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.

Bigots Babbling In A Bar

(NOTE: If you are offended by the content of this Poem; then please do not feel alone. I likewise am offended by the content of this Poem; and I wrote it myself. Dave)

A Commie around every corner,
A Terrorist upon every terrace.
The dark skinned and non-Christian,
You know man, they’re such a social menace.

The slaves that we imported,
They may cause an insurrection.
Preacherman says if you don’t pray,
You get tortured after the Resurrection.

Got to watch them Mexicans man,
They got this weird notion.
That this land is theirs,
It’s ours man, from ocean to ocean!

Got to watch them Indians man,
They got this weird notion.
That this land is theirs,
It’s ours man, from ocean to ocean!

It was us that did the work man,
It was we that developed Western Civilization.
It was Divine Providence man,
That made this here great nation!

It was we that brought the Blacks here,
To work and pick our Cotton.
Look away, look away man,
Old times there are not forgotten!

It was we that fought hard,
To kill them heathen Injuns!
It was we that Industrialized,
We made electricity and mechanical engines!

It was we that invaded foreign lands,
And overthrew foreign governments.
To make for ourselves a better life,
To live in high rises; instead of dusty old tents.

And it was we that brought Christ,
To those heathen dark skinned heathens.
Did I say heathens twice?
O well, at least now they can go to Heaven.

Yeah, we saved them dark skinned heathens,
Gave ‘em a land of opportunity.
Now them dark skinned heathens,
Can live like you and me!

And how do they thank us man?
I ask you if this ain’t ungrateful.
They owe us for their way of life,
They owe us for every plate full.

Now them dark skinned heathens,
And the Gays and the Liberals too.
They want to blame us for their hard times,
Yeah man, they blame me and you!

They whine, cry, and complain,
Bout poisoned water up in Flint.
And they moan and go on,
Bout killer Cops and dead bodies on the pavement.

We got to watch out man,
Trust in our President to protect us from all harm.
Cause they’re all out to get us man,
Stay alert and stay armed.

It ain’t gonna be easy man,
To make America great again.
But it’s the folk who think like you and me,
Who will protect our women and our kids.

A Commie around every corner,
A Terrorist upon every terrace.
The dark skinned and non-Christian,
You know man, they’re such a social menace.

The Threat of Hate to We North Americans

The recent murder of several Muslims who were peacefully assembled in a Canadian Mosque, and the similar mass murder a few years ago by Dylan Roof of African American Christians who were peacefully assembled in a church here in the USA, are each indicative of the danger of hate crimes committed by North American white extremist terrorists.

White extremist terrorism is an issue which we North Americans simply must take seriously and address swiftly, for these are times of white extremist xenophobic hate, and there is no indication that the trend of such will dissipate any time soon.

If anything, white xenophobic hate is being stirred up and incited in a social climate of strategic Islamophobia, racism, bigotry, and homophobia by those who are feeding the fears of white supremacist Christofascism by addressing fantasy terrorism while ignoring and minimizing factual terrorism.

The threat of ongoing extremist White xenophobic terrorism is too real to be ignored and denied, and the impact and social implications of such are too horrific to be taken lightly.

While good and peaceful family people who are fleeing war torn regions are being detained and deported, and while decent families are being torn apart by knee jerk Fascist policies; extremist White xenophobic terrorist activity remains a very real and practical threat for all North Americans who lead peaceful lives and who worship in peaceful assemblies.

We cannot deport hate.
Nor can we North Americans afford to deny its horrific implications.

Corporate Bullies and The American Way

Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

Railroad executives made the decisions,
The Military executed their will.
Our First Americans to this day,
Are imprisoned and occupied still.

Rockefeller paid the National Guard,
To suppress Colorado miners on strike.
After Rockefeller’s paid goons,
Had murdered Strikers children, and their wives.

When starving WWI Veterans,
Came to DC to demand their Bonus Pay.
Macarthur and Eisenhower lead the military operation,
Attacking WWI Vets and their families that day.

Blue clad bullies with bullets and badges,
And armed with Fire hose might.
Have water tortured peaceful demonstrators,
Who dared sit for equal rights.

College students who demonstrated,
Against an illegal and immoral war.
Were murdered by National Guardsmen,
The dead count tallied four.

Don’t you dare organize!
Don’t you dare stand up for what’s right!
Don’t you dare become a dissident!
Don’t you dare stand up and fight!

‘Cause Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

Children have been burned to death,
War Veterans attacked by the Military,
Students have been murdered,
Because people dared to be contrary.

Against a system of oppression,
Against systemic tyranny,
Against an evil empire,
Against an oppressive plutocracy.

From Ludlow to Kent State,
From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock.
Plutocratic servile bullies,
Arrive and go off half cocked.

So don’t you dare organize!
Don’t you dare stand up for what’s right!
Don’t you dare become a dissident!
Don’t you dare stand up and fight!

‘Cause Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

And the beat down goes on………

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas
November 25, 2016

(Dedicated to the brave Veterans who have committed to self deploy to Standing Rock in early December in order to stand with and protect our nation’s brave Water Protectors who have come under siege and vicious attack by Corporate bullies and their strong arm of the Law.

Veterans such as these understand the concept of standing up for the good by standing up against the evil.

I respectfully salute such brave men and women. DH)

Make America Great. Finally.

It seems to me that many of the problems related to our badly divided society are actually due to the fact that certain of the more honorable principles of our national Constitution have historically been systematically limited as to the degree of their application. For example, consider the beautiful sentiment and the profound principles of the phrase “promote the general welfare” as recorded in the introductory Preamble of the Constitution. As noble as the concept sounds, the fact of the matter is that promoting the general welfare was by no means the actual concern of the 55 Aristocrats who composed the Constitutional Convention. Nor for that matter had promoting “the general welfare” ever been the primary concern of any of the other greedy gold diggers from whom our nation evolved. The sentiment so expressed is indeed honorable, and undoubtedly “the general welfare” is in fact the end goal and defined purpose of that noble collective known as the society; but therein lies the misunderstanding which serves as the basis for the limited application of the sentiment itself.

For from our very conception as a sovereign nation, America was never a society. More to the point, America is, and always been; an ongoing commercial enterprise, whose welfare for an elite sector is systematically maintained by way of domination and exploitation. In fact, for the most part the history of Western Society was never about promoting “the general welfare”, but rather has always been an ongoing predatory commercial enterprise based upon invasion, conquest, domination, and exploitation of the vulnerable, for the express purpose of enriching and further empowering the already wealthy and powerful class of any given country. The systematic domination and exploitation of the many, in order to provide welfare for an elite sector then, has been the historical pattern of Western Society in general, and America more than any other country simply serves as an example of such.

And so, while giving lip service to the concept of equality and the general welfare, the fact is that the societal system by which our forefathers functioned is in principle the same by which we function today. Granted, the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s legalized the concept of the equality of all people, nonetheless we have yet to abandon our national systematic commercial enterprise for the welfare of the wealthy, nor do we yet refrain from foreign invasions to the same end. Thus, in spite of our incremental social advancements towards social justice, we nonetheless continue, as did our Forefathers, to fall short of the sentiments of our own Constitution, by implementing a system which fails to function accordingly.

This is not to say that things must remain as they are. For as long as the words “promote the general welfare” remain written in our Constitution, then we as a collective people shall ever have the documented right to become a society which seeks the common good as a necessary goal. Our challenge then is to aspire towards that noble state of social being which has alluded every generation of Americans going back to and including our Founding Fathers themselves.

For when, and only when, we as America decide to finally live up to the precious sentiment as expressed in our national Constitution “promote the general welfare”; then and only then, we will actually be a society instead of a collective commercial enterprise for the primary welfare of the wealthy and the powerful.

To do so would make America great. Finally.

Make America Great. Eventually.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I love these words. These words, commonly known as “The Preamble”, serve as the introduction to our Constitution, and hence any reading of, interpretation of, or attempted application of our written law of the land should be filtered through the prism of this preamble if you will.

In these words I read the potential for a harmonious and peaceful society.

In these words I read the potential for a society which puts the needs of people before the greed of profiteers.

In these words I read the potential for a society which wants to share the blessings of liberty not only with their own generation, but which also wishes to secure those benefits for future generations.

In essence, in these words I read the potential for America to become great. And I sincerely hope that one day we may actually aspire to such greatness.

The potential of these words notwithstanding, the fact is that due to their limited social perspectives, the intent of the authors of the preamble was to limit the scope of its application to an elitist few.

As unpleasant as it is to acknowledge, the fact is that our “founding Fathers” were the leading Aristocrats of a bigoted era, and as such our Constitution was written by those who assumed White Superiority and the subjugate role of women.

The considerations of “the general welfare” certainly did not apply to the American Indian, whose presence upon the land of rich resources was an obstruction to the greedy golddiggers from whom our nation descended.

Nor for that matter were “the blessings of liberty” to be secured for the Africans who were a product of profiteering for Northern businessmen, and all the while primarily the utility of exploitive labor for the wealthy businessmen of the South.

In essence, the scope of beneficiaries of these great words which introduce our nation’s Constitution was limited primarily to the white, landowning males of that era, and there is no reason to assume that our “founding Fathers” ever envisioned a change in the status quo for their respective posterity to follow.

And so it is that we the American people have these wonderful words as an introduction to our national law of the land, and yet we have had to struggle these past 229 years to mature and develop beyond the bigoted perspective of our own social ancestry.

To our “founding Fathers” then we owe a debt of gratitude for penning such words of potential, though we owe it to our generation and to our posterity to expand the scope of the application of the principles so documented beyond the limited scope of our bigoted past.

In essence, we the American people, may one day become a great society, when and only when, we think and operate beyond the limitations of our bigoted ancestry, by applying the potential of the Preamble of our Constitution to each and every person; with prejudice against nor preference for anyone or any class of persons; in hopes of truly securing “the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”; hopefully henceforth and forevermore.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas
November 6, 2016

On The Horizontal Nature of Humility

“Humility in a person of high position sheds luster on that position. Humility in a person of lower position no person can exceed.
Thus humility is the ultimate goal of the noble person, regardless of one’s class status or social position in any given context.”

(My paraphrase of the T’uan commentary on the 15th hexagram of Ch’ien of The Book of Changes; aka “The I Ching”)

Humility and deference are often thought of as a “downwards up” perspective. In other words, those who are traditionally regarded as “subordinates” are conditioned to defer to their “superiors” with an attitude of humility and respect.

Such a perspective is quite common in the Western world, and is conditioned into the fiber of our very thinking from an early age onward. Western folk are conditioned to be humble and to defer to all forms of authority figures, commencing from childhood with reference to parents, and continuing throughout our adults lives with reference to any number of a variety of such symbols of superiority. Yet symbols of superiority are all that a person of elevated social position actually represent, for in truth no individual of any setting is superior to any other, regardless of the context.

The natural equitable status of all people being the reality of an unconditioned perspective, then humility should be universal, and respect should be reciprocal in all situations and settings.

In this regard, it has become my observation based upon decades of experience in “the working world” that harmony in such a setting is best accomplished when people of all levels of management and manufacturing share common respect one for another. If the burden of respect for one another is reciprocal, then management and manufacturers share common concerns and seek the common good. This is but one example of an area where universal humility can lead to ultimate harmony, yet such is a most practical place for the application of the process.

Regardless then of one’s “position” or one’s “status”, humility is the ultimate goal of any such person who seeks to be noble and decent.

On Peaceful Demonstrations

Bullies with badges and guns;
In Baton Rouge were dressed to fight.
They antagonized and intimidated the people;
It was such a frightful sight.

Peace Officers in Inglewood, California;
Simply allowed the people to have their say.
It was a Black Lives Matter demonstration;
And it was such a peaceful day.

A lesson to be learned;
Regarding public demonstrations.
There can be peace in the streets;
When there is collective communication.

In Memory of Muhammad Ali

He floated like a butterfly,
He stung like a bee.
But there was more than boxing,
To Muhammad Ali.

He had the courage of his convictions,
And he thought for himself.
Rather than merely doing what he was told,
Like most everyone else.

According to George Foreman,
Muhammad was the greatest human being he knew.
And coming from a great human being himself,
That gives Ali his just dues.

Though it costs Ali his title,
And midst intense racist slurs.
He refused to fight and murder others,
Such conviction rarely occurs.

Among the bravest words,
Are those of Muhammad Ali.
In the quote immediately following,
This poem in his memory.

I watched Ali box when I was a teen,
And have grown to respect him as an adult.
He was an outspoken social activist,
I believe that goodness was the result.

Thank you Muhammad Ali,
May your cause live on,
Thanks for being truly human,
Farewell, and so long.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas

June 4, 2016

In memory of Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942-June 3, 2016)

“My conscience won’t let me go shoot my brother, or some darker people, or some poor hungry people in the mud for big powerful America. And shoot them for what? They never called me nigger, they never lynched me, they didn’t put no dogs on me, they didn’t rob me of my nationality, rape or kill my mother and father…. How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.”