Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Einstein's Theory of Socialism

 For the sake of simplicity, in the discussion that follows I shall call “workers” all those who do not share in the ownership of the means of production—although this does not quite correspond to the customary use of the term. The owner of the means of production is in a position to purchase the labor power of the worker. By using the means of production, the worker produces new goods which become the property of the capitalist. The essential point about this process is the relation between what the worker produces and what he is paid, both measured in terms of real value. Insofar as the labor contract is “free,” what the worker receives is determined not by the real value of the goods he produces, but by his minimum needs and by the capitalists’ requirements for labor power in relation to the number of workers competing for jobs. It is important to understand that even in theory the payment of the worker is not determined by the value of his product.

Private capital tends to become concentrated in few hands, partly because of competition among the capitalists, and partly because technological development and the increasing division of labor encourage the formation of larger units of production at the expense of smaller ones. The result of these developments is an oligarchy of private capital the enormous power of which cannot be effectively checked even by a democratically organized political society. This is true since the members of legislative bodies are selected by political parties, largely financed or otherwise influenced by private capitalists who, for all practical purposes, separate the electorate from the legislature. The consequence is that the representatives of the people do not in fact sufficiently protect the interests of the underprivileged sections of the population. Moreover, under existing conditions, private capitalists inevitably control, directly or indirectly, the main sources of information (press, radio, education). It is thus extremely difficult, and indeed in most cases quite impossible, for the individual citizen to come to objective conclusions and to make intelligent use of his political rights.

The situation prevailing in an economy based on the private ownership of capital is thus characterized by two main principles: first, means of production (capital) are privately owned and the owners dispose of them as they see fit; second, the labor contract is free. Of course, there is no such thing as a pure capitalist society in this sense. In particular, it should be noted that the workers, through long and bitter political struggles, have succeeded in securing a somewhat improved form of the “free labor contract” for certain categories of workers. But taken as a whole, the present day economy does not differ much from “pure” capitalism.

Production is carried on for profit, not for use. There is no provision that all those able and willing to work will always be in a position to find employment; an “army of unemployed” almost always exists. The worker is constantly in fear of losing his job. Since unemployed and poorly paid workers do not provide a profitable market, the production of consumers’ goods is restricted, and great hardship is the consequence. Technological progress frequently results in more unemployment rather than in an easing of the burden of work for all. The profit motive, in conjunction with competition among capitalists, is responsible for an instability in the accumulation and utilization of capital which leads to increasingly severe depressions. Unlimited competition leads to a huge waste of labor, and to that crippling of the social consciousness of individuals which I mentioned before.

This crippling of individuals I consider the worst evil of capitalism. Our whole educational system suffers from this evil. An exaggerated competitive attitude is inculcated into the student, who is trained to worship acquisitive success as a preparation for his future career.

I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.

Except from "Why socialism?"

 Albert Einstein

Friday, June 11, 2021

UFOs 2




False Equivalency?

 <em>“Drawing false equivalencies between democracies like the US and Israel and groups that engage in terrorism like Hamas and the Taliban foments prejudice and undermines progress toward a future of peace and security for all.”</em>

 Jewish House Democrats issued their own criticism.

<em>“Equating the United States and Israel to Hamas and the Taliban is as offensive as it is misguided,” they wrote in a statement. “Ignoring the differences between democracies governed by the rule of law and contemptible organisations that engage in terrorism at best discredits one’s intended argument and at worst reflects deep-seated prejudice. The United States and Israel are imperfect and, like all democracies, at times deserving of critique, but false equivalencies give cover to terrorist groups. We urge Congresswoman Omar to clarify her words.”</em>

Friday, April 16, 2021

10 Barbaric Beliefs In The Bible

 10. Both the Old and New Testament recognize the existence of slavery as an institution. The Old Testament sanctions slavery and the use of slaves in several instances. People in the Old Testament became slaves in several ways. According to the Old Testament, slaves could be purchased, as seen in Genesis 37:28, which says, “Then Midianite traders passed by. And they drew Joseph up and lifted him out of the pit and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver. They took Joseph to Egypt.”

Slavery could also run in the family as mentioned in Genesis 17:23 when Abraham demonstrated his faith in God by circumcising himself and every male in his household. God had appeared in front of Abraham and this was a way for him to repay God’s trust in him. The scripture says, “Then Abraham took Ishmael his son and all those born in his house or bought with his money, every male among the men of Abraham’s house, and he circumcised the flesh of their foreskins that very day, as God had said to him.” 

Paul the Apostle never mentions slavery as an inhuman act. Instead, he mentions the duties of Christian slaves towards their masters. St. Augustine believed that slavery was a result of sin and should be tolerated. However, modern Christianity recognizes slavery as inhuman and against God’s will. 

9. Jephthah was a judge who presided over Israel for six years. He appears in the Bible in Judges 11. Jephthah came from a humble background and his mother was a prostitute. He led the Israelites in a battle against Ammon. If he won the war, he vowed to sacrifice whatever or whoever came out of his house first upon his return. Eventually, Jephthah and his troops won the war against Ammon. 

On returning from battle, the first thing he saw coming out of his house was his daughter. This meant that he had to sacrifice his daughter to fulfill his promise.

This account remains one of the most disturbing events in the Bible amongst biblical scholars and Christian faith believers. Several scholars have been puzzled as to why God never intervenes in this human sacrifice. Previously, an angel had prevented Abraham’s sacrifice of his son, Isaac. 

Some say, though, that it may have been a punishment for Jephthah’s rash choice in vows. Either way, this tale of daughter sacrifice carried out by her own father is one of the most horrifying tales in the Bible.

8. In the Old Testament, there’s a verse that could be interpreted as the Lord threatening to punish women sexually if they acted in a way that upset the Lord. In Isaiah 3:16–17 (King James Version) it reads, “Moreover the Lord saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore, the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the Lord will discover their secret parts.”

Several international versions of the Bible have removed the phrase “Lord will discover their secret parts” and replaced it with less embarrassing phrases like “make their scalps bald.” Other interpretations view the phrase to mean that the Lord would reveal the secret aspects of their lives. 

7. Another eyebrow-raising passage in the Old Testament is seen in Numbers 25:6–13 when Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron killed an inter-racial couple with a spear. Here’s what the passage says:

“Just then one of the Israelites came and brought a Midianite woman into his family, in the sight of Moses and in the sight of the whole congregation of the Israelites. When Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he got up and left the congregation. Taking a spear in his hand, he went after the Israelite man into the tent, and pierced the two of them, the Israelite and the woman, through the belly. So, the plague was stopped among the people of Israel. The Lord spoke to Moses, saying: ‘Phinehas, son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the Israelites by manifesting such zeal among them on my behalf that in my jealousy I did not consume the Israelites. Therefore say, “I hereby grant him my covenant of peace. It shall be for him and for his descendants after him a covenant of perpetual priesthood, because he was zealous for his God, and made atonement for the Israelites.’ '”

According to the verse, the Lord rewards Phinehas for the murder with perpetual priesthood and praises him for keeping the nation pure. Now, according to the King James version, Phinehas believed he was preventing them from bringing a plague to their people that had already killed 24 thousand people

6. The Old Testament shows the biblical Lord as one with no remorse and a quest for vengeance. The Lord depicts this in Isaiah 13:9–16 which says, ” See, the day of the Lord is coming—a cruel day, with wrath and fierce anger—to make the land desolate and destroy the sinners within it. Whoever is captured will be thrust through. All who are caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed to pieces before their eyes. Their houses will be looted, and their wives violated.”

Some interpret that the Lord is making threats here to sinners who are caught. The passage suggests that the houses of sinners will be looted, and their wives will be raped. 

5. Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord is guilty of inflicting gross punishments for some seemingly petty issues. These punishments seem to be quite barbaric in nature and not on the same level as the sin committed — at least in our day.

The Sabbath day is regarded as a holy day and is known as the day of the Lord. These threats are seen in Exodus 31:15 which says, “Six days may work be done; but in the seventh is the sabbath of rest, holy to the Lord: whosoever doeth any work in the sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.” Is the Lord really vowing to kill anyone who works on the Sabbath day?

4. The Lord does not take lightly people who worship other gods. In Deuteronomy 17:2-5 (New International Version), the Lord urges his followers to identify those who worship other Gods and stone them to death. Here’s what the passage says: 

“If a man or woman living among you in one of the towns the Lord gives you is found doing evil in the eyes of the Lord your God in violation of his covenant, and contrary to my command has worshiped other gods, bowing down to them or to the sun or the moon or the stars in the sky, and this has been brought to your attention, then you must investigate it thoroughly. If it is true and it has been proved that this detestable thing has been done in Israel, take the man or woman who has done this evil deed to your city gate and stone that person to death.”

It certainly brings some new arguments to the debate on capital punishment. 

3. Calling for the execution of children who curse their parents at any instance is another example of a disproportionate punishment handed out by the Lord. 

Leviticus 20:9 says, “Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death. Because they have cursed their father or mother, their blood will be on their own head.”

This clearly indicates that anyone who curses their parents must be executed. This sort of punishment seems harsh and barbaric, despite the fact that cursing your parents is still deemed inappropriate by today’s standards. 

2. There are several verses in the Bible that suggest negative views against homosexuality in general. One such verse is Leviticus 20:13 which says “If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.”

These verses indicates that the Old Testament did not necessarily approve of same-sex relationships. Although, for many Christians, New Testament teachings of kindness and love have replaced these horrific punishments. 

1. Perhaps the most barbaric belief in the Old Testament of the Bible is documented in Deuteronomy 22:20-21 which says, “If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the young woman’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done an outrageous thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.”

These verses show ultimate barbarism and misogyny as they describe how women who are not virgins at the time of marriage must be stoned to death, Interestingly, there seems to be no mention of what should happen with men who are not virgins at the time of marriage.

Friday, April 09, 2021

The question on Palestine

 "The two-state solution has always been merely a cynical tool of conflict management never intended to actually resolve the conflict." Jeff Halper's statement regarding international diplomacy over the loss of Palestine and Israel's colonial expansion provides the premise of Decolonising Israel, Liberating PalestineA one-state already exists, Halper argues. The question is how to transform a settler-colonial, apartheid state into a secular democratic state for all its citizens.

Decolonising Israel, Liberating Palestine – Middle East Monitor

Wednesday, March 31, 2021



Tom Wetzel of the Workers Solidarity Alliance writes a critique of the Green New Deal

A “Green New Deal”?: The Eco-syndicalist Alternative | ideas and action

The problem is rooted in the very structure of capitalism itself. Capitalist dynamics are at the very heart of the current crisis. If global capitalism continues with “business as usual”, the warming will have major impacts — killer heat waves, more ocean heat pumping energy into hurricanes and cyclones, rising ocean levels from melting of ice in the polar regions and melting of glaciers, destruction of corals in the oceans, and a greater danger to the survival of many species of living things.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

A Fable


A troop of monkeys, having gathered a store of nuts for the winter, begged their Wise Ones to distribute them.

 The Wise Ones reserved a good half for themselves, and distributed the remainder amongst the rest of the community, giving to some twenty nuts, to others ten, to others five, and to a considerable number none. 

Now, when those to whom twenty had been given complained that the Wise Ones had kept so many for themselves the Wise Ones answered, “Peace, foolish ones, are ye not much better off than those who have ten?” And they were pacified. 

And to those who objected, having only ten, they said, “Be satisfied, are there not many who have but five?” and they kept silence. And they answered those who had five, saying, “Nay, but see ye not the number who have none?” 

Now when these last made complaint of the unjust division and demanded a share, the Wise Ones stepped forward and exclaimed to those who had twenty, and ten, and five, “Behold the wickedness of these monkeys. Because they have no nuts they are dissatisfied, and would rob you of those which are yours!”

And they all fell on the portionless monkeys and beat them sorely. 

Moral. The selfishness of the moderately well-to-do blinds them to the rapacity of the rich.