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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Nothing Comes Easy

The conditions a person lives in are a function of the prices they have been willing to pay. You like hello kitty, so you forgo that expensive meal to get the hello kitty pillow, etc. A rather venal perhaps, but concrete example. Everything has a price, because everything has a cost.
(the statement "there's no such thing as a free lunch" is a snappy, but slightly under-nuanced version of this idea)
Where people seem to go wrong and create political cleavages seems to be on their understanding of "payment".
A very wise friend of mine said something last night that I liked very much:
"Are you a giver or a taker? I'm a trader."
In any exchange between two people, the total wealth of the people increases. To take a very counter-intuitive example, to make my point, imagine a bread line in the USSR. The people waiting on line to get bread have gained, because they will eat tonight. But so too has the CPUSSR. Clearly, because if it wasn't benefiting them in some way, they wouldn't offer the bread. What they gain is a situation where there is not mass starvation.
When I give my homeless crackhead friend a couple of dollars, I am gaining something from it too. (but in these two examples, we begin to see a complexity appear in the situation, don't we?)
The one major exception to this pattern seems to be what I call "real crime"; that is to say when violence and deception are applied.
In these cases, total wealth is not increased, even though one of the parties may have gained vastly, they were trading against an ultimate value... either someone's physical integrity or their mental integrity.
In the case of the USSR, for instance, what they have taken from the people by violence, far outweighs what they give them in bread. In order to keep holding on to their position, giving away some bread is a cheap deal.
And so, maybe we can see why oligopolies are harmful, and why central banking has demolished the economy despite "growing" it.
Because what has been lost is far greater than what has been gained, but what is lost cannot be measured precisely.
In the case of banking, they pump money into the economy, claiming to be growing it, but what are they growing?
As we've seen before, much of "wealth" is subjective and immeasurable. The old situation where one bought food from a person who had agency and could decide for themselves whether to give Old Lady Cranston a discount on her sack of flour has been replaced by one where we are, with ever growing frequency, human machines, interacting with other human machines. Our sense of agency only comes through consumption, and even then we are arrayed with a pushbutton world where actual pondering and consideration of choice becomes flipping channels of very similar inanity. This sense of alienation has been observed over and over again, but it's not necessarily a function of trade, or even the separation of capital and labor, although that gets closer to the issue. People would (and do) pay a price to gain their agency back, if they are able to.

Bankers give money on the basis of money. The other forms of payment become attenuated, in fact almost impossible. The clerk at the supermarket is a n-th order agent of someone who is merely a manager for dispersed owners who have no idea what is going on except the price of their stock.
And our other social institutions have been forced, by violence masked by deception, to fit this system instead of being allowed to naturally undermine it, as they must if they were spontaneously generated, rather than engineered for an ulterior purpose. Mostly in the name of a fraudulent "growth". Real economic growth comes from transformation of a less desirable pattern to a more desirable one. Trade and production are variations of the same thing.
In our abstracted, dimensionally restricted system, what is gained in measurable cash balances and numbers of units moved is more than lost in other forms of payment.
But this all points at the larger pattern of real crime. Capital tends naturally to accumulate sporadically, by a law of diminishing returns... after that millionth or so apple sold, apples become pretty cheap. And what people desire most, what will turn a profit, is always shifting, markets are (somewhat) efficient. Without any interference, anything that turns a profit today, becomes glutted tomorrow, and the profits go down to the average return on time. And then keep in mind, that wealth is not only the seen, the measurable, but the unseen... clean water, trees, healthy living conditions, nice neighbors are all things people would pay a price for, if they could. (and do, when they can)
What is mostly going on in this pattern of alienation and impoverishment is destruction of capital for the sake of those who already own capital, to make it more scarce, not more abundant. When Keynes decried the shelves full of goods unsold, he was crying out for your impoverishment for the sake of the existing owners of capital. (the bank pumping and relief programs are a way to "patch" that capital destruction so as to prevent mass starvation, it is our equivalent of the USSR's bread lines... it is the price paid for the reproduction of labor)
This is the real reason for War, Regulation, Central Banking, all of it. Even land conservation and real-estate laws. It is to restrict the free movement of capital or to destroy it outright. On the other side, labor is encouraged to reproduce endlessly through various religions and other ideological cousins. And through inflation, taxes and various "protective" regulations, they are inhibited in the accumulation of their own capital.

It is not trade or capital accumulation which has created poverty in the midst of wealth, and environmental destruction, but very well disguised destruction of certain forms of trade or capital accumulation, through means of violence and deception. Take away that violence and deception, and in time, things would right themselves. How do we do that? Well, that's a good question. :) It's worth pondering.


Blogger Jeremy said...

Awesome job! I think you capture well how the corporatist economy emphasizes predictability over creativity.

5:22 PM  
Blogger Adem D. Kupi said...

Thanks. I've been working on more of a systematic view of "the economy" lately, trying to wrangle some of my intuitions and the insights of my fellow left-libertarians into a rigorous consistent pattern.

2:11 PM  
Anonymous brightbird said...

Very interesting, and thought-provoking, but...

Say a very rich man, owning large quantities of unproductive land, has that land appropriated from him by force or deception and distributed among impoverished people - doesn't this represent a net gain for society? Because the benefit that those impoverished people get is much greater than the loss to him.

Secondly... you haven't said anything about property, or its initial distribution. OK, so if the rich landowner above gives some crumbs to the impoverished people to work on his land, from which he profits greatly, both of them gain (tick), but what they can choose to exchange is highly unequal. Which is what makes the efficient appropriation in my first point possible.

Just some thoughts - thanks

7:24 AM  
Anonymous adem d. kupi said...

Under conditions of statism, I consider all unused property unowned, until it has been rightfully homesteaded without state interference.

10:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ours is an envionment where evil is perceived to be rewarded while good is punished. As with everything the Gods have a reason for creating this perception::::
People who fall on the good side of the good/evil scale have more favor, and when they do something wrong the Gods punish them BECAUSE THEY WANT THEM TO LEARN. The Gods want them to receive this feedback in hope they make corrections and begin to behave appropriately. The Gods DON'T like evil and refuse to grant this feedback.
EVERYBODY pays for what they do wrong, only evil people must wait until their next life before they will experience the wrath of the Gods, manifested in their reincarnation as a lower form of life into environments with increased/enhanced temptations.
Sadly, this allows the Gods to position this perception of evil rewarded as temptation, one which they use as an EXTREMELY effective corruptor.

Both Africa and the Medittereanean are regions which have sexual issues. This is a sign of morbid disfavor once you understand that females are the God's favored gender. Muhammad's (Mohammed's) polygamy halfway through his life as a prophet was preditory. Now a huge percentage of Muslims believes in male superiority and that the abuse of women is God's will. Female genital mutilation is still practiced in Africa. Black misogyny is the most eggregious example in the recent past.
The patriarchal cancer spread throughout Europe because of Christianity, of which the majority of policy makers were Italian men.

Militancy in Africa is consistant with the Iraqi example, as was slavery and the KKK here in America:::Fear enforces proper behavior. Without it we see what happens as a result of gross/morbid disfavor:::::AIDS, crack babies, dead young men in gangland retaliation killings.
The same principle was true in Europe and throughout the world for centuries:::People whom lived under iron fists were conditioned to think the right way. As a result they experienced higher numbers of children accend into heaven because they were taught to think and behave appropriately. Our preditory envionment of "freedom" was the primary purpose the Gods had when implimenting this strategy that is the United States, one which they used to spred the cancer of democracy and westernization throughout the world. And the Gods use this tool that is America to prey on the disfavored both at home and abroad.

Even the Old Testiment is not to be taken literally, but the Gods do offer clues throughout to help the disfavored:::The apple is a tool of temptation used to corrupt Adam and Eve and cast them out of the Garden of Eden.
There is another lesson to be learned from this passage, and it is quite similar to the vailing issue and the discourse over women's attire which ultimately died in the 70s:::Women are responsible for and control the fate of mankind.
The masculinization of women experienced in the last few decades should cause despondancy and desperation:::It illustrates the deterioration of mankind's collective favor and is a clue the Gods are preparing for some event.

Think about what I say. Consider what I teach. Society is going to become disturbingly ugly as we approach the Apocalypse due to spiralling, runaway disfavor.
I do not know when this will occurr, but it is the God's way to grant some time before they end on Planet Earth.
Make the decision to always be good and never look back. Until you do this technology will employ tactics to test your resolve:::Ridicule, beligerance, doubt and refusal to abandon what people perceive to be their "investment".
Pray daily. Think appropriately. Too many are confident, unaware of the God's awesome powers or their status as antients. Others may fall prey to their positioning.
Be humbled, God-fearing and beware of the God's temptations, for everyone is tested to evaluate their worthiness.

Search for the remainder of this document. Blogster/spot only allows 4000 charecters.

3:14 AM  

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