Dear Carrol,

It's so nice to agree with you!

Progress is used as a capitalist ploy to sell junk that is different  
but not better, but beyond that all I mean is plusque change plusque  
la meme chose.


Sent from my iPod

On Jan 16, 2010, at 1:59 PM, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Diana Manister wrote:
>> Dear Rick,
>> I don't believe in progress and only use the word sarcastically.
> O.K. This is promising. You state a propositon rather than reciting a
> rewarming inrumor of what some ism says.
> What do you mean by Progress?
> The Idea of Progress, i.e. of more or less steady "improvement"
> structured into history, is an 18th-c invention, and the ideology of
> Progress emerged from the rapid technological growth in the 19th &  
> 20th
> century. When Clugh wrote "Westward the sky is bright" (or something
> like that), he didn't mean that through (never guaranteed) struggle
> human coditions could be made more human, he meant that there was an
> inevitable process a foot which guaranteed that through smallsteps  
> the a
> utopian goal coudl be arrived at.
> This is the ideology that informs the liberal's fond hanging on to  
> their
> false expectations from Obama -- e.g. the claim that _any_kind of  
> health
> plan now, no matter how destructive, is a step that can be built on!
> There's an interesting anecdote about a French woman and an American
> woman on a torist bus in Spain. The American woman wants to know why  
> the
> French health system is so much better than the American. The French
> woman replies, "You see, in Ameria the people are afraid of the
> government; in France, the government is afraid of the people." For  
> just
> a few yars in the '60s we made the government in this country afraid  
> of
> the people. Hence Nixon did not use nuclear weapons, as planned, on
> Chinese installations in North Vietnam, and from that point on  
> adopted a
> double strategy (as Bismarck had a century earlier: On the one hand a
> whole pile of "progressive" measures; on the other hand rapid
> intensifying of repressive machinery throug the War on Drugs, the  
> War on
> Crime, etc., which on the ideolgoical front generated immense fear in
> the populacee of insecurity (on the principle of where there's smoke
> there's fire: i.e. the "war" on crime had as its central purpose the
> convincing of the population that the war on crime was needed. Then
> Clinton used the Oklahoma bombing as an excuse for the Effective Death
> Penalty and Anti-Terrorism Act. The result, a populace terrified of
> individual crime on the one hand and dependent on state repression to
> protect them and equally terrified on the other hand of the government
> doing anything useful, like build a decent rail system or a decent
> health service. Repression is Freedom. Serice is Slavery!
> So I don't believe in Progress either. There was, shall we say,  
> progress
> from about 3000 b.c.e. to 1000 b.c.e., and then from Greece to China
> that bronze-age civilization more or  less disappeared -- even the art
> of writing had to be reinvented.
> So I don't believe in Progress either. What do you mean by saying you
> don't believe in it?
> Carrol