Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

The Way We Were: A Retroactively Open Thread

On Facebook today someone asked me to join an event to “Stop the Marketplace for One Day”.  Because Facebook will only allow me 1,000 characters in a wall post – and because I can’t say “hello” in less than 1,500 characters – I decided to make it the basis of an Open Thread discussion.

My comment is below the fold, but you won’t find me pitching in to bring down the global economy to somehow “fix things”.  I like the 21st century, and since one of my children did not die as an infant I find it demonstrably more desirable than the 19th century when at least one of them would have.

Anyone who wants to suggest that we shuck off this modern world needs to talk to the parents of this baby, first.

Your thoughts?

I don’t get it.  The idea is to take down 1/260th of the economy and this is going to help how?  Sure, less commerce so less jobs, that’s a big plus for everyone out of work.  Eat only locally grown crops that only upper-middle-class people can afford, grown using methods that, if every farmer used them, would not produce enough food to feed the global population?

Until someone convinces me that latte-liberal farming methods can scale to feed 15 billion people (plan ahead, folks) much less the 7 billion we have now I’ll keep my vote in the marketplace.  You aren’t going to influence corporations by opting out, you influence them by choosing wisely among them (granted, that includes buying from small farmers, for example).

No offense intended, and I have no doubt your intentions are good, but I don’t think retreating into caves is going to save the world.  We cannot go back to 1950 nor would we want to (global infant mortality was nearly three times what it is today) much less back to 1850 when US infant mortality was 22% (white) and  34% (black).  Compare that to the worst place on earth today – Angola, at 18%.

This “system of the world” we have built has brought enormous advantages along with it’s disadvantages.  Make it better if you can, but going backwards is not an option.


  1. if it weren’t for the advancements of the last 20 years.

    I have a bit over 10″ of Dacron tubing around my heart. Yes, a patented material, and easily recyclable.  The very surgery that put in the first round, was put off for nearly 20 years, because it was considered dangerous when I was born, and routine by the time I was 20 and finally had the repair.

    The second surgery?  My surgeon had never performed under the conditions that my dissection had occurred.  He and his team did have the best technology available, and they pulled it off, and I only lost a tiny bit of speech pattern–most of which has been altered from the aphasia that makes me reach for words sometimes around the damaged sections, and gives my speech a cadence that it didn’t have before.

    My daughter was born 9 weeks early. She was 2lbs 4ozs when she was born.  She dropped to 1lb, 14oz afterwards.  Gabe’s always been a fighter, but the technology that was monitoring my wife let the doctor’s know that there was a problem, and she was from room to surgery for the c-section in minutes. I hadn’t gotten to Springfield from the time I got the call, to when I got word that Gabe had entered the world.  The NICU in Bay State Medical is state of the art, and an amazing team of professionals. And they saved my little girl. And made it look almost easy.

    While I can understand the frustration that a rise in corporatism evokes–and to some degree I share some of that frustration when it infringes on our politics–I am less of Neo-Luddite.  While there are certainly things to be aware of, trends to turn, and economic battles to be waged, regression doesn’t help.  While there are folks who are being exploited even within our own territories–yes, I’m looking at some of our Pacific possessions that have been specifically exempted from our own labor laws–let alone in the Third World, folks have it far better in most of these places, thanks to increased food production, medical advances, and the general promotion of production systems that can provide mass goods cheaply. The interconnectedness of our economies today lends itself better to working towards a market fairness–though, there is certainly a ways to go–there is reason for hope that we are, as a species, going to get our shit together.

    Commerce itself is not to blame for the world’s ills. Greed and market unfairness?  A bit moreso, and that has to be addressed by folks at home in their choices, and it has to be addressed at the ballot box to encourage responsibility. Blaming “the market” means, at some point, looking at yourself, because we ARE the market. From the foods we purchase, to the shoes on our feet.  So long as we demand cheap goods, and don’t ask where they come from, we are going to see some folks who will provide them, and cut as many corners as they can to drive up profit.  We can turn that, but it takes being aware and active.  

    But tearing down the marketplace is an anarchic sort of slogan that sounds fun at a Chumbawamba concert, but works about as well as a football bat…

  2. rfahey22

    But, you know, I’m sure it made 50 or so people feel warm and fuzzy inside.  It’s probably best not to take these things seriously.  Besides, wouldn’t “the modern world” include the Motley Moose?  We’ve got a self-preservation motive here.

  3. alyssa chaos

    is there a description for the event other than “stopping the market place for one day?”

    1. I dont think they mean to fix anything by this event. If anything its a way to send a message, showing power and the ability to affect the marketplace. It wont have much of an impact on the economy. Plenty of boycotts of this nature have been held and none with much success.


    You aren’t going to influence corporations by opting out, you influence them by choosing wisely among them (granted, that includes buying from small farmers, for example).

    Its definitely a personal choice if you refuse to have to choose between the lesser of two evils. I dont think you really influence corporations by choosing wisely between the sweatshop in China or the sweatshop in India. There are very little choices for those who actually care about making responsible purchases. I agree that those who dont have money really have no choice. Locally grown and american made products are expensive, not to mention rare in the case of finding anything american made.

    3. I dont think anyone is suggesting we go back to the 1950s or the 1850s… ? Not sure why you decided to throw that and infant mortality rates in the mix. I think everyone agrees that modern medicine and technological advancements are badass.

    One day of non-participation is not going to accomplish anything. Striking a balance between money/availability and responsible choices is what people should be striving for and doing instead. Unless someone is self sustaining, where they grow their own food and make their own clothes, they HAVE to participate in the marketplace.


    latte-liberal farming methods

    No offense intended

    ahahaaha. okay.

  4. …and again indulge in the furthest reaches of Narcissism…

    Hi Lee – compared to any other point in history, no I do not believe that (capitalized or not ;~).  Until about 300 years ago large power blocks had all control and everyone else had absolutely none whatsoever anywhere ever.  With that as a starting point we have improved enormously.  Corporations are incredibly simple to understand and influence as opposed to religions and monarchic dictatorships, so until we reach a Utopian ideal of absolute parity among All Peoples Everywhere this is as good a step as I can imagine.  You can even buy one share in any public corporation and rant directly at their shareholder meetings, which is more than Genghis Khan would have granted you.

    @Johnny – perhaps not, but actually giving the clearist answer would have more chance of being understood than coyly hinting that you have one. ;~)

    @Susan – There are more sustainable ways to produce food than we are using today, and ironically many of them are being developed as a result of the massive agribusiness/research complex that has developed in the past century.  Part of this is grassroots activity and activism and shoe-leather science by passionate people, but all of it is intertwined with the very system that both produces so much and itself cannot linearly scale to address global food growth demand.  That system, however, is still the very best mechanism we have for exploring and evolving techniques like no-till farming (which is great retention and development for soil but currently tends to be heavy on chemicals).  

    As for your point about meat, while I understand the ethical, health and food-production motivations behind Veganism, since it is not (not ever.) going to be the lifestyle for 100% of the human population that in itself is at best a marginal issue as far as food production and availability.  I have my own supposition where the factors we are considering here and our exponentially increasing understanding of biology lead, and if I am right I expect all three of those issues will be completely addressed.  While it may offend some people on some level for some set of reasons, I expect to enjoy a genetically engineered steak grown in a tank using renewable energy in my elderly years.


    for the common good. Strict regulations even the playing field and it’s win/win.

    If I had to live out of my garden, I’d have had to come up with a whole year’s meals using only one green pepper and some snapdragons.  

    If I had to live on what is grown locally, I’d get awfully sick of fresh corn, onions and cantaloupe.

  6. spacemanspiff

    Another win for the good guys.


    “Although Proposition 8 fails to possess even a rational basis, the evidence presented at trial shows that gays and lesbians are the type of minority strict scrutiny was designed to protect,” Walker ruled.

    “Plaintiffs do not seek recognition of a new right. To characterize plaintiffs’ objective as “the right to same-sex marriage” would suggest that plaintiffs seek something different from what opposite-sex couples across the state enjoy — namely, marriage. Rather, plaintiffs ask California to recognize their relationships for what they are: marriages.”

    “Proposition 8 places the force of law behind stigmas against gays and lesbians, including: gays and lesbians do not have intimate relationships similar to heterosexual couples; gays and lesbians are not as good as heterosexuals; and gay and lesbian relationships do not deserve the full recognition of society.”

Comments are closed.