Why Trump’s Election is So Upsetting - and What Can Be Done
By Dennis Loo (11/17/16)
People sense on a visceral level that a person who did almost everything it is possible to do wrong, did just that during the campaign, who had to change campaign teams three times because he ran into so many scandals and difficulty, who is morally corrupt in the worst possible way, makes fun of babies, immigrants, disabled people et al and dares to do this in front of large crowds, oozes bigotry, xenophobia, misogyny, and fear and loathing at almost everyone who is not named Donald J. Trump (unless he wants to sexually assault them or fail to pay them for work they did), who is spectacularly ill-informed, stupid, and who is too dumb and lacking in the most elemental self-awareness to even dimly understand what he doesn’t know, whose team and he did not expect to win, who violates just about everything decent and proper, who makes up facts to serve his purposes at the drop of a hat, and who seems the least meritorious person possible, should not be rewarded with the POTUS.
"Common Ground?" Trump's POTUS
By Dennis Loo (11/10/16)
I watched much of NBC's coverage last night regarding how Trump needs to act not as candidate but as president and how he needs to bring the country together. Obama said we are not Democrats and Republicans but Americans.
For those who are hoping to put lipstick on a pig, I have a question: how do you seek to find common ground with someone who's convinced and whose whole career to date is based on seeing others of a different race, religion, ethnicity, gender, nationality, and values as not just different but wrong, a threat, and inferior?
"Who are You to Say?" Reprise
By Dennis Loo (10/18/16)
I am republishing an article of mine that dates from a little over two years ago. It covers in depth certain key questions that are posed by this election and by these times. Some of these questions are timeless and some are more particular but if you are in any way dissatisfied with the level of public discourse now and even with the heightened level that key questions are analyzed and addressed in whatever arena (e.g., particpating and attending or presenting at a university, studying from a book of philosophy...) you may be in, this article devotes concentrated analysis to these issues. You will want to spend time mulling over these questions and reread very thoroughly sections of this piece to savor what is there because if you are an open-minded person and you sincerely want to figure out what's going on and what to do about it, then this was written with you in mind. Pay close attention to what is said and how it is said because the message and how the message is delivered are all important and apply to many different things.
For example, its discussion of the necessary and inevitable connection between freedom and necessity has major implications. Its discussion of the relationship between leadership, the led, and the true nature of group life bears close attention:
"If material reality exists, then distinctions must be made between different interpretations or understandings of what exists or else material reality (e.g., the greenhouse effect caused by burning fossil fuels) will slap you in the face, regardless of whether you want to recognize it or not. The question of material reality may be understood to include importantly within it the question of what is necessity relative to freedom. If you act as if there are no necessities and refuse to take necessities into account (e.g., global warming and ice caps melting due to it), then you are less free, not more free."
This site aims to accomplish two related goals. First, it complements Dennis Loo's book Globalization and the Demolition of Society so that people reading the book can get more deeply into it. (See navigation bar above, labeled "GDS Book Annotations"). We believe that his book is a landmark, providing a solid foundation for politics of a new path. Taking such a path is critical to humanity and the planet's future. As his book's dust jacket states:
[F]ree market fundamentalism - also known as neoliberalism - makes us not more secure or prosperous: it tears the social fabric and undermines security, leading inevitably to disasters on the individual, regional, and global levels.
Neoliberalism is based on the mantra that market forces should run everything. It aims to eliminate job and income security, the social safety net (including welfare and other social guarantees), unions, pensions, public services, and the governmental regulation of corporations. It consequently undermines the basis for people to voluntarily cooperate with authority as almost everyone is increasingly left by themselves to face gargantuan private interests, with governmental and corporate authority ever more indifferent to the public’s welfare.
Those in charge of our collective fates in government and business personify a heartless system based on profit and plunder. They have been relentlessly instituting profoundly immoral and unjust policies even while they insist that they are doing the opposite. We, on the other hand, stand for and are fighting for a radically different system and set of values than this.
Second, in order to get at the truth and because the ways in which humanity's historic striving for understanding and its capacity to wonder and imagine are very rich and diverse, we seek to reflect that richness and diversity on our site. See "About Us" on navigation bar. We intend to be engaging and compelling, as the best investigative journalism and art are, and relentlessly scientific, rigorous, and direct, as those who cherish the truth are. We believe that we can be both accessible and sophisticated. As Loo lays out in his book,
Defeating the empire is not something that occurs only on the literal battlefield. It is also something that is determined throughout the continuum of battles over many issues, including: ideas; philosophy; forms of organization and leadership in economy, politics, and other realms; ways of arguing; ways of responding to and respecting empirical data; interest in truth as opposed to expedience; how people and the environment should be treated; the nature of relations among people (e.g., between women and men, different races and ethnicities, rich and poor countries, etc.); ways of responding to criticism and ideas that are not your own; ways of handling one’s own errors and those of others; and more, all the way up through how warfare is carried out. The contrast between the methods and goals of the neoliberals and those of us who seek an entirely different world is stark. (Globalization and the Demolition of Society, Pp. 326-7)