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    •  Nice picture of the queen with the workers (21+ / 0-)

      The only thing wrong with the analogy is worker bees run the hive, not the queen. The queen isn't really a monarch, but rather a specialized worker, whose job is to lay eggs, which perpetuates the hive.

      It's the workers who collectively rule the hive, and they can raise a new queen (a process called supercedure) whenever they think the queen is faltering.

      The workers also can kick the drones (males) out of the hive if the hive is starving (fewer mouths to feed without the drones).

      So, bees are an example of mutual aid and socialism, without an overarching, ruling authority, making them anarchists, since they self manage the hive.

      Anyway...  

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a metaphor you dip! Not a simile. (6+ / 0-)

        You have the right to remain silent. If you waive that right you will be accused of class warfare.

        by spritegeezer on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:27:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, if only... (20+ / 0-)

          working class would be more like worker bees. If the working class were truly comparable to honeybees, they would have tossed out the ruling class a long time ago, and turned to horizontal, non-hierarchical, collective self management, like the worker bees. In a typical hive with 60,000 bees or more, without any boss or ruler they magnificently self-manage the hive, building the combs, collecting honey, nursing brood, cleaning the hive, feeding the queen, in a city of constructive, bustling and busy activity, all with an egalitarian approach.

          So, if it's an apt metaphor, I want to see the working class start living up to their potential natures to caste off the oligarchy and self manage their own workplaces and lives.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 01:43:49 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  let's "cast off the oligarchy"... (0+ / 0-)

            ...sounds great from the moon's perspective-its atmosphere is a vacuum in space. This oligarchy you hypothesize about -ending its reign of lordship over us worker bees-controls the government, the money supply and credit, all the fuel, all the taxes, all the land, all the courts, all the lawyers, hospitals, doctors, and everything in between the police force and garbage collectors. You'd have a better chance living and breathing on the moon than defanging the oligarchy in America-or anywhere else.

            "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:20:40 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Didn't say (5+ / 0-)

              it would be easy as pie, did I? It has been done, historically. Various examples exist. The anarchist region of Spain during the Spanish Civil War is a good example, even though under difficult circumstances of fighting a war against the Francoist fascists. For almost three years, involving up to 8 million people, the anarchists (anarchism traditionally is anti-capitalist, and socialist) collectively self-managed their communities without the ruling class, successfully operating industry, hospitals, utilities and telephone, food distribution, etc. There are alternative ways to organize based on horizontal, egalitarian approaches that work quite well.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:32:17 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And fighting against the Nazi Air Force (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JesseCW, annieli, Youffraita, kaliope

                as well as the authoritarian socialists and Stalinists. Saying it can't work is like saying that the people in charge would rather kill everyone than let it work. Including themselves. But as always, it's fear that's keeping us from a better world.

                I'm reminded of a quote from The Dispossessed when people say it's too hard or too late to organize ourselves in a better way:

                She[the ambassodaor from Earth] looked at him calmly and keenly; he said nothing.

                “I know it’s full of evils, full of human injustice, greed, folly, waste. But it is also full of good, of beauty, vitality, achievement. It is what a world should be! It is alive, tremendously alive — alive, despite all its evils, with hope. Is that not true?”

                He nodded.

                “Now, you man from a world I cannot even imagine, you who see my Paradise as Hell, will you ask what my world must be like?”

                He was silent, watching her, his light eyes steady.

                “My world, my Earth is a ruin. A planet spoiled by the human spedes. We multiplied and gobbled and fought until there was nothing left, and then we died. We controlled neither appetite nor violence; we did not adapt We destroyed ourselves. But we destroyed the world first. There are no forests left on my Earth. The air is grey, the sky is grey, it is always hot. It is habitable, it is still habitable, but not as this world is. This is a living world, a harmony. Mine is a discord. You Odonians chose a desert; we Terrans made a desert...We survive there, as you do. People are tough! There are nearly a half billion of us now. Once there were nine billion. You can see the old cities still everywhere. The bones and bricks go to dust, but the little pieces of plastic never do — they never adapt either. We failed as a species, as a social species. We are here now, dealing as equals with other human societies on other worlds, only because of the chanty of the Hainish. They came; they brought us help. They built ships and gave them to us, so we could leave our ruined world. They treat us gently, charitably, as the strong man treats the sick one. They are a very strange people, the Hainish; older than any of us; infinitely generous. They are altruists. They are moved by a guilt we don’t even understand, despite an our crimes. They are moved in all they do, I think, by the past. their endless past Well, we had saved what could be saved, and made a kind of life in the ruins, on Terra, in the only way it could be done: by total centralization. Total control over the use of every acre of land, every scrap of metal, every ounce of fuel. Total rationing, birth control, euthanasia, universal conscription into the labor force. The absolute regimentation of each life toward the goal of racial survival. We had achieved that much, when the Hainish came. They brought us ...a little more hope. Not very much. We have outlived it...We can only look at this splendid world, this vital society, this Urras, this Paradise, from the outside. We are capable only of admiring it, and maybe envying it a little. Not very much.”

                “Then Anarres, as you heard me speak of it — what would Anarres mean to you, Keng?”

                Nothing. Nothing, Shevek. We forfeited our chance for Anarres centuries ago, before it ever came into being.”

                Shevek got up and went over to the window, one of the long horizontal window slits of the tower. There was a niche in the wall below it, into which an archer would step up to look down and aim at assailants at the gate; if one did not take that step up one could see nothing from it but the sunwashed, slightly misty sky. Shevek stood below the window gazing out, the light filling his eyes.

                “You don’t understand what time is,” he said. “You say the past is gone, the future is not real, there is no change, no hope. You think Anarres is a future that cannot be reached, as your past cannot be changed. So there is nothing but the present, this Urras, the rich, real, stable present, the moment now. And you think that ia something which can be possessed! You envy it a little. You think it’s something you would like to have. But it is not real, you know. It is not stable, not solid — nothing is. Things change, change. You cannot have anything...And least of all can you have the present, unless you accept with it the past and the future. Not only the past but also the future, not only the future but also the past! Because they are real: only their reality makes the present real. You will not achieve or even understand Urras unless you accept the reality, the enduring reality, of Anarres. You are right, we are the key. But when you said that, you did not really believe it. You don’t believe in Anarres. You don’t believe in me, though I stand with you, in this room, in this moment ...My people were right, and I was wrong, in this: We cannot come to you. You will not let us. You do not believe in change, in chance, in evolution. You would destroy us rather than admit our reality, rather than admit that there is hope! We cannot come to you. We can only wait for you to come to us.”

                Keng sat with a startled and thoughtful, and perhaps slightly dazed, expression.

                “I don’t understand — I don’t understand.” she said at last “You are like somebody from our own past, the old idealists, the visionaries of freedom, and yet I don’t understand you, as if you were trying to tell me of future things; and yet, as you say, you are here, now! ...” She had not lost her shrewdness. She said after a little while, “Then why is it that you came to me, Shevek?”

                It's never too late to fix things, no matter what anyone says.

                If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

                by AoT on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:56:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  and we... (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ZhenRen, wasatch, AoT

              outnumber the oligarchy how many times to one?

          •  Well, unfortunately it also requires (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kaliope, RiveroftheWest, splashy

            in the case of bees what amounts to the slavery of the queen. Although I don't know that we want to follow the metaphor that far ;)

            And the dying off of the bees seems to be a perfect metaphor for how capitalism treats societies tht try to embrace worker self organization.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:36:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Heh (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mythatsme, RiveroftheWest

              In fact, the relationship between worker bees and the queen is mutual cooperation. The bees tend to the queen's needs, and feed her, keep her warm, feed the brood. The queen isn't a slave, because she works voluntarily according to her nature. The bees only replace her when she fails, which usually happens when she gets older and doesn't lay enough eggs.

              The relationship between drones and workers is the same, in that only when in times of starvation are drones evicted from the hive.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:38:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Oh, and queens can live several years (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              while worker bees live about 5 weeks, depending on the season.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:04:35 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  And its not a metaphore (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              It's a direct example of mutual aid as a survival trait.

              Read Mutual Aid by Kropotkin.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 01:40:03 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  The thing is, those are pretty much all females (0+ / 0-)

            Working together.

            Imagine getting men to do that, without someone making them. Most men I have known would never do that without getting something specifically for themselves. The common good is too abstract for them, I guess.

            Women create the entire labor force. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sympathy is the strongest instinct in human nature. - Charles Darwin

            by splashy on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 12:15:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, by the way (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kaliope

          Whether a simile or metaphor, or an analogy (as I called it) the fact remains that the queen bee is not a honcho, as I've explained. Which of the forms it may be is irrelevant.

          So, it seems you're not only the dip in this case, but a rude jerk as well.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 01:53:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  hm, well this doesn't make socialism sound (0+ / 0-)

        all that sweet:

        The workers also can kick the drones (males) out of the hive if the hive is starving (fewer mouths to feed without the drones).

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:31:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ZhenRen, bees forgot more about... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        akmk

        ...homeland security than we'll ever learn to appreciate the crucial part they play in our eco-system, especially if we keep over-pesticiding, over-herbiciding, and weakening their immune systems so they're vulnerable to the parasites that caused colony collapse sydrome.

        Forgive me, I must digress with some background clutter:

        My original goal of life as a boy was to study insects. I read everything I could about them. My mom even bought me a university-grade microscope at age 10 to study them. And it mysteriously disappeared because I suppose I drove her to disappear it so I'd stop driving her crazy putting anything under the sun under it's lens.  

        Honey bees aren't generally, aggressive by nature and rarely kill their own kind. That makes them more civilized than us. If another bee from another hive inadvertently trespasses or gets lost, the worker bees on guard duty will "politely" grab him and escort him out the door. However, let him repeat the error and it's his last mistake in this life. The guards will use deadly force on him, thus permanently breaking him from the habit.

        "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

        by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:03:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly right. (4+ / 0-)

          And in that example of the lost bee going in the wrong hive, the bees would likely accept the lost bee, rather than turn the bee away.

          I've united two hives together on countless occasions. As long as the weaker hive doesn't fight back, the stronger hive accepts the bees. To be certain that the bees will merge amicably, sheets of paper can be placed between the united hive bodies (bee boxes) to slow down the introduction and give time for the hives to become acquainted. The bees will chew away the paper and remove it, eventually completely joing to two hives.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:12:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the problem with your... (0+ / 0-)

            ...original metaphor or simili is that bees are a lot more civilized than us, which make them more advanced and hence, superior to their nemesis, today's apex predator,which will probably join homo erectus in extinction.
            The surviving species on plane Earth won't be happy, though. Every era needed its apex predators. We just got too big for our own britches too fast( I refuse to say "advanced" because that's a misnomer) to sustain the supporting eco-system. Thousands of now extinct species over the course of a rock's throw in time, would attest to that fact. That is, if they were still here.

            "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

            by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:33:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, that's one opinion regarding our nature (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cynndara, flitedocnm

              I think humans are capable of more than self-destruction, and I think it depends on the traits which are accentuated by systems of social organization. Build self interest and cut-throat mutual competition into the system, rather than mutual aid, and we shouldn't be surprised that greed rules the land. People have a multitude of traits to draw upon, among them sociability and teamwork, and we don't have to allow one set of traits predominate.

              We can do better, and in many instances we have.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 03:43:04 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  studying insects taught me... (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ZhenRen, flitedocnm

                ...no matter how advanced we become in our own subjective definition and perception of it, the fact they are superior to us without the ability to read and write, to analyse, to reason and calculate and postulate, is really quite humbling for me to admit.

                Even the tiny ant knows when a storm is approaching to build a higher ant hill. During a tsunami, humans stand there looking at the birds flying to higher ground long before it breaks the shoreline, with wonderment, "why are the birds flying in flocks so fast inland"? If we focused more on substance and solutions, instead of competiing for everything in the present tense, maybe the past tense wouldn't make the future such a foregone conclusion--all past is prologue.

                I don't know we could do better. I have a better way, a dream for America's, and indeed the world's rise to greater heights than even attained by Egypt under the Pharoahs, Greece under Alexander, and Rome under the Caesars, that I've had from age 6. I've kept that dream in a secret place in my mind to myself my whole life. Why? Frankly, every other soul that was a mover and shaker and swam against the tide of convention has had their heart stopped by assassination, either their character or life ended tragically. I didn't think our civilization is ready to make the individual and collective sacrifices required to be truly great. Those are hard words for me to say, but they're my most intimate opinions of a dying man I'm sharing with you today about this dying world. Take them with a grain of salt.

                "I wish to have no connection with any ship that does not sail fast, for I intend to go in harm's way." John Paul Jones

                by ImpeachKingBushII on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 06:11:18 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I share your concerns (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ImpeachKingBushII, flitedocnm

                  It looks as if we're heading for the abyss, and not much is happening to stop it. But I remember that in the worst times of my life, some periods seemed to last for an eternity, and just as I thought things were hopeless, something would change.

                  And it is in times of change that opportunities arise to make things better. New generations, for example, might turn to other solutions.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 07:09:52 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I thought that the paper was for scent (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ZhenRen, RiveroftheWest

            Scent passes through the paper and eventually both hives smell the same so that once they chew through the barrier they don't sting the crap out of each other.

            •  Pheromones (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ender, flitedocnm, RiveroftheWest

              are a factor. But physical contact, including behavior, is also a factor. If the behavior is defensive, or not, is a factor. Queenlessness is also a factor. A weak, queenless hive will more readily be assimilated than a hive with a queen. The paper slows down physical exposure, allowing the new queen scent to become accepted, and the hive scent to become accepted. But two weak hives can often be joined together without the step of using paper.

              I've never had a problem with this.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 12:06:43 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  don't forget Catch 22's character named Snowden (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ender, dadoodaman

      that Yossarian treated.
      http://articles.philly.com/...

      Fans of Joseph Heller's Catch-22 can't help but hear an echo of the novel's plot in the real-life drama playing out over the leak of information about massive U.S. government spying programs.

       The admitted whistle-blower, former National Security Agency contract worker Edward Snowden, apparently exposed the NSA's telephone and Internet data-gathering in an attempt to trigger a public debate about the extent to which our privacy has been compromised in the name of national security.

       That debate now seems likely to play out in the federal courts. But before Snowden's revelations, civil libertarians had been turned away because they couldn't prove to the courts' satisfaction that anyone's communications had been targeted illegally. Why? Because the government won't say whose phone or e-mail messages have been tapped.

       The legal impossibility of a challenge to NSA snooping was a classic catch-22 - the term Heller coined to describe a problem whose very nature precludes a solution. But with Snowden's disclosures of specific phone carriers who were ensnared in the NSA's net, the American Civil Liberties Union and its allies - now suing again - are in a better position to make their case.<
      /blockquote>

       

      Back to novel: One of Heller's central characters was Snowden, an airman who was mortally wounded by flak on a bombing run, and who was tended to by the novel's protagonist, Capt. John Yossarian. As Yossarian patches a leg wound for Snowden, he gradually realizes that the airman has sustained devastating wounds to his torso. Peeling back Snowden's flak jacket, Yossarian recoils in horror as Snowden's intestines spill out and Snowden dies amid the gore.

       The encounter radically alters Yossarian's outlook on the war and life. And the parallels with the NSA leaker go beyond the name. Indeed, Edward Snowden's figuratively spilling his guts on domestic spying in the United States could fundamentally alter the wholesale surveillance born of the war on terrorism.

      (emphasis mine)

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:25:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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