About ahumanistsperspective

I believe in the capacity for genuine goodness in all people.

On Biblical Standards and Natural Understanding

The Bible is a volume of writings which were hand selected (and in some cases hand edited) by the early Roman Church in the 4th century CE, and subsequently deemed as the exclusive and sacred word of God. About a thousand years later, these same writings were divided and organized into chapters, verses, and into a two fold division of an “Old” and a “New” Testament. The earlier major section of these writings reflects the personal, social, and religious values of a relatively isolated, desert people of an era of some two millenniums past; whereas the latter section reflects the ethical values of the Greco-Roman era of a slightly later time. The latter section likewise seems to serve as the subtext for a 2nd CE struggle between two general factions of the then recently conceived religious movement known as Christianity.

Each of the two major sections of the Bible center upon creative tales and embellished claims of the development of a select chosen people of God into an influential and powerful collective. In the first major section, that collective was visualized as the great and powerful nation of Israel. In the latter section, the collective so visualized was the institutional Church. There is a sense of validity to the existence of the respective collectives themselves, though in each case the chronology of the claimed circumstances are debatable, and the actual extent of influence and affluence are seemingly overstated, that is if taken literally.

The writings of the former major section are primarily composed of ancient Hebrew mythology, poetry, preaching, and the biased, fanciful tales of the over exaggerated national empire heretofore mentioned. The humble state of the allegedly once significant people is attributed to sin and faithlessness of the people themselves.

Meanwhile, the latter major section (evidently written primarily in the 2nd century CE) opens with the narrative of a wildly popular itinerant preacher who captured the interest and following of the local peasants, who conversely drew the ire of the religious establishment of the day, and who eventually was executed as a blasphemer. This young cleric’s claims of an impending apocalyptic crisis, coupled with the conclusion to the narrative being an empty grave and a claim that he was resurrected, lead to ever evolving claims of immortality, ascension, and even deity.

Although the content of the biblical narratives are primarily mythical tales, nonetheless there is no denying their worldwide influence even to this day. The first major section of the Bible is the forerunner for and serves as the foundation of the three major global monotheistic religions; namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The latter major section though is primarily the domain of the numerous sects of the Christian religion. In this respect, the influence of these texts in a variety of cultures simply cannot be overstated or underestimated.

Perhaps the most profound such influences have been realized in the realm of social relations. The adaptation of ancient thinking and harsh standards to modern societies has involved a predictable share of problems and unfavorable influence. Unfortunately, a number of unseemly social and systemic issues which plague contemporary cultures are founded upon biblical ideology. Such include:

Patriarchy, Sexism, and Misogyny.
State sanctioned murder (aka Death Penalty, Capital Punishment)
Theocratic justifiable murder
Infanticide
Genocide
Religious Bigotry
Institutional Slavery/Exploitation of Labor
Sex Slavery
Militarism
Imperialism
Colonialism
Homophobia
Xenophobia

This list is not necessarily totally exclusive, and by all means some the of cited issues may overlap with each other. For example, the Old Testament authorized (even commanded) that non virgin newlywed wives should be executed for crimes against Israel. Such would constitute both Misogyny and Capital Punishment, which are each social issues to themselves, but in this case, they clearly overlap. There are several other such instances, but this example suffices for the moment.

The presumption then that biblical writings are of a sacred nature unfortunately can leave the false impression that the thinking of the people and the way of life of those depicted in biblical literature are somehow just and correct simply as a matter of record. And so to many people, mere biblical statements and examples are their basis to justify debatable social practices. And so, one might quote “an eye for an eye” to justify Capital Punishment, or “if any will not work, neither let him eat” to justify cutting funding for Food Stamps, with no need for further deliberation or alternative considerations. There is undoubtedly a “the Bible says it, that settles it” mentality among a large demographic of our society, but such is based upon the heretofore mentioned presumption that biblical writings are sacred in and of themselves.

Now, to be certain as to the matter; not all Jews, Muslims, and/or Christians are bigoted, homophobic, or misogynists; and for that demographic of religious monotheists I have the utmost respect. It is not easy for a Christian to take a “live and let live” perspective with regards to the LGBTQ community while they hear homophobic propaganda from their Preachers, nor is it easy for peaceful Muslims to conduct their lives while being slandered for the deeds of extremists Islamists. But the fact remains that the social values of many monotheists; especially here in the Southern region of the US, are based upon the social values of a desert people from an isolated region of over 2,000 years ago.

And thus the conclusion of the matter at hand:

Shall we, as individuals and as collective societies, base our standards upon our own natural understanding of “right and wrong”, or shall we base such on ancient writings from harsh and somewhat barbaric cultures? Shall we trust our common sense and natural sense of compassion as a moral guide, or shall we trust the harsh standards of a people of antiquity?

I suggest that such queries are not so much a matter of faith or religious ideology, but a much more basic reality of natural existence and common sense.

As for me, I choose to trust my own natural understandings.

But to each their own.

On “Getting Things Done”: A Contrast of Socialism and Capitalism

One of the great myths with which Capitalists malign the theory of socialism is the assertion that in such a society slothfulness would prevail, and nothing would “get done”.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth.

Socialism is by no means a theory of inactivity, but rather one of communal effort towards the common good. And therein lies the distinction between Capitalism and Socialism. For each theory is based upon communal activity. The distinction then between the two social theories is not one regarding “work”, for each theory is based upon communal activity.

Rather, the distinction between Capitalism and Socialism is that the former exploits communal labor for concentrated profits; whereas the latter utilizes such for communal provisions. Such is the underlying fear of the Capitalist with regards to the concept of Socialism. For in the mind of the Capitalist, nothing is “getting done” if profits are not the end result of communal effort.

In the mind of the Capitalist then, a broad based distribution of the produce of communal labor is a waste, for Capitalism is not based on the theory of provisions, but rather of profit. If there is not an accumulation of profit for the controlling classes, then the Capitalist concludes that nothing is “getting done”.

But the theory of Socialism is not based upon accumulated and hence concentrated wealth, but rather is based upon a broad based distribution of provisions secured through communal effort. In the mind of the Socialist then, nothing is “getting done” if wealth is concentrated in the possession of a few, while the miserable masses suffer from a case of systemic poverty.

Contrary then to the assertion of the Capitalists that Socialism is a social theory which would breed slothfulness and inactivity; rather we Socialists would see the produce of our efforts utilized for the common good and general welfare (Don’t let the term “general welfare” scare you, for the term actually appears twice in the Constitution; first in the Preamble, and again later in Article 1; Section 8, the section that discusses the obligations and duties of Congress).

For in the mind of we Socialists, the question of whether anything is “getting done” depends upon the utility of the produce of of our efforts, rather than whether a controlling beneficiary pockets accumulated wealth from those efforts.

“From each according to ability” then is our pledge to roll up our sleeves and work, and “to each according to need” is our uncompromising demand as to what we would see done with the produce of our labors.

For concentrated profits from communal labors is not the way of Socialism. Rather we seek a society based upon the common good and the general welfare as the yield of our communal efforts.

For such is what we Socialists call “getting things done”.

On Order and Anarchy

Order without power is anarchy.

Power, on the other hand, is necessary in order to enforce disorder. Thus, layers of authority figures are utilized to enforce a system of wage slavery. A system in which communal efforts yield a concentrated return. That is, the efforts of the many yield profits for the few.

No collective would initially agree to such an arrangement without the threat of force and power, yet the masses have been conditioned to accept their place as submissive servants in such a very arrangement. Hence, the power of conditioned response in order to meet systemic ends.

Anarchy seeks no such arrangement.

Order midst cooperative efforts for the common good requires no conditioning nor constraints, but mere common sense in order to meet common needs.

The administration of the affairs of social anarchy then is the execution of deliberated decisions midst peaceful collectives towards broad based and mutually beneficial ends.

For order without power is anarchy.

On Conditioned Ideology and Collective Insanity

It seems to me that one of the fundamental challenges to social transformation is the conditioned ideology of the Capitalist society. The effect has ever been there, yet the past 40 years of hate radio and propaganda on behalf of the controlling classes has yielded a collective insensitivity and insanity heretofore unrealized. At least in recent history.

I say “insensitivity” because of the hard heartedness of the masses towards those living in poverty, both here and abroad. From the controlling classes, such is predictable. Not understandable, but predictable. But from the masses, such is insane.

I say “insane” because the masses promote their own exploitation. So much so that they will defend and debate on behalf of the very system which secures the bonds of their own wage slavery. The exploited inexplicably act against their own interests, engaging in the process of their own exploitation by a sentimental support which can only be explained as a conditioned insanity, and hence enable the process which creates suffering both here and abroad (I speak from the perspective as a resident of the USA).

Until the thinking of the people can be transformed through education to the end of realizing the insanity of acting against our own best interests; and until we accept the urgency of circumstances as we have allowed them to become, then humanity is doomed to the dungeon of our own defiance against our own emancipation.

Capitalist Island

Happy Labor Day to all working class people (pretty much everyone with whom I am personally acquainted)

A Humanist's perspective

By the strangest of circumstances,
A group of 10 previously unknown,
Were deserted in a far off sea,
A tropical isle they now commonly owned.

We must work together, said one;
And together erect 10 huts.
If we will only cooperate,
Then we won’t find ourselves in a rut.

We must also gather food,
So each one of us can eat.
We will share what we gather,
At an appointed place we will meet.

Most everyone agreed,
Yet as plans were underway,
A certain man stepped forward,
He had something he wished to say.

Everyone was silent,
As this man made his case,
He said equality is wrong,
Then he volunteered to run the place.

He explained that their plan,
As pleasant as it might seem,
Was actually Socialism,
Contrary to the American Dream.

Cooperation is a liberal plot,
And sharing lacks the appeal,
Of good old fashioned competition,
Then he…

View original post 178 more words

On A Limited Libertarian Socialism

It is my personal opinion that a society which operates in accord with limited Libertarian Socialist values could potentially be the most humane and the most practical of all prospective systems which I myself have considered. This is not to say that there may not actually be social systems better suited for human cohabitation than those which I have researched to date; however among those systems which I have researched, I prefer limited Libertarian Socialism to the alternatives.

I qualify my Libertarian views as limited, in that I do believe that a minimum of social structure is necessary in order to ensure mutual benefit and the common good of each and every person, the latter expressing the sought end of any society of my personal preference. As I am clearly a Socialist, my thoughts as to limited government may seem contradictory, but frankly, my observations of government in general are that such seems to inevitably evolve into layers of illegitimate power and assumed authority which are unnecessary and at times outright oppressive.

It is likewise my observation that most people tend to do the right thing quite naturally, seemingly as a matter of personal principle, as opposed to as a response to an external coercive power such as a law or rule of social engagement. Frankly, most people don’t need a law in order to live peaceably within the realm of their social relations. Sensitivity for the feelings of others as a natural governor of social conduct is the norm, hence autonomy is for the most part a reliable guide for such. The exceptions to those who choose to live peaceably with others, and the existence of those who exploit others in unfettered circumstances; however would necessitate a limited, democratically directed structure for the purpose of protecting principled people from those with malevolent intent in any given social setting.

As to Socialism itself, I maintain that the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need” is a practical guide for any society, and one which maintains an ethical high ground in terms of seeking the best for everyone. I certainly regard such as preferable to any form of Capitalism. The social experiment known as neo-liberal Capitalism, which has been the prevailing process here in the US since the late 70’s, has proven to be a pitiful failure as a medium to provide for the general welfare (a Congressional responsibility according to Article 1 Section 8 of the US Constitution), yet such has been a smashing success as a get rich and stay even more wealthy scheme for the upper 1% among our society. The last few decades have seen a decline in the leverage of the working class to the extent that collective bargaining is becoming a practice of the past, an alarmingly inequitable distribution of financial resources between the wealthy and the working poor to an extent unrealized in this country for almost a century, which has resulted in a working class whose existence is a dependency upon wages that have seen no noticeable increase for almost 40 years. Our society is in dire straits, and we have neo-liberal capitalism to thank for our miserable state of affairs.

Inasmuch then as the cause of Socialism is just, it subsequently seems to me that we should be able to transform a given culture by intelligent persuasion and passionate appeal to the principles upon which Socialism is founded. In fact, it is my personal opinion that most people are Socialists, they just don’t realize such to be the case. Most people believe in the principle of “from each according to ability, to each according to need”. Most people feel it is wrong to allow someone to suffer. Most people feel it is wrong for some to hoard resources while others suffer. Most people seem to hold Socialists views, for Socialism is based upon basic principles which are so universal that in everyday life they are almost assumed.

That said, I maintain that the means to secure a Socialist society is by way of passionate but intelligent persuasion, and perhaps there is no time more opportune for such than the 21st CE.

We live in the age of the information highway, the social media, Youtube, and Instagram. Now, I personally am a techno fossil. I actually use my cell phone primarily to place calls, which seems to put me in the minority. But even an old throwback like me can navigate FB, email, or blog. And I can also present my case on behalf of Socialist principles in everyday conversation, which I try to do as reasonable opportunity allows.

The case against Capitalism as an evil system is a case which should be maintained persistently, but one of the fundamental evils ever present to such is that Capitalism must be secured and maintained by brute power. There is no righteous basis for Capitalism, and certainly no one would voluntarily choose such as a viable social system, save for those who are greedy and insensitive enough to exploit the misery and services of others for their own gain and gratification. Certainly no one would volunteer to be exploited at the commencement of a start up society; hence no one would willingly choose Capitalism as a social system of choice. Thus, Capitalism is a system which has to be secured and maintained by way of brute power, and the history of Western Civilization reveals such to have been the case.

Ours is a just cause, theirs is an evil and sinister system. Most people don’t realize this, and consequently vote and propagandize against their own self interests.

I am for peaceful, persistent, private and public appeal to the intellect of my human peers in pursuit of a society based upon mutual benefit and shared responsibility, established and maintained not by brute force, but by way of voluntary cooperation.

Such as they are, these are some of my general thoughts as to a society based upon limited Libertarian Socialists values.

The Adverse Effect Upon Children In The Era of Trump

I have observed for several years now that Conservative ideology prioritizes the right to profit over the needs of the people. Such has always disturbed me. But now that we are living in the “Era of Trump”, I have observed a focal point of that general ideology which escalates my concerns to a sense of urgency heretofore unrealized.

I am highly disturbed by the fact that in less than 2 months since Donald J. Trump assumed the Office of the Presidency, that several policies have been enacted or are in the works which result in harmful effects upon CHILDREN.

I find such to be inhumane, indefensible, and unequivocally unacceptable.

Consider the following examples:

1. The Muslim Ban has terrorized and potentially threatened the safety of CHILDREN. Families from war torn region are banned from entering the land of liberty, thus creating terror for the children whose parents must now find a place for their already displaced loved ones to settle and live. Who knows the perils that await such CHILDREN due to this insensitive and inhumane ban against immigration.

2. The Deportation of people whose only “crime” is being here has terrorized and potentially threatened the safety of CHILDREN. Families have been torn apart as children have witnessed their parents taken from their homes and disappeared. School children live in terror that their Mother might not be there after school to take them to the safety and security of their homes. Then once these precious children are home they live in terror that perhaps their Father might not come home in the evening from work as he has done so each and every day of their lives. And then to compound the terror that burdens the minds of these innocent children, they go to bed each night terrified that at sometime during the night their parents might be taken away by the Authorities and disappeared, and that they themselves might be snatched from their beds and taken to places which in their minds could only be perceived as places of horror akin to a living hell.

3. The reversal of President Obama’s order to allow transgender children in the Public Schools to utilize the bathroom of their choice will terrorize and potentially threaten the safety of these precious little ones. The insensitivity to the feelings of these already oftentimes misunderstood and all too often maliciously maligned children is reprehensible. The angst that a transgender child will experience by being forced to use a bathroom which is not in accord with the gender identity with which they personally most comfortably identify will terrorize these children, and could potentially lead to mental anguish with long term effects. Not to mention that now those precious children will be more vulnerable to bullying and taunting as a result of this insensitive policy reversal.

4. The prospective repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act threatens the health and general welfare of countless children among the 20 million people who will lose Healthcare should such a repeal take place (as to “the general welfare”, such is the responsibility of Congress according to Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution). In the light of the Trump Administration’s insensitivity to the suffering of children in the aforementioned context, I personally see no reason to trust this Administration to replace the ACA with any Healthcare plan which would be better suited to provide for the health needs of our society’s children than the ACA itself. That said, I would welcome a Single Payer, Healthcare for all system, but clearly such is so far removed from Conservative ideology in general, that there is no reason to even entertain such becoming a reality so long as this regime rules.

5. The proposed HR 610 Bill threatens the nutritional health of school children nationwide. It is bad enough that HR 610 steals from funding for public schools in order to support private education (which should be paid for out of private pockets), but furthermore by eliminating nutritional standards for school lunches and breakfasts this Administration is shamefully sacrificing the health and general welfare of our public school children for budget cuts and cost saving purposes. In essence, the health of school children is threatened for a price paid for by the public on the return of the enterprise of private education endeavors.

6. Now that House Republicans have voted to allow the dumping of Coal in rivers, and now that President Trump has authorized the building of the DAPL under a major water source in Native American regions, there will be a potential threat to the health of the children who live in those areas of the country. The fact that the Environmental Study related to the DAPL will now not be published, the public will not have access to the environmental and health effects of such, thus sheltering the public from ever knowing the degree of the perils to which the children of those area are being subjected.

Conclusion:

The fact that the focal point of many of the current Administration’s policies in such a short span of time results in the terrorizing of and potential health threats to innocent children is alarming and disconcerting. Although I am not saying that it is the intent of the current regime to harm children; nonetheless the effect of many of the Trump Administration’s earliest policies and decisions has done reprehensible harm to the mental and physical well being of our CHILDREN.

If the potential adverse effects upon CHILDREN is an unsuitable litmus test for an Administration’s policies and ideology, then what pray tell can justify the terrorizing and potential health threats to the most innocent and vulnerable of all beings in any given society?

If adverse effects upon children is the price in order to “Make America Great” again, then perhaps such an effort was never such a great idea in the first place, at least as conceived in the mind of Conservative ideology as executed in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Administration.

On Corporate Money in the Democrat Party

With all the excitement over the recent selection of Tom Perez as the next DNC Chair, the most significant decision as to the direction of the Democrat Party came in the way of the decision to continue the legacy of recently deposed DNC Chair by continuing to receive Corporate money into the DNC itself. Quoting the Huffington Post, Andrea Germanos staff writer for Common Cause, reports:

Democratic National Committee members on Saturday voted down a resolution that would have reinstated former President Barack Obama’s ban on corporate political action committee donations to the party.

Resolution 33, introduced by DNC Vice Chair Christine Pelosi, would also have forbidden “registered, federal corporate lobbyists” from serving as “DNC chair-appointed, at-large members.”

A majority of the 442 eligible DNC members rejected the resolution after roughly a dozen members rose to speak for and against it.”

This decision is quite frankly more disturbing to me than the selection of Corporate friendly Tom Perez over Keith Ellison as the new DNC Chair.

If the Democratic Party is to ever become the Party that represents the Demos instead of the Donors then we are going to have to get rid of Corporate money. Period.

The decision by the DNC to fail to reinstate President Obama’s ban on Corporate bribery (my description) reveals that there are still many at the highest levels of the Democratic Party who still prioritize Corporate money over democratic principles.

Those who voted against Obama’s idea of a ban on Corporate money in the DNC furthermore continue to take lightly just how disenfranchised the Progressive base (roughly half the Party!) among the Democratic Party feel after the shady dealings of the DNC during the Primary of 2016.

President Obama’s ban on Corporate money was instated in 2008 as an effort to cleanse the Democratic Party of Corporate influence, only to be overturned by then DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz just in time for the 2016 Primaries, which as it turned out she affected by favoring one Candidate over another, eventually resulting in her ouster.

The bottom line is that President Obama’s efforts to cleanse the Democrat Party from Corporate influence is unfortunately now history due to:

The Democratic Party! (At the highest levels)

If the new DNC Chair Tom Perez actually wants to unite the Democrat Party (lip service for the moment, but I am more than willing to give our new DNC the opportunity to walk the walk of his own talk); then he needs to use his influence to return the Democrat Party to the principles of President Obama in 2008 instead of continuing the legacy of former DNC Chair Debbie Wassserman Schultz. The future of the Democratic Party as a potential party of the Demos instead of its continued decline into being yet another Party of the Donors is the principle at stake.

This is a “choose ye this day whom ye shall serve” moment for the Democrat Party, and of all Democrats who must make that decision, none is more significant than our new DNC Chair, Mr. Tom Perez.

As for me and my house, we will serve with the wing of the Democrat Party that refuses to accept Corporate money:

justicedemocrats.com

Dear DNC Chair Tom Perez

Dear Tom Perez:

Firstly, congratulations on becoming the DNC Chair.

Secondly, I respectfully suggest that if you intend to actually represent every Democrat that you

a) Publicly acknowledge that the DNC ran a crooked Primary in 2016; and that you

b) Publicly apologize to Bernie Sanders on behalf of the DNC.

I realize that what’s done is done, but I sincerely believe that a public acknowledgment of the corruption within the DNC, and a public apology to Mr Sanders would go a long way toward healing deep wounds and hopefully unite a badly divided Democrat Party.

Finally Mr Perez, I encourage you and beseech you that you begin immediately to encourage and that you insist on the following two things during your tenure as the DNC Chair:

1. No more crooked Primaries, and

2. No more Corporate payoffs.

Again, congratulations.

Dave Henderson
(Davey Lee)
Denison, Texas
Justice Democrat

On Healthcare, Human Rights, and a Humane Society

Healthcare is a basic Human Right; hence:

1. The issue of Healthcare is a Human Rights issue.

2. The denial of Healthcare to even a single person is a violation of that person’s basic Human Rights; and is inhumane in and of itself.

3. The societal system which maintains that the rights of an individual or entity to make a profit is more important than the rights of an individual to have Healthcare is an inhumane system, and is a violation of basic Human Rights in and of itself.

4. The only way that a society can be a humane and just society is to ensure that each individual has Healthcare.

5. The logistics as to how to provide Healthcare to each and every individual then are necessary details in order to maintain our humaneness as a society and as a people.