Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Monday, December 06, 2004

capitalism, socialism and minestrone soup...

"I am but an egg" said Michael Smith, the main character in A Stranger in a Strange Land... And that pretty well sums me up too.

I am embryonic when it comes to understanding capitalism, socialism and why there's such a tension between these two ideologies that we had to have forty years of "cold war", the world's biggest and most deadly arms race, and lots of "little" wars, killing millions and causing untold destruction and heartache.

I'm only just beginning to see glimmers of light after decades of propaganda-induced darkness. And the more I see, the angrier I get about how I was misled and abused by my government, and how that's still happening. But that's another blog post still to come and it may have something to do with proposing the death penalty for political leaders who plead ignorance...

Back to the minestrone soup... Minestrone soup had its origins, centuries ago, in the soup kitchens the Catholic church provided to feed the many starving people, usually because of some war. Now back to the present...

Recently, I was puzzled and alarmed at our government's winding-back of welfare services and at the same time witnessing the government's promotion of "faith-based" welfare services. Seemingly unrelated, has been my puzzlement about why the communist regimes of both the Soviet Union and China had banned religions.

And then the penny dropped... It's about dependence... A person needing welfare services is dependent on the source of the welfare and is also naturally thankful and kindly disposed towards this source. This gives the welfare source great psychological influence over the welfare recipient. Ditto for education.

Now, since capitalism likes to hive-off welfare services and education to the church, and churches welcome this symbiosis because it gives them a grip on people's minds, is it surprising that the churches would sing the praises of capitalism and "educate" us about the evils of socialism and secularism?

And what are we seeing right now in America and here in Australia? Surprise, surprise, it's a major campaign against the "evils" of secularism. And the misinformation is coming at us thick and fast. Goebbels has taught them well...


Blogger Gerry said...

Notes to myself:
(1) Write something about how the symbiosis between capitalism and church has to do with capitalism only wanting to know about the "productive" elements of society and the church glady getting its teeth into the "unproductive" elemnts in society in return for a steady stream of faithful followers.
(2) Write something about socialism being a secualr welfare state and theocracies being religious welfare states.
(3) Read more, and thus hopefully discover that (1) and (2) have already been done by others far more brilliant than myself. Then go to the beach.

December 06, 2004 8:17 AM  
Blogger David said...

Well put and well written. I was calling in to say Hi now that I've joined the PBA, and I'm pleased that I did.
I think most of us are waking up to the fact that there's somebody behind the curtain (If you can remember The Wizard of Oz that comment makes sense.)
As for welfare dependency - it's great isn't it? that's why western aid agencies only dish out sterile wheat. It wouldn't do to let third world people plant their own!
Your subject matter today is very close to my own. Please check out "The Rise of Piety" and "Clowns to the Left of Me" which I posted on 23 and 24 november this year.
I was in Iraq last year, and got rather upset by the people who were calling me a baby killer. Now I'm out of it, I can't think why I ever thought I was proud to be there. I can sympathise with your change of heart on Vietnam over the years.
Sorry this is a long response but you struck more than one nerve. love the writing. I'll be back!

December 06, 2004 7:51 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Thanks for the kind comment, David. it's good to be talking with another veteran who's pierced through the propaganda of the new global slave masters. The trouble with most veterans is that they get sucked into the rhetoric of "having fought for their country", the medals, the hero worship, etc, and they feel that to be critical of war would be treason, or some such twaddle.
Good to see you're not one of those.

December 07, 2004 4:37 PM  
Blogger the urban fox said...

Your understanding isn't embryonic at all, that's modesty talking. You know a lot, and you see the military angle from the inside too.

This religion point is interesting. So it's happening in Australia as well as America? I'd heard that Bush was cutting welfare for non-Christian organisations but didn't know it was happening in other places too. Blair is supposedly a Christian but the government here does their best to keep religion out of politics. As their former spinmaster Alastair Campbell famously said to the press, "We don't do God".

Dependence sounds about right. How significant is religion in Australian life generally?

December 08, 2004 2:07 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

Fox, any "knowledge" I have was acquired informally and ad hoc. I've had no tertiary education unless you want to count the Bachelor of Operations from the Australian Institute of Hamburgerology (McDonald's, 1981), or the Army's How to Hate, How to get Really Really Angry, and How to Kill Shool of Advanced Mass-murdering (State Sanctioned).

As to your question: How significant is religion in Australian life generally? I used to think it wasn't all that siginificant, but lately I've been getting lots of vibes that suggest Christian churches have mounted a major MAJOR campaign to dismantle secularism in this country. Their polling improved in this recent eelction. This war is filling their pews again (yeah, war's good for "Every one's a winner, baby.." The dead go to heaven for fighting god's war, the remainder go to church to ritualise their grief whilst listening to proparanda preached about Faith, Hope and Charity (Love).

I can rant, but it would take a much more informed and articulate blogger than I to do a proper job on this subject. Maybe someone reading this would like to have a go? I'd more than welcome it (let me know when it's done, I want to read it too.)

December 08, 2004 9:22 AM  

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