“Give a Man a Fish, and You Feed Him for a Day. Teach a Man To Fish, and You Feed Him for a Lifetime”

I am sure you have heard this proverb many times. The proverb uses fish to stand for all food. It could be rephrased as: “Give a man some food and you will feed him for a day. Teach him to get his own food, and he will be fed for a lifetime.” The idea is to make a person self-sufficient.

However, the proverb presupposes two things. First, that you are allowed to fish in a particular place for free. But this is not true in places such as Illinois (where I live). I am allowed to fish only if I purchase a fishing license. Second, this assumes that there are fish in the water where I wish to fish. But given our ecological policies, there may not be any fish to fish for; or, they may be diseased and inedible.

Generalizing, in order to get food on your own, you must have free access to subsistence land. For the time being, there are indigenous stateless people who do have some limited free access; the rest of us who live in States, have to purchase or rent such subsistence land.

Two Foundations of Capitalism

Capitalism is best understood as a method to create a pool of people who must work to survive (proletarians). This method — carried out by the State in the form of laws — is twofold: (1) forbid free access to subsistence land, (2) introduce a property tax. [The British in Africa called it a “hut tax.”]

The consequence is that even after buying a property and getting rid of a mortgage on the property, no one can live on such a property for free because there is a rent to be paid to the government — a property tax.

I came across an interesting article explaining the origin of property taxes:

Alana Semuels, “The Feudal Origins of America’s Most-Hated Tax,” The Atlantic, August 24, 2016.

Her source of information seems to be:

Jonathan R. T. Hughes, The Governmental Habit Redux: Economic Control from Colonial Times to the Present, 1991.

The Dilemma of Evil

I can understand and sympathize with either the judgment that Joe Biden is the lesser of the two evils or the judgment that Donald Trump is the lesser of the two evils. In other words, I and such people are in agreement that both Joe Biden and Donald Trump are evil. But if someone does not understand or agree that both are evil, then I consider such a person a fool.

It is abundantly clear that both the Democratic and the Republican Parties represent the interests of the rich. And this message was superbly expressed by Chris Hedges (see below):

A People’s Party?

On Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020, 4-7 pm, eastern time, there was televised on the internet, a convention to create a new political party. The live stream does not seem to be available from the producers. But there is the following version:

To get oriented about what is going on, watch the interview below.

Nick Brana, founder, executive director of Movement for a People’s Party talks with journalist Chris Hedges about the US’ two political party system, the need for third and fourth parties and his experience campaigning for Bernie Sanders in the 2016 presidential election.

My initial reaction

It is abundantly clear that both the Democratic and the Republican Parties represent the interests of the rich. And this message was superbly expressed by Chris Hedges (see below):

I found most of the other speakers boring and the whole program too long. Anyway, if the goal is to push for a third party, why out of all the speakers only Chris Hedges urged people to vote for the Green Party, and everyone else spoke as if there is no existing third party?

Bill Maher: Champion of the Lesser of Two Evils

I have watched Bill Maher, the comedian and political commentator, for a very long time. What has been appealing is the fact that he — like George Carlin — has couched his political [and, incidentally, religious] commentary in a comedic way by sarcasm, ridicule, pun, images — by whatever works.

He has also brought together all types of celebrities for interviews and discussion panels. All this is admirable and captured my interest.

What has displeased me is his insistence on rooting for the lesser of the two evils — I mean his preference of Democrats over Republicans (among other preferences). Consequently, he becomes annoyed when the evils of Democrats are pointed out — always saying that the evils of Republicans are much worse.

Few of his guests take the position that both Democrats and Republicans are evil — perhaps even to an indistinguishable difference. Two stand out: George Carlin and Cornel West.

Below is a clip of Bill Maher defending what he thinks is the lesser of two evils.

Below is Jimmy Dore commenting on how Trump is almost even with Biden in the polls. How does one really distinguish the lesser of two evils?