Friday, June 30, 2017

Reformism: The Civilian Conservation Corps

"The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough to those who have too little." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the New Deal. Originally for young men ages 18 to 25, it was eventually expanded to young men ages 17 to 28. Robert Fechner was the first director of the agency. He was succeeded by James McEntee following Fechner's death. The CCC was a major part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal that provided unskilled manual labor jobs related to the conservation and development of natural resources in rural lands owned by federal, state, and local agencies.

The CCC was designed to provide jobs for young men, and to relieve families who had difficulty finding jobs during the Great Depression in the United States. At the same time, it implemented a general natural resource conservation program in every state and territory. Maximum enrollment at any one time was around three hundred thousand. Over the course of its nine years in operation, three million young men participated in the CCC, which provided them with shelter, clothing, and food, together with a small wage of thirty dollars, or about $547 equivalent to 2015 dollars. However, because these men were single, most of their wage, approximately twenty-five dollars, was sent home to their families.

The American public made the CCC the most popular of all the New Deal programs. Sources written at the time claimed an individual's enrollment in the CCC led to an improved physical condition, heightened morale, and increased employability. The CCC also led to a greater public awareness and appreciation of the outdoors and the nation's natural resources, as well as, the continued need for a carefully planned, comprehensive national program for the protection and development of the nation's natural resources.

During the period of time in which the CCC was functional, enrollees planted nearly three billion trees to help reforest America, constructed trails, lodges and related facilities in more than eight hundred parks nationwide, and upgraded most state parks, as well as, updating forest fire fighting methods. They also built a network of service buildings and public roadways out to remote areas. The CCC also operated separate programs for veterans. Despite its popular support, the CCC was never a permanent agency. It depended on emergency and temporary Congressional legislation and funding to operate. This meant that from time to time, for brief periods, there were occasions when the program was non operational. By 1942, with World War II and the draft in full swing, the need for work relief declined, and Congress voted to close the program permanently.

So, how Does this Relate to Reformism?

During the Great Depression, which occurred during the height of the Jim Crow Era, the CCC operated on a segregated basis. During the CCC's tenure, approximately fifteen thousand Native Americans participated in the program, helping them to weather the Great Depression, as well. Here is the first reason that this program can be said to be Reformist in nature. Native Americans, as is well known, were the first people to inhabit the Americas, yet during the Great Depression, the CCC only saw fit, as mentioned, to help fifteen thousand young men out of a population of 332,397 total people.

Further, these men were not allowed to work with whites, and though they were paid for their work, it is never mentioned that they were not paid as well as the white men that were in the program. For some reason, that detail is commonly omitted from the standard account of the story, as one might be able to take notice of in the section above. Such details always manage to get magically smudged out somehow. It is also never mentioned that once World War II broke out, Native American enlistment in the American Armed Forces far outweighed their allowed participation in the CCC. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

Here, a family of African American sharecroppers works to make ends meet during the Great Depression.

So, how else might this relate to Reformism? As was already mentioned, during the Great Depression, which occurred during the height of the Jim Crow Era, the CCC operated on a segregated basis. Now, it is important to note that FDR wanted his program to help everyone; however, he could not be everywhere at all times. The CCC was a federally funded program, yes; but, the states were given control over its daily operations. The states then delegated control over the program even further to smaller local governments. This basically meant that it was determinate upon local businessmen and political leaders who got CCC jobs and who did not, and it is well known that the Great Depression hit minorities much harder than it did whites.

Throughout the Great Depression, white unemployment numbers were near twenty-five percent. For minorities, such as African Americans, Latin Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and others; however, those numbers sometimes reached nearly fifty percent. Of all these groups of people, the group that was able to make it through the Great Depression without having to feel the sting of hunger quite as badly was African American sharecroppers. However, though they did not have to worry about being in debt to the federal government, they were most always in debt to their local landlords and in constant worry that they might be the next victim of a wild eyed lynch mob that the federal government was not yet prepared to prosecute. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Reformism: The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906

"Relentless, remorseless, it was; all his protests, his screams, were nothing to it--it did its cruel will with him, as if his wishes, his feelings, had simply no existence at all; it cut his throat and watched him gasp out his life." - Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (Chapter 3, pg. 41)

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was the first of a series of significant consumer protection laws enacted by Congress in the 20th century and led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration. Its main purpose was to ban foreign and interstate traffic in adulterated or mislabeled food and drug products, and it directed the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry to inspect products and refer offenders to prosecutors. It required that active ingredients be placed on the label of a drug’s packaging and that drugs could not fall below purity levels established by the United States Pharmacopeia or the National Formulary. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair was an inspirational piece that kept the public's attention on the important issue of unsanitary meat processing plants that later led to food inspection legislation.

The Federal Meat Inspection Act

The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 was a key piece of Progressive Era legislation signed by President Theodore Roosevelt. Accompanying this act was the Federal Meat Inspection Act. Enforcement of these acts was assigned to the Bureau of Chemistry in the U.S. Department of Agriculture which was renamed the Food and Drug Administration in 1930. The Meat Inspection Act was assigned to what is now known as the Food Safety and Inspection Service that remains in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The first federal law regulating foods and drugs, the 1906 Act's reach was limited to foods and drugs moving in interstate commerce. Although the law drew upon many precedents, provisions, and legal experiments pioneered in individual states, the federal law defined misbranding and adulteration for the first time and prescribed penalties for each. The law recognized the U.S. Pharmacopeia and the National Formulary as standards authorities for drugs, but made no similar provision for federal food standards. The law was principally a truth in labeling law designed to raise standards in the food and drug industries and protect the reputations and pocketbooks of honest businessmen, as well as, the health of the general public.

Enforcement of Labeling and Future Ramifications

The Pure Food and Drug Act was initially concerned with ensuring products were labeled correctly. Later efforts were made to outlaw certain products that were not safe, followed by efforts to outlaw products which were safe but not effective. For example, there was an attempt to outlaw Coca-Cola in 1909 because of its excessive caffeine content; caffeine had replaced cocaine as the active ingredient in Coca-Cola in 1903. In the case United States v. Forty Barrels and Twenty Kegs of Coca-Cola, the judge found that Coca-Cola had a right to use caffeine as it saw fit, although Coca-Cola eventually lost when the government appealed to the Supreme Court. It reached a settlement with the United States government to reduce the caffeine amount.

In addition to caffeine, the Pure Food and Drug Act required that drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, heroin, morphine, and cannabis, be accurately labeled with contents and dosage. Previously many drugs had been sold as patent medicines with secret ingredients or misleading labels. Cocaine, heroin, cannabis, and other such drugs continued to be legally available without prescription as long as they were labeled. It is estimated that sale of patent medicines containing opiates decreased by 33% after labeling was mandated. The Pure Food and Drug Act of 1906 is cited by drug policy reform advocates such as James P. Gray as a successful model for re-legalization of currently prohibited drugs by requiring accurate labels, monitoring of purity and dose, and consumer education. However, his opinion is not a common one, nor should it be.

So, how Does this Relate to Reformism?

This is the Coca plant from which the highly addictive drug Cocaine is produced. Currently, the United States government does business with Cocaine produces all across the Americas and helps to fund wars between competing cartels in an effort to centralize control over the industry.

The problem is the FDA. One can kind of get the sense of what is meant by this in the caffeine case mentioned in the previous section of this article, but let's start with the Meat Inspection Act here. When the FDA's predecessor was ordered to set regulations for the inspection of meat production in American slaughter houses, their order was to clean up the process to within reason. What this basically means, say for a beef slaughter house, is that they can have a certain percentage of non beef meat mixed in with their meat products and still pass a federal safety inspection. Here the government passes a law that is supposed to protect the health of its citizens, but because the beef industry has a hand in passing legislation regulating their industry, they are able to get away with putting the public's health at risk. So, they can get away with having some rat meat mixed in with their beef to a certain percentage, and the FDA will be standing there right next to them to support them if any legal troubles pop up. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other. That is just an early example.

Pictured above are Opium plants grown in Afghanistan. They are being guarded by American Soldiers. Opium plants produce the psychoactive substance, Ibogaine, which makes Heroine so addictive. The United States has been in Afghanistan since 2001, not for oil or to fight the War on Terrorism, but rather, to ensure the safe distribution of the world's largest supply of Heroin on the planet. Further, before this supply was secured, the Opium fields in Southeast Asia were supplying the US Pharmaceutical Industry. This was also the original purpose of the Vietnam War. Stopping the spread of Communism was never the real issue.

The FDA and the Pharmaceutical Industry

The real kicker is what is going on right now with the Pharmaceutical Industry, and the FDA is, of course, still right in the middle of the mess. Cocaine, heroin, and amphetamines are all secured legally by the government and illegally by people on the street. The government is supposed to tightly regulate the labeling, contents, and shipping into the country of any and all of these drugs used for medicinal purposes; and supposedly, they do. Yet, somehow, the United States has one of the worst street drug problems on the planet. Further, there are supposed to be strict limits on how medicines made from these drugs can be legally prescribed to patients by licensed physicians. However, again and again, patients around the United States are found dead in their homes from over doses, lying next to bottles illegally filled to the brim. Finally, and probably worst, the federal government has occupied the sources of the raw materials that make these drugs around the world. So, here is how it goes, the government passes laws regulating these drugs and then allows the pharmaceutical industry to get away with murder whilst, itself sends American sons and daughters off to war to secure these raw materials. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

This is the Khat plant. It is the root plant from which Amphetamine is produced. At present, the United States  does business does with several East African warlords in various countries where the plant is produced. Initially, the United States made an effort to take direct control of the market for this plant, which resulted in an absolute disastrous failure. This failure is remembered by history as the conflict in Somalia.

Now, right up until this moment, it has only been mentioned that the government has secured the regions of the world where these raw materials have been secured to feed the the Pharmaceutical Industry's needs. Now it is time to discuss how it is has done so to meet the needs of the illicit street drug trade. Instead of Oxycontin, pharmaceutical Heroin, you get Smack or Brown on the street. Instead of Narconon, pharmaceutical Cocaine, you can get either Blow or Crack on the street. Instead of Adderall or Dyanavel, pharmaceutical Amphetamine, you get Speed, Dope, or Ice on the street. The question then begs itself, "How do these chemically processed drugs find their ways onto America's streets so easily?" Ladies and Gentlemen, the answer to this question is not difficult, and as conspiratorial as it sounds it is still very much true. The raw materials for these street drugs make their way into this country on the very same ships, planes, and trains as the drugs going to the pharmaceutical industry. They just somehow get sidetracked along the away.  The government is supposed to regulate the flow of these raw materials in and out of the country. It is supposed to see to the safety of its people. The FDA is supposed to know what is going on, and it is supposed to report everything; however, it seems to be failing miserably. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

So, what is the solution to this problem? One might suggest that further regulations be laid down on these industries. One might suggest that the FDA be given more authority to keep track of when these materials are planted, when they are harvested, when they are transported, and when they enter the country, but it does not seem that that would do any good. Why is this? This is so, because, as always, there will always be backdoor loopholes that will allow people with money, power, or friends, or all three, to get around the rules. In this case, the people getting around the rules are institutions like the Central Intelligence Agency, the Drug Enforcement Agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Pharmaceutical Industry, private unregulated security agencies, paid off foreign governments, private citizens with money and power, and many other people who are invested in the process. The solution to the problem here is not more reformist regulation. The real solution here is to end the cycle of addiction, get people into detox programs, get people working, and then to help them to learn how to live normal lives again without the drugs that destroyed their lives in the first place. The problem for the powers that be, that being the Pharmaceutical Industry and the government; however, is that this is not profitable. They do not want to see the issue resolved. See, the government gives to the people in one hand and takes away from them in the other.

Freedom Equals Power

“It is difficult for me to imagine what “personal liberty” is enjoyed by an unemployed hungry person. True freedom can only be where there is no exploitation and oppression of one person by another; where there is not unemployment, and where a person is not living in fear of losing his job, his home and his bread. Only in such a society personal and any other freedom can exist for real and not on paper.” - J.V. Stalin

Let's talk about freedom, not freedom in any abstract idealistic sense, but freedom in real material terms. Theoretical freedom, after all, is just empty words. For example, the U.S. Constitution declares equality before the law for all citizens, and theoretically, guarantees freedom of the press to all of its citizens. Yet, is the homeless person's freedom of the press equal to that of the CEO of a major media outlet? Who truly has freedom of the press in reality and not merely in theory?  Do you spend most of your time on the job? How much freedom of speech do you actually think you can exercise there without being fired? Who has more freedom of speech, the average worker or their boss?

Actual freedom is about having tangible options, about having resources at one's disposal, so that one can actually put into practice that freedom. Freedom exists in objective reality; or else, it doesn't exist at all.

Freedom here in capitalist societies is directly proportional to the size of one's income. One's income, of course, is directly dependent upon how willing one is to throw others under the bus to achieve it, how willing one is to hoard power and effectively take freedom from others.

Freedom for oppressed groups is clearly, then, a question of their empowerment, about their conquest of power, but it can never be about joining exploitation. All liberation is a conquest for power, power that is not at the expense of others, hence all oppressed liberation must inherently be anti-capitalist.

Freedom for the greatest number of people requires their actual tangible equality, which is only possible where there is the greatest amount of social empowerment, that is democracy, as well as a level playing field where basic needs are met, which is socialism; and of course, socialism is defined by the worker control of the means of production in society so it is already inherently democratic.

Does freedom have limits? Absolutely, anything that exists in the real world has limits. The first set of these is obviously the natural limits imposed by physics. The second set of limits is those that make equality and democracy possible in society.  In order to meet the needs of society there needs to be a means of coordinating and directing resource distribution which requires a degree of centralized power. Sometimes, this means that the individual must be an adult and accept the limits necessary to make tangible freedom for everyone possible. For equality to exist, all unearned privileges must be given up, and all benefits based upon the exploitation of others must be abolished.

For example, when a doctor in a socialist nation seeks to abandon the people who taught him his trade and instead of meeting  their needs that would allow them to exercise their freedom goes to a capitalist nation to make a higher wage for himself, what freedom should triumph? Whose freedom is the more important?  Is it his selfish freedom, or the freedom of the sick people he refuses to treat?  Should not his freedom be restricted by the need for freedom for the sick people he is supposed to be treating.

Bourgeois freedom says the doctor is free to do as he pleases and the people are free to rot because of "Yay individualism!".

Proletarian freedom says that the doctor must be free to meet his social obligation because the freedom of people depends upon their well being.

Of course, the liberal individualist will cry against the limiting of the freedom of their sacred individual, and in doing so, merely expose their childishness. They sound no different from the child stamping their foot and crying "You can't tell me what to do! You're not my real dad!" We have no time for their childish selfish freedom.

What we really need, if we truly value real freedom for the greatest number of people in society, is a  democratic centralist socialist state, nothing less will do. Further, we need, ultimately, for all states to become such globally if we want freedom for everyone around the globe. Only at that point, when socialism dominates as a global system, will the fullest expression of human freedom become possible.

Monday, June 26, 2017

The United States Would be Better Off with a Parliament

"From a professional standpoint, it is my opinion that Parliamentary Systems of government, historically speaking, have always had a much better record of responding to the needs of their people than have had Constitutional Republics." - Kent Allen Halliburton

Parliamentary Systems 

A Parliamentary System is a system of democratic governance of a state where the executive branch derives its democratic legitimacy from its ability to command the confidence of the legislative branch, typically a parliament, and is also held accountable to that parliament. In a parliamentary system, the head of state is usually a different person from the head of government. This is in contrast to a presidential system, or Constitutional Republic, where the head of state often is also the head of government, and most importantly, the executive branch does not derive its democratic legitimacy from the legislature.

In parliament, the seats are appointed by the popular vote in each constituency. For example, a person running in a certain constituency would be elected by the popular vote in that constituency. Same goes for the head of state, assuming there is no monarch. For example, Hillary Clinton won 48.2% of the vote, but the electoral college elected Donald Trump, who only had 46.1% of the vote. However, in a parliamentary system, the head of state, President, who would only serve for ceremonial purposes and would have no executive power, would be elected by the popular vote of the nation. This would eliminate the electoral college putting the power in the hands of the American people. However, the Prime Minister, who would have executive power, would be elected by the party who won the most seats in the election. In the United States' case, the Prime Minister would currently be Republican due to the Republican majority in the Congress. 

Countries with parliamentary systems may be constitutional monarchies, where a monarch is the head of state while the head of government is almost always a member of parliament, such as the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden and Japan, or parliamentary republics, where a mostly ceremonial president is the head of state while the head of government is regularly from the legislature, such as Ireland, Germany, India and Italy. In a few parliamentary republics, such as Botswana, South Africa, and Suriname, among some others, the head of government is also head of state, but is elected by and is answerable to parliament. In bicameral parliaments, the head of government is generally, though not always, a member of the lower house.

Parliamentarism is the dominant form of government in Europe, with 38 of its 50 sovereign states being parlamentarian. It is also common in the Caribbean, being the form of government in 10 of its 13 island states. It is also the most common form of government in Oceania, otherwise known as the Pacific. Elsewhere in the world, like Africa and South and Central America, parliamentary governments are less common, but they are distributed through all continents, most often in former British Empire colonies. For a more detailed explanation of of parliamentary governments, click HERE and HERE.

Constitutional Republics

A Constitutional Republic is a state where the officials are elected as representatives of the people, and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government's power over citizens. A Constitutional Republic is the current form of government in the United States. A Republic, by definition, has two principle elements. First, it is controlled by Law; therefore, it does not control Law. Second, it recognizes the private independent sovereign nature of each person, man or woman, of competent age and capacity; therefore, a Republic must be representative in its nature.

A Republic recognizes Law as unchangeable, or at least that it can only be changed by a higher source than government. In a Republic the concept of “collective sovereignty” cannot exist, except with recognition that the State or nation, as a body of sovereigns, can speak through one elected voice; though that one voice can never lawfully interfere with the private rights of the individual sovereigns.

A Constitutional Republic is a government created and controlled, at least, by the Law of a Constitution. The Constitution of the United States of America was, in Law, a foundation based, in some parts, on the Bible, the Magna Carta, and the Declaration of Independence, among other documents, and historical references. Those sources recognize man’s sovereignty, the divine nature of man’s creation and man’s divine right to Life, Liberty, the means of acquiring and possessing Property, and the pursuit of happiness.

The purpose of a Constitutional Republic is to place limits on the tyranny of the majority. Alexis de Tocqueville wrote:

"If, on the other hand, a legislative power could be so constituted as to represent the majority without necessarily being the slave of its passions, an executive so as to retain a proper share of authority, and a judiciary so as to remain independent of the other two powers, a government would be formed which would still be democratic while incurring scarcely any risk of tyranny."

The United States Constitution has many protections against the "tyranny of the majority." Specifically, it protects the Unalienable rights of the People from an overreaching government. For example:

Congress cannot establish a religion, or prohibit the free exercise thereof—Amendment 1

Congress cannot prohibit free speech—Amendment 1

Congress cannot infringe on the right to keep and bear arms—Amendment 2

Senators must be elected by the States, not the people—annulled by Amendment 17

Habeas corpus shall not be suspended, except during invasion or rebellion—Article 1, Section 9

No direct tax shall be placed on the people without apportionment—Article 1, Section 9 - annulled by Amendment 16

Anything not explicitly permitted to Congress by the Constitution is reserved for the States or the People—Amendment 10


The problem with the American Constitutional Republic system, as good as it may sound to some, is how difficult is to amend the system of laws when things are not going well. From time to time, a given issue may require that the Constitution be amended in order for a particular subject to be settled. In order for this to happen, each house of the national Congress, the Senate and the House of Representatives, will be required to pass the amendment to the Constitution with a clear two-thirds majority. Then the the amendment bill will have to be sent out to all fifty states where it must then then be approved by at a clear three-fourths of all of the state houses in those states each of whom have varied rules about how they require such laws to be passed in their states. The time that this could take is unimaginable. The record for such a period of time for an amendments passing sits at 202 years. There has to be some serious political force behind an amendment bill for it to pass within any reasonable amount of time. Now, it is possible that Congress could simply pass legislation to the effect of the amendment, but good luck getting the states to comply with the legislation if they are not willing enforce it.

Now, compare this to the Parliamentary System. In this system things are much more simple. If a party's piece of legislation fails to pass, this means that the sitting government has lost the faith of the people, and in most systems, this will automatically lead to new elections. After which, a new government will be formed, under the rule of the new party or their ruling coalition, which will then rule the country until they too fail to pass the needed legislation to carry out the agenda that got them elected. In this manner, a country's political mood can shift more easily and a politician that is disliked can find themselves unseated with a lot more ease, as opposed to people in a Constitutional Republic being forced to sit on their hands while a leader they don't like sits in the seat of power as he or she's likability numbers seek to historical lows.

Applying this to the United States

Over the past year, we have witnessed, as a nation, the most controversial presidential election in decades, arguably giving Nixon’s reelection a run for its money. All three candidates came out to show their teeth and it got ugly. In the end, due to the Democrat’s being so damn corrupt, just as much as the Republicans; they failed to choose a nominee that actually represented their constituencies' beliefs. As a result, this country is now stuck with a spray tanned buffoon as President for the next four, possibly even eight years. However, the presidency wasn’t the only controversial election. Congress had its own issues. Again, in the end we ended up with a Republican majority in both houses. Now we must pray to our gods that the Republicans can’t get anything done, or at least do any major damage, but this sparked my interest. What if the United States didn’t have a Congress, and instead had a parliamentary system of democracy? My main idea is that average citizens should have more of a chance of being represented at the highest levels of government, and that politicians should be held more closely accountable.

The United States Constitutional Republic is failing and its time for a controversial change to the system. Parliamentary systems work far better for far many more reasons than are listed here. Due to the way parliamentary systems work;  right now, Congress would have to call for a snap election that Donald Trump would likely lose to whoever his opponent is. We are living in a crucial time in history where the law is being ignored by most of our politicians, and because we live in a Constitutional Republic, we are forced to endure corruption and vice for much longer than is fair. We need to actively consider starting a movement in the United States that will press for the formation of a parliamentary system of government that will truly more accurately represent the needs and interests of the American people. When the people don't believe that they are being heard, they give up. A parliamentary system of government will give the people a better chance to feel included in the decision making process, and allow them to develop a closer more mature relationship with their government.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Morality REQUIRES Taking Care of Others

"Without understanding there can be no compassion, without compassion there can be no love." - Jung

Morality REQUIRES taking care of others, not just those you like.

It's way past time for another Reformation, millennials are not attracted to the Church. Church is for the Old People, and without new converts and worshipers religion is dying. Long live God.

This is not a bad thing. It just means that people can now contemplate God without someone in their ear telling them that they are wrong, The church should not be a place to chase after authority. No one person knows what God wants in your life. This is between God and you. The Church is just a vehicle to share one's beliefs; it is not a place to dictate a specific way of life.

Millennials want to learn how to relate to others, They want to be responsible for their own decisions. They do not want to kiss the pastors butt to get grace and love. Where in the bible does it say to kiss the pastors butt?
The pastor is allowed to challenge us in our walk, but when we challenge him, we get censored? How does that teach others how to behave? All that does is teach people to cut anyone out of their life that does not agree with them. Jesus commissioned us to form relationships, to reach out to the 'Least' of his children, not to kick everyone out of the club that is difficult. This is how the Church is going Extinct. They do NOT want to reach out to the 'least' of us, they want an echo chamber, and anyone who does not believe the way they do, gets ostracized and made to feel bad.

How does this win Converts? "My way or the Highway" is wrong on all levels for the church. If you can't find the arguments to minister to those who disagree without shaming them, you are NOT promoting God, you are promoting your own beliefs. You can't get new believers by shaming them. Millennials are sick and tired of the Shame Mentality. Just because one can form an insult, does not make that insult True. Where does Jesus say to minister to people by shaming them? Just because Shame motivates you, does not mean shame motivates others. All it does for Millennials is piss them off, and drives them away from the Church.

I have visited like six churches in Montrose, and most all of them had more old people in them than young. This is a Red Flag that Montrose churches are doing something wrong. They are not even trying to appeal to the younger generation. It's like they do not care anymore, they just want their 'Safe Place' free of struggle and emotional challenges. They Claim the younger generation is lazy. Well, the Church is lazy because they do not want to change their ways to appeal to the younger generation. It's like they have given up, like they do not care that a whole generation is not getting ministered to. For them, it is easier to just go to church and watch the show, and to pretend to be 'Religious' by following the rituals, as if the rituals means anything. 

Then they shame anyone who has issues they want to address. When I share my disability, they try to convince me I do not have a disability. When I do not share the disability, they try to convince me how screwed up I am. Reactionary religion Does NOT make your case. Most people do not care what others have to say. If they disagree they get shamed. As is my case, no matter how I present my disability, the religious find a way to spin it to shame me. I can't help getting angry at this. It tells me that they do not reach out to others with issues, like the only ones acceptable in church are those that can hide their dysfunctions, those who pretend to be 'Perfect' without fault, without sin. What they do not realize, is that in reality, these types of religious people are called Pharisee's in the Bible, and Jesus preaches against these churches, and like Jesus, so do I!

You have shamed a whole generation and wonder why you can't attract Millennials, You have lost your way, you care more about obedience than ministry, you chase money and favors, as if that ministers to the young. The young that money Godly. The Church is supposed to build people up, not tear them down; they are supposed to teach people how to be responsible, not point out how irresponsible they are. Essentially, the church does NOT allow people to be responsible for their decisions. If their decisions do not line up with their 'doctrine' they are shamed, made to feel 'Less than Human,' made to feel like the 'Least' of them.

Jesus did NOT commissioned the church to objectify who the 'Least' of us are. You are Not commissioned to point at people and convince them how worthless and ungodly they are. To do this, only proves that you do not understand the Commission of Christ, and that you are trying to make yourself feel worthy, instead of trying to make others feel worthy. This self centeredness is obvious to the Millennials, and they can see the motivations are self centered within the church. Further, they do not buy into it. They are more educated than the previous generation and get turned off when you try to subvert that education by ignoring it to promote your own ideas of God. They understand truth better than previous generations. the Church should be open to Truth; but they are not, they do not allow themselves to hear from God if God does not present in the way that the church teaches. 

What they are failing to realize in their small world is that God is BIGGER than the church. God does not authorize the church to subvert God's work in other people's lives. God knows the heart and can work with it, even in the hearts of non-believers. So many times I have seen people be receptive to God, only to get 'turned off' from God by the pharisee's in the Church, trying to justify their own religiosity. "Look at me, i am following the ritual, God loves me for following the Ritual"....No..God Loves you when you give another a sense of Worth, not yourself. Jesus sacrificed himself for the poor and hungry, for those that need healing, he was not afraid to help others, he did not scream "I can't help you, that would take away your incentive to better yourself!"

Hypocrites, or those who call themselves Christian, will use any excuse to not help others get a sense of worth, as if they are worth more by promoting against helping others. Morality REQUIRES taking Care of others, NOT just your Friends, or those who contribute money to the church, but anyone who is need. Chasing money is against what Jesus preaches. A person's worth is NOT dependent on how much money they have, in fact Jesus preaches against chasing money and kissing the butts of the rich. Appealing to those with money is not moral, and shaming those without money is WRONG on all levels according to Jesus.

And now to present an idea.....

Every church I have ever been to, has one man trying to teach God. This is unfair to that man, as it puts the burden on only one person to be 'responsible' for others emotional state of being. They do not teach people to be responsible for their own emotional state of being so much. There is A LOT of pressure on the pastors to NOT offend anyone, as if he can control how others feel. Now this is not an idea for one man. This is an idea to get more than one man at the front of the church. A lot of pastor complaints I have heard is that the congregation is only there for the show. So OWN that, put on a show, have more than one person up on stage during service. Show that there is more than one path to God. Show people HOW to disagree, not how to persecute anyone who disagrees. At least two people on stage during service has the potential to show people how to disagree. Reinforce this with Bible Study. 

IMO Bible Study is where the Magic happens, where we have the opportunity to form relationships and teach people how to disagree. The Service should be a draw to encourage people to attend Bible Study. Bible Study is NOT supposed to be a mini service, it is BORING listening to one man as if they are supposed to know God better than anyone else in attendance, as if they are the only authority of God in the whole room. God gives us each a piece of the puzzle, We will never be able to see God, if we are fighting over who has the 'best' piece of the puzzle. God gives us each a piece, it is through sharing that we see more of God, not by persecuting those who do not believe the same, not by kicking anyone out of the church who disagrees. Working together with one another is the best way to see that in reality, we are all small pieces of a greater puzzle.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Reformism: A "Middle Class" Disorder

"The liberal bourgeoisie grant reforms with one hand, and with the other always take them back, reduce them to nought, use them to enslave the workers, to divide them into separate groups and perpetuate wage-slavery. For that reason reformism, even when quite sincere, in practice becomes a weapon by means of which the bourgeoisie corrupt and weaken the workers. The experience of all countries shows that the workers who put their trust in the reformists are always fooled." - Lenin, "Marxism and Reformism" (1913)

On December 6th, 1865, the ruling class of the United States fully ratified the 13th Amendment to its national Constitution, officially ending chattel slavery within the US. Make note that I say officially, as after all the fighting to make the amendment happen, the wording of the amendment left a gaping hole for slavery to continue by simply moving it into the prison system. Laws passed afterwards made sure to intentionally target African American communities. This has since lead to what is now a booming Prison Industrial Complex, which exists to this day, even as the amendment is held up as proof of American equality and progress.

On June 16th, 1933, the ruling class of the United States allowed the passing of the Glass-Steagall Act. This legislation was designed to build a legal barrier between commercial banking and investment banking. By the 1960s, however, that very same ruling class was allowing Savings and Loan Associations and Securities Firms to take advantage of various loopholes in the legislation. By 1999, with the law essentially no longer effective, President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, signed legislation repealing the Glass-Steagall Act.

The white working class, in the United States, began organizing for reforms in the 19th century. Though their work did usually, and unfortunately, come at the expense of minorities, the ruling class did make concessions. Some of the reforms that were earned were the forty hour workweek, the eight work day, a guaranteed minimum wage, work safety standards, and the like; however, much like the passage of the Glass-Steagall Act, such reforms came with a price. The ruling class responded by union busting, which allowed them to lower wages again, forcing workers to work multiple jobs to make ends meet and negating the eight hour workday. Minimum wage laws were further circumvented by the implementation of labor for tips, under the table pay, and even outright wage theft. In other places, where high wages and high taxes ate into profitability, jobs were gradually outsourced. 

Truly, the ruling class giveth, and the ruling class taketh away.

However, in the meantime, predominantly white American workers enjoyed, and quite a few still enjoy, benefits and wages much higher than the rest of the world. Further, these benefits are directly dependent upon the exploitation of those countries where the wages and living conditions of the general population are far below what is considered livable according to modern standards. These well off workers, a "labor aristocracy," and the small business owners they are associated with are together referred to as the "middle class."

This artificial "Middle Class," which is actually cobbled together from members of two economically distinct classes, is held onto as the sacred core of the "American Dream," and the ruling class works overtime to sell this concept to the people. This works out very well for the ruling class, as the very existence of a broader "middle" class softens class struggle for them as they seek to limit access to this artificial "middle" class that they have created. The regular proletariat often finds themselves desiring the benefits of the labor aristocracy rather than seeking the liberation they need. The labor aristocracy gains people to look down upon as well as people to look up to. They gain benefits and higher wages that give them a comfortable lifestyle; and as such, they have no interest in revolution or liberation in anything other than name. 

Now, because they are basically comfortable beneficiaries of an unjust system, labor aristocrats have developed a characteristic disorder that can be referred to as the trap of Reformism. Further, as soon as that system and their position in it are in trouble, they begin demanding reforms that will make them comfy again. This faith in reform is blind, of course. The ruling class only grants them reforms in order to pacify the populace and artificially prop up its system again. Further, it makes sure that those reforms are easily repealed or circumventable through various loopholes or other evasive maneuvers. The question is, of course, why should they be expected to do anything less? Why should they not be expected to look out for their own well being and the well being of their fellow rulers?

So, when a reformist politician like Bernie Sanders or Dr. Jill Stein speaks of expanding the American Middle Class, we know what they are really saying. They are saying: "Vote for me, and I will gain concessions that will make you feel better, that will give you back the comfort you feel is threatened, and that will return you to the New Deal you were promised. I will make America great again!" Noam Chomsky's compares the work that either would be able to get done now to the work that was done by Eisenhower in the 1950s.

So, how will this happen? The same way it has always happened. It will come with temporary concessions bought with brutal imperialism that the labor aristocracy gives barely a thought to. There is, of course, always the underlying nationalism in there, not speaking of the global working class or even a global "middle class." It is only the American middle class that matters. Everyone else can apparently go pluck a hair. Such is the ideology of American reformism. Just give us people to look down on and people to worship, or at least look up to, and everything else will be just fine.

So, in an era when it looks like everything that this country has built up for over a century is about to crumble, what is the best these reformists can offer? "Oh, I am not a Liberal, I am a Progressive, and I promise that I can actually get some real changes made." All things considered, this comes off as about as genuine as the Christian who declares themselves to be spiritual but not religious! We know the concessions they want from the ruling class. They want women and people of color to be included in the exploitative class, where they too can have the opportunity to rob the working poor of what is left of their dignity. They want the LGBTQA community to be given an equal share in the ability to order drone strikes on innocent civilians at the behest of the United States' corporate master's in the Military Industrial Complex. To be given such equality next to the divinity of the white man would be such an eternal blessing.....

Ah yes, let us worship Beyonce and Obama as the height of Black Liberation. This is, of course, forgetting that Beyonce's product line is made by exploited nonwhite workers, and that Barack Obama spent more on the military than did George Bush, Jr. as he bombed more people than any other U.S. President in history to date. Or, perhaps, we should worship Gal Gadot and Hillary Clinton? Not so fast. Gal Gadot denies the Palestinian Genocide committed by her native Israel, even though the numbers are clearly unmistakable and easily researchable. So she it out. So, what of Hillary? As, Secretary of State, she sat side by side with President Obama bombing foreign nations that would not cooperate with the United States' foreign economic agenda, and most always, it was against brown people. So much for America's "Progressive" icons, eh?