The Real Donald

Does anyone remember that Hitler promised to make Germany great again?  Does anyone remember that Stalin promised the same to the Russian people, or that Mussolini did so to the Italian people?  Does anyone remember that those tyrants came to power by inciting groups of people within those countries to distrust, hate and fear on another;  by discrediting existing institutions;  by attacking media and distorting free speech;  by repeating lies and propaganda until they took on the appearance of truth;  by brazen claims of personal intelligence, ability and superiority;  by unrelenting denigration of opposition;  by secrecy, guile and deception;  in short, by tactics uncannily similar to those of Donald Trump.

Donald does not want to be president of a republic.  He does not want to be responsible for a democracy. He never did.  What he wants in the depths of his being is to be emperor of a great, global power - - - feared, revered, and able to indulge his every lust, whim, and aberration  unrestrained and unimpeded.  He intends to write TRUMP large on the face of the earth and he will not hesitate to trample on constitutions, pervert cultures, demolish customs, or write it in blood, if need be.  

If congress does not impeach him soon,  if the supreme court does not clip his wings, both institutions will become irrelevant just as parliaments and courts have become irrelevant in centuries past once an incipient tyrant has their foot in the door.  If congress and the courts fail in their duty, and the people of this nation do not unite in opposition to this sociopath, what remains of our freedom and independence could melt like snow in the desert. 

There is evil at loose in the land.  There will always be some who welcome it.  If the remainder ignore it, condone it, fear to confront it, or simply cannot see it, there are dark days ahead.  




Social harmony, political order and justice have no solid foundation other than thee moral order and ethical sense of individuals.




Modern democracy consists of allowing us to periodically vote for media caricatures of people we will never know, can never influence, and should never trust.  What we experience is cynical manipulation, not democracy.  




A merchant is a poor source of information, a thief a worse one, an enemy a dangerous one, but the head of a nation state intent on self glorification and plunder is the worst of all, especially if he is our own.  




Liberty and justice caught between a crafty, corrupt leader and a credulous, careless people cannot survive.    

January 2018 Reflections



There is no limit to our capacity to love or hate.  None on our capacity for hope or despair.  None on our capacity for generosity or greed.  None on our capacity for violence or beneficence.  None on our capacity for choice or indifference.  A livable life in a peaceful, equitable, harmonious society can never be realized by competition between individuals, corporations or nation states.  it will come about when all people choose to behave in accordance with the constructive, rather than destructive capacities, of their individual being.  Such a life and such a society are neither difficult or remote.  It is a simple matter of collective choice.  




Separability, measurement, specialization, analysis, and technology may be the immutable reality of existence, but life is more than existence.  Consciousness is a creative force of the universe. When we collectively engage in the creative act of imagining imagining  a better future, that future will be more willing to come into being than we can possible believe. 




Universities should be creators of beneficent culture, not creators of commerce. They should be gardens of wisdom, not factories of expertise.  They should be custodians of beauty, not conveyors of credentials.  They should be homes of humility, not haunts of hubris.  Would that it were so, but that can never be until the consciousness of the people abandons the tawdry race for riches, power, fame - - - until they dismiss me and mine from mind, and replace it with us and ours - - - until they listen to the better angels of their being.     




Man is not composed of autonomous organs, each of which has as its sole purpose its own function and survival.  All are connected to and function symbiotically with all others to bring into being and sustain the whole person and all it's parts.  Just so is each person in relation to all of mankind, and mankind in relation to all other forms of life, and all life to the earth itself, although we have yet to realize, or to act in accordance with that realization.  




Two of the worst taxes are those on wages and the necessities of life, yet they are most favored by legislators, not doubt because they are the easiest to collect and fall most heavily on those least able to resist or evade. 




Where does war come from?  It is not hard to puzzle out.  Have you ever heard of anyone who fought to be poor and insignificant?   I'll not ask the same question  about those who lust for wealth and power.  By now you should have figured it out.




For every ounce of time and energy universities put into understanding the economics of  nature. a ton is put into understanding the nature of social economics.  Thus, reality is sacrificed to ideology, the effective to the efficient, and life to bureaucratic blundering and technology.




For the sake of our grandchildren, if for nothing else let us lift ourselves from the ordure of ego, envy, avarice, ambition, and worship of science, technology and commerce, to immerse ourselves in respect for all life, tolerance, empathy, harmony with nature, and humble grace at our place in the universe. 




Education that give priority to measurement rather than morality, to efficiency rather than effectiveness, to enrichment rather than equity,  to analysis rather than synthesis, to science rather than soul, to knowledge rather than wisdom, provides no barrier to barbarity and violence.   After all, the holocaust was perpetrated by a society of one of the most highly educated, supposedly civilized people on earth. 



December Reflections

It is not entirely unfair or inaccurate to accuse many Academics of practicing the art of solemnly concealing a paucity of thought in a plethora of words.  They either never heard or choose to disregard LaRochefoucauld's admonition that "Solemnity is a disease of the body invented to conceal the defects of the mind.'' Little minds require many great words; Great minds require bur a few small ones. 



 Education should teach less about how to do things and more about how to think about them.  If we know only how to do something we are in chains, for we are blind to when it should be done,  where it should be done, why it should be done, what else might be done, how it can be done better, or if it should be done at all.  When we learn how to think about things we are liberated, for we can then see each thing in all its dimensions and determine what ought to be done.



The only peace conference that can succeed is one in which all participants are dedicated to admission of their own guilt, repentance, and forgiveness.  That is why there are no successful peace conferences. 



The amount of money spent on luxurious eating and care of animal pets is enough to provide a sound diet for all poverty stricken children in the world.  So much for the merits of capitalism and free markets.



The most persistent, pernicious propaganda is that which the rich and powerful utilize to convince the poor and weak that the fault is theirs, and that riches and authority are the just result of superior intelligence, character, effort and ability.    



The rich very rarely subsidize the poor, and then only poorly, whereas the poor constantly subsidize the rich, and very richly indeed,  Every nation state insures this will happen one way or another through through a complex variety of laws and regulations.  This is so obvious, pervasive and continual that it hardly merits discussion, were it not so obscenely inhumane and unjust. 



Every historian must begin with a design that determines what evidence to assemble, and a philosophy that determines how to interpret and portray the evidence.  They then paint a picture in words that is no more realistic than a painting of a stormy surf. 



REFLECTIONS, November 2017

There is nothing in the United States constitution or laws to prevent Presidential mendacity, arrogance, avarice,  vulgarity, ignorance, narcissism, or vindictive, sociopathic behavior.  Neither is there anything in law or constitution to prevent tolerance of it by congress, or admiration and emulation of it by citizens.  It is a matter of culture, ethics, morality and norms of everyday civility.  It is a question of the kind of society in which we wish to live, and leave to our grandchildren.  The only cure for such behavior is massive public outrage and opposition.




There is always a demagogue to articulate, simple, wrong solutions to every problem, and a great many more to blindly accept and implement them.  Professionalized it becomes politics.  Personified it becomes the Trump administration. 




The genetic code is both constitution and bill of rights for all life on earth.  Those who tinker with it should be held to strict account in the high court of public opinion, for there is no other court to which the code can appeal, other than the court of evolution.  The only penalty that court can impose is extinction of the species.  




Countless philosophers ponder, academics pontificate, poets muse, prophets preach, authors write, politicians fulminate, economist count, soldiers kill, painters daub, consultants advise, generals order, and  people parade, while the earth impassively turns, unimpressed. 




Society is always enthralled and mesmerized by science and technology and their benefits, which tend to be superficial and temporary.  It is largely indifferent to the pernicious effects, which tend to be profound and persistent.




We no longer have much agriculture.  What we have is biological manufacturing- - - giant corporate, factory farms spewing out engineered, products of seductive appearance, debased taste, diminished nourishment, and ever increasing chemical content.  The long range effect is not known, but is most likely to be serious,if not catastrophic. 




Every nation state, realizing that completely unrestrained freedom results in anarchy, finds it necessary to impose and enforce some system of restraint on individuals and organization within its borders.  Unfortunately, they see no need for restraint on themselves, and insist on complete, unrestrained freedom in relations with one another and the planet itself.  The result is ever increasing global chaos, death, destruction and environmental devastation.  If there is to be a livable world for our grandchildren, it is far past time to envision and bring into being an effective, beneficent, chaordic concept of global governance, as difficult as that may be. 




Has higher education debased itself by turning away from the humanities and embracing the training of specialists and managers expert at realizing short term objectives with little regard for the cumulative result - - - - a world of unrestrained greed, self interest, centralization of power, gross mal-distribution of wealth, plunder of the planet, instruments of massive destruction and genocide, and blind worship of science and technology.  If not through the instrument of higher education, how did we get where we are?  These questions should not ignored.        

October Reflections

Great ideas of the past continue to titillate our minds, but they no longer touch our hearts.  They have become intellectual toys rather than fundamental beliefs.  We reason about them but they no longer shape our lives.  They are in our minds but no longer in our bones.




Belief that the information age and so called "virtual world" will be superior to the natural world are akin to belief that perusing a wilderness map is superior to a walk in a primeval forest; that reading a menu is superior to a gourmet meal; or that listening to reports of a town meeting is superior to participation.




First came privateers and pirates, then commercial corporations.  That the first were freebooters outside the law and the second were legalized by nation states, materially changed the form but did little to change the function.




If we were to define as material as that which endures, then such things as wisdom, reverence, generosity, empathy, humility and love would fill our minds and hearts, while physical possessions would be treated as the transitory trash they so swiftly become.




We think we cannot live well without technology when, indeed, mankind did so for millennia.  What we do not know, is whether we can live well with it.  What we do know is that we cannot live at all without nature, and that much technology is destructive of it.  




One of the greatest anomalies of nation states is the ease with which their highest officials become despots in the name of national security and the comfort citizens take in submitting to the despotism.




We laugh at belief systems and societal organizations of the past knowing them to have been naive and flawed.  Societies in future will laugh at and scorn capitalism, free markets and nation states, knowing them to have been even more naive and flawed.  




If you are brave and daring, act boldly and seek new heights.  if you are timid and afraid, act cautiously and descend to the lowlands.  If you are uncertain or indifferent, stay where you are and do nothing.  




Most people do not want an equitable, just society that provides everyone a secure sufficiency.  They have been conditioned to accept organizations, laws and policies that force millions into abject poverty so a few can become obscenely rich, in the vain hope they will be among the few.




If commercial corporations have their way, government will be largely compose of compliant sycophants willing to conspire with them to turn democratic ideas into a system of unrestrained, economic pillage and rape.  Come to think of it, they already have.

September reflections



Our societal problem is to discover a new, unifying principle of relationship and a new concept of organization powerful enough to hold inviolate the liberty and interdependence of infinitely diverse people.  It will not come from on high to the thunder of drums and sound of trumpets, but will arise silently in the consciousness of countless ordinary people until it finds the right voice. 


"Science discovers, genius invents, industry applies, and man conforms"---so declares the guide book to the 1933 Chicago world's fair.  The promoters of the fair apparently thought the subjection of mankind to machines and commerce laudable.  Only fools worship their tools.  


Science should be judged by whether it has diminished violence, eliminated war,  enhanced justice, insured freedom, improved happiness, equitably distributed power and wealth, and protected the environment.  By any such standard it has been an abysmal failure. 


Each bacterium contains about a billion nucleotide pairs in its genetic code.  More complex creatures contain up to ten billion.  A change in a single pair can send life careening in a new direction.  And we have the arrogance to think we can control everything with our clumsy technology and archaic four-hundred-year-old concepts of societal organization.   


The question is not whether corporate capitalism produces good or evil.  It obviously  produces both.  Nor is the question whether it is constructive or destructive.  It can be either.  The question is whether, in relationship with all people, all other creatures, and the living earth on which all depends, it is more beneficent than harmful.  The evidence is not in its favor.  

August reflections


Mankind has a ten-thousand year history of conceiving systems of control and trying to impose them on people and planet without once succeeding.  The grandest schemes have had a brief moment in the sun before they disintegrated and disappeared.  When will we ever learn that we are an infinitesimally insignificant part of the universe and learn to live in harmony with the earth and all it contains just as it lives in harmony with the universe and all it contains?


The first circumnavigation of the earth took mankind three years.  Now it takes but three hours. Two centuries ago it took two years to send a message half way around the world.  Now it takes a small fraction of a second.  We have no idea what this means to the organization and function of society.  


It is a mistake to think that because there is order in the universe there must be a creator and controller.  It is equally an error to think that such order is the accidental structuring of randomly wandering energy and matter.  Neither religion or reason can account for the infinite patterns of a single living creature, let alone those of the universe. 


It is morally right to ensure that all individuals shall own the results of their talents and labor.  It is equally right that no one should own the results of the talent and labor of another. Corporate capitalism, spawned and protected by the nation state, ensures the exact opposite - - -that the fewest possible number of people shall own the results of the talent and labor of the maximum number of others.  The concepts of nation state and capitalism, as they now exist, are aberrations society cannot long endure.       


The things that matter most and are essential to a decent society such as morality, ethics, empathy, generosity, love, truth, honesty, cost nothing, while such things as hate, war, destructive consumption, environmental devastation and deceit are not necessary and cost a great deal.  Why do we so often engage in the unnecessary and expensive in preference to the essential and free?


Unless there is enormous change in our societal consciousness, our descendants will view our unrestrained, compulsive consumption, our insatiable pursuit of economic growth, and our indifference to environmental devastation as moral and ethical corruption, mental derangement and technological savagery.  The will curse us for the legacy of enormous reparations which we bequeath  to them, which they must endure.   


In our insatiable quest to know, what has happened to our capacity to care?  In our lust to get and have, what has happened to our desire to give?  In our willingness to hate, what has happened to our ability to love?   The answers are too unpleasant to contemplate, but contemplate we must. 

July reflections

A wise mind has no difficulty seeing a primeval forest as a sacred place---a place of reverence with its own integrity and utility.  The rational, utilitarian mind sees only trees to buy, sell and harvest.  One mind cares and the other counts


To believe that the earth and all other life therein can be brought to heel and made to serve our interest, and that mankind is not subordinate to nature and its inherent limits is to become delusional creatures on the path to destruction. 


It is hard to understand the lust for travel when one realizes the earth takes us on a free, supremely comfortable, twenty-five-thousand mile daily trip to see the sun, moon, stars and planets, the while taking us on an annual three-hundred-million mile journey around the sun. 


Law in any nation state will inevitably come to protect the rich from the poor, not the poor from the rich, just as it will come to protect the powerful from the weak, not the weak from the powerful; capitol from labor, not labor from capital; money from value, not value from money, all  in the name of justice and equity.  There will e exceptions from time to time, but not many or for long.   


Long ago, out of arrogance and ignorance, we made a Faustian bargain with science. Divorcing wisdom and taking old barren reason to bed, we proceeded to systematically decimate the earth and all other forms of life.  If we do not live in harmony with and care for the earth, what in the universe do we think there is to care for?  If the earth is not in harmony with and care for us, what in the universe do we think there is that will? 


Corporation, universities, government and other societal organizations cannot be expected to advance the wise, honest, able, independent individual.  Self interest and perpetuation demands they advance the most malleable, predictable, and corruptible - - -those most willing to serve the interests of the institution and those who command it.   


Never expect to work and progress in one area and advance in another.  If If our time, ability and energy are dissipated in pursuit of money, acquisition of power, waging of war, science and technology then regression in beauty, wisdom, justice, morality a inevitable.    


If mankind is the greatest proof of Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory of evolution we are compelled to ask, fittest to survive for what?  Why "fittest to survive for survival," the Darwinist is compelled to reply.  If the highest and best that man can conceive and achieve is not mere survival.  And ghat is where Darwin and the Beagle ran aground.  


Stock markets do not measure the value of companies, their prospective earnings, the growth of the economy are any other tangible reality.  They measure only the aggregate belief of people that someone else will pay more for the shares they purchase than they do.  They measure greed, not value.  They are vast gambling casinos for the addicted


What a bore it is to live i the age of "mathefication" of man; the effort to reduce every mystery and marvel of life to the mechanics of measurement;  The endless march to specialization as one knows more and more about less and less; the steady regression as we try to reason our way to wisdom.  Where is the scientist who can write an equation for the mystery of a thought, or the feelings evoked by the birth of a child.  

June Reflections



Every triumph or tribulation, every success or failure, every hope or fear, is an opportunity to draw upon the unfathomable resources of the universe with which we are each richly endowed. Humility in the face of fame, generosity in the face of riches, tolerance in the face of criticism, endurance in the face of adversity, love in the face of hate - - -  All are within us patiently waiting to be educed.  


Man has turned his industrial age, mechanistic, command-and-control concepts of societal organization into a gigantic, mental cage with an internal wheel on which we run like captive squirrels, not realizing our own frantic efforts only make the wheel run faster, going nowhere.  We must escape the cage, and develop new concepts of societal organizations within which we can harmoniously co-evolve with one another, with our environment, and with all other living things.

More May reflections

We all know the enormity of the environment problems of the earth that threatens all life thereon.  
We all know the economic, political and social injustice rampant throughout the world.  We all know that an epidemic of organizational and institutional failure is raging everywhere.  We all  know our archaic, hierarchical concept of organization and leadership are taking us where no sane, caring person ought to go.  There can be no solution until new concepts of organization and leadership emerge.  That can never come about without a profound change in the consciousness of mankind. The change of consciousness must arise individual by individual.   Chaordic  the universe has always been!  Chaordic the earth will ever be! Chaordic by nature each of us is!  Chaordic our institutions and society must become. This is no time to wait for others.  Educe your inherent nature and insist society be organized in harmony with it.   


In the garden of life

Sowing avarice, reaping poverty,

Sowing ego, reaping despair,

Sowing envy, reaping misery,

Sowing power, reaping slavery,

Sowing violence, reaping death,

Blind and deaf we blunder 

In the garden of life.


It is not the poor and humble who are desecrating the earth, waging war, demeaning people, or decimating species;  it is the rich, the educated, the honored and acclaimed - - - the interchangeable, cognitive elite that now controls power in government, business, science and education. 


Anger and greed always justify their abuse with claims of prior provocation.  Their every offense they profess to be a defense.  Any opposition is considered an attack.  Angry, greedy people should never be put into powerful positions.     


Where the wealthy are content with moderate possessions and desire no more - - - where the educated are content with knowledge and expect no preference - - - where the powerful are content with persuasion and eschew force - - - where the poor and weak are not without sustenance, shelter, hope and opportunity - - -  Only there will we find social soil in which enduring peace, justice and prosperity may be grown.  Where the opposite prevails, tyranny, injustice and brutality will be the harvest.


Expecting those who control massive commercial corporations to work for long term societal and environmental good rather than short term profit, or measure their success in moral and ethical terms, rather than monetary terms, is like expecting a dung beetle to leave a pile of manure, climb a flower and sip nectar.  It's ag'in the natur o' the beast.   


Minds honed to razor sharpness on the cold stones of logic, reason and mathematics easily dispose of god as myth, morality as subjective, humility as weak, generosity as foolish, love as ephemeral, and empathy as irrelevant.


A lamb is not bound to the logic of a lion, a lark to the habits of a hawk, or a rose to the conduct of a cucumber.  Each is bound only to the nature of its species.  What bounds mankind to anything?  Are we the first unspeciated species?  Can such a species long endure.  


If you would avoid having your authority and decisions resented and circumvented, include others in your deliberations when they do not expect it, and exclude no one when they do.