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Tob the Blether

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  1. The 'traditional' exterior of his brand new house is a message, his conspicuously branded possessions conspicuously consumed and contained and displayed within the interior are laden with messages. As is the contemporary-aspirational interior scheme itself. Similarly, his car is brand x which says y about him. He reckons it says y about him, 'cos the advert and the carsalesman (his great annual friend) implied heavily that it would. It also lets everyone know what his paygrade is. That's very important. By the badges of their cars they keep their scores in the hierarchies they deem so important. All these things are signifiers of 'him', but, although he exercised the final and one true freedom of consumer choice, he did not truly choose them, they were chosen for him; they chose him. He spins the hamsterwheel on the neverending upgrade cycle. Surely the next upgrade/iteration of his chosen phone/car/gamesconsole/kitchen appliance/laptop/holiday package/tv broadcasting standard/whatever will be the one which will make his life complete! He doesn't care that the upgrade cycle has effectively rendered the ownership of his possessions merely short term leases towards planned obsolescence - that's OK, the subscription model embraces and guides him towards a future on the upgrade path, the roadmap to forever, the added feature-rich functionality, the software hardware nexus. Mobile phone teleco business models lead the way to the 'free' provision of hardware in return for a monthly subscription fee. The more he pays, the quicker he get upgraded to newer more functional flashier hardware which he displays prominently to the chagrin of his inferiors in the lounge bar/restaurant/leisure & retail destination (all are now one and the same - merely scenographic stages for ritualised displays of conditioned consumption). Does it trouble him that, seen from the other end of the telescope, he is in fact the product which has been manufactured conditioned moulded and finalised through his consent to peer pressure and his compliant vacuous consumption of advertising media (the adverts are sometimes better than the programmes!). He has been told what to want, told when to want it, but never told why. A pre-indebted fully conditioned compliant producer-consuer, he is passed around by the corporations like a party whore; his contract is negotiable. He is the 'installed base' which the providers want to 'upsell' to. His eyes are the eyes delivered to the advertisers by his media provider. His subscription is the unarguably certain future revenue upon which the media providers base their corporate profitability forecasts as they strategise and organise; the world and its minds being theirs to homogenise. So does it trouble him? No, he's too tired.
  2. I was on foot during the day today in the west-end of town for the first time in a few months. I notice that the Hugo Boss store on Union St has closed it's doors and that Cruise next door appears to be employing 'chuckers-in' like a Costa Bravo nightclub.
  3. Ah, one cannot lead a life unless one owns a house. A common misconception. Is it that you see non-owners as somehow less human than yourself? I, myself, hold that the level of debt that most FTB's would be obliged to subsume themselves under means that for the foreseeable future they would be getting on with 'work' not 'life'.
  4. Nothing new or different about that. What is new and different (over the last 2 decades) is the levels of debt and impoverishment students find themselves in.
  5. Well at least you've had a go at answering the question. The answer, of course, raises many more questions. Just how do you politicise the masses? As I mentioned earlier, the only thing that most people really want is to be left alone to 'get on' and compare their levels of 'having' with that of their neighbours. It is difficult to see what could change that.
  6. That's a reasonable analysis, but it still does not answer the question I've been asking. How are any of these revolutionary programmes of land and money reform to be achieved without revolutionary action lead by a Bonepartist adventurer?
  7. An alliance of capital and labour? My enemy's enemy is my friend? Who will bring this alliance about?
  8. This programme, while appearing relatively moderate on the page would actually involve significant levels of confrontation with vested interests and is nothing short of a punative confiscation programme against landowners and capital. How can this possibly be achieved without bloodshed? How can that be achieved without a revolutionary government with popular support? What are the chances of that happening?
  9. Aye there's the rub. Who will organise these workers? Who will agitate them? Who will decide what form the 'campaigning' will take? A charismatic leader, perhaps? The word 'campaign' is surely a euphemism for.... passive resistance strikes civil unrest riot revolution civil war Surely it's nothing as innocuous as a letter writing campaign or online petitions.
  10. What program would you implement to for us to get there from here? How can this be done without popular revolutionary action against property-owning vested interests? How would you deal with the forces of reaction?
  11. Thanks for your reply - you've explained it beautifully. Libya's CD is indeed funded exclusively from burgeoning O&G revenues. What program would you implement to for us to get there from here? How can this be done without popular revolutionary action against property-owning vested interests? How would you deal with the forces of reaction?
  12. How does a levy collected from land-occupiers differ from tax? Who collects, administers and distributes this levy as the citizens dividend? How is a citizen's dividend collected without working different from state benefits? A citizen's dividend / universal allowance, nonetheless, is a neat way for libertarians to side-step the problem of initial acquisition and it will be interesting to see how this policy plays out in Libya, where it is in the process of being rolled out, along with the abolition of all state ministries except those involved in internal and external security and foreign relations. Additionally, how do you get there from here? It's taken Libya 40 years of very nasty dictatorial rule, a resource rich geography and a sparse population (and state-owned land) to get to this point. What hope for our crowded resource-poor island with its byzantine land tenure and liberal democracy? I think we're all agreed that some sort of land and monetary reform is required, fine. How do we agitate the populace in support of this, when what most people want is just to be left alone to get on as best they can and keep up with the Joneses? Most people cannot see that they are truly slaves, albeit in quite nice cages - all they care about is that their cage is at least as nice as their neigbours - that's the only sort of equality and fairness that they care about. What is to be done?
  13. Right you are. Y'know, I really didn't notice the quotation marks. Must have been looking at the computer too long today.....
  14. The "Surplus Value" is land value. http://www.landvaluetax.org/theory/marxs-t...as-capital.html The site owners at landvaluetax.org have shamelessly misappropriated Conway's intellegent and balanced article in favour of their own agenda. Conway's article may be found here. Land value is not mentioned at all, and the labour theory of value is barely touched upon. Rather, Conway points to the Marxists' propensity towards centralisation as being their fatal flaw.
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