responses.html .

Feel free to respond with comments about any of the SOURCES listed below using the RESPONSES post on this blog masthead at the top of this page; but please refrain from making ad hominem attacks. Criticize any of the facts, data, evidence, reasoning, and conclusions in any of the articles; but refrain from slandering the characteristics of the authors to illogically try to prove their arguments and conclusions are wrong and yours are right.

I have no desire to sell subscriptions or advertising or solicit donations for THE EARTHIAN FORUM, but I would like to sell more books. If you feel you’ve gained value from THE EARTHIAN FORUM and would like to reciprocate go to our Effective Learning Publications page and purchase one or more copies of my books at   https://www.effectivelearning.net/effective-learning-publications.html  .

FOR A FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO THE EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT AND THE EARTHIAN FORUM: Email rjstapleton@bulloch.net and punch subscription into the subject line.     

RECENT RELEVANT READING

SOURCES:

May 12, 2020

John Whitehead—”With every passing day, we’re being moved further down the road towards a totalitarian society characterized by government censorship, violence, corruption, hypocrisy and intolerance, all packaged for our supposed benefit in the Orwellian doublespeak of national security, tolerance and so-called “government speech.”

“Technofascism: Digital Book burning in a totalitarian age,” by John Whitehead, INTREPED REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29859.

May 11

Yep

“We Honor What We Value – Entertainers Over Saviors,“ by Ralph Nader, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/08/we-honor-what-we-value-entertainers-over-saviors/?fbclid=IwAR0gekjpvOMLOE1Gj-DP1QAzSlMTWr-epIP79spuE7p9AFJjZGR1pAUyWJc/.

May 11

This post presents new information regarding the problem of US slavery.

“Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power?,” by Edward E. Baptist, NHPR.ORG,  https://www.nhpr.org/post/without-slavery-would-us-be-leading-economic-power?fbclid=IwAR2xmEMpa_7BGfv821QDSU3tdNZYzSkyULP6dFEQCXbVbT4kTBcUW-K6eZo#stream/0.

May 11

Very sad it’s come to this, a summary of a life of good legal, literary, and social activist work lived by my long time friend Wm Cox from our days back at Wolfforth, Texas in the 1940s and 59s.

“This is Not a Reality Show. This is Reality!,” by William John Cox, WILLIAM JOHN COX.COM, https://williamjohncox.com/?fbclid=IwAR200qww9drFzmGI7PtvaRONsPUt4eq08YmNRdv8rBJLDu1BZstwGwR6AM0.

May 10

Say it aint so Joe

“The Coming Collapse,” by Chris Hedges, TRUTH-DIG.ORG, https://www.truthdig.com/articles/the-coming-collapse/.

May 10

Yuk

“American Shopping Malls Resemble Ghost Towns After Reopening,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/health/american-shopping-malls-resemble-ghost-towns-after-reopening?fbclid=IwAR0QoaMQPvoAnm_UkHQ155XoRQHuzWD-A62bwztMyyNng2teqs4uiDpw-Qk.

May 10

Seems plausible

“One Bank Explains Why QE No Longer Stimulates The Economy And Only Leads To Higher Stock Prices,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/one-bank-explains-why-qe-no-longer-stimulates-economy-and-only-leads-higher-stock-prices?fbclid=IwAR35EpjQgU1iCNLOTBfUSvNZ_9rRvxpjWBrVa7sDKx3MlxgK01ZuflrXie8.

May 10

Never would have thought it but it seems more and more likely.

“Dear World Leaders: 1984 Was Not Supposed To Be An Instruction Manual,” by Luke Eastwood, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/what-if-crisis-one-without-end-george-orwells-perpetual-war?fbclid=IwAR20zsneMQ6ANJSWDy5Etpjmn8e1vPsu_Jfwbl1vbbBHupmHDzkmn8p5Eus.

May 9

Another great article by Paul Street

“Live and Let Die,” by Paul Street, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/08/live-and-let-die/?fbclid=IwAR05E5ODZGk8KjcFACTzEvgSsWIonB29c3ADso_B9rC1FOQc3I0xSoplVXQ.

May 8

Hell of a note, Nothin’ much to do but walk to the bathroom to take a leak or shave or brush teeth or do some other chores around the house, or mow the grass driving your riding lawnmower, sometimes mowing the same grass more than once to kill more time, significantly increasing lawn mower noise in the neighborhood.

“A Tragic Record: For the First Time Ever, More than Half Of The US Population is Not Working,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/tragic-record-first-time-ever-more-half-us-population-not-working?fbclid=IwAR0sXJwN90no-bOoQiUOCnF2Y1bORkr70iQ-QaC4LjniOM0qkNAtlIZOJlU.

May 7

Of course. Mail-in voting makes it harder to suppress voting. Why should anything be fair anymore? It’s unfair not to let Repugs suppress votes.

“Republicans Oppose Mail-In Voting Because They’re Scared of Losing,” by  William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT.ORG, https://truthout.org/articles/republicans-oppose-mail-in-voting-because-theyre-scared-of-losing/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR1esMa5BbIGIo-GY3yr0GYS1zsQsplZ2V9lnXHIq8QGeeVA20erL9n8PY4.

May 7

Very sad

“Shot dead for ‘looking like a burglar’: New video stirs anger, calls for justice over killing of  black man in Georgia,” TRTWORLD, YOUTUBE, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coLXSfVCBAk&fbclid=IwAR1dM0qdqmIOr9zfgkqJLNn-JRdQx4wsCpkOF2IyHthAmuehAYf6ZI2ft3s.

May 7

Say it aint so Joe

“The temple of self-gratification,” by Jason Hirtheir, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29849.

May 6

Right. Lying is ok for the DNC. The case was dismissed for lack of standing.

“DNC: We rigged primaries. So What?,” by Alicia Power, WMD.COM, https://www.wnd.com/2017/05/dnc-we-rigged-primaries-so-what/?fbclid=IwAR3TOxg6xFVfnnbqeJPDJaXcAWQuLHTnT0brogpqL4JMPwG445JkEuModvk.

May 6

It’s mind boggling to think a poor excuse for a human being like this gets to define reality all the time for millions or billions of people around Spaceship Earth based on his impulses that are subject to change at any time because deluded befuddled voters in an election voted for him as president of the US, about twenty-five percent of eligible voters of the country, a country sheltering about five percent of the Earthian human population.

“Trump says corona virus crisis ‘worse than Pearl Hzrbor’ or 9/11,” AFP, NEWS.YAHOO.COM, https://news.yahoo.com/trump-says-coronavirus-crisis-worse-pearl-harbor-9-183744178.html?soc_src=hl-viewer&soc_trk=fb.

May 6

Here is an article I recently wrote and published in the ELR.

“Why Large Powerful Political Parties Are Evil,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, by Richard John Stapleton, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/2019/10/?fbclid=IwAR0raPYsP4j-vc03y1x1BTzHc0F3JCziTwrMZUlqqp4TimXiyhLdlaKqHHI.

May 5

Unexpected development. Hope he creams Biden in this election just for the hell of it.

“A federal judge just ordered New York election officials to restore Bernie Sanders  to the presidential primary ballot,”  by Grace Panette, BUSINESS INSIDER, https://www.businessinsider.com/judge-orders-bernie-sanders-to-be-restored-ny-primary-ballot-2020-5?fbclid=IwAR3VSg3xkQtMfw6r0QGJKIIBRHBTzSDcn_QdK_zR5wdIDkMK-uBmLTYtgJg.

May 5

“I thought most Dem voters would rebel against their overlords in the Dem Party and choose Bernie; but they didn’t: they went along with their masters, or naturally agreed because of their life scripts.

What mainly counted were the unexpressed silent ulterior psychological messages they saw and imagined. It seems to me most Dem voters do not have psychological permission to vote in their own best economic interests.

“Why Dem Voters Chose Joe Biden,” by Richard John Stapleton, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/why-dem-voters-chose-joe-biden/?fbclid=IwAR0GtGc0cNkSqsoGkN6rsFeVow-2om1LQgq0t5PCOuYs8nOpQSHbSHnfg3A.

May 4

More than anything else Trump’s win in the 2016 Repug primaries shows the disrespect and contempt Repug voters had for all the other Repug candidates in the primary race. Now in 2020, unfortunately US voters are faced with another lesser evil situation, Trump or Biden, thanks to Dem voters choosing Biden rather than Bernie Sanders in the 2020 Dem primary race. Chomsky’s logic still stands, but is it worth it, letting the DNC establishment get away with their rigging, hijacking, and contempt for democracy, truth, and justice once again to preserve their personal perks and privileges at the expense of middle and lower income US citizens, however much middle and lower income voters are to blame for Trump and Biden being the two lesser evils this time around, because dammit they voted for them in primary elections, not having the sense to vote in their own interests. There are few innocent players in this process. The basic decision of the 2020 US presidential election does not entail choosing the lesser evil candidate but the lesser evil ideology of the Repug and Dem parties. In terms of truth, fairness, and justice as i see it that would entail voting Dem, and let the devil take the hindmost. Dem politicians these days are not any better in general than Repugs when it comes to doing what they say they will do for the good of the country, both Dems and Repugs being employees of the deep state. But what Dems say in general, however unlikely it is they will do it, is better than what Repugs say they will do; and that’s what US voters are stuck with, voting for what an evil political party says it will do, not for what it will do. As the late great Jackie Gleason would say, “How sweet it is.”

“Noam Chomsky, lesser evilism, and democracy,” by Michael K. Smith, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29806.

May 4

Another great analysis and vision by Ellen Brown, the smartest and most honest money and banking expert out there.

“Crushing the States, Saving the Banks: the Fed’s Generous New Rules,” by Ellen Brown, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/04/crushing-the-states-saving-the-banks-the-feds-generous-new-rules/?fbclid=IwAR2-9clf1IQWndIvQ_pImn0hsTBK7zQSsgr-Sy7H9v3jJ0_m-1H7bsY9JnY.

May 4

So much for the labor movement in the US.

“Lingg’s Autobiography: An Overlooked Haymarket Confession?,” COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/04/linggs-autobiography-an-overlooked-haymarket-confession/?fbclid=IwAR0RyESMvDTa__Jz_uSGinC1OZkl9tt2Hl48_MjiDxGzZBGssFgPtdbPWBs.

May 4

Depressing

“The Anatomy of a Failing University,:” by David Schultz, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/04/the-anatomy-of-a-failing-university/?fbclid=IwAR0TZw4QgQCGdanXaXs8x9axwhVCHhAREcq7rI0_eFtd43rHvCgddddlnEY.

May 4

Pathetic

“The Pentagon Continues to Profit at Taxpayers’ Expense During Pandemic,” by Mandy Smithberger, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/the-pentagon-continues-to-profit-at-taxpayers-expense-during-pandemic/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR3Wov55SKtlQvihQDDRoC8jR2u4dT9uZu8YrJCjhPj0a75duJOxJNH04ZE.

May 2

Cant the fed govmint do nothin’ right

“The Small Business Loan Racket,” by Eve Ottenberg, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/01/the-small-business-loan-racket/?fbclid=IwAR1O-IcJJGrt8LUnacLU9ecyv_bsRgsSFpTSQBXiiXF0lLANoPpzRktNzMg.

May 2

Yes

“Head of Postal Union Says Mailed Ballots Are Best Way to Secure 2020 Election,” by Amy Goodman, Democracy Now, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/video/head-of-postal-union-says-mailed-ballots-are-best-way-to-secure-2020-election/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR17UfIC3Zx7GjL_Br5jB3fwwfTkZAi7vbfRGpaXxDnTrIwPYI4sywwwzAQ/.

May 1

Yes

“The out-of-pocket cost of Coronavirus treatment: Canada, $0; US, up to $74,310: We need Medicare for All,” Bernie Sanders, https://www.facebook.com/berniesanders/photos/a.324119347643076/3032623940125923/?type=3&theater.

May 1

Necessary lies some would say.

“If Trump is a Pthological Liar, What Type of Liar is Biden?,” Bruce E. Levine, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/01/if-trump-is-a-pathological-liar-what-type-of-liar-is-biden/?fbclid=IwAR3fEsX926ckodghpab4aK4QuzyaBpcpf-tEojlUI-W3ENG6xTpNIBj0h6U.

May 1

This article by Courtenay Barnett presents a cogent analysis of evolved economic issues, problems, and approaches faced and taken by the US and what to do about them now, Richard John Stapleton, Editor & Publisher

“A Crisis Within Capitalism,” by Courtenay Barnett, EFFECTIVE LEARNING REPORT, https://blog.effectivelearning.net/a-crisis-within-capitalism/.

May 1

Bill Blain tells it like it is: capitalism is dying, not caused by middle and lower class workers attacking their upper class bosses and betters but by the upper class destroying capitalism by undermining processes that make capitalism work, such as free competition and survival of the fittest. Now it’s not the fittest businesses that survive, but those big enough and politically active enough to extract favors and handouts from governments and central banks to rescue them from their greed, incompetence, and malfeasance, supposedly necessary for the survival of all species of fauna and flora aboard Spaceship Earth..

“Blain’s Morning Porridge (1) May Day 2020: Boeing – Mars Wins,” by Bill Blain, BLAIN’S MORNING PORRIDGE, https://morningporridge.com/the-morning-porridge/f/blains-morning-porridge-1-may-day-2020-boeing—marx-wins#disqus_thread/.

April 30

Is the US a failed state under Trump and was it before? Here is Noam Chomsky at his best delivering one of the best overviews of US politics I have read. As bad as the current predicament is, Chomsky advocates voting for Biden, however banal, corrupt, dysfunctional, and mediocre he is, because “Left doctrine,” is better that “Right doctrine”, which disgusts me, but which I must admit might be the best thing to do in this case, Based on Chomsky’s analysis here, which it seems to me in effect asserts humans en masse are too stupid to understand the facts of actual cases, so as to vote for the right policies and actions, humans have little choice but to vote for the supposed best dogmas and doctrines, which is a major cause of Earthian human misery and fallure in my opinion.

“Chomsky: COVID-19 Has Exposed the US Under Trump as a ‘Failed State’,” C. J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/chomsky-covid-19-has-exposed-the-us-under-trump-as-a-failed-state/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR3VJmeQwHReQ_pRdZ3cVYUKrRVM6l3vFY3bWwGMYUucH0TWeEJGEgMXlP0.

April 30

Very sad

“Las Vegas Transforms Casino Into Food Bank As Working Poor Line Up for Miles,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/health/las-vegas-transforms-casino-food-bank-working-poor-line-miles?fbclid=IwAR03yG2pnUcXSc3P7bDpRQibgMVwKAHlZ-tE6SpYBCut0K7611Ix78-GpsY.

April 20

Uncharted Blue Sky

“$6.66 Trillion: At least our satanic overlords have a sense of humor,” Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/666-trillion?fbclid=IwAR3UgVKF0tAr_JfQYEnjhEfoJu893k1fm8EGxSSrsMl5Dh5-DfXEwd9k94Q.

April 30

Just updated our wobsite making some changes to the UniDesk™ page, improving my philosophy on reading and learning.

“Educational Website for Teachers & Adults, Statesboro, GA,” EFFECTIVE LEARNING.NET, https://www.effectivelearning.net/?fbclid=IwAR0iSE95WtNU7GKG0rwxw4k-J5ig6VEPYp_kXSdNPZ_SJfrFe81WMq4eGJU.

April 29

The height of his inanity

“As for Trump’s own intelligence, he paraded his IQ in front of a national television audience last week when he incoherently suggested exposing Covid-19 patients to disinfectants or strong light: “Suppose that we hit the body with tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light? Then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in one minute. Is there a way we can do something like that by infection inside, or almost a cleaning? It would be interesting to check that.” The manufacturer for Lysol, a disinfectant spray and cleaning product, immediately issued a warning against Trump’s medical bulletin.” Melvin Goodman

“Trump Takes His War on Intelligence to a New Level,” by Melvin Goodman, COUNTERUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/29/trump-takes-his-war-on-intelligence-to-a-new-level/?fbclid=IwAR36NOmt7vtUDJ8ro8_tdZwM7IygX_GfbSIobe5dZ2uCfTMHYwI2u3yAfvs.

April 27

The best Chris Hedges video yet.

“American Anomie,” Chris Hedges, YOUTUBE.COM, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HV0cS1TGve4&fbclid=IwAR0YEXSFWaj9AXOaQhb6gaEI8c9OETbDvb9JSSbJgH_BQ5ErYesgIdULTOk.

April 27

Generally agree

“Jill Stein: Why 5% for the Green Party is a win for America,” CNBC.COM, https://www.cnbc.com/2016/10/27/why-5-for-the-green-party-is-a-win-for-america-jill-stein-commentary.html?fbclid=IwAR3rSYMGbTw904iPTroXEN2lfboF21o0kLNtdHC7Irii8kuGtAWBvJo1gT8.

April 26

Say it aint so Joe

“Smithfield and Our Troubled Future,” by Louis Proyect, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/24/smithfield-and-our-troubled-future/?fbclid=IwAR29eaycJCsv6q0cw8gC_ePJRNkIzx0dHdbjuZpzAfvsWs5o4coR4vDKYxU.

April 26

About right

“Capitalism on Life Support…Time for a Cure,” Staff Editorial, STRATEGIC-CULTURE.ORG, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/04/24/capitalism-on-life-support-time-for-a-cure/?fbclid=IwAR38GYjwRl5BU0EPde-q7LP1E5uhOHFAlpbiKhJQ82-vMw-sr7zi2XjVRPI.

April 26

Worth a look and listen

“How Bernie & Squad Actually Support Corporate State,” by Chris Hedges, YOUTUBE.COM, https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/04/24/capitalism-on-life-support-time-for-a-cure/?fbclid=IwAR38GYjwRl5BU0EPde-q7LP1E5uhOHFAlpbiKhJQ82-vMw-sr7zi2XjVRPI.

April 25

“I WANT YOU TO STOP THINKING: The Reussians and the Chinese Are Your Enemy,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/the-russians-and-the-chinese-are-your-enemy-b07f7b961408.

April 23

Right

“Coronavirus Crisis Makes Clear Pentagon Should Get No More Money This Year for Its ‘Wasteful War Machine’: 60+ Groups,” by Andrea germanos, COMMON DREAMS, https://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/04/22/coronavirus-crisis-makes-clear-pentagon-should-get-no-more-money-year-its-wasteful?fbclid=IwAR0uOzagXdCNK3ttTMrt4hTJ12UR_Ch0T8mpqTNl2GdHlIZ6KOQ6FJ_8Ei0.

April 23

This is the best entrepreneurial and business policy article and video presentation I have heard and seen lately. It’s basically what i have been saying since 2000 or so, before I retired from teaching entrepreneurship and business policy in a business school in 2005. For more on entrepreneurship according to me read my book Business Voyages, easily found on the Internet.

Be sure to look and listen to the embedded video interview of Chamath Palinhapitiya, an entrepreneur who really knows his stuff and practices what he preaches.

“Round 2: Chamath Explains Why Corporate America is ‘Incompetent’ & Fed Stimulus is ‘Dangerous’ in Epic Interview,”  article and video interview of Chamath Palinhapitiya conducted by CNBC, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/chamath-slams-incompetent-executives-buying-back-stock-debt-explains-why-what-fed?fbclid=IwAR0BsO4SXnntxYYsDsBBWIGKO0rS50WZ-b3zPNQvNbS4YqCvUkBG_ScnlDU.

April 20

Well thought out and presented article by Ellen Brown, one of the best money and banking experts around

“A Universal B asic Income is Essential and Will Work,” by Ellen Brown, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/20/a-universal-basic-income-is-essential-and-will-work/?fbclid=IwAR0-AXS59nCTb3dOmzgfOfoOoFH_UoUpGy8AWE5CXXtUvMePNdDYJt38fko.

April 19

“This is a real solution to a real problem. But with the One Percent in charge of the problem, we are not going to get a real solution. We are going to get more money used to push up prices of financial assets and paper over unsustainable debt and a dying economy with an artificially-inflated stock market.

“The elite have failed us too many times. It is time to dethrone them.”

Paul Craig Roberts

“Are we brewing a new feudalism?,”  by Paul Craig Roberts, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29680.

April 19

Agree

“Postal carriers are essential workers. They need a stimulus too,” by Sarah Anderson, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29682.

April 19

About sums it up.

“Bernie’s Political Funderal,” by Kathleen Wallace, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/17/bernies-political-funeral-2/?fbclid=IwAR3hVDmHcLl7xOqDChlUTg5b6A64Fyb2-MxLqbT66HVCfAYoMkQho5S1CTo.

April 19

If capitalism is the best economic system I would have to see what the worst one would have done.

“Covid-19 Was a Triger, But Capitalism Caused the Economic Crash, by Richard D. Wolff, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/covid-19-was-a-trigger-but-capitalism-caused-the-economic-crash/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR15RVhejnGCnGjAtAN7pn2OP3gOoF79cKddezJYHA9Qp0FAvkk0ewa53AE.

April 18

Losing the US postal system would be an irreplaceable loss. The post office is one of the things that really did make America great.

“Postal Workers Union Leader Warns the USPS Could Be Dead in Three Months,” by Hamilton Nolan, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/postal-workers-union-leader-warns-the-usps-could-be-dead-in-three-months/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR1e4kuMVIc9m9-jSc7LSwL96ENIw0DqfCCQg3WBHpoGjlAUJ1lShSC-UM8.

April 18

Essentially correct. All Earthians are suffering from “the fallacy of composition” that explains why what is good for a part is not necessarily good for a whole system. Not only does corporations pursuing their own interests not work in the best interests of the US as a whole in many cases, the US pursuing its own interests does not work in the best interests of Spaceship Earth, which explains why Spaceship Earth as a whole is collapsing.

“How CEOs are ruining America,” by Robert Reich, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29643.

April 18

Cooperate or perish

“Gorbachev: World Must Come Together After COVID or ‘Rish Sliding into chaos,”  by Mikhail Gorbachev, op-ed via TIME.com, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/gorbachev-world-must-come-together-after-covid-or-risk-sliding-chaos?fbclid=IwAR0dgdpbxhdgY0XELqSfAUDYcr5Y2695UUrf2t6wiYIey4dZ6NJGhVOf4Ks.

April 14

The greatest show on Earth today is USian repug and dem politics and the biggest suckers on Earth are lower and middle income voters who do not vote in their own best interests.

“Barnum, always quick to capitalize on his audience’s skepticism—“to turn all doubts into hard cash,” as he put it—brought the two men together on stage. To his surprise, this only deepened the audience’s suspicion. The more he tried to convince customers of their error, he wrote, “the more they winked and looked wise, and said, ‘It’s pretty well done, but you can’t take me in.’” He had trained his audiences in the art of the humbug too well. “It is very amusing,” Barnum concludes, to see how easily people “deceive themselves by being too incredulous.

“Wilson notes this episode only in passing, but to an American reader in 2020, it barks from the page. The great danger to democracy today comes not from marks slow to spot a humbug but from a public made cynical to the point of believing that everything, and everyone, is a humbug, especially the humorless class of credentialed experts whom Barnum took such joy in ridiculing. In the end, though, it’s a distinction without a difference. Too credulous or too incredulous—you’re a sucker either way.” Nathaniel Rich

“American Humbug: On P.T. Barnum’s genius salesmanship,” by Nathaniel Rich, based on a book Barnue: An American Life, by Robert, Wilson, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS,  https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2020/04/23/pt-barnum-american-humbug/?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=NYR+Barnum+olives+authoritarians+running+alone&utm_content=NYR+Barnum+olives+authoritarians+running+alone+CID_804187a113ad10a013f0776428901939&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_term=fake+news&fbclid=IwAR2qvlGUlZT2QY3yEx2N-UGvnJCmXwLXUdhN4RYHscCMTJ_sGpCZtuigMOA.

April 16

The biggest ripoff in US history caused by Repug middle and lower income suckers who voted for humbug Repug politicians who lowered the highest tax rate from some eighty percent to nothing in some cases for large corporations.

“Taxes Paid By Billionaires Decreased 79 Percent Since 1980, as Percentage of Their Wealth,” by Bob Lord and Chuck Collins, COUNTERPUNCH,  https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/16/taxes-paid-by-billionaires-decreased-79-percent-since-1980-as-percentage-of-their-wealth/?fbclid=IwAR16j_nQmpwNuLI4C_ftnKDIJA8qg1c5FUl8tWiTj7yhDQw3z5H4Uz3sD3A.

April 15

Say it aint so Joe

“The Indigenous Genocide We Refuse to Acknowledge,” by Eric Anderson Scott, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/bigger-picture/the-indigenous-genocide-we-refuse-to-acknowledge-ae3a210a27f9.

April 15

Another nail in the coffin

“Abrupt Ecosystem Collapse,” by Robert Hunziker, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/15/abrupt-ecosystem-collapse/?fbclid=IwAR373b-6zAjbnA4nNhml_ndaQIDGgol5ye-s3m3m-VYu2wML-IXpjZdm-nM.

April 15

Here’s why Bernie dropped out.

“John Prine and Bernie Sanders: Honoring Two Men Just Brought Down by the Coronavirus Pandemic,” by Dave Lindorff, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/14/john-prine-and-bernie-sanders-honoring-two-men-just-brought-down-by-the-coronavirus-pandemic/?fbclid=IwAR0EXDxHCMrUNvdn08qBIQ_cRt5SmIKjQ03_sEg3BsXyXtsHHwQ4AVU6-cg.

April 13

Hell of a note. The coronavirus is so dangerous the UN has called for a complete ceasefire in all wars being fought around Spaceship Earth.

“UN ceasefire defines war as a non-essential activity,” by Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J S Davies, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29635.

April 13

Well said by William Rivers Pitt.

“Minimum-Wage Workers Are Dying to Keep Everyone Else Alive. They Deserve More,” by William Rivers Pitt, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/minimum-wage-workers-are-dying-to-keep-everyone-else-alive-they-deserve-more/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR3sBi0E94Cr5rzaxOoIQWCxvvcHgCnBGwlCD4qUElQohL7tbokbz2kURjA.

April 13

Brave lady tells the truth as she sees it, Caitlin Johnstone. Agree with her with one reservaton: The propaganda was not only provided by current media but by the sum total of propaganda inundating voters from birth, from parents, churches, religions, schools, and friends that wired them to believe and vote as they do.  

“This Absolute Busshit Would Not Be Possible Without Propaganda,” by Caitlin Johnstone, MEDIUM, https://medium.com/@caityjohnstone/this-absolute-bullshit-would-not-be-possible-without-propaganda-f60383880d71.

April 12

All all i can say is that Google works for me with factual information for my questions, but there is a good point. There is no end of manipulation and corruption that could exist if Google wanted to go full evil to extract monies from greedy and hungry humans.

The most astounding thing about this article to me was the picture of a Google building, I assume its home office, solid blue, strange color of blue, with a curved wall. You ought to click on this just to see their building, if for no other reason. The Google founders are now among the world’s richest men, so I guess they can afford any kind of building they want.

“Google Becomes Evil: The Technoskeptic,” by Tom Valovic, THE TECHNOSKEPTIC, https://thetechnoskeptic.com/google-evil/?fbclid=IwAR3p361snzkTiG4oBK5mMuFHw5oFUg_EqDHfA9iBtPPQT59_v4oZD7CBCkA.

April 10

More unethical and treacherous US behavior.

“Freedom Rider: Standing with Venezuela and Iran,”  by Margaret Kimberley, INTREPID REPORT, http://www.intrepidreport.com/archives/29602.

April 10

Excellent facts, data, and analysis on where we are now after Covid-19 changed and threatened Spaceship Earth even more.

“Chomsky and Pollin: To Heal from COVID-19, W Must Imagine a Different World,” by C. J. Polychroniou, TRUTHOUT, https://truthout.org/articles/chomsky-and-pollin-to-heal-from-covid-19-we-must-imagine-a-different-world/?utm_campaign=Truthout+Share+Buttons&fbclid=IwAR2D_ejfSFGbofkmIWE6_teMoFLr32b4HwIdbt9C7lLCITxj3pi-cN6uJx0.

April 0

Unfortunately some good points here.

“Richard Wolff and Harriet Fraad on Capitalism’s Effects on Mental Health,” UTUBE VIEDO, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG5nUG-oVPs.

April 8

Say it aint so Joe

“An American Horror Story: Rabobank On The Recession of 2020, by Philip Marey, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/american-horror-story-rabobank-recession-2020?fbclid=IwAR3HxDxDga6h2yPPV5E5_VZPb6IeSJjr3wMEOkPrB99oiDZ18Yg5zLgtKzY.

April 9

If true, ethical rational free enterprise business as we hav e known it is over.

“Free Markets Are Dead: Fed to Start Buying Junk Bonds, High Yield ETFs,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/free-markets-are-dead-fed-start-buying-junk-bonds-junk-etfs?fbclid=IwAR0w53z1pYPYBgJ274ppBUhYGYtX7N2KaGg1ehSF6s_-t6O5UoFwIN8_GoA.

April 9

Seems germane

“The New Normal: Cascading and Multilayered Crises,”  by Vincent Emanuele, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/09/the-new-normal-cascading-and-multilayered-crises/?fbclid=IwAR2jp30eBJUG6Kr72XF-9KLrq4gphf5FhMkinetm0AoR3TGkvI2NVaQ6rpQ.

April 7

Excellent discussion

“Live: Mehdi Hasan and Naomi Kleoin on Coroavirus Capitalism,” THEINTERCEPT.COM,  https://theintercept.com/2020/04/06/live-mehdi-hasan-naomi-klein-coronavirus-capitalism/?fbclid=IwAR2cpTk0oBDUfiU9X0XX9GyFaWa41HTr2jqZMjzwW0Z_56PxYYoA1cMvRUs.

April 7

Pathetic things have gotten this bad for the newspaper business, and for a lot of other small businesses. I started out in life after graduating from college the first time as a newspaper man in my home town, Wolfforth, Texas, starting and publishing for two years the Wolfforth-Frenship Gazette. I made a little money at it, about thirty dollars a week, and that, with selling a few fire and casualty insurance policies and houses and handling mortgage loans through what I called Rick Stapleton Agency I made a living; but I sold out and went back to graduate school, never losing my enjoyment of writing things that might make a positive difference for humanity, however grandiose that notion might be. I just read on Facebook a notice by DeWayne Grice in his Internet publication about the passing of Senator Jack Hill, possibly caused by Covid-19, whom I have known since 1990. Jack Hill was a good friend and an irreplaceable Georgia state senator for our district. We live in dark times, made sadder by Senator Hill’s passing.

“”’Media Extinction Event’: Print Newspapers Face COVID-19 Dealth-Knell,” by Tyler Durden, ZEROHEDGE, https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/already-declining-print-news-facing-coronavirus-death-knell-ad-revenue-dries?fbclid=IwAR35OlKKbo9VAuwSwq-RBJv9NbvVmpQAKrO3OocIe7OZsG3ZBr_cCnsRJ-Q.

April 6

Can you imagine not only being attacked by covid-19 but by Trump unleashing USian sanctions on you?

“Donald Trump, Capitalism, and Letting Them Die,” by W. T. Whitney, COUNTERPUNCH, https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/04/06/donald-trump-capitalism-and-letting-them-die/?fbclid=IwAR2rTU6P0DOpfzHtWGgoyP3KuDmkmcwVHxoJb2B_iOxp9XkU2dkpgisE_0E.

April 6

Jack Hill has passed. He was an exemplary politician and human being and a good friend of mine for thirty years. He will be sorely missed, impossible to replace.

“Georgia State Senator Jack Hill has Died,” by DeWayne Grice, GRICECONNECT.COM, https://griceconnect.com/2020/04/06/georgia-state-senator-jack-hill-has-died/?fbclid=IwAR2dF3oqmNIdoQ6-iBVJBib_uAF9my4Kx3psX3oHTnxYXHHwGtF5wjftb6w.

Feel free to forward, share, post, print, or otherwise circulate The Earthian Forum any way you see fit.  

Thanks for reading…

Best wishes,

Richard John Stapleton, Certified Transactional Analyst, Educator, Writer, Editor & Publisher

A CRISIS WITHIN CAPITALISM

By COURTENAY BARNETT

Purpose

It is intended to argue here that the world is on the cusp of significant changes post-Covid-19.

From whence did the crisis come?

This question and how I choose to answer it comes from the tuition I received and the thought processes instilled in me at University to assess a question such as the one posed.

The question is one about economics.

So, how I was taught lets one glean from where I am coming. Forget about the BS ( as in a degree from a University – for now that equals ‘bullshit’) – and likewise – Bsc. equals – ‘bullshit confirmed’. I say that to indicate  –  I do not seek to impose any argument from authority – but rather wish to have an intelligent and hopefully informed discourse on issues of immediate importance.

What then of the thought processes? Well:-

Karl Marx: This school of economic thought is concerned with an analysis of capitalism and it focuses on the inherent crisis in capitalism brought on by surplus production and surplus value and the concomitant impact on class struggle. That is as succinctly as I can explain what Marxian economics concerns itself with.

John Maynard Keynes: Faced with the crisis of the ‘Great Depression’ Keynes focused on the government’s role in stimulating and increasing consumer demand to increase economic growth. His theory came to be known as Keynesian economics.

Milton Friedman: Friedman was focused on the money supply and money steadily being increased ( i.e. printed) as a stimulant in itself for  an economy. His school of thought in the ‘Chicago School’ is known as monetarism.

My view

I diverge from Marx on his outer fringes and do not embrace any form of ultimate Utopianism; I see the sense in deficit spending of a Keynesian type to restore economic growth; and at the bottom of the list I remain sceptical about Friedman’s monetary concepts. I do believe in fiscal prudence, control over the fiscal budget – so as not to run up uncontrolled deficits. I also think at core that something tangible has to sustain an economy by way of the precious metal ( a gold backed currency) and tangible goods and services being produced and provided. That is me ( my economic outlook in a few sentences).

The American economy

Post World War 11 it is America and her economy, which are pivotal to the world economy. The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency ( taking over from the British pound sterling in the post war era) and the US, via the Bretton Woods agreement  shaped the major institutions for the financial governance of the world, such as the International Monetary Fund and  the World Bank.

The foregoing are the basics presently in play.

Crisis

With the pandemic of Covid-19 some will argue that this is the root of the current economic crisis. I see the challenge differently. Covid-19 opened up fissures in the world economic system that would have remained fissures to be opened with or without Covid-19. The virus just served as the specific trigger this time round.

Roots of the crisis

There are several points of economic dislocations moving out from the US economy into the rest of the world:-

  • 1970s export of manufacturing industries to China.
  • 1980s movement away from the Glass-Steagall Act.
  • Continuing financial deregulation under subsequent US Presidents from Reagan onwards.
  • The 2000 dot com bubble burst.
  • The 2008 sub-prime mortgage crisis but re-financed flotation without implementation of corrective structural measures.
  • The 2020 crisis was predicted and anticipated by some economists. It was already anticipated to be far worse than the 2008 crash for the measures, which should have been implanted in 2008, were left unaddressed and the process of deregulation continued thus producing the same results as before. Only this time round, much worse and more severe.

Alternatives

The printing of money is not a solution but rather a Band-Aid being placed over a running sore. The use of the term ‘stimulus’ is misplaced; there is significant reduction in production in the means of production – there is a forcing into non-production and once the Covid-19 situation is resolved then there is also a need for addressing the wider structural economic problem.

Failure of job creation coupled with the grants of money to the financial classes is not a solution – it is a recipe for significant disaster.

Production of shale oil is not a solution to America’s oil dependent economy – but – a measure which is unlikely to remain economically competitive on a global scale over time. Hence the belligerence directed at oil rich states such as Iraq, Libya, Syria and Venezuela to mention a few.

More variables can be mentioned, but for the sake of brevity let us stop there for now. So, if the alternatives so far relied upon are not economic cures – what then are likely solutions?

Solution – or – US policies run amock?

Milton Friedman: Since Friedman at core in his monetarist theory was focused on price stability while using the money supply to accomplish his objective; even he would not ( I suspect) have advised or condoned the levels of money supply increase the US has embarked upon. He would have immediately realised that the current levels of money supply increase will be seriously inflationary.

John Maynard Keynes: My guess is that Keynes would have supported a stimulus package, but not the sort that the Trump administration has implemented. Keynes, based upon his central theory, would have wanted to boost consumer demand by placing the injected additional money in the hands of those who would directly impact the economy in the manner he envisioned along with significant government funded public works programmes; not in the hands of CEOs to engage in stock buy-backs and retirement package golden parachutes etc. as has happened since the 2008 crisis.

Karl Marx: This is the easy one. Marx would simply have referred to his thesis ‘Das Kapital’ and said, “Yes, there is a crisis in capitalism: yet another one.”

My position and recommendation is an addressing of the long-term structural economic problem;  thus a significant reduction in the vast waste of resources on military expenditures and the global pursuit of militarism and war by the US. I do not state my position of a need for reduction in militarism and the global arms trade and respect for the Rule of International Law as ideas that are trite.

Management of the crisis

In times of trouble there is need for intelligent and principled leadership. This currently is missing in the Trump administration  – and with a few quick examples I can indicate precisely how opportunistic short-term politically motivated responses disengage from the prospect of lasting and viable long-term solutions.

Maybe three examples might convey more than a small measure of absurdity writ large in world affairs, but at the very least shall serve a useful illustrative purpose:-

1. If the US significantly reduced and redirected its profligate military expenditure then just maybe, there would be ample medical supplies, available funds for adequate and reasonable payment of health care providers and resources in abundance for infrastructure rebuilding and job creation in America.​ Already, the working population, in large numbers, is living pay cheque to pay cheque and the value of the US dollar has over the past two decades depreciated with no commensurate increases in wages to compensate for the lost purchasing power. An ‘opportunity cost’ being borne by the US working population while the military-industrial complex finds its raison d’être in the pursuit of ‘endless wars’ and forever existent bogeyman of ‘external threats’ against the security of the nation.

2. Consider the contradictory lunacy of Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, when he wants Iran to abide by her international obligations. Yes – which international obligations? The ones which the US ( by reference to the Iran deal which the Obama administration had brokered along with strong European partners and to which Iran had agreed and was abiding by). For enforcement assurance and to ensure compliance, there were UN inspectors in place for verifiability who had consistently confirmed Iran’s compliance  ( sounds a bit like the sanctions regime imposed upon Iraq when Saddam Hussein was in power and the UN inspectors had accurately confirmed that Iraq did not have any WMDs). But – didn’t President Trump unilaterally withdraw from that very accord with Iran? So, if one were to be logical then let’s reason:-​

i) UN Resolution 2231 relates to the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran.​

ii) In May 2018 the US unilaterally abandoned that accord.​

iii) So Trump declares the Treaty non-existent; Pompeo with his application of US foreign policy logic

      then demands that Iran abide by the very international obligations which the US has treated as non-

      existent, having unilaterally abandoned the agreement.​

3. The US chides Iran for launching what the US defines as ‘ a military satellite’.  Iran denies that and

     states that it has acted lawfully within the confines of international law: it states that the satellite is

     for permissible observatory purposes. However, here is the irony, for the US position on Iran comes a

     short time after President Trump ordered establishment of a new US  Space Force which will advance

     the process of  weaponising space – which US action is in direct contravention of the international

     treaty forbidding such development. ​So, does the US itself even abide by its own international legal

     obligations ( see: The 1967 Outer Space Treaty, which the US ratified  and which bans weapons of

      mass destruction (WMDs) being placed in outer space). What then of the US revitalisation of ‘Star

      Wars’ – is that in compliance with international law?

Of course, when diplomacy fails then the von Claueswitz’s dictate that – war is diplomacy by other means – would ultimately be resorted to – if that were feasible, given Iran’s access to and control over the Straits of Hormuz.​

And the world, of course, is run by rational leaders. Indeed!​

If extreme circumstances do not force the ‘glorious revolution’ then the intermediate Keynesian path seems the way for the US, if sensibly applied. Maybe, with that opportunity foregone since 2008, the US might just be heading along a path of compelled structural change within its capitalist society.

Conclusion

The combined medical and economic challenges facing the world are met in the US by ineptitude on the part of the Trump administration. Deficiencies in analytical capacity (e.g. statistical reference to sick people entering hospitals is not the same as comprehensive testing of the population), less than logical application of viable policies and absence of prudent interaction with the nations of the world are accompanied by expressions of buffoonery (e.g.  per. President Trump: we must try doses of  disinfectant as a treatment for Covid-19: Clorox bleach?). And there is no indicator in sight that the ineptitude and illogicality is likely to end any time soon.

If the US wants to survive and to provide for her people then there would have to be a focus on reducing the deficit (intrinsically tied in to a reduction in militarism); not printing more and more fiat money in abundance and in millions/trillions misdirected to many who need it least; use of a form of Keynesian FDR economic solutions coupled with – one more time for emphasis – yes – a significant reduction in the over-expenditures of the military-industrial complex and an end to these global regime change wars.

Let me stop – before I now start believing in my own Utopian ( non-existent) world.

Those are my brief thoughts being shared with one and all.  

______________________________________

* COURTENAY BARNETT is a graduate of London University. His areas of study were economics, political science and international law. He has been a practising lawyer for over thirty years, and has argued public interest and human rights cases. He lives and works in the Caribbean.

WHY DEM VOTERS CHOSE JOE BIDEN

By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON

I thought Bernard Sanders would handily win in the 2020 Democratic primary race since Hillary barely defeated him in 2016 and no other candidate in the 2020 primary race was as formidable as Hillary.

Sanders is a visionary with time-tested policies and ideas for curing fundamental USian economic and social problems, with intellectual honesty, integrity, determination, and good ethics demonstrated throughout his public life, dedicated to generally doing the right thing. He’s not perfect but relatively close for a politician, notwithstanding his helping to secure a pork barrel F-35 fighter plane base to help the economy near Burlington, Vermont, creating horrendous noise, as these poorly-designed incredibly expensive new US Air Force planes zoom through the air, disturbing the peace of mind of citizens for miles around.

Sanders’s votes and advocated policies for the US on social issues in my opinion however are about as good as you can get, Medicare for All, free tuition for college, forgiveness of student debt, maintaining Social Security, reforming the banking and financial system, cutting military spending, creating infrastructure jobs in the domestic economy, and, perhaps of greatest significance, stating in public debates he would fight global warming and climate change from day one after being elected and sworn in. He was the only Dem candidate with enough intellectual honesty and guts to make a major issue of fighting global warming and climate change.

And best of all he’s not bought and paid for. He was the only candidate in the 2020 presidential race who did not accept campaign donations from large corporations and was therefore free to work in the interests of middle and lower income people.

Had he been elected president of the US if he could have gotten just one-tenth of his plans accomplished he would have done more for middle and lower income people than any president since Franklin Roosevelt.

Bernie came across in the primary debates with vim and vigor expressing his plans in clear straightforward easy to understand language, almost never missing a beat with his flow of words and sentences formed with correct grammar, his mind sharp as a tack.

Joe Biden, the so-called winner of the Dem primary race, is almost a polar opposite, a man with little or no plans or ideas of his own for curing anything, a long-time Dem politician who will bend with any political wind that is good for him, a supporter of the establishment, not the common man or woman, a bought and paid for lobbyist-type politician for the defense industry, the pharmaceutical industry, and the credit card industry. Sanders confronted him with a direct question in the last Dem primary debate in full public view of millions about whether or not he said five times during his career in Washington that he would cut Social Security. He merely looked down with his head bent, made no direct response to the question, and took off on another tangent with another rambling jumble of words and sentences. He has had frequent memory lapses during his primary campaign and in debates that indicate he is suffering from dementia or some sort of neurological disorder, as countless people have pointed out on the Internet and elsewhere. He also has some sort of character or personality disorder, having been charged by numerous women with groping.

The voting started off about like I thought it would for the 2020 Dem primaries. Everything was fine for Sanders in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. I thought he was headed for an easy win. But along came South Carolina and Super Tuesday and then Sanders got drubbed in the Deep South.

I was surprised and dismayed by those results, having thought Sanders would win in almost all states. I thought ordinary people everywhere had seen enough facts and reasoning in the primary debates to cause them to vote for Sanders.

It was obvious to me in the Dem primary debates that the Democratic National Party establishment  had  somehow convinced CNN to tout Biden as the “frontrunner” despite polls clearly showing he was not even close to being the winner of the debates in the eyes of USian citizens at large watching the debates. In fact according to polls about the debates I saw Biden was not even close to being the best, usually ranking no better than fourth, with a much smaller percentage of the overall count than Sanders.

But when Biden also won in Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, it dawned on me how wrong I had been. The social messages in the debates were like water running off a duck’s back for millions of Dem voters, and most of the respondents of polls I saw must not have been ordinary Dems. The silent majority discounted the significance of what they saw and heard. The social words and reasoning they should have heard counted for little.  

I thought most Dem voters would rebel against their overlords in the Dem Party and choose Bernie; but they did not: they went along with their masters, or naturally agreed.

What mainly counted were the unexpressed silent ulterior psychological messages they saw and imagined. It seems to me most Dem voters do not have psychological permission to vote in their own best economic interests.

I thought Trump defeated Hillary in the 2016 general election because of her legal troubles over several decades; her excitement and satisfaction displayed on TV discussing the killing of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya; her warmongering tendencies as Secretary of State; her judgment problems causing her to decide to install a computer server in her home to do State Department, or whatever, work; and her taking speech money from big banks for promising to support their interests rather than those of the common people.

Regardless, I thought Hillary would easily defeat Trump. She was intellectually superior, better educated, and better qualified for the job.

But in her case too unspoken psychological ulterior messages did her in in the 2016 general election. Millions of voters discounted her abilities and experience and chose a lesser man for psychological reasons, thanks to the abominable Electoral College cut in stone in the US Constitution, after she won the popular vote by three million votes.

A similar thing happened to Al Gore running against Bush II in 2000. Gore was intellectually superior and more experienced than Bush II, another clownish bumbling dissolute sort of human being, largely devoid of plans, goals, and ideals for the US or anything else as a whole; but yet he too won, thanks to psychological messages causing millions of voters to discount reality and choose a lesser candidate, in a basic tie in the vote for the job of US president, given the job by a right wing 5-4 Supreme Court decision about counting chads on ballots in Florida.

It seems being the brightest and best has become a liability in USian presidential politics since about 1980, starting with a movie star president, Ronald Reagan. Barack Obama in 2008 appeared to be an exception to the rule, narrowly defeating Hillary in the Dem primaries, before he won the general election against the heroic but bumbling old man John McCain and the nitwitted but sexy Sarah Palin; and then Obama caved in to the military industrial establishment and Wall Street banksters, doing their bidding after being sworn in as president.     

While I thought Hillary should have handily beaten Trump in the 2016 general election, her 2016 primary race against Sanders in my opinion should have been closer than Sander’s 2020 primary race against Biden, with Sanders the winner, since Sanders has a better record relative to Biden than he had relative to Hillary in 2016. But, alas, Sanders was defeated by Biden in the 2020 Dem popular primary vote by a wider margin than he was by Hillary in 2016.

So how exactly did this happen? Is it because Hillary is female and Biden is male and most voters prefer males as presidents in a patriarchal USian culture?

Or is it what The Preacher in Ecclesiastes in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible said, “The race is not to the swift.”

Or is it what George Carlin blurted out in one of his Broadway Shows, “Stupid people vote for stupid people. It’s as simple as that.”

An organizational theory known as the Peter Principle sheds some light on the question. This theory developed by Laurence J. Peter suggests that competent people because of doing an outstanding job at one level eventually get promoted one level too high, to a level requiring skills and abilities greater than they possess relative to what they should know; so incompetent people sooner or later populate most levels of hierarchical organizations. The theory asserts that competent people rise in organizations but their rising counter-intuitively and ironically eventually causes poor performance in the organization as a whole.

Another organizational theory, irreverently called the Inverse Peter Principle, avers that only the incompetent rise, because truly superior performers are so knowledgeable, skilled, and productive at their current level that the organization cannot afford to promote them. So the higher up you go in an organization the less knowledge and analytical and creative skill supposedly superior superiors have relative to what they should know, finally reaching a level, as you ascend up organizational chain of command ladders, like Jack climbing his fairy tale beanstalk, where you encounter someone at the top level like Donald J. Trump, who barely reads, who does not do any kind of competitive analytical or creative work, but who can bullshit, pop off “decisions”, bellow orders, and hire and fire people at will, and somehow survive in the organization, so long as he has a majority of electoral votes or owns a majority of the voting stock. Thus, based on this line of reasoning, almost anyone should be competent enough to be president of the US, the highest-up job of all up Jack’s beanstalk in USian culture, since real competence as most people think of it is almost irrelevant at that level, where the main “skill” is having the right and power to hire and fire people, where the big cheese rarely has proof a major decision he makes is “right”, with most operating decisions at his level for good or ill having been made by underlings afraid of losing their jobs. This organization theory proposes that only incompetent people rise, and this too causes organizations to become incompetent as a whole.  

This raises the question of whether there can ever be a truly competent large organization, such as a large corporation, a Pentagon, or a US government? Probably not, for long.

As a certified transactional analyst with professional experience dealing with psychological Games in organizations, I think the best explanation for why so many less knowledgeable and lesser-skilled and accomplished people are often promoted in organizations rather than better qualified people is that such decisions are determined by human scripts and psychological Games, that all organizational stakeholders play to vie for a greater share of the whole pie generated by organizations, including not only money but recognition, structure, and stimulation, to satisfy their ego needs.    

There are basically two kinds of scripts people have to act out in organizations to keep their jobs or get promoted: psychological scripts and social scripts.  

Psychological Scripts are programmed into children by virtue of being constantly exposed to and dependent on their parents before the age of eight. Almost as if by osmosis parents psychologically script their children not to feel, think, and do certain things in various ways and degrees, largely non-verbally by how they respond to a child, by how they get mad, glad, sad, or scared, or not, when the child does something or when various things happen in the environment. Psychological scripts are automatically “introjected” into the personalities of children during early childhood, and most children wind up pretty much like their parents, with the same accents, and the same kinds of feeling, thinking, doing, saying, and living patterns. Transactional analysts call these basic “don’t” requirements injunctions.

There are some generic “do” script messages called counter-injunctions such as brush your teeth, study hard, make something of yourself, work hard, etc. that are socially overt and spoken, but they are not as significant or powerful over a lifetime as psychological script injunctions.

Injunctions and counter-injunctions wind up creating a life script that includes a life position for people. There are four basic TA life positions: I am OK and You are OK, I am OK and you are Not OK, I’m Not OK and You are OK, and I am Not OK and You are Not OK; and there are three basic TA life outcomes: Winner, Loser, and Non-Winner.

The bottom line is that most people are what they are and can only respond in adult life in certain ways because of their life scripts that cause the life positions and outcomes. Some people are more flexible and adaptable than others, but most people in order to make a living and achieve some satisfaction in life have to find a slot, niche, and level in an organization in which their life script is considered congruent.

Social scripts include the sum total of do’s and don’t’s required for a person to be successful dealing with others in a particular job or role in any organization to make a living. These scripts include the algorithmic steps required to do the specific job you are paid to do and required words and phrases to say to others and how to respond to people around you, up, across, and down the organizational chain of command, including playing the psychological Games people around you like to play.

Restaurant scripts for greeters, servers, and customers require more conformity than most, requiring these words to get the show started: “How many?”; “Two”, or “Four”, or whatever number in the party; and “Right this way please”.

All organizations have generic and peculiar social scripts for all participants requiring certain words and phrases that have to be memorized and used. Almost nobody can be her or his true self most of the time making a living in an organization. Most employees have to act out scripts created by the organizaton. Organizations such as DisneyWorld are the most scripted of all. Employees there are required to wear costumes and “go on stage” after they clock in for work, pretending while on the job to be characters like Donald Duck or some fairy tale person dealing with customers, parroting memorized lines.

Most people who get fired for cause in organizations are fired because of psychological scripts thought to be inappropriate in an organizational culture, and for being unwilling to act out social scripts, not for not being able to perform the required algorithmic steps of the job.

Psychological Games are a way of getting stimulation, recognition, and structure as one goes about one’s business of surviving and making a living. Basically they involve trying to gain certain satisfactions dealing with others, such as by making yourself or someone else feel comfortable or by causing a loss of some sort for others, or by making a fool of someone. Psychological Games entail people discounting problems, opportunities, and people, and the significance of someone or something. All psychological Games entail players acting out one of three roles on a Drama Triangle: Victim, Persecutor, and Rescuer.

Common psychological script injunction are Don’t Be Excellent and Don’t Be Important, among about fourteen kinds of Don’t feel, think, and do injunctions generally recognized by transactional analysts, widely transmitted in family scripting. I have covered them in detail in my books Business Voyages and Born to Learn , easily found on the Internet. Why would any parent tell a child not to be excellent or important? Well, no rational parent would socially. They do it psychologically largely outside of conscious Adult ego state awareness mainly because they too did not have psychological permission to be excellent or important when they were children. People play psychological Games by “cathecting”, or turning on, all three of their ego states, including their Parent and Child ego states to create and maintain stimulation, recognition, and structure similar to what they experienced earlier in life, and in most cases they are not aware of what they are doing.

I have described and explained the dynamics and significance of ego states, psychological Games, and scripts in my books, as they were first described and explained in a large gush of books and papers written by Eric Berne, MD (the originator of transactional analysis), and others, published since the 1960s that are still in print and offered for sale on the Internet. The International Transactional Analysis Association has published an excellent collection of refereed scholarly articles on transactional analysis quarterly in the Transactional Analysis Journal since the early 1970s. I studied and trained in transactional analysis at the Southeast Institute at Chapel Hill, North Carolina during 1975-1978, passing written and oral comprehensive exams on transactional analysis in 1978 administered by the ITAA.

Two major purposes of TA are to help people become more authentic and script free so as to gain more satisfaction from life in general and to see social scripts for what they are in organizations to help people learn how to adapt and flex to them to make a living.

Sorry about the digression into TA, but it was necessary to explain my major point in this article, which is, political races are rife with psychological Games producing psychological satisfactions for all stakeholders—vested interests, candidates, and voters.

Why vote in the first place? Well, the best Adult ego state reason would be to take social satisfaction in helping select the best leader for an organization or group to achieve rational goals and objectives for everyone. Lesser Parent and Child reasons would be to create satisfying psychological Game payoffs for yourself and to secure psychological structure, recognition, and stimulation similar to what you experienced with your parents, friends, and others in your early life, and in adolescence, that supported the psychological, social, economic, religious, political, and moral states of affairs of organizations such as your family, school, church, and political party.

Once psychologically scripted most people do not rebel over a lifetime. Red states stay red and blue states stay blue, regardless of the logical Adult ego state reasoning of idealistic super-OK presidential candidates like Bernie Sanders, a hard-headed intellectual more interested in changing the whole system to optimize the functioning of the whole system to benefit everyone, rather than play psychological Games with people.

I remember a TV interviewer in 2000 asking an attractive woman who ran a bar and grill why she intended to vote for Bush II. “Cuz he’s a good-lookin’ man” was her quick response.

There are several psychological Games people play in political races; but it seems to me dealing with presidential races on the Internet and elsewhere, listening to comments people make on my Facebook news feed timeline and elsewhere, most politicians play to some degree a psychological Game called Rapo by transactional analysts, since one of the surest ways to get votes in our narcissistic USian culture is to be considered good lookin’.

There are three degrees of psychological Games: First Degree Games are basically compliments, insults, discounts, jokes, and body language displays designed to build up or tear down someone’s self-esteem, or gain or lose some sort of psychological advantage; Second Degree Games entail more serious discounts and payoffs, threatening someone, firing someone, getting divorced, etc.; Third Degree Games are sometimes called tissue-tearing Games with payoffs such as getting into physical fights, going to war, winding up in a morgue, etc.

A Rapo Game starts by someone psychologically promising some sort of satisfaction to someone for responding to her or his sexual attractiveness. There are various social and psychological transactions that can bring this about, social transactions being spoken and overt, psychological transactions being unspoken and covert. The payoff for a Rapo player is not a real sexual liaison but making a fool of a mark or sucker who will be punished or humiliated in some way if he or she responds to the psychological sexual messages. Not all psychological Games entail sexual messaging but a lot of them do. All psychological Games involve a con artist of some degree taking advantage of the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of a mark or suckers, promising things the Game starter has no intentions of delivering. Most of the promises of first-degree Games are insignificant and inconsequential. These Games are ubiquitous and most people play them at various times. Sometimes they have to to survive in organizations. It’s no secret that one of the best ways to be a successful Rapo player is to be considered good lookin’.

Psychological Games and scripts are what make folk tales and fairy tales (such as Cinderella, Jack & Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Snow White, and Hansel and Gretel) interesting and dramatic.

Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, Bush II, Obama, Hillary, Trump, and Biden won some big races largely because of being successful psychological Game players, having physical and psychological characteristics that enabled them to transmit non-verbal psychological messages to voters that they would deliver to them psychological and social satisfactions if they voted for them, somehow providing them with various sorts of desired or fantasied psychological stimulation, structures, and recognition. Whether these politicians did indeed produce for their voters the psychological and social satisfactions the voters sought would be difficult to prove, just as it would be difficult for these voters to prove voting for these politicians actually produced the economic satisfactions they socially sought. Any president during the last forty years would have a difficult time proving he produced significant tangible economic benefits for middle and lower income people, regardless of how much psychological and social satisfaction he produced for them.

Unfortunately, once again a dissolute mediocre good-ole-boy party-line-loyal Dem politician, Joe Biden, who has told the establishment that nothing will change if he is elected, has defeated the well-qualified highly-intelligent visionary man with plans Bernard Sanders, who could have caused significant economic changes for the better for middle and lower income people had he been elected in the 2020 Dem primary race and in the 2020 general presidential election.

How did this happen? Well, it seems to me the short answer is that Biden is the better psychological Game-player in the eyes of a majority of Dem voters, by virtue of physical and psychological characteristics he inevitably and accidentally inherited having nothing to do with being able to do a good job as president of the US.

The Biden campaign lately has been posting cameo pictures on my Facebook news feed timeline showing Biden and his attractive younger blonde second wife and his stately oversized German Shepard dog, leisurely sitting in wicker chairs on their large high-ceiling front porch with white columns, with Biden flashing his perfect white teeth. Another frequent post is of Biden just standing there in an open space, possibly an airport, apparently looking at something in the distance in his nice blue suit and tie as he adjusts his sunglasses (one of his favorite objects for photo opportunities, to channel Ronald Reagan), sort of like a corporate honcho might look who has just taken over something and has just arrived at the airport in his private jet, ready for action. His gleaming perfect white teeth, one can’t keep from noticing, make me wonder if he had his teeth capped just for the 2020 election, to draw attention away from his almost-bald head. It seems unlikely to me that he would have natural teeth at his age that look better than those of aging USian TV game show hosts.

Don’t laugh. Cosmetic procedures like this work in USian presidential politics. If Trump hadn’t fixed his hair and face as he did he wouldn’t have had a prayer running against a good lookin’ woman like Hillary. How many red-blooded USian women would vote for a bleached-out almost bald old fart like Trump really is? Ronald Reagan couldn’t have gotten elected if he hadn’t dyed his hair. Bush II spent more time pumping iron in the White House than he did reading reports and thinking about world problems. Not one of these presidents ever wrote and published anything of any general intellectual significance. James Garner said Ronald Reagan never had an original thought and someone had to tell him what to do and say when he was president of an actor’s guild in Hollywood. Trump now spends most of his time in the White House fixing his hair and face, eating junk food, and watching Fox so-called News, CNN, MSNBC, and other infotainment media, occasionally bullshitting with his hired and not yet fired lackeys.

Almost certainly this same sort of unproductive time structuring pattern will be true in the case of Joe Biden if he can defeat his even more dissolute and incompetent competitor, Don Trump, in the USian 2020 presidential election, assuming the DNC does not completely destroy sham USian democracy by setting aside the decision of a majority of Dem voters in their 2020 primary by autocratically installing, as has been widely suggested on the Internet, the telegenic and articulate Governor Cuomo, which is probably unlikely, since the real reason why DNC insiders and the USian Deep State like Joe Biden so much is that they know they can trust him to do what they say, because he cannot do anything but that; so they can spend US taxpayer money and Federal Reserve System funny money on themselves without compunction, however much this harms the long-run interests of Dem middle and lower income voters, as well as all USian lower and middle income citizens.  

At the end of the day, as it were, in the 2020 Dem primary election, Joe Biden’s unfortunate successful political victory over Bernard Sanders is largely due to him and his campaign, consciously or unconsciously, playing with voters first-degree psychological Games, including a Game called Big Bad Wolf, that garnered them millions of votes from downtrodden psychological Victims looking for a psychological Rescuer playing their time-honored psychological Games since childhood, including a Big Bad Wolf complementary Game— Little Red Riding Hood.

It’s not so much that stupid people vote for stupid people, as George Carlin said; the underlying problem is that people with Don’t Be Important and Don’t Be Excellent script injunctions vote for politicians with the same sorts of psychological script injunctions. Why is that? It makes them feel more comfortable and secure since they psychologically feel and think they can trust people like they are to take care of them, better than excellent politicians would.

They could be right about their psychological needs, however wrong they are about their social and economic needs. Will they ever learn that they were played for suckers as Victims in a psychological Game?

It’s not that mediocre or below performers in organizations and life are necessarily less intelligent than excellent performers. In many cases they wind up where they are because of script injunctions such as Don’t Be Important and Don’t Be Excellent that cause them not to do what it takes to achieve excellence in their studies, careers, and lives.

I know of what I speak. I was a C student in grade, junior, and high school despite scoring three or four grades ahead of myself in all subjects in the eighth grade on so-called “achievement tests” administered by the county. I made mostly B’s in undergraduate school, a little better than mediocre. I had trouble figuring out what to do for a living after I graduated from college the first time. I got accepted by two law schools, SMU and the University of Texas, but never went. I tried working in family businesses but couldn’t get along with my father. I started some small businesses of my own but got bored with it. I interviewed with large corporations and learned I was getting turned down because of scoring too high on certain parts of aptitude tests. I decided I had some sort of learning block, so I consulted a psychiatrist, Jerome Smith, MD, at Lubbock, Texas.

After some psychotherapy I wound up graduating with almost all A’s and no C’s in a doctoral program at Texas Tech. I can tell you it’s not easy to learn how to violate psychological script injunctions automatically transferred to you by parents psychologically telling you to be like they are if you psychologically bought into their script injunctions as a kid. And the hell of it is it all happens by accident.  

As Earthian biological, psychological, social, economic, and political life goes on, for how much longer nobody really knows, with humans suffering from and threatened by Covid-19, collapsing USian and Earthian economic systems, nuclear war, and human-caused global warming and climate change, confined and isolated for nobody knows how long in their houses and apartments, if they have one, quarantined ….

In the immortal words of the Great One, Jackie Gleason, winding up one of his episodes on his TV show “The Honeymooners” way back in the 1950s and 1960s, back in the days when we had some really good adult comedy programs to watch on USian TV,

“How sweet it is.”

Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA is an emeritus professor of entrepreneurship, organizational behavior, and business policy, and is a certified transactional analyst. He is a founder and owner of Effective Learning Company as shown at the top of this page on the masthead of this blog.