Danny Mendlow's Blog

Just another WordPress.com weblog


The general climate of thought online, and in society right now, appears to have shifted from one of denial that anything is wrong, to a general acceptance that almost everything is wrong, endless squabbling over what exactly is wrong… coupled with a helplessness and void of ideas as to what should be done about it.  I call it The Michael Moore Syndrome.

I love watching Michael Moore’s films, they are often very good at showing things that are wrong.  My trouble always comes with the solution portion of the message he delivers in both film and print.  It is invariably some sort of ‘Well if we’d all just vote Democrat then everything would be okay.’

No… no it won’t.  No… no it isn’t.

A comment I get a lot of the time on my writing is “Well, fine!  So what?!  What do you propose we DO about it?”

And I agree, I often suffer from Michael Moore Syndrome, and spend too much time complaining about what shouldn’t be done, and not enough time focusing on what should.

So that’s what I’d like to do today.  I’d like you to join in the discussion in the comments section.  I’d like us to put aside our endless squabbling about the way things shouldn’t be, and toss around some positive, possible, actual… solutions.

Idealistic?  Absolutely.  What exactly is wrong with ideals and the pursuit of them?  That, should be our constant and only goal as a society.  Finding and identifying problems, and then working to solve them.  It’s this ‘well that’s the way things are’ attitude that is cancerous.  We spend so much time bickering over the classification and identification of details of the problem, and so little time solving anything as they all get much much worse.

SOLUTION THE FIRST: We need a new, modern, political ideology.  Right now, members on all sides of the ‘spectrum’ are screaming and pointing fingers at the other side, but the reality is, they are all wrong and their outdated philosophies are crumbling.

Does Communism work!?  No. It’s too oppressive, gives too much power to the state, and strips the individual of vital freedoms.  Just ask China, North Korea and the former U.S.S.R.  It doesn’t work.

Does Capitalism work!?  No. It puts the pursuit of personal wealth above anything and anyone else.  It allows corporations and wealthy interests to control and dictate as they please, with disastrous results.  Humanity, morality, civility, are all cast aside under the pretense of ‘well, we’re just making money.’  Just making money… isn’t a good enough excuse for pure, unadulterated evil.  Just ask our friends, the good ol’ US of A. It doesn’t work.

Does Socialism work!? No.  It tries to mash the two extremes together and you end up with citizens overly taxed, corruption, waste and an unsustainable economic model.  Just ask Greece, the UK and the EU. It doesn’t work.

All of these criticisms are valid.

So… do we keep sliding around on the same spectrum hoping for different results or do we realize that there are limitless possibilities outside of the spectrum!  How about that?  Forget left, forget right, forget the middle.  Let’s put an entire generation to work, inventing a new spectrum.  This can only be accomplished with an acknowledgement that the existing one is broken, which at this rate, seems to be an unavoidable certainty.

My first solution is broad, but highly necessary.  We need to get talking about fresh, innovative, models of governance and living.  Maybe these talks could occur on the subway and bus instead of staring at the floor and pretending to read the same advertisements over and over again.  Maybe they could happen in schools, actually engaging students in real problem solving. In the lunchrooms where you work.  At all?

SOLUTION THE SECOND: The role of the politician, the lawmaker, the ruling class, has to change.  Democratic elections are only democratic when the choices on the ballot represent the best interests of the people.  Let’s not kid ourselves, that time is long gone, if it was ever there to begin with.  The modern politician is a pacifist, a distractor, a performer, not a leader.  Democrat or Republican.  Conservative or Liberal.  Labour or Tory.  (See Solution The First).  We don’t need our leaders running in a non stop popularity contest. This isn’t a beauty pageant. We also don’t need the other end of the spectrum, a dictatorial iron fist of fascism that doesn’t care what the people think and does as it pleases.

We need a group of the most intelligent, qualified individuals assessing our issues, and proposing and implementing intelligent solutions.  We need to apply scientific principles to our governance.  We need scientific leaders.  They might be awkward.  They might be silly looking.  They might not have such nice smiles and well delivered zingers.  They might also actually dedicate themselves to the constant improvement of society, instead of ‘building an image’.  A staggering majority of the worlds’ most intelligent human beings are currently using their knowledge and understanding working on designing ways of making money.  Solving problems for the marketplace.

Unleash these minds on tackling poverty, oppression, homelessness, ending wars, raising standards of living.  Rather than developing algorithms for squeezing currency out of people, how about they follow their natural, intuitive, scientific inclinations… identifying problems, and solving them.  Ask anyone working in science what they could accomplish if not held back by the constraints of currency and politics.  Then watch their eyes light up.

Look at what just one of these minds can envision and design – Imagine all of them, working together, with all of us, supporting them, benefitting from the non-stop progress.  We wouldn’t have time to bicker about race, religion, or American Idol.  There’d be too many positive things to accomplish.

SOLUTION THE THIRD: The individual must refuse to participate in the oppression and systematic destruction of their fellow man.  “I’m just doing my job” isn’t a valid excuse any more than “I’m just making money” is.  It’s a weak, cop-out, and a refusal to think for yourself, burying your morals and conscience.  You cease to be a human the second you knowingly and willingly partake in this kind of behavior.

Comedian Patrice O’Neal expresses this brilliantly in his recent guest spot on Infowars.com.  Rather than preach the same boring, tired, conspiracy theories we’ve all heard a million times, Patrice instead tackles an issue we can all do something about, every day… no small powerful group of people has any power, without the average person willing to blindly carry out their orders.

“If we go down, we did it, not them… Because of so many nobodies, willing to destroy another man.”

We can’t continue to tolerate indifferent and callous behavior.  In my short lifetime I have seen such a drastic shift in the amount of nonsense people will not only put up with, but engage in.  There’s a very good reason that zombie movies are so popular right now.  The conditioning has reached such a point, that the initial response to telling someone that you have been wronged, is for them to not only disbelieve you, and downplay your grief, but to suggest that it is your fault and you brought it on yourself.

The individual has the ability to make choices.  To assess and examine individual circumstances.  The individual ceases to be an individual, the second they suppress or deny that ability.

(I could probably keep this going forever, but it’s just a blog, so I’m going to cut it short and allow you to weigh in with your own solutions in the comments.  Let’s get innovative and try to come up with some new and unique ideas!)


July 13, 2010 - Posted by | Solutions!


  1. I think one place we might start is to have some features of a new society that we really want, then figure out ways to incorporate those features in the societal infrastructure. Universal healthcare, for one. Deciding that as a society people should not have to sink so low as to be homeless. Eliminate hunger, provide jobs for everyone who wants them, a dignified living for those who don’t. Create a society where everyone can realize their potential. Create a society where certain types of behavior will not be tolerated. I know this is vague, these are just quick thoughts. We need more discussions like this. Clifford Young

    Comment by Clifford Young | July 14, 2010 | Reply

  2. Solution

    Here are few i can think of, all of them are practical, easy to implement and will strengthen capitalistic system.

    1. Define 1 unit of currency = 1 Kilo Calorie of energy.

    Anyone or Central bank can issue currency as long as they can deliver 1 Kilo calorie, in the form of food/fuel/energy on redemption of the currency. This will end all economic, fiat currency fraud. Reserve banks should have food/fuel/energy reserves to be called reserve banks. Economy runs on food/fuel/energy prosperity of a nation is directly proportional to how much food/fuel/energy is produced and consumed.

    2. Membership based political system, where all party funds, campaign funds come from annual membership fee and put a ceiling on the maximum membership fee collectible to say $200 per year. So that political parties can increase their influence, funding only through enlarging their membership. Totally ban political donations.

    3. Change the corporate law, so that only individuals can hold stock of a Corporations, Trusts. ie. Ban the ability of one corporation/company to hold stock of another corporation/company. This is to eliminate the spider web of corporate holding behind which the oligarchs hide today. Easily possible with existing computer/database technology.

    4. Put all Government treasury transactions online, including the funding for military, secret services. This will restrict the ability of governments to act against public interest.

    5. Eliminate formation of oligarchies by making a law that caps the maximum wealth an individual can pass on to another by way of inheritance/donation to say $50 million. So a rich person with 1 Billion assets is forced to divide it among 20 of his closest relatives or anyone he wants to give it off.

    6. Restrict all patents to 5 years. Restrict copyright for all digitally copyable and distributable content/software to 5 years.

    7. Ban patents for all life forms. Humans have been constantly improving plants and animal breeds for 1000’s of years, the process will continue without patents.

    Comment by Joe D | August 31, 2010 | Reply

  3. In my opinion, it won’t help to try and redesign the monetary and government structures. Their becoming corrupt is a natural progression which will always eventually happen. Because it is a system that has greater power than the individual, it will attract those who seek power over others, and those are not the people you want controlling things. You can try and enforce all kinds of things on such a system to keep it honest, it started out that way, but the power seekers will eventually find a way to change those laws and say that it’s in the best interest of the people. How would the people know the difference, after all? They gave away their right to govern themselves and became out of touch with the skill.

    The only solution, as I see it, is simple and very difficult. The choices made by people always have to affect the very same people. Put another way, nobody living in America should have power over what happens in Africa. If some shithead wants to drill for oil, that bastard better be doing it with his own hands.

    The current system can’t be transformed into what I described, we will have to leave it to its slow death and build this new world from scratch.

    Comment by Pstonie | September 15, 2010 | Reply

  4. Basically what you are talking about is the creation of a Chinese style Mandarin class. This is very appealing to the educated and intelligent person (I will include myself) but it eventually results in corruption, oppression, evasion, and revolution. China right now has re-created the Mandarin class of the Ming and Ching dynasties. It works for a while, but crashes after a few generations, and crashes hard. The Sung and Chin dynasties were destroyed by the Mongols, they were thrown out by the Ming, after about 150 years the Ming were overthrown by the Manchu (Ching) who were viewed as outsiders and, unable to stem the Europeans, were essentially destroyed by the Taiping rebellion, started by scholars who had failed to achieve a place with the Mandarins. The British finally destroyed the Taipings, but the Manchus lasted less than fifty years more. (Obviously this is all VERY broad brushstrokes.)

    The question for you is, how will your intellectual class enforce it’s decisions. The communists tried this and you can see how that worked–European Fabian communist lite, which is essentially what you seem to be suggesting, has also failed.

    Right now we essentially already have a Mandarin class, who have sold out to big business. If there is a solution, and there may not be, it will include growing the middle class and fostering a small business climate, removing both shackles and unseeming rewards from the managers of big business–big business is actually mostly owned by the middle class. Identifying the sticking points of society is part of the solution–the “personhood” of corporations is a big problem, as is the hugeness of govt, the collaboration of big business and medicine to fleece the public, and judicial imperialism–the idea that one unelected judge can make rules for the entire country.

    One solution, the traditional one, is a dictatorship; it worked for Rome, etc, and would work here, but we would all hate to see it. Going back to a collaboration of citizen farmers is also not a solution.

    Don’t know what is, but if we keep throwing up enough ideas, we may figure it out.

    Comment by badfrog | October 17, 2010 | Reply

  5. Problem domain:

    You are supposed to think that socialism, communism, capitalism don’t work. And that’s what you do think. Bravo. Now go back to your preschool period and forget about everything you were taught of. Everything. Ever. Now think again. Maybe, but only maybe will you realize what truly fucks your brain over and over again day in and day out.

    Solution domain:

    Abolishing fractional reserve banking based economy as of immediately, abolishing leverage on debt. The problem is not about capitalism. The problem is about virtual capitalism established by modern banking that turns nothing into everything (commercial bank money creation) and everything into nothing (your home, your pension, your salary, your future, your life..).

    My 2c worth,

    PS. Direct democracy = only possible democracy,
    representative democracy = cradle of all corruption.

    Comment by Just a trader | October 17, 2010 | Reply

  6. So, it only took 4 comments to get to “we should try a dictatorship”? I agree with the author; it is remarkably easy to complain about things, and remarkably difficult to come up with effective solutions. The problem I have with the article is that it follows the same Michael Moore formula. The three solutions offered are laudable and I completely agree with them, but there are no practical suggestions for how we might transition from our current climate to one where the solutions provided might be tenable. Kudos to Joe D for offering some very interesting suggestions. It would likely take me years to research their legitimate efficacy, but they are refreshingly different and far more intriguing than the canned suggestions both political parties offer up today.

    Comment by Jesse C | October 18, 2010 | Reply

  7. I was intrigued by beginning of your article. Then I got to the socialism part with Greece, UK and EU as examples.

    You’re asking for an informed and intelligent discussion and can’t even make difference with Social/Welfare state and Socialism?

    If you want to point examples of social/welfare state why don’t you mention Germany, Sweden, Norway, Finland… Most people there live far better than most people in US of f… A. Or look to your neighbour up north.

    No wonder Europeans find Americans ignorant.

    Comment by Tomislav | October 18, 2010 | Reply

  8. Getting rid of the current banking system and keeping capitalism is treating the symptom and not the cause, in my opinion. It’s definitely the most serious symptom and will solve a lot of problems, but I think we should be better than that. Capitalism by definition is the religion of accumulating capital, and once equilibrium is reached, the most fanatical devotees to the church of mammon have to start taking what everyone else has. Whatever system we have should be based on trust and not suspicion, but it’s a start.

    It’s kind of a moot point though, since we won’t be able to make the crucial transition while money is god. The scum that’s profiting from the banking system has most of it, and while people value money over what’s right, nothing will change.

    Luckily, and this is admittedly mostly conjecture on my part, cause and effect has intruded into what used to be a closed system. The scum have not been able to control themselves and they have finally taken too much. Now they are attempting to close their greedy little fingers of control and as a result, more and more will slip through. This foreclosure circus is just the tippy top of the iceberg, and once the public get wind of what they’ve been doing for centuries, putting them against the wall and turning their heads into pink mist will be the humane thing to do, because the mob will tear them apart like warm bread.

    Comment by Pstonie | October 19, 2010 | Reply

  9. Jeh keep dreaming, until you awake. There will be never a “good” solution to the problem that people wanto: to kill, to control, to own, to get might, to get power. At the end it is just to fuck womans 🙂

    As long as womans like such guys it will keep going. So far I dont see any change in this 🙂

    Comment by Sabba | January 19, 2011 | Reply

    • Comment wasn’t deleted… they all just have to be approved. Lots of spam.

      Comment by dannymendlow | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  10. Sounds like The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris!

    Comment by Phil | January 19, 2011 | Reply

  11. This is an awesome article, I’ll be adding your blog to my list.

    Comment by Barkha Atwal | September 12, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: