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Passions in Poetry

Wealthy Quality

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Huan Yi
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25 posted 03-27-2012 07:00 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.
The problem through history has been that for all those wanting to be
lambs there’s always more than enough wolves who only show up to have dinner.
.
Essorant
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26 posted 03-28-2012 12:39 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

The money-based system turns the lambs into wolves.
Bob K
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27 posted 03-28-2012 07:36 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I suspect the conversation could get even more abstract, but probably not without completely losing touch with the subject.  That was wealth and poverty, I believe, and maybe even something more specific than that.  

     Predators and livestock are interesting, but sound more like animal husbandry — which I think is illegal in many states — or ecology.

     Perhaps a restatement of theme would be helpful here?
Bob K
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28 posted 03-28-2012 07:49 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     If not a money-based system, what are you suggesting, Ess?  It's difficult to travel very far with a herd of sheep in your pocket, or to pay for that new car in cough-drops.  If you're against money, what do you suggest we use to replace it?  I'm open to interesting suggestions.

     Personally, I think money is a good idea, and that people have done a lot of interesting things with the concept.  I'm not sure I like poverty as one of them, mind you, or "calls" or "puts"  when it comes to the stock market and some of the variations they've come up with on Wall Street, but people are going to elaborate on abstractions whether we're talking physics or finance.  You can't unmake ideas.

Stephanos
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29 posted 03-28-2012 08:32 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Bob,

Yes, Mao's "Cultural Revolution" was not strictly monetary, but it was redistributive, born of a similar idea, and disastrous.  As for attempting measures/ laws against extortion, I'm open to that.  I'm not so sure that all of the ideas about redistribution of wealth, limit themselves to preventing extortion however.  


Karen,

I also appreciate your ideas, your honesty, and your down-to-earthness, if that makes sense.  Sometimes philosophy can get impersonal, and you always seem to prevent that direction.  I tend to only reply to the theoretical and ideological posters but that is an imbalance of my own. Hope I haven't offended you in any way.  


Stephen  
Essorant
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30 posted 03-28-2012 09:13 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Bob,

quote:
If not a money-based system, what are you suggesting, Ess?  It's difficult to travel very far with a herd of sheep in your pocket, or to pay for that new car in cough-drops.  If you're against money, what do you suggest we use to replace it?  I'm open to interesting suggestions.


A virtue-based system.  Virtue is the quality that makes something worth doing or having.  If something is worth doing or having, then it is worth working for and giving oneself and others the opportunities that come out of it.  If we do things because they are worth doing, giving, having, sharing, etc then we can all benefit from them a lot better.  There is no need for a transaction of money, cough-drops, marbles, etc.
 
Bob K
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31 posted 03-29-2012 03:38 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I am a porker, Ess, and got that way as a result of eating too much food and radiation treatments as a child.  

     Clearly, I like to blame my own eating habits for the issue.  With the plan you suggest, however, I imagine my problems would be solved.  I might dine richly on virtue and still starve to death.

     I was asking if there was a suggestion somebody might offer that was different than the one that we are already using.  The poor already dine richly on promises and starve before their time; a suggestion that we do more of the same doesn't seem to add calories to the  equation, or not that I can see.

    Having spent many years working in the social services, I found that virtue was big on the promise of return, but was as bad as the company store for actual payments.  The harder you worked, the more indebted you became to your own sense of rightness, and the less you got paid in terms of anything that others would exchange for food or shelter.

     But that's merely how I managed to amass my personal non-fortune and personal sense of cynicism.   Not even a bartender’s willing to let you run much of a tab these days, no matter how good you are.
Essorant
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32 posted 03-29-2012 12:15 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

I don't agree.

A good family already usually has a "virtue-system" and is a microcosm of a world that would be based on it.  We don't (usually) charge our family members for things we do for each other nor things we give to each other.  Could there be something more important than money?  Yea, the goodness of doing those things and the people we do them for.  Things that are actually worth our time and work.  This isn't ideal, because there are still money issues forced on the family from the money-based system outside of it.  But it is still a thousand times better than the money-based system itself.  

Likewise when a child is young, he doesn't say he wishes to be a fireman, policeman, teacher doctor, etc. with money in mind.  His first instinct is doing something for the virtue of doing it.   And that instinct should only become stronger as he grows up, but instead it goes in the opposite direction and usually becomes a slave to money, stress, and depression under the influence of a money-based system.  

Hopefully sometime in the far future (because we know it won't be anywhere in the near future) our societies will work a lot more like the family and think a lot more like a young child who doesn't and isn't forced to need to think in terms of the amount of money he can get or give.    

Bob K
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33 posted 03-29-2012 05:53 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     But it sounds as though the points are the same as the ones that I was making, though I understand you don't agree.

     I'm not terribly fond of the realities of the adaptations one is forced to make, and I understand that the adaptation everyone makes is different, depending on how each person understands economics and philosophy and the family.  But there are adaptations you have to make to protect the vulnerable parts of yourself and the people you love with more or less success.  Some folks are left in a bit of a mess with the adaptations they make, despising everybody who is wealthy or everybody who is poor for not having come to the same conclusions about the world that they themselves came to and then acted upon.

     You can tackle that issue from all sorts of different angles.  We do that here.  Sometimes we do that by talking about religion and ethics; sometimes we talk about philosophy; sometimes we talk about the psychology or sociology of it.

     I can't tell you that you're wrong when I grapple with the same issues myself and have come to some of the same conclusions about the need to maintain a sense of ideals and the need to maintain a sense of loving relationship with the world.  It's simply that I don't often see people who want something different than that, and that the difference is most often something to do with technique, with the How of it, as Eyeore said when he reported how he was feeling one day.

     "Not very How," I think the donkey said.

quote:

A good family already usually has a "virtue-system" and is a microcosm of a world that would be based on it.  We don't (usually) charge our family members for things we do for each other nor things we give to each other.



     Yes.

     Families also have other systems.  These include  systems for dealing with economics.  

     Maslow is onto something with his hierarchy of needs.  Only when more basic needs are met is a person able to concern itself with more abstract needs.  Air first.  If you can breath, many things are possible.  Water comes next; but not too much, or air is compromised.  Then food.  Way down the line come relationships.

     Virtue is not the first concern of a relationship.  The first concern of a relationship, just as it is the first concern of any organization, is the survival of that relationship.  Affection is very important, but loads of relationships and loads of families may not be awash with affection.  It will be awash with structure and rules, which seem to be very important.  Apparently human beings tend to panic when they don't know what to do and when to do it, so a drive for structure will be important.

     Money enough to support that structure will also be important, and lack of that will expose members of the family to panic.  

     Right about here is where we start talking about virtue as a need for family structure.  There can be lots of discussion about virtue, much of it noble, and it passes a lot of time, which is good.  Too much free time, remember, equals panic.  

     The late great poet, Richard Hugo, wrote a wonderful book of poems called "The Right Madness on Skye."  Hugo like to write about wealth and poverty, among other things, and he talks about one of those historical figures who crop up every now and again who have cryptic yet brilliant things to say.  Shakespeare was fond of tossing them into his plays.  In mythology, folk-lore, and archetypal psychology they're called "wise fools."  Hugo quotes one from the early 19th century, when crofters were being kicked off their land and Skye was being turned by the absentee landlords into a giant sheep farm for fun and, mostly, profit.

     If you want more details, it's worth a little research, but the quote that Hugo offered and which I now offer you is pretty straightforward.  "Had I the right madness," said the wise fool, "bread would be assured."
rwood
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34 posted 03-30-2012 11:36 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

quote:
Likewise when a child is young, he doesn't say he wishes to be a fireman, policeman, teacher doctor, etc. with money in mind.  His first instinct is doing something for the virtue of doing it.   And that instinct should only become stronger as he grows up, but instead it goes in the opposite direction and usually becomes a slave to money, stress, and depression under the influence of a money-based system.


Actually, a child's first instincts are completely egocentric.

I can't say that changes into adulthood. One can't really achieve moral excellence or righteousness of virtue without 1: being subject to another person's perceptions or an ultimate ruling authority, & 2: Without being somewhat egocentric as the efforts are, ultimately, self-preserving. There's probably a 3-4-5-6, lol, but I'll let somebody else have a go at those.

Money, to me, is just a byproduct of power. Power or the fear of being powerless may be the basic premise of nearly all systems, from money, to politics, to education, to religion, to law, etc, and even anti-belief systems.

Power is what we think we have when we are born healthy into a loving environment. I cry. Someone appears. I'm soothed. I'm in control of my world. My world was created for me. Everyone must think and feel the same thing I do. I am special.  

This is what kills me when I see a starving child. The powerlessness within that child's existence, of that pain, when its cries bring only more pain, until it succumbs to the body's own involuntary processes. I'm tormented by the reality of this, my inability to look away and/or feed them all, to the point of intolerance-- which is a real problem for me.

I, honestly, do not fare well in the face of waste or nutritional ignorance, despite the fact that I have no place to judge anyone for anything, I can hardly control how my whole system goes on alarm when I see perfectly good, fresh, fine food being thrown in the garbage. And worse, when I see a loved one stuffing themselves with fast foods and poor nutrition? I feel like they're killing themselves right in front of me. I am no one deserving of any power over these things, because you can see how MY standards (my system of things) are, developmentally, flawed. I'm human, after all, among humans. So I would not trust that human instincts are so virtuous even when we mean them to be.

What we want to be when we grow up usually has less to do with virtue, and more to do with power. Even if it is to heal or feed the world or create universal peace. Remove money from the equation, and it would still take a massive amount of energy, which would still be subject to a system of some form, in order to lead, follow, distribute, build, accomplish, maintain, etc. an objective. You can't have such a system without those who are willing to be a "slave" of sorts to the cause. I believe "Born Leaders" are a slave to their role, are they not?

Being of service to humankind without any type of monetary support system or reward is argued as the "impossible altruistic dream," and whether it's possible or not has been muddied, more often than not, by money, or personal gain, or pride  
Bob K
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35 posted 03-30-2012 05:45 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     The comments about power by rwood seem very much to the point.  

     The Atlantic used to think about itself as a discussion at a dinner table, I read somewhere, and perhaps it still does.  That's one of the things that I used to enjoy about it, and one of the things I used to enjoy about a good dinner party, and here I find that spirit again, the gracious and interesting contribution.  Somebody sees what's missing and adds it to the ongoing conversation to give the group creation a bit of seasoning.

     Power is one of the elements that help keep the family functioning.  Every family teaches lessons about power and position to each of its members, and teaches different lessons to the children depending on their birth order.
rwood
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36 posted 03-31-2012 09:20 AM       View Profile for rwood   Email rwood   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for rwood

Morning Mr. Bob and fellow Pipsters,

Indeed, I especially agree with your last line in your post, Mr. Bob.

On another note: We have winners 3, so far, of the Mega Millions. In tune with the topic, I believe. Seems lottery winners aren't really all that lucky, after the fact, as Karen touched on in her post. These "winners" become targets for scams and stalkers and users start crawling outta every crevice of life wanting a peace of the lucky pie. I'm reclusive enough to cringe  at that thought and actually feel glad that I didn't buy any tickets. Not that I wouldn't ever do so, I simply haven't thought about it- lately.

But? Ess~ 640 million dollars = 640 people would have gotten lucky by your distribution of 1 mil each.

You have to begin somewhere, so who would be your first recipients? Besides the IRS--who gets their share here before you do, but if there was no IRS (I can dream!) who would you start with?
Denise
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37 posted 04-01-2012 09:14 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Would there be a different result in having a society NOT based on money of any kind at all and everything were just FREE to everyone instead of taking the money from those who have earned it or inherited it and spreading it equally with those who haven't?
Huan Yi
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38 posted 04-01-2012 03:04 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

.


“Che’s plan was to do away with money altogether, and he came damn close to
succeeding by making everyone equally poor, save for those who, like him,
ran the country.”


“Learning to Die in Miami”

Carlos Eire


.
Bob K
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39 posted 04-01-2012 05:09 PM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K


     I didn't know Che was interested in doing away with money altogether.  I didn't know that any of the Cubans were.  Nor did I know that Che ran the country.  I thought that Che was on the outs with the Castro brothers, and was being used to spread revolution outside the country both in Africa and in South America because it created a source of foreign aide for the Cubans from the Russians and because it kept Che out of the country and away from domestic politics.

     My belief was that the Castros wanted him away, where he could be a revolutionary hero and not a rival for power.  If he'd spent too much time at home, he would have put himself in the same position as Trotsky did with Stalin.  I suspect that is why, in the end, that Che found himself leading a group of Shining Path guerrillas in Peru and vulnerable to a CIA hit squad, and didn't find himself leading brigade and battalion size cuban mercenary forces in Angola or setting up other, more significant revolutionary movements in other areas of the globe.

     Of course, the Castros started with forces no larger than the Shining Path  guerillas that Che died with in Peru, it's true.  But to suggest that Che was the sort of parasite  that Carlos Eire suggests requires more than the sort of smear we're offered here.

     Who is Carlos Eire, and what gives him the expertise to make a call like this one?  
Bob K
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40 posted 04-02-2012 02:19 AM       View Profile for Bob K   Email Bob K   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Bob K



     I'm confused.  

     I was commenting on a posting in Philosophy, and I find myself trying to address John who is appearing in the Alley, where I am not supposed to be.

     The signature on the letter by Doctor Eire says that he's a Professor of History from Yale, and his comments about Cromwell give his comments about Che context.  I now have some idea who he is.

     I don't approve of concentration camps or re-education camps whether they're run by folks on the left or the right, no matter what their slogans happen to be.  I don't believe Che was a saint.  I also don't particularly believe that Che cared whether he lived in wealthy surroundings or in poor ones, though I certainly might be wrong.  Government posts often come with this sort of perk.  There was a very large mansion on the grounds of Metropolitan State Hospital, where I worked for several years in the seventies, that was once the home of the director of the Hospital,  Many Institutions came with mansions attached for administrative personnel, and that's here in the United States.  To expect differently from a bureaucracy that goes back to Columbus seems a bit naive.  Whether Che should have actually lived there is another question.  How much of an actual choice he had, I don't  know.  

     From the sound of Dr. Eire's comments, it doesn't sound as though he knows either.  It sounds as though he's too busy being enraged over what sound like a series of terrible character flaws and human rights abuses to consider some of the other factors that might be involved.

     Clearly the abuses and the flaws cannot be overlooked.

     Just as clearly, they should not be the only parts of the story to be told.
Grinch
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41 posted 07-20-2013 07:54 AM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

quote:
If all the money in the world were divided equally among all the people, wouldn't we all be millionaires?


No – based on the total amount of currency currently circulating worldwide we’d each have the equivalent of 643 US dollars.

.
Essorant
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42 posted 09-22-2013 04:02 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Grinch

If everyone's money - or absence of money - were reset to 643 US  every two or three days or so, I think that would in effect make people millionaires.  They could spend 643 US over and over again so often that it would eventually add up to millions.       
 
 
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