A Green State of Mind is presented by the Green Party of New York State to inform debate and spark discussion. The views and opinions expressed are strictly those of the authors

An Economic Stimulus Plan Within The Green Alternative

By Hank Bardel: This Economic Stimulus Plan has been created basically to quickly inform masses of people on how we as a people, through our elected government, can stimulate the American economy. Obviously it is not designed to go into needed details at this point. At some point in the future details can be filled in. Continue reading


The populist and progressive movements need each other, both historically and now, in order to present a real political alternative to the interlocking system of militarism, religious fundamentalism, and corporations. The presidential election of 1896 was considered the most dramatic in American history up to that point. It was a realignment of political positions as well as a strong showing of third party activity. The Republican candidate William McKinley forged a coalition in which businessmen, professionals, skilled factory workers, and prosperous farmers were heavily represented. This made up the character of the Republican party well into the 20th century. In contrast, William Jennings Bryan was the nominee of the Democrats, the Populists, and the Silver Republicans. Economic issues were the most important in this election. The issues included the tariff, the metal backing of the currency, and how to deal with the severe economic recession of 1893. The question over using gold or silver to back the currency caused severe splits in the two major parties. The Democrats who supported gold actually left the party even though the incumbent president Grover Cleveland supported the gold standard. Some Republicans who supported silver left their party and supported Bryan. Continue reading


A new type of international trade is possible, one that is fair and just for all involved, as long as there is a critical stance toward corporations. Humans are definitively living in a global market. The global scope of neoliberal capitalism is an expansion of not only the body but the spirit of capitalism. The body of capitalism can be defined as the infrastructure needed for a capitalist system such as roads, factories, and technology. The spirit of capitalism is the subsumption of society under the requirements of a capitalist market where all aspects of the social is commodified. Trade in this global market is therefore contained by the neoliberal capitalist system. But the old issues about trade with multiple nations, issues that have been prevalent for the United States since the 1800’s, still emerge. This emergence is due to the fact that those who participate in the global economy, both workers and owners, have remained the same for over a century. As humans, they have basic needs that are constant and they are in positions of power or subservience that has not actually changed during this period of time. Continue reading


The possible change in perspective on national drug policy may give people the chance to reevaluate how some of these drugs can be used for liberatory purposes. The possibility of changes to American drug policy has become more prevalent over time despite the insistence of the government to continue the War On Drugs to its fullest degree. Despite the restrictive outlook of the government, both Democrat and Republican which has remained constant for decades, the real change has been in public perception. Society has gradually been more open to reform that would include the legalization of marijuana for personal use and the medical treatment for drug addiction. Once consigned to a support by marijuana enthusiasts alone, former law enforcement officials and medical professionals are now admitting that marijuana poses no public threat and that the overall methodology of drug criminalization needs to drastically change. Medical marijuana initiative attempts throughout the United States are becoming more common place than even ten years ago. Public figures, some in government, have recently revealed that they have used marijuana with no negative repercussions. But in contrast, anti-drug commercials that are in circulation usually emphasize the supposed “danger” of marijuana and its dire effects on children. Without a doubt the Drug War is still going on, and it is important to note how marijuana has been villified as the enemy and how it relates to what marijuana and other non-addictive illegal drugs really do to humans in terms of consciousness and social context. Continue reading


There is very important lessons to be taken from the film “Solaris” which deals with the relationship between the other, exploration, desire, and understanding culture. The 1972 film “Solaris” by Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky is a visually stunning film that was an adaptation of a science fiction novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. It is an example of a science fiction film, in the same general spirit as “2001: A Space Odyssey”, that deals with ideas rather than being an elaborate action movie. Beyond the wonderful cinematography, there is the presentation of a very interesting set of philosophical ideas that moves the plot forward. A psychologist is assigned to visit a space station orbiting the planet Solaris whose surface is a mysterious ocean of some kind of liquid. Strange occurrences have been going on with the crew of the space station, including cases of hallucinations. When the psychologist arrives at the space station, he finds one of the three remaining scientists has committed suicide and the other two are reluctant to talk about what is going on. Shortly afterward he finds his wife, who herself committed suicide some time ago, in his quarters. The psychologist discovers that the planet, or some alien force on the surface, has been able to tap into the minds of the visitors and project incarnations of their unconscious as living beings on the space station. If these beings die or are killed, they return shortly afterward with no memory of their disposal. The rest of the movie is the psychologist and the crew dealing with this phenomenon, as the artificial wife begins to believe that she is more and more real, while trying to understand what the alien force wants through this manifestation process. The attempt at understanding what is going on leads to some conclusions about how humans encounter what is different from them, while the emotional conflict between the psychologist and the image of his dead wife illustrates related issues concerning desire and how humans express that desire. Continue reading


Despite its negative connotations, anarchism can provide a non-anarchist political movement with many ideas based upon its practices and theoretical speculations throughout the decades. The twentieth century has been the manifestation of various lines of thought that began in the nineteenth century. Before the sudden event of the Bolshevik Revolution, there was, to a limited degree, a public discussion of socialism, communism, and anarchism. It would be very common for socialists, communists, and anarchists to have meetings and public speaking venues. They were viewed as real alternatives. As a point of clarification, the difference between socialism and communism can be defined in a specific way. Socialists are Marxists that enter into power through elections while communists are Marxists who enter into power through revolution. Socialism made some electoral gains in the United States in the early twentieth century and in Europe as well later on. Communism became relegated to one side of an ideological warfare during the Cold War, and was easily caricatured. However, socialism became limited as only reformers within a democratic structure and communism reconstituted the centralization of power that was supposedly overthrown by revolution. In both cases, real systematic change was restricted. The anarchist tradition used a different approach which emphasized creating the new world in the shell of the old. In other words, real change was enacted through immanent structures that expressed both freedom and equality in a substantial way that was also local and voluntary. Unfortunately, anarchism as a movement that could effectively achieve the overall goals of socialism and communism was strongly misinterpreted as rooted in violence and a push to create absolute chaos. It can be very helpful, and very productive, for any political movement committed to social, economic, and ecological justice to understand the anarchist vision as a template. This process may need to ignore the term anarchism itself in order to look at its traits clearly and impartially. Continue reading


The following is part two of a series that explores various current economic aspects in a way that illustrates the possibility for new alternatives rather than mapping out detailed new plans. A binary opposition is the subsumption of reality between contradictions. The world is defined by two terms set against each other which excludes other perspectives. There is also the appearance of these two terms in a direct relationship with each other. This appearance reinforces the exclusion. It is important to realize that these two terms are perspectives on reality and these perspectives can not contain all of reality. There is always a surplus of reality. Therefore, instead of a binary opposition there needs to be a parallax. A parallax originally comes from astronomy, where a change in the perspective on a heavenly body looks like a change in the heavenly body itself. A parallax can be a more accurate way to understand contradictions. It can be applied toward the various contradictions that emerge in economics and other areas. The use of the parallax can also further the understanding of the political and the economic. Continue reading


The 20th century saw the point where those in authority no longer appeared to be in a natural position of leadership, despite its vast accumulation of power, and the result was a more personal exercise of force. The sovereign position of authority begins as an immanent reflection of the social, but will become transcendent as a way to organize and determine the social. In other words, this position is a creation of the social group that takes on the appearance of being the creator of the social group. Those in authority are at the core of a completion of power to such a degree as to be a comprehensive organization of not only the social but reality as well. The development and completion of power has occurred over many centuries, from a personal exercise of one individual having power over another to a system of power that regulates all of human life. The sovereign position of authority is embedded in this system of power and goes beyond any personal motivation or interest. It is a machine that operates independently of human action or need. However, when the overall system is disrupted and its contradictions are amplified, the personal beginning of power is revealed and a reactionary stance to deny this disruption is enacted. Continue reading


The importance of ethics can only be applied in the human arena, because ethics is directly linked to the structural mediation of reality. The search for the good may appear to require an absolute standard that exists in reality, but the development of ethics always begins with the human condition. A sense of what is right and good can be very helpful to a political project, but there must be caution in order to avoid an ethical system transforming into a morality. While ethics is a practical and immanent exploration of the good, morality is a transcendent system that serves to classify aspects of reality as either good or evil. Morality demands obedience to these standards regardless of the findings of an ethical experience. In other words, ethics is intimately tied to how humans relate to the world and subsequently to each other. Humans engage in individual creation and collective use through culture that is a subset of the social. It is one of the primary ways that humans engage in relationships. Each individual human will have particular experiences of the general reality. From these snapshots of the objective world, general ideas are constructed from particular experience within the mind. These concepts are altered to a degree from the aggregate of particular experiences, and they are expressed as particular objects from the general idea. This occurs especially in the artistic endeavor, but is not limited to it. Continue reading


In order to understand fascism or its potential in a democracy, it is important to not only see the distinction between the authoritarian and the totalitarian but how democracy can at times be used to limit freedom. The United States is now approaching the very final days of the Bush administration, a presidency that has been this generation’s example of a very massive grab for centralized power that seems to rebuke the democratic principles this country was supposed to be based upon. There has been much speculation as to what will happen in an Obama presidency, even to the extent as to wonder whether anything will really change. For it is vital to understand the structural nature of power and how it has manifested itself through a general government regardless of changes in particular leaders. And to refer to the Bush administration as fascist requires a very clear and concise definition of what that term means in order to fully describe the past eight years as a concentration of power worthy of a specific critique. Continue reading