Saturday, April 30, 2016

Economic Liberalism

I think that is the best short phrase to describe the combination of free markets, free trade, and the protection of property rights which commonly gets denominated "Capitalism".  Capital-ism, of course, is Marx's term, by which he intended to critique it.  The word implies that only those with money get anything, that those with the gold make the rules, that it is a system by and for those with money.  He may as well have named his book "On Plutocracy".

In reality, the aim is that EVERYONE becomes a "Capitalist", that the artist figures out how to paint full time, the car mechanic the way to open his or her own shop, the entrepreneur funds his own venture, etc.  The triumph of large business, of the large multinational corporations is a symptom of economic illiberalism.  It is the outcome of socialist policies which make the hurdles to saving money and opening ones own business insuperable for all but the most insanely determined.  It is vastly easier even now to start a new business in America than virtually anywhere in the world.  A just, fair, liberal order is in fact a "nation of shopkeepers".  I will note that Napoleon, who intended that as an insult of the British, founded his own reign on aggressive imperialistic wars, mass theft, mass murder, open and pervasive rape, and caused the deaths of millions.  And for this, they erected a monument to him.  Such are the French.  Such is the lack of principle, of decency, of moral clarity, which we see in the modern world.

If one can rationalize the Arc de Triomphe, WHY NOT the murder of a hundred million by Communists?  Napoleon and Pol Pot no doubt both meant well.

The point I intended to make, though--I am here following a long path of not following a path--is that one can easily make the following accurate juxtapositions:

Economic Liberalism aims to generalize and increase wealth; Socialism aims to freeze wealth creation, and spread around what already exists.

Economic Liberalism seeks to foster structural economic investment; Socialism seeks to punish it through regulation and taxes.

Economic Liberalism seeks to harness the power of self interest on the part of those capable of creating wealth; Socialism harnesses the power of self interest solely of government bureaucrats, who are capable only of destroying wealth.

Economic Liberalism seeks to foster innovation and efficiency; Socialism seeks a permanent social hierarchy consisting of the ruled and the rulers.  Witness Cuba.  North Korea.  "Social democracy" is merely a slower version of this same process.  It maintains the illusion much longer.

In my own view, OF COURSE it is bad that massive corporations have in large measure corrupted our election process.  But who made it such a rich prize?  In what respect does increasing the power of government not make the process of corruption that much more tempting, that much more lucrative?  If we make it largely economically irrelevant who the President is, who is in Congress, then the money will leave politics all on its own.  Passing laws won't do shit.  Smart people will find ways around any laws we might pass.  The problem is the temptation.  Drugs are illegal too.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Why should it be easier?

This is a really useful question I have been using lately.  When my computer crashes, it reminds me of all the things I can control, like software updates, investing in new hardware.  When I forget my password, it reminds me that I have the ability to write my passwords down.  When someone cuts me off in traffic, or acts like an idiot, it reminds me that self driving machines--auto-mobiles--are and remain a miracle, and that whatever minor inconveniences I may suffer, they are suffered in a place I control, which is climate controlled, and where I have many books and much music I can listen to at the touch of a button.

If it is a person, ask yourself how you contributed to the situation.  Usually you will find you did.  You thought they ought to understand; you thought they ought to have known better; you thought they should have reacted differently.  But if you are honest, you will realize that you did not use skills you had, out of laziness or complacency.  Or ignorance: the corrective is study.  I know how to deal with people, but I don't always follow the rules I know.  I think it ought to be easier.  I shouldn't have to treat them as if they are imbeciles, or lacking in balls, or constantly looking for a new pissing contest.  But many people are.  Why should it be easier?  It is what it is, and I betray my own childishness in pretending otherwise. If I am failing to control what I can control, then I have no right to whine, and even if I am, it remains what it is, so I can ALWAYS control my reaction.  None of us are truly helpless, even in the worst situations.

Literally every problem I have, or think I have, submits to this question.  It is clarifying, purifying.  The next time something or someone pisses you off, try it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Crybullies

One of the truisms about bullies which is often forgotten is that in their self estimation they are simply protecting themselves from the threats of others.  That these threats are both exaggerated and not uncommonly fabricated does not change the psychological reality to these people of the justice and truth of their "responses" to these threats and insults and injuries.

Likewise, on the Left one sees this constant refrain that they are "under attack" by Republicans, that the blacks, and gays (not the Jews: fuck the Jews is the motto of the Left, even among that large contingent that IS supposedly Jewish), and women, and foreigners, and foreign nations, and the WORLD are being assaulted, that these horrific, hateful Morlocks are sucking away everything good and decent in the world, that they only want the RICH RICH RICH to become richer, and that they laugh at the gullibility of all who support them.

That this is a cartoon seems not to occur to them.  That a moments pause, a minutes research, an hours dialogue would disabuse them of their bigotry and reflexive hate does not occur to them.

And so while attacking violently and with no effort at understanding they view their struggle as primarily DEFENSIVE.

This, because propaganda.  That is the short answer, but I thought this thought train worth sharing.

This is a Ron Paul foreign policy

http://time.com/4309786/read-donald-trumps-america-first-foreign-policy-speech/

Small wonder Trump is so hated.  The Democrats fail to connect the dots and realize that their Great Leader is, with respect to foreign entanglements, indistinguishable from George Bush, other than that he is unable even to finish what he starts, whereas Bush left Obama a stable Iraq.  Drone strikes: Obama is the undisputed king.  Illegal wars: ditto.  Bush has Congressional authority.  Obama has not, for Libya, for his interventions in Syria that created ISIS, his attacks in Yemen, and no doubt sundry other places I don't even know about.

I like Trump. He is different.  Hillary is a continuation of Obama, Sanders would be an unmitigated disaster, and I don't trust Cruz.  Cruz has only lasted this long because Trump created the space for non-traditional candidates.  Had Trump not entered the race, Cruz would have been out long ago, and we would be looking at another Bush, in all likelihood.

Homosexuality versus "Transgenderism"

There is a profound difference between a man who has sexual fantasies about other men, and a man who has fantasies about being a woman.

At issue is not what we might term "cultural effeminacy", which is to say ACTING feminine according to our expectations of what that means.  Many homosexuals act effeminate to the point of calling each other bitch, and of course there are heterosexuals like Prince--I assume he was a heterosexual, mainly--who act effeminate as well.

What transgender people, so called, want is to BE the opposite sex.  They play act because they are forced to, but the animating vision and dream is to BE the opposite sex, complete with appropriate organs.

But this is impossible, at least with current medical science, and it is hard to see how an identity that exists down to the cellular level in XY versus XX can ever be changed.  Nor is it clear why this should be necessary.

You can cut off a penis, but that does not become a genuine clitoris.  You can cut a hole near the perineum, but that does not become a vagina, and you cannot insert a uterus, and it cannot be impregnated, as far as I know.  Women will never spontaneously produce semen filled with biologically active sperm. I am belaboring the point.

Psychologically speaking, transgenderism is, in my view, an addiction to the impossible idea of being something one is not.  It is not different from the anorexic who dreams of weighing 10 pounds, or even nothing.  It is not different from the bodybuilder who cannot get big enough, who does obscene and deadly things to get every last inch of muscle, knowing full well that death is the likely and quick result.

We read that transgendered people, so called, commit suicide at 20x the rate of normal people.  Why not?  They are attempting to divert attention from primary psychological processes they are avoiding with their obsession, their addiction in my terms,  but there comes a time when reality has to be faced: they will never truly BE the opposite sex.  Not in this lifetime.

We have always known that homosexual men use the men's room.  My local swimming pool felt the need to to post signs saying it is illegal to film people changing clothes.  This is vaguely creepy, but they have to use something, and the women's room makes no sense.

So the issue is not whether or not they will be possible sexual charges in the bathrooms, but whether or not the slightest SHRED of common sense will remain in this benighted nation, plagued by imbecility, cowardice, ignorance, and thoughtlessness.

As Bill Maher put it, in a rare commentary with which I agreed in the main, "if you look like a woman, use the woman's room; if you look like a man, use the men's; and if you are a bearded man in a dress, wait to use the bathroom until you get home."

I personally have signed the "Boycott Target" petition, and will take it seriously.  I read they have installed urinals in LA in some of the women's bathrooms.  This more than validates this decision.  Statistically, there are more REGISTERED sexual offenders than trannies of both sexes.  Given that an unknown but presumably large number never get caught, this should give sane persons of good sense pause.  The women of this nation--the girls of this nation--have rights too.  You cannot make everyone happy, so why not 50% of the population--less some nominal amount obsessed with politically correctness, and cultural suicide--relative to roughly one half (accounting for the men posing as women, who are the main concern) of .03% of the population?

Satanic Christianity

Most of the curses I received as a young child were, I think, conceived and executed as blessings.  Here is the thing: a Christianity consisting in fear, hatred, repressed rage, blind submission, and physical violence is more suitably called Satanism.  It is more Satanic than Satanism because Satanists ACKNOWLEDGE the object of their worship.  Such Christians lie to themselves and others about what they do, and why they do; about who, in the end, they are.  No honest Satanist should ever tell the truth about their creed.  This much has always seemed obvious to me.  Satanic Christianity is a double removal: truth is removed from public display, and from private consciousness.  This second removal perhaps makes it slightly less odious, but the reality is that Satanists themselves lie to themselves as well.  They pretend that the feeling power they seek is possible for more than moments, and that they can escape the horror within them by attempting to satiate it.  They cannot.  This, too, is addiction.

But I do think we need to be very clear that the word "Christian" implies absolutely nothing about the character and conscience of the person professing to be one.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Aphorism

Power without life is worth nothing.

The necessity of atheism

Pema Chodron introduced a concept new to me, that of non-theism.  The idea is simple: we can reject, based on our personal experience, the notion that some spirit can be relied upon to protect and help us, without rejecting with it the notion that some unfathomably large and incomprehensible connecting power still underlies the universe, in roughly the sense the Deists took God. 

Most of us have had inconsolable nights where there was no angel, no spirit of God.  We have had things happen that we fervently wanted to avoid, and overall have had no experience of benevolence from a higher power.

And I was thinking that for some people, the asking from God is all too close to the asking parents for help--protection, consolation, guidance--that never materialized.

There comes a psychological point for many, I think, where emotional stability and the possibility for separation from a painful emotional linkage with past, REQUIRES rejecting this notion of an omnipotent father who can be relied upon.  The rejection is imprecise, but one typically based upon the sense I still see often, that the choice is between No God and a God which is purportedly described in a book somewhere, with the God of the Christians the most typical target.

These are the dogmatic atheists.  For them, I feel, to reconsider the idea of God is to reopen an emotional witches brew of conflict and pain, even if empirically something like a Deistic god--or more likely an interactive universe with rules we don't yet grasp--seems to be what science most strongly supports, from the data.

The truth is that one can easily assert that the True God has never been described, and that no religion has a monopoly on truth, and that most of its most sacred tales are simply myths--in both senses--rooted in primal unconscious psychosocial realities.

So much of life is clearing underbrush, space, for thinking and feeling clearly.  The more barriers you find, the more barriers you find.  Most of us exist in very small spaces, and what we call freedom is perhaps a slightly larger prison cell than our neighbor.  Spirituality is nothing more or less than dreaming of leaving the prison entirely.

Superiority

The path to superiority--and the very concepts of moral and emotional and spiritual growth depend upon and arise from sensing the existence of such a state--does not lie through FEELING superior.

If you are superior, you are separate from, and if you are separate from, you have lost most of life.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Addiction

Addiction may be defined as focusing all attention on what is impossible. It inherently arises from a lie.

Guilt

I really do feel that guilt quite often precedes, in the form of existential shame, any actual cause.  I further suspect many crimes are committed to relieve this sense by justifying it.

And I feel one of the primary crimes which is committed is that of judgement and hatred.  If you feel personal shame you cannot justify, you relieve it by judging others.  In my own case, I think I was broken violently so that I would be a "good", which is to say compliant and obedient, person.  This creates shame, which creates anger, which creates hostility, which creates emotional and social alienation, which is something I am only now in my middle age coming to grips with.  I think this sort of thing is relatively common, but that most people never truly come to grips with it at all.  It is sufficient to simply exist complacently within the social system you were born into.

Christianity and Islam, certainly, are systems of political  and social oppression contained within theological systems, themselves based upon the assertions of those long dead.  Whatever they have to do with an actually existing God is accidental, and originates in individuals exercising personal wisdom and spiritual discrimination.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Speaking of Hope

Let us suppose that the continuation of Western civilization is possible, despite the best efforts of the Left to destroy it.  What does Europe need to do?

They need to destroy most mosques.

They need to treat as criminals all people calling for Sharia law, attempting to implement Sharia law, or who talk in any way of living under a LAW other than that of Germany, France, Britain, etc.

They need to stop letting in economic refugees, and if they want to do "good deeds", make an effort at letting in ACTUAL refugees who they think likely to largely assimilate.  Certainly, the Christians and Yazidis could use some help, as could the people traveling in families from actual war zones.

They need re-enable discussion of public morality which permits judgement.

I'll likely have other ideas, but I have to scoop.

Milo Yiannopoulos

I like this guy: http://dailycaller.com/2016/04/22/is-milo-yiannopoulos-the-face-of-tomorrows-political-right/

I posted a week or two ago somewhere that I am increasingly of the opinion that offending people is our present patriotic duty.  The Left is doing everything in its power--not to protect decency and courtesy, since they have clearly rejected both vigorously and without hesitation--but to prevent the public discussion of their bad ideas.  The whole POINT of a truly Liberal political order is dissension, argument, and the airing of unwanted truths.

People like this give me hope.  I have been wondering where the fucking testicles are.  You can't blow over every time somebody looks in your direction and claim to stand for anything. And if he wants to double up on the balls from time to time, well that's his bedroom, and his business.

Money quote (thankfully not a money shot):

“They don’t like me because I beat liberals in arguments, unlike the last 30 years of conservatism,” he told TheDC. “They don’t like me because they can’t write me off as a bigot, as a homophobe, as a misogynist, as a racist because I’m a sassy, gay Brit who never shuts up about black dick.”
More: 
“For the [past] 30 years, the Left has just said ‘oh if there’s an argument we don’t like, they’re a hateful bigot so don’t listen to anything they have to say,'” he told TheDC. “They seek to delegitimize the speaker instead of actually presenting an argument while I force them to bring their A-game. They just realized they don’t have one.”
“Trump and I represent something that scares the Left — the utter, wholesale rejection of political correctness. Total defiance. The idea you don’t back down, you double down. When somebody comes to my event and says they’re offended by a joke, I rack my brain for a more offensive one… Trump does the same thing,” he said.
“He has shown the one thing that no conservative politician or pundit or anybody really on the political Right in American public life has done for some 30 years. He has shown fearlessness, he’s not afraid of [the Left]. And that inspires terror in their hearts and I’m the same, I like to think.”

The Counterculture

I ventured into a bastion of ex-hippies yesterday.  My reasons were sound, and my purpose was accomplished, but I felt the whole time like a wolf in a pack of sheep.  Not a sheepdog: a wolf.  I am not yet required to wear a Yellow Cross--or Scarlet R--to identify myself as an ideological dissident or accused Racist, but it felt weird all the same.

Old hippies can be cool, but a very great many of them are still self important, focused on being "hip" (hence the name), highly judgemental, impatient, and more than a little crazy.  I know the breed well: remember, I went to Berkeley.  I lived there.  I breathed the air.

And I was thinking about it: after all the promise, after all the "revolution in the air", what do they have to show for it?  What have they accomplished?  They put a no-name, second rate soap opera actor in the White House, who started several new wars and added our grandchildren to the national debt (our children were already in up to their eyeballs).

They have made it socially impossible for traumatized women to object publicly to sharing bathrooms with biological men.  They have that going for them.

They lost the Vietnam War for us, after it has been won--at great cost--on the ground.  This is one thing I have never understood: they shed huge tears watching some show about black slave families being broken up by the cruel slave-masters, but don't even KNOW that hundreds of thousands of families were broken up in South Vietnam alone, sent to separate labor and psychological torture camps, and many of them were never reunited.  The people who loved Kunta Kinte did not give a flying phuc about anybody named Nguyen.  All that got disappeared, much like the desaparecido's of Latin America, with the difference that nobody is talking about those horrors even today.

The fucking hippies still think their victory over national interest, common decency, empathy for the suffering of others, and political sanity counts as a great accomplishment.  I don't.  It think it is a scandalous shame.

What do they have?  They accomplished something close to nothing.  Holotropic Breathwork has done me some good.  Peter Levine did some time in Esalen.  They brought yoga back from India.

But what I see, now, is that mostly what membership in this tribe provides is not vision, but membership.  That is the benefit.  They know one another.  They recognize one another.  When they meet--and I have the young imitators in mind here--they have an instant bond.

But the original hippies literally thought that if they shouted loud enough and did enough drugs, the world would spontaneously conform to their notions of the way "things ought to be".

If we see kids now shouting about the way things ought to be, we can see the path back to them.  And we can easily see an identical but more fully developed narcissism, childishness, lack of understanding of how the world works, lack of a plan for actual long term improvements in the condition of any living human beings, and, most importantly, the same self congratulation based upon nothing more substantial than shared feelings.

Laziness

I was thinking about the opposite of laziness.  Put another way, what avoidances create what we call "laziness".

First off, it seems to me that, from a social and personal well being perspective, we work too much.  If we take an evolutionary perspective, ants work continually, because they are best viewed as little machines.  More developed animals, the mammals, like chimps and lions and seals, have lots and lots of time for relaxation.  So too did and to some very limited extent do, hunter-gatherers.  I read somewhere their average "work week" is perhaps 20 hours.  The rest of the time they can spend telling stories, playing games or music, fucking, and just laying around.  The sense of time constraint implied by our modern concept of laziness is simply inconsistent with our recent past, and has come about only in perhaps the past 2-4 thousand years.

Secondly, because I am not opposed to the new, to development, to visions of a greater humanity, I will say that we can and should aspire to higher levels of productivity, but that we need to balance creative mania, with some grounding in our nature.

And what is our nature?  I would say it is creative, but not relentlessly so.  We need breaks.  The alternative is addiction, and addiction by definition is contrary to spiritual development.

And what blocks creativity?  Fear.  Fear of all the sundry emotions which we have blocked out, away from conscious awareness.  To be truly creative one must be open, and to be open is to invite everything.

Practically, what seems to happen is we find and build grooves, tracks, simple things we do over and over in roughly the same way which meet the task of getting us fed, clothed, and sheltered, but which do not really arise from creative places, and which on the contrary feel confining.

It is tempting to wonder if we fear Great Time, within which are the realities we fear, most notably death and dissolution, but also separation, failure, and inconstancy.

Well, I myself have things to do, but thought I would throw a few thoughts out there.

Virtue

I have been having some interesting dreams.  Many of my most useful dreams involve contemporary myths, like Harry Potter, and comic book characters.  I think in our modern world we do not value sufficiently deep symbols. The need for them is profound, and people like Stan Lee and Jack Kirby and Joanne Rowling, who create them, serve this need.  The "nerds" who thrive on their true fictions are precisely those who in other ages might have been priests and priestesses, the keepers of sacrificial, ritual orders.

Without getting into the details of last night, I will say that we all need to grasp that even the bad guys are us too.  I found myself in a fight last night with a force I could not defeat.  The good guys lost, and I chose death rather than submission, consciously, after thinking about it in the dream.

Then I woke up, and got to thinking about it.  What I think I chose was preferring the death of willful ignorance, to the conscious inclusion of my own defects, which include arrogance, self importance, laziness, and yes entitlement. I am what I hate.

And I look at myself, and I preach--that is the word--often about the Left as the cult of conscious resentment.  And I resent them.  I am what I hate.

Pema Chodron talks about how interacting with people can be very useful because other people will show you, in your reactions, everything you hate about yourself, what parts of your self are unprocessed, in conflict with the facts of life, in conflict with the destiny of peace, of accommodation with the realities of life, which include death, danger, loss, grief, confusion, and the need for frequent if not continual effort and work.

Isolating oneself is a means, perhaps, of learning more about oneself, but it is also an avoidance of all the "triggers" which we encounter in others which create unwanted, painful emotions.

And it feels to me that the process of "building" virtue is really a process of subtraction.  As an example, you cannot make yourself humble.  You can merely act humble, and suppress from conscious awareness all impulses arising from vanity.  You relabel them.  You see them, but make them into positives through a process of rationalization.

The process of enabling actual, useful, honest humility--and this is a worthy virtue--is that of slowly eliminating the NEED to feel superior.  Every virtue has a countervailing vice which arises from a lack of some sort.  If we are cruel, it is because we feel unloved and unlovable.  If we are covetous, it is because we are conscious of a sense of material, and thus social, inferiority.  We want the things we feel will stimulate within us the feelings we actually need.

As someone with what gets called an "addictive personality", what I feel is that addiction is really that process by which we divert our feelings and sense of self away from all the things we feel we cannot face and process and OWN.  Almost everything in life is either addiction or truth.

Addictions are all strong feelings that overwhelm the awareness of the weak, subtle feelings.  They are the manias, the passions, the "highs" of various sorts that people seek out to trap themselves in places where what they fear cannot find them, cannot reach their consciousness.

You can be addicted to interacting with people and still feel alone.  Many people nowadays are.  "Social" media make it easy.

But you can also be addicted to "Goodness", to "virtue".  I am increasingly inclined to view the whole edifice of Christianity, as it has developed since shortly after Christ's death and resurrection, as a monster which feeds the vice of vanity, the "easy out" of submission in lieu of personal growth and responsibility, and the corruption of the natural impulse towards personal empowerment into that of political and even spiritual--so it is claimed, no doubt spuriously--dominion.  I have said this before, but I don't feel Christ would recognize anything of himself or his teaching in the modern church.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Prince

Looks like drugs.

My take will be brief: however old you are, if you have not dealt with your past, it is still there.  All of Prince's manic energy, his creative obsessiveness, came from somewhere.  It is likely that somewhere is demons he could not expel, could not process, and could not face.

I write journal entries to this very day talking about my parents.  At my age, this is ridiculous, or I would think it should seem so for many people.  But the work is done when it is done.  Until it is done, it is not done.  This should also be obvious.

And the goal is not navel gazing, but discovering or rediscovering a richer, fuller, more vibrant life.

In my considered view, most people run the same programs in their minds for most of their lives, and never really question who else they could be, how else they could be, what is most valuable in life, or how to develop the skill of systematically building the capacity for richer experience.  They work, and they get old.  They learn a bit along the way, but they miss almost everything.

That is my opinion.  It may be completely wrong.  I am a grouch, to be sure.  And I have concrete dust all over me, nearly put my eye out a couple hours ago, and managed to scar my nose tonight.

On the plus side, I found a bunch of Rod Stewart songs I had never heard.

Self Sabotage

I am reading Pema Chodron's "When things fall apart", and benefiting from it, as I suspected I would.  It is, I think, very good to get a woman's perspective on Buddhist teachings.  Women in general are smarter than men.

And what I am realizing is that I entered adult life with a profound sense of helplessness.  This was carefully engineered into me by my parents.  This is not a revolutionary idea.

What is new for me is the realization that in the process of rejecting this feeling, of denying it, of trying to pretend that I am much more confident than I am, that things are much more in control than they in fact are, that it has been easier to engineer failure as a result of pride, than to admit what I was feeling.  I would rather protect a false sense of self, and crash the ship, than go there and be with something unpleasant.

No one could accuse me of avoiding negative feelings, but what I am coming to realize is that going into these feelings with compassion, and granting them the space to be, without trying to alter them, without trying to will them into non-existence or hiding, is the only path forward for me.  Everything else leads to a combination of arrogance, anger, and resentment, which in turn lead to regret and failure.

Some wise person once wrote that "forgiveness is giving up all hope of a better past".  My new motto then is "abandon all hope of being someone other than who you are."

And when I say who I "am" I am looking deeply, very introspectively. What you have done is unimportant compared to why and how you did it.  At the very bottom is where one finds the genuinely spiritual.  The task it to connect with that energy, identify with it in all its variegated beauty, and learn to expand and learn from it.  This is the purpose of life.

Intellectualism

I had an economically productive day planned, but I think I am going to limit myself to the work I have to do, which is about 5 hours this evening.

I feel I am awakening from a dream, one which tells me that one must always be doing, doing, doing.  Laziness, so called, is vastly undervalued in our culture.  It would be possible on a large scale, now that we have made technology--robots--our slaves, if we had had sound money.

But our would-be, and perhaps largely actual, masters, are driven by the same manias--more so.  They, too, must be doing, doing, doing.  So all of us fall apart, and few remain to help us remember how to fall together.

I look at my books, my intellect, and I feel that "living" a "life of the mind" is really a continual process of treading water.  We have all seen those balloons and balls kept in the air in large crowds.  For an intellectual, if that ball every hits the ground, it is instant death.  Or so it feels.

A vast library is a large host of life rafts, of flotation devices, to keep one above the flood of emotion, of feeling.

And I wonder if perhaps the first and most important use of abstraction was not figuring out better ways to kill Woolly Mammoths, but negotiating the more intricate social landscapes that emerged as our brains developed.  The frontal cortex is, after all, the "social brain".

And I wonder if, at a primitive biological level, the need to live in an abstract realm is an effort to recreate, or perhaps forge ex nihilo, in lieu of a time and sense of place that never existed for some of us, a sense of belonging.  One engages, evolutionarily, the capacity for abstraction when one is ensconced in a complex social, ritual, order.

But in our modern world, our alienated world, our modes of production have taken abstraction to an absurd level, to a level at which we cannot possibly hope to relate to the whole.  So we relate to abstraction itself, knowing that what we really want is impossible.  We can never land in socially complete place, of the sort the past several hundred thousand years conditioned us for.

I would say of both Marx and Freud that even though they were wrong about virtually everything, even when they were wrong, they were right.  Marx was not wrong to see "Entfremdung" as an aspect of industrialization, time clocks, "rational" modes of production, the buying and selling of time and thus human beings.  Note the "alien" in alienation, and the "fremd" in the German.

I feel myself floating.  I have always been floating.  So many of us are floating.  We struggle furiously to paddle this way or that, but mainly we have a relationship with paddling.  With one another, much less.

Hope begins with truth.  Thus, I see this post as quite hopeful.

Evolutionary eglatiarianism

Maxim: it is an absolute certainty that biologically rooted drives for social dominance will be expressed in all social orders, including those whose label is "egalitarian".  If the field of competition is not the marketplace or actual battlefield, the battles will be political.  A ritual order will always be created.

Why do the Rockefellers and Castro admire one another so much?  They understand each other.  Communism is not and never has been anything but a very old story with a new title.  The King enjoys the ratification of History rather than God, but His prerogatives are no less, his abuse of power no less, and the injustice of the system no less than in the Egypt of the Pharaohs.

Social order

I am really feeling this morning the role of instincts, specifically social instincts, in shaping human behavior.  We are like dogs, or monkeys, or territorial birds.

We have reached a point where our reason will not allow us to consciously separate into tribes, where judgement of the Other is considered wrong.

But judgement of those who judge transexuals or gays, or even MEXICANS--who speak another language, act according to foreign cultural rules they frequently refuse to adapt to integrate here, and who are not even in this country legally--is considered wrong.  So you get the same judgement.  You activate that same social instinct.  You still separate into tribes.  The social instinct is served.  Nothing is transcended.

We need to exist within social orders.  The  Chinese and Hindus and others, in making absolute rules about family orders, and the relationship of families to the King and State and community and village and overall culture, were following natural human tendencies, the same that cause chimpanzees to have de facto kings, de facto "nobles", and plebians, and to place all females in a low category.

The effort, of course, is to critique allegedly artificial and arbitrary social orders.  Why should women be inferior?  Why should some men be superior?  These are valid questions, and the conclusion that these emergent behaviors constitute injustices is reasonable.

But at the same time an actually excessive and utterly unfulfilled need FOR social order of precisely this sort, which is unrecognized in the frontal cortex, unprocessed, and thus unconscious, leads to behaviors like the grunting and groaning, ritual violence, throwing of sticks and that sort of thing, which has attended the North Carolina decision to honor and protect traumatized women who were terrified and triggered by the thought of men in their bathrooms.  You have tribal warfare, with one group claiming territory, and the other defending the territory, and particularly vulnerable female members of their social order.

Leftists in general are what they condemn.  I am decreasingly sympathetic to most conservative propaganda memes too, but appeals to tradition are always inherently appeals to systems that at some point in time, and for some period of time, have sufficiently met the needs of all involved that they were stable.

I don't think anyone who has paid careful attention to women's behavior over any period of time can fully forget or condemn Freud's conclusion that women have a masochistic streak.  50 Shades certainly did nothing to dispel that.  Countless women are and have been happy in positions of overtly unequal authority.  Any man, obviously, who says he calls all the shots is either stupid or lying, but it has been common for women publicly to hide their influence and power.

From my own perspective, the question that most interests me is what creative energies--genuinely creative, not tearing down, breaking, expressions of rage and social exclusion, with most of Leftism being a de facto emanation of social exclusion--lie dormant in all of us.  What can women contribute that they are not contributing?  What can men and children contribute that they are not presently?

Creation and curiosity are the tools and pathways for growth.  Time and patience are the soil.

I look around me and see so much futility.  So much waste. So many people running around trying to save the world, and shitting on everything and everyone they touch without seeing it, without being able to care, since they are animated by manic energies they cannot touch consciously, cannot own, cannot see, and which laugh at them, like the demons in bad movies.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Interesting video

http://hijackingofhappiness.com/

He talks about the manufacture of consent dating back to the Wilson era.  About 2/3rds of it is quite interesting.  Then you realize that he, too, is selling something.

But I am seeing with increasing clarity how the American Dream, as we have inherited it, is a chimera.  It is an economically useful myth; it is propaganda, formulated for the purpose of training people to be useful drones.

I think of the movie "They Live" and have to say it does sometimes feel like this whole world is a big inside joke, played on most of us, by a very small number.

But the joke isn't very funny.  I think of Chekhov's story "A doctor's visit"

"Fifteen hundred or two thousand workpeople are working without rest in unhealthy surroundings, making bad cotton goods, living on the verge of starvation, and only waking from this nightmare at rare intervals in the tavern; a hundred people act as overseers, and the whole life of that hundred is spent in imposing fines, in abuse, in injustice, and only two or three so-called owners enjoy the profits, though they don't work at all, and despise the wretched cotton. But what are the profits, and how do they enjoy them? Madame Lyalikov and her daughter are unhappy -- it makes one wretched to look at them; the only one who enjoys her life is Christina Dmitryevna, a stupid, middle-aged maiden lady in pince-nez. And so it appears that all these five blocks of buildings are at work, and inferior cotton is sold in the Eastern markets, simply that Christina Dmitryevna may eat sterlet and drink Madeira."
It is always better to be on the inside, I suppose, but at what cost?  We can assume there are power elites, obviously.  The only question is how unified they are, and what purpose or purposes they pursue, other than more of everything: money, power, influence, pleasure.

I did the logical analysis on all this some time ago in my post "Perfection".  What is interesting, or might be interesting, to aspiring tyrants is the process of seduction.  Chasing women is something I've always found interesting myself.  But I find that once I catch one, quite usually I no longer want her. This is why I have done little chasing for some years.  I was once good at it, but no more.

Is Fidel Castro a Christina Dmitryevna, able to enjoy his food and wine because he is a moral imbecile, incapable of seeing much less caring about the suffering all around him?  Is he a clinical sadist, and if so, how often does he get the sorts of pleasures such people enjoy?  Does he go to his political prisons often?

But even that must be tiring after a time.  Both Castro's must often be bored.  There is little to do.  What energy they may expend must be devoted to corrupting and ruining other nations.  I know they have agents of influence in the United States.  Again: chasing, not catching, is the pleasure.

I'm rambling.  I just wonder how worth it the lust for power and wealth is for the power elite.  I cannot believe it satisfies well, and to the extent it does, it is due to their mental and emotional sickness, both of which make true satisfaction and pleasure quite impossible.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Daily Rant

http://www.infowars.com/saudi-arabia-is-a-cancer-on-the-world/

I think we can with reason ask if the "Syrian"--in quotes, because the actual people seem to come from all over the Middle East and Asia, and many of them seem not to have been touched by war at all--diaspora was not a planned outcome of the civil war Saudi Arabia did so much to fund and foment.  Why WOULD they take refugees when the goal is exporting misogynistic, theocratic homophobia to a decadent, sybaritic, unprincipled West?

You want to put an average leftist in a state of paralysis?  Point out to them brown people commit all the same crimes white people do, and they are STILL WRONG.  They don't have a category for this.  It's not something Howard Zinn ever mentioned.

Disambiguation of Space

How is it that people are boycotting North Carolina, and condoning the Middle East?  Cirque du Soleil cancels NC, but goes to Dubai or somewhere like that, where women can be beaten with impunity, nine years old is the marrying age, at least legally, and where gays are terrified.

Is rape wrong, or isn't it?  If so, then ISIS must be condemned in CLEAR terms by the people who claim to value the lives and rights, and feelings of women.

And I was pondering this, and it occurred to me that the world is complex.  This complexity is scary to childish minds, who find the need to provide themselves and others simplifying narratives.  To provide simple Good Guys and Bad Guys.  To put white hats or black hats on everyone.  To enjoy, in other words, the emotional privileges of routine and unreflective prejudice that they cannot stomach in others.

Wringing debate from the hands of dictators--to dictate is to say what is and isn't so, with no threat or fear of contra-diction--was the principal step in the direction of liberalizing human societies.  Wringing silence from those who would debate is a move in the opposite direction.  It is counter-Liberal.  Anti-Liberal.  The antithesis of everything they SAY they stand for.

But children will be children.  Life is complex.  It is hard taking into account varying stories, varying perspectives, differing agendas, competing selfishnesses, lies, cheating, and the confusion of ambiguity.  But this is what mature, genuinely good minds and spirits MUST do.  Everything else is a fucking lie.

Anxiety

It occurs to me most of us spend all day every day running from or TO anxiety.  That latter surprised me. 

I was sitting at my favorite Mexican place, where I have eaten hundreds of times, and he has hired somebody new, who is not quite as good as the other folks he normally uses.  And I was sitting there, and it wasn't bothering me.  I was sitting there, remembering all the different conditions I had eaten there, with girlfriends, with my "Lonely Hearts Club"--all of us divorced--with my boss, and the many, many times I had eaten there hungover.

Usually I use food as a drug.  Usually I gorge myself.  And I was watching her move slowly, and I realized I wasn't feeling anything.  Not in a good way or bad way.  There was neither eagerness nor irritation.  It just was.  Time was just present.  And the food was good like always, but it was nourishment.

And I thought: flow requires a certain amount of stress.  Loving your job requires needing a certain amount of stress.  Athletic highs depend on the anxiety of the possibility of failure.  Climbing to the top of your professional, if it proves rewarding, will often feel good precisely because failure was possible, and the anxiety of contemplating that failure was a driving force.

Because this is how I rolled today, I had lunch at Taco Bell.  I sat opposite a Marine in his dress uniform.  And I was thinking: what drives Marines, more than anything, is fear--fear of failure, fear of letting their comrades down.  Men kill and die from this fear in every war any nation fights.  This fear of not meeting expectations is the essence of their indoctrination in boot camp.  It is followed, reasonably enough, with pride--the carrot--in being the best.

But I am at the rough edge of calm.  Outwardly, it feels textured in a not particularly pleasant way, let us say a pine cone.  But I can feel, or sense, or suspect intellectually, or something, that underneath it is something interesting.  This is where the real water is, the real ocean.

That will do for now.  I'm not sure how to say what I'm saying.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Breaking

I watched Tracks on Friday night, about Robyn Davidson's mostly solo trek across western Australia, and Maiden Trip just now, about Laura Dekker's solo trip around the world in a sailboat.

I think I felt a need to engage with my own loneliness.  It is impossible to be honest with others, or yourself, until you can develop comfort with solitude.

I've been reading Pema Chodron today as well.  She says that in the Tibetan tradition the spiritual path begins with hopelessness.  I really like this.  She suggests "Abandon all hope" as a useful motto.  I'm going to put it on my wall.

Here is the thing: we look for comfort in the world, and fear we may not find it.  We look for the good, but fear the bad. We hope for what may be, but fear what may not.

Abandoning that hope clears the space for genuine new growth, for opportunity.

For both of these women early grief clearly played a role in their quests.  I could feel the pain in Dekker about her parents divorce, and Davidson lost her mother to suicide, and her dog to circumstances.

Here is my question: what was the value of these losses?  Is it good that their grief led them to do extraordinary things?  Clearly, both seem to have found some solace, some reconciliation.

What is the value in being broken? Should we all wish to remain pristine? How do we best embrace what wounds us, makes us bleed, rips us into pieces?

These are rambles as I try to sort out my own feelings, my own thoughts, my own Lebensgestaltung.

Impermanence

I am coming to realize that until one accepts impermanence that all new joys are daggers in the heart.  Those of us who feel deeply can feel the end at the beginning. We can feel the death in the life, the loss in the gain.

Ultimately, though, impermanence is a hopeful creed: it says joy is possible and ubiquitous, if we do not ask more of life than it can offer.

Day of Rest

I have been trying to make Sunday an actual day of rest lately.  I made an similar effort some years ago, but it didn't take for some reason.  It's been working much better this time.  I am ready, I think. 

The logical necessity is making the rest of the week a six day work week.  I work Monday through Friday day job, and Saturday catching up, cleaning, planning, organizing, etc.  Vacuum, laundry, bathrooms, shopping etc.

And I light a candle whenever I get up after sleeping in, and do my best not to worry about anything, not to think about politics, taxes, bills, global hunger, or whatever.

And what is funny or interesting or sad, according to your inclination, is that a worry-free time space feels odd.  So much of the sense of being, of existing, is tied up in thoughts and worries, at least for me, and I suspect I am not alone in this.

It will take time for me to anchor in this sense of sacred time but it seems to me worth the effort.  It is possible to go a lifetime and never really relax.  Why not learn to do it, and practice regularly?  Work harder six days, and not at all one day.  Take a true vacation every week.  Be present for yourself, and your family and friends.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Renewal

it seems to me the number of Springs in your life--and there may be many of them--depends on the number of winters you have completed.

Summer can perpetuate, but it cannot initiate.

Amen

http://www.infowars.com/what-pisses-me-off-about-transgender-bathrooms/

I will add a short commentary: the way principles work, is you care about them all the time.  If you think rape is wrong, then there are not exceptions. If you think hate crimes are wrong, there are not exceptions.  There may be times when pursuing the eradication of something odious requires an interaction with people and behaviors with whom we do not agree.  Economic intercourse with China was supposed to liberalize it.  This might have been a possible outcome, but China spends as much or more suppressing the hundreds of thousands of riots demanding basic rights it sees annually as it does on its military budget.  Very little concrete good has come.  The power elite, the dictators, the oppressors, the imperialists: they are still in control, and still obscenely wealthy, wealth gotten as a result of their parasitic relationship with the people they "rescused" from Capitalistic oppression.  This is not even irony: it is obscenity, and cannot and should not be tolerated through the complicity of elision.

Likewise, companies who care about gay rights should boycott nations like Saudi Arabia which MURDER them, publicly, after a trial, by beheading.

They should boycott Russia, Egypt, and frankly most of the Middle East, and large segments of Africa.  They are in a position to raise consciousness about these and other issues.  As I have said, I think the issue of the rights of Dalit men and women and children in India should be made a front page issue.  It is every bit as awful as what the South Africans did to the blacks in Apartheid.

But these assholes make MONEY in these places.  The hypocrisy is indescribable.  The incapacity for human decency masked by token, irrelevant, and largely HURTFUL gestures like boycotting North Carolina is absolutely revolting.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Deprogramming leftists

It occurs to me the first task is stating what should not need to be stated: people lie. They say benign sounding things, push your buttons, because they have figured out how to manipulate people unequal to the task of critical thinking.

Second: sincere intelligent people can believe stupid things because they have an unacknowledged NEED to believe them. Smart people can be and often are delusional.

I read today Zimbabweans--the recipients of the sort of government Bernie Sanders advocates--have been reduced by hunger to feeding on rats and stray animals. Who among the left wants to own this outcome? Who wants to explain to me how the money ran out inVenezuela, where they literally can't keep the lights on or provide toilet paper?

My root anger, the core reason I persevere in following and caring about politics, is that if people of goodwill and intelligence fall asleep at the wheel, there is no limit to the scoundrels and buffoons eager to lead us into ruin. The suffering this will entail is unnecessary. It iscometely preventable. And yet it remains likely. It remains the presumptive future of nearly all of us.

Political principle

Stable dependency equals stable power.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Useful video on the "sex offenders in bathrooms" debate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uzwMJAFWLtQ&feature=youtu.be

Here is an interesting statistic: the number of registered sex offenders in the US outnumbers our best guess as to the number of supposed transgenders--roughly 758,000 in the first case, and 700,000 in the second.

Robust social orders are not hard to maintain.  This is why so much effort is being paid to streamlining, homogenizing, trivializing, and ultimately stigmatizing traditional culture.  They retard the full consolidation of power by those seeking it.  They prevent the full power of effective propaganda from reaching the masses undiluted by notions of individual conscience, personal unmediated responsibility, and duty to a Higher Power.

I was reading an interesting interview a couple of months ago with a taxi driver who drove a plugged in former Marine intelligence specialist, who said that all the problems of our 350 million person nation, with its fantastic economic output, and pervasive but still imperfect peace, could be eliminated by shooting some 200 people.  I concur with this, even if I of course do not recommend it.  It remains time for cultural combat, using words, and organization.

These agenda items are driven by small, well funded cabals, and need to be understood not as the onset of new ideas--Bruce Springsteen has not cancelled any concerts in any states which have NOT "protected" the rights of sex offenders to use women's bathrooms--but rather of carefully orchestrated informational campaigns which depend entirely on the stupidity of the American people, their vulnerability to being triggered by prior propagandistic conditioning, and the near total control of the complicit media which the power elites have developed at great expense and care over the past 50 years.  Nary a dissenting word to be heard.  Nor sought.  And at some point, they want this to be impossible.  They want perfectly targeted social media campaigns which seek to demonize all dissidents, to destroy their lives, ruin their livelihoods, and leave them begging or compliant.  And to back all this up, they want gulags, which will have another name, and be portrayed in a benign light.

America, wake the fuck up.  These people do not mean you any good.  They do not mean humanity any good.  They will death, destruction, evil, rapine, torture, cruelty, and the decline of everything decent.  One has only to look at their tactics, and the instantly triggered and stopped violent rages which they have programmed into their drones.

Identity and Judgement

The capacity for identity and for judgement arise together. You cannot have one without the other. You cannot know who you are unless you know who you are not. You cannot know what to do without a sense of what not to do.

The root benefits of political pluralism and the location of conscience with the individual--which is the root idea of so-called "Individuslism", and obviously not the selfishness alleged by propagandists--is the creation of many overlapping, nuanced, graded perspectives. In a group evaluation of a topic, participated in by psychologically individuated, mature in-dividuals, truth gets closely approximated.

The opposite is EITHET the tyrant, or submersion in a mass directed by a tyrant or tyrants.

In my view you can and should judge people by the nuance and consideration of their views. The more you here propagandistic memes, the less should you consider them psychologically sovereign, individuated, and worthy of the trust a democratic system implies.

More later. Work to do.

The Civil Right Movement

The civil right movement failed, if we define it as an organized movement for the elimination of racial considerations in public and private policy, and as the expression of the hope blacks would integrate fully with whites culturally and economically. 

And it failed for one primary reason: blacks developed a formally codependent relationship with Democratic politicians. Enablers are always happy to make excuses for their victims. They are always happy to applaud failure, while helping their victims rationalize it.

It is obvious beyond the need for debate in my view that Democrats USE black people politically. Obama dropped his G's for negro audiences--people utterly unlike his very white self--but he had done NOTHING for them.

What I would suggest is that the more important reality is that of psychodynamic pathology. Needy blacks serve the psychological needs of rudderless whites. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

North Carolina and Global Alienation

It is really quite astonishing that we have reached a point where asking biological boys to use the boys room and biological girls to use the girls room has become not just objectionable, but sufficiently loathsome that HATE, really hate, vicious hate, angry hate, violent hate, is directed at people making this very reasonable--certainly defensible--request.

I was waiting for my daughters the other day in a restaurant outside the bathroom, and I watched this boy walk by me and go into the girls room.  I told him it was the girl's bathroom, and he said he knew.  He was about 12, clearly a boy, and not dressed in the slightest like a girl.

This is our future, on the path we are on.  Boys will talk to each other, and say "you can go into the girl's room.  It's totally OK.  They can't say shit.  Just say you feel offended or unsafe if anybody says anything".  And these fucking punks will be getting all excited with the thought and sometimes the reality of seeing girls in various states of undress.

The great lie of what soft Leftism is that you can make everyone happy, that imposing one alleged "right" on society never has any effect on anyone else.  As I have said before, for every truly transgender person who benefits from being able to use the bathroom--and let's be honest, they have been using them for some time, and if they dress well enough nobody knows; these people do not concern me--100 women will suffer the indignity of having men who are clearly men going into the bathroom with them.  A small gain nets a large loss.

But this whole thing is driven by the Cultural Sadeists, and their end game is the eradication of culture outright.  They want to make individual conscience, based on cultural history and conditioning, a thing of the past.  They want the only values anyone has to be the ones they program, and they want only two conditions to be possible: in the social order, and outside it.  And if you want to be in it, you have to do what they say.

Look at all the flack North Carolina is getting for this sensible law.  What is being set up is the ability to inflict emotional and economic violence on all dissenters to ANY FUCKING THING that happens to be an agenda item that month.

The brainwashing is very, very advanced.  People of otherwise goodwill and common sense are on the bandwagon, shouting hate and violence at normal people, good people, who are just trying to look out for their kids.

This is the problem: there is no empathy.  There is no discussion.  There is no effort at comparing and reconciling differences.  There is only in and out, and if you are out the only response is hate, anger, and a concerted effort to inflict pain and discomfort on the non-conforming party.  This is not Liberalism.  This is Fascism.  It is hate taken to its logical extent.  It is reflexive, conditioned, code word dependent, unnuanced, and anti-rational.  The media says jump, and half the nation jumps.   It doesn't matter who they hurt, how much they injure the cause of public peace and harmony, or where these paths are leading.  The drones don't care.  They don't even know they don't care. They don't even know they are responding to operant conditioning of the sort that should not be possible among those who are educated.

Personal Growth

It is nearly impossible to leave your past until you find a future.  And very few, until such a time, are even capable of realizing that they live in the past.  This is why most people cross lifetimes much as they begin them.

I am sympathetic to the notion of "living in the present", but I don't think most of the people who mouth this goal are capable of truly grasping what is meant by it. I think what they live with is the idea of living in the present, and sufficiently skilled acting that they can convince themselves and others they have succeeded.

It is easy to pretend to be a guru.  It is another to incur the countless scars and pain that in my view accompany useful wisdom.  Anyone that has not had the shit beat out of them repeatedly, I have a hard time trusting.

Another Economics Piece

Work in progress, but thought I'd share it.

For some years now, I have been calling for what I call a Capitalist Revolution.  Effectively, it would be comparable in magnitude to the Copernican Revolution in cosmology, but within economics. My ideas have the potential to change people’s lives the world over in both physical and cultural ways.

You no doubt consider this hyperbole.  You SHOULD consider this hyperbole, if your BS detector is intact and in current use.  When was the last time you saw somebody back up a statement like that?  I am going to tell you virtually all economists—even the best, including Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, and others I admire greatly—have been screwing up. I am going to tell you Karl Marx was not fully wrong.

But I would beg your momentary indulgence.  This is a quick read, or should be for most people.  Please consider carefully what I am about to say, and then judge me and my ideas as you choose. 

In my own estimation, my ideas on this topic are clear, my reasoning is flawless as far as I can tell, and the facts are on my side.  This means that it DOES NOT MATTER that I am an outlier, saying seemingly outlandish things.  I take Ayn Rand’s call to see things “with my own eyes” seriously.  These ideas stand on their own merits, and I am continuing my appeal to people of intelligence and good will to consider and act on them, over some time horizon.

Let me be specific:

1) I believe that in a properly ordered economy, the proper direction of the value of money is in the direction of increase; put another way, that “deflation” is good and should be the aim of intelligent policy.  Dollars in a coffee can should increase steadily in value, or at least remain the same across long stretches of time.  

This idea is in direct conflict with what I might term the Keynesian Swindle.  Keynes knew what he was doing, and most people are too fucking stupid to see that he lied to them in front of their eyes, and made little effort to conceal it. They only see what they are told to see.

2) In such a system, year over year growth is unnecessary, homeostasis is both possible and desirable, and overconsumption is a vice, not a virtue.

3) The ability to create money from nothing is inherently abusive.  Strong and cogent moral objections to this process can and should be raised.

4) In a properly ordered system, the profession of Economics would be utterly superfluous.

The Terracentric idea, as I would contextualize it within my map of the economic universe, consists in the opposing ideas, namely that small annual inflation is the “price we pay” for economic growth, that annual growth is absolutely essential for economic well being, that bankers provide a needed and invaluable service, and that only economists can help us prevent regular calamities (and when they happen anyway, help us explain them).

Please consider this fact: in 1980, about $2 trillion existed (M2); in 2015, about $12 trillion existed.  I will do the math for you: this is a six-fold increase in 35 years.

The Laws of Supply and Demand are about as basic as you can get in terms of economic rules, so even after allowing that many factors affect the de facto buying power of money, this means in theory that each dollar tucked away in a coffee can in 1980 and pulled out in 2015 could only buy one sixth what it did.  If it bought six loaves of bread then, it would buy one now.  This is really quite breath-taking if you ponder it carefully.

Between 1980 and 2010, household debt, as a ratio of debt to Disposable Income—and in a period of steadily rising incomes--increased from 50% to 110%. In 1980 average savings as a ratio of Disposable income was 12%.  In 2015, that number was 5%.

One last statistic: in 1947 banking represented 10% of non-farm business profits.  That number in 2011 was 29%[1].  One third of the money made in America was made by banks.  One dollar in three.  Look at the skyline in your city.  What do you see?  If your city is typical, banking and insurance buildings.

Applying common sense to these numbers, is it so hard to see that lenders are getting richer, while borrowers—most all of us—are getting poorer?  Do I need to cite increases in national debt, which is to say the money owed by all of us, to some of us?

Now, the political Left talks incessantly about this “1%”. The claim is that the rich are getting richer.  As a conservative I have to say I agree fully with them, but that they have misunderstood the mechanism, and are thus poorly positioned to propose a solution.

Conservatives, of course, claim that all you have to do is work hard, save your money, invest in your vision, and the sky will rain money.  This is true for some, but fewer and fewer.  It is obvious beyond any possibility of debate that the combination of free markets, the protection of property rights, and true political liberalism have done more to alleviate poverty the world over than any combination of forces in human history, but we still have to ask why, when technology gets better every year, things get cheaper every year, that even with hard work so many people owe so much money to so many people.

Between 1960 and 2011, GDP per capita—individual productivity--rose from $17,747 to  $48,242.  For simplicity, let us call this a 4-fold increase.

If we consider personal wealth not as the stuff in your house, but as the value of your net assets minus your net debts, has wealth in America increased 4-fold?  Of course not.  We have, on the contrary, LOST net worth.  Most of us owe as much or more than we are worth. 

Where did this wealth go?  If we are getting more done every hour for every year that passes, why are we not building wealth and instead borrowing the illusion of it?  We all know people in $300,000 houses with $100,000 in credit card debt and very little net equity.  Can we REALLY see evidence of a four-fold increase in productivity and following income?  Where is the very comfortable middle class of our parents youth?  Where are the pensions?  Where the security?

This is the salient economic question which nobody—on the left or the right-- seems to want to address.  I will.

Most students of psychology have to admit that even when Freud was wrong, he was often right.  He had many interesting insights, but misinterpreted them.  So, too, with Karl Marx.  His “science” of history failed in the only lab—actual events—which should matter for someone with his particular conceits, and clearly formulated hypotheses. 

But he was also right: there does in fact exist a core class distinction at the root of our society, which is increasing the wealth of the elites at exponential rates, while the rest of us are increasingly working harder in the midst of plenty, being told to buy things we don’t need to keep the economy going, and worrying about retirement, healthcare costs, and even our very jobs.

That class distinction is between those empowered by law to create money, and those who must work to create concrete goods and services which people are willing to buy at the costs they can be sold profitably at.  The first group is the bankers, and the second group I call Capitalists.

True Capitalism, as I would define it, is the process of investing ones resources of time and effort, money, and creativity in providing innovative and new solutions to existing problems, or creating new markets to tap latent demand.  True Capitalism is inherently involved in solving real issues of supply and demand, both for real products and services.
Let me ask an obvious question: If we went from 2 trillion dollars in existence, to 12 trillion dollars, how did this happen?  How did this money enter our economy?

Please consider, as you likely never have, how banks operate.  How they start is with a large pool of capital.  Rich people put their money in, and at a certain point they have enough that a State will grant them a license to begin banking.  Once they have this license, what do they do?  They begin taking deposits.  This is where the problem begins.

By law, a bank can loan out 90% of the money which is “deposited” in its “vaults”.  Now, most money is electronic, and exists as a digital fiction, but in theory each bank has to keep a certain amount of hard currency in its literal vault, and a certain amount as 1’s and 0’s.  The amount it cannot loan out is set by the Federal Reserve.

Let us say a bank takes in $100 in deposits.  Without tapping its initial capitalization, it can loan out $90.  This money has now been cloned.  It should have been sitting in a vault—let us for the moment imagine gold coins—where it was completely removed from circulation until needed, but in fact it reentered circulation almost immediately.  The checking and savings accounts of 200 people were used to create a home mortgage.

In terms of M2, the money that is owed the depositors still exists, but so too does the money created for the loan.  $190 now exists, where only $100 did before.  And let’s be clear: when the bank makes the loan, the money flows out.  It pays the home developer, who uses it to pay his carpenters, and plumbers and electricians, who take those paychecks and deposit them in their own bank accounts. Once in those bank accounts, THAT money can now be relent by those banks.  In a robust economy, you could in theory take 90 plus 81 (90% of 90), plus $73 (90% of 81), etc.  $100 in theory can create close to $1,000.  This is how you get most monetary—money—inflation.

Like everything else, money is susceptible to the laws of supply and demand.  The more money there is, the less it is worth.  A gold coin in a vault does not affect the price of money.  A digital “coin” in circulation does.

There is something called the speed of money.  The more exchanges happen, the more quickly prices will rise in conditions of increased money supply, but prices do not always exactly correlate with the amount of money in existence.  This confuses many people.
First, let’s ponder the process of price inflation as it relates to monetary inflation.  Let’s take the quite real example of real estate.  It is an axiom of human psychology that almost all people will vastly discount future benefits relative to present benefits.  What you get when you get a “housing bubble” is a lot of people competing, using banks, to purchase scarce or highly desirable real estate.  They are willing to pay more and more and more, because the money is not due immediately, but rather over a very long time horizon.

Let us say a house was worth $100,000, but credit is easy, interest rates are low, and people really want to live in that neighborhood.  It is both tempting and easy to offer $110,000 to make sure you get that house.  The neighbors take note, and raise their prices accordingly.  Soon, prices may double or triple, despite NO changes in the neighborhood, or even the relative affluence of the people living there.  People simply pay more for getting what they have been conditioned to compete for.

If one house is sold a year, then this process will take a long time.  If 50 are sold a month, then this process can happen very, very quickly.  The net outcome is the same, but the time needed can vary greatly.

Put simply, where supply—here, of money—is increased greatly, demand is stimulated, and this demand affects the price of the supply.  The value of that money is decreased.  It is decreased for EVERYONE, to varying degrees, depending on how far they are, literally or practically, from where the price inflation is happening.

Now, the amount of money can be increased tremendously without immediate price inflation.  That is what has been happening for some time now, as the Fed had pumped at least a couple trillion dollars into our banking system, which was created from nothing.  This is all new money.

While harmless now—we have low de facto inflation, from what I can tell--what this money is is an acid that in the right circumstances—full employment, for example—would corrode rapidly all the wealth people possess in this country, to the benefit of bankers, and the detriment of the rest of us.

For this reason, the Consumer Price Index cannot be relied on to determine monetary inflation.  It measures prices, which can not only be affected by the velocity of money, but also by simple factors like improved methods, bad harvests, fuel costs and the like.
The key point, though, is that virtually everything that bankers do affects the price of all goods and services in circulation in a negative way.  The details are virtually infinitely complex, and occupy very excellent minds in the Economics departments of universities the world over.  But the net is that what they do makes each hour of labor worth less, and it creates wealth for them without the necessity of innovation in the realm of any real goods or services.  Nobody needs money.  They need what money will buy.

My argument is this: banks are able to make claims on our collected productive output, without contributing anything intrinsically useful in return.  Fractional reserve banking is thievery, as it is currently constituted.  It is legally sanctioned theft, and it is not recognized as such because the system is so complex, and the effects have been subtle.  They try never to take too much, or to expose what they do to too much scrutiny.

But how much money could YOU make if I gave you a magic checkbook which you could write checks with in modest amounts, in such a way that you kept the profits, and got bailed out or went bankrupt (as an institution, never as a person) whenever the money did not get repaid?  Tails you win, heads you win less.  Over time, you could become quite wealthy.  You just repeat the process over and over.

Again: banks represent around 30% of the business profits in America today.  Can you see any reason this number would not continue to go up, or remain the same as a percentage, and continue to rise with GDP?  The amount of money we are talking is astronomical.
What to do?  Here is where my ideas are unique.  Much of what I have been talking about has been covered by people like Murray Rothbard (much of whose writing is available for free download).

My thought process is this: logically, if the outcome of the banking process over the past 50 years has been to move wealth from the control and use of individuals, to the control and use of massive, enormously wealthy banks, using the process of money creation, why not reverse the process?

We know that the American people are heavily in debt at all levels.  We owe as individuals.  We owe as municipalities.  We owe as counties.  We owe as States.  And of course the Federal Government owes roughly $19 trillion, mainly to the Federal Reserve—which by the way is buying the majority of Obama’s debt--and to member banks.

We know this situation is not sustainable. If the Fed stopped buying Federal Securities tomorrow, the Government would go bankrupt.

We know at some point, the interest payments on the national debt will exceed current Department of Defense expenditures.  We are talking $600 billion annually or more, within the next 5 or at most 10 years.

Most experts agree that at some point the sterling credit of the United States government has to come to an end, and our credit rating will be downgraded because the illusion cannot be sustained any longer.  At that point, interest rates on the debt will go up, and we may be looking at a trillion or more annually JUST IN INTEREST PAYMENTS.  We are talking national calamity and the destruction of virtually all the services the Federal government has annexed to itself since Roosevelt’s New Deal.

My solution, while enormous, while revolutionary, while politically impossible in ordinary times, is simple: pass a law bringing the Federal Reserve back under the direct control of the United States Government.  Use it to pay off all debts, public and private, at all levels of government, for all individuals, and for all corporations.  Everybody.  This will transfer wealth—real wealth, which is to say titles to lands, cars, businesses and the like—back to the people.  This will eliminate our national debt.

Then we start over.  We require all banks to be 100% reserve, which is to say that rich people can still lend money to whomever they like, but it is their money at risk, and they lose it if they make a bad decision.  Banks make money several ways.  First, by serving as investment aggregators in the form of Certificates of Deposit, which are interest-bearing vehicles by means of which the bank itself is able to lend money at still higher rates of interest, and make money on the spread.  Second, banks can also make money providing check cashing and money movement services, and as secure repositories for money storage. You still write checks, and still have a debit card, but now you pay a monthly fee.  This is a small price to pay.  And you can always put your money in a coffee pot if you prefer.  Cash makes sense in this system.

We eliminate the Federal Reserve, and we never alter the quantity of money in existence again.  What will happen with continuing increases in productivity brought on by continually improving technology is that the value of money will increase steadily, making all hours worth more, and truly democratizing wealth.

While this solution is radical, it directly addresses a core concern of economists: deflation.  When people are in debt up to their eyeballs—as they were before the great Crash of 1929, and as they are now—then when the money deflates in value, all their loans become much larger, effectively.  They can’t pay them back.  This is why so many banks failed in the early 1930’s.  The runs happened because banks were not getting their loans repaid, and were in many cases failing, and simply closing their doors.  People heard about this, and proactively took their money out, which caused many more failures.

But in a condition of ZERO debt, there are no loans.  We WANT the value of money to increase.  Savings start to make sense, and people are able to self fund their projects, rather than being beholden to the banks, and having their lives depend on their credit scores.
Nobody else is saying this.  These ideas are unique.  But after a long period of trying to get feedback, nobody has found any substantive issues with my analysis, and when I look at the course of the next 30 years, it is my considered view that something like this is absolutely essential.  National decline and failure are of course options too, but I find them far less attractive options.

From a strictly personal perspective, I also believe that it is wrong to get wealthy on the backs of others without carrying any of the load, without contributing anything of true importance.  It is wrong to demand profit when things are good, and protection when they are not.  The freedom to succeed must come with the freedom to fail.

Even though this approach addresses many practical problems, what I would suggest is that the most important element is moral.

Calls for sound money used to be common, when people were smarter, more aware, more educated.  But very few people are calling for it today.  They have simply lost the memory of anything but continually raising prices, a constantly accelerating rat race, and the loss of time for everything but work and their preferred form of inebriation.





[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/03/30/financial-profits-percentage_n_841716.html