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A Pox On All Their Houses

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

In Wartime, Rulers Come Alive!

Well, I've decided that I really ought to link to this:
The Political Economy of Fear
by Robert Higgs

One of the better articles I've seen on mises.org in a while, plus it fits in with where my last couple of posts have been headed...

Some choice bits:
Large parts of the government and the "private" sector participate in the production and distribution of fear. (Beware: many of the people in the ostensibly private sector are in reality some sort of mercenary living ultimately at taxpayer expense. True government employment is much greater than officially reported [Light 1999; Higgs 2005a] .)

All such reports agree, however, that a crisis looms and that more such studies must be made in preparation for dealing with it. Hence a kind of Say's Law of the political economy of crisis: supply (of government-funded studies) creates its own demand (for government-funded studies).

Even absolute monarchs can get bored. The exercise of great power may become tedious and burdensome—underlings are always disturbing your serenity with questions about details; victims are always appealing for clemency, pardons, or exemptions from your rules. In wartime, however, rulers come alive.


Monday, May 16, 2005

What is to be done?

I don't think there are "solutions" in the sense most people seem to mean it. I think that a sort of general awareness of, and thus hopefully disgust with, the whole process of how our lives have been corrupted by the myths we have been fed, is about the best we can push for right now. This will eventually lead to "sedition, sabotage, and slack" which is probably the best way we can beat the Powers That Be. The thing they are most afraid of, I think, is that we will all stop giving a shit about them.
When a significant margin of the population just slows it all down and stops trying to pay for all this erzatz crap they don't need, or even scarier, starts saving money, that's when they will know it's time to hang up the hobnail boots and go home.
How long that will take, I don't know. To some extent I am a Nockian "superfluous man", but I hope that with this crazy(and it is) global communication grid we've got, we can hurry the process up at least a little bit.
If could afford it I would rent out billboards and airships(just because I love them so) that just said "It's all lies" in giant black letters on a white background. But for now, this blog will have to do.

EDIT: also, in a similar vein, sort of(at least the last bits), but mainly just because I haven't linked to it yet,

Laws of the Jungle
by Allan Thornton

Friday, May 13, 2005

"Better" won't make your life better...

I think it's plainly obvious to just about everyone out there that this society is dying.
The exceptions are the cheerleading "conservatives" who think that once we wipe out the deviants and poor people, everything will go back to the wonderful 1950s, forever. Not worth addressing right now.

There are also the techno-determinists that think that if we can hang on a bit longer without blowing ourselves up, technological advancement will save us. Nope. It is the application of technology that produces wealth, not technology itself. The current copyright wars should be evidence to this effect. Or the trap that the ruling class set for the internet purveyors. Or pollution.

What is to be done?
It is my belief that there is no possible solution that involves a keynesian/mixed-economy society. It's not a matter of patching up something that is working pretty well. It's not going to work, at all, no matter what. We've eaten all the seed corn, just about. The past few years have been about trying to squeeze labor to continuously produce more and more wealth, to make up for the dead-weight losses. We can't intentionally create scarcity as a policy and expect to survive that way forever. And we can't go back to the 40s-50s. When TPTB initiated this game in the early 1900s, we had been generating and accumulating capital at a historic pace for about 100 years. Now, it's all almost gone. Only modern day pyramids and paper trails are left... the "wealthy" are playing a game where they basically just steal our labor power to keep themselves going. But we can't work 90 hours a week. Eventually something will give. We cannot tame the big corporations and make them "play nice". Their very size makes them steal just to stay afloat. We either kill them off or we trundle into Soviet-style economics, bread lines and all. Or both, depending on how we do it. And the unions at this point are just Labor, Inc. Either GM, Boeing, Archer Daniels Midland and IBM (etc) must collapse or we will.

The neo-conservative answer is to literally go somewhere and steal capital from other countries. But that's not working so well anymore either. We've destroyed large portions of the world trying to do this and failing.

All those euro-socialist fantasies should go too. They are in the same boat as us, they are doing pretty much the same thing as we are, but tweaked differently. But they have the distinct advantage of not having had to spend as much on defense for the past 60 years. (War is about the worst thing you can possibly do to a society, even the "winners" in a war lose, except for the elite). So it will take more time, but they will completely fall apart too.

You can't get the magic wand. You can't make one central pattern work for millions of people, all different. And you can't force people to re-shape themselves to the pattern. What you gain in "efficiency", from those you can get to, you lose in creativity/division of labor/real production efficiency. And it's one of those things where, even if you win, you lose. A life where everyone is molded into a perfect citizen laboring tirelessly for the "common good", whatever the technocrats decide that is, is not a life.

We have to learn that risk is ok. Race car drivers face a lot of risk, but probably die less frequently in auto accidents than everyone else, because they adapt to that risk.
We have to accept the fact that we cannot guarantee jack shit to anyone, but we can make conditions as favorable as possible to everyone, and trust them not to utterly fuck up. And that's it.
Bad things will sometimes happen to people. People will do bad things to each other. Guess what? Bad things are happening to people now, not only despite Control and Security, but more often, because of them. A certain amount of BAD is inevitable. But the way to minimize it is to let go of trying to control it. That sounds nuts to modern Merkins, but it is really the only way.
The rest is up to us as individuals to adapt and figure shit out on our own.
Throughout history, with everything against us, we've always found a way to do that, nonetheless. If we stop creating roadblocks in our own path, there is no reason to think that we will not be able to do anything necessary to prosper and thrive.  And then some...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Impressive... most impressive...

...but hardly surprising.
Kevin Carson does it again over at the mutualist blog with this one:

Corporations, State Capitalism, and International Trade

He himself references a very good article by Mike Hoy. The end of the article states:

Most of the books pointing out the just plain wrongness of pretending that corporations are “persons” are written by people who are considered to be on the “Left” politically. And their “solutions” to corporate dominance of the individual are so naïve as to be almost frightening - they seem to honestly believe that somehow “government” (the same government that is owned by corporations) can pass laws that will restore corporations to whatever proper place they might have in a society based on individual rights. They seem to be blissfully(?) unaware of what the Marxist-oriented writer Gabriel Kolko demonstrated in his 1967 book The Triumph of Conservatism: that government regulatory bodies inevitably become controlled by the very industries that they are supposed to be “regulating.”

I maintain that it is up to “Libertarians” to take the lead in questioning the corporate form of enterprise, and come up with "solutions" to restore economic power in America to its rightful practitioners: individual people.

So how about it, “Libertarians?”

How about it indeed? We're working on it, a minority of Austro-Libertarians and mutualists and left-objectivists... and we will inevitably succeed, if we are wise enough to follow the advice of Bruce Lee and "accept what is useful, reject what is not" from all corners of the social criticism gradient.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Islam is the new Communism

All over the world, people are rebelling against the corrupt piece of shit governments that the Corporate-State nexus uses as their front line in the war on humanity. People are angry. And rightly so. We think we're angry, but things aren't even so bad here(yet), in the vanguard home of the capitalists. But in these shitty third world countries, run by truly evil assholes, things are REAL FUCKED UP.

So people get angry. Sooner or later, they get angry enough to rebel. "Communism"(wink wink) was a good scheme for some would-be Takeover Artist to channel this rebellion for his own ends. But the bottom started to fall out after the USSR proved that it was a dead end. Now it's "Islam", which is even better, because you don't even have to make living conditions much better. In fact, you can claim that prosperity itself is wicked.

The world-wide revolution is coming one way or another. If we don't give them something worth fighting for, the scumbags waiting in the (left and right) wings will.