Freedom Through Technology

I Do Not Value “Nice”

December 29, 2019 ·

I do not value “nice”.

The tepid, lukewarm standard of civility that declares a politician who orders the mass murder of people of color in far-away lands superior if he does so while delivering an eloquent speech with a polished smile, rather than wearing his foul vice on his sleeve for all to see. It is the malignant balm, salving the would-be discomfort of the privileged elite upon whose fantasy of all being right with the world reality dare not intrude. It is the ready and calm barter of integrity for an illusion of goodness that is the best substitute for moral pulchritude on offer in a toxic culture, sodden to drowning in the liquor puris of reality television and fashionable consumption. Nice is easy. It makes few demands on one’s time, consideration, or thought, and gives no purchase to responsibility or an urgent sense of social and civic duty. Replacing any standard of integrity or honesty, it affords its practitioners a ready alibi for the dereliction of authentic and genuine concern for humanity and the horrors its less privileged members endure.

This is not to say that one should devote one’s attention to being brusque for the sake of brusqueness, but where genuine, life-or-death injustices are being perpetrated, every person of integrity is honor-bound to enjoin them with the fullest measure of rage, refutation, and direct, decisive action, even in the instance that doing so results in the deep offense of many. Very real evils exist in this world, and there is no honor or justice in effacing them with a veneer of measured and practiced civility. The time for such coquettish dalliances is long past, and the time for action is at hand.

I would be dishonest if I claimed to care even a little for your illusions of comfort as our world burns. Rather, I’d call you to action, and real, unvarnished love, to remedy the genuine wrongs of our infected society and set our species in motion to a brighter course and future. Then, and only then, should we relax and take comfort.

I do not value “nice”.

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Profit: Normal Human Behavior Gone Wrong Today

September 30, 2019 ·

Over the eons it has been normal for human beings to generate excess. The central means by which excess supply of food or resources was generated was by the use of teamwork, usually working together to either hunt and gather, or to violently subdue another collective group of people. Excess and profit are not the same in every case, but are very similar when looking at what we all want. Profit usually enables an individual or group to have more power to garner more resources over time. In today's more civilized world we see the same condition re-worked and centralized…

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Futile Compromise: Why Centrism is Bankrupting the Political Left

September 23, 2019 ·

Joe Biden cannot win. Most Americans know that their political and economic institutions have failed them. Millennials, coming up in the era of the Great Recession, have borne the economic brunt of neoliberal policy failures, being saddled with colossal college debt, minimal and insecure job prospects, and the exploitative gig economy. This is a generation that has experienced neither peace nor prosperity, and in their eyes, “the American dream” must look like a Rockwellian phantom: something once rumored to exist, but little more than a dream. As political realities go, ours in the America of today is bleak. On one…

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Morality: Policy or Ideology?

August 26, 2019 ·

  One can make a rather convincing argument, without stretching the bounds of credulity to any great extent, that the Democratic Party's stated policy goals are largely built on a loftier moral basis than those of its political rivals. Concern for our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate, caring for the health, education, and well-being of everyone, rather than a select few wealthy elites, concern for the conditions of everyday workers, and a general sense that none of us can thrive if some of us are suffering. This was once the mantle worn by the New Deal Democrats in…

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The Geodigraph Economy

August 25, 2019 ·

The traditional capitalist economic system operates on the assumption that large projects are only achievable by building large, permanent corporate entities, which raise capital by selling shares to wealthy investors, who then expect large returns on their investments, making profit--and not the greater good of society, their employees, and their customers--the primary motivator for such an entity’s activities. In most political and economic circles, the only widely-cited alternative to this system has been socialism or communism, which, in their own right, require the application of strong coercion, state-sanctioned force, and the erosion of individual and collective civil liberties and human…

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What Do Humans Really Want?

August 25, 2019 ·

In this segment, Wallace Shawn interviews Noam Chomsky, Professor Emeritus of Linguistics at MIT and noted political dissident. Shawn posits that what humans really want is material comforts. Chomsky rebuts this assertion in a most rigorous and thought-provoking manner, with deep implications towards what the truly important values of our society are and should be.

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Shared Plunder is Shared Responsibility

August 25, 2019 ·

The United States of America, as an independent nation, was built around roughly three organizing principles: Economic freedom Private property Personal responsibility All of these ideas trace themselves back to Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke. Many of the founding fathers were avid fans of Locke’s philosophy, and it permeates the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, Paine’s Common Sense, and The Federalist Papers. Modern-day libertarians espouse these three principles zealously, and indeed, there is potentially a great deal of both moral and material value to be found in all of them. But the U.S. incarnation of these principles was built by…

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