Scanlyze

The Online Journal of Insight, Satire, Desire, Wit and Observation

For the public good

I’m not all that enthralled by the notion of the nation-state. As an expression of an ethnic group and all that implies, it is an anachronism which should eventually join the divine right of kings on the scrapheap of history.

However, such states are here, they exist, so, what should they do? What is proper policy for a nation state?

The public good. That is what the nation-state must serve. Not just some utilitarian idea of the greatest good for the greatest number, though that’s part of it. The aspirations of the nation state should be to in some real and tangible sense, make things better in a lasting and sustainable manner for all people and for the earth, as stewards.

The psychologist Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper, “A Theory of Human Motivation,” proposed a hierarchy of needs from the most basic humans needs to the more advanced, which depend upon the forgoing.

Maslow’s hierarchy is: physiological needs, safety needs, social belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

So a good government, first and foremost, must see to the physiological well-being of the people. This means housing, clothing, health care and energy.

Second, safety. This means public safety, environmental and workplace regulation in the public interest, and defense. Actual defense, not occupying other countries or using force to implement regime change.

Third, social belonging. If you are going to have a just nation, then there must be a true sense of “one people.” Including everyone. Also, open borders and acceptance of refugees and migrants with open arms.

Esteem, treat everyone as of value and of worth. Let them make their own choices.

And self-actualization. The key to this is free education, and also a robust economy welcoming to co-ops and startups with strong protections insuring transparency and interdicting monopoly power. Regulation of “natural monopolies” through common carrier, public interest, and environmental legislation. Self-management and workplace democracy, with unions playing a key role in the transition from industrial capitalism to post-industrial social democracy.

So yes, nation-states, do those things. The people have spoken. :p

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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30 September, 2017 Posted by | government, Maslow, nation, nation-state, politics, scanlyze | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump is like Elmer Gantry, only not smart, cool, or clever

Donald Trump reminds me a good deal of the fictional character Elmer Gantry from the eponymous 1927 novel by Sinclair Lewis and 1960 movie by director and screenwriter Richard Brooks. Gantry is a ne’er-do-well small time swindler and hustler with a sordid past who becomes involved with a charismatic evangelist and barnstormer who in the film is modeled after Aimee Semple McPherson.

Like Gantry, Trump is a liar, a womanizer, a cheat, and a scoundrel. Like Trump, Gantry is a manipulative psychopath who happily leaves a trail of ruined lives in his wake.

But unlike Trump, Gantry is cool, he is smart, and he isn’t blinded by malignant narcissism. Although Gantry doesn’t have any evident sense of conscience, he does seem to grasp that doing good feels good, that exposing the hypocritical and wicked feels better and best of all, he knows when the jig is up and it’s time to get out of town ahead of the posse.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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24 August, 2017 Posted by | Elmer Gantry, Jean Simmons, movies, scanlyze, Trump | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is to be Done?

I admit that Mr. Trump reminds me of Mussolini with his puffed-up sense of arrogant self-importance, his childlike delight in praise, his bullying sense of wounded pride when confronted by honest criticism or any limits on his self-aggrandizing greed and entitlement.

Trump’s irrational demonization of immigrants, his attempts to equate Nazis and anti-Nazis or even to make anti-Nazis and the press the villains, his revanchist call to “Make America Great Again,” all this is reminiscent of the worst days of fascism and stalinism.

But for all that, having lost the support of 2/3 of the American electorate, big business, the joint chiefs, congressional leaders of both parties, the press and America’s allies, Trump must soon depart the stage. Indeed, one wonders if he is not yearning to have someone remove him from this cleft fork of his own cutting, with his increasingly deranged “stop me before I tweet again” morning raves and rants.

But as disturbing as Trump is, what most worries me is the 35% of Americans who refuse to accept rational evidence or logic, who join with Trump in vilifying the nation’s most honored and reliable news sources as “fake news,” who, in defiance of 70 years of American conservatism, apparently see no problem at all with the corruption of the US electoral process and the office of the President by Russians in the regime of Mr. Putin, an authoritarian and Machiavellian former KGB spy. That 35% of Americans won’t be going away. What is to be done?

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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24 August, 2017 Posted by | Fascism, It Can't Happen Here, Make America Great Again, Mussolini, scanlyze, What is to be Done | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Never Again

400,000 Americans and 20 million Allies died violently fighting Fascism in World War II. Another 35 million were tortured, gassed, burned, died of disease and privation, slaughtered, bombed, starved, shot, and beaten to death.

Yes Mr. Trump, I expect that “some of them were good people.”

And God bless them all for saving the world. And damn us all if we let it happen again.

Never. Again.

Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

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24 August, 2017 Posted by | eternal war, Fascism, Never Again, scanlyze, Trump, war, war crimes, WWII | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We are the good Americans.

We are the good Americans.

Our America is the America of “This Land is Your Land.” Our America is the America of “America the Beautiful.” Our America is the America of “We Shall Overcome.” Ours is the America of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”

Our America is the America of Abraham Lincoln and Sojourner Truth and Emma Goldman and Paul Robeson. Our America is the America of Joe Hill and Eugene V Debs and Norman Thomas. Our America is the America of Michael Harrington and Kwame Ture. Our America is the America of Malcolm X and Upton Sinclair. Our America is the America of Teddy Roosevelt and Franklin Roosevelt. Our America is the America of Smedley Butler and Abbie Hoffman.

Join us!

Statue of Liberty

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Copyright © 2017 Henry Edward Hardy

15 August, 2017 Posted by | America, Americans, scanlyze, USA | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment