By Freud’s account, conscious autonomy is a charade. “We are lived,” as he puts it, and yet we don’t see it as such. Indeed, Freud suggests that to be human is to rebel against that vision — the truth. We tend to see ourselves as self-determining, self-conscious agents in all that we decide and do, and we cling to that image. But why? Why do we resist the truth? Why do we wish — strain, strive, against the grain of reality — to be autonomous individuals, and see ourselves as such?
Perhaps Freud is too cynical regarding conscious autonomy, but he is right to question our presumption to it. He is right to suggest that we typically — wrongly — ignore the extent to which we are determined by unknown forces, and overestimate our self-control.
If we’re going to live our lives and conduct public policy in a way that assumes we’re self directed – generally a good idea – that we should probably be careful about over assuming when our daily experience tells us that there are facets to our lives sh*t happens – that we have no or little control over. One of the examples she uses is from this article about Republicans who use more public assistance than Democrats. Depend is probably a better word than merely use. Despite all the claims to a deeply misguided adherence to individuality, they are not such individualist after all. I know this from experience. They could have more independence, but they fight the very policies that would give them more. They fight against labor rights, they fight against regulation that would make the economy more stable. Fighting for an much independence is a worth while goal. Some people have a horrible concept of just how to achieve the maximum. We tend to have all or none arguments when the solution is more subtle and is not veiled in the fog of delusions about how vulnerable people are.
Barclays, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, UBS, Deutsche Bank and more
In late June, Barclays settled with British and American regulators over charges that it manipulated the Libor, a critical international interest rate set in London each day by a panel of banks. Barclays traders tried to rig the rate (and its Eurozone counterpart, the Euribor) in order to benefit particular trades, schemes clear from emails where traders promised one another bottles of champagne for their help. Also, during the financial crisis, Barclays submitted artificially low rates to make the bank look stable.
[ ]…Citigroup disclosed ongoing investigations in a recent filing. Japanese regulators also sanctioned Citigroup in December as part of their investigation into rate-rigging by Tokyo traders.
Deutsche Bank: In July, the bank said that an internal investigation had identified a “limited number” of staff who were involved in rate manipulations, and cleared all senior management.
Royal Bank of Scotland: RBS says they have fired four employees and maintains that the wrongdoing is confined to a “handful” of individuals.
Credit Suisse, HSBC, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, and a few other international banks have also acknowledged they are part of the Libor probe.
I read yet another anti-regulation post here at WordPress just a few days ago. As pleasant in tone as the opinion was it still reeked of ignorance wrapped in a dangerous ideology. Just leave business alone and the market through its magical powers will sort things out. That anti-regulation ideology is of the libertarian-conservative school of thought. Those same groups would – as they frequently do – describe themselves as hardheaded realists. Yet there has never been a country where business has been left to regulate itself and produced outcomes that make for a stable nation. That is one of the reasons have reason to admire the insights of Adam Smith and have so little regard for the kooky notions of Ludwig von Mises and Ayn Rand, the latter who had a peaceful death while collecting entitlements from the nanny state. No one should want too much or too little regulation, there are downsides to both. I wish I could think of a better term, but for now, let’s say that business and government should seek Goldilocks levels of regulation. That might not get people fired up, pissed off, yelling at rallies, typing all caps in web forums, but it is a rational goal, one borne out by history and research to be a worthy one.
It is easy to find an example of government gone a little overboard – especially in the U.S. when it comes to the drug war and the national security state. It is as easy, if not more so to find the wonders of the corporate mentality at work. This happened in France, but the McDonald’s there act under the same corporate umbrella as the domestic ones, Physical assault by McDonald’s in France for wearing Digital Eye Glass
Subsequently another person within McDonald’s physically assaulted me, while I was in McDonald’s, eating my McDonald’s Ranch Wrap that I had just purchased at this McDonald’s. He angrily grabbed my eyeglass, and tried to pull it off my head. The eyeglass is permanently attached and does not come off my skull without special tools.
McDonald’s corporate has said they have interviewed the employees – judging from the pictures one of them management – and what do you know they claim they did not assault this man. Despite pictures showing they did. Apparently Mickey Ds has a record of being paranoid about people photographing their menus. Banks and LIBOR, and McDs. That is just today. How can anyone read the news regularly and get from pondering that admitted daily flood of data overflow, that government has a monopoly on crazy.
The former Arkansas governor and onetime GOP presidential contender suggested a couple of cases in which he suggested that rapes, though “horrible tragedies,” had produced admirable human beings.
“Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,” Huckabee said of the late American gospel singer. One-time presidential candidate Huckabee added: “I used to work for James Robison back in the 1970s, he leads a large Christian organization. He, himself, was the result of a forcible rape. And so I know it happens, and yet even from those horrible, horrible tragedies of rape, which are inexcusable and indefensible, life has come and sometimes, you know, those people are able to do extraordinary things.”
Huckabee left the seminary in 1976 to become director of communications for the fiery televangelist Robison, who once declared he was “sick and tired of hearing about all of the radicals and the perverts and the liberals and the leftists and the communists coming out of the closet.” Robison called on “God’s people to come out of the closet” and re-take control of America.
Following the iron clad logic at work: we should have more sneak attacks on Pearl Harbor since we rebuilt it with a better facility. We should drop more atomic bombs because the Japanese did such a great jobs of rebuilding Nagasaki. We should have more hurricanes in Florida’s Dade county because they built some wonderful homes to replace the ones that were flattened by Hurricane Andrew. The Twin Towers were architectural tombs, monstrosities of design, so maybe we should have more 9-11s to have better architecture. Huckabee and his conservative comrades are taking the lemons into lemonade, think positively, look on the bright side mentality to grotesque extremes.
Some recent related science news, Scientists find another reason to mistrust the rhythm method of birth control.
If you’re trying to avoid getting pregnant, here’s another reason to mistrust the rhythm method of birth control: New research confirms that the fluid in semen, long dismissed as primarily a vehicle for sperm, contains a substance that can trigger ovulation and other pregnancy-supporting hormonal responses in female mammals. The find could lead to new fertility treatments in humans.
[ ]…NGF (neural growth factor and ovulation-inducing factor) was discovered in bull semen in the early 1980s, Adams says, but “it was one of those dangling facts that no one knew what to do with.” Now, he says, “we can connect the dots.” He and his team found the same molecule in abundance in the semen of every species they’ve studied—including humans.