Monday's Vital Conversation

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT

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We are delighted to welcome back Stephanie Van Hook, executive director of the Metta Center for Nonviolence, for this conversation on the intersections of feminism, Occupy and non-violence.

Please post your thoughts here in advance of, during and after our Cafe Call.  

In her recent piece "Waging Feminism,"  Stephanie quotes Betty Reardon:

"There is still insufficient understanding of the depth of both the psycho-social and structural holds that patriarchy has on our culture and politics. " 

What do YOU think might be one leverage point for addressing the challenge of patriarchy in our culture and politics? 

Image from occupypatriarchy.org

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True Wendell, but it is more complex here in UK now, many of the descendents of those originally disposessed through determination and  long hard work have paid dearly over the years to own their own properties. My parents were not wealthy but they jumped at opportunity and eventually owned their own property with a small garden. Like them I did not inherit any wealth but on a meagre nurses pay and as a single parent I still managed to complete the mortgage on my own house so I own property that I worked very hard for.  Should that revert to common land?  I think the problem arises when those who inherit, win, or make vast sums of money own far more than they need, then it becomes greed.I could have splurged my money on expensive holidays abroad and a designer wardrobe, but instead chose to give my family a good home. Church and government own a hell of a lot of property too, that could be used for the common good, I have in the past shared my property with a few homeless till they became independent I am happy to share but i do feel I earned it !".  Sorry if I veered off track a bit while trying to figure out where we go from here.

I agree, Gael, that only fallow land owned by wealthy people or institutions who don't use or need it, should be expropriated and redistributed or returned to the commons. Of course an attempt to do exactly that led to the coup in Paraguay the other day, as the 1% do not want the 99% to have access to the basic necessities of life.

There have been several recent incidents here in the US where local governments have destroyed private lawn gardens, including one garden where a woman had been growing 100 different types of medicinal plants for decades. There was no zoning or other kind of law to justify that destruction, just a belief by local governments that lawns should be only grass and flowers with nothing edible or medicinal allowed, and that since they control the local courts, it is relatively risk-free to simply destroy private property and let the owners spend any money and time on this earth that they have left, seeking restitution.

There are Native American traditions that say that you are entitled to own the home you live in and the crops you plant, tend, and harvest, but land itself cannot be owned in perpetuity and that once it is no longer being used, it reverts to the commons. I imagine that in such a situation, people who need land to live on or farm would be able to use any land that isn't being used, but would be unable to sell it, and once they and their descendants no longer used it, it wouldn't revert to the state but to nature or to the commons so that it could be used by others.

Mark: I am absolutely not calling for expropriation or redistribution of land.  That cannot be done without huge injustice to people who have built immovable improvements of land (every homeowners included).  It most likely could not be accomplished without massive resistance and bloodshed.  It is not necessary.  All that is necessary is to shift taxation off of earned incomes from labor and real capital investment in the real economy onto land values. See my over lengthy reply to Gael's comment.

The land belongs in principle equally to all of us.  It just so happens that the value of land is created in real time 24/7/365 by the community of all people.  I suggest that this is more than a mere coincidence.  Perhaps we canot reverse centuries of enclosure and privatization of land and natural resources but we can take back the value we all give to land by appropriate taxation.  Since we as community need a source of revenue to pay for public services why not draw on the value that we as community create instead of penalizing individuals among us (everyone of us with a job for example)  for being productive. This is an argument for economic justice further strengthened by the fact that all public services at all levels have the economic effect of increasing the value of land somewhere. (Public services do not increase the value of improvements on land.  All economists agree.)  Failure to tax the value of land allows those who do not create that value to put it in their pocket unearned.  This has been the incentive for centuries driving all the land grabs, all the enclosures, all the land speculation (the heart of all real estate speculation) and all of the abuse of the environment.  Failure to tax land values very heavily thus turns out to be the cornerstone of economic injustice as well as the root cause of environmental destruction.  Leftists fail to make the distinction between capital that in principle earns its reward and land that does not.  Their arguments apply completely to the value of land and very little to real capital and that is why they have gotten such push back from real capitalists.  Landowners have hidden in the skirts of capital loving it that the arguments that are valid in defense of capital have been used to defend the private collection of the unearned income from land which is not defensible.  Income from ownership of land and natural resources is estimated at 20-35% of GNP everywhere so this is not a trivial issue.

We can return land to the commons without disturbing exclusive use of land or titles, solve the tax question and establish economic justice in one technically simple tax reform.

I suggest that this is a topic worthy of consideration and discussion by any and all people and movements including Occupy where there is interest in a new economic paradigm. To the extent we do not talk about this the 1% love it since it means the main mechanism for sucking value of of the rest of humanity remains intact.  I predict they will hand over the monetary and financial systems in order to protect their monopoly ownership of the planet itself.  I for one  want the big prize, the earth.

Everything you say makes sense, Wendell, but I am calling for the expropriation and redistribution of land that 1) is not being used, 2) belongs to wealthy (in the top .00001%) individuals or organizations who count that land as part of their assets and can derive income by borrowing and investing using the land as security, and 3) is in places where there are many landless and homeless people.

I don't see where there is any injustice in that.

While it might be true that it would entail bloodshed, that's how it was privatized in the first place. I think it could, in some instances, be done without bloodshed. As long as they can remain billionaires and trillionaires, some churches, corporations, and individuals might be persuaded to give back a tiny portion of land they've stolen or stolen lands they inherited, without bloodshed, as long as they're not using it and the alternative would be bloodshed. Some of the many wealthy oligarchs in exile left their countries to escape bloodshed, while others left before there was any bloodshed. Those who only want to keep their obscene wealth and live in secure situations, are sometimes smart enough to know to quit while they're ahead.That's why most oligarchs have mansions and estates in several different countries and keep a good portion of their assets where they can get it no matter which country they flee to.

As long as the power to tax remains with a representative government, it is cheap and easy for the oligarchs to buy off enough representatives to ensure that they won't be taxed. Only if power was restored to the people would there be the possibility of taxing the rich, and I think restoring power to the people would be more likely to necessitate violence than expropriation and redistribution of excess.

IGael:  am not calling for reversion of privately owned land to the commons.  That would be an injustice especially if it meant disturbing the right of ownership of the improvements we owners of land have built on it.  Yes you earned the right to have exclusive USE of land.  Of that there is no doubt.  But did you not also earn the right to collect or pocket a value you yourself did not create?

What you also got as part of the bundle of ownership rights to land was the right to rent or sell the land and put that value, that income, in your pocket.  You do not create the value of your land and neither did the person you bought it from. This makes the income/profit from ownership of land an unearned income and is collected at the expense of everyone else in the society as well as the society itself. This is so because the value of land and natural resources per se is created by the community of all people and not by any individual owner of particular pieces of land.  All economists agree with this; they just do not speak of it.

but you will say that as a homeowner you use the land yourself and do not receive land rent in your hand and you do not intend to sell it since you need a place to live.   But hear this.  You do receive the benefit of all public services that make you land more useful and therefore more valuable.  You would have to pay rent for land if you did not own and the amount you would have to pay depends on the existence of population and the public services that serve your land.  Not having t pay rent is equivalent to receiving land rent and inn economics it is called imputed income.    

You do pay what we in the U.S call property taxes but nowhere do these taxes pay for the entire value of the services making land more valuable.  When the landowner does not pay for all the services that make his land more valuable (as measured by higher land rents and higher sale price) the difference must be made up by taxation on the other things available to be taxed which are earned incomes from the wages of labor and the profits of those who invest real capital in the real economy.  Most landowners are subject to such taxes but they have the consolation of owning land the value of which is subsidized by these very taxes that offsets the tax burden.  Everyone who does not own land (at least 40+% in the U.S.) who also pay taxes have no such consolation and therefore in principle pays twice, once in land rent and again in taxes.

If we want to return the land to the status of the commons without disturbing land titles or exclusive USE of land, all we have to do is shift taxation off of earned incomes onto community created land values.  All non-landowners would pay less because they would only have to pay once for access to land in their land rent, and the vast majority of homeowners would pay less overall because they/we own tiny pieces of land.  It is the wealthy who own most of the valuable land and natural resources on the planet who would pay more in what would be a truly progressive tax system. And even they would not be penalized for what they truly earned through honest labor and real investment in the real economy.

The idea of land value taxation first articulated by the American Henry George solves both the land question and the tax question in addition to a host of other problems such as the rebuilding of cities, the stimulation of the economy, the creation of jobs, the end of land speculation, the end of periodic booms busts in real estate markets and the end of urban sprawl to name a few benefits from a technically simple tax reform.

I would like all my fellow homeowners to understand that our resistance to questioning the system of land ownership has for centuries defended the very wealthy who depend on us to protect them from any rational policy of turning over to the community the huge amounts of value and incomes they do not create.  This is how they became grotesquely wealthy since the days of feudalism, all through the enclosures and continuing today in the land and resource grabs that go on at a furious pace even faster than the age of imperialism.

Land value is the commons and all we have to do is take it back while leaving exclusive use of land and earned incomes in the hands of current owners.

 

Wendell love your point and submit Thomas Paine's "Agrarian Justice" notion is an initial reflection during setting up the constitution.  The current political cabal claiming "no new taxes" is literally out of their minds in my honest assessment.  Since George Bush's stellar performance as the "Global Village Idiot" American Exceptionalism has taken on a whole new meaning in the "disparity of haves and have nots."  What surprises me is how "the banks" can have any populist support whatsoever by anybody.  Just imagine the reverse entropy if all the sudden banks had to pay for land value taxation as real inputed income not a monopoly game for "Naked Emperors" or "Crashed and Burned Humpty Dumpty's Quants on Wall Street."

Finally, I agree that the trans~formative arising commons cannot be anarchy because if America fails the global game becomes WWIII and that imagery truly is an asteroid hitting the earth and ending the game once and for all.  Thomas Paine considered the Original Native Indigenous People's in North America on a "Holiday" compared to the wretched poverty in Europe.  "The End of Poverty" movie we have discussed claims 1492, Discovery Doctrine of Papal Bulls, as the primary historic point in the creation of globalization using a "gun" in one hand and "bible" in the other.  I view money as nothing more than a symbol for human transactional configured commitments person to person.  The Original Proprietors of Turtle Island lived for thousands of years without the symbol of money.  The promises we make to one another actually creates the virtual identity we experience.  And if we agree to stop all the lying, cheating and stealing and start distinguishing who we are by the values we commit to not the profiting on one another, our transactional currency become a sacred trusted experience in caring for our world together.  

Let's do it!

Another flash from the past!

1-1-11 Journal ~ Invitation to family, friends and associates for 2011

Ontological Arguments 

First, I don’t like political or religious conversations any more than the next person because they are conceived in a self deceptive coercive ontology based in the power of reductive thinking that demands obedience and negates freedom of one own intellect, and ethical know how to transcend mythological or theoretical notions as a basis of mutual agreement for living in trust.  I have spent to many fine beautiful days wrestling with ontological arguments with ignorant people; my own stupidities being first and foremost, and no matter whatever explanations I have ever offered, dealing with my own stupidities is enough.

No place did I find this insanity more apparent than the Linked In Group conversations at the White House in the past few months.  I have not spared my honest assessments with our current American leader President Barrack Hussein Obama.  It is part of the public global discourse called “An Authentic American Conversation.”  I appreciate the transparency where my indignation could fully be exercised.   When I saw “President George Bush” re-surface on Fox News on November 10th (Veteran’s Day Eve) with his smart ass grin justifying his behavior and decisions, I was ready to blow up the TV at the Fisher House at Walter Reed Medical Center, Washington DC and the manufactured media creating this BS.

I am sick and tired of regressive fundamentalist Christians who think Janet Jackson’s tit is a national disgrace at a Super Bowl Celebration and what happens in everyone’s bedroom (or office) is their moral business as a direct representive of God Almighty! And they own the entire world forever because America has instilled them with the power of the global purse with a bunch of stupid ass Quants running Wall Street.  Whatever illuminati BS your anchored in?  Take your nuclear football and briefcases full of cash and shove them up your ass. You don’t mean shit in my book and what I want to know is the authentic truth with no BS.  We are going to get some authentic no BS answers real quick, in hours not days.

I was raised Roman Catholic under a severe spiritual Franciscan habit.  The current condition of this institution is even more concerning then the political domain in civilization.  I live in shame as a priest and would no more put on clerics than put a gun to my head and kill myself.  Without an authentic reflection on the historic mistakes that have occurred and injured indigenous peoples worldwide this institutional value has ended and is over.  All the pomp, ceremony and charity in the world is not going to heal the guilt and shame of intergenerational trauma of masses of people murdered through the pontificating political deception of men claiming to represent Jesus, knowing the truth, and demanding everyone in the world to obey there pontificating BS.

Sorry, it doesn’t work that way cognitively.

The Christ was victorious from the beginning of time and is an embedded positive cognitive virus that operates in natural law peculating in the spines of human nature.  Whoops Surprise! The one thing we can consistently count on is, as soon as men open their mouths, they lie and they lie about everything to gain power, exclude and appropriate for their own limited deceptive coercive benefit  at the price of the entire web of life surrounding them. They are selfish in culture; not in nature.  There is a distinction between the agrarian law culture of power in ownership and agrarian justice based in natural law as Homo sapiens amans. 

Let’s get to the bottom of it?

Simultaneously I am never one to throw the baby out with the bath water.  Distinguishing the baby and the bath water takes wisdom not some regressive ontological argument based in power.  I am not prejudicial I hate all these isms used in arrogant aggression by pundits who have their heads up their asses. They think the breath in their nostrils is important and what they have to say in this new era of modernity of psychological subjective relativism, based in "cordial hypocrisy"insures a twisted notion of self importance in there grandiose personas are irreplaceable. When in fact, it’s nothing but regurgitated historical insanity with new imagery coloring the flames of terroristic horror shows barfing up ghosts of an illusory nightmare that is coming to an end.  By the time this is over politicians and lawyers will be homeless cleaning streets with their children begging food from poor people.

I refuse to spend another moment allowing my attention, intention or will power to be seduced or diverted by this insanity of men.  One thing is for certain there is no turning back and I intend to speak my mind freely.  If that means death, i am a veteran, let’s get it on.  If it means being a raving maniac in the city square as a cynic living in a bathtub, with the spit of Alexander on my face that’s fine too, and I'll appreciated the token knowing you.  If it means I finally exhaust my voice from screaming bloody murder and end alone in a new cave or tree in the forest, so be it! Merilepa will comfort me.  

One thing in 2011 you can go to the bank on is I am through being treated with indifference by anyone who desires to communicate and share my human identity or commitment.  I don’t know who my family, friends and community are anymore?  Friends care for you.  Brothers love you and don’t kick you in you the balls when your down on the ground.  I intend to reconstitute my living in face to face, hand to hand combat in competitive intelligence on the playground, battlefield and in the boardroom.  My commitment exercises the notion of living covenants that don’t require a lawyer nor a state to confirm the trusted validity.  I walk my talk and mean exactly what I say.   When you see a friend in need, you run your ass off to help her, not sit on your ass while see drowns in a broken heart.  You take personal risks to preserve the appreciative love that has been freely shared with you by another authentically.

So my friends, who are you?  I don’t want any thing from you.  I want to be something greater together.  Hell, I am a high school graduate and most of you have more knowledge in your toe nails than I have in my whole imaginary body.  I walk around admiring how beautiful you are while listening to judgments of how crazy I am because I don’t think like you.  It’s OK! I really like who I am and I have no ambition or interest in becoming like you or hurting anyone.

Well, I do believe in the Lone Ranger and he never shot and killed anyone.  But he was pretty good at making the arrests and throwing the criminals in jail so society could get back to caring about one another! You need to be riding with Tonto for that happen! 

Enough for the first day of my new life in 2011 and thanks for hearing me! 

Mushin, I disagree with your statement that, "...the trans~formative arising commons cannot be anarchy because if America fails the global game becomes WWIII..."

The United States is now at war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, and many other places. If that's not a world war, I don't know what is. The fall of the United States is the only possibility of ending world war and living in peace. The US has about a thousand military bases worldwide, and sends death squads into countries to foment strife so that war can be declared and trillions of dollars made from defense contracts for arms sales. The US believes that it must control the entire world, has gone deep into debt to do so, and is currently borrowing about two billion dollars a day to wage wars of aggression all over the world.

I don't know if you recall the reasons the US gave for invading and destroying Libya. The US paid US-trained Libyans to act as armed death squads to attack Gaddafi, and when he tried to defend himself and his country, the US said that he was "killing his own people" and that we had to intervene for humanitarian reasons. Then the same President who destroyed a sovereign country and its leader for allegedly "killing his own people," turned around and gave himself the legal right to kill HIS own people without due process anytime and anywhere he wishes (NDAA). There has never been any greater hypocrisy.

Mark,

Appreciate your passion for human justice and ending all war.  I am by all means interested in the same outcome using a different method and process.  What I am pointing to is that trans~formative change emerging in the American Experience is happening to a very young nation in the world that has exploded innovations like a "Big Bang" (like right now this Internet connectivity your experiencing) and has also lost it's ethical center as a compass. JFK said "Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country?"  Good question in my assessment.  "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere? MLK So, I get it!

I am a Veteran and totally against armed conflicts since Kent State. The fact is there is less war today then anytime in human history by the calculations of some observers.  Simultaneously we are on the verge of a very serious exponential collapse in diverse domains of human activities globally, and you want anarchy in America? Are you literally telling me you want America to fail, disappear, be over and experience the resulting immediate chaos in every neighborhood, village and community in the world? Really? What happens to the nuclear football?  You want to fire policeman and firefighters too, and of course teachers won't be needed either, and definitely burn the churches!

Now I know we may have our collective American heads up our asses after the George Bush episode and the entire world may have lost total trust in our leadership? It's a humiliating experience.  I may go along with sacrificial hanging of him to make everyone feel better as an act of atonement.  But Brother I live with lakota men and women who serve honorably in the US Military to protect your right to be an anarchist, and the sad news is they have yet to experience a moment of your daily elite taken for granted arrogant freedom as the new age "king philosopher."  

You may disagree with me and no wonder the "Occupy Movement" is having problems enlisting common folks! I may be indignant that doesn't mean I am crazy!  Are you claiming the anarchy movement and terrorists in the world are the "Arising Commons?"

Please just for data how old are you? I don't want top be arrested for abusing a minor!

Mushin

I'm 72, Mushin, I was never in the military, but I was homeless for over twenty years and I've lived in other countries like Mexico, Honduras, and Afghanistan. While it might not be for everyone, I found that living in a mud hut with a thatched roof, a dirt floor, and no running water, electricity, or modern appliances, was much preferable to being homeless on the streets of New York, Chicago, or San Francisco. But enough about me, child. (Just joking, Mushin, please excuse my feeble attempt at humor.)

Have you ever read War is a Racket by General Smedley Butler? You weren't fighting for my right to be an anarchist, you were fighting for Rockefeller's right to steal other countries' oil.

S. Brian Willson was a veteran. He's the peace activist who lost both his legs when the military he had voluntarily joined and once been gung ho for, illegally ran him over with a train at Concord Naval Weapons Station. In his book Blood on the Tracks and in videos like this one,

ROFL -- trying to embed a video for the first time, I lost most of my comment, so I'll try to reconstruct it.

In his book and his talks, S. Brian Willson often says, "We are not worth more, they are not worth less." That is the truth I believe.

It isn't anarchists or terrorists firing teachers and firemen, Mushin, it is the government you want to preserve. You look around and say, "How could anyone want to risk destroying all this?" I look around and say, "This is not worth killing millions of innocent people and destroying the planet for."

I don't think cars and plastic are worth having killed off all the bison, cut down all the forests, removed whole mountaintops, and polluted all the air and water on the planet. I don't think that the US has a right to kill my Afghan cousins, because I found the people of Afghanistan, where I lived for about five years in the late '60s and early '70s, to be less self-centered and more compassionate than most people in the US. They are no more terrorists than Occupiers are terrorists. That's the dehumanizing label du jour which replaced Communists when the US became dependent upon Communist China and couldn't use the old label any more. Of course the US still calls anyone it wants to destroy in order to steal their resources, "savages," even when they have much older and less bloodthirsty civilizations.

I'm glad that you have the same aspirations for human justice and ending war that I do, Mushin. But if your country is perpetrating injustice everywhere, you cannot attain justice by asking what you can do for your country. I believe that JFK was assassinated by the US government for refusing an all-out invasion of Cuba and for trying to end the Vietnam war. If that makes you think I'm a crackpot conspiracy theorist (albeit one who edited a book about early JFK assassination researchers), so be it.

I apologize for my blunt tone, Mushin, but Bush hasn't been President for three and a half years. Hanging him would be symbolic, but it wouldn't enable the world to gain respect for the current president, who has started more wars of aggression based on lies than Bush did, drone-bombed more innocent babies than Bush did, and even has his own Kill List, something so abhorrent to democracy than not even Bush did such a thing.

Anarchy does not mean chaos, Mushin. It means no rulers, not no rules. The nuclear football would be much safer with more citizen oversight than it is now in the sole possession of madmen and war criminals. Why would anyone trust a government that "lost" (had no records of, other than that it received the money, and was totally unable to account for what had happened to any of it) $2.3 trillion in 1981, with a nuclear football? I wouldn't trust them to remember their own names without a TelePrompter.

My avatar is a very old picture of me, but the only one I have on my computer and I don't have or want a camera. I've got too many genocide-derived luxuries already, including the computer itself which was constructed with blood coltan from the Congo.

Well, that's as much of the comment I lost that I can remember, Mushin. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, your fears, and your aspirations. Things aren't always as they seem. We live, we learn. As our relatives in Afghanistan say, "May you not be tired."

Perfect timing! Just found this blog post by Brian from yesterday, where he quotes Smedley Butler and lays out exactly what we have to do to bring about peace:

War is a racket. It preserves the racket of capitalism.

by S. Brian Willson

June 26, 2012

The US Marine Corps most highly decorated general in its history, Smedley Butler (1881-1940) wrote a biting and scathing indictment of capitalism and the role of the US military in preserving it. It was called “War Is A Racket” (1935). But it is important to understand that the political economy we call capitalism is a racket that depends upon its military to preserve it’s capacity to steal from everywhere benefiting a few people in the West, in this case, the USA, while outsourcing incredible amount of pain and suffering to other people and the earth.

Wikipedia: “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.”

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket

Nothing constructively durable can emerge in such a political economy thru its electoral and litigation processes. A humane culture arises from a decentralized people’s nonviolent revolution, radically downsizing our consumption patterns, while re-learning cooperation and sharing in thousands of bioregionally based food sufficient communities.

http://www.brianwillson.com/war-is-a-racket-it-preserves-the-racket...

Mark,

It's interesting how aligned we are when we provoke then listen to the stories revealing the heart's passionate asirations in our common humanness.  I often reflect how we are all innocent orphans, lost in the noise, confusion, distrust and despair just looking for our home in the midst of this "Get Money or Eat Dirt" running innovations upon innovations leaving us emptier and more alone, isolated and fearing in the mental structure of civilization. And I totally agree that the current mental structure is over, ended and non repairable.  Reform is like moving deck chairs on the Titanic.  

Where is the life boats we are looking for?

I am no defender of any injustice that uses self indulgent arrogance and aggression as a weapon of power in discourse to enslave the beauty and wonder in our human nature. Simultaneously, I recognize we are where we are in a global cultural matrix that has run out of time and where every human narrative needs listened to and valued as thread in a wonderful tapestry of enactive embodied presence in designing a new world together.  

You spoke of the bisons disappearing and today they are also returning, and who is to say that someday the Bison replaces the beef industry?  I have spent the last 8 years crossing over to a 3rd world country in my own backyard called American Prison Camp #334 Pine Ridge Reservation.  What I learned is that even in the most painful genocidal situational conditions within this arrogant aggressive patriarchal western civilization people in cultures conserve a biological wisdom continuum that you point to in the experience of your  story.  The Lakota have a word "Wolakota" which means "Treaty promising to live in peace and friendship without greed."  

What we are realizing in all these emergent creative collapsing opportunities in diverse domains of permanent human concerns is that political power has many unintended consequences in our social relations as a humanity.  We hunger for wholeness in living realization with one another, love, a heartfelt experience of feeling legitimate in coexistence with one another and the web of life.  Our (you) (i) authentic vulnerable imperfect identities are suffering in the patriarchal dance of the history that owns us and now "eats it's own" in war, education, politics, faith and commerce.  Liberating each other happens in human conversations in P2P (person to person) manners of appreciative dignity of speakers and hears; tango dancing in the presence of one another and embracing the emotional heart felt juices.  It's better than sex in my assessment!  

Yet, we live in a chaotic subjective relativism today where individuated epistemologies exist and have no ground upon which to stand and a belief may be justified for the wrong reasoning and there is no negative feedback loop for correction in society.  Is Larry Flint's right to pornography as a social community standard an equal voice to the Dalai Lama's understanding and teaching of human happiness as a monk?  Just because you can do something in the name of individual freedom doesn't mean it's ethically justified in truth or reality in agreeing to our collective standard practices of designing a future world together?  

What is you (I) (We) (Us) really want is the question, not necessarily where we are in ontological arguments based in old worn out epistemologies indoctrinating our current devisions as human beings I call Homo sapiens amans = wise~sing up social loving animals not gods.

Since 1984 I have been exploring a biological explanation called "Autopoiese" that is offering a constructivist epistemology where we leave forever ontological arguments of objective truth or reality, and take a stance opposing positivism based solely on sensual, romantic, psychic or fantasyland cultural belief systems, sometimes called blind faith or taken for granted paradigms in our global cultural indoctrinated belief systems of race, gender, tribal, nationality, religious, theoretical and commercial mores in culture.  The only ground in constructivist enactive embodied approach is your own autopoietic reflection in experience within constellations of human knowledge, general systems. No one knows where we are going in this leading edge reflection of cognitive science.  Imagine to start that we no longer have any assertions of truth or reality based on a transcendental authority to stand upon and one embraces the 1st Person experience in a living realization of being "a" observer giving a report intersecting "knowledge" arising in the commons we share as a humanity. Bateson's notion for "Steps in an Ecology of Mind" was an initial breakthrough of what we are up against in the hard rock certainties that are dividing us today.  Humberto Maturana in my assessment offers us a deep rooted biological understanding of love that literally opens an optimistic transformation capable of liberating human conversations and creative collapsing opportunities to a new discourse bringing forth radical changes in institutions and standard practices in designing a future world together.

Finally, I first met Ben Roberts in a notion of "Four Years to Go" where the intention was to create a "Platform for Change" that commits to change the world in four years.  A bold notion that requires everybody on board.  Over the past few months experiencing the "Occupy Cafe's" appreciative inquiry and dialog process in real time and pure play has inspired my engagement today as a voice. I submit appreciation in conversations is enactive embodied love in action and the process produces a "3rd Party" within the speaker and hearer's experience of an emergent arising creative commons based in friendship.  The domain of friendship is interesting to explore and understand because we all want friends and hate our bosses in daily living.  Some of us, like yourself Mark, would rather be homeless for years and suffer the marginalization in the cultural conditions then loose the autopoietic spirit in the heart of who we are.  Being different and hearing our own drummer in the swept along drift is never easy, yet, would anyone of us exchange where we are today to be a 1%'er living in the blind spot and missing the pain point we know now so well in the heart of the matter?  

Being committed to appreciative inquiry and dialog is a radical trans~formative experience in "listening" where the emotional cognitive autopoietic 1st person identity becomes an "observer of the observer" in dignified manners of communication.  Authenticity is what we desire in becoming whole and we see through "distinctions" in oral languaging with one another.  Any transcendental epistemology is a lense that creates a viewpoint and what is interesting is everywhere you look that is what you see in the world.  As an autopoietic Homo sapiens amans you choose to wear and participate in a new set of distinctions and lense where instead of division, war, strikes, violence, arrogance, aggression, exclusion and appropriation of power, one embraces social interactive dignity in presencing deep source knowing in living live speech utterances in authenticity connecting the heart felt experiences of getting to really know one another for a change.

You my friend are a blessing and I appreciate you and who knows where we walk together as the strategy enfolds us in walking together.  With authentic voices like yours the homeless, waifs, imprisoned, wounded warriors, and rebellious disruptors I am and love will reconstruct and redesign our broken down civilization. I invite any 1%'er's interested in fun(d) raising give~a~way sacred money to join this cadre of innocent orphans coming home and occupying earth once and for all!

Thank you, Mushin

By the way "I am very tired and exhausted by all the insanity in the human conditional situations and looking to vegetate in my 'No~Thing Box' soon."  Where does one go today to find that expansive space in the desert, cave or mountain top where autopoietic solitude, stillness and silence exists in experience with a living universe of beauty in the web of life?  Ahhh yes that Aloha Heart Experience Jitendra brings us where the "eyes" relax and we are home at last naturally breathing the wonder in momentariness.  

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Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

Mondays
"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT


Thursdays
"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

Latest Activity

Clay Forsberg posted a blog post

"Happy Birthday Occupy Wall Street ... thoughts on Year One"

Fifteen years ago, I ran across a book, "100 Most Influential People in History," during one of my dalliances to my local Marin County bookstore. "Influential People" was one man's assessment on exactly that. But how he determined his rankings was the interesting part. They weren't always the reasons you would think. But after thinking about it, they made complete sense. For example:George Washington was ranked in the top 40 of all time. Understandable. But the reason why ... not so much. You…See More
Sep 20, 2012
Clay Forsberg is now a member of Occupy Cafe
Sep 20, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a group
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Leadership Ecology

When a Leadership Ecology occurs, a web of relationships emerges revealing each person’s authentic leadership qualities through the transfer of their power to others. When done in a conscious way – a shared collaborative awakening happens.See More
Feb 6, 2012
Vic Desotelle posted a blog post
Feb 3, 2012

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