How Intellectuals Betrayed the Poor

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by KilljoyKlown, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Cornel West is right, I've been thinking similar thoughts for several years now. I only copied part of the article below, but you can use the link if you want to see the complete article. Most of the U.S. citizens have been screwed by what was done and most have no idea what greedy fools they were.

    How Intellectuals Betrayed the Poor
    Cornel West
    Princeton Professor, Author of "Brother West"

    For 40 years academics were duped into idolizing the idea of unfettered markets, says Cornel West, and now our society is paying a terrible price.

    Question: Why are we no longer concerned with the working class?

    Cornel West: I think one was, there was an idolizing of unfettered markets. And much if not most of the intelligentsia were duped. I recall traveling with my dear brother Michael Harrington and talking with brother Stanley Aronowitz years ago. And you know, here we're engaged in critiques of unfettered markets, and it looked as if we were medieval thinkers. Everybody was saying, we're followers of Milton Friedman. Everybody was saying Frederick Hayak got it right. Everybody was saying marketize, commercialize, commodify, and we were still reading Lukasch. And Lukasch was saying commodification is not simply an asymmetric relation of power, of bosses vis-à-vis workers, so workers are being more and more marginalized. Profits are being produced, wealth is being produced, hemorrhaged at the top, no fair distribution of that wealth or profit for workers. Poor are being demonized because they are viewed as those persons who are irresponsible, who will not work, who are always looking for welfare; i.e., failures in the society of success. And we reached a brink, and the chickens came home to roost. And a few years ago the unfettered markets led us off and over the brink.

    And all of a sudden, very few intellectuals want to be honest and acknowledge the greed with which they were duped. Don't want to talk about the inequality that went along with it. Don't want to talk about the demonization of the poor that went along with it. Don't want to talk about the politics of fear that produced a Republican Party that was more and more lily-white, using not just race but also demonizing gay brothers and lesbian sisters, you see. Don't want to talk about the indifference toward the poor, and greed being good and desirable and so forth. Now is a very different moment, and it's not, you know, just about pointing fingers, but saying somebody's got to take responsibility. This was a nearly 40-year run. Who paid the cost? As is usually the case, you know, poor working people paid the cost, disproportionately black and brown and red, you see.

    Recorded on: November 3, 2009
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  3. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    I don't think it should be termed "Intellectuals" betraying the poor, we should call it as it is, it's "Sociopaths" that have been betraying everyone, but that's what they do so well and why they get positions in power because they can unflinchingly make "immoral" decisions that nobody else would make without battering an eyelid.

    If you want to fix the market, then pass a bill vetting the exclusion of Sociopaths
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  5. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Unhealthy altruism

    Oscar Wilde:

    The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism – are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.

    They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.

    But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim.

    The betrayal is longstanding, and ongoing.


    Wilde, Oscar. The Soul of Man Under Socialism. 1891. July 26, 2011.
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  7. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    I wouldn't be opposed to that if you could have a sure fire way of identifying sociopaths. Many sociopaths live their whole life without anyone else knowing they are sociopaths and in some cases even the sociopath doesn't know what they are. However the general greed produced by our system of capitalism makes it easy for the con artists to work us until it's to late. In general the republicans are more prone to being manipulated that way but many others were also eager to get on the gravy train. Even now when we should know better has the government passed any bills that will turn things around? If they have it's gone by me.
  8. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    I don't know Oscar Wilde, but thanks for the link, I will try to read through it when I have time. I do know there's more than one type of capitalism and I think the one here in the U.S.A. Is one of the worst because it leaves us open to some serious financial abuse on a very big scale, and we need to fix that ASAP.
  9. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    But the majority has been giving these sociopaths their approval and adulation.

    Something else...working-class people identify with rich people and will vote against their own economic interests. On the off-chance that someday, they too will be rich. Yes they might. But there's a much higher likelihood that they will remain where they are or move up but a rung or two...yet they vote as if they are millionaires.

    This makes me want to beat my head against something.

    And the idea of working-class solidarity is anethema here...but you'd better believe the rich stick up for each other.
  10. birch Valued Senior Member

    good insight. it's because greedy, selfish and unethical people exist in all tiers of society. there are those who are well-off who probably have very fair economic values that would like to see them in place and there are those who are poor who would take advantage of and exploit if they had power. this scenario can apply the other way as well, with those who do have money and power which are corrupt and those who are poor who are good people who would make the world a better place if they did have more power or means as well.
  11. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    And good ones too. But something about here seems to bring out the nasty.

    I keep kicking around the idea of some sort of required, paid year of community service after high school for teens...not just to get stuff done and give them some job experience...but to build the idea of community.

    We don't have community here in America in very many places; we're really atomized and alienated.

    I'm sure the Republicans would go nuts at the idea, though.

    It occurred to me that it's as much or more about how we feel about each other and treat each other, the kind of respect we do or do not have for other people...and how we'd go about making an environment that engenders that more. Our current environment does not foster respect of other people.
  12. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I know. I bet most have had arguments with poor working class republicans. Damned if they're not a blind stubborn lot.
  13. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    That would be a great idea. I'd have been totally up for that.
  14. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    Very good idea for everybody not joining the military. But what about those going on to college? Do they do their service before or after college?
  15. visceral_instinct Monkey see, monkey denigrate Valued Senior Member

    Maybe there could be a system where people do paid community service as an after school activity, as with a part time job? Good luck fitting that in modern society's schedules though. Young people don't get to sleep properly, let alone do community service.

    Maybe a better idea would be to look at how we could build a society where community service is something people naturally WANT to do and fit in regularly in their lives along with other things taken for granted like work and leisure.
  16. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Hmm, I think before?

    Just for the fact that we'd have to pay them more afterwards

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    Guess college scholarships would have to take that into account then...and yeah, it would be an either military service or community service.

    I think that would be a society where we don't work so much...we kind of have a culture where it's good to work-work-work and buy-buy-buy, so even if you could economize and be won't, you'd rather work the hours.
    It's like...militant consumerism? we're convinced more stuff is going to make us happy. Maybe in some cases.:shrug:

    I figured if people had to spend a year benefiting others, then a critical mass of them might want to do it later because they'll figure out it's got non-monetary rewards. Some of them might also end up being less greedy and more compassionate, and maybe more openminded as well.

    That would be the hopeful thought.

    But...back on track now...poor people can't get un-poor if all we have is the service industry and-or unskilled labor. You need lots of skilled manufacturing jobs and a business climate conducive to mom-and-pop shops if you want the middle class restored...

    I also maintain that single payer healthcare would really benefit small employers. And big ones. And everybody except the insurance industry and the pill makers.
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2011
  17. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    The insurance companies wheeled a lot of power . As much or more than the energy sector . That is why we did not get single pay from what I understand . Single pay would have been way better than what we got . What we got is a burden to small business . Then I hear big Corps are being exempt from the health care program . Now that is enough to chap an ass .
  18. wellwisher Banned Banned

    Here is an example of how the intellectuals came up with an expensive scam using math that impacts all including the poor. If you look at health care, in general, it is quite easy to sneak excessive business considerations into the altruistic dream of good health care for all, without most people being aware. The result is higher cost and bigger profits, with more and more people coming back for more; sheep walk to the pen to be sheared again and again.

    Let me give an example of this rich business environment. From 1979 to 1991 about 40,000 people died from the flu each year in the USA. In the ideal world, all we should have needed was about 40,000 flu vaccines per year, in the right place at the right time, to zero this death number. But instead the current approach will try to vaccinate 300,000,000 people. The difference of 299,960,000 is profit.

    The object of this intellectual game is to make everyone think that death from flu is like a huge ghost that hovers over all 300,000,000 people, playing Russian Roulette. The fear marketing will create the illusion all 300,000,000 are at risk, even though the hard data says only 40,000 had real risk each year. The imaginary math is the profit.

    Even after a flu season is over, there are those who didn't get sick, even without the vaccine. They had zero risk based on hard data which tested the odds of the fear based theory. However, the math trick will insist there was risk, just they excaped the bullet this year. This keeps the game going. If you induce fear, people become irrational with fear. Now the irrational seems reasonable allowing bigger profit.

    A good example of the effect is the male thinking with his lower brain. This lower brain is linear and irrational. Under the impulse, the male may do things he will regret later, since the lower brain can't extrapolate. One way to make it, so he has no regrets, is to give him intellectual viagra so the lower brain remains constantly engaged. The risk and fear game works to get the fear brain engaged so one can't rationally extrapolate. Women and children are easy prey with Eve getting Adam to eat too.

    If you wanted to reduce health care cost you would invest R&D money to narrow the gap between profit (300,000,000 possible sheep to shear using the irrationality of risk/fear) and the actual number that need the required care (40,000 actual cases based on cause and effect)
  19. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    That may be true, however you would expect to get more for your money. Also there is a possibility that if you delay someones higher education they might not ever get back into it. Which would be more of a loss to society.
  20. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

    You make a very good point. Health care should be a no brainer, but in the U.S. it's all about money.

    What if we had a system where people only paid when they were healthy and quit paying when they weren't healthy? Do you think we would be healthier and maybe live longer? If I were a betting person, I know where I'd put my money.
  21. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    Dude when you know you know big . I don't about your science stuff about the brain , but Man alive some of that others stuff about vaccines is the way of the future as more and more increasing efficiency come to conclusion ( notice how that looks like Effie for you that follow Me god night mare ) Me biology daughter that is obsessed with saving the planet by improving Efficiency by scientific analysis ) Suck ! Mod
    I got to go ! That proves the point I can't be a free thinker . We are told what to think and when to think it . There is a lot talk about developing the imagination of a child . It is Bull shit . Imagination is stifled by the mundane . Indoctrination is the norm . Think like me or else you little bastard you. I will flunk you ass if you don't conform. It happens in all aspects of life when you have superiority over you . Freedom of thought is some what of a myth and it is the crime of the century . Intellectuals work hard to keep there superiority . Information is power . Silos of information exist . National security is one reason why . War in man ? Whats it all about ?
  22. billvon Valued Senior Member


    First thing that would happen is that the system would not accept any people who smoked, rode bicycles on the road, drank, rode motorcycles, basically did anything risky. Why would they? Those are the people who, statistically, are more likely to be injured.

    Next, treatments would become far more aggressive and far less palliative. Bad back? Aggressive surgery to treat it. Sure, the mortality rate is 10%, but if you die, we stop having to treat you, and we're not getting any money for treating you anyway while you have a bad back. Might as well risk the expensive operation to either cure you 100% or have you die and not need any more treatments.

    Next you'd have people who shopped around and got the absolute cheapest health insurance out there. Why not? They don't have to do anything while you are healthy. And if years go by and those people get sick, why, just declare bankruptcy.
  23. Me-Ki-Gal Banned Banned

    I am going to lay down and die on my own terms . I don't go to doctors and they don't come to Me , If something happens to Me I go to now care and pay cash , if that don't cure it it just might be lay down time .

    I don't get sick anymore ? I don't know exactly why ? It is getting to be so long I can't remember when I was sick . The last 2 flue and viruses that came into the area I heard them coming . It was so weird. When I heard them coming I told My self " You ain't getting Me you little bastard . I watched all Me family members get it . All the sales people at the stores . The school children was a sizable amount . My son didn't get it either . Coinkidenk , I don't know ? Did I just unconsciously wash my hands a lot by my earlier conviction ? Did my immune system take guard before the invasion ? It was a suggestion . That is what I heard and the suggestion happened 3 to 5 days before any public announcements. I find that so fucking weird. Fuck you need to Be Me for a day . It is freak butt Freaky

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