Napoleon was always keen to know the price of bread in France because if the people had no bread they would have barricades instead. Here was a leader who kept his finger on the pulse of the people.
This is what France looks like today, and they are not rioting over bread alas.
We hear a lot about inequality today; we also hear a lot about populism -from France to England to America.
Why should all these countries – all at the same time are – show the same symptoms?
Why did France have a revolution?
What did that silly bitch say about cakes?
Look at what this silly bitch says about coal.
Occam’s razor would suggest that the same effects are produced by the same cause.
Alas, from crime and terrorism to economics, America and Europe is a crack addict:
“If there is one overriding economic myth that plagues us today it is the notion that society can do collectively what we cannot do individually: get rich by living today at the expense of tomorrow. It is the doctrine of the political class, professional economists, and central bankers. It is monetary and fiscal hedonism masquerading as technical analysis. And, it leads to fiscal default. It is arguably the biggest untold story of our time, but you won’t hear about it from Hillary or Bernie or Donald.”
The Authors of the Present Misfortunes.
Who, Whom? Progressives or Capitalists?
Progressives will complain, however, that the current economic woes are actually a result of capitalism run amok. This is, at best, a half-truth. Naturally, one would expect this from progressives, since they believe that it’s their enemies who run the government and not them.
Trump’s election is a moment of black irony, now the Government is really in the hands of the capitalists. And what a reaction it has provoked!
Let’s clarify the terms then. This follows, from Undiscovered Jew’s helpful distinction:
Capitalism – In capitalism government actors establish the business rules, conditions and environment common to all private actors, individual private actors are free to make successful or unsuccessful business decisions of any kind within this system so long as they do not violate its rules.
Libertarianism – Private actors establish the business rules, conditions and environment common to all private actors, individual private actors are free to make successful or unsuccessful business decisions of any kind within this system so long as they do not violate its rules.
Liberalism – Government actors establish the business rules, conditions and environment common to all economic entities, government actors make all individual economic decisions within this system for all economic entities.
For liberalism read Communism, Socialism and Progressivism. In short, any and all cases of production, distribution, supply, demand and consumption – and all the rules in between – can be, and very often are, decided by the government.
Take some simple examples. I cannot legally produce, supply or possesses LSD. Who makes this decision? Well, the government of course. Why have they made this decision? For my own health of course.
If I have shop, a bakery let’s suppose, and if some person wishes for me to make a cake that says Support
Faggot Gay Marriage, and I am a Muslim, who does not support such a thing, but Polygamous marriage instead, and if I refuse, which under capitalism or libertarianism would be be my right, then I will be taken to court – and I will be punished. Why? Because I have committed a sin crime of discrimination.
If I have a business, or a bank (is a bank a business?) and if that business or bank goes bust, then, under capitalism or libertarianism, I’m broke. However, under progressivism, If I’m very big, or very well connected, maybe I can get a bailout – by the government bank.
If an economy suffers a depression under capitalism, then the government does….nothing.
But under Progressivism…………
USG became an unlimited government, and progressively abandoned sound economic doctrine with the introduction of the New Deal.
Progressives are not socialists or even, yes, Communists, however. In fact, their economic doctrines are closer to, but not quite, fascist.
Progressives allow private ownership of the means of production and capital investment; however, progressives control the banks and bank lending policies, the fiat currency (which was once gold), interest rates, tax rates, employment and labour laws – which include affirmative action policies, minimum wage requirements and health and safety regulations.
The problem with progressive economics, which is the core epistemological problem with progressivism itself is presumption.
They presume to know things that they don’t know and cannot know:
Specifically, the first problem is that they have a fiat (paper) currency – this creates the conditions for all sorts of fiscal indiscipline;which, of course, is exactly what has happened, as we will soon see.
Secondly, the entire banking system is a house of cards with the practice of fractional reserve banking which is ethically, pragmatically and economically dubious. Essentially, it is this which creates bank runs.
Thirdly, the outsourcing of industry has – while enriching China say (a military, political and economic competitor of America) – badly hurt the American middle-class factory worker.
Free trade polices justified this, as did, no doubt, many generous campaign contributions.
Nevertheless, the policy of economic nationalism would offend the post-national, Globalist, progressive class.
Fourthly, the importation of foreign, low-wage workers, which in the short term, may benefit the employer and consumer actually benefit over the long-term the progressives (or so they assume).
By providing a vote bank: a permanent stock of voters – as well as a potential demo-army should the need ever arise to start a riot, or a civil war.
Of course, this is not to say a government controlled by the corporate rich would not do the same thing as well; after all, the Marxists did often talk about selling capitalists the rope…..
So how do we actually know who rules whom?
Is USG controlled by the Capitalists or the Progressives?
The answer lies in looking at USG as a system.
Systems have structure.
Political structure is the source of political behaviour. The consequences of such behaviour may take time to manifest, but the feedback loops created, and their effects on the system as a whole, will eventually manifest themselves – but perhaps only years later.
The consequences of fiat money, welfare socialism, outsourcing, immigration and massive levels of state and consumer debt are only now beginning to manifest themselves – yet these policies were formulated and implemented many decades ago.
Progressive structures are:
A: the universities which recruit, train and allow for social networking among progressives.
B: The civil service (the permanent government) who fine-tune the rules by which everyone else must play by.
C: The Federal Bank who set the monetary and fiscal policies.
E: The judiciary who upholds and enforces the laws. (Consider how many current Supreme Court Justices went to Harvard, never-mind the past, to understand how progressive USG is. Harvard is the State Church of America.
F: The Mainstream Press, who are staffed by university trained, middle to upper class progressive Brahmin/BoBo types. The patron saint of journalism is Walter Lippmann – one of the 20th century’s most influential people, and he was progressive to the core.
The capitalists have money, of course. They can contribute to campaigns, they can lobby, and they can give “advice” on the various laws and regulations. Who, however, are they contributing, lobbying and giving advice to?
The politicians. Politicians may, individually, be weak and transient – they are, however, strong in numbers. Political parties are basically cartels; needless to say, since 1945, they have all been, well, progressive and socialist of one kind or another.
The other thing is that, unlike the progressives who are a political movement, the capitalists are not a single, unified block. Indeed, they compete against each other. If one Corporation went up against the progressive state, who would win? Again, consider the resources that could be marshalled against a Corporation say that offered genetic engineering services, whose CEO was in favour of eugenics, and who believed that Jews were the master race and that Negroes – while often strong – are not very smart.
The Cathedral (the universities and the press), the judiciary, the politicians, the civil service (the key parts of the Polygon) could all, easily, be turned into a laser against this man and his company. Again, who would win?
This is not just hypothetical concerning capitalists, but also countries as well (see this telling article).
Finally, the laws and culture of America have been drifting more and more to the left for nearly a century now. This is not an accident – it is a result of progressive control over all the major institutions, with the exception of the military, and some of the Corporations.
In 1917, with the First World War raging, who would ever think that men – who look like men – who claim, however, to be women, would be able to use a woman’s toilet legally and without outrage (at least from progressive quarters)?
Or, to take another example, consider that among the white underclass in England, teenage pregnancies lack any kind of social stigma, and the mothers are fully supported by the government with housing, healthcare and benefits. Unthinkable fifty years ago, never-mind a century.
Other examples include gay marriage, mass atheism, short skirts, female leaders and on and on and on.
The truth is the political system radically (but peacefully) changed in America with the New Deal, and with England’s 1945 welfare state.
These changes, which were revolutionary, occurred via the ballot box – not with bats, bullets or bombs. The means are different, but the changes were no less profound.
To understand the importance of the New Deal to the current American power structure and how it fundamentally altered the relationship between state and economics, I recommend the following four books:
1: Basic Economics. Thomas Sowell. Here is a good overview of economics, but it also discusses the New Deal’s interference in the economy, which actually made the problems worse. When I first read about Roosevelt’s interference in prices and resource allocation I was shocked: this is what socialists and communists did. The results of such interference were shortages and waste – just like in communist countries.
2: As We Go Marching. John. T. Flynn. This book compares three “fascisms”: Italian; German; and American. The author claims, with some justification, though ultimately mistaken, that Roosevelt’s New Deal was “fascist.” (A further book to read on this topic is Three New Deals by Wolfgang Schivelbusch. You can read a review here.
3: The Power Elite. C. Wright Mills.This book was written in the fifties, and it remains a brilliant examination of the American elite and the nascent Modern Structure. The author’s central thesis is that, post New Deal and World War 2, America entered into a post-democratic state, held together by a triumvirate of three structures: the corporations; the political—bureaucratic machine and a permanent military and a military-industrial system.
Nevertheless, it is the political-progressive class who occupy the central position in this Dark Triangle. Again, they don’t just have a political party, but the press, the universities, the civil service and the judiciary – never-mind the support of the celebrities and other trend-setters.
4: The Managerial Revolution. James Burnham. The importance of James Burnham has been discussed earlier here, and here. You should also read the following two essays here and here (the first, is by Julius Klein, a “Harvard Whizz Kid” who has set up a new journal to lay out the “intellectual foundations” of the Trump Presidency; the second, meanwhile, is by “Dissident Right”, an excellent reactionary blogger.
Burnham, writing during WW2, claimed that something of fundamental importance had taken place in the American economy. In short, the old capitalist way which had unification of ownership and control of production changed to “managerialism.” The managers, who did not own the means of production, nevertheless, controlled it because of their technical or scientific competence.
According to Marxist theory, it is the capitalists who create the “superstructure” of politics, culture and religious expression because they control the “base” of production; however, if control is now in the hand of the managers, then, following Marxist logic, the managers would create the new “superstructure.”
Klein does a fine job describing the consequences of manageralism for the American economy and political culture; however, we should see this change as part of the growing technocratic bureaucracy in politics and social engineering described brilliantly by Undiscovered Jew – an unaccountable bureaucracy that has brought so much dysfunction, decay and destruction to the Western world. See:
Here is how I summarised his thesis on his blog, using an Aristotelian analysis:
Communism V Progressivism.
Communism’s form, or its decision structure, is either a dictatorship, or a small oligarchy (Politburo).
Communism, moreover, is a one party state.
The State, meanwhile, controls the means of production for (so it is claimed) the benefit of the proles.
The form or decision structure of Progressivism, or the EU is…..What exactly? The decision structure is an endless series or processes and procedures, committees and consultations. No one is in charge; sectors of responsibility and control are unclear.
Democracy, so far as it goes, exists, but the parties are largely meaningless; they exist to provide the illusion of people power.
Economically, Progressivism permits private enterprise but subjects commerce to stringent and constant interference to achieve aims such as “social justice”, “diversity”, “health and safety” “environmental safety”.
Communism consists of proles.
Progressivism consists of Brahmins or bobos: the middle class.
Communism achieves power via revolution. Communism rules via top down command and control; its methods, beyond dictating, are force and fraud.
Progressivism achieves its aims firstly via electoral success; then, by constant bureaucratic expansion. Crucially, progressivism is able to reproduce and spread by *controlling* the universities and *infiltrating* the media which produces new “managers”. Progressivists rule by laws, regulations, and social-shaming and employment purges. However, it also jails thought and speech criminals, and uses (by tolerating) fascist (anti-fascist) gangs to break up dissenters.
Progressivism maintains power by subverting and destroying rival institutions and power centres, and by importing the third world. (*edited.)
Communism is the final goal of Communism: the “withering” away of the state.
Progressivism’s goal is…… Formally it is peace, equality, liberty and wellbeing, justice, happiness, dignity. Really, its goal is to perpetuate the rule by bureaucrat.
After the French Revolution, the left divided and evolved along two different paths: Marxist and Comtiean.
Comte Won, and the Circus was born.
Take the Credit but Never Take the Blame.
Don’t believe me. Take a look at the following then.
The above article is from a pretty hip progressive online magazine called Aeon giving us a little economic history tour.
The article was written by Marc Levinson, economist, historian and journalist. Levinson has master’s degrees from Georgia State University and the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University. He has also earned a doctorate from the City University of New York.
I guess he knows what he is talking about then.
Here is how Levinson describes the shift from the post-war “golden age” to, well, let’s call it the gray age:
The shift came at the end of 1973. The quarter-century before then, starting around 1948, saw the most remarkable period of economic growth in human history. In the Golden Age between the end of the Second World War and 1973, people in what was then known as the ‘industrialised world’ – Western Europe, North America, and Japan – saw their living standards improve year after year. They looked forward to even greater prosperity for their children. Culturally, the first half of the Golden Age was a time of conformity, dominated by hard work to recover from the disaster of the war. The second half of the age was culturally very different, marked by protest and artistic and political experimentation.
I cannot help but quote Moldbug who quotes Froude:
Democracies are the blossoming of the aloe, the sudden squandering of the vital force which has accumulated in the long years when it was contented to be healthy and did not aspire after a vain display. The aloe is glorious for a single season. It progresses as it never progressed before. It admires its own excellence, looks back with pity on its earlier and humbler condition, which it attributes only to the unjust restraints in which it was held. It conceives that it has discovered the true secret of being ‘beautiful for ever,’ and in the midst of the discovery it dies.
Moldbug then says:
In the arts of decadence – sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll – democracies excel. If only for these, the second half of the twentieth century will never be forgotten. We need not imagine the level of punitive austerity and reeducation that would need to be inflicted on Western society to make it forget the Rolling Stones and everything after. Possible, surely, but hard to recommend.
Another way to state Froude’s thesis is to describe democracies as obtaining their energy by breaking the strong molecular bonds of their authoritarian predecessors.
Nevertheless, you will still feel warm for a while after the contents of your house have been burned in a Potlatch ceremony.
But eventually the cold will begin to bite:
The good times rolled on so long that people took them for granted. Between 1948 and 1973, Australia, Japan, Sweden and Italy had not a single year of recession. West Germany and Canada did almost as well.
Who takes the credit for this? Government, and their economic advisers of course:
Governments and the economists who advised them happily claimed the credit.
Careful economic management, they said, had put an end to cyclical ups and downs.
Governments possessed more information about citizens and business than ever before, and computers could crunch the data to help policymakers determine the best course of action.
In a lecture at Harvard University in 1966, Walter Heller, formerly chief economic adviser to presidents John F Kennedy and Lyndon B Johnson, trumpeted the success of what he called the ‘new economics’. ‘Conceptual advances and quantitative research in economics,’ he declared, ‘are replacing emotion with reason.’
Walter Heller’s reference to “new economics” is no doubt referring to Keynes and his General Theory. Did all economists at the time agree that “conceptual advances” had occurred, that with “quantitative research” the “cyclical ups and downs” had been put to an end?
Actually no. Here is a line by line refutation written all-the-way-back-in-1959.
The author of that refutation, Henry Hazlitt, was deploying, as a critical tool, the economic principles set forth by Ludwig Von Mises in his Human Action, which was written in 1949. They belong to the “libertarian” “school” of economics.
How did Walter Heller get to advise two American Presidents and lecture at Harvard, while Mises got to advise – got to advise who exactly?
Levinson, Hazlitt and Mises all concur that Heller is smoking crack; it is possible, of course, that Mises was also a gin soaked popinjay but that does explain why Heller “won” and Mises “lost.”
Is it possible that maybe Heller, like Keynes, simply got away it because he told the Presidents want they wanted to hear?
Let’s take one major example to see that when power and truth collide, power wins.
The Strange Case of Alan Greenspan.
John Rubino writes:
“When the history of these times is written, former Fed Chair Alan Greenspan will be one of the major villains, but also one of the greatest mysteries. This is so because he has, in effect, been three different people.
He began public life brilliantly, as a libertarian thinker who said some compelling and accurate things about gold and its role in the world. An example from 1966:
An almost hysterical antagonism toward the gold standard is one issue which unites statists of all persuasions. They seem to sense – perhaps more clearly and subtly than many consistent defenders of laissez-faire – that gold and economic freedom are inseparable, that the gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire and that each implies and requires the other…
…In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. If there were, the government would have to make its holding illegal, as was done in the case of gold [in 1934 under FDR].
(Ding! Ding! Ding! DR)
If everyone decided, for example, to convert all his bank deposits to silver or copper or any other good, and thereafter declined to accept checks as payment for goods, bank deposits would lose their purchasing power and government-created bank credit would be worthless as a claim on goods. The financial policy of the welfare state requires that there be no way for the owners of wealth to protect themselves.
This is the shabby secret of the welfare statists’ tirades against gold. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists’ antagonism toward the gold standard.
(See here for Greenspan’s complete essay.)
That was before he became Chairman of the Federal Reserve. What did he do though?
He didn’t practice what he preached:
Awesome, right? But when put in charge of the Federal Reserve in the late 1980s, instead of applying the above wisdom — by for instance limiting the bank’s interference in the private sector and letting market forces determine winners and losers — he did a full 180, intervening in every crisis, creating new currency with abandon, and generally behaving like his old ideological enemies, the Keynesians. Not surprisingly, debt soared during his long tenure.
Then, after his long tenure as Banker in Chief he had this to say:
“Today, going back on to the gold standard would be perceived as an act of desperation. But if the gold standard were in place today, we would not have reached the situation in which we now find ourselves,” he said.“[T]here is a widespread view that the 19th Century gold standard didn’t work. I think that’s like wearing the wrong size shoes and saying the shoes are uncomfortable! It wasn’t the gold standard that failed; it was politics.”
Echoing his old libertarian self, this is what he said involving gold, debt and fiscal discipline:
“We would never have reached this position of extreme indebtedness were we on the gold standard, because the gold standard is a way of ensuring that fiscal policy never gets out of line.”
Over in England, another Banker, Sir Mervin King, is saying the same thing; in the absence of gold, or some other stable foundation, fiscal indiscipline will occur. However, the following, from a review of King’s book, is a brilliant summary of the systematically flawed nature of progressive, Anglo-American economic systems:
King identifies a basic problem in the banking system that has again and again led to financial crisis. “The idea that paper money could replace intrinsically valuable gold and precious metals, and that banks could take secure short-term deposits and transform them into long-term risky investments came into its own with the Industrial Revolution in the eighteenth century. It was both revolutionary and immensely seductive. It was in fact financial alchemy — the creation of extraordinary financial powers that defy reality and common sense. Pursuit of this monetary elixir has brought a series of economic disasters — from hyperinflation to banking collapses.”
How exactly is this alchemy supposed to work? “People believed in alchemy because, so it was argued, depositors would never all choose to withdraw their money at the same time. If depositors’ requirements to make payments or obtain liquidity were, when averaged over a large number of depositors, a predictable flow, then deposits could provide a reliable source of long-term funding. But if a sizable group of depositors were to withdraw funds at the same time, the bank would be forced either to demand immediate repayment of the loans it had made, … or to default on the claims of depositors.”
Many have sought to salvage the alchemy of banking by resorting to a central bank. By acting as a lender of last resort, a central bank can bail out banks in need of funds to satisfy anxious depositors and thus avert the danger of a bank run. The alchemy of transforming deposits into investments can now proceed.
Though he was one of the world’s leading central bankers, King finds fault with this “solution.” A local bank can be rescued by getting money from the central bank, but the process generates new problems.
[i]f banks came to rely on the Bank of England to bail them out when in difficulty, then they would take excessive risks and abandon “sound principles of banking.” They would run down their liquid assets, relying instead on cheap central bank insurance — and that is exactly what happened before the recent  crisis. The provision of insurance without a proper charge is an incentive to take excessive risks — in modern jargon, it creates “moral hazard.”
Moldbug has said the same thing, though with more bombast and bravado:
The mainstream, however, is catching onto the cult that has collapsed:
The Schilling of Schiller.
Let’s return to our Aeon piece and Levinson’s take on Karl Schiller – a crack addict:
The most influential proponent of such ideas was Karl Schiller, who became economy minister of West Germany, Europe’s largest economy, in 1966. A former professor at the University of Hamburg, where his students included the future West German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, Schiller was a centrist Social Democrat. He stood apart from those on the Left who favoured state ownership of industry, but also from extreme free-market conservatives.
His advice called for ‘a synthesis of planning and competition’. Schiller defined his philosophy thus: ‘As much competition as possible, as much planning as necessary.’
To me, in 2017, when I hear “collective rationality” “synthesis of planning and competition” “planning” and “economics” I think three things: Socialism; Communism and Fascism.
Most fundamentally, Schiller believed that government should commit itself to maintaining high employment, steady growth and stable prices. And it should do this all while keeping its international account in balance, within the framework of a free-market economy. These four commitments made the corners of what he called the ‘magic square’.
The crack (quack) square.
Official Government Policy:
In December 1966, when Schiller became economy minister in a new coalition government, the magic square became official policy.
Following Schiller’s version of Keynesian economics, his ministry’s experts advised federal and state governments how to adjust their budgets to achieve ‘equilibrium of the entire economy’.
The ministry’s advice was based on an elaborate planning exercise that churned out five-year projections.
Five year plans – sorry projections.
In the spring of 1967, the finance ministry was told to adjust taxes and spending plans to increase business investment while slowing the growth of consumer spending. These moves, Schiller’s economic models promised, would bring economic growth averaging 4 per cent through 1971, along with 0.8 per cent unemployment, 1 per cent annual inflation and a 1 per cent current account surplus.Of course, he would add, wages and investment were private decisions, but he hoped that the government’s guidelines would contribute to ‘collective rationality’.
To promise something is very different than to hope for it.
Schiller insisted that his policies had brought West Germany to ‘a sunny plateau of prosperity’ where inflation and unemployment were permanently vanquished.
No doubt, this made him feel very, very important. But:
Year after year, however, the economy failed to perform as he instructed.
In July 1972, when Schiller was denied control over the exchange rate, he stormed out of the cabinet and left elected office forever.
Schiller left with the West German economy roaring. Within 18 months, his claim that the government could ensure stable prices, robust growth and jobs for all blew up.
At least millions of German didn’t starve, not like these poor chaps who did.
…. central banks and governments have a variety of tools they can use.
(Central banks are government banks. So what? How would you feel if you heard the phrase “Central Church”?)
They can lower interest rates to make it cheaper to buy a car or build a factory.
(Just like Socialists, Communists and Fascists.)
They can lower taxes to give consumers more money to spend.
(Or they can raise them, or lower them for some people and not for others, in short they can do whatever they want.)
They can increase government spending to pump more cash into the economy.
(This means the government uses its magic wand and manufactures new money, which allows the progressive welfare state to spend this “magic” money. Secondly, printing money is basically a tax on savers and spenders; thirdly, it is a source of malinvestment.)
They can change regulations to make it easier for banks to lend money.
(Yes. One possible and actual consequence of this is that banks are forced to loan to people they would, ordinarily, not loan to because they would be unlikely to pay back the loan. Connect this with fractional reserve banking and if you have banks that cannot get its return on loans and thus cannot pay back or give out the money it owes; then, as a result of people who fear losing getting locked out of their account you get a bank run.)
Does this sound like Laissez-faire to you?
Greedy capitalists. or foolish, presumptuous progressives?
The “greedy capitalist” types – the Austrians – are horrified by what USG has done to the economy, however.
Has America, however, ever been a laissez-faire capitalist nation?
The progressives “fatal conceit”, their fundamental mistake, is the presumption that bureaucrats know best; that humans are nothing but guinea pigs to play with in their social engineering experiments.
Quack! Quack! Crack! Crack!
Turn on the Faucet:
I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles:
Ignorance is Bliss:
Fuck No, You Can’t Keep Your Doctor:
Crash the Cash:
Better Stash That Cash:
We Woz Wong:
Democracy and Economics Cannot Co-Exist:
Smash the Ivory Towers:
You Can Bank on a Bubble:
The Ice Berg:
The Storm Gathers:
Deutschland Going Down:
The Dead End:
Do Not Resuscitate:
The End of Days:
The Clowns Gave Away the Circus:
The Lost Generation:
The American Betrayal:
France, A Failed State:
Death of the Dream:
The American Dream is Dead:
Hail! Hail! America, Chief of the Dead:
And this is what I mean by a “zombie nation.” It is not just the banks that need restructuring. It is the entire economy, because the entire economy is dependent on the continuous generation of new debt. This is the hallmark of the zombie. Beneath this soothing curtain of formaldehyde, it is not just Citibank that is insolvent and unprofitable; it is not even just GM; it may even be most American companies. Nobody’s profit margin is that wide.
America! Hail, chief of the dead. Alive you were the greatest, and death has barely touched you. You strode the world; you stride it still. Rule it, even – for of all dead things, you are the least dead. That furrowed brow is almost fresh. The frost upon it might well be sweat. That tan and bony fist still clasps its notchless sword.
But the scent is unmistakable. The beetles are already at work. Grosser fauna lurk. And what do we do? We do nothing. We serve a straw-packed corpse, nailed to a tall and ancient throne. Dead, festering, and nowhere near ready for the grave. And we smile as we go about our duties.
Mencius Moldbug. April, 2009.
October, 2016: A Philosopher who Plumbs for Trump.
Here is philosopher, Daniel Bonevac, writing in the, yep, Washington Post why he is voting for Donald Trump:
Ask yourself: Are you better off than you were a decade ago? Is the United States better off? Is the world safer? Is this country on the right track? I am among the nearly two-thirds of Americans who answer no.
We’re in the seventh year of the slowest economic recovery since 1949. The proportion of working-age adults who are employed is the lowest in decades. Young African Americans face an unemployment rate of over 20 percent. The national debt has almost doubled; an American baby born today already owes more than $60,000. We’ve lost our Standard & Poor’s AAA credit rating. Cities and states face debt and pension crises of their own. Meanwhile, business profits and durable goods orders are down, productivity is sluggish and 2 percent growth is the new normal. Economic inequality has increased; incomes are down; prices are up.
The president’s signature “accomplishment,” Obamacare, is in a death spiral. Racial tensions are leading to riots. Violent crime is up sharply over the past 18 months. Life expectancy is falling for large segments of our population. The administration is conducting a war on fossil fuels, endangering our electric grid, while shoveling funds to green-energy boondoggles run by donors. The IRS, the FBI and the Justice Department are protecting political allies, punishing opponents and defying court orders. Title IX is used on campus to destroy due process and stifle speech. In the past 10 months, we’ve suffered terror attacks in San Bernardino, Calif., Orlando, St. Cloud, Minn., and Burlington, Wash., leaving 68 dead. Europe’s experience shows that if we continue these policies, we will suffer many more.
The Middle East is in shambles. We gratuitously overthrew a stable government in Libya, creating a terrorist haven and getting our ambassador killed. We threw away victories in Iraq and Afghanistan. Syria is a humanitarian disaster. We sabotaged Iran’s Green Revolution and halted sanctions, propping up and then funding with planeloads of cash a leading global sponsor of terrorism actively seeking nuclear weapons — all in a quest to reach an agreement so adverse to U.S. interests that it was not even submitted to the Senate. Iran is reportedly already violating it.
This is not bad luck. It results directly from policies of the Obama administration that Clinton wants to continue. The problem is not implementation, but deep inadequacies in her progressive worldview. It’s a worldview I encounter up close on campus, a worldview that intrigues intellectuals with its promise of rationality and tempts them with the possibility of power. As Dostoevsky warned, however, in practice, it indulges the moral narcissism of an elite and encourages disrespect for everyone else.
Progressives try to counter corporate economic power by centralizing political power in executive-branch agencies. They try to cure centralization with more centralization. But this leads to elitism and regulatory capture. When corporations, well-funded nonprofits or well-connected donors team up with government agencies, the rest of us lose. The federal government is the ultimate monopoly. The administrative state is largely unaccountable; you can’t vote the regulators out of office. Under the Obama administration, federal regulations have strangled some industries outright and curtailed innovation in others. No one voted to destroy the coal industry or stop enforcing immigration law. Clinton promises more of the same. She promises to appoint Supreme Court justices who will remove the Bill of Rights’s safeguards against excessive government power. She shows contempt for ordinary people, their rights and their concerns, treating any who oppose her as enemies. Only Trump promises to rein in the excesses of the administrative state and return us to constitutional governance. He pledges to issue a moratorium on new regulations and to reduce “the anchor dragging us down,” the regulatory burden whose growth since 1980 has cost us as much as one-fourth of our gross national product.
Progressivism sacrifices the future for the present, and the present for special interests and personal gain. That is why economies stall and birth rates collapse in countries where progressive policies hold sway. Our economy works by allowing the market to channel accumulated capital to investments that fuel productivity gains and innovation, leading to technological advances, more affordable products, higher wages and increased opportunities. Trump’s tax cuts would increase investment, boost productivity and wages and increase innovation and opportunities for all Americans.
Finally, progressivism rests on an implausible view of international relations. It seeks to diminish the nation-state and the reach of American power. The Obama-Clinton policy requires us to push traditional allies away and seek relationships with avowed enemies. Protecting Americans from harm and maintaining state secrets are evidently a low priority. Trump would bring a much-needed dose of realism to foreign policy, restoring damaged friendships with Britain and Israel, restoring the integrity of our borders and protecting U.S. interests in international agreements.
Trump has been giving serious speeches detailing his vision on the economy, foreign policy, crime, immigration and other central issues facing the country. He has been explaining policies that would strengthen the United States, revive the economy, and restore our social capital, especially in inner cities. Clinton, meanwhile, has been doing her best to distract us from the issues. Admittedly, Trump offers her many such opportunities. But our country’s direction is too important to decide on the basis of who is more vulgar than whom. Clinton’s policies portend nothing but a weaker economy, a weaker society and a weaker America. I want a president who’s on our side. I plan to vote for someone who can change course and return us once again to the task of making America great.
The mismanagement of the economy, likes with everything, would eventually provoke a reaction – it always does.
Again, as I argued here, the system produced Trump. Trump is a monster of the progressives own making.
Modern Government is a monster.
and it grow stronger.
and it runs after you.