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fanuzzir
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Re: Bob : The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists



Choisya wrote:
It's on the way!:smileyhappy: Happy reading!




fanuzzir wrote:
Choisya, thank you so much for the thought. Of course, you needn't follow through, but I know better than to try to talk you out of such an idea. . . .







Many, many, many thanks. I am very honored to have recieved such a gift.
Bob
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fanuzzir
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Re: The Jungle - Immigration - relevance

Jesse writes:
Admittedly, I'm still in the early chapters of the book, but it doesn't seem to me Sinclair was trying to establish food safety standards so much as he was trying to instigate a labor revolution.

I don't know of any modern writers who might be compared to Sinclair. Barbara Ehrenreich comes to mind, though it's hardly a fair comparison to either one of them. Peter Hessler is good for reading about labor issues in China, though, again, it's a completely different situation than the American Industrial Revolution. The latter was driven by mechanization. The situation in China is driven by the globalization of cheap labor.


Bingo on both points. On the second paragraph, Ehrenreich is an excellent comparison, as is Hessler, precisely because he is talking about a nation as upended as the US was (and is) by a globalized labor force. Excellent frame of reference: early 21st century China; early 20th century Chicago.
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Re: The Jungle - Immigration - relevance



JesseBC wrote:
The intersection between globalization and immigration where I see the most injustice is that companies are permitted to search the globe for the cheapest possible labor, whereas laborers are NOT permitted to search the globe for the best possible jobs. Immigration laws require labor to stay put and tolerate whatever they're given.




fanuzzir wrote:
I wanted to thank you both for such an illuminating take on the immigration issue as it relates not only to the U. S. then and now but to the U. S. and Europe spectrum of economic/legal systems. It's a fascinating approach you both take that draws me into the question of globalization and its power to destabilize societies with its influx and outgoes of labor and capital. It also makes me think again about the immigration of the early twentieth century not as a heyday of the "melting pot." but as an early version of the social problems you discuss in your posts.



chadadanielleKR wrote:



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Choisya wrote:
On the general subject of immigration, which has been raised on this thread, perhaps Americans do not know that recent legislation in the European Union gives rights to every European citizen to travel freely within Europe to seek work and accommodation (without passport or visa restrictions). There are approx 470 million Europeans with those rights, which are in addition to the immigration quotas Europe has accepted as part of its burden in settling immigrants from other parts of the world and to seekers of asylum from political oppression. I do not have access to recent figures but I suspect that the rate of immigration to Europe now exceeds that rate of immigration to the USA.

With regard to the 'Jungle', I fear that some immigrants are bringing aspects of their Jungles to their host countries, as well as much needed skills. The rate of sex and drug related crime has, for instance, increased in the UK with the recent influx of Eastern European immigration, and health & safety measures in some industries are being flouted by bosses and workers who have not previously worked to the same standards. Whereas earlier immigrants from the old Commonwealth understood English, and English has been taught in all Western European schools since WWII, most Eastern Europeans are not English speakers and sometimes have difficulty in understanding what is required of them. Upton Sinclair would have found much to write about in the

new European Jungle

Here is a map of the new European Union, which will soon include Turkey:-

http://wwp.greenwichmeantime.com/time-zone/europe/european-union/map.htm
Message Edited by Choisya on 12-30-200608:07 AM



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The jungle makes me wonder about the plight of the immigrants in countries like China and India where there is an organized society, a growing mass market and a growing taskforce of unskilled, poor and migrant people. What strikes me in the jungle is the scale of the "whole business": tons of food processed every day, thousands of unskilled workers and huge production facilities. Such scale was rather new for the time although the industrialization was well under way in Europe already. But in fast-developping countries of today...








Now the question becomes: are these workers who run with the tide of globalization to be made citizens of any one country or are they to remain a floating labor force. Surprisingly, Sinclair does not believe that the answer lies in naturalization, as many American liberals do today. International brotherhood is his riposte to the appeal of naturalized, or native-born national citizenship. But for that you need an international labor party . . .
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Re: The Jungle

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200706:44 PM

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Choisya
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Re: Bob : The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

You've received it already??? My - they must have run over from the bookstore to your Uni:smileyhappy:




fanuzzir wrote:


Choisya wrote:
It's on the way!:smileyhappy: Happy reading!




fanuzzir wrote:
Choisya, thank you so much for the thought. Of course, you needn't follow through, but I know better than to try to talk you out of such an idea. . . .







Many, many, many thanks. I am very honored to have recieved such a gift.
Bob


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Re: The Jungle - Immigration - relevance


Choisya wrote:
I'm all for world government, world citizenship and a Third Socialist International:smileyhappy::smileyhappy: There is still a Socialist International Party to which most of the world's Labour parties are affiliated but alas! it has fewer teeth than it had even in Sinclair's day:-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialist_International

Political activism seems more and more to be organised on the internet (as terrorism is:smileysad:) so perhaps that is where the new world labour force will cut its teeth?


fanuzzir wrote:
Now the question becomes: are these workers who run with the tide of globalization to be made citizens of any one country or are they to remain a floating labor force. Surprisingly, Sinclair does not believe that the answer lies in naturalization, as many American liberals do today. International brotherhood is his riposte to the appeal of naturalized, or native-born national citizenship. But for that you need an international labor party . . .





Democracy all the way. All it takes is for all the people to get involved and actually vote. It works. It is the best system but not when more Americans vote for the American Idol, than for the President or even local officials. But it works and is everyones best option in a country, when we exercise it.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Choisya
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Re: The Jungle and Democracy

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200706:43 PM

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Re: The Jungle and Democracy/What next?

Choisya,
We will have to agree to disagree on some things. :smileyhappy:Democracy does work in this country. Not as well as it could tho. As for democracy ending in the United States and if so then what? Well, there again, we will have to agree to disagree (even if the question is theoretical) since you are not christian and I am (no judgements there, just something you and I already talked about :smileywink: ). Most christians will give you one answer to what next, if and when democracy fails here, so its a moot point of discussion really. Now some will discuss it on a strictly scientific, or philosophical plane, but I can't without it involving religous ideas too. But from that viewpoint, yeah we believe it will fail one day too but that would become a "last days" discussion and not really what we are talking about here huh?

I am in chapter 11 now. Where are you? Or did you say you were finished with the book already? I must say, I find it all too intriguing to say as someone suggested, that after chapter one, it is all downhill. It may be for the family but actually, there seems to be some ups in there too, along with the downs, that keep you reading and keeps them going.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Choisya
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Re: The Jungle

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200706:42 PM

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Re: The Jungle, Democracy and Hope (Possible Spoiler FOR REST OF BOOK)

Choisya,
OK lets agree to drop the talk on US democracy, since you hit a nerve on some thing done here, that I will defend to any foreigner and I like our dialogues too much.

Also I didn't read all of your post, I am sorry, but when I asked if you had finished the book, like I said, I am just on 11, and you started talking about some speeches I havent gotten to yet, so I stopped reading so that wouldn't be spoiled for me. Maybe it wouldnt have, but it sounded like you were starting to talk about something specific, and I am not there yet! :smileywink:

OH btw, what is IMO? And I see your message subject now of possible spoiler, so guess I did stop in time :smileyhappy: . I am either too sleepy this morning to see it at first, or I thought it was a continuation on a possible spoiler for first few chapters, which i have read hehe. Anyway, No harm, no foul, just wanted you to know why if you had asked something you wanted a comment on in the second part of your post, why I didnt.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: The Jungle,

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200706:42 PM

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fanuzzir
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Re: The Jungle, Democracy and Hope (Possible Spoiler)

Choisya's post:
The speech of Dr Schliemann towards the end is full of hope - not only does he prophesy a washing-up machine for ordinary people but he says 'old dingy and unsanitary factories will come down..the dangerous trades will be made safe' and he then asks us 'to picture the harvest fields of the future to which millions of happy men and women come for a summer holiday...' (All of this was reminiscent of Oscar Wilde's Soul of Man under Socialism BTW) All these changes have taken place in our fathers' lifetimes due to the agitation of people like Upton Sinclair (and my own father, incidentally).

I'm not going to comment on the circumstances or content of the speech, but I do find it very interesting that many socialist ideas have come to pass, as Choisya has said, and given working people more incomes, more leisure, more rights with regard to their employers than they had in Sinclair's time. All I want to ask is: why do we feel we still have so far to go, or that socialism lost?
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fanuzzir
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Re: The Jungle and Democracy/What next?

All I'll say on this question that voting and democracy are not always the same thing. The electoral system gives citizens the chance to influence, by indirect means, their country once every two years with a flick of a switch. Democracy represents citizen participation in governance, which may include voting but implies more sustained engagement. As for socialism: many of its advocates believe that distributing or nationalizing wealth so that everyone has a share of it is democratizing, though there's no need for a democracy to have a socialist economy, or vice versa.

I'll also just comment on the where is democracy going question by referring back to Sinclair's vision: it's not going anywere until the lowliest and the most disenfranchised are part of a fair,equitable society. That's a link between social justice, as its called, and democracy that not all the advocates of democracy might embrace today.
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Re: The Jungle and Democracy/What next?/What is it all?


fanuzzir wrote:
All I'll say on this question that voting and democracy are not always the same thing. The electoral system gives citizens the chance to influence, by indirect means, their country once every two years with a flick of a switch. Democracy represents citizen participation in governance, which may include voting but implies more sustained engagement. As for socialism: many of its advocates believe that distributing or nationalizing wealth so that everyone has a share of it is democratizing, though there's no need for a democracy to have a socialist economy, or vice versa.

I'll also just comment on the where is democracy going question by referring back to Sinclair's vision: it's not going anywere until the lowliest and the most disenfranchised are part of a fair,equitable society. That's a link between social justice, as its called, and democracy that not all the advocates of democracy might embrace today.


After reading some today and reading some of our posts about democracy vs socialism, I found myself getting lost in..ok is that what we are trying to get out of this book? One vs the other or what? And some confusion set in. I wish more people were posting their feelings about the book, but maybe its early yet.

But,unless this whole book is nothing more than a discussion about the differences between Democracies and Socialism, I am so caught up in the plight of this family and working conditions for them, that I am missing most of this kind of political debate. Also, I have to tell you, thats not a debate I would be terribly good in. Different political models of the world have not exactly been my point of studies in my life and they all tend to intersect in some places anyway as to seem to me that there is no "pure" this or that system. I believe in the democratic process, and the hopes of our founding fathers were not so different than a lot of things I have read just recently that socialist or others want as part of the new democracy they were proposing, are they? I did find two interesting pages on Wikipedia about both:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy

I found the section on "Democratic socialism" versus "social democracy" very interesting. Also the graphs of the world of countries who call themselves democracies, versus those who do not claim to be democratic.

Here's the thing tho I would like to know, so I know how lost in this bookclub discussion I am or not or how superficial my thoughts are or not lol. Is this really a book about the differences in the two, since we are spending so much time on that? Or is it about a man who had been a socialist, then not, then a socialist again, then a democrat, just trying to point out to us the injustices forced upon the working class in this country(and I am sure that could be expanded out to other countries too whatever system they call themselves), in an attempt to try and bring about meaningful social change? If that is the case, I can follow the book and understand what he is saying and see the needs and faults in the system as it was , and is. But I have to admit, I am starting to get pretty confused by all this talk of different political idealogies and think, maybe I am in the wrong bookclub. But then I have not done a "bookclub" before, so I have been discussing this pretty much by what I get out of one chapter or several and holding off on its overall implications till the end.

Am I way off here in how i am reading or understanding this book as I go along, or what we are discussing or what? Anyone else out there, who is reading all these posts feeling the same and thats why your not posting much?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: The Jungle and Democracy/What next?

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200706:41 PM

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Re: The Jungle and Democracy : Vivico : What next?/What is it all?

Vivico: It is probably my fault that there have been too many posts on politics - that is my lifetime milieu and I tend to see everything within a political framework. I will back off and leave others to come in on characterisation etc.

(BTW re Wikipedia: Western socialists are usually democrats, just as Upton Sinclair was, so the book is not 'about a man who had been a socialist, then not, then a socialist again, then a democrat' it is by a man who was a democratic socialist propounding his views through his characters. And just because some countries call themselves, 'Socialist', like the old Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, does not mean that they are socialist. Just as some Christians do not behave like Christians:smileyhappy:)




vivico1 wrote:

fanuzzir wrote:
All I'll say on this question that voting and democracy are not always the same thing. The electoral system gives citizens the chance to influence, by indirect means, their country once every two years with a flick of a switch. Democracy represents citizen participation in governance, which may include voting but implies more sustained engagement. As for socialism: many of its advocates believe that distributing or nationalizing wealth so that everyone has a share of it is democratizing, though there's no need for a democracy to have a socialist economy, or vice versa.

I'll also just comment on the where is democracy going question by referring back to Sinclair's vision: it's not going anywere until the lowliest and the most disenfranchised are part of a fair,equitable society. That's a link between social justice, as its called, and democracy that not all the advocates of democracy might embrace today.


After reading some today and reading some of our posts about democracy vs socialism, I found myself getting lost in..ok is that what we are trying to get out of this book? One vs the other or what? And some confusion set in. I wish more people were posting their feelings about the book, but maybe its early yet.

But,unless this whole book is nothing more than a discussion about the differences between Democracies and Socialism, I am so caught up in the plight of this family and working conditions for them, that I am missing most of this kind of political debate. Also, I have to tell you, thats not a debate I would be terribly good in. Different political models of the world have not exactly been my point of studies in my life and they all tend to intersect in some places anyway as to seem to me that there is no "pure" this or that system. I believe in the democratic process, and the hopes of our founding fathers were not so different than a lot of things I have read just recently that socialist or others want as part of the new democracy they were proposing, are they? I did find two interesting pages on Wikipedia about both:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_democracy

I found the section on "Democratic socialism" versus "social democracy" very interesting. Also the graphs of the world of countries who call themselves democracies, versus those who do not claim to be democratic.

Here's the thing tho I would like to know, so I know how lost in this bookclub discussion I am or not or how superficial my thoughts are or not lol. Is this really a book about the differences in the two, since we are spending so much time on that? Or is it about a man who had been a socialist, then not, then a socialist again, then a democrat, just trying to point out to us the injustices forced upon the working class in this country(and I am sure that could be expanded out to other countries too whatever system they call themselves), in an attempt to try and bring about meaningful social change? If that is the case, I can follow the book and understand what he is saying and see the needs and faults in the system as it was , and is. But I have to admit, I am starting to get pretty confused by all this talk of different political idealogies and think, maybe I am in the wrong bookclub. But then I have not done a "bookclub" before, so I have been discussing this pretty much by what I get out of one chapter or several and holding off on its overall implications till the end.

Am I way off here in how i am reading or understanding this book as I go along, or what we are discussing or what? Anyone else out there, who is reading all these posts feeling the same and thats why your not posting much?


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Re: The Jungle and Democracy : Vivico : What next?/What is it all?

Choisya,
What I meant by Sinclair being a socialist, then not being, then being a democrat, was his political parties associations as outlined in the front of the book under "the world of Upton Sinclair and the jungle",i.e. early 1900s joins socialist society, then 1926 he REjoins the Socialist Party, 1933 he changes his registration from Socialist to Democrat. What was in his heart, I dont know. What he showed affiliation with, is what I meant. Which the last was not a bad move in the sense of, even tho he had privy to important people before, look who all he was visiting and working with after changing his registration.

He may NEVER have been a "democrat" in his heart, I dont know, but he was a smart man and knew what changing affiliations on paper could do for him. That and it says he did have some major falling out with the other at one point. I think a democratic socialist as you say fits him.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: The Jungle and Democracy/What next?/ not just a christian thing ;)

As a Christian, and an American, let me say this Choisya, we dont look to God to make things fair for us. We look to him for hope and sometimes guidance BUT we ALSO believe it is not only a privilege here to be able to vote but a DUTY too. This has nothing to do with our Christian views as it does our views as American citizens, and that includes all religions or those with none, it doesnt matter. As an American, it is your RIGHT and DUTY to vote, or as we say here if you dont vote... then shut up about what you got if you dont like it, if you did not participate to help make the changes. Believe me, in America, those who dont vote, however they vote, will hear about it from those who do. So we also do believe in that duty because we are a democratic nation of Americans. That part has nothing to do with our various religious beliefs.

I think maybe you have the idea that Christians all sit back and expect a higher power to take care of things and make them right for them. Thats far from true. But there again thats lumping the beliefs of all christians together and I dont want to do that, because those beliefs vary too.So let me speak from my christian beliefs,and not make it sound representative of all christian beliefs, as you say you can not speak for all forms of Socialism. In the Christianity I know, God isnt looked at as well, lets say,as our "Genie", there to take care of all our needs. But he has endowed us with a brain and a heart and expects US to use them for the better-ment of mankind. To be Christlike, means to follow his example of caring and service to others and love. It implies that one MUST act, and thats our "duty" as Christians. :smileywink:


Choisya wrote:
This IMO is the link to what you wrote below fanuzzir: 'Democracy represents citizen participation in governance, which may include voting but implies more sustained engagement. Which is why 'vote vote vote' must go hand in hand with 'organise organise organise'. Christians may see Christ's message in working for a 'fair and equitable society', socialists see it as a citizen's duty and the only way to achieve 'heaven', but a heaven on earth - 'the harvest fields of the future...with millions of happy men and women' to quote Dr Schliemann again.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re:

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200706:40 PM

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Re: The Jungle and Democracy/What next? :

[ Edited ]

Message Edited by Choisya on 01-22-200706:39 PM

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