Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sanderscare


Sanders thinks all we need to do is spend an additional $327M on Rx and everyone can get them.

What an idiot no wonder he lost.

Here from this CMS report we spent $324 BILLION back in 2015 maybe Sanders got his $millions and $billions mixed up:

 Prescription drug spending increased 9.0% to $324.6 billion in 2015

This is not a serious and/or qualified person we have with Sanders here.



61 comments:

Penguin pop said...

There's a really a cult of personality thing with Bernie too. I like what he stands for, but I never trusted him from the beginning for some reason, and I'll also never forget how he had Stephanie Kelton as his chief economic advisor, but didn't have the guts to seriously tell the truth to the American people about how federal financing works, though I also get how going there might have been political suicide. It would have still gotten these ideas out there more and gotten people to think.

Penguin pop said...

I don't even think he understood much of what Kelton brought to the table either. The notion of him being unqualified from that kind of level makes sense to me.

Tom Hickey said...

A key problem with "democracy" is that voters are not equipped to handle nuance and most issues are highly nuanced. So the result is simplistic solutions that can "sold" for votes.

In a democratic republic the government is controlled by factions of the ruling elite and they make the rules to suit their interests based on trickle down.

There is no political solution available through "democracy" that can yield nuanced results without raising the level of collective consciousness.

This can be an argument for technocracy, but then the technocrats would have to have a high enough level of collective consciousness in their cohort to enact law and regulation that benefits the system as a whole (public purpose) rather than their own interests and those of their cronies (oligarchy).

So again, it comes down to the level of collective consciousness to do nuance in terms of the big picture.

Humans haven't developed to that level yet, so we are stuck with flawed social, political and economic systems.

Bob said...

Bernie had lightning in his hands but did not wish to make use of it.

lastgreek said...

Has anyone here read Frederick Douglass's latest essay in this week's issue of The New Yorker? ;)

John said...

Penguin: |...but I never trusted him from the beginning for some reason"

His voting record will allay any doubts. For a self=proclaimed "democratic socialist" his voting recored looks remarkably corporate Democrat. Perhaps he could have been pushed to the left by his base, but his base should have been under no illusions about him, or at least the courage of his convictions which have been at best weak if he really believes what he says. Was he weak in the face of power, or was he another "talk left, walk right" charlatan? Either way, it's disgraceful. At least Ron Paul, with whom I have to say I agree with on very, very many things, had the courage of his convictions.

Matt Franko said...

Qualifed technocrats naturally do that Tom.... they want to see their material creations utilized as much as possible... they also want to receive at least robust means of provision in return just like anyone else... I dont understand your apparent fear of competent technocrats doing what they do best...

Bob looks like the lightning might have short circuited his brain... he is out of his pea brain gourd here...

Matt Franko said...

He is off by 3 orders of magnitude...

Penguin pop said...

"His voting record will allay any doubts. For a self=proclaimed "democratic socialist" his voting recored looks remarkably corporate Democrat. Perhaps he could have been pushed to the left by his base, but his base should have been under no illusions about him, or at least the courage of his convictions which have been at best weak if he really believes what he says. Was he weak in the face of power, or was he another "talk left, walk right" charlatan? Either way, it's disgraceful. At least Ron Paul, with whom I have to say I agree with on very, very many things, had the courage of his convictions."

That's what gets me about all this "Bernie would've won" rhetoric I see from a lot of disillusioned progressives, though there are some of them waking up to the fact he's part of the problem too and have called him out on his cult of personality BS. They seem to forget about the guy's past voting record and even support for the Clintons in the past too. Ralph Nader saw what would happen months in advance with Bernie and it would have been no surprise if at the end of the day, he only turned out to be a slightly more left Obummer and not living up to his bold promises, and I don't want to purity test, but I judge people based on both their actions and words. Compared to others in the party, he had better ideas, but I think he would have been too cowardly to implement much of them. HRC tried to incorporate some of his platform with hers, but the damage was done and for whole lot of factors, we're here where we are today.

Hell, I've heard stories about people trying to tell his campaign staff about the irregularities they saw back in the primaries, and Bernie didn't speak up about it at all, so I'm questioning what his true motives really are.

I have also made comparisons with Bernie and Ron Paul. A friend of mine pointed out he couldn't even think of any real job Bernie had before getting into politics and sees him as pretty useless too. You're right about how at least in terms of his voting record, Paul had more guts to stay consistent with his beliefs, as much as I think his economics is wrong. When it comes to issues like war and intervention, he's much better in that regard even if he views the reasons differently than we do.

lastgreek said...

Matt, you're from the Old Line State. Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting Frederick Douglass? ;)

Matt Franko said...

Greek the DeVos thing is "Vouchers in : Darwin out..."

Many of we determinists dont want our children taught that they are a stochastic outcome of worms by chance....

Tom Hickey said...

Qualifed technocrats naturally do that Tom.... they want to see their material creations utilized as much as possible... they also want to receive at least robust means of provision in return just like anyone else... I dont understand your apparent fear of competent technocrats doing what they do best...

Rampant inequality leading to social dysfunction.

They are materials people not systems people.

They don't understand systems.

Noah Way said...

Matt, your bias is showing. As is your ignorance. Bernie was talking about CEO salaries, not the cost of pharma. Read your source again.

Pharma profits $50B in on the worlds most expensive drugs (and we can't legally import them despite their being sold for much less elsewhere). The profit on drugs alone is nearly 10% of the cost of the Medicare program. Pharma spends more than that on lobbying and another $5B on consumer marketing (all deductible, of course). That's > $100B not including CEO salaries, nearly 1/3 of prescription drug spending.

The effects of private insurance on cost of care goes far beyond that. The cost of insurance paperwork on providers is estimated in the tens of billions. The cost of Medicare itself is amplified by the poor care delivery (denial through various obfuscations) of private insurance and the resulting effect on national health.

I have a marketplace plan (Empire) with tiny, narrow networks and huge deductibles. So all of my health care spending is out of my pocket and out of network so doesn't even apply to my deductible. It's all a scam. My monthly prescription costs 50% more if I use my insurance.

Did I make a bad choice to be self-employed? Was it a bad choice that I don't have a trust fund? Am I not entitled to the same availability, level and quality of care as anyone else despite not having their economic advantages?

I'm hoping to live long enough to get Medicare but bet that it will be privatized by then. I'm not a human being, I'm a medical industry profit center. So take all your bogus economic outrage and put it where the sun doesn't shine.

Matt Franko said...

"Pharma profits $50B "

Then if they are like the average firm the pay $25B of that out as dividends to pension funds and annuity companies so retirees can have income, 17.5B is reinvested in their companies so people have jobs, and the keep only 7.5B as retained earnings (savings)....

so it is probably more than a $7.5B per year issue too ya think...

Trump has said he thinks he can save $300B so at least he is in the ballpark... if he can change up the acquisition strategy and save 25% it is over $300B in his 4 years ... meanwhile Sander's party is slow rolling Trump's HHS guy....

Meanwhile Bernie is moaning about a piddly 300M...

Sorry to offend the religion cult of "Bernie!" but he should not even be opening his mouth he doesnt even have the smallest amount of technical skills to analyze what is going on and assess what is needed to be done...

John said...

Matt: "Many of we determinists dont want our children taught that they are a stochastic outcome of worms by chance...."

You mean evolutionary science? You want evolutionary science out and some deterministic theory to replace it and describe how nature came to exist as it is? What would that be? There is no such theory. No one has even an inkling of what such a theory should look like, meanwhile evolutionary science has been the key to understanding everything in the life sciences that has been investigated. And then what, when the children become adults evolutionary science is permitted to be taught because it is impossible to understand and genetic or bio technology, pharmacology, medical science and indeed any life science without it? Or would that also be out of bounds too?



Noah Way said...

Matt, nice job addressing facts with supposition. Makes a really effective argument.

Kristjan said...

"There's a really a cult of personality thing with Bernie too. I like what he stands for, but I never trusted him from the beginning for some reason, and I'll also never forget how he had Stephanie Kelton as his chief economic advisor, but didn't have the guts to seriously tell the truth to the American people about how federal financing works, though I also get how going there might have been political suicide. It would have still gotten these ideas out there more and gotten people to think"

He is a fiscal conservative, he never understood the trickery Stephanie was talking about. Sometimes these MMT-ers start thinking that things are more complicated than they really are. People don't understand thist stuff and most never will. Even economists say that deficit spending without issuing bonds causes inflation and they keep repeating It. What to expect from ordinary people who never heard of reserve accounts, bonds etc? Bernie's heart might be in a right place but he is a regular left winger who would continue with deficit hysteria. Wasn't he also in that MMT video that started with children singing and then politicians repeating why deficit is the biggest problem of our time. There is no hope in the left wing politicians I know of.

Matt Franko said...

If you are going in and modifying genes that is deterministic activity not stochastic...

Gene modifying is not evolutionary science... its deterministic...

Shapiro here:

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/05/07/the-evolution-paradigm-shift/

Conservative Christians are tired and fed up of all of this "we evolved from the apes!" nonsense...

Its no coincidence imo that we have all of these morons going all around saying "we're out of money!" and "we evolved from the apes!" at the same time....

Penguin pop said...

"He is a fiscal conservative, he never understood the trickery Stephanie was talking about. Sometimes these MMT-ers start thinking that things are more complicated than they really are. People don't understand thist stuff and most never will. Even economists say that deficit spending without issuing bonds causes inflation and they keep repeating It. What to expect from ordinary people who never heard of reserve accounts, bonds etc? Bernie's heart might be in a right place but he is a regular left winger who would continue with deficit hysteria. Wasn't he also in that MMT video that started with children singing and then politicians repeating why deficit is the biggest problem of our time. There is no hope in the left wing politicians I know of."

I had to argue with a "progressive" about how the US dollar isn't pegged to oil like he was claiming. He bought into the whole "petrodollar!" myth and he kept conflating geopolitical matters with economics. I replied to him 3 times and never got another rebuttal from him, so you're right.

I agreed getting into alternative energy is important especially in terms of getting ahead of our rivals, but this guy kept talking about how developing countries were getting into renewable energy and how the US is intervening in these countries to maintain our reserve currency status, not realizing how much of a finite commodity oil actually is and how I'm pretty sure in the long-run, the US would be fine going the China route and seriously funding alternative energy initiatives. He somehow knew US dollar wasn't pegged to gold or silver anymore, and I also responded with how full faith and credit in the US gov is what backs it, but even after all of that, he'd still rather double down on conspiracies and hatred for central banks. There really is no hope if this is the level of thinking even well-meaning people on the left have.

Maybe these people would understand this stuff if it were framed like playing a game of Monopoly, something they could identify with easier. I wouldn't even mention the name MMT, just start framing things that way and going from there.

Matt Franko said...

"framed like playing a game of Monopoly,"

Its been tried it doenst work its not serious enough...

It can be presented using mathematical functions, discrete time, determinsitically, in a "serious" academic format which could be well accepted...

Jose Guilherme said...

Even economists say that deficit spending without issuing bonds causes inflation and they keep repeating It.

Of course, massive QE with no inflation - in the USA, Japan, UK, eurozone, etc - proved once and for all that idea is dead wrong.

It's true that mainstream economists didn't change their views - because they're ideologues, not scientists.

But who knows: maybe voters would be persuaded that "monetizing" public debt is not inflationary if they were again and again exposed to this decisive piece of evidence.

After all, there is no need to understand reserve accounting and other complex notions in order to "get" that central banks buying up trillions of public debt does not lead to inflation. Keep presenting the facts - and let the electorate make up its mind.

Greg said...

@Matt
I do not get your anti evolution riffs at all and this;

"Its no coincidence imo that we have all of these morons going all around saying "we're out of money!" and "we evolved from the apes!" at the same time...." is absurd.

There are way more antievolution folks who are "metallistic" as you would say and conservative christianity and zero sum , pain inflicting economics go hand in hand. Yes there are plenty of "we are out of money" morons on both sides but for you to make the above statement about acknowledgers (I refuse to call my self a BELIEVER of evolution, its a fact) of evolution and screaming we're out of money is really quite breathtaking.

"Conservative Christians are tired and fed up of all of this "we evolved from the apes!" nonsense..."

Conservative Christians also say laughably ignorant stuff like "If we evolved from apes why are apes still here??" showing an absolutely laughable level of misunderstanding of evolution. Having a common ancestor with apes doesn't replace apes it replaces the common ancestor with both apes AND humans. Additionally its entirely possible that the common ancestor apes and humans share lived for awhile AT THE SAME TIME as the its successors. Its branches off a tree. The bigger branch doesn't have to die but eventually does. As will apes and humans.

Matt Franko said...

Here they have all of the data on what they buy here:

https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Dashboard/2015-Medicaid-Drug-Spending/2015-Medicaid-Drug-Spending.html

Give Trump this data and see what he can do with it... what do you think he buys all his bars of Trump Soap for his hotels one bar at a time?

Bob said...

Bernie was upfront with his intention to support Hillary if he lost the nomination. In spite of that, he could have seized the opportunity to build a genuine progressive movement. That is why many are pissed at his failure to even try. The old adage of "a leopard does not change its spots" applies to 99.9% of politicians.

Matt Franko said...

Greg it is a rationalist science here:

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Rationalism

This is how stochastic people see the human history via reason ... other people are deterministic.... neither can know empirically none of us were there... or you would have to evolve a third eye in the back of a head in a petri dish...

They dont want to be force fed this stochastic view anymore...

the Darwin people should just shut up about it and do empirical science and there wouldnt be any problems... stop trying to force your round stochastic peg into the square deterministic hole....

Magpie said...

@Matt

I think you may have misread what Sanders wrote.

The $324 BILLION you mentioned is the 2015 total expenditure in drugs (or Big Pharma revenue for sales), as the link you provided says.


The $327 MILLION in 2015 that Sanders writes about is Big Pharma top ten executives' compensation (salaries, bonuses and such) got, as Sanders says.

Kristjan said...

"Of course, massive QE with no inflation - in the USA, Japan, UK, eurozone, etc - proved once and for all that idea is dead wrong.

It's true that mainstream economists didn't change their views - because they're ideologues, not scientists.

But who knows: maybe voters would be persuaded that "monetizing" public debt is not inflationary if they were again and again exposed to this decisive piece of evidence.

After all, there is no need to understand reserve accounting and other complex notions in order to "get" that central banks buying up trillions of public debt does not lead to inflation. Keep presenting the facts - and let the electorate make up its mind."


To them It is "stuff I don't understand any way, I am not even going to bother". They never see any problem with European Debt Crisis explanation. One should ask where is it now? What happened, why isn't there crisis now? May be they buy the explanation that market sentiment changed and the job creators are funding the deficit now. Every fucked up mainstream economist who finds so much in MMT semantics to criticise and keeps repeating that there is nothing new in MMT has never bothered to publicly ask this question either.

MMT-ers have lost hope too. No MMT-er throws lines around: fist they laugh at you.....they know it is not going to happen. Every gold bug has been beaten, every deficit terrorist conquered, still nothing.

Tom Hickey said...

Bernie is not only not a systems guy, but also he is not a solutions guy. He's a reformer trying to patch up a broken down system whose operation he doesn't understand. Lots of ressentiment, but o new vision.

One can say what one likes about Trump but he did put forth a new vision for America, based on alt-right Bannonism and Alexander Dugin's The Fourth Political Revolution. Dugin is pictured as "Putin's Rasputin" by Western liberals, which is nonsense, of course.

But it is ironic that this train of thought underlies Steven Bannon's thinking as Trump's chief strategist, although as far I have been able to determine there is no evidence that Bannon got it directly from Dugin.

Bannon is definitely aware of Dugin's traditionalism.

“When Vladimir Putin, when you really look at some of the underpinnings of some of his beliefs today, a lot of those come from what I call Eurasianism,” said Bannon. “He’s got an adviser [Dugin] who harkens back to Julius Evola and different writers of the early 20th century who are really the supporters of what’s called the traditionalist movement, which really eventually metastasized into Italian fascism. A lot of people that are traditionalists are attracted to that.”

Bannon is referring to Dugin here. Dugin is a proponent of traditionalism — a philosophy in which all moral and religious truths come from divine revelation and are perpetuated by tradition — and counts Evola, an influential Italian fascist, as one of his influences.


(Note: Dugin is not an adviser to Putin, with whom he is on the outs with after being fired from his professorship for advocating war with Ukraine. Dugin is a leader of the nationalist part opposed to Putin's centrist liberal-leaning party and Putin's generally liberal views, although not Western neoliberal, which is characteristic of the "fifth column.")

While it is not yet clear how deeply Bannon has delved into the social and political philosophy of Traditionalism and its relation to alt-right, it is clearly not unknown to him.

Regardless of where it came from, Bannon realized that what is essentially Dugin's analysis is on to something. While there are many sources of alt-right thought, Dugin is the predominant contemporary thinker in this area. He is also very perceptive in geopolitics and geostrategy.

According to Dugin, the first three political revolutions that shaped modernity were Liberalism, Communism, and Fascism. Dugin views Communism and Fascism as now dead politically, leaving Liberalism dominate but moribund. He views the Fourth Political Revolution as updating Traditionalism for postmodernity, transcending the Liberal era through a return to stable values.

This is now coming more to the fore. Chicago Tribune, The Russian 'philosopher' who links Putin, Bannon, Turkey: Alexander Dugin

So far very few in the West seem to exhibit much understanding of any of the nuance of this and most of what is written is uniformed, emotional and ideologically based, for example, seeing relationships were none exist and failing to see the obvious when it involves paradoxes of liberalism or conflicts with liberal ideology and the liberal worldview. As a result they are punching in the dark.

So Trump and Bannon appear as a dark mystery.



Kristjan said...

Bannon was a deficit terrorist also. He was not in politics when he talked about government debt being a problem so there is a reason to believe that he was sincere. Trump said US never had to default. He didn't like Bill Mitchell and tweeted something negative about him last year. I can't remember what It was, so chances are, Trump has read some MMT. Since he seems the most ideology free guy, he might me our closest call but who knows.

Ryan Harris said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob said...

Has this been posted before?
https://qz.com/898134/what-steve-bannon-really-wants/

Greg said...

I think your right Ryan

Seems to me too that we are close to making medical expenditures "off budget" as we do with military. Medical care is as necessary as military, even more so. I also think that medical industry is a place where a large part of a JG could be run, kind of like military used to be before we did away with the draft. Its a combination of tech and service jobs and there are numerous ways every hospital in the country could use some properly trained people to do things which can make the doctors, nurses and especially patients experience much better.

Tom Hickey said...

Humans are not descended from the contemporary species called apes and moneys. That's bogus.

These are branches on the evolutionary tree with a common ancestors that were primates.

Humans belong to the rather large group of species, genera, and families that make up the order of primates of the class mammals. Primates appeared about 85 million years ago.

Humans are descended from species that branched along the primate tree and formed a new genus called "Homo," meaning human, about 2.8 million years ago. It took about a million years to evolve Homo erectus from Homo habilus, and perhaps another half million years or more to arrive at Homo sapiens. The only existent subspecies of homo sapiens is Homo sapiens sapientis. That's us. We are a relative new comer. As modern humans gained dominance over the environment, reduced threats and produced food, population growth went exponential.

There is a huge amount of evidence that speaks for evolutionary theory, scant evidence that speaks against it. Obviously, most of this evidence is necessarily archaeological, and it can be dated quite accurately with contemporary methods.

The archaeological evidence calls for explanation. Evolutionary theory is the "best explanation" for this evidence, just as the evidence for the age of the Earth is geophysical.

Scientific explanation now extends back to the beginning of the universe and includes the formation of Earth, the appearance of life on Earth, and the evolution of various forms of life in ascending orders of complexity. Moreover, the explanations that make up the overarching worldview are consilient, that is, mesh together quite seamlessly. (This is a problem for contemporary econ in that it is not consilient with other sciences.)

There is a huge amount of evidence speaking for the current scientific model as the best explanation and there is no credible competing explanation that is evidence-based.

Scientific explanation started replacing mythological explanation millennia ago . The beginning of this process is called the Axial Age, occurring during the 500 year period between the 8th and 3rd century BCE, when narrative explanation (Greek mythos means story) began to be replaced by reasoning and evidence.

Tom Hickey said...

Give Trump this data and see what he can do with it... what do you think he buys all his bars of Trump Soap for his hotels one bar at a time?

He said he was going to make drug prices negotiable for government. We'll see if he can get the changes through Congress.

Tom Hickey said...

Has this been posted before?
https://qz.com/898134/what-steve-bannon-really-wants/


Not that, but Bannon's speech at the Vatican conference was at the time. It is perhaps the clearest statement in his own words.

https://www.buzzfeed.com/lesterfeder/this-is-how-steve-bannon-sees-the-entire-world

Tom Hickey said...

Medical expenditure is meaningless other than bookkeeping. Societies should be unconcerned about affordability of education, healthcare, R&D and infrastructure. These are public investments in the future of the country as whole and promote the system as a whole, the return on which is immeasurable as a public "asset."

Competition is not to lower price but increase efficiency.

But in many areas, effectiveness greatly outweighs efficiency. This is understood wrt to "defense" and "security" but welfare and public provision, not so much.

Noah Way said...

Competition doesn't necessarily increase efficiency. For example, multiple underutilized resources are in some ways less efficient than one highly utilized resource. It all depends on exactly what kind of efficiency is being measured - financial, labor, distribution, etc.

With competition there are always losers. Cooperative systems only have winners.

Tom Hickey said...

Agree. What I meant was that lower prices are the outcome of greater efficiency = less waste. Lower cost for a currency sovereign is meaningless in itself. The morons take it to be of chief importance.

Of course reducing actual waste is a good thing but it is a mistake to take it as the most important thing.

Efficiency is secondary to effectiveness. Preoccupation with efficiency can reduce effectiveness.

Economics tends to focus on "efficiencies," which is another meaning of "economic."

Operations are about effectiveness however. Managers are tasked with getting the job done first and then being concerned about efficiency rather than vice versa.

A country should be concerned primarily with achieving high-level wellness for the population and secondarily with doing so as efficiently as possible. For a currency sovereign affordability is a non-issue.

Bob said...

Not that, but Bannon's speech at the Vatican conference was at the time. It is perhaps the clearest statement in his own words.

I remember this now, vaguely. Another would-be savior of capitalism with a touch of religion and nationalism to spice it up. How many times do we need to "reform" capitalism before we realize that this approach will not work?

"Bannonism" is recycled bullshit.

If we had a time machine we could send this moron back to the 1950s to live out his traditionalist fantasies.

Joe said...

"Obviously, most of this evidence is necessarily archaeological"

The archaeological evidence is tangible and nice, but not even necessary to secure the theory. The genetic evidence is the lynchpin. The entire tree of life can be mapped just from the genetic info.
Evolution is one of the most remarkable things humans have ever discovered (just go read about why chimps have testicles 4 times larger than gorillas or why polygamy is good for chimp offspring by comparing them to lion's offspring and then tell me it wasn't interesting. I dare ya! lol). And it's very accessible too. I feel it'd be a shame for evolution to not be part of the standard curriculum of school children everywhere. (sure, you might save the chimp semen load chapter for the later grades, but still...)

Jose Guilherme said...

Trump said US never had to default. He didn't like Bill Mitchell and tweeted something negative about him last year. I can't remember what It was, so chances are, Trump has read some MMT. (Kristjan)

Isn't that guy another Bill Mitchell - no relation to the MMT economist?

Tom Hickey said...

The archaeological evidence is tangible and nice, but not even necessary to secure the theory. The genetic evidence is the lynchpin. The entire tree of life can be mapped just from the genetic info.

Agree, but that requires some smarts to understand.

The fossils, not so much.

lastgreek said...

(just go read about why chimps have testicles 4 times larger than gorillas ...)

...or why compared to other primates humans have longer penises :)

lastgreek said...

Michael Tracey ‏@mtracey
Most commentary on Steve Bannon is insufferably awful, but Thomas Frank nails it in this BBC radio show:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04qx7vv

Magpie said...

Ressentiment is an extremely dubious philosophical concept and I associate it with slogans and commonplaces favored by apologists of capital: "politics of envy", for instance.

Ressentiment sounds good, how could it not? It comes from the French! Many philosophers use it, so it also sounds erudite (how could it not sound erudite?).

It is however an (1) ill-defined concept, that (2) somehow only applies to the oppressed.

Take for instance, this Nietzsche quote from the link Tom included:

(T)he problem with the other origin of the “good,” of the good man, as the person of ressentiment has thought it out for himself, demands some conclusion. It is not surprising that the lambs should bear a grudge against the great birds of prey, but that is no reason for blaming the great birds of prey for taking the little lambs. And when the lambs say among themselves, "These birds of prey are evil, and he who least resembles a bird of prey, who is rather its opposite, a lamb,—should he not be good?" then there is nothing to carp with in this ideal's establishment, though the birds of prey may regard it a little mockingly, and maybe say to themselves, "We bear no grudge against them, these good lambs, we even love them: nothing is tastier than a tender lamb."

It is unsurprising that the lambs -- Nietzsche writes -- "bear a grudge against the great birds of prey": after all, the birds of prey, well, prey on the lambs!

So, the grudge is not the problem. What Nietzsche reproaches the lambs for is for making a moral judgment on the birds of prey (and themselves) on account of that predation. Predation is an objective fact (indeed, in this example, a natural fact), there's no morality there.

To sum up: The fact of predation is not under dispute, nor is it reprehensible that the lambs hold a grudge. What's reprehensible -- for Nietzsche -- is the moralising, if they were indeed to moralise.

Now, look how the presumably philosophically-literate editor of the Wikipedia entry summarises that:

Ressentiment is a reassignment of the pain that accompanies a sense of one's own inferiority/failure onto an external scapegoat. The ego creates the illusion of an enemy, a cause that can be "blamed" for one's own inferiority/failure. Thus, one was thwarted not by a failure in oneself, but rather by an external "evil."

Where did Nietzsche call the lambs inferior? The birds of prey are indeed predators, in what possible sense are they scapegoats? One wouldn't use the word "enmity" to describe the relationship between lambs and birds of prey, neither one would say the relationship of predation is illusory.

----------

The editor is -- whether deliberately or by mere ineptitude, I can't say -- loading the notion of ressentiment, so that those who have an understandable grudge, now are failures, and those target of the grudge are scapegoats. The cause of the grudge is rendered illusory.

He/she is the one doing the moralising.

There's never a "politics of greed", only a "politics of envy".

Joe said...

but that requires some smarts to understand
Sure, but not that much smarts. It doesn't require formal training in biology or genetics or anything. There's some popular science books that do an absolutely fantastic job explaining it (eg Pinker, Dawkins), accessible to most people with curiosity. But does take an effort to get past the "wut? we come from monkeys? no way"...

or why compared to other primates humans have longer penises :)
Yup, human females really are size queens (evolutionarily speaking lol)
[ It's also theorized that human females have permanently plump rumps and breasts, in contrast to other primates, due to males being size & symmetry kings in that fashion... see, this shit is definitely interesting and fun! ]

Magpie said...

@Penguin pop, Bob, and John.

Great discussion and very instructive for me, living as I do on the other side of the planet.

Matthew Franko said...

Well I can tell you I didnt come from monkeys...

Our systems and the components are similar but that doesnt reveal anything about the history...

Matthew Franko said...

There is this other guy Miller there too he is some sort of Bannon sidekick and starting to get some attention:

https://twitter.com/axios/status/828032038351601664

Tom Hickey said...

@ Magpie.

Sounds like Bernie and many? of Bernie bots to me.

Whining but no vision to actualize that changes the game other than ad hoc.

Tom Hickey said...

Sure, but not that much smarts. It doesn't require formal training in biology or genetics or anything. There's some popular science books that do an absolutely fantastic job explaining it (eg Pinker, Dawkins), accessible to most people with curiosity.

I got into this as a kid way before I was exposed to genetics. I loved history and especially loved rising the Museum of Natural History in NYC. The exhibits there are amazing for a child and give direct experience of the vastness of history and time. No way a mythological "explanation" is going to compete with that.

Kids should be exposed to his from the first grade. Most probably can't visit the Museum of Natural History and certainly not as often as I did if they live out of area, but now communications technology makes that simple.

Tom Hickey said...

Humans have three layers of brain.

The first is the R complex that is shared with snakes and lizards. It does the "housekeeping." (Yes, we are also descended from snakes.)

The second is the limbic system, which coiled around the R complex is the old mammalian brain responsible for affect that we shared with dogs and cats, for example. Mammals experience affect, snakes don't. "Pet snake" is an oxymoron.

The third is the cortex built on top of the other two layers of the brain responsible for cognition, which we share with other primates.

As the fetus develops, ontogenesis (development of the entity) replicates phylogenesis (development of the phylum).

The historical process of evolution is replicated in the womb, revealing descent.

Tom Hickey said...

There is this other guy Miller there too he is some sort of Bannon sidekick and starting to get some attention:

Steve Miller is to Donald Trump as Pat Buchanan was to Richard Nixon. Unlike Bannon who is in his 60s, Miller is in his 30s and will be around for a long while. Better get used to him.

He was at Duke with Richard Spencer of the alt-right but denies being associated with him as a thinker.

Bannon and Miller seem to be sort of alt-right/traditionalist "centrists" rather than the far-right fringe their opponents make them out to be. But they are anti-liberal enough to seem that way to liberals. Neo-Nazis? Nah.

lastgreek said...

Neo-Nazis?

Well, Miller's background is Jewish so it's highly unlikely.

I believe Miller does more speechwriting than advising, if any. I even entertained for a sec. the thought that Miller might be writing Trump's tweets but figured the tweets were just too wacky/juvenile to come from anyone other than Trump.

Matthew Franko said...

Tom,

They are skeptical of liberalism which is good no? (I think it is...) I would hope that practically all here would think this is good...

Buuuuut....... they are at the same time looking at genetic characteristics to idk 'justify' these beliefs? Or 'explain' these beliefs? they have genetic characteristics wrapped up in their 'philosophy' imo...

also.....

Sidebar: "Yes, we are also descended from snakes."

Tom, it is now also my mission to disabuse you of this belief...

rsp,

Matthew Franko said...

"Yes, we are also descended from snakes."

Tom, I HAVE TO get you out of this...

rsp,

Tom Hickey said...



I am a nondualist emanationist that views consciousness as the ground rather than being either a materialist or a creationist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanationism

In this view, the unmanifest absolute manifests as the three worlds — gross, subtle and causal/mental. The absolute is unipolar. The relative is bipolar — the duality of subject and object in limited consciousness.

In the process of evolution in the larger sense than the scientific, the process of manifestation begins with a descent through the causal/mental world (whose basis is intelligence, which is different from intelligence at the gross level) through the subtle world (whose basis is energy, which is different from energy at the gross level) to the gross word whose basis is space. The ascent is from the gross world through the subtle world and then causal world to the unmanifest absolute. The outcome of the process is self-realization.

While the relative states of existence appear to manifest from the absolute unmanifest, the process is self-contained, as the ocean undulates in currents and rises and falls in waves without giving rise to anything other than itself or anything becoming separate from it. The relative appears in time and changes (becoming) whereas the absolute is timeless and unchanging (being).

Meher Baba lays this out conceptually in God Speaks, the second and third chapters of which is about the process of evolution of form from the formless and chapters four and five are about the involution of form to the formless. It accords with evolutionary theory but goes beyond it to explore the comprehensive nature of reality

Science is beginning to capture what the sages have described in wisdom traditions from time immemorial. But being empirical in the sense of being restricted to evidence available to the physical senses, science is limited to the gross. So the evolutionary process of the universe that science treats is limited to the gross universe that can be observed by the senses either directly or indirectly by instruments.

This observation is limited to only the surface of the "ocean," the waves, as it were. Individuals can be conceived as drops, bubbles of foam that are not separate from the ocean and merge with it when the bubble breaks. This analogy is used by sages of different traditions. The sages explain not only what happens on the surface but also in the depths, and the nature of the ocean as indivisibly one.

These ideas have also been explored intellectually in the West as philosophical idealism and process philosophy.

Now scientists are exploring how modern science and ancient wisdom in various traditions relate. For example, astrophysicist Howard Smith explores the parallels between the ancient Hebrew creation myth as explained by the sages and modern science in Let There Be Light: Modern Cosmology and Kabbalah: A New Conversation Between Science and Religion (2006).

I am thoroughly convinced that this is the best explanation. It can be tested in the "laboratory" of one's own experience.


Greg said...

"Sidebar: "Yes, we are also descended from snakes."

Tom, it is now also my mission to disabuse you of this belief..."



@ Matt

Why? Cuz the idea makes you feel icky?

You have no good reason to believe otherwise other than some other story makes you feel better. The evidence is overwhelming for the view you dont like and absolutely absent for the view you prefer.

Bob said...

I'm descended from dragonflies :)

The Rombach Report said...

"At least Ron Paul, with whom I have to say I agree with on very, very many things, had the courage of his convictions."

Amen to that John.

Michael Norman said...

Stephanie Kelton advising him.

I critique. She blocks me.