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Current Law Students / Re: Should I file Bankruptcy...
« on: September 13, 2006, 04:05:52 AM »

However, in the US, Japan and Australia, other, more radical, solutions are gaining popularity. These solutions generally involve dramatically cutting welfare payments or eliminating them entirely. Opponents of these solutions argue that they might leave the very poor without protection from starvation and death, which could create a bigger problem than it solves. On the other hand, supporters rejoinder that eliminating government welfare would have no effect on private charities, religious charities, family support structures and individual donations, which, they argue, are more than capable of preventing (to the degree humanly possible) starvation and death for the destitute. Additionally, those in favor of curtailing or ending welfare argue that lowering welfare benefits from the government provides added incentive to work, or at least removes the disincentive to do so.

According to the American mean-spirited ideology, the problems individuals face are their own fault because they don't have the right "values," don't take "personal responsibility," make the wrong choices, etc., etc. The term "underclass" is widely used to stigmatize millions of poor Americans, to brand them as "unfit," "unmotivated," "unwilling," or "unable" to do their part to achieve their piece of the so-called "American Dream." Very sophisticated American corporate propaganda justifies all unconscionable and barbaric attacks on the poor by dehumanizing them.

But the enormous effectiveness of this ideological propaganda might not have been achievable, had it not been able to secularize and modernize historically-imbedded notions which reach deep into American consciousness, such as the religious notion of predestination purveyed by the 16th century Puritan theologian, John Calvin. This doctrine states that every human being is created either d**mned or saved by God prior to birth. Thus the task of people during their lives is no longer to do good, to be charitable, to love others, but only to discover whether they are d**mned or saved. And what is the sign of eternal salvation? Success, defined by wealth, is the absolute sign that one is saved by God from the start while failure, as defined by poverty, is the certain sign of d**mnation. This is the source of the myth of the just d**mnation of the poor which has spread throughout American culture, giving it its moralistic hue and its deepest justification for whatever cruelties it may inflict on the poor. After all, if the poor are d**mned anyway, it is perfectly righteous to make their lives a hell on earth. This prejudice, the infamous Puritan Ethic, is the cornerstone of American ideology, and still imposes insuperable limits on rational thinking in American society. It has become transmuted into a core belief in the "American Way of Life" which, let no one doubt, is a real religion in America: the True Faith in the United @ # ! * i n g States of America.

When a fellow human being falls to the ground, the decent thing to do would be to bend your shoulder to the task of helping that person back to his or her feet ... As Seneca put it almost 2,000 years ago, "Our relations with one another are like a stone arch, which would collapse if the stones did not mutually support one another." However, in the cutthroat American society, the poor are simply excluded as almost sub-humans who have earned their miserable fate and as a consequence, should receive no aid and definitely no compassion. If they currently receive taxpayer money from the "welfare state," American mean-spirited ideology dictates that this should be attributed to foolheaded generosity on the part of the state, rather than as their just right as human beings. It says that any form of entitlements makes people lazy and dependent, so it is an act of morality that these should be cut off forthwith. Support programs of any kind - those which go to the poor, not those which go to corporations represent a form of tyranny as they "interfere with individual liberty" for, the story goes, only by liberating individuals from meddlesome state interference will they be free to recapture and exercise their rights as Americans.

Doing nothing would just make things better. You know, leaving the system to proceed in the way it is going, so that its rotten character becomes fully manifest. Capitalism is smart enough to actually make small concessions in order to save its whole "configuration" ... is not, then, that the more ruthless and corrupt the capitalist system becomes, the more likely it'll be that largely impoverished working masses will revolt? It may just be that the more curruption and distrust results from the system, the more the indignation on part of the masses will grow -- an indignation and resentment towards the ruling class that will help spark the revolution, a violent act that will change for good the order of things of an incorrigible system like capitalism.

The rationale continues that in this radical culture of disappearance certain "Elements of Refusal", partly unconsciously and partly consciously, are to be employed. Simply not voting -- "apathy" keeps over half the nation from the polls; anarchism never accomplished as much! There are positive parallels: "networking" as an alternative to politics is practiced at many levels of society, and non-hierarchic organization has attained popularity even outside the anarchist movement, simply because it works. Refusal of Work can take the forms of absenteeism, on-job drunkenness, sabotage, and sheer inattention -- but it can also give rise to new modes of rebellion: more self- employment, participation in the "black" economy -- all more or less "invisible" activities compared to traditional leftist confrontational tactics such as the general strike.

Embracing all sorts of non-authoritarian forms of spirituality, from "unchurched" Christianity to neo-paganism. Or the "free religions" -- small, self-created, half-serious/half-fun cults influenced by such currents as Discordianism and anarcho-Taoism -- that can be found all over marginal America providing a growing "fourth way" outside the mainstream churches, the televangelical bigots, and New Age vapidity and consumerism. And of course, construction of "private moralities" in the Nietzschean sense: the spirituality of "free spirits." Refusal of Home as well: "homelessness," which most consider a form of victimization, not wishing to be forced into nomadology. But "homelessness" can in a sense be a virtue, an adventure. And finally refusal of the Family, which is clearly expressed through divorce, or some other "breakdown." Life can be happier without the nuclear family, whereupon a hundred flowers bloom -- from single parentage to group marriage to erotic affinity group.

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