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


The following is part one 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. Each economic system has internal parts that circulate value along with objects and ideas. This implies that use value through production must always be transformed into exchange value and that this exchange is the only method for an economy to meet human needs. The examination of value in its relationship with being reveals a structural aspect to exchange value that in turn limits and determines the possibilities of human action. An economy as an example of finite systems will appear as an infinite universal structure. This appearance would also give the impression that the economic system is both natural and eternal and can not be changed or taken apart. But regardless of the economic system, there is the common phenomenon of a method of production and a consumption that is mediated by some sort of distribution. An economy that emulates cultural creation would have the arrangement of an individual production and a collective use of structures. These structures can either manifest themselves as objects or ideas in an economic sense. The externalization of structures in production through the expression of desire can be an authentic process, but the internalization of structures in use through structural alienation can redirect desire toward a drive for commodities. Therefore, use or consumption in an economy can not be divorced from a process of production, or else it would be a method of control that restricts choices. Continue reading


Both the culture war and the class war reveal the importance of the political in social life, as well as a broader political spectrum beyond just liberal and conservative. For the past twenty years or so, there has been two accusations directed toward liberals and conservatives in various media and public debates. The liberals accuse the conservatives of waging culture war, while conservatives accuse the liberals of waging class war. Liberals have been afraid to engage in the culture war since that would require taking an oppositional stance to what has been considered traditional and therefore wholesome. Conservatives are reluctant to engage in the class war since that would reveal a complicity in the current economic drawbacks and exploitation through the various stages of capitalism in the modern era. From an impartial perspective, the two conflicts reveal that there are radical and traditional poor people as well as radical and traditional rich people. The term radical in a cultural sense can be aligned with the new and the avant garde, and the term traditional can be seen as a reluctance toward cultural change or even a direct atavism. For clarification, it should also be noted that the use of the terms rich and poor would imply a difference of opinion on how the benefits of an economy should be distributed and who are the most important actors in an economy. Being poor would imply a collective distribution and action, while being rich would imply an individual distribution and action. In other words, the poor might be inclined to form groups to achieve economic goals, considering their conditions, and the rich would emphasize rugged individualism, also considering their conditions. Continue reading


Workers owning the means of production is still a valid idea, and can support the growth of authentic democracy. In the last month of the presidential election, Barack Obama’s tax plan was characterized as a redistribution of wealth by conservatives and the Republican Party. This claim was incorrect for two reasons. First, it did not reflect the reality of the platform of the Democratic candidate which was in fact very similar to the approach of John McCain’s platform. Second, the perspective offered on any kind of redistribution of wealth as something negative obscured the actual facts of such an endeavor. A redistribution of wealth, either through taxes or other ways, can only be a short-term solution to issues of wage disparity and economic injustice. Both candidates of the two-party system fail to address the issue of disempowerment in economic terms that can severely limit democracy in political terms. The very idea of a redistribution of wealth points to a structural flaw in capitalism that both candidates agree to ignore, assuming that the overall economic system is sound. But a redistribution of wealth is not as effective as a redistribution of the means of production. This concept, originally advocated by Marx, can extend beyond a strict doctrine of Marxist communism to become an integral component of a new economic method that is more aligned with what American citizens expect of democracy in their society. Continue reading

Now That He’s Won . . .

By Carl Arnold: All commentators, from mass media pundits to the call-ins on WBAI, are using the word historic to describe yesterday’s election of Barack Obama. Indeed they should. For all the reasons repeated incessantly, everyone should feel profound respect for the watershed nature of this extraordinary event. Continue reading


Much has been said and explained concerning the novel “1984”. However, hardly anything has been commented on with regards to the book within a book that happens inside of the plot. It is my belief that “The Theory and Practice of Oligarchial Collectivism”, the book found by the main character Winston, holds the instructions to understanding George Orwell’s work as a whole. The primary context for this book is the novel “1984”, which is the environment that this book exists in. The book is a treatise by Emmanuel Goldstein, one of the founders of the ruling Party who has become an enemy of the same Party years later. Later on in the novel we learn that the book was fabricated by the Party in order to lure those who would rebel either in thought or deed out into the open. The irony is that though a falsehood, the book is actually a window of truth about the Party and explains how the Party works to continue its reign. This is the world of “1984”, placed like a diagram before the reader and the characters in the novel, where reality and lies coexist. Continue reading


The following can be seen as an experiment in that it will employ the oscillation between various historical moments and events to illustrate various philosophical concepts. Since the event as a singularity that has a universal reach disrupts structures of meaning and makes everything apparent, then it would also be a great chance to portray theory in a way that can be easily grasped. Before these events were subsumed by the linear order of history, they were considered a sudden intrusion of reality that was not expected. At the point of these events, philosophy as a practice can deal directly with reality. In comparison, within the order of history, the philosophical analysis of reality is obscured by the mediation of structures. Though humans are always within structures and only understand reality through these structures, the event offers a small window in which to at least have a sense that there is more than the structural mediation of the experience of reality. Continue reading


The Green Party, either on the local, state, or national level, has perfected strong constructive stands on issues over the years in the United States. We have become the focal point for new ideas that break outside of the restrictive box created by the two-party system. As an alternative political party with strong roots in activism, we have been the third element that has disrupted the homogenization and monopoly on power held by the binary opposition of Democrats and Republicans. Continue reading


By all accounts, this year is considered historic in terms of the presidential election. It has so far not only been a long campaign from start to its almost finish, but many firsts have been accomplished. Most of all, the spirit of competitiveness in the primary season has demonstrated something that goes beyond the actions, ideology, or policy of the Democratic or Republican party. The everyday voter wants something different, for things as they are have become nothing but a defacement of what we have idealized in our hearts of what this country could and should be. The big question is whether the troubles we have stem specifically from the Bush administration, or rather that those currently in power are an embodiment of a larger problem that strikes at the core of peace, ecology, justice, and democracy in our time. Those outside of the two-party system can illuminate this conundrum by showing that there are alternatives in this election to the status quo. Continue reading


In order to go about with the business of empowerment, there must be an understanding that it is also an endeavor in immanence rather than transcendence. This also brings to light the relationship between reality and the structures that fill that reality. With this understanding one can look at the distinctions between law and democracy in a more precise way, being able to be fully aware how to successfully bring about empowerment on a political level. For any empowerment must occur on the political level since that is its function as a subset of the social field. Therefore, empowerment is not just particular actions toward a goal, but a general tearing down of a monolithic approach to reality and the human experience within it. If the taking apart is not accomplished, then there can only be the superficial appearance of empowerment for individuals and collectives. In other words, human empowerment must deconstruct all that seems beyond human reach and yet still controls human existence. Continue reading


by Terry Gerych: Horror movies build suspense. The classic case is where a victim fails to flee, even though there’s obvious danger, or if he or she does flee, he or she clumsily trips and falls, stumbles, or crawls such that he or she is easily caught by a murderous assailant. The viewer is annoyed by the stupid or clumsy response, but mesmerized, and the filmmaker often milks the suspense for all it’s worth, dragging out scene after scene for several minutes, giving the viewer plenty of time to experience a suspense buildup and climax. Continue reading