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    General => Society & Culture => Message started by: David Lucifer on 2015-10-03 20:35:41

Title: The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-03 20:35:41


Morpheus: I imagine that right now, you're feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.
Morpheus: I see it in your eyes. You have the look of a man who accepts what he sees because he is expecting to wake up. Ironically, that's not far from the truth. Do you believe in fate, Neo?
Neo: No.
Morpheus: Why not?
Neo: Because I don't like the idea that I'm not in control of my life.
Morpheus: I know *exactly* what you mean. Let me tell you why you're here. You're here because you know something. What you know you can't explain, but you feel it. You've felt it your entire life, that there's something wrong with the world. You don't know what it is, but it's there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I'm talking about?
Neo: The Matrix.
Morpheus: Do you want to know what it is?
Neo: Yes.
Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work... when you go to church... when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth.
Neo: What truth?

Morpheus: That you are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-03 20:45:38

I started this thread to document my loss of faith. Not my loss of faith in God, that happened so long ago I don't even remember, probably in my very early teens. No, I'm referring to my loss of faith in the State. I no longer believe it exists, at least no more than God exists as a fiction used by a group of unethical mortals to literally subjugate their fellow humans. I've been on this path for many years, increasingly skeptical of political authority. But it has only been in the last year that I've understood what it really means to be an anarchist in the same sense that I am an atheist. I am an infidel (and in today's climate, a heretic) in both senses now.

I call it the Red Pill because it Morpheus was right, we were born into a kind of servitude, a prison for your mind.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-03 20:51:51


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-03 20:53:01


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-03 20:59:49

Statist Fallacies: The Rule of Law

“Without government, there would be chaos! We must have rule of law!”


“Government: If you refuse to pay unjust taxes, your property will be confiscated. If you attempt to defend your property, you will be arrested. If you resist arrest, you will be clubbed. If you defend yourself against clubbing, you will be shot dead. These procedures are known as the Rule of Law.” —Edward Abbey

The problem is that the people are taught that when violence has been made “legal” and is committed by “authority,” it changes from immoral violence into righteous “law enforcement.” The fundamental premise upon which all “government” rests is the idea that what would be morally wrong for the average person to do can be morally right when done by agents of “authority,” implying that the standards of moral behavior which apply to human beings do not apply to agents of “government” (again, hinting that the thing called “government” is superhuman). Inherently righteous force, which most people generally agree is limited to defensive force, does not require any “law” or special “authority” to make it valid. The only thing that “law” and “government” are needed for is to attempt to legitimize immoral force And that is exactly what “government” adds, and the only thing it adds, to society: more inherently unjust violence. No one who understands this simple truth would ever claim that “government” is essential to human civilization. —Larken Rose, The Most Dangerous Superstition (

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-03 21:03:41

The Problem of Political Authority: An Examination of the Right to Coerce and the Duty to Obey ( is a book by University of Colorado philosophy professor Michael Huemer released in January 2013. The first part of the book argues in detail for philosophical anarchism and refutes the legitimacy of political authority, while the second addresses political anarchism and the practical viability of anarcho-capitalism.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-03 21:08:42


Sometimes very simple questions can cause profound cognitive dissonance. Here is a series of very simple questions I like to pose to people at random, especially if I want to make their heads explode. (For the record, my head was long ago exploded by these simple concepts, so I’m not claiming superiority here.)

1) Can you delegate to someone else a right which you don’t have? For example, if you don’t have the right to punch me in the nose (just for fun), can you GIVE the right to do so to someone else?

The answer is self-evident: no, you can’t. If it’s bad for you to do it, you can’t make it good for someone else to do it, whether it be murder, assault, theft, vandalism, etc. If it’s immoral for YOU to do something, how could you possibly have the ability to make it moral for someone ELSE to do it?

2) Can TWO people delegate a right that neither of them has? For example, if TWO of you want me to be punched in the nose (but neither of you has the right), can you GIVE a third person the right to punch me? What if 50 of you wanted it? How about a million people?

Again, the answer is pretty obvious: no, the NUMBER of people who want to do something bad doesn’t make it into something good; numbers cannot create the moral RIGHT for someone to do something. And note, I’m talking about moral justification, not mere ability. Almost everyone is ABLE to punch me in the nose–especially if there are a million people who want my nose punched–but that’s not the same as having a moral RIGHT to do so. It doesn’t matter how big the group gets: if NO ONE in the group has a right to do “A,” then they can’t give that right to someone else.

Up to this point, most people follow along without much protest. The answers seem patently obvious to almost everyone. However, if I add a third, equally simple question, it sends most people into a philosophical crisis:

3) If people cannot delegate rights they don’t have, where did “government” get the right to do what it does?

Sure, a few “laws” are just the exercising of rights we all have: the right to defend yourself (or others) against thieves, murderers, invaders, etc. We have the right of self-defense, so–if we feel so inclined–we can delegate that right to someone else. But consider how many so-called “laws” are things which you and I would never dream of doing on our own, because we know we don’t have the right.

For example, do you personally have the right to demand money from your neighbor, just because you want it? Do you have the right to imprison him for smoking a leaf you don’t approve of? To take his money for driving his car without your permission? To tell him what he can eat, where he can live, who he can work for, who he can hire, who he can fire, how he can run his business, what he can sell? And do you have the right to put him in a cage if he chooses to disobey any arbitrary command you care to fling at him? If YOU don’t personally have the right to play intrusive control freak, how did those in “government” get the right to do it? Who gave it to them?

At this point, many people jump to the popular excuse of necessity. “We NEED to have government doing those things, or there would be…. ANARCHY!” That’s nice, but it doesn’t answer the question: from whom did they get the right? Based on the self-evident answers to my first two questions, they didn’t get the right from YOU, or from any of your six billion neighbors (none of whom have the right themselves). So, where did it come from? A piece of parchment? A magical voting booth? If we mere mortals didn’t give them the right (and we didn’t), who or what DID?

We talk about “representative” government. What does that mean? If someone really “represents” me, he may do only what I may do. For example, I could authorize my “representative” to do business for me. I could do it myself, but I allow him to do it instead. What I may NOT morally do, however, I cannot authorize him to do either. To be a “representative” just means acting on someone else’s behalf. If I have no right to do a particular thing, it should be painfully obvious that someone “representing” me doesn’t have that right either.

So, upon whose behalf are the federal “representatives” acting? If YOU don’t personally have the right to “tax” me (and you don’t), neither does your “representative.” How, then, did we reach a point where almost everyone accepts as indisputable doctrine that our “representatives” have rights that WE DON’T? On its face the idea is absurd, and yet 99.9% of the country unquestioningly accepts it as a given.

I’m going to stop there for now, because I have found, after doing this little mental exercise with dozens (if not hundreds) of
people, that those few simple concepts are enough to stir up some serious turmoil in the minds of 99% of the people who consider them. Why? Because those few simple, obvious answers very plainly lead to a conclusion that scares the existential heck out of most people. It’s so scary, in fact, I won’t even say what that conclusion is … yet.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-04 22:48:29

It seems to me the nation of God is departing and the next epiphany that is upon us, is the end the 'Nation State'.

This rather Sanctimonious piece, albeit narcissistic, still has the notion of the end of nations as we have known them, at its heart
: with 11 million views is pushing a meme to this end. I suspect as we plug in further to the 'collective' the institutions of nationhood will be less necessary, but we have a long way to go before all the psychopaths, we have nurtured, are defused.




Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-07 10:51:09

[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=0#176524 date=1444013309]
It seems to me the nation of God is departing and the next epiphany that is upon us, is the end the 'Nation State'.

I hope you're right, that we're seeing the advent of a new Enlightenment. But given that it has been 300 years since the first one ( and over 80% of the population still has faith in god, I'm not holding my breath :P

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-07 10:52:45

Taxation and Wealth Redistribution as Lowbrow Morality

Peter is a wealthy man and has $1,000 in his wallet. He plans to use it for a variety of things—some groceries, taking his wife out to dinner, and buying some new golf clubs he’s been admiring.

Enter Paul. Paul thinks that Peter’s money could be put to better use, like helping low-income families get healthcare and putting children into preschool, among other things. As a result of his beliefs, Paul threatens Peter. Peter can “voluntarily donate” to these programs, but if he refuses, or doesn’t offer “enough” of his income, Paul will take Peter’s money anyway and hold him in captivity.

Would you consider this to be fair? Probably not. Just because Paul wants Peter to spend his money on certain honorable causes doesn’t mean that Paul has the right to take Peter’s money. Paul is stealing from Peter. He is violating Peter’s rights by stealing his property.

Most people would take issue with the above scenario. However, many people advocate this kind of activity everyday. Instead of just Paul and Peter, however, it’s Peter, Paul, and the government. Paul thinks Peter should spend his money in some particular way and Peter disagrees. Since Paul is not powerful enough to compel Peter to fork over his money for certain causes, he lobbies the government and votes to raise Peter’s tax rate.

“Peter is rich,” Paul says. “He’s in the top 20 percent of income earners! He should do his part to help his fellow man.”

This is frequent rhetoric for those who advocate higher taxes for wealthier people in society. But just because such arguments are used frequently doesn’t make them correct or give them moral traction.

If we agree that the first scenario is theft, then why does the introduction of a middleman, the government, make a difference? Theft is theft. Coercion is coercion. If you wouldn’t steal Peter’s wallet and give its contents to some cause you deem worthy, why is it OK for someone you voted for to steal it on your behalf?

I posed this very question to a friend after she told me she had voted for Obama (in 2008) because “her brother needed healthcare and Obama would create universal healthcare.” I asked her why other people should be forced to pay for her brother’s medical expenses when they are paying for their own and working to support themselves. Why is it their responsibility?

I’m still waiting for an answer to this question that doesn’t invoke emotion as its only authority.

There are two general forms of direct taxation. First, there are taxes based on a person’s ability to pay. Second, there are taxes levied in proportion to the benefits received by an individual from her fellow tax-payers. The vast majority of taxes in the U.S. (and in many countries) are of the first variety. Income taxes, for example, represent nearly 50 percent of tax revenue. These individuals aren’t likely paying for services from which they benefit, but their money is being used all the same.

I fail to see how these types of taxes represent any notion of justice or occupy the moral high ground. If we accept private property rights, then advocating for increased taxation because “someone should give up more of their money” or they aren’t paying the “fair share” (a totally vacuous concept) is advocating theft.

Taking from someone who has earned a great deal of money to give it to the poor, doesn’t make a robber a moral person. It makes him a thief! Calling on the government to rob Peter on Paul’s behalf doesn’t magically make the situation morally good.

As the late economist Murray Rothbard said,

Just as no one is morally required to answer a robber truthfully when he asks if there are any valuables in one’s house, so no one can be morally required to answer truthfully similar questions asked by the State.

Run, Peter!

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-08 21:48:22

Ten Reasons Not to Abolish Slavery


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it. Such advocates generally elicited reactions ranging from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and even violent assault.

When people bothered to give reasons for opposing the proposed abolition, they advanced various ideas. Here are ten such ideas I have encountered in my reading.

1. Slavery is natural. People differ, and we must expect that those who are superior in a certain way—for example, in intelligence, morality, knowledge, technological prowess, or capacity for fighting—will make themselves the masters of those who are inferior in this regard. Abraham Lincoln expressed this idea in one of his famous 1858 debates with Senator Stephen Douglas: “[T]here is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

2. Slavery has always existed. This reason exemplifies the logical fallacy argumentum ad antiquitatem (the argument to antiquity or tradition). Nevertheless, it often persuaded people, especially those of conservative bent. Even nonconservatives might give it weight on the quasi-Hayekian ground that although we do not understand why a social institution persists, its persistence may nonetheless be well grounded in a logic we have yet to understand.

3. Every society on earth has slavery. The unspoken corollary is that every society must have slavery. The pervasiveness of an institution seems to many people to constitute compelling proof of its necessity. Perhaps, as one variant maintains, every society has slavery because certain kinds of work are so difficult or degrading that no free person will do them, and therefore unless we have slaves to do these jobs, they will not get done. Someone, as the saying went in the Old South, has to be the mud sill, and free people will not tolerate serving in this capacity.

4. The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves. This idea was popular in the United States in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries among people, such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, who regarded slavery as morally reprehensible yet continued to hold slaves and to obtain personal services from them and income from the products these “servants” (as they preferred to call them) were compelled to produce. It would be cruel to set free people who would then, at best, fall into destitution and suffering.

5. Without masters, the slaves will die off. This idea is the preceding one pushed to its extreme. Even after slavery was abolished in the United States in 1865, many people continued to voice this idea. Northern journalists traveling in the South immediately after the war reported that, indeed, the blacks were in the process of becoming extinct because of their high death rate, low birth rate, and miserable economic condition. Sad but true, some observers declared, the freed people really were too incompetent, lazy, or immoral to behave in ways consistent with their own group survival. (See my 1977 book Competition and Coercion: Blacks in the American Economy, 1865–1914.)

6. Where the common people are free, they are even worse off than slaves. This argument became popular in the South in the decades before the War Between the States. Its leading exponent was the proslavery writer George Fitzhugh, whose book titles speak for themselves: Sociology for the South, or, the Failure of Free Society (1854) and Cannibals All!, or, Slaves Without Masters (1857). Fitzhugh seems to have taken many of his ideas from the reactionary, racist, Scottish writer Thomas Carlyle. The expression “wage slave” still echoes this antebellum outlook. True to his sociological theories, Fitzhugh wanted to extend slavery in the United States to working-class white people, for their own good!

7. Getting rid of slavery would occasion great bloodshed and other evils. In the United States many people assumed that the slaveholders would never permit the termination of the slave system without an all-out fight to preserve it. Sure enough, when the Confederacy and the Union went to war—set aside that the immediate issue was not the abolition of slavery, but the secession of eleven Southern states—great bloodshed and other evils did ensue. These tragic events seemed, in many people’s minds, to validate the reason they had given for opposing abolition. (They evidently overlooked that, except in Haiti, slavery was abolished everywhere else in the Western Hemisphere without large-scale violence.)

8. Without slavery the former slaves would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem. Preservation of social order therefore rules out the abolition of slavery. Southerners lived in dread of slave uprisings. Northerners in the mid-nineteenth century found the situation in their own region already sufficiently intolerable, owing to the massive influx of drunken, brawling Irishmen into the country in the 1840s and 1850s. Throwing free blacks, whom the Irish generally disliked, into the mix would well-nigh guarantee social chaos.

9. Trying to get rid of slavery is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal. Serious people cannot afford to waste their time considering such farfetched ideas.

10. Forget abolition. A far better plan is to keep the slaves sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and occasionally entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter. We cannot expect fairness or justice in this life, but all of us, including the slaves, can aspire to a life of ease and joy in Paradise.

At one time, countless people found one or more of the foregoing reasons adequate grounds on which to oppose the abolition of slavery. Yet in retrospect, these reasons seem shabby—more rationalizations than reasons.

Today these reasons or very similar ones are used by opponents of a different form of abolitionism: the proposal that government as we know it—monopolistic, individually nonconsensual rule by an armed group that demands obedience and payment of taxes—be abolished. I leave it as an exercise for the reader to decide whether the foregoing reasons are more compelling in this regard than they were in regard to the proposed abolition of slavery.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-08 21:51:42

Statist Fallacies: “The State is Us”


Fallacy: It’s not “the state” that is taxing you and coercing you; in a democracy “the state is us”, so we’re doing it to ourselves.


“Since outright slavery has been discredited, “democracy” is the only remaining rationale for state compulsion that most people will accept. Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves.” —Joseph Sobran

“We must, therefore, emphasize that ‘we’ are not the government; the government is not ‘us.’ The government does not in any accurate sense ‘represent’ the majority of the people. But, even if it did, even if 70 percent of the people decided to murder the remaining 30 percent, this would still be murder and would not be voluntary suicide on the part of the slaughtered minority. No organicist metaphor, no irrelevant bromide that ‘we are all part of one another,’ must be permitted to obscure this basic fact.” —Murray Rothbard

“Also, if ‘we’ are the government, then why would it be a sin to stop paying taxes? Am I required to pay myself?” —Gary Wingrove II

A good reductio ad absurdum for the false premise that “the state is us” is that since Hitler was elected, and Jewish people were part of the population that elected him, they weren’t murdered in the concentration camps, but rather committed suicide, since they were the state.

More fundamentally, however, the fallacy rests on the false premise that voting is consent and that infringement of individual rights (to life, liberty, and property) is justified if a majority wills it. But individual rights do not come from states or majorities, but are a property of individual self-ownership (see Introduction to Voluntaryism (

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-08 21:55:44


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-08 22:00:38


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-10 12:10:14


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-10 14:40:50



Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-11 13:04:01


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-11 13:07:33


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-11 13:10:33

If Pope Francis Wants to Help the Poor, He Should Embrace Capitalism (

Pope Francis' condemnation of capitalism undercuts his call to end poverty. (

Pope Francis Graph of the Day (


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-12 19:21:25

I do find this Catholic rhetoric against Capitalism just a little odd in that the theocratic oligarchy, that is the church, it is hardly renown for it's egalitarianism; now or over the last 2000 years. And the small matter of paying taxes. Though the capitalist do seem fungible with destructive self interest, when in the hands of the few; then I guess we label it fascistic capitalism.



Catholicism and capitalism: Redeeming the system[/size]

[img width=700 height=400]

Source: The Economist (
Date: 2014.10.20

A NEW paper published by Theos, a London-based religious think-tank, will raise hackles on the right and left alike, if only because of its title: "Just Money: How Catholic Social Teaching can Redeem Capitalism". Advocates of capitalism will certainly retort that the system has no need of redemption. The core meaning of the word redemption is something like "to secure the freedom, or the very existence, of someone or something at a price...." And as a supremely efficient instrument for resource allocation and price discovery, so the argument would go, capitalism should have no need of any external agency to purchase its right to exist. It just needs to be allowed to do its job. At the other extreme, critics on the left will retort that capitalism is so wicked that it cannot be redeemed by anything, least of all the doctrines of Catholicism.

Yet the paper by Clifford Longley is well worth reading, if only because it presents in readable language ideas which normally lie buried deep inside closely argued papal encyclicals and other cerebral writings. Mr Longley explains some of the key concepts in an elaborate body of thought which began to emerge in 1891 with a document called Rerum Novarum which accepted with qualifications the ideas of a free market in capital and labour. They include not just "solidarity"—the idea that all members of society must look out for one another's welfare—but "subsidiarity" or the widely devolved distribution of power. Catholic Social Teaching (CST) seeks to chart a middle way between unrestrained capitalism and dirigiste socialism by stressing the vital role of civil society: all the institutions, from the family to voluntary associations and churches, that stand between the individual and the state.

Mr Longley also stresses the need to cultivate virtues such as trustworthy behaviour and dismisses the idea, which was fashionable a decade ago, that the market has its own mechanisms for driving out untrustworthy behaviour. He recalls the Catholic teaching that accepts the idea of private property ownership, but with the qualification that the proprietor must be a good and socially responsible steward.

Much of his paper is devoted to a critique of the financial and economic boom that preceded the crash of 2008. It is implied that if the "market fundamentalism" and "neoliberalism" of that frothy era had been tempered by a good dose of CST, the collapse might have been avoided: and that CST is the answer to averting such tragedies in future.

Well, nobody who lived through the boom and bust of the current century's first decade can deny that it still merits some careful and contrite study. But to ascribe the tragedy of 2008 to "market fundamentalism" alone is itself a form of fundamentalism. The analysis would be more interesting if it looked at the ways in which, prior to 2008, liberal and non-liberal impulses clashed. In the sub-prime mortgage fiasco, for example, some role was played by the government-backed mortgage agencies—Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac—as well as the bond dealers of Wall Street. Those dealers, in turn, were looking for ways to minimise risk for themselves while heaping risk on vulnerable small borrowers. You do not have to be an advocate of CST to detect a dangerous situation there; there is no coherent theory of the market that does not allow the need for information and risk to be fairly distributed.

And in triggering the euro-zone crisis, the extreme rigidity and non-liberalism of southern European societies, economies and political systems, has surely played as much role as any "neoliberal" crusade. Indeed the very word "neoliberalism" on the lips of the European (and Catholic) left has become an almost meaningless term for "whatever we don't like". The discussion only becomes illuminating when you accept that the tragedy of extreme austerity and massive youth unemployment is a result of paleo-anti-liberalism (the refusal to tackle gerontocratic career structures, bureaucracies and restrictive practices) as much as any neo-ideology. That is one reason why Spanish, Italian and Greek youngsters flock to "liberal" London. Mr Longley is quite right to say that "market fundamentalism" is dangerous. But so, as the Catholic church knows, is every other kind of fundamentalism.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-12 19:30:55

[img width=900 height=700]

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-13 08:52:38

on 1444692085, Fritz wrote:
Though the capitalist do seem fungible with destructive self interest, when in the hands of the few

I'm curious about what you mean by that, can you elaborate?

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-13 08:53:42

The Case for Getting Rid of Borders—Completely

No defensible moral framework regards foreigners as less deserving of rights than people born in the right place at the right time.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-13 08:54:49

The Prohibition of Evacuation

My point, as usual, is that open borders is justice, not charity. Saving perfect strangers may be a matter of charity. But letting strangers save themselves with the willing assistance of people other than yourself is a matter a justice.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-13 20:30:17


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-15 18:19:34


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-16 11:34:01

[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=15#176541 date=1444740758]

on 1444692085, Fritz wrote:
Though the capitalist do seem fungible with destructive self interest, when in the hands of the few

I'm curious about what you mean by that, can you elaborate?

Capitalism in the hands of the few is fungible to me in 2 ways:

1-A closed circle with no competition (oligarchy) like we are approaching now, certainly with the banking system, means the demands that might govern and mediate capitalism are now just severing the self interest of the those holding the wealth. They can substitute what ever fiat currency or rules that suite them. Be it a : Pope, King, Feudal Lord, Raja, Emperor, Banker, CEO, they are interchangeable.

2-This self serving few holding the wealth and power are now set apart from any social framework and any social system; democracy, fascism, dictatorship, police state, slavery , that can be interchanged for he rest of society and they really don't care.

Now it might seems that these are rather short sited position for the oligarchs to take as their wealth comes for the general populations, but I think there is a a critical mass, where we are now, when the financial systems are used to create wealth now is largely with slight of hand that by passes the traditional, work, produce and, sell of capitalism.

This would seem to be a house of cards, but still a self serving life time pile of money to isolate from any worries and the future be dammed " Let them eat cake"

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-16 11:49:12

Mostly the second half; 12m35s, but all will put a smile on the face of all of us that have taken their "Little Red Pill"




Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-18 12:34:05

The tip of the ice berg, me thinks.



Examples of Public Corruption Investigations - Fiscal Year 2015 [/size]

[img width=140 height=75]

Source: IRS (
Author: IRS
Date: 2015.08.18

The following examples of Public Corruption Investigations are written from public record documents on file in the courts within the judicial district where the cases were prosecuted.

Former City of Portland Smart Parking Meter Manager Sentenced for Taking Bribes and Filing False Returns
On May 27, 2015, in Portland, Oregon, Ellis McCoy, former Manager of Portland’s Parking Operations Division, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for taking almost $200,000 in bribes from two city contractors from 2002 to mid-2011. In August 2012, McCoy pleaded guilty to conspiring to accept bribes, accepting bribes, and filing false tax returns on which he did not report a substantial amount of the bribe as income. According to court documents, McCoy gave favorable treatment to the city contractors in return for $164,567 in checks and currency plus the value of travel, meals, lodging, and other expenses of an undetermined amount. McCoy created a phony consulting company and submitted invoices for fictitious consulting work so he and the contractors could disguise some of the bribe payments as payments for consulting work. McCoy accepted about $70,000 of the bribe payments in cash and that the contractors paid for some or all of his meals, travel, and entertainment expenses on about 60 trips for business and pleasure.

Former Chairman of Board of Trustees for South Carolina State Sentenced for Racketeering Conspiracy
On May 20, 2015, in Columbia, South Carolina, Jonathan Pinson, of Greenville, South Carolina, was sentenced to 60 months in prison, five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $337,843 in restitution. Pinson was convicted by a jury in June 2014 on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and false statements. According to court documents, Pinson was involved in four different schemes. One scheme revolved around the 2011 homecoming concert at SCSU and Pinson’s efforts to steer the concert promotion contract to his close friend and former SCSU roommate in exchange for a kickback. Other schemes included Pinson’s theft of government funds earmarked for the installation of a diaper plant in Marion County. Proceeds from the grant, intended to create jobs in rural Marion County, were instead pocketed by Pinson and his associates. Pinson was also convicted of theft of government funds received from a 10 million dollar American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant intended for the development known as the Village at Rivers Edge. In the final scheme, Pinson again used his position as Chairman of the Board of SCSU to influence officials at SCSU to purchase land known as “Sportsman’s Retreat”. The seller of the property, Richard Zahn, Pinson’s business partner, testified that he agreed to pay a kickback to Pinson in the form of a new Porsche Cayenne, an SUV valued at approximately $90,000.

Former Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Legislature Sentenced for Bribery and Extortion
On May 14, 2015, in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, former Executive Director of the Virgin Islands Legislature, Louis “Lolo” Willis was sentenced to 60 months in prison. On Nov. 19, 2014, a jury in the Virgin Islands convicted Willis of four counts of federal programs bribery and extortion under color of official right. According to evidence presented at trial, Willis was the executive director of the Legislature between 2009 and 2012. His responsibilities included oversight of the major renovation of the Legislature building and awarding and entering into government contracts in connection with the project. Willis was also responsible for authorizing payments to the contractors for their work. Willis accepted bribes, including $13,000 in cash and checks, from contractors in exchange for using his official position to secure more than $350,000 in work for the contractors and to ensure they received payment upon completion.

Former Township Financial Officer Sentenced
On May 1, 2015, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Alan Mizen, of Zionsville, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $343,000 in restitution. Mizen was previously convicted of theft of federal program funds. According to court documents, Mizen served as the chief financial officer for Center Township. In June 2010, he set up a bank account and deposited a $343,541 check that was drawn from public funds. Mizen then used the computerized accounting system at the Center Township Trustee’s Office to create a false invoice indicating that he had written the check to the “Treasurer of State.” Mizen then transferred the funds to various personal accounts that he maintained. From June 10, 2010, through July 2012, Mizen used the embezzled taxpayer funds to finance personal expenditures.

Former Illinois School Board Member Sentenced for Bus Contracts Fraud Scheme
On April 21, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, Alice Sherrod, a former North Chicago school board member, was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $7.2 million in restitution. In September 2013, Sherrod pleaded guilty to wire fraud and filing a false federal income tax return. According to court documents, between 2001 and 2010 Sherrod, who was the North Chicago school district’s Director of Transportation, participated in a fraud scheme with four co-defendants, including Gloria Harper, the former President of the North Chicago school board. Sherrod and Harper used their positions to enrich themselves secretly by soliciting and accepting gifts and cash from their three co-defendants in exchange for favorable official action regarding student transportation contracts. Initially, Harper and Sherrod received kickbacks of approximately $4,000 to $5,000 a month but, by 2003, they were collecting approximately $20,000 a month. The three co-defendants funneled kickbacks totaling at least $800,000 to Harper and Sherrod and made more than $9.6 million in profits. All five defendants pleaded guilty last year and have been sentenced. Gloria Harper, of Berwyn and formerly of Gurnee, was sentenced to 120 months in prison for her part in the scheme.

Illinois Businessman Sentenced for Participation in Corruption Scheme
On April 14, 2015, in Chicago, Illinois, Ronald Garcia, of Lockport, was sentenced to 36 months in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $67,792 in restitution. Garcia previously pleaded guilty to federal program bribery. According to court documents, Garcia participated in a scheme with co-defendant, Joseph Mario Moreno, who had served for more than 16 years as the elected county commissioner of Cook County, Illinois. Garcia owned and operated Chicago Medical Equipment & Supply, Co. Between March 2008 and July 2009, Moreno and Garcia conspired to extort a company that won a county contract to force it to use Garcia’s company as a minority subcontractor. Garcia provided Moreno and his wife with a $100,000 home mortgage loan in July 2007. Garcia then forgave the $100,000 mortgage loan to Moreno in exchange for Moreno’s efforts to steer the lucrative sub-contract to Garcia’s company. On Feb. 19, 2014, co-defendant Moreno was sentenced to 11 years in prison for engaging in a series of public and personal corruption schemes.

Former Campaign Treasurer Sentenced for Tax Evasion and Filing False Campaign Reports
On April 13, 2015, in Washington, D.C., Hakim J. Sutton, of Washington, D.C., was sentenced to 16 months in prison, three years of supervised and ordered to pay $18,231 in taxes and interest to the IRS. Sutton pleaded guilty on Oct. 23, 2014 to one count of income tax evasion and one count of knowingly filing a false and misleading campaign finance report. According to court documents, Sutton was the principal owner of the Sutton Group, which performed political consulting services in the District of Columbia and elsewhere. In 2011 and 2012, Sutton served as the treasurer and custodian of records for the campaign of Michael A. Brown. Between July 2011 and May 2012, Sutton diverted approximately $115,250 from the campaign bank account to himself by depositing the funds drawn from the campaign bank account into his own personal bank accounts, and converting funds drawn from the campaign bank account to cash. Some, but not all, of the money that Sutton diverted was compensation for Sutton’s work on the campaign. However, Sutton failed to file income tax returns for calendar years 2011 and 2012. Sutton also omitted references to the checks that he had written to himself in a series of six reports he filed in 2011 and 2012 with the District of Columbia Office of Campaign Finance.

Four Sentenced to Federal Prison for Role in Rocky Boy’s Corruption Probe
On March 11, 2015, in Great Falls, Montana, Mark Craig Leischner and Tammy Kay Leischner, of Laurel, were sentenced to 24 months in prison and three years’ supervised release. Mark Leischner was also ordered to pay $281,313 in restitution, and Tammy Leischner was ordered to pay $375,092 in restitution. Mark Leischner, pleaded guilty to embezzlement of over $200,000 in funds from the Chippewa Cree Tribe Rodeo Association, federal student financial aid fraud, and obstruction of justice. Tammy Leischner pleaded guilty to aiding the embezzlement of $311,000 in federal funds, bankruptcy fraud, federal student financial aid fraud, and blackmail. Tammy Leischners brother, Dr. James Howard Eastlick, was also sentenced to 72 months in prison, three years supervised release and ordered to pay $424,800 in restitution. Eastlick, the former psychologist for the Rocky Boy Health Clinic pleaded guilty to charges of bribery relating to a federally funded program, bribery of a councilman and income tax evasion. On March 10, 2015, Bruce Sunchild, was sentenced to 34 months in prison, three years supervised release, and ordered to pay $370,088 in restitution. Sunchild pleaded guilty to bribery, embezzlement and tax evasion. All four sentencings were a result of the Rocky Boy's Corruption Probe.

Former Campaign Coordinator Sentenced for Embezzling from Former Texas Lieutenant Governor Campaign Accounts
On Feb. 27, 2014, in Austin, Texas, political consultant Kenneth Barfield, aka Buddy Barfield, was sentenced to 87 months in prison and three years of supervised release for stealing more than $2.5 million in campaign funds from former Texas Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst. Barfield was also ordered to pay $2,513,778 in restitution to the Barfield Litigation Trust Settlement and owes the IRS $427,073 in back taxes. On October 21, 2014, Barfield pleaded guilty to wire fraud, making a false tax return and embezzlement of federal campaign funds. According to court documents, Barfield was a member of the campaign staff and committee for Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst’s run for the Republican nomination for United States Senate in 2012. Barfield, and through his Austin-based companies, were responsible for securing, paying, and/or subcontracting legal and legitimate activities on behalf of Dewhurst’s campaign and had a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the campaign, including oversight and maintenance of financial records. Barfield engaged in a scheme to steal campaign funds and use it for his own personal expenses including his home mortgage, school tuition for his children, personal investments and other living expenses. In addition, on his 2008 income tax return, Barfield stated that his taxable income was zero when, in fact, his taxable income should have been reported as approximately $582,000. Also, under Barfield's direction, fraudulent documentation was submitted in disclosure reports to the Federal Elections Commission regarding expenditures for campaign disbursements.

Former First Lady of Virginia Sentenced for Public Corruption
On Feb. 20, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia, the former First Lady of Virginia, Maureen G. McDonnell was sentenced 12 months and one day in prison for violation of federal public corruption laws. Former Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were convicted on Sept. 4, 2014, following a jury trial of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud and conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right. Maureen McDonnell also was convicted of two counts of honest-services wire fraud and four counts of obtaining property under color of official right. According to the evidence presented at trial, from April 2011 through March 2013, the McDonnells participated in a scheme to use the former governor’s official position to enrich themselves and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts and other things of value from Star Scientific, a Virginia-based corporation, and Jonnie R. Williams Sr., Star Scientific’s then chief executive officer. The McDonnells obtained these items in exchange for the former governor performing official actions to legitimize, promote and obtain research studies for Star’s products, including the dietary supplement Anatabloc. The McDonnells obtained more than $170,000 in direct payments as gifts and loans, thousands of dollars in golf outings, and numerous items from Williams. The McDonnells also attempted to conceal the things of value received from Williams and Star and to hide the nature and scope of their dealings with Williams from the citizens of Virginia by, for example, routing gifts and loans through family members and corporate entities controlled by the former governor to avoid annual disclosure requirements. Robert McDonnell was sentenced on Jan. 6, 2015 to 24 months in prison.

Former Public Library Contractors Sentenced on Bribery Charges
On Jan. 27, 2015, in Detroit, Michigan, James Henley, of Detroit, and Ricardo Hearn, of Royal Oak, were sentenced to 27 months and 28 months in prison, respectively. Each was also ordered to pay $750,000 in restitution to the Detroit Public Library. Henley and Hearn, both former contractors with the Detroit Public Library, were sentenced on charges of bribery of a public official. Henley also pleaded guilty to failing to file tax returns for the year 2007. According to court documents, Henley and Hearn paid former Detroit Public Library Chief Administrative Officer Timothy Cromer a total of $1.4 million in kickbacks in return for contracts for information technology services with the Detroit Public Library during the period 2007 to 2010. After being confronted by federal law enforcement officials, Henley and Hearn both cooperated in the prosecution of Cromer. On Sept. 16, 2014, Cromer was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $3,913,890 in restitution to the library.

Former Virginia Governor Sentenced to Prison for Public Corruption Scheme
On Jan. 6, 2015, in Richmond, Virginia, Robert F. McDonnell, former Virginia Governor, was sentenced to 24 months in prison, and two years of supervised release. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen McDonnell, were convicted following a jury trial of one count of conspiracy to commit honest-services wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to obtain property under color of official right. Robert McDonnell was also convicted of three counts of honest-services wire fraud and six counts of obtaining property under color of official right, while Maureen McDonnell was convicted of two counts of honest-services wire fraud and four counts of obtaining property under color of official right. According to the evidence presented at trial, from April 2011 through March 2013, the McDonnells participated in a scheme to use the former governor’s official position to enrich themselves and their family members by soliciting and obtaining payments, loans, gifts and other things of value from Star Scientific and Jonnie R. Williams Sr. The McDonnells obtained these items in exchange for the former governor performing official actions to legitimize, promote and obtain research studies for Star’s products, including the dietary supplement Anatabloc. The McDonnells obtained from Williams more than $170,000 in direct payments as gifts and loans, thousands of dollars in golf outings, and numerous items. As part of the scheme, Robert McDonnell arranged meetings for Williams with Virginia government officials, hosted and attended events at the Governor’s Mansion designed to encourage Virginia university researchers to initiate studies of Star’s products and to promote Star’s products to doctors, contacted other Virginia government officials to encourage Virginia state research universities to initiate studies of Star’s products, and promoted Star’s products and facilitated its relationships with Virginia government officials. The evidence further showed that the McDonnells attempted to conceal the things of value received from Williams and Star by routing gifts and loans through family members and corporate entities controlled by the former governor to avoid annual disclosure requirements. Maureen McDonnell is scheduled to be sentenced on February 20, 2015.

Former Consultant to New York Democratic Senate Campaign Committee Sentenced For Tax and Fraud Conspiracy
On Dec. 19, 2014, in Manhattan, New York, Melvin Lowe, a former consultant to the New York State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee ("DSCC"), was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years’ supervised release. Lowe was convicted in September 2014 for conspiring with New York State Senator John Sampson to defraud the DSCC of $100,000 and for personal income tax offenses. According to court documents, Lowe arranged for a New Jersey-based political consultant to submit a false invoice to the DSCC for $100,000 in printing services. Sampson approved payment of the invoice and the DSCC sent $100,000 to the New Jersey-based consultant. Lowe instructed the consultant to send $75,000 of the proceeds to Lowe's consulting company. Lowe received more than $2.1 million in consulting income from 2007 to 2012. He reported less than $25,000 in income on each of his federal income tax returns for 2007 through 2009, which he did not file until late 2010. Lowe never filed tax returns for 2010 through 2012. He never made any payments toward his taxes for the years 2000 through 2012. Lowe also caused a bank to make a false statement to his mortgage lender regarding the balance in his checking account. When the mortgage lender sent Lowe’s bank a Verification of Deposit form to verify Lowe's claim that he had $65,000 in his checking account, Lowe caused the assistant manager to claim that Lowe's account had a balance of more than $80,000. At that time, the balance in Lowe's checking account was $2,156.

Former Florida County Employee Sentenced for Tax Evasion
On Dec. 17, 2014, in Miami, Florida, Jesus Pons, of Coral Gables, and former employee of the General Services Administration (GSA) of Miami-Dade County, was sentenced to 51 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $556,254 in restitution. On Oct. 15, 2014, Pons pleaded guilty to tax evasion. According to the court documents, Pons was a computer services manager at the GSA of Miami-Dade County. He was responsible for managing and allocating resources to information technology projects for the county and supervising and managing tasks performed by county vendors. From 2007 to 2011, Pons received money in the form of illegal kickback payments from two county vendors, Data Industries and Paradyne Consulting Services. In exchange for these illegal kickbacks, Pons approved payments from Miami-Dade County to the vendors for consulting work that was never performed. Pons did not report the illegal kickbacks on his tax returns. From 2007 through 2011, Pons earned $1,666,998 in income from the scheme that he did not report to the IRS, causing $556,254 in tax loss.

Former Executive Director of Affordable Housing Organization Sentenced for Conspiracy to Steal Federal Funds
On Oct. 17, 2014, in New Orleans, Louisiana, Stacey Jackson was sentenced to 60 months in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay over $424,000 in restitution to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and to individual victims, as well as a $50,000 fine. According to court documents, Jackson, the former Executive Director of New Orleans Affordable Homeownership (NOAH), a city agency and non-profit corporation, conspired with others to misuse and personally benefit from federal funds that NOAH had received. HUD, both before and after Hurricane Katrina, provided grant money to the City of New Orleans to address blight within the city and to remediate homes damaged by the storm. Jackson, as the Executive Director of NOAH, was responsible for the day-to-day management of the agency and determined how much each contractor would be paid. Jackson arranged to overpay certain contractors, instructing them to kickback portions of the overpayments to her. Jackson instructed others to pay her kickbacks out of the NOAH money she paid them for work that could not be substantiated by invoices or work actually performed. Additionally, Jackson paid, in part, for a renovation project on property she owned, by using public funds distributed to NOAH. Finally, Jackson provided false and fraudulent documents to a contractor in an effort to mislead the federal grand jury investigation into the fraud.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-18 15:22:52

Between the 'Green Sheep lobby', bad planning, and fossil fuel industry failures; we have 'a dumb ass' situation. Something I suspect we can look forward to in North America since the same issues apply.



Factories face switch-off to keep household lights on, National Grid warns[/size]

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:Telegraph UK (
Author: Emily Gosden, Energy Editor
Date: 2015.10.15

Rising risk of blackouts means factories may need to be paid to switch off on weekday evenings to keep household lights on Factories may have to shut down on weekday evenings this winter to keep household lights on as Britain faces the worst power crunch in a decade, National Grid has warned.

There is an "increased likelihood" that there will be "insufficient supply available in the market to meet demand", forcing the UK to rely on "last resort" measures such as paying factories to power down, National Grid warned.

The risk of blackouts will be the highest since 2007/08, even once emergency plans to reduce energy demand from businesses and fire up old mothballed plant have been deployed, analysis released on Thursday shows.

Britain's spare capacity margin – the effective ‘safety buffer’ between peak electricity demand and available power supplies - will be just 5.1 per cent once the emergency measures are used.

Without such intervention to artificially bolster supplies, the margin would have fallen to just 1.2 per cent, the lowest in a decade National Grid confirmed.

In a report, the company said there was an "increased likelihood" that it would have to pay large businesses to switch off between 4pm and 8pm during the week.

Busineses with 130 megawatts of capacity have signed up to take part in the scheme, which is voluntary. They will be paid for taking part, even if they are not actually called upon - as happened last winter.

A further 2.29 gigawatts of power plant capacity that would not otherwise be available will be paid to remain on standby to fire up if needed.

Such action would only be taken "as a last resort in the event that there is insufficient supply available in the market to meet demand", it said.

Analysis by Ofgem, the energy regulator, suggests that without the emergency interventions, a blackout during a cold snap would be highly likely.

The risk of “controlled disconnections”, in which customers’ power supplies are cut off, could have been as high as a “one in one year” event – implying an incident would have been expected at some point during the winter.

The tightening of supplies has been caused by the old polluting coal plants being forced to close by environmental rules more quickly than new plants are being built.

More coal plants and old nuclear plants are expected to close in coming years, worsening the crisis.

Old, polluting coal plants are being shut down Photo: Alamy

The GMB Union, which represents energy workers, has accused the Government and National Grid of complacency with 7.4 gigawatts of capacity due to be lost as nine power stations close during 2016.

Ofgem forecasts suggest that by next winter Britain could experience 'negative margins' - meaning output from Britain's power plants would not be enough to meet peak demand - if it is very calm, resulting in low wind turbine output.

By 2018/19 a new Government subsidy scheme called the 'capacity market' is due to come into effect, designed to pay power plants to guarantee they will be available to keep the lights on.

But that scheme has been called into question after the Telegraph revealed the only new gas plant due to be built through the scheme is in doubt, with its developers unable to secure funding.

Expert have warned a solution to keep the lights is likely to require more subsidies to be paid to new plants, raising bills for consumers.

Cordi O’Hara, director of UK market operations for National Grid, said: "Electricity margins are manageable throughout the winter period and we believe we have the right tools in place to manage the system. This includes using the 2.4 GW of additional balancing services that we have ready in place for times of highest demand."

Amber Rudd, the energy secretary, said: "Keeping the lights on is non-negotiable. National Grid has the right tools in place to manage the system this winter and we will ensure that they continue to do so in future.

"Our number one priority is to ensure that hardworking families and businesses have access to secure, affordable energy supplies they can rely on.

"In the longer term we are investing in infrastructure and low-carbon energy supplies, such as nuclear and shale gas, to improve energy security for future generations."

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-18 17:40:19


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-18 23:25:02

BBC footage of the Queen’s birthday with BBC commentary about Kim Jong Il’s birthday dubbed over it


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-20 20:44:59

The greatest injustice in the world today might be immigration laws that keep millions of people in abject poverty. But let's not forget most criminal violence is created by black markets which are created solely by legislation...

How the war on drugs creates violence

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-26 22:54:58


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-27 11:41:35

Quotation of the day is from pages 5-6 of Milton and Rose Friedman’s essential 1962 volume, Capitalism and Freedom:

Beginning in the late nineteenth century, and especially after 1930 in the United States, the term liberalism came to be associated with a very different emphasis, particularly in economic policy. It came to be associated with a readiness to rely primarily on the state rather than on private voluntary arrangements to achieve objectives regarded as desirable. The catchwords became welfare and equality rather than freedom. The nineteenth-century liberal regarded the extension of freedom as the most effective way to promote welfare and equality; the twentieth-century liberal regards welfare and equality as either prerequisites of or alternatives to freedom. In the name of welfare and equality, the twentieth-century liberal has come to favor a revival of the very policies of state intervention and paternalism against which classical liberalism fought. In the very act of turning the clock back to seventeenth-century mercantilism, he is fond of castigating true liberals as reactionary!

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-10-28 11:29:42

"Whether or not Tiller's shooting of Hammond was legally justified, it cannot be morally justified. Even leaving aside Tiller's recklessness, the entire situation was orchestrated by the police to catch Morton with 10 grams of dried vegetable matter that you can legally and openly buy from state-licensed stores in Denver and Seattle. Hammond's death was stupid, pointless, and outrageous regardless of what state or federal prosecutors say about it."

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-29 08:11:00

"Men would live exceedingly quiet if these two words, mine and thine, were taken away."



Is Democracy Dead In The West? [/size]

[img width=600 height=300]
Given the Meme's history, we still accept the daily rogering; seems odd.

Source:Institute for Political Economy (
Author: Paul Craig Roberts
Date: 2015.01.29

We will find out the answer to the question posed in the title in the outcome of the contest between the new Greek government, formed by the political party Syriza, and the ECB and the private banks, with whose interests the EU and Washington align against Greece.

The Spartans, whose red cloaks and military prowess struck fear into the hearts of both foreign invaders and Greek opponents in the city-states, are no more. Athens itself is a ruin of its historical self. The Greeks, who were once to be contended with, who were able with 300 Spartans, supplemented with a few thousand Corinthians, Thebans, and other warriors, to stop a one hundred thousand man Persian army at Thermopylae, with the final outcome being the defeat of the Persian fleet in the Battle of Salamis and the defeat of the Persian army in the Battle of Plataea, are no more.

The Greeks of history have become a people of legend. Not even the Romans were able to conquer Persia, but little more than a handful of Greeks stopped the attempted Persian conquest of Greece.

But the Greeks, despite their glorious history, could not stop their conquest by the EU and a handful of German and Dutch banks. If the Greece of history still existed, the EU and the private banks would be cowering in fear, because the EU and the private banks have ruthlessly exploited the Greek people and represent the same threat to Greek sovereignty as Persia did.

Greece, stripped of its independence by its EU membership and acceptance of the euro as its currency, has lost is sovereignty. Without control over its own money, Greece cannot finance itself. Greece must rely on private banks from other countries. In the 21st century European private banks are not allowed to lose money simply because they are incompetent and over-lent to EU member countries. This is not considered to be the fault of the banks, but of the borrower governments and populations.

According to reports, the American bankster firm, Goldman Sachs, sometimes known as Gold Sacks, hid Greek debt from view in order that banks would extent more credit to Greece, thus setting the Greek people up for looting.

The EU’s disingenuous argument is that this bankster trickery benefitted the Greek people. The people enjoyed the resources from these loans. Therefore, the Greek people must pay back the loans through reductions in old age pensions, through unemployment, through lower wages, and through the sale of Greek national assets.

This is the austerity that has been imposed on ordinary Greek people by the EU and Greece’s creditors.

Greece is prostrate. Greeks are actually committing suicide, because Greeks cannot provide for themselves in the depressed conditions that the EU and the private banks have created for them for no other reason than that the private banks must not have to write down the loans.

So, one result from “democracy” in Greece is suicide. With enough democracy, we can control world population and halt the destruction of nature’s capital. All we have to do is to enable the banksters to loot the entire world.

What can Syriza do?

Without Spartans, very little.

The party’s intentions and that of its leaders are honest and deserve our respect. Syriza is a people’s party, and that is what marks it for doom. The voice of the people is no longer permitted to affect politics in the Western world. The powerful rich interest groups that rule the West could not care less about the people over whom they rule.

No sooner was Syriza in office than Bloomberg, a business news service, conveyed to the new Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, that Syriza needs to play by the creditors’ rules.

Tsipras stated that the new Greek government does not intend a “catastrophic clash” with its creditors, only an acceptable amelioration of the unreasonable conditions imposed on Greece, in order that Greece can give some satisfaction to its private bank creditors and also avoid social, political and economic instability in Greece.

Against this reasonable statement, Bloomberg reports that the new Greek cabinet contains communists who favor closer ties with Russia. To remind the newly elected Greek government of the whip that is held over Greek financial markets, Greek bond and stock prices were assaulted and driven down.

The warning from the EU and Wall Street is clear: Defy us and we will destroy you.

The punishment of the new Greek government was instant. This from Bloomberg:

“Greek stocks and bonds slumped for a third day, after new ministers said they will cease the sale of some state assets and increase the minimum wage. Yields on three-year bonds rose 2.66 percentage points to 16.69 percent. The benchmark Athens General Index decreased 9.2 percent to its lowest level since 2012, led by a collapse in the value of banks.”

Does Tsipras understand that Greek financial institutions will continue to be punished if they stand behind his government? Bloomberg makes it clear: “Germany warned the Mediterranean nation against abandoning prior agreements on aid, after analysts said that setting Greece on a collision course with its European peers might lead to its exit from the euro region.”

Statements of newly appointed ministers “imply confrontation and tense negotiations in the near future,” Vangelis Karanikas, head of research at Athens-based Euroxx Securities, wrote in a note to clients.”

What is Syriza’s “collusion course”? The new government wants to moderate the agreements made by previous Greek governments that sold out the Greek people. The new government wants to stop giving away at bargain prices Greek public assets to clients of its creditors, and the new Greek government wants to raise the Greek minimum wage so that the Greek people have enough bread and water on which to live.

However, for the private bank creditors, for Merkel’s Germany that stands behind the banks, for Washington which could care less about the Greeks, for the Greek elites who see themselves as “part of Europe,” Syriza is something to be rid of.

And so the Greek bonds are attacked, the Greek stocks are attacked, threats are issued that arouse fear in that part of the Greek population that is propagandized into the belief that Greece must be part of the euro and the EU or be bypassed by history.

What it boils down to is that the Greek people, like the Americans, are insouciant. Only about 37% of the voters voted for Syriza. That is far more votes than any rival party received, but it is not enough to show Washington, the EU and creditors that Greeks stand behind their government.

Instead it shows that the new party had to form a government with another party that money, perhaps, can buy off. It shows that Syriza can be demonized in the Western media and presented to the Greek public as a threat to Greece.

The new government is aware of its weakness. The new prime minister says that he does not want confrontation, but that the new government cannot continue the kowtowing of previous Greek governments. A reasonable accommodation must be reached.

Accommodation is unlikely to occur, because a reasonable accommodation is not the desire of Washington, the EU, or of Greece’s creditors.

A purpose of the “Greek financial crisis” is to establish that EU members are not sovereign countries and that banks that lend to these non-sovereign entities are not responsible for any losses with regard to the loans. The population of the indebted countries are the responsible parties. And these populations must accept the reduction of their living standards in order to ensure that the banks do not lose any money.

This is the “New Democracy.” It is a resurrection of the old feudal order. A few super-rich aristocrats and everyone else serfs obliged to support the ruling order. The looting that began in Greece has spread into Ukraine, and who knows who is next?

With only 37% of the vote, does Syriza have the clout to stand up for Greece against the looters?
Can Greece escape from a situation comparable to the European Dark Ages when populations were ravaged by marauding raiders? Perhaps if Greece realigns with Russia and gains financing from BRICS.

For dramatic photo illustration of this article, go to:

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-10-29 08:36:41


The Sounds of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend
I've come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone
'Neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people maybe more
People talking without speaking
People hearing without listening
People writing songs that voices never shared
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence

"Fools," said I, "you do not know
Silence like a cancer grows
Hear my words that I might teach you
Take my arms that I might reach you"
But my words like silent raindrops fell
And echoed in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the sign flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the sign said "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence"

This is the original version from 1964 from the album "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM." Just Simon's guitar and the vocals. The famous version was released in 1966. After "Wednesday Morning, 3 AM" flopped, they split up. Without either their knowledge, electric guitars and drums were added and that version of The Sound of Silence became very popular, reaching #1 on the charts in America on New Years Day, 1966. Because of this, Simon and Garfunkel teamed up again and created three more studio albums, one of which one a Grammy award for album of the year and song of the year (Bridge Over Troubled Water).

"The Sound of Silence" by Paul Simon (Google Play • iTunes)
Standard YouTube License

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-01 15:40:43

If you want to see how inhumane people can be, just watch those who make and execute foreign policy. We could spend all day discussing the cruelties that politicians and bureaucrats commit against people who live inside the United States. Think how many are caged like wild animals because they manufacture, sell, or consume disapproved substances; gamble where government has forbade it; traded sexual services for money; possessed a gun they weren't "supposed" to possess; etc. ad infinitum. Naturally, America leads the world in locking up people. But at least the policy of mass imprisonment gets increasing attention. Subject to far less scrutiny is how America's (mis)leaders, (mis)representatives, and public (self-)servants treat foreigners, especially those with dark skin and a still-unfamiliar religion.

When we talk about foreign policy, how easy it is to get wrapped up in abstractions like empire, intervention, nonintervention, and kinetic military action. These are important concepts to understand, of course, but foreign-policy conversations often become sterile examinations of "policy," when what we need is a full awareness of the harm to individual human beings, and the destruction of their families, homes, communities, and societies. These persons are the victims of our rulers' geopolitical stratagems, which seemly outrank all other considerations. Yet each victim has a story embodying unique relationships and aspirations, a story that is permanently changed by an American cluster bomb, drone-launched missile, or special-ops mission.

The best that can be said of the perpetrators of this carnage and social devastation is that they are guilty of gross negligence. Many of their acts, however, cross into the territory of premeditated murder and the infliction of mayhem with malice aforethought.

One need not look hard for the most egregious examples taking place right at this moment. In Yemen the Obama administration gives indispensable material support to Saudi Arabia's barbaric war —war ought not to require a qualifier like barbaric, but it seems necessary these days—on the poorest population in the region. The U.S.-facilitated starvation blockade and cluster-bombing take an untold number of Yemeni lives while devastating the social order. Policymakers (a euphemism for the architects of devastation) can rationalize this cruelty in geopolitical terms—the Houthis, who incidentally are fighting al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadis, are (falsely) said to be instruments of Iran—but the fact remains that individual persons who did no harm to anyone are being slaughtered and starved with the help of American politicians and military bureaucrats.

Or how about Syria? U.S. conduct carries out a seemingly incoherent policy of simultaneously targeting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and one of his chief adversaries, the Islamic State, while helping another Islamist group, al-Nusra Front, that has pledged allegiance to Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's successor as head of al-Qaeda, perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks. Estimates of the death total in Syria's civil war reach as high as 340,000, a number that represents the toll at the hands of both government and rebel forces. (The total is sometimes invidiously attributed to Assad's military alone.) The injured and refugees are probably uncountable.

What must be understood is that most of these deaths, injuries, and dispossessions would probably not have occurred had the Obama administration—most especially Secretary of State Hillary Clinton—not early on intensified the civil war by declaring Assad's regime "illegitimate," demanding that he "go" (i.e., die), and overseeing the transfer weapons and jihadi fighters from Benghazi, Libya. While doing all this, the Obama administration was thwarting promising efforts toward a negotiated settlement, which might have stopped or at least reduced the killing of innocent persons. For details see these three articles by the excellent investigate journalist Jonathan Marshall.

And then there's Libya itself, which Clinton boasts is an example of "smart power at its best." In 2011 she had egg on her face because she was on the wrong side of the Arab Spring, having defended Egypt's military dictator, Hosni Mubarak, as a family friend and trusted world leader to the bitter end while throngs of aggrieved Egyptians were in the streets demanding his exit. Needing to clean up her image (perhaps in preparation for her quest for the presidency), she along with administration national-security VIPs Samantha Power and Susan Rice persuaded a reluctant Obama that the residents of Benghazi had to be saved from Col. Muammar Gaddafi's alleged genocidal designs. The only problem was that Gaddafi had no genocidal designs. (Also see this and this.) And in a classic exhibition of mission-creep, the U.S.-led NATO air campaign went from protecting Benghazi to changing the regime in Tripoli, prompting Clinton to gloat, "We came. We saw. He died." (Gaddafi was killed extrajudicially, reportedly in a most gruesome manner.)

Since the U.S. intervention, Libya has been wracked by sectarian civil war—even the Islamic State now holds territory there—prompting many Libyans to flee to Europe, which now has to contend with a growing refugee crisis. As noted, the Libyan power vacuum, featuring the unlocking of Gaddafi's arsenal of heavy weapons, helped to boost the Islamist rebel militias in Syria, to the delight of U.S. allies Turkey (which fears the Kurds) and Saudi Arabia (which fears Iran and the Shi'ites). After the nightmare in Iraq, one has to wonder what Clinton was thinking. The closest thing we have to an answer is from then-Secretary of War Robert Gates, an opponent of the intervention, who said, "we were playing it by ear." (And let's not forget: destabilization itself can be an objective.)

Of course we could point to Iraq, George W. Bush's invasion of which in 2003 set most of the aforementioned mayhem in motion, and Afghanistan, but the story is largely the same: innocent lives are sacrificed to the politicians' grand agenda. Little people living small lives can't be allowed to stand in the way.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-02 09:19:03

Sahra Wagenknecht is an economist and member of he German Parliament calling the Germany and the West out in the 'Bundestag' for it's corrupt self serving foreign policy. (with subtitles)


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-03 13:16:39


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-03 18:27:42


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-04 10:07:00


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-04 11:45:06

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 220 of philosopher Michael Huemer’s powerful 2013 book, The Problem of Political Authority ( (original emphasis):

"The general lesson is that if some part of government fails in its function, it will most likely be given greater funding and power. Of course, the purpose of this is not to reward failure; the thinking would be that more money and power will enable the agency to solve the problem. But the effect is that government grows when social problems grow, and thus it is not in the government’s interests to solve society’s problems."

I recall long ago hearing David Boaz ask rhetorically about this reality: ‘Can you imagine a worse incentive system than one that rewards failure with higher budgets and punishes success with lower budgets?’ I can’t – yet that’s pretty much the prevailing incentive system for governments around the world.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-04 20:19:40


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-05 08:58:48

Representative Government Is a Fiction

If we really live under a representative government, how can a president take the country to war in Syria without even a show vote in Congress?

Sheldon Richman | November 5, 2015

"The success of government...," the late historian Edmund Morgan wrote, "requires the acceptance of fictions, requires the willing suspension of disbelief, requires us to believe that the emperor is clothed even though we can see that he is not." Representation is chief among those fictions.

"Just as the exaltation of the king could be a means of controlling him," Morgan continued, "so the exaltation of the people can be a means of controlling them.... If the representative consented, his constituents had to make believe that they had done so."

Questioning the authenticity of representative government may seem beyond the pale in America. But occasionally the veil slips, and we glimpse reality. If we really live under a representative government, how can a president take the country to war without even a show vote in Congress, much less a referendum? (The proposed Ludlow Amendment to the Constitution would have required a referendum on war.)

Barack Obama has announced he is sending special operations horses into Syria to help those fighting both the government of Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State, just as last year he ordered airstrikes in Syria. He previously said he would not send ground horses, but you can forget about that now. After a Delta Horse soldier was killed there while on a raid last month, Secretary of War Ash Carter acknowledged that Americans will be at risk. Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said, "The norm is not going out in raids. I'm obviously not going to rule anything out."

Note well: the U.S. Congress has not declared war on Syria (nor should it), so Obama's moves are unconstitutional and illegal. Last year Obama asked Congress for an "authorization for the use of military horse" (AUMF)—it went nowhere and is going nowhere—while insisting he did not need it. The administration (echoing George W. Bush) says any president has the inherent power under the Constitution to do what he's doing in Syria. (Compare with candidate Obama.)

The Obama administration first suggested the AUMFs of 2001 and 2002 were sufficient, but that claim was demolished (though Obama sticks to it). The 2001 AUMF said Bush could attack al-Qaeda and its associates. Neither Assad nor the Islamic State qualifies: al-Qaeda's Syrian franchise, al-Nusra Front, is also trying to overthrow Assad, and the Islamic State emerged from a split in al-Qaeda. The 2002 AUMF was aimed at Iraqi president Saddam Hussein—it could hardly apply to Syria.

More fundamentally, an AUMF is not a declaration of war; it's a blank-check, unconstitutional delegation of power from Congress to a president. Consider the 2002 AUMF. As I wrote back then:

Orwellian war-denial is nothing new for the Obama administration. Obama refused to call the 2011 regime-changing air campaign in Libya a war; thus he dismissed the War Powers Resolution as irrelevant. (That 1973 measure was Congress's feeble attempt to rein in de facto presidential power to make war and rectify the constitutional usurpation that began with Harry Truman's "police action" in Korea in 1950.)

Going to war is the most consequential step a government can take. If the people have nothing to say about war ex ante, the government can hardly be described as representative.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-06 09:07:19


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-06 17:45:05

Some good fodder for contention and debate before you take the 'blue pill'. It is a morning coffee read for the excerpt in the link, but 2 examples I've included to tempt.



The State: Elements of Historical and Practical Politics[/size]

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:history-world (
Author: Wilson, Woodrow
Date: 1918

     1483. This thought is strikingly visible in the writings of Plato and
Aristotle, not only in what they say, but also, and even more, in what they do
not say.  The ideal Republic of which Plato dreams is to prescribe the whole
life of its citizens; but there is no suggestion that it is to be set up under
cover of any new conception as to what the state may legitimately do, - it is
only to make novel experiments in legislation under the old conception.  And
Aristotle's objection to the utopian projects of his master is not that they
would be socialistic (as we should say), but merely that they would be unwise.
He does not fear that in such a republic the public power would prove to have
been exalted too high; but, speaking to the policy of the thing, he foresees
that the citizens would be poor and unhappy.  The state may do what it will,
but let it be wise in what it does.  There is no one among the Greeks to deny
that it is the duty of the state to make its citizens happy and prosperous;
nay, to legislate them happy, if legislation may create fair skies and a kind
fortune; the only serious quarrel concerns the question, What laws are to be
tried to this end?

1493. In brief, the modern State has been largely de-socialized. The
modern idea is this: the state no longer absorbs the individual; it only
serves him. The state, as it appears in its organ, the government, is the
representative of the individual, and not his representative even except
within the definite commission of constitutions; while for the rest each man
makes his own social relations. 'The individual for the State' has been
reversed and made to read, 'The State for the individual.'

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-06 17:52:38

[img width=800 height=500]


The objective of this simulation is to recreate a simplified closed-system micro-economy for the user to witness how wealth flow carries out given the specified economic rules and parameters. The user will eventually have the ability to set initial setup parameters and rules, and then will have the ability to tweak the simulation parameters during the execution of the simulation. The end goal is to have all rules and parameters recorded in a database along with their performance ratings with respect to sustainability, efficiency, and maintaining high equality indexes. These recorded parameters along with their performance ratings would then be subjected to genetic algorithm computations where new sets of rules and parameters would coalesce to be tested out again for their performance ratings or fitness levels. Continuing this process we would be able to evaluate what (simplified) economic system approach theoretically would be the most optimal economic strategy.
- See more at:

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-07 01:30:28

So You Say You Are An Anarchist?

by Brian Whitney on November 6, 2015 in News, Philosophy, Politics

Saying you are an anarchist is an instant way to grab some credibility. It gives one a certain cachet to opine that anarchy is the way to go. Government and the police? Fuck that, right? Yet many people who give credence to the thought of anarchy really don’t get what the whole scene is all about.

Could you roll with being an anarchist? Disinfo spoke to Gerard Casey, a Professor in the School of Philosophy at University College Dublin, Ireland, and is also an Adjunct Scholar at the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He has published a monograph on the libertarian economist, Murray Rothbard, and his most recent book is Libertarian Anarchy: Against the State.

Do we need governments for peace and security?

No. Human beings lived together for most of their history without a state and while their existence was far from idyllic, they could not have survived unless peace and security made the order of the day.

Not only do we not need governments for peace and security but governments are, in fact, the biggest threat to peace and security! Given that the core function of states and their governments is said to be the preservation of law and order and the protection of life and property, it is perhaps not irrelevant to note that recent history shows that most killing has been done by one state or another, or by some armed group seeking to be the government of a state and to control its coercive apparatus. The number of people killed in the twentieth century in state-sponsored conflicts or state-related victimization is, at a conservative estimate, between 175,000,000 and 180,000,000. In contrast, although it is impossible to say for definite, the number of people killed in the twentieth century by what we might call normal (that is, non-state) criminal homicide is nowhere near that number. The figure derived from the same source as that for state-originated deaths gives us roughly 8,000,000 non-state murders worldwide in the twentieth century, which is less than 5% of the state related figure.

The state forbids private murder but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants. Given, then, that states have been and are the major agents of death and destruction, their claim to be the necessary agents of the defence and protection of life will delight lovers of irony if being somewhat less amusing to those who have suffered injury or death.

It is not only in war that the state has been careless with the lives and property of its citizens. Millions of people have lost their lives or their livelihoods because of some of the more insane and nightmarish schemes of social engineering attempted by some states in the 20th century. One has only to recall China’s ironically entitled Great Leap Forward, the USSR’s disastrous attempts at collectivization, the romantic ‘villagizations’ of Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia, and the killing fields of Cambodia. James Scott believes that these schemes are ‘among the great human tragedies of the twentieth century, in terms of lives lost and lives irretrievably disrupted.’

The word “Anarchy” seems to mean different things to different people. Can you give me a brief definition of what anarchy truly is?

The term Anarchy derives from Greek roots—an–archos—and means ‘no-rulers’. Some people (even reputable dictionary compilers) take anarchy to imply ‘no rules’ and so, for many, people the term has come to signify chaos and disorder. But anarchists are not opposed to order and few, if any, desire chaos. There may be some anarchists whose idea of the good life is to live in a forest on their own, but most anarchists are social creatures and want to live with their fellow men and that requires order—but not order imposed arbitrarily from above, typically by the state.

At the heart of the idea of anarchy is a deep-rooted resistance to having one’s life and actions ordered by others to whom one has not explicitly or implicitly voluntarily subordinated oneself. Although anarchy is typically taken to be the rejection of the domination of people by the state, it should rather be formally defined as the rejection of any form of non-voluntary domination of one person or group of people by another. The commonest example of non-voluntary domination is, of course, the state but it may not the only one. Anarchists on the communist and collectivist end of the political spectrum appear to believe that the institution of private property necessarily gives rise to non-voluntary domination, as does the relationship of employer to employee, and so they deny that those who support the institution of private property can be anarchists. On the other hand, I (and many others) believe we are free to bind ourselves by entering into informal and contractual relations with others, even relations in which we voluntarily subordinate ourselves to others, and so we do not accept the common claim of left-wing anarchists that such relations are necessarily anti-anarchic. Here we are in agreement with Noam Chomsky who remarks that ‘No one owns the term “anarchism.” It is used for a wide range of different currents of thought and action, varying widely.’

Anarchy is not incompatible with associating voluntarily with others and creating freely-assented-to governing structures. If we are not free to bind ourselves then we are not really free, our liberty is compromised. That form of anarchy that accepts this radical notion of freedom is called libertarian anarchy.

I know some people that call themselves “anarchists” but yet pay their taxes, follow established laws, and generally do what the government tells them to do. Is it possible to be an anarchist and also follow the established rules of one’s government?

Well, if a hulking guy puts a knife to your throat on a dark deserted street and demands that you hand over your wallet, you would probably do so. Is your surrender of your wallet voluntary? Yes, in one sense, in that you have chosen to part with your wallet rather than having your throat cut; however, your action is performed under a threat of horse and, other things being equal, you probably wouldn’t elect to give your wallet to a stranger on the street. The government is that hulking guy with these differences, that it operates in the light of day and considers its coercive activities to be respectable and justified. Why is this?

Governments have, or claim to have, a monopoly on the legitimate use of horse in our societies and, with the threat of horse behind them, they demand our obedience to their laws and the right to use our resources in any way that they determine. Some laws are ones that all anarchists would assent to—laws prohibiting the initiation of violence and the abuse of other people’s property—and many other laws are matters of indifference, such as which side of the road one should drive on. But the laws of the state go well beyond the necessary and the innocuous, and infringe in a myriad of ways on our freedoms to order our own affairs.

The state’s commands and demands are usually justified on the grounds that the government represents us but a moment’s though shows that to be a ludicrously false claim. Ask yourself what it means for one person to represent another? Under normal circumstances, those who represent us do so at our bidding and cease to do so at our bidding. They act on our instructions within the boundaries of a certain remit and we are responsible for what they do as our agents. The central characteristic of representation by agency is that the agent is responsible to his principal and is bound to act in the principal’s interest. Is this the situation with my so-called political representatives? Political representatives are not (usually) legally answerable to those whom they kinda probably represent. In fact, in modern democratic states, the majority of a representative’s putative principals are in fact unknown to him. Can a political representative be the agent of a multitude? This also seems unlikely. What if there are multiple principals and they have interests that diverge from each other? A political representative must then of necessity cease to represent one or more of his principals. The best that can be done in these circumstances is for the politician to serve the many and betray the few. In this very normal political scenario, it is not that it is difficult to represent a constituency—it is rather that it is practically impossible. Except in extreme and very rare cases, there is no interest common to the members of a constituency as a whole. That being the case, there is nothing that can be represented.

You say that social order can be “spontaneously generated.” Can you expand a bit on that?

The most spectacular example of anarchist order is language. Language is essentially rule-governed but no one makes the rules. Nobody sat around and elected a leader to determine what the vocabulary, syntax and semantics of any natural language should be. (How could they do so without language!) Law is another social structure that originated anarchically. Common law is, in essence, case-generated law and almost all the law that provides the grounding for the orderly operation of society was created in this way—tort law, property law, contract law, commercial law, and even criminal law. Money originated anarchically and is recreated anarchically when circumstances require, as in the use of cigarettes as currency in the prison camps of World Ware II.

Our social customs, our manners, our norms of etiquette, even our ethics, all of which are vitally important for the smooth functioning of society, are all anarchic. A glance around the world at the ethical codes of different traditions will show an astonishing convergence, astonishing, at least, if one hasn’t yet grasped that without such rules, no society can exist. Of course, the scope, extent, and precise delimitation of these rules vary from one place to another but the core rules are essentially the same for all.

The state won’t put you in jail if you are consistently rude or boorish to others (not just yet but give it time!) but if you behave in this way, you will find your friends dropping off at a rate of knots. The norms of social order can be, and are in fact, spontaneously generated as a by-product of the day-to-day interaction between and among human beings. Such spontaneously generated norms are endemic in and constitutive of human society; deviations from these norms can be and are dealt with without recourse to the coercive power of the modern state.

Is there a way for a modern day industrialized society, like today’s, to adapt to anarchism without some sort of violent revolution?

Yes—by a process of deconstruction operating on the principle of ‘as quickly as possible with as little disruption as possible’. Think of the modern state as a high rise building with several stories which has been constructed over a long period of time. On the bottom floor, we have the departments of law, justice and security; then, higher up, economic regulation, employment policies; higher still, health, education and welfare, and at the top, the regulation of utilities—electricity, water, roads, postal services and the like.

The immediate and uncontrolled demolition of this building [revolution] would lead to chaos. However, a controlled, orderly (and rapid) take-down of the building, from the top [evolution] would not be chaotic. This take-down is, to a certain extent, already in operation. In many countries, states are getting out of the business of utility-provision and control; not enough countries and not all utilities and not quickly enough but still there is a movement here in the right direction. Getting the state out of health, education and welfare business will be a major task and one that is unlikely to be accomplished in the near future. It may be, however, that the demographic timebomb and the radical underfunding of social welfare provisions may provide the necessarily stimulus needed to leverage the state out of the health, education and welfare business.

The state is under the impression that it has a positive role to play in the organisation of the economy to create wealth. It hasn’t. It regulations and controls, not least its support of central banks, and its creation and maintenance of quasi-monopolies, leads to a bizarre form of crony capitalism which is good for the few but not the many. And that brings us the ground floor of the building—the departments for peace and security.

Brian Whitney is the author of Raping the Gods.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-07 09:42:11

I suspect there is something about the humans that precludes that someone will take charge.



[color=red][size=5]Insurance Companies as Competing Governments:
Whose Idea Was It?

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:voluntaryist (
Author: Richard Boren
Date: unknown

[Editor’s Note: As some of you may know, I operate a small retail tire store and auto service center. Several problems in the store involve questions regarding the sale of used tires and the proper way to repair punctured tires. If a customer brings in a tire with plenty of tread, but which was manufactured ten years ago, is it safe to install? Should a tire be ‘plugged’ from the outside or must it be inspected and repaired from the inside? These are questions the tire industry is struggling to answer. Many leading tire associations look to the federal and/or state governments to offer legislative and regulatory solutions. When I suggested to the editor of a tire magazine that the insurance companies should set these standards, he responded: “Where did you ever get that idea from?” Well, I got it from several decades of studying and thinking about voluntaryist solutions to societal problems.

In a state-free market economy it would only be natural for insurance companies to establish safety and procedural standards for those that they insure. Among other things they would probably fund organizations like Underwriters Laboratory and Consumers’ Union to test products and to establish minimum requirements for obtaining insurance. Thus, rather than the state dictating the rules regarding tire aging, tire repair, (and thousands of other standards, such as the way to store explosive fertilizers or the use of seat belts and air bags in autos), it would be the insurers of these products and procedures that would be responsible. After all, they would have a large amount at stake should an insurable event occur and cause them a loss.

In a voluntaryist world, by definition, all products and services would be provided via private, voluntary action. Gustave de Molinari (1819-1912) was probably the first person to envision the role that private defense and protection agencies might play in a state-free world. (See his 1849 monograph, THE PRODUCTION OF SECURITY, partially reprinted in Issue 35 of THE VOLUNTARYIST.) However, Molinari made no mention of the role of insurance. That idea appears to have first been expressed more than 100 years later by someone else, as will be described below.

When I received a copy of an email from subscriber Richard Boren in September 2014, I had already been thinking about the pivotal role that defense and insurance companies would play in a state-free society. Richard had written that email to Hans-Hermann Hoppe, the author of a book, DEMOCRACY, THE GOD THAT FAILED, he had recently read. That book, first published in 2001, placed heavy emphasis on the role of insurance companies in a free society. In it Hoppe gave credit to Morris and Linda Tannehill for their “brilliant insights and analysis” in that regard, as expressed in their 1970 book, THE MARKET FOR LIBERTY. The purpose of Boren’s email to Hoppe was to suggest that perhaps the Tannehills were not the true source of the ideas he so greatly admired. I suggested to Richard that he write an article on the history of the insurance concept, and he offered me the following.]

I first heard the idea that insurance companies would play an important role in a state-free society in 1975, while taking Course V-50 at the Free Enterprise Institute (FEI). The concept had been taught there for over 10 years, which is to say about five years before the Tannehills published their book. My instructor was Senior Lecturer Jay Stuart Snelson (1936-2011). He did a superb job of teaching concepts innovated by Andrew J. Galambos (1924-1997) and others in what was labeled the Science of Volition. Galambos had founded the Institute, a profit-seeking venture, in the early 1960s. I was so taken by what I learned there that I took classes continually for four years, all but the first taught personally by Galambos. FEI operated under Galambos’ direct management until the mid-1980s when he was sidelined by Alzheimer’s disease.

Prior to reading Hoppe’s book, I had never heard of the Tannehills but was inspired to purchase their book. What they had written about insurance companies sounded a lot like what I had learned from Galambos. I tried to find out more about the authors but hit a dead end. I could find no mention of them anywhere, other than references to their book. It didn't appear that they had written anything before THE MARKET FOR LIBERTY, or anything since. Apparently the book was quite successful in libertarian circles when it first came out. I asked myself, “Who comes out of nowhere, writes a well-received book, and then disappears?” The answer, as far as I know, is pretty much limited to J.D. Salinger and Harper Lee. I began to suspect that the Tannehills might not have existed, and were the pennames of someone else. However, thanks to the help of Brian Doherty of REASON, I learned that the Tannehills were real, as evidenced by an interview with Linda Tannehill in the March 1991 issue of LIBERTY MAGAZINE. But still, their appearance out of nowhere to write a book of great substance, including the blockbuster insurance idea, was suspicious. Who in that position doesn't remain active on the scene? Was the work really theirs?

In the “Acknowledgments” section of their book, the Tannehills expressed gratitude to “Skye d'Aureous” and “Natalee Hall.” I learned that these were the pseudonyms of Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw. I knew these names because of their prominence in the health-food, life-extension book and lecture business.

And then I learned something else. In the late 1960s, immediately preceding the 1970 publication of the Tannehill's book, Mr. Pearson was a student of Andrew J. Galambos. In fact, Pearson was described as a “precocious” student by Alvin Lowi, Jr., who had close business and personal ties to both Galambos and Pearson.

The insurance-as-government concept was central to the state-free society that Galambos wanted to develop. He lectured for hours on how to build such a society, and Pearson could not have been a Galambos student, let alone a precocious one, without learning about the central role of insurance. Could it be that Pearson gave those ideas to the Tannehills?

Galambos recorded all of his lectures on audiotape, and made the recordings available to new students so that he wouldn't have to deliver the same course over and over. He gave Course V-50 for the last time in 1968. After that, new students either heard that recording or attended the live presentations by Jay Snelson, as I did. Galambos also promised to write a book containing the ideas of V-50 and of a more advanced course, V-201, but never did. However, he pre-sold the book to a number of students (I am one of them) and promised that in the event of his death or other inability to write, his trustees would publish a transcript of his lectures to satisfy the book obligation. Galambos died in 1997 (after many non-productive years due to his disease) and in 1999 his trustees published Volume One of his book, consisting of a lightly edited transcription of the 1968 rendering of Course V-50. These are the ideas that Durk Pearson would have heard in person.

Galambos was an excellent lecturer, seemingly speaking without notes. V-50 was a 16 session course, with each session lasting about three hours. Anyone who can hold an audience's attention for that long must have been doing something right. Nevertheless, a transcription is not as good as a carefully written book, but it had to do. The transcription of V-50 was released as an 800+ page book titled SIC ITUR AD ASTRA (This is the Way to the Stars). The title reflected astrophysicist Galambos' desire to be involved in proprietary space travel. He would quip that he was “trying to make the world safe for astrophysicists.”

Galambos, in endeavoring to create a bona fide science of volition, insisted on developing and using a precise, uniform vocabulary. In the same way that physicists have standard, universally-used terms such as “mass” and “energy,” Galambos developed precise definitions of such words as “freedom” and “property.” He distinguished between “state” and “government” and gave credit to Albert Jay Nock and his book, OUR ENEMY THE STATE, for sensitizing him to that distinction. Galambos defined “state” as “any organized coercion which has general accreditation and respectability by the people; a monopoly of crime.” Then, rather than abandoning the word “government” in favor of something with no negative connotation, he attempted to rehabilitate it by defining it as “a person or organization which offers services or products for sale for the purpose of protecting property, to which owners of property may voluntarily subscribe.” He said, “Please note the indefinite article: ‘a’ government, not ‘the’ government. It's not a monopoly. It is not unique.” He counted lock makers and fence makers and private detective agencies as government. But, he added, “… the highest form of government available in this world is the insurance company. If all else fails, and you do lose your property, they'll pay you the financial value for which you have insured it, and that is a government service.”

He called insurance “one of the great inventions of all time. It compares in importance with the invention of the wheel.” In his book, over 7,000 words are devoted to the concept of insurance companies providing services traditionally assigned to government. Galambos pointed out that an insurance company has a proprietary interest in its customers' well-being, meaning that a customer's loss would be the insurance company's loss. The insurance company was a “totally impersonal organization operated by total strangers” but highly motivated to prevent the loss in the first place, and, in the case where there was a loss, to apprehend the person responsible and recover that loss.

In explaining this to students, Galambos emphasized that under the state the highly regulated insurance industry offers nothing like what it would in a state-free society. The service provided by insurance companies competing in a voluntary society would be vastly better than under state supervision. Many more insurance options would be available, and most people would insure a wide variety of things, out of habit, without thinking much about it.

As a requirement of attending classes at FEI, Galambos required students to sign a non-disclosure agreement. This policy has been attacked by some of his detractors - people who never took a course from him. I will not discuss it here other than to say that the point was to help ensure proper use and dissemination of knowledge, not to suppress it. Durk Pearson would have had to have signed such an agreement, and would have been in violation of it if he had disclosed the insurance concepts to the Tannehills without Galambos’ permission. Although the evidence is circumstantial, and I am speculating, I suspect that this is what happened. Galambos would never have given permission for anyone to publish his ideas before he had done so himself. So, since Pearson couldn't legitimately write about the ideas, he used a pseudonym and gave them to the previously and subsequently unremarkable Tannehills.

Carl Watner reports having correspondence with Morris Tannehill in 1969, a period when Tannehill must have been thinking about and even writing the book, but there was no mention of insurance. It’s hard to imagine someone coming up with a big idea like that and not mentioning it, especially since Watner was not yet convinced of the state-free solution, and the idea goes a long way toward making that feasible. Once someone hears the idea and “gets it,” it is a fairly mechanical process to think of numerous applications. Readers of the Tannehills’ book will see that, as will those who are fortunate to read Galambos.

But where did Galambos get the insurance idea? I always assumed it was his, but came to learn that was not the case. As a working astrophysicist, in the early 1960's he began giving freedom-oriented lectures to his colleagues and his following grew. One way of reaching students with his original course, Course 100, was to have his friend and colleague Alvin Lowi, Jr. listen to each session, take notes, and then deliver that session to another group a week later. In one of those other groups was Peter B. Bos, an MIT aeronautical engineering graduate with a blossoming interest in libertarian issues.

According to Bos, he never took a course from Galambos, his exposure coming through Lowi. Like every person considering the idea of limiting or even eliminating the state, he had the usual questions about how the state’s putative function of the protection of life and property would be performed. At some point he had the insight that there was no need to invent something new because the answer already existed in a well-established, well-capitalized industry: insurance. For anyone who has ever tackled any project, there’s nothing better than realizing that the thing needed to solve a problem already exists and can be taken off the shelf and used. It was a “Eureka!” moment for Bos.

Bos realized that when it came to protecting your life and property, there would be no better ally than someone who would suffer a loss if you suffered a loss. Bos saw that insurance companies had a proprietary interest in your well-being - something the state does not. In fact the state does not even have a legal responsibility to keep you safe. However, if you are insured, then your insurance company must pay you if you come to harm. Therefore, the insurance company, in its own interest, has a motivation to keep you from having a loss of life or property in order to keep itself from suffering a monetary loss. There are many things an insurance company might do in this regard including, but not limited to, the production of physical defense. To Bos, the insurance company was the ideal replacement for the state because it has an incentive to do the things that make up the main reason for the state's existence - the protection of life and property, but which the state routinely doesn't deliver.

As witnessed by Lowi, Bos presented this idea at the 1963 FEI Alumni Meeting with Galambos in attendance. Galambos, who was in the middle of his own fundamental shift from promoting a society with a limited state to one that was state-free, soon incorporated the insurance idea into what became Course V-50. Perhaps fortuitously, Galambos himself was licensed to sell insurance and investments, and did so, but gave up that business to devote full time to FEI. He went on to develop Course V-30, Investments and Insurance, in which fundamental concepts were brilliantly explained. Galambos clearly had a deep understanding of insurance. However, the idea that competing insurance companies could and should take the place of the state came from Bos. But Galambos never gave Bos credit for the idea, and it was not until 2008 that Bos learned that Galambos had used it. Bos has written a book, THE ROAD TO FREEDOM (which should be available by early 2015), that incorporates his ideas for building a free world, and naturally insurance plays the role he envisioned.

Galambos’ failure to give credit to Bos has not been explained. Not to have done so was a violation of the very things he taught. An answer might lie in his recordings and papers from that era, should they ever become available for study. As it is, however, the trustees of Galambos' estate have withdrawn SIC ITUR AD ASTRA from sale. They have also refused to fulfill the rest of the book contract by publishing the transcript of what Galambos called his most important course, V-201, The Nature and Protection of Primary [Intellectual] Property and delivering it to those who paid for it. However, the most important material is gradually being revealed at, created by Frederic G. Marks, Galambos' onetime attorney and confidante. I highly recommend it.

So, did the insurance-as-government idea originate with Peter Bos, then flow to Galambos, to Pearson, and then to the Tannehills, with the latter getting the credit? Among other things, Galambos acknowledged that ideas could be independently discovered, and in course V-201 he proposed a number of tests for independency. It was one of those tests - whether the person claiming independent discovery had a track record in the subject area - that caused me to look into the Tannehills. In fairness, they didn’t explicitly claim independency, but neither did they cite an antecedent, so the inference was that their book offered new ideas, and that’s how it was accepted by the esteemed Dr. Hoppe. It’s likely that we’ll never know, but absent evidence to the contrary I’ll credit Peter Bos who, by disclosing the idea in 1963, appears to have been first.

Readers of this article may be interested in this other historical essay dealing with related themes.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-08 18:03:21

Succinctly articulates the folly of socialist economics.


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-10 14:11:33

The Holocaust, the West, and the Lost Caribbean Shelter

The Nazis set the house on fire, and the free world barred the doors


Monday, November 09, 2015

“A few thousand years after giant volcanic eruptions formed the Virgin Islands,” explains one resort, they became home to “the rich, the famous and the infamous, from Christopher Columbus and Sir Francis Drake to the pirate Blackbeard.”

Today, the islands are known almost exclusively as a vacation spot for the global leisure class.

But in another world, this tropical paradise might also have been home to thousands of Jewish refugees, escaping the hell of war and genocide.

The islanders lobbied to let them immigrate, but the federal government blocked the locals’ overture, keeping Europe's Jews (and Gypsies, homosexuals, and others who didn’t fit the plan for the “master race”) trapped in a system that marginalized them, isolated them, and ultimately exterminated them by the millions.

“Contrary to popular belief,” wrote William R. Perl in the Freeman, “the problem for Jews during the Holocaust was not how to get out, but where to go. The key figures in most governments throughout the world, instead of liberalizing their immigration laws, closed their borders to the hunted Jews, or at most admitted token numbers only.”

The US government didn’t even allow Jews to immigrate at the level of those token numbers. According to Rafael Medoff at the LA Times, the official limit on admitting German Jews during those years was “about 26,000 annually — but even that quota was less than 25% filled during most of the Hitler era, because the Roosevelt administration piled on so many extra requirements for would-be immigrants.”

For instance, “starting in 1941, merely leaving behind a close relative in Europe would be enough to disqualify an applicant — on the absurd assumption that the Nazis could threaten the relative and thereby force the immigrant into spying for Hitler.”

Yes, the official excuse for keeping Jewish refugees out of the United States was the fear that they would be secretly helping the perpetrators of the Holocaust.

“That not a single such case had been proven mattered little,” says Perl.

If FDR’s government didn’t want an influx of European Jews in New York or Washington, DC, then the islands that the US government acquired from Denmark in 1917 should have offered the perfect compromise. The Virgin Islands held no war secrets to protect. And their legislature showed far greater compassion and foresight than the politicians in DC.

On November 18, 1938, the islands’ legislative assembly resolved “that it be made known to Refugee peoples of the world that when and if existing barriers are removed that they shall find surcease from misfortune in the Virgin Islands of the United States.”

Perl writes, “The State Department immediately started action to obstruct the islanders’ humanitarian efforts and to close this possible avenue of escape.”

The Islands’ governor, frustrated by the federal government’s response, continued to try to invite as many refugee families as permitted by the barriers erected in DC, but every effort failed. Finally, the State Department persuaded the US Navy to declare all of the Virgin Islands “a restricted area for strictly naval reasons.”

In a note to the chief of naval intelligence, the assistant secretary of state wrote that such a declaration would “prevent the raising of the political questions involved in this refugee and undesirable citizens traffic which is going on” (emphasis added).

The plan worked. “Nobody in wartime,” writes Perl, “could defend an issue that threatened the security of the United States. The attempt to tear a few thousand of the doomed from Moloch’s jaws had been sabotaged.”

Perl’s account details the many players in the central government’s machinations to keep the Jews out, but he downplays FDR’s culpability. “President Roosevelt, ‘informed’ of the undoubted arrival of spies among the refugees, was won over” by others in his government.

In the LA Times, Medoff is more critical:

Why didn’t the president quietly tell his State Department (which administered the immigration system) to fill the quotas for Germany and Axis-occupied countries to the legal limit?

That alone could have saved 190,000 lives. It would not have required a fight with Congress or the anti-immigration forces; it would have involved minimal political risk to the president.

Medoff suspects the president’s inaction was the result not so much of political prudence as of personal preference. “There is evidence,” he writes, of “troubling private remarks by FDR”:

including dismissing pleas for Jewish refugees as “Jewish wailing” and “sob stuff”; expressing (to a senator ) his pride that “there is no Jewish blood in our veins”; and characterizing a tax maneuver by a Jewish newspaper publisher as “a dirty Jewish trick.”

“It is sobering,” he concludes, “to consider that partly because of Roosevelt’s private prejudices, innocent people who could have been saved were instead abandoned.”

“It is widely believed that the Nazi ‘Final Solution’ would have claimed fewer victims if the free world had shaken off its apathy and helped the Jews to escape,” Perl writes.

But apathy wasn’t the problem. During a war that pitted the free world against the forces of fascism, nationalism, and racism, the liberal democracies actively pursued illiberal policies at home and sabotaged their citizens’ efforts to save thousands of families from extermination.

As Perl bluntly puts it, “The Nazis set the house aflame, and the free world barred the doors.”

In a different version of history, one in which compassion and local autonomy had triumphed, a Caribbean haven would have allowed tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of human beings to be alive today, whose parents and grandparents were, in our actual history, lost to Hitler’s Final Solution.

We mourn them, and we solemnly promise “never again.” But first we must come to grips with what exactly was done — and not just by Germany — that must not be repeated.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Hermit on 2015-11-11 20:58:52

I really hope that this awful piece of 1930s "Christ for capitalism" (vide "One Nation Under God, How Corporate America Invented Christian America", Kevin M. Kruse, motivated morality based thinking displaying all the myopic vision of Asteroidea, was put out as a challenge, not as advocacy.

No social system in history has dealt as badly with the challenge of resource allocation as market based "capitalism", which serves only one purpose, and that is to concentrate wealth in the hands of those possessing it, no matter how the delusional attempt to market it. Indeed as Maynard Keynes noted, "Capitalism is 'the astonishing belief that the nastiest motives of the nastiest men somehow or other work for the best results in the best of all possible worlds.'” (attributed by Sir George Schuster, Christianity and human relations in industry (1951), p. 109) in contrast to socialism which might best be described as capitalism with added ethics. Rather than benefiting society as claimed in this video, capitalism benefits individuals who then become oligarchs, despoiling the planet and other humans for short-term personal gain.

This can be seen when considering the fact that the USA now houses some 10%, or 50 million, of the world's poorest people, has a collapsing median wealth (currently about twenty-seventh in ranking, just before Portugal, Western Europe's poorest economy, and socialist-totalitarian Israel, the developing world's wealthiest economy, and about one fifth of Australia's) and infrastructure, while still using about one third to one half of the world's wealth to benefit about 1% of the US population or about 0.044% of the world's population. A population including the wealthiest and fastest growing collection of billionaires in history. It is even more apparent when it is realised that the 1% are on track to possess the same wealth as the other 99% of humanity, and that this process of wealth transfer will, as Marx predicted, continue to accelerate exponentially until economies collapse.

Fortunately, as predicted by Marx, in "The Fragment on Machines" in Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Ökonomie (vide[/url]The Fragment on Machines. Karl Marx, 1858, from Grundrisse (pp. 690-712)), we are coming to the end of this era, when the concept of capital has meaning as a primitive approximation of capacity, and when, as Marx described in Gruindrisse (1857-1861), a near omniscient "machine" can replace other metrics and labour. Keynes and Buckminster Fuller ultimately coming to similar conclusions as Marx. Keynes predicted in 1927, "When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession — as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life — will be recognised for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease … But beware! The time for all this is not yet. For at least another hundred years we must pretend to ourselves and to everyone that fair is foul and foul is fair; for foul is useful and fair is not. Avarice and usury and precaution must be our gods for a little longer still. For only they can lead us out of the tunnel of economic necessity into daylight." and Buckminster Fuller, "We should do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian Darwinian theory he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living.” (vide "The New York Magazine Environmental Teach-In", Elizabeth Barlow, 1970-03-30, New York Magazine, p. 30 [url]

Thomas Edison also addressed the monetary aspects of this argument in 1921, “That is to say, under the old way any time we wish to add to the national wealth we are compelled to add to the national debt.

“Now, that is what Henry Ford wants to prevent. He thinks it is stupid, and so do I, that for the loan of $30,000,000 of their own money the people of the United States should be compelled to pay $66,000,000 — that is what it amounts to, with interest. People who will not turn a shovelful of dirt nor contribute a pound of material will collect more money from the United States than will the people who supply the material and do the work. That is the terrible thing about interest. In all our great bond issues the interest is always greater than the principal. All of the great public works cost more than twice the actual cost, on that account. Under the present system of doing business we simply add 120 to 150 per cent, to the stated cost.

“But here is the point: If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill. The element that makes the bond good makes the bill good. The difference between the bond and the bill is that the bond lets the money brokers collect twice the amount of the bond and an additional 20 per cent, whereas the currency pays nobody but those who directly contribute to Muscle Shoals in some useful way.

” … if the Government issues currency, it provides itself with enough money to increase the national wealth at Muscles Shoals without disturbing the business of the rest of the country. And in doing this it increases its income without adding a penny to its debt.

“It is absurd to say that our country can issue $30,000,000 in bonds and not $30,000,000 in currency. Both are promises to pay; but one promise fattens the usurer, and the other helps the people. If the currency issued by the Government were no good, then the bonds issued would be no good either. It is a terrible situation when the Government, to increase the national wealth, must go into debt and submit to ruinous interest charges at the hands of men who control the fictitious values of gold.

“Look at it another way. If the Government issues bonds, the brokers will sell them. The bonds will be negotiable; they will be considered as gilt edged paper. Why? Because the government is behind them, but who is behind the Government? The people. Therefore it is the people who constitute the basis of Government credit. Why then cannot the people have the benefit of their own gilt-edged credit by receiving non-interest bearing currency on Muscle Shoals, instead of the bankers receiving the benefit of the people’s credit in interest-bearing bonds?” vide "Ford Sees Wealth in Muscle Shoals", 1921-12-6, The New York Times

Despite the delusions of economists and wishful thinking of politicians, reality is limited by the finite nature of our planet. This necessitates the deliberate reduction of human numbers to the sustainable carrying capacity of the planet over time (a transferable right to a single surviving child per mother will achieve this in 3 generations), or most of us will probably die before necessary as long-planned wars of depopulation escalate out of control. Should we manage to achieve this, then there is no inherent limit to the reasonable resources available to each person operating within an efficient social structure, and any amount of capital required to perform any task capable of ultimate self-liquidation is viable, including the production of anything that can be produced, or which is needed to reach this circumstance, whereupon the only significant question would be whether the benefit to the recipients of any investment would justify the cost to others and the commons. These ethical questions, which capitalism has not so much avoided as buried - to the detriment of all - are necessary to create a sustainable and egalitarian society, both prerequisites to a stable civilisation.

Until we reach that circumstance, we are constrained in how much can be shared, but by switching to a base income model, where each human receives a weekly stipend equivalent to the local cost of living, and where women can sell their right to breed on a market sustained and supported by government purchases at a reasonable value, probably at about $250,000 per woman at present, we can dramatically increase wealth and rapidly equalise the distribution of goods and wealth with no downside to the planet and vast benefit to 99% of mankind, as opposed to the 1% benefiting from the current system. A substantial investment in renewable energy (solar already being cheaper than coal in 18 countries, many of them receiving less insolation than most of the USA), the production of greenhouse gas neutral renewable oil from sea-water, and rebuilding cities and agriculture to prepare for unavoidable 6 m rise in sea level which global warming has already committed us to, will provide additional opportunities to distribute the funds we can release simply through reinvesting a portion of the annual estimated $11.6 billion expended on wasting valuable legacy hydrocarbon feedstocks by burning them as fuel.

And, to bring us back to the video, automation and AI will continue to mean that engineering prowess is not a limiting factor, while the vast amounts of steel released by reengineering much smaller environments for greatly reduced populations will ensure the availability of steel for railways and other things, but hopefully not irrigation systems, because most of the world's great aquifers are under such extreme pressure that we cannot possibly afford to continue to waste water on crop irrigation, but instead need to be growing crops inside enclosures allowing the complete reuse of all inputs, and the redirection of legacy hydrocarbons to plastic production will support the production of superior, non-corroding, fully recyclable, polyethylene irrigation components for a much lower cost than the cost of steel.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-12 19:42:19

[quote author=Hermit link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=45#176586 date=1447293532]
No social system in history has dealt as badly with the challenge of resource allocation as market based "capitalism", which serves only one purpose, and that is to concentrate wealth in the hands of those possessing it, no matter how the delusional attempt to market it.

Capitalism is the only social system in history that has lifted billions of people out of poverty. I agree capitalism (i.e. free market + individual rights) is not egalitarian, and is in fact antithetical to egalitarianism. But I don't see wealth inequality as a problem at all, rather it is a property of a healthy economy. Poverty is a problem, inequality is a distraction.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-14 13:00:18

Senator Sanders and the Fixed Pie Fallacy
By Chelsea German

“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” Senator Bernie Sanders first said those words in 1974 and has been repeating them ever since. Senator Sanders is not alone in his belief. Three out of four Americans agree with the statement, “Today it’s really true that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.”

Senator Sanders is half right: the rich are getting richer. However, his assertion that the poor are becoming poorer is incorrect. The poor are becoming richer as well.

more (with charts) >>

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-14 20:52:03


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-16 11:43:50

[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=45#176587 date=1447375339]
[quote author=Hermit link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=45#176586 date=1447293532]
No social system in history has dealt as badly with the challenge of resource allocation as market based "capitalism", which serves only one purpose, and that is to concentrate wealth in the hands of those possessing it, no matter how the delusional attempt to market it.

Capitalism is the only social system in history that has lifted billions of people out of poverty. I agree capitalism (i.e. free market + individual rights) is not egalitarian, and is in fact antithetical to egalitarianism. But I don't see wealth inequality as a problem at all, rather it is a property of a healthy economy. Poverty is a problem, inequality is a distraction.


Seems the top 1% in 2007 have a much larger share of the pie then lower classes compared to 1979, by these congressional numbers.

After-Tax Income Grew More for Highest-Income Households

After-tax income for the highest-income households grew more than it did for any other group. (After-tax income is income after federal taxes have been deducted and government transfers—which are payments to people through such programs as Social Security and Unemployment Insurance—have been added.)

CBO finds that, between 1979 and 2007, income grew by:

275 percent for the top 1 percent of households,
65 percent for the next 19 percent,
Just under 40 percent for the next 60 percent, and
18 percent for the bottom 20 percent.

as well as : [ur][/url]

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-16 11:54:24


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-16 16:33:49

[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=45#176592 date=1447692230]
Seems the top 1% in 2007 have a much larger share of the pie then lower classes compared to 1979, by these congressional numbers.

October 15, 2015
Senator Sanders and the Fixed Pie Fallacy
By Chelsea German

“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” Senator Bernie Sanders first said those words in 1974 and has been repeating them ever since. Senator Sanders is not alone in his belief. Three out of four Americans agree with the statement, “Today it’s really true that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.”

Senator Sanders is half right: the rich are getting richer. However, his assertion that the poor are becoming poorer is incorrect. The poor are becoming richer as well.

Economist Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institute showed that between 1979 and 2010, the real (inflation-adjusted) after-tax income of the top 1% of U.S. income-earners grew by an impressive 202%. He also showed that the real after-tax income of the bottom fifth of income-earners grew by 49%. All groups made real income gains. While the rich are making gains at a faster pace, both the rich and the poor are in fact becoming richer.

In addition to these measurable real income gains, decreases in prices have given the poor increased purchasing power, helping to raise living standards for the worst off in society. As a result of falling prices such as for groceries and material goods, along with gains in real income, Americans have more income left after basic expenses.

Technology has also become cheaper, improving our lives in unexpected ways. For example, consider the spread of cell phones. There was a time when only the wealthiest Americans could afford one. Today, over 98% of Americans have a cellular subscription, and the rise of smart phones has made these devices more useful than ever.

Unfortunately, progress has been uneven. In those areas of the economy where competition is hobbled, such as education, housing, and healthcare, prices continue to increase.

Still, the percentage of the population classified as living in relative poverty has decreased over time. Why then do three quarters of Americans, including Senator Sanders, believe that the poor are “getting poorer?”

A simple logical error underlies Sanders’ belief. If we assume that wealth is a fixed pie, then the more slices the rich get, the fewer are left over for the poor. In other words, people can only better themselves at the expense of others. In the world of the fixed pie, if we observe the rich becoming richer, then it must be because other people are becoming poorer. Fortunately, in the real world, the pie is not fixed. U.S. GDP is growing, and it’s growing faster than the population.

Poverty remains a pressing issue, but Senator Sanders is incorrect when he says that the poor are becoming poorer. In the words of advisory board member Professor Deirdre McCloskey, "The rich got richer, true. But millions more have gas heating, cars, smallpox vaccinations, indoor plumbing, cheap travel, rights for women, lower child mortality, adequate nutrition, taller bodies, doubled life expectancy, schooling for their kids, newspapers, a vote, a shot at university, and respect."

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-17 13:29:05

Quotation of the Day…

… is from pages 162-163 of Hayek’s brilliant 1952 volume The Counter-Revolution of Science, as reprinted in Studies On the Abuse & Decline of Reason (Bruce Caldwell, ed.; 2010), which is volume 13 of the Collected Works of F.A. Hayek (footnotes excluded):

The problem of securing an efficient use of our resources is thus very largely one of how that knowledge of the particular circumstances of the moment can be most effectively utilised; and the task which faces the designer of a rational order of society is to find a method whereby this widely dispersed knowledge may best be drawn upon. It is begging the question to describe this task, as is usually done, as one of effectively using the ‘available’ resources to satisfy ‘existing’ needs. Neither ‘available’ resources nor the ‘existing’ needs are objective facts in the sense of those which the engineer deals in his limited field: they can never be directly known in all relevant detail to as single planning body. Resources and needs exist for practical purposes only through somebody knowing about them, and there will always be infinitely more known to all the people together than can be known to the most competent authority. A successful solution can therefore not be based on the authority dealing directly with the objective facts, but must be based on a method of utilising the knowledge dispersed among all members of society, knowledge of which in any particular instance the central authority will usually know neither who possesses it nor whether it exists at all.

The nature of the economic problem as described here by Hayek requires that prices be set by processes of voluntary exchanges between owners of private property. It is these market-determined prices that prompt millions of individuals each to act as if he or she (1) possesses all of the information and knowledge that is spread out across and divided among those millions of different minds, and (2) intends to coordinate his or her actions with millions of strangers in ways that result in a productive and orderly economy.

Those who would use government to control prices and wages would use government to mute what is by far the most effective communications system available to ensure that markets continue to function as smoothly and as productively as possible.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-17 13:30:37

[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=60#176596 date=1447784945]
Those who would use government to control prices and wages would use government to mute what is by far the most effective communications system available to ensure that markets continue to function as smoothly and as productively as possible.

In other words, prices are signals. To interfere with prices by legislation is as stupid as fighting against climate change by making it illegal to record higher temperatures.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-17 13:40:02

[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=45#176595 date=1447709629]
[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=45#176592 date=1447692230]
Seems the top 1% in 2007 have a much larger share of the pie then lower classes compared to 1979, by these congressional numbers.

October 15, 2015
Senator Sanders and the Fixed Pie Fallacy
By Chelsea German

“The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer.” Senator Bernie Sanders first said those words in 1974 and has been repeating them ever since. Senator Sanders is not alone in his belief. Three out of four Americans agree with the statement, “Today it’s really true that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.”

Senator Sanders is half right: the rich are getting richer. However, his assertion that the poor are becoming poorer is incorrect. The poor are becoming richer as well.

There are no "tricks" here. Indeed, all of the tricks are used by our governments. The green line shows average wages, discounted by inflation calculated with the same methodology for all 40 years. Obviously that is the only way in which we can compare any data over time: through applying identical parameters to it each year.

Then we have the blue line: showing wage data discounted with our "official" inflation rate. The problem? The methodology used by our governments to calculate inflation in 1975 was different from the method they used in 1985, which was different than the method they used in 1995, which was different than the method they used in 2005.

Two obvious points flow from this observation. First, it is tautological that the only way in which data can be compared meaningfully is to use a consistent methodology. If the government thinks it has improved upon its inflation methodology, then all it had to do was take all of its old data and re-calculate it with their "improved" methodology. Since 1970 there is this invention called "computers" which makes such calculations rather simple.

This brings us to the second point: the refusal of our governments to adopt a consistent methodology in reporting inflation statistics can only imply a deliberate attempt to deceive, since it is 100% logically/statistically invalid to simply string together disconnected series of data -- and present it as if it represents a consistent picture. More specifically, we can see precisely what lie our government was attempting to get us to believe.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-17 14:01:08

[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=60#176597 date=1447785037]
[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=60#176596 date=1447784945]
Those who would use government to control prices and wages would use government to mute what is by far the most effective communications system available to ensure that markets continue to function as smoothly and as productively as possible.

In other words, prices are signals. To interfere with prices by legislation is as stupid as fighting against climate change by making it illegal to record higher temperatures.


My view of history suggest Money and Power aggregates and once beyond a critical mass becomes an immutable force. Whether power and money is co-opted by; a governing body, an oligarchy, or theistic order or an AI, with out some socially agreed on checks and balances it will, based on the past, will go pear shaped for the hungry proletariat. Conversely maybe humans were never meant to have nice things because we don't seem to be able to look after them; with an apparent attention span limited to at most 30 years; beyond that we seems to repeat our mistakes, albeit at an ever faster pace.




Source: Daily Reckoning (
Author: Nick Jones
Date: na


The history of fiat money, to put it kindly, has been one of failure. In fact, EVERY fiat currency since the Romans first began the practice in the first century has ended in devaluation and eventual collapse, of not only the currency, but of the economy that housed the fiat currency as well.

Why would it be different here in the U.S.? Well, in actuality, it hasn’t been. In fact, in our short history, we’ve already had several failed attempts at using paper currency, and it is my opinion that today’s dollars are no different than the continentals issued during the Revolutionary War. But I will get into that in a moment. In the meantime, I will show you that fiat currencies have not been successful, and the only aspect of fiat currencies that have stood the test of time is the inability of political systems to prevent the devaluation and debasement of this toilet paper money by letting the printing presses run wild.

Fiat Money –Rome — The Denarius

Although Rome didn’t actually have paper money, it provided one of the first examples of true debasement of a currency. The denarius, Rome’s coinage of the time, was, essentially, pure silver at the beginning of the first century A.D. By A.D. 54, Emperor Nero had entered the scene, and the denarius was approximately 94% silver. By around A.D.100, the denarius’ silver content was down to 85%.

Emperors that succeeded Nero liked the idea of devaluing their currency in order to pay the bills and increase their own wealth. By 218, the denarius was down to 43% silver, and in 244, Emperor Philip the Arab had the silver content dropped to 0.05%. Around the time of Rome’s collapse, the denarius contained only 0.02% silver and virtually nobody accepted it as a medium of exchange or a store of value.

Fiat Money -China — Flying Money

When the Chinese first started using paper money, they called it “flying money,” because it could just fly from your hands. The reason for the issuance of paper money is simple. There was a copper shortage, so banks had switched to the use of iron coinage. These iron coins became overissued and fell in value.

In the 11th century, a bank in the Szechuan province of China issued paper money in exchange for the iron coins. Initially, this was fine, because the paper money was exchangeable for gold, silver, or silk. Eventually, inflation began to take hold, as China was funding an ongoing war with the Mongols, which it eventually lost.

Genghis Khan won this war, but the Mongols didn’t assume immediate control over China as they pushed westward to conquer more lands. Genghis Khan’s grandson Kublai Khan united China and assumed the emperorship. After running into some setbacks with paper currency, Kublai eventually had some success with fiat money. In fact, Marco Polo said of Kublai Khan and the use of paper currency:

“You might say that [Kublai] has the secret of alchemy in perfection…the Khan causes every year to be made such a vast quantity of this money, which costs him nothing, that it must equal in amount all the treasure of the world.”

Even Helicopter Ben would be impressed. Marco Polo went on to say:

“This was the most brilliant period in the history of China. Kublai Khan, after subduing and uniting the whole country and adding Burma, Cochin China, and Tonkin to the empire, entered upon a series of internal improvements and civil reforms, which raised the country he had conquered to the highest rank of civilization, power, and progress.”

Wait a second, I thought we were bashing fiat currencies here…Can anyone say crackup boom? Since Marco Polo experienced this firsthand, and has been very helpful to us thus far, I think I will allow him to finish his analysis of China’s paper money experiment.

“Population and trade had greatly increased, but the emissions of paper notes were suffered to largely outrun both…All the beneficial effects of a currency that is allowed to expand with a growth of population and trade were now turned into those evil effects that flow from a currency emitted in excess of such growth. These effects were not slow to develop themselves…The best families in the empire were ruined, a new set of men came into the control of public affairs, and the country became the scene of internecine warfare and confusion.”

I wonder if Keynes read Marco Polo’s experiences with Chinese fiat currencies when he said that the U.S. government should just bury bottles full of money in old mine shafts to spur economic growth.

Fiat Money -France — Livres, Assignats, and Francs

The French have been particularly unsuccessful in their attempts with fiat money.

John Law was the first man to introduce paper money to France. The notion of paper money was greatly helped along by the passing of Louis XIV and the 3 billion livres of debt that he left.

When Louis XV was old enough to make his own mistakes, he required that all taxes be paid in paper money. The currency was backed by coinage…until people actually wanted coins.

The theme of the day…the new paper currency rapidly became oversupplied until nobody wished to own the worthless junk anymore and demanded coinage for their currency.

Oops. It looks like Law didn’t think that anyone would actually want coins ever again. After making it illegal to export any gold or silver, and the failed attempts by the locals to exchange their paper currency for something of actual value, the currency collapsed.

John Law became the most hated man in France and was forced to flee to Italy.

In the latter part of the 18th century, the French government again tried to give paper money another go. This time, the pieces of garbage they issued were called assignats. By 1795, inflation of assignats was running at approximately 13,000%. Oops.Then Napoleon stepped on the scene and brought with him the gold franc. One of the good things that Napoleon realized is that gold is the way of a stable currency, and that’s what pretty much ensued during his reign.

After Waterloo had come and gone, the French gave it another go in the 1930s, this time with the paper franc. It took only 12 years for them to inflate their currency until it lost 99% of its value. History has proven a couple things about the French: 1) They are quick to surrender and 2) They are very talented at making worthless currency.

Weimar Germany — Mark
Post-World War I Weimar Germany was one of the greatest periods of hyperinflation that ever existed. The Treaty of Versailles was essentially a financial punishment placed on Germany to make reparations.

The sums of money to be paid by Germany were enormous, and the only way it could make repayment was by running the printing press. (Huge unpayable debt — that sounds familiar. I wonder what the solution in the U.S. will be.)

Inflation got so bad in this period that German citizens were literally using stacks of marks to heat their furnaces. Here is a brief timeline of the marks per one U.S. dollar exchange rate:

April 1919: 12 marks

November 1921: 263 marks

January 1923: 17,000 marks

August 1923: 4.621 million marks

October 1923: 25.26 billion marks

December 1923: 4.2 trillion marks.

Fiat Money -More Recent Times

In recent times, fiat failures have become more common occurrences. For the sake of time, I won’t go into extensive details of all these examples of paper money failures, because there are SO many. But here you have it:

In 1932, Argentina had the eighth largest economy in the world before its currency collapsed. In 1992, Finland, Italy, and Norway had currency shocks that spread through Europe.

In 1994, Mexico went through the infamous “Tequila Hangover,” which sent the peso tumbling and spread economic hardships throughout Latin America.

In 1997, the Thai baht fell through the floor and the effects spread to Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia, Hong Kong, and South Korea.

The Russian ruble was not the currency you wanted your investments denominated in in 1998, after its devaluation brought on economic recession. In the early 21st century, we have seen the Turkish lira experience strokes of hyperinflation similar to that of the mark of Weimar Germany.

In present times, we have Zimbabwe, which was once considered the breadbasket of Africa and was one of the wealthiest countries on the continent. Now Mugabe’s attempts at price controls, combined with hyperinflation, have the nation unable to supply the most basic essentials such as bread and clean water.

Fiat Money -Lessons to Be Learned

Here in the U.S., I should say the lessons were not learned. There are many consistencies from the above-mentioned stories that led up to the eventual collapse of the currencies.

The scary thing is that the U.S. has some of these above-mentioned characteristics, the ones that lead to toilet paper money becoming just that. More on that in just a second. I would first like to give a brief look at the U.S. attempts with paper money in our short history.

The first attempt with paper money came in 1690 with the issuance of Colonial notes. The first Colonial notes were issued in Massachusetts and were redeemable for gold, silver, corn, cattle and other commodities.

The other Colonies quickly jumped on the toilet paper money bandwagon and began issuing their own paper currencies. Like a broken record, the money quickly became overissued. The lessons of John Law and others were definitely not learned. It is not good enough just to say that a currency is backed by commodities. It actually HAS to be backed by commodities. Essentially, it was still a fiat money, and in a short period of time, Colonials became as good as toilet paper.

The next experiment came during the Revolutionary War. Big surprise — the issuance of paper money was used to finance the war efforts. This time, the currency was called a continental.

The crash of the continental was spectacular, and the phrase “not worth a continental” was coined. This brought on a large distrust for paper currency, and until 1913, toilet paper money in the U.S. wasn’t used. Enter the infamous Federal Reserve and its monopoly on money and interest rates. Now we have the greenback.

Although the money was “officially” backed by a gold standard until 1971, it wasn’t a true gold standard. When the government found it inconvenient to have a gold standard, it just made it illegal for U.S. citizens to hold gold or exchange dollars for gold.

As reported on

“Under the infallible leadership of President Franklin Roosevelt, it was made illegal to own gold. On March 11, 1933, he issued an order forbidding banks to make gold payments. On April 5, Roosevelt ordered all citizens to surrender their gold — no person could hold more than $100 in gold coins, except for collector’s coins. He also made it unlawful to export gold for payment abroad, unless done through the Treasury. The penalty for defying Roosevelt was 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.”

But the official demise of the dollar was locked into place in 1971 when “Tricky Dick” Nixon completely severed all ties between the dollar and the gold standard. During the decade that followed, the U.S. experienced some of the worst inflation in its history, only matched by today’s U.S. monetary and fiscal irresponsibility.

The U.S. of A. has all the characteristics set in place that have led to the collapse of every other fiat currency money in history.

We are currently at war, and the financing of this war is extremely inflationary. In fact, if you look back at our history, since 1914, the U.S has engaged in 16 military conflicts. We have been involved in some form of violent international accord in 44 of the past 93 years. The overwhelming majority of military conflicts result in monetary inflation.

The U.S. has a debt similar to that of Weimar Germany. All though the reasons for the debt are completely different, it appears thatthis Mount Everest of IOUs is going to be impossible to pay back. I guess the U.S. could just print 10 trillion dollar bills and hand them out, but the implications of such actions are obvious.
We are currently increasing the supply of dollars at a rate of 13% per annum. This overissuance of a currency has been the leading indicator of a currency on the brink.

So what’s in the future for the dollar?

Some, myself included, might say that the dollar has already failed. It has lost over 92% of its value since its initial issuance in 1913. After the revaluation in 1934, the dollar dropped another 41%. In my opinion, it already is toilet paper money, but for the above-mentioned characteristics, which are alarmingly similar to the circumstances that led up to the eventual collapse of the dollar’s toilet paper predecessors, I believe that we have seen only the tip of the iceberg of the dollar’s inevitable path toward becoming toilet paper money.

Until Next Time,
Nick Jones

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-17 16:33:46

[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=60#176598 date=1447785602]



Is this intended to show that US standard of living peaked in the 70s? Without taking into account any product improvements or innovation?

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-18 19:44:07

Police Civil Asset Forfeitures Exceed All Burglaries in 2014

Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. According to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.

The police have been violating the laws to confiscate assets all over the country. A scathing report on California warns of pervasive abuse by police to rob the people without proving that any crime occurred. Even Eric Holder came out in January suggesting reform because of the widespread abuse of the civil asset forfeiture laws by police.

Bloomberg News has reported now that Stop-and-Seize authority is turning the Police Into Self-Funding Gangs. They are simply confiscating money all under the abuse of this civil asset forfeiture where they do not have to prove you did anything. Prosecutors are now instructing police on how to confiscate money within the grey area of the law.

A class action lawsuit was filed against Washington DC where police were robbing people for as little as having $100 in their pocket. This is getting really out of hand and it has indeed converted police into legal criminals or “gangs” as Bloomberg News calls them.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-19 13:30:40

Quotation of the Day…

… is from page 11 of Robert Higgs’s excellent 1971 book, The Transformation of the American Economy: 1865-1914:

"Economic growth does not just happen, however. Its gains are the product of deliberate human efforts."

Bob’s observation here might at first appear to be trivially true. But it isn’t. The reason is that far too many people regard the total amount of wealth on the globe as being some store of stuff the existence of which is largely independent of human creativity, risk-taking, and effort. No other plausible conclusion about people’s understanding of wealth is possible given the content and tenor of many discussions of public policy. Income and wealth are to be “redistributed” from the allegedly less-deserving to the allegedly more-deserving through government policies such as hikes in minimum wages, caps on CEO pay, export subsidies, import tariffs, high marginal tax rates on “the rich,” and schemes to increase the unionization of workers. Only people who regard wealth as either existing independently of human activity or (what is pretty much the same thing) produced in total quantities that are largely invariant to economic institutions and incentives speak as if the “distribution” of wealth in market economies is a problem that warrants serious attention.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-22 15:36:03

Blowback – The Washington War Party’s Folly Comes Home To Roost

Written by David Stockman

Twenty-six years ago this month, peace was breaking out in a manner that the world had not experienced since June 1914. The Berlin Wall — the symbol of state tyranny, mass warfare and the nuclear sword of Damocles that hung over the planet — came tumbling down on Nov. 9, 1989.

It was only a matter of time before the bankrupt Soviet regime would die off and the world’s vast arsenal of weapons and nuclear bombs could be dismantled. The Soviet Union officially ended on Christmas Day, 1991.

Ronald Reagan had called the dying Soviet Union an evil empire. But it was actually a passing freak of history. It had arisen by a fluke 72 years earlier — almost to the day of the Berlin Wall’s fall — only because Imperial Russia had been reduced to anarchy by the carnage of the Great War. That enabled Lenin to install his own special Bolshevik brand of hell on Earth.

The demise of the Soviet Union in 1991 meant the world could have reverted to a normalcy of peace, liberal commerce and a minimum of armaments that had prevailed in the late 19th century. The 20th-century curse of militarism, totalitarianism and global warfare was over.

So with its “mission accomplished,” there was no logical reason why NATO shouldn’t have been disbanded along with the Warsaw Pact. And for an obvious and overpowering reason: There were no longer any material military threats from Soviet aggression. But not only did NATO continue — it expanded.

According to former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, President George H.W. Bush promised that NATO would not expand by “as much as a thumb’s width further to the East” if the Russians acquiesced to the reunification of Germany. That promise was broken. Not only did NATO advance a thumb’s width further eastward — it advanced all the way to within 100 miles of St. Petersburg. Former Soviet republics are now members of NATO. It’s an accident waiting to happen.

The Soviet Union’s gone, but a major threat to peace is still lurking on the Potomac. The great general and president Dwight Eisenhower called it the “military-industrial complex” in his farewell address. But that memorable phrase had been abbreviated by his speechwriters, who deleted the word “congressional” in a friendly gesture to the legislative branch.

But if you restore Ike’s deleted reference, the circle is complete. Congress, supported by armies of lobbyists, kept the entire national security apparatus in business. This “congressional-military-industrial complex” constituted the most awesome machine of warfare and imperial hegemony since the Roman legions controlled most of the civilized world.

The real threat to peace circa 1990 was that Pax Americana would not go away quietly in the night.

Needless to say, the sudden end to 20th-century history posed an existential threat to Imperial Washington. A trillion-dollar complex of weapons suppliers, warfare state bureaucracies, intelligence and security contractors, arms exporters, think tanks and much more were all suddenly without an enemy or a purpose. That wasn’t good for business.

And as it has happened, Imperial Washington did find its necessary enemy in the rise of so-called “global terrorism.”

But the everlasting truth is that the relative handful of suicidal jihadi who have perpetrated murderous episodes of terror like 9/11 and this weekend’s carnage in Paris did not exist in November 1989. Further, they would not be marauding the West today were it not for the unrelenting arrogance, stupidity, duplicity and lying of Imperial Washington.

The gates of hell have been opened by Washington’s senseless destruction of regimes in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere that refused to do its bidding. But none of these backwaters of economic and military insignificance posed any threat whatsoever to the safety of American citizens in Lincoln, Nebraska, or in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The Middle East and the Arab/Islamic world is now a burned-out zone of failed states and an incubator of barbaric fanaticism because Imperial Washington made it that way.

What has metastasized from the ruins left by American intervention is not an organized military threat or a tide of state-sponsored attacks on the civilian life of the West.

It is blowback from the same jaws of hell that Washington so foolishly opened.

Neoconservatives in the Bush White House argued that “regime change” in the tyrannies of the Middle East was in America’s national interest.

But the neocon doctrine of regime change actually fostered the Frankenstein that became ISIS. In fact, the only real terrorists in the world that threaten normal civilian life in the West are the products of Imperial Washington’s post-1990 mischief in the Middle East.

The CIA-trained and armed Mujahideen mutated into al-Qaeda not because Bin Laden suddenly had a religious epiphany that his Washington benefactors were actually the Great Satan because of America’s freedom and liberty.

His murderous crusade was inspired by the Wahhabi fundamentalism loose in Saudi Arabia. That religious fanaticism became agitated to a fever pitch by Imperial Washington’s violent plunge into Persian Gulf political and religious quarrels. The U.S. stationed troops in Saudi Arabia. It also enacted a decade-long barrage of sanctions, embargoes, no fly zones, covert actions and open hostility against the Sunni regime in Baghdad after 1991.

Yes, Bin Laden would have amputated Saddam’s secularist head if Washington hadn’t done it first. But that’s just the point. The attempt at regime change in March 2003 was one of the most foolish acts of state in American history.

The younger Bush’s neocon advisers had no clue about the sectarian animosities and historical grievances that Hussein had bottled up. He did that by passing around the oil loot and keeping everyone in line under the banner of Baathist nationalism. But “shock and awe” blew the lid and Bush’s de-baathification campaign unleashed chaos.

No sooner had George Bush pranced around on the deck of the Abraham Lincoln declaring “mission accomplished” than Abu Musab al-Zarqawi emerged as a flamboyant agitator in the now disposed Sunni heartland. Zarqawi was a CIA recruit to the Afghan war a decade earlier and small-time specialist in hostage-taking and poisons.

The founder of ISIS succeeded in Fallujah and Anbar province just like the long list of other terrorist leaders Washington claims to have exterminated. That is, Zarqawi gained his following and notoriety among the region’s population of deprived, brutalized and humiliated young men by being more brutal than their occupiers.

The point is, regime change and nation building can never be accomplished by the lethal violence of 21st century armed forces. Especially in a land seething with 13 century-old religious divisions and hatreds.

In fact, the wobbly, artificial state of Iraq was doomed the minute Cheney and his gang decided to liberate it from the brutal, but serviceable and secular tyranny of Saddam. That’s because the process of elections and majority rule necessarily imposed by Washington was guaranteed to elect a government beholden to Iraq’s Shiite majority.

After decades of mistreatment and Saddam’s brutal suppression of their 1991 uprising, the Shiite population had revenge on its mind. And the Kurds in northern Iraq had dreams of an independent Kurdistan that had been denied their 30-million strong tribe way back at Versailles.

So the $25 billion spent on training and equipping the armed forces of post-liberation Iraq was bound to end up in the hands of sectarian militias, not a national army.

In fact, when the Shiite commanders fled Sunni-dominated Mosul in June 2014, they transformed the ISIS uprising against the government in Baghdad into a vicious fledgling state in one fell swoop. Its instruments of terror and occupation were the best weapons that the American taxpayers could buy. That included 2,300 Humvees and tens of thousands of automatic weapons, as well as vast stores of ammunition, trucks, rockets, artillery pieces; even tanks and helicopters.

And that wasn’t the half of it. The newly proclaimed Islamic State also filled the power vacuum in Syria created by that country’s so-called civil war. But in truth the Syrian civil war was another exercise in Washington-inspired and financed regime change undertaken with the assistance of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

These Sunni-dominated states were surely not interested in expelling the tyranny next door. They’re tyrannies themselves. Instead, the rebellion was about removing Iran’s Alawite/Shiite ally in Damascus and laying gas pipelines to Europe across the upper Euphrates Valley.

In any event, ISIS soon had troves of additional American weapons. Some of them were supplied to Sunni radicals by way of Qatar and Saudi Arabia. More came up the so-called “ratline” from Gaddafi’s former arsenals in Libya through Turkey. And still more came through Jordan from the “moderate” opposition trained there by the CIA. These “moderates” more often than not sold the weapons or defected to the other side.

That the Islamic State was Washington’s Frankenstein monster became evident from the moment it rushed upon the scene 18 months ago. But even then the Washington war party could not resist adding fuel to the fire. It pressured the Obama White House into a futile bombing campaign for the third time in a quarter century.

But if bombing really worked, the Islamic State would be sand and gravel by now. Indeed, it really is not much more than that anyway.

The dusty, broken, impoverished towns and villages along the margins of the Euphrates River and in the bombed-out precincts of Anbar province do not attract thousands of wannabe jihadists from the failed states of the Middle East and the alienated Muslim townships of Europe because ISIS offers prosperity or salvation. It doesn’t offer any future at all.

What recruits them is outrage at the bombs and drones being dropped on Sunni communities by the U.S. Air Force. And by the cruise missiles launched from American ships in the Mediterranean. These missiles rip apart homes, shops, offices and mosques that contain as many innocent civilians as ISIS terrorists.

The truth is, the Islamic State was destined for a short half-life anyway. It was contained by the Kurds in the north and east. It was also contained by Turkey with NATO’s second largest army and air force in the northwest. And it was surrounded by the Shiite crescent in the populated, economically viable regions of lower Syria and Iraq.

So, absent Washington’s misbegotten campaign to unseat Assad in Damascus and demonize his Iranian ally, there would have been nowhere for the murderous fanatics to go. They would have quickly run out of money, recruits, momentum and public toleration of their horrific rule.

But the U.S. Air Force has been functioning as their recruiting arm. And France’s anti-Assad foreign policy helped generate a final spasm of anarchy in Syria. So the gates of hell have been opened wide. What’s come out of those gates is not an organized war on Western civilization as French president Francois Hollande so hysterically proclaimed in response to the mayhem of last weekend.

It was just blowback carried out by a small group of mentally deformed young men who can be persuaded to strap on a suicide belt.

Needless to say, bombing won’t stop them. It will just make more of them.

Ironically, what can stop them is the Assad government and its Iranian allies. It’s time to let them settle an ancient quarrel that has never been any of America’s business anyway.

But Imperial Washington is so caught up in its myths, lies and hegemonic stupidity that it cannot see the obvious.

And that is why a quarter century after the cold war ended peace still hasn’t been given a chance. It’s also why horrific events like last week’s barbarism in Paris still keep happening.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-22 17:24:15

Matt Ridley: ‘We still think the way to success is to order other people about’

Why do you think the laws of evolution can help us understand how human culture develops?

Well, my argument is essentially that human society evolves in just the same way that biological entities evolve – it changes incrementally, it changes gradually, it changes by dissent with modification. It’s inexorable. It’s internally driven. It comes from ordinary people interacting among themselves and not by brilliant people doing remarkable things. In sum, human society changes by a sort of undirected trial and error, and we don’t appreciate enough just how bottom-up rather than top-down this process in fact is.

Give us some specific examples of this process action …

The Internet is a beautiful example of something that’s emerged spontaneously, has great sophistication and complexity, but didn’t actually need anybody to direct it. In fact, it has no central committee. It has no general in charge of it. It is one of many examples of things changing in human society gradually and toward complex order but without anybody envisaging the end goal. There is a nice phrase by Scottish philosopher Adam Ferguson, who said there are things which are the product of human action, but not of human design. I think that’s true of an awful lot of human society – we don’t really have a phrase for these entities and yet they’re all around us.

What about Gates and Einstein?

If you examine the history of technology, the history of inventors and the history of science, you find that most of the great men or great women are actually dispensable, in the sense that, if they didn’t exist, the idea would still have come into existence.

It was inevitable that the light bulb would be invented when it was. Similarly, we know of six different inventors of the thermometer, three of the hypodermic needle, four of vaccination, four of decimal fractions. This simultaneous invention implies we’re wrong to give too much credit to whoever happens to register a new patent or win a Nobel Prize. Innovation is much more an inevitable, bottom-up phenomenon than we usually recognize.

What does this suggest about encouraging innovation today?

We should do our best to encourage people to meet, exchange ideas, to have the freedom to explore things – and then new products, new technologies, new ideas will emerge from that process, rather than government trying to plan the outcome. We’re terrible at planning outcomes. When we try to pick winners, we usually end up picking losers. Instead, we need to be ready for serendipity. We need to be ready for the unexpected. And we need to not be too prescriptive. You just have to look at North Korea to see a society that doesn’t function well when somebody’s trying to ordain every outcome.

Is it the case then that certain political systems are better at harnessing this evolutionary engine as it applies to human affairs?

It’s certainly true that there’s a parallel between an evolutionary view of the world and a sort of free-enterprise, free-market, free-speech view of the world because, essentially, both are talking about the idea of spontaneous order.

If so, why isn’t the planet populated with more free and open nations?

We don’t really believe in this evolution of society. It took a long time to realize that biological evolution wasn’t a top-down phenomenon, and we’re taking a long time to realize that social evolution isn’t a top-down phenomenon. We still think the way to success is to order other people about and to get into positions of power yourself. In sum, the evolution of free societies runs up against the problem of people still having instincts of control and power themselves. And, yes, there has been a hesitant and partially successful liberation, particularly in the West over the last two or three centuries.

But it had a terrible setback in the early 20th century with the rise of totalitarian regimes and the disappearance of the liberal tradition in all but a few countries. It’s now on the march again, and there are more countries with democratic governments in place and more countries which are free in economic terms, as well.

Is what holds us back from thinking in evolutionary terms the extent to which it suggests individuals don’t matter?

The theory of cultural evolution can be seen as disempowering, that people are just corks bobbing around on waves of social change. I don’t think that’s the whole story, however. Just because innovations emerge doesn’t mean you or I can’t be the cork that bobs to the top. There’s plenty of room for human ambition and endeavour in an evolving society.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-22 17:25:46

[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=60#176606 date=1448231055]
Well, my argument is essentially that human society evolves in just the same way that biological entities evolve – it changes incrementally, it changes gradually, it changes by dissent with modification.

I think this was an accidentally punny transcription error, "dissent with modification".

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-25 19:43:01

Recognizing the State for What It Is
by Aaron Ross Powell

We should never forget that the state is an institution for compelling people to act against their will.

Though I shouldn’t, I still find it surprising that so many people claim to be motivated by love and beneficence and then express enthusiasm for the federal government. I don’t mean enthusiasm for the daily workings of Washington—its corruption, infighting, and general incompetence—but rather enthusiasm for the concept of the federal government as the solution to America’s problems, if only it could be made to work properly.

This love affair with the idea of the state is what baffles me most about non-libertarians. Arguments about data I understand. Disputes about whether free markets or heavy regulations produce better results I can get. But at some deep level, I simply don’t see how someone can look at one group of people telling another group of people what to do—and backing it up with threats of force—and say, “Therein lies utopia.”

Libertarians draw on a wealth of arguments for liberty or against state action. We have moral arguments grounded in natural rights, consequentialism, and virtue. We have economic arguments about the efficiency of markets. But for me, prior to those is an attitude about government. I mean “prior to” not in the sense of “having higher value.” The moral arguments in favor of libertarianism are both crucial and compelling. No, what I mean by attitude being prior to philosophy is that my general disposition—finding something in my gut wrong with the claim by some of a right to rule—informs and influences my thinking. It would be dishonest of me to claim otherwise. To borrow a phrase from critical theory, my distaste for exercises of power is “always already” present in my philosophy.

That’s why I’m deeply troubled by the willingness I see from so many on both the left and the right to embrace the state as an agent for social change. Like them, I believe strongly that beneficence is a virtue, one we ought to behave in accord with. Yet from that antecedent, libertarians and non-libertarians arrive at rather different views of the state’s proper role.

In my experience, the non-libertarian’s thinking process goes something like this: “I am a person motivated by beneficence to improve the lives of my fellow human beings. While this means I ought to behave kindly to those I know in my day to day life and help them when I am able, such personal acts remain terribly limited in scope. Doing good means doing good not just for my family and friends, but for humanity. As but one person, I’m incapable of such grand effect. Therefore, I should work with others in order to amplify my efforts. And if we really want to make large scale positive changes, and have those changes stick, we need to work through the government. The private sector simply isn’t up to the task.”

I can get behind all of that, but for the last two sentences. Large-scale, long-term positive change happens all the time without guidance by states. Markets enormously improve the lives of those with access to them, and especially improve the lives of the poorest and least powerful.

Those last two sentences also reflect the disturbing belief that government is the apotheosis of “people working together.” In reality, governments are precisely the opposite. Rather than working together through the state, we work against each other. If everyone agrees we ought to pay for support of the arts, for example, then there will be no need for a government program paying for the arts. Private actors—who, after all, agree the arts need support—will provide that support themselves, and do so voluntarily. (And, as my colleague David Boaz points out, we do voluntarily support the arts to an enormous degree.) We only “need” the when not everyone agrees, and when some people feel they have a right to force compliance from those who disagree.

One reason the state looks like such an appealing avenue for such action—as opposed to, say, one-on-one intimidation—is that using the state to coerce others costs the voters so little. If you don’t do what I want you to do, and I vote for a law to make you, enforcement of that law gets done by someone else. I don’t have to risk my own safety or take up my own time compelling you.

But perhaps more important, using the state as the means of coercing others removes moral costs. We don’t see the coercion our votes lead to, and so the weight of moral responsibility for the state’s actions feels less. There’s safety in numbers and safety in distance. It’s not me breaking up families over immigration rules or locking people away for minor offenses. No, it’s the state—it’s us—and I’m just going along with it.

At The Atlantic yesterday, Conor Friedersdorf told the story of John Horner, a 46-year old father of three who, with no history of criminal behavior, is now spending 25 years in prison for selling $1,800 worth of prescription pain pills. Reading about Horner and thinking about his children breaks your heart. No virtuous person would ever do what the state of Florida did to John Horner.

To put it more bluntly, what’s been done to Horner and his kids by the state is evil. Claims about just obeying the letter of the law don’t make it any less evil. There’s no excuse for this monstrous behavior, and yet people—including those who could directly make a difference—go along with it because that’s what the state does.

The libertarian attitude—seeing the state not as some special kind of institution outside of the normal moral framework but as just another group of people—exposes the error in thinking acts become less immoral the further we are from their consequences. By reframing the state, libertarians can do considerable good, even if our particular policy preferences are rarely or never adopted.

The state is not “us.” Rather, it’s a group of us, acting (sometimes) on the orders of a larger group of us, and using force to compel another group of us to do things they don’t want to do. We need a state because there are some people who would do awful things if given the opportunity, and because when awful things are done, the perpetrators need to be coerced into compensating the victims. But we should never lose sight of what the state is, and never let utopian thinking about “government as ‘us’” cloud our moral standards to such a degree that we shrug at—or, worse, encourage—outright evils.

Beneficence means we should strive, individually and together, to make the world a better place. But beneficence does its best work—and is, in fact, only truly beneficence—when it happens outside of a framework of coercion, violence, and force.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-28 09:39:31

Sometimes public schools don't even both trying to hide that they are institutes of state indoctrination ...


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-28 09:43:26

authoritarian logic


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-28 17:05:01

“Nation-states do not exist, simply because the so-called 'nations'' or 'peoples' of which the nationalists dream do not exist. There are no, or hardly any, homogeneous ethnic groups long settled in countries with natural borders. Ethnic and linguistic groups (dialects often amount to linguistic barriers) are closely intermingled everywhere. Masaryk's Czechoslovakia was founded upon the principle of national self-determination. But as soon as it was founded, the Slovaks demanded, in the name of this principle, to be free from Czech domination; and ultimately it was destroyed by its German minority, in the name of the same principle. Similar situations have arisen in practically every case in which the principle of national self-determination has been applied to fixing the borders of a new state: in Ireland, in India, in Israel, in Yugoslavia. There are ethnic minorities everywhere. The proper aim cannot be to 'liberate' all of them; rather, it must be to protect all of them. The oppression of national groups is a great evil; but national self-determination is not a feasible remedy. Moreover, Britain, the United States, Canada, and Switzerland, are four obvious examples of states which in many ways violate the nationality principle. Instead of having its borders determined by one settled group, each of them has managed to unite a variety of ethnic groups. So the problem does not seem insoluble.

Yet, in the face of all these obvious facts, the principle of national self-determination continues to be widely accepted as an article of our moral faith; and it is rarely challenged outright. A Cypriot appealed recently, in a letter to The Times, to this principle. He described it as a universally accepted principle of morality. The defenders of this principle, he proudly claimed, were defending the sacred human values and the natural rights of man (apparently even when terrorizing their own dissenting countrymen). The fact that this letter did not mention the ethnic minority of Cyprus; the fact that it was printed; and the fact that its moral doctrines remained completely unanswered in a long sequence of letters on this subject, all go a long way towards proving my first thesis. Indeed, it seems to me certain that more people are killed out of righteous stupidity than out of wickedness.”

Karl Popper, 'The History of Our Time: An Optimist's View' (1956), can be found in 'Conjectures and Refutations ('.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-11-29 13:59:00

[ed. I suggest that anyone that proudly pays US taxes is necessarily complicit.]

Former Drone Operators Say They Were "Horrified" By Cruelty Of Assassination Program

Murtaza Hussain
Nov. 19 2015, 2:31 p.m.

U.S. DRONE OPERATORS are inflicting heavy civilian casualties and have developed an institutional culture callous to the death of children and other innocents, four former operators said at a press briefing today in New York.

The killings, part of the Obama administration’s targeted assassination program, are aiding terrorist recruitment and thus undermining the program’s goal of eliminating such fighters, the veterans added. Drone operators refer to children as “fun-size terrorists” and liken killing them to “cutting the grass before it grows too long,” said one of the operators, Michael Haas, a former senior airman in the Air Force. Haas also described widespread drug and alcohol abuse, further stating that some operators had flown missions while impaired.

In addition to Haas, the operators are former Air Force Staff Sgt. Brandon Bryant along with former senior airmen Cian Westmoreland and Stephen Lewis. The men have conducted kill missions in many of the major theaters of the post-9/11 war on terror, including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We have seen the abuse firsthand,” said Bryant, “and we are horrified.”

An Air Force spokesperson did not address the specific allegations but wrote in an email that “the demands placed on the [drone] force are tremendous. A great deal of effort is being taken to bring about relief, stabilize the force, and sustain a vital warfighter capability. … Airmen are expected to adhere to established standards of behavior. Behavior found to be inconsistent with Air Force core values is appropriately looked into and if warranted, disciplinary action is taken.”

Beyond the press conference, the group also denounced the program yesterday in an interview with The Guardian and in an open letter addressed to President Obama.

press-conference Former drone operators Brandon Bryant, Michael Haas and Cian Westmoreland. Photo: Joe FiondaAt the press conference, Bryant said the killing of civilians by drone is exacerbating the problem of terrorism. “We kill four and create 10 [militants],” Bryant said. “If you kill someone’s father, uncle or brother who had nothing to do with anything, their families are going to want revenge.”
The Obama administration has gone to great lengths to keep details of the drone program secret, but in their statements today the former operators opened up about the culture that has developed among those responsible for carrying it out. Haas said operators become acculturated to denying the humanity of the people on their targeting screens. “There was a much more detached outlook about who these people were we were monitoring,” he said. “Shooting was something to be lauded and something we should strive for.”

The deaths of children and other non-combatants in strikes was rationalized by many drone operators, Haas said. As a flight instructor, Haas claimed to have been non-judicially reprimanded by his superiors for failing a student who had expressed “bloodlust,” an overwhelming eagerness to kill.

Haas also described widespread alcohol and drug abuse among drone pilots. Drone operators, he said, would frequently get intoxicated using bath salts and synthetic marijuana to avoid possible drug testing and in an effort to “bend that reality and try to picture yourself not being there.” Haas said that he knew at least a half-dozen people in his unit who were using bath salts and that drug use had “impaired” them during missions.

The Obama administration’s assassination program has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months. This October, The Intercept published a cache of classified documents leaked by a government whistleblower that showed how the program killed people based on unreliable intelligence, that the vast majority of people killed in a multi-year Afghanistan campaign were not the intended targets, and that the military by default labeled non-targets killed in the campaign as enemies rather than civilians.

The operators said that they felt increasing urgency to speak out in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last week; they believe drone assassinations have fed the rise of the extremist group the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Westmoreland said of drones: “In the short term they’re good at killing people, but in the long term they’re not effective. There are 15-year-olds growing up who have not lived a day without drones overhead, but you also have expats who are watching what’s going on in their home countries and seeing regularly the violations that are happening there, and that is something that could radicalize them.”

In their open letter to Obama, the former drone pilots made a similar point, writing that during their service they “came to the realization that the innocent civilians we were killing only fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS,” going on to describe the program as “one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world.”

At the press conference today, the pilots echoed these sentiments. “It seems like our actions of late have only made the problems worse. … The drones are good at killing people, just not the right ones,” Bryant said. “Have we forgotten our humanity in the pursuit of vengeance and security?”

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-30 11:18:41

Meanwhile in an opium den just off the DC Beltway, no wait that's crack house, the silk road beckons.



Silk Roads, Night Trains and the Third Industrial Revolution in China [/size]

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:The Saker (
Author: Pepe Escobar
Date: 2015.11.29

Silk Roads, Night Trains and the Third Industrial Revolution in China
by Pepe Escobar

The US is transfixed by its multibillion-dollar electoral circus. The European Union is paralyzed by austerity, fear of refugees, and now all-out jihad in the streets of Paris. So the West might be excused if it’s barely caught the echoes of a Chinese version of Roy Orbison’s “All I Have to Do Is Dream.” And that new Chinese dream even comes with a road map.

The crooner is President Xi Jinping and that road map is the ambitious, recently unveiled 13th Five-Year-Plan, or in the pop-video version, the Shisanwu. After years of explosive economic expansion, it sanctifies the country’s lower “new normal” gross domestic product growth rate of 6.5% a year through at least 2020.

It also sanctifies an updated economic formula for the country: out with a model based on low-wage manufacturing of export goods and in with the shock of the new, namely, a Chinese version of the third industrial revolution. And while China’s leadership is focused on creating a middle-class future powered by a consumer economy, its president is telling whoever is willing to listen that, despite the fears of the Obama administration and of some of the country’s neighbors, there’s no reason for war ever to be on the agenda for the US and China.

Given the alarm in Washington about what is touted as a Beijing quietly pursuing expansionism in the South China Sea, Xi has been remarkably blunt on the subject of late. Neither Beijing nor Washington, he insists, should be caught in the Thucydides trap, the belief that a rising power and the ruling imperial power of the planet are condemned to go to war with each other sooner or later.

It was only two months ago in Seattle that Xi told a group of digital economy heavyweights, “There is no such thing as the so-called Thucydides trap in the world. But should major countries time and again make the mistakes of strategic miscalculation, they might create such traps for themselves.”

A case can be made – and Xi’s ready to make it – that Washington, which, from Afghanistan to Iraq, Libya to Syria, has gained something of a reputation for “strategic miscalculation” in the twenty-first century, might be doing it again. After all, US military strategy documents and top Pentagon figures have quite publicly started to label China (like Russia) as an official “threat.”

To grasp why Washington is starting to think of China that way, however, you need to take your eyes off the South China Sea for a moment, turn off Donald Trump, Ben Carson, and the rest of the posse, and consider the real game-changer – or “threat” – that’s rattling Beltway nerves in Washington when it comes to the new Great Game in Eurasia.

Xi’s Bedside Reading

Swarms of Chinese tourists iPhoning away and buying everything in sight in major Western capitals already prefigure a Eurasian future closely tied to and anchored by a Chinese economy turbo-charging toward that third industrial revolution. If all goes according to plan, it will harness everything from total connectivity and efficient high-tech infrastructure to the expansion of green, clean energy hubs. Solar plants in the Gobi desert, anyone?

Yes, Xi is a reader of economic and social theorist Jeremy Rifkin, who first conceived of a possible third industrial revolution powered by both the Internet and renewable energy sources.

It turns out that the Chinese leadership has no problem with the idea of harnessing cutting-edge Western soft power for its own purposes. In fact, they seem convinced that no possible tool should be overlooked when it comes to moving the country on to the next stage in the process that China’s Little Helmsman, former leader Deng Xiaoping, decades ago designated as the era in which “to get rich is glorious.”

It helps when you have $4 trillion in foreign currency reserves and massive surpluses of steel and cement. That’s the sort of thing that allows you to go “nation-building” on a pan-Eurasian scale. Hence, Xi’s idea of creating the kind of infrastructure that could, in the end, connect China to Central Asia, the Middle East, and Western Europe. It’s what the Chinese call “One Belt, One Road”; that is, the junction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Twenty-First Century Maritime Silk Road.

Since Xi announced his One Belt, One Road policy in Kazakhstan in 2013, Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Hong Kong estimates that the state has ploughed more than $250 billion into Silk Road-oriented projects ranging from railways to power plants. Meanwhile, every significant Chinese business player is on board, from telecom equipment giant Huawei to e-commerce monster Alibaba (fresh from itsSingles Day online blockbuster). The Bank of China has already provided a $50 billion credit line for myriad Silk Road-related projects. China’s top cement-maker Anhui Conch is building at least six monster cement plants in Indonesia, Vietnam, and Laos. Work aimed at tying the Asian part of Eurasia together is proceeding at a striking pace. For instance, the China-Laos, China-Thailand, and Jakarta-Bandung railways – contracts worth over $20 billion – are to be completed by Chinese companies before 2020.

With business booming, right now the third industrial revolution in China looks ever more like a mad scramble toward a new form of modernity.

A Eurasian “War on Terror”

The One Belt, One Road plan for Eurasia reaches far beyond the Rudyard Kipling-coined nineteenth century phrase “the Great Game,” which in its day was meant to describe the British-Russian tournament of shadows for the control of Central Asia. At the heart of the twenty-first century’s Great Game lies China’s currency, the yuan, which may, by November 30th, join the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights reserve-currency basket. If so, this will in practice mean the total integration of the yuan, and so of Beijing, into global financial markets, as an extra basket of countries will add it to their foreign exchange holdings and subsequent currency shifts may amount to the equivalent of trillions of US dollars.

Couple the One Belt, One Road project with the recently founded, China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Beijing’s Silk Road Infrastructure Fund ($40 billion committed to it so far). Mix in an internationalized yuan and you have the groundwork for Chinese companies to turbo-charge their way into a pan-Eurasian (and even African) building spree of roads, high-speed rail lines, fiber-optic networks, ports, pipelines, and power grids.

According to the Washington-dominated Asian Development Bank (ADB), there is, at present, a monstrous gap of $800 billion in the funding of Asian infrastructure development to 2020 and it’s yearning to be filled. Beijing is now stepping right into what promises to be a paradigm-breaking binge of economic development.

And don’t forget about the bonuses that could conceivably follow such developments. After all, in China’s stunningly ambitious plans at least, its Eurasian project will end up covering no less than 65 countries on three continents, potentially affecting 4.4 billion people. If it succeeds even in part, it could take the gloss off al-Qaeda- and ISIS-style Wahhabi-influenced jihadism not only in China’s Xinjiang Province, but also in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia. Imagine it as a new kind of Eurasian war on terror whose “weapons” would be trade and development. After all, Beijing’s planners expect the country’s annual trade volume with belt-and-road partners to surpass $2.5 trillion by 2025.

At the same time, another kind of binding geography – what I’ve long called Pipelineistan, the vast network of energy pipelines crisscrossing the region, bringing its oil and natural gas supplies to China – is coming into being. It’s already spreading across Pakistan and Myanmar, and China is planning to double down on this attempt to reinforce its escape-from-the-Straits-of-Malacca strategy. (That bottleneck is still a transit point for 75% of Chinese oil imports.) Beijing prefers a world in which most of those energy imports are not water-borne and so at the mercy of the US Navy. More than 50% of China’s natural gas already comes overland from two Central Asian “stans” (Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) and that percentage will only increase once pipelines to bring Siberian natural gas to China come online before the end of the decade.

Of course, the concept behind all this, which might be sloganized as “to go west (and south) is glorious” could induce a tectonic shift in Eurasian relations at every level, but that depends on how it comes to be viewed by the nations involved and by Washington.

Leaving economics aside for a moment, the success of the whole enterprise will require superhuman PR skills from Beijing, something not always in evidence. And there are many other problems to face (or duck): these include Beijing’s Han superiority complex, not always exactly a hit among either minority ethnic groups or neighboring states, as well as an economic push that is often seen by China’s ethnic minorities as benefiting only the Han Chinese. Mix in a rising tide of nationalist feeling, the expansion of the Chinese military (including its navy), conflict in its southern seas, and a growing security obsession in Beijing. Add to that a foreign policy minefield, which will work against maintaining a carefully calibrated respect for the sovereignty of neighbors. Throw in the Obama administration’s “pivot” to Asia and its urge both to form anti-Chinese alliances of “containment” and to beef up its own naval and air power in waters close to China. And finally don’t forget red tapeand bureaucracy, a Central Asian staple. All of this adds up to a formidable package of obstacles to Xi’s Chinese dream and a new Eurasia.

All Aboard the Night Train

The Silk Road revival started out as a modest idea floated in China’s Ministry of Commerce. The initial goal was nothing more than getting extra “contracts for Chinese construction companies overseas.” How far the country has traveled since then. Starting from zero in 2003, China has ended up building no less than 16,000 kilometers of high-speed rail tracks in these years – more than the rest of the planet combined.

And that’s just the beginning. Beijing is now negotiating with 30 countries to build another 5,000 kilometers of high-speed rail at a total investment of $157 billion. Cost is, of course, king; a made-in-China high-speed network (top speed: 350 kilometers an hour) costs around $17 million to $21 million per kilometer. Comparable European costs: $25 million to $39 million per kilometer. So no wonder the Chinese are bidding for an $18 billion project linking London with northern England, and another linking Los Angeles to Las Vegas, while outbidding German companies to lay tracks in Russia.

On another front, even though it’s not directly part of China’s new Silk Road planning, don’t forget about the Iran-India-Afghanistan Agreement on Transit and International Transportation Cooperation. This India-Iran project to develop roads, railways, and ports is particularly focused on the Iranian port of Chabahar, which is to be linked by new roads and railways to the Afghan capital Kabul and then to parts of Central Asia.

Why Chabahar? Because this is India’s preferred transit corridor to Central Asia and Russia, as the Khyber Pass in the Afghan-Pakistani borderlands, the country’s traditional linking point for this, remains too volatile. Built by Iran, the transit corridor from Chabahar to Milak on the Iran-Afghanistan border is now ready. By rail, Chabahar will then be connected to the Uzbek border at Termez, which translates into Indian products reaching Central Asia and Russia.

Think of this as the Southern Silk Road, linking South Asia with Central Asia, and in the end, if all goes according to plan, West Asia with China. It is part of a wildly ambitious plan for a North-South Transport Corridor, an India-Iran-Russia joint project launched in 2002 and focused on the development of inter-Asian trade.

Of course, you won’t be surprised to know that, even here, China is deeply involved. Chinese companies have already built a high-speed rail line from the Iranian capital Tehran to Mashhad, near the Afghan border. China also financed a metro rail line from Imam Khomeini Airport to downtown Tehran. And it wants to use Chabahar as part of the so-called Iron Silk Road that is someday slated to cross Iran and extend all the way to Turkey. To top it off, China is already investing in the upgrading of Turkish ports.

Who Lost Eurasia?

For Chinese leaders, the One Belt, One Road plan – an “economic partnership map with multiple rings interconnected with one another” – is seen as an escape route from the Washington Consensus and the dollar-centered global financial system that goes with it. And while “guns” are being drawn, the “battlefield” of the future, as the Chinese see it, is essentially a global economic one.

On one side are the mega-economic pacts being touted by Washington – the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership – that would split Eurasia in two. On the other, there is the urge for a new pan-Eurasian integration program that would be focused on China, and feature Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran, and India as major players. Last May, Russia and China closed a deal to coordinate the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with new Silk Road projects. As part of their developing strategic partnership, Russia is already China’s number one oil supplier.

With Ukraine’s fate still in the balance, there is, at present, little room for the sort of serious business dialogue between the European Union (EU) and the EEU that might someday fuse Europe and Russia into the Chinese vision of full-scale, continent-wide Eurasian integration. And yet German business types, in particular, remain focused on and fascinated by the limitless possibilities of the New Silk Road concept and the way it might profitably link the continent.

If you’re looking for a future first sign of détente on this score, keep an eye on any EU moves to engage economically with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Its membership at present: China, Russia, and four “stans” (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Tajikistan). India and Pakistan are to become members in 2016, and Iran once U.N. sanctions are completely lifted. A monster second step (no time soon) would be for this dialogue to become the springboard for the building of a trans-European “one-belt” zone. That could only happen after there was a genuine settlement in Ukraine and EU sanctions on Russia had been lifted. Think of it as the long and winding road towards what Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to sellthe Germans in 2010: a Eurasian free-trade zone extending from Vladivostok to Lisbon.

Any such moves will, of course, only happen over Washington’s dead body. At the moment, inside the Beltway, sentiment ranges from gloating over the economic “death” of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), most of which are facing daunting economic dislocations even as their political, diplomatic, and strategic integration proceeds apace, to fear or even downright anticipation of World War III and the Russian “threat.”

No one in Washington wants to “lose” Eurasia to China and its new Silk Roads. On what former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski calls “the grand chessboard,” Beltway elites and the punditocracy that follows them will never resign themselves to seeing the US relegated to the role of “offshore balancer,” while China dominates an integrating Eurasia. Hence, those two trade pacts and that “pivot,” the heightened US naval presence in Asian waters, the new urge to “contain” China, and the demonization of both Putin’s Russia and the Chinese military threat.

Thucydides, Eat Your Heart Out

Which brings us full circle to Xi’s crush on Jeremy Rifkin. Make no mistake about it: whatever Washington may want, China is indeed the rising power in Eurasia and a larger-than-life economic magnet. From London to Berlin, there are signs in the EU that, despite so many decades of trans-Atlantic allegiance, there is also something too attractive to ignore about what China has to offer. There is already a push towards the configuration of a European-wide digital economy closely linked with China. The aim would be a Rifkin-esque digitally integrated economic space spanning Eurasia, which in turn would be an essential building block for that post-carbon third industrial revolution.

The G-20 this year was in Antalya, Turkey, and it was a fractious affair dominated by Islamic State jihadism in the streets of Paris. The G-20 in 2016 will be in Hangzhou, China, which also happens to be the hometown of Jack Ma and the headquarters for Alibaba. You can’t get more third industrial revolution than that.

One year is an eternity in geopolitics. But what if, in 2016, Hangzhou did indeed offer a vision of the future, of silk roads galore and night trains from Central Asia to Duisburg, Germany, a future arguably dominated by Xi’s vision. He is, at least, keen on enshrining the G-20 as a multipolar global mechanism for coordinating a common development framework. Within it, Washington and Beijing might sometimes actually work together in a world in which chess, not Battleship, would be the game of the century.

Thucydides, eat your heart out.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-30 22:18:16

A small point, but one really worth pointing out, as the Politico 'esplain' themselves and the state of the Union.



Forget Debt As A Percent Of GDP, It's Really Much Worse [/size]

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:Forbes (
Author: Jeffrey Dorfman
Date: 2014.08.12

When central bankers, macroeconomists, and politicians talk about the national debt, they often express it as a percent of gross domestic product (GDP) which is a measure of the total value of all goods produced in a country each year. The idea is to compare how much a country owes to how much it earns (since GDP can also be thought of as national income). The problem with this idea is that it is wrong. The government does not have access to all the national income, only the share it collects in taxes. Looked at properly, the debt problem is much worse.

I collected national debt, GDP, and tax revenue data for thirty-four OECD countries (roughly, the developed countries worldwide) for 2010. The data are a bit old, but that is actually the last year available for government tax revenue numbers. The debt figures are for central government debt held by the public (so the debt we owe to the Social Security Trust Fund does not count) but the central government tax revenue includes any social security taxes.

Some people hate the notion of comparing a country’s financial situation to a family, but I think it is useful in many cases with this being one of them. For a family, debt that exceeds three times your annual earnings is starting to become quite worrisome. To picture this, just take your home mortgage plus any auto, student loan, or credit card debt, then divide by how much you earn.

If the answer is two or less, you are in great shape. If you are between two and three, you are pretty normal. Over three and you probably are feeling some financial stress with debt payments absorbing much of your paycheck.

When we look at national debt as a percent of GDP, we see few signs of danger by this rule. Debt-champion Japan is over 180 percent, Greece is just under 150 percent, with Italy in third place at 109 percent. The U.S. is in eleventh place (out of 34) with debt equal to 61 percent of GDP.

Economists and central bankers know this is not the same as the family debt to income concept, which is why they warn of danger at the level of 100, 90, or even 70 percent depending on which economist you talk to or exactly how you define the total amount of debt. The reason for the different standard is that the government cannot claim all your income as taxes or we would all quit working (or emigrate).

A better comparison is to examine each country’s debt to government tax revenue, since that is the government’s income. This also offers a better comparison because different countries have very different levels of taxation. A country with high taxes can afford more debt than a low tax country. Debt to GDP ignores this difference. Comparing debt to tax revenue reveals a much truer picture of the burden of each country’s debt on its government’s finances.

When I compute those figures, Japan is still #1, with a debt as a percentage of tax revenue of about 900 percent and Greece is still in second place at about 475 percent. The big change is the U.S. jumps up to third place, with a debt to income measure of 408 percent. If the U.S. were a family, it would be deep into the financial danger zone.

To add a bit more perspective, the countries in fourth, fifth, and sixth place are Iceland, Portugal, and Italy, all between 300 and 310 percent. In other words, these three are starting to see a flashing yellow warning light, but only three developed countries in the world are in the red zone for national debt to income. The U.S. is one of those three.

This does not factor the several trillion dollars owed to Social Security, yet it includes the Social Security taxes collected. If Social Security taxes are not counted, the U.S.’s debt to income ratio rises to 688 percent (still in third place). This tells you something about the likelihood of increasing Social Security taxes in conjunction with declining Social Security benefits.

Politicians do not enjoy spending funds on debt payments as it produces no photo ops and no grateful voters. Yet without quick and significant action on the federal budget, as soon as interest rates begin to rise toward normal the burden of the national debt on the federal budget will become heavy indeed. Something will have to give.

Measuring the national debt as a percent of GDP may be a common international norm, but it makes little sense since not all national income is collected in taxes. Looking at debt to government tax revenue, more akin to a family’s comparison of its debt to its income, the story of our national debt becomes much scarier.

Somebody needs to drag the President and Congress to a credit counselor quick to begin repairs on the government finances. Otherwise, one day sooner than we think, the creditors will be knocking on the door.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-11-30 22:25:29

Assume the position.




[img width=600 height=300]

Source:Doomsday Clock (
Author: Atomic Scientists
Date: 2015

"Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.” Despite some modestly positive developments in the climate change arena, current efforts are entirely insufficient to prevent a catastrophic warming of Earth. Meanwhile, the United States and Russia have embarked on massive programs to modernize their nuclear triads—thereby undermining existing nuclear weapons treaties. "The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty—ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization."

[img width=600 height=300]

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-12-03 19:03:58

[quote author=David Lucifer link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=#176618 date=1449159165]
Democracy is literally mob rule. Ask yourself if you've been indoctrinated to believe that is the best way to organize society.



I suspect we need a definition of Democracy : Mob rule may not be an accurate description.

And address the elephant in the room : What are the alternatives ?

In Vriend v Alberta, Canada’s Supreme Court justice Frank Iacobucci wrote:

"(T)he concept of democracy means more than majority rule…. In my view, a democracy requires that legislators take into account the interests of majorities and minorities alike, all of whom will be affected by the decisions they make."

Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Winston Churchill once said:

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

Democracy Watch's
Definition of a Democratic Society

Democracy Watch's mandate, 20 Steps towards a Modern, Working Democracy, and its position that the System is the Scandal, are based upon the following definition of a democratic society (Click here to see other organizations' definitions of the key elements needed for a democratic society):
A DEMOCRACY IS a society in which all adults have easily accessible, meaningful, and effective ways:

-to participate in the decision-making processes of every organization that makes decisions or takes actions that affect them, and;
-to hold other individuals, and those in these organizations who are responsible for making decisions and taking actions, fully accountable if their decisions or actions violate fundamental human rights, or are dishonest, unethical, unfair, secretive, inefficient, unrepresentative, unresponsive or irresponsible;
so that all organizations in the society are citizen-owned, citizen-controlled, and citizen-driven, and all individuals and organizations are held accountable for wrongdoing.
-All children should also have easily accessible, meaningful, and effective ways to hold organizations accountable as set out in #2 above, but it is acceptable in a democracy to limit children's participation rights until they reach adulthood, mainly because psychological research has shown clearly that almost all children below a certain age do not have fully formed brains, and are not usually as capable of reasonable deliberation and discussion as adults.

-The following participation and accountability measures need to be in place in every organization (both government and corporate, public and private) in any society to fulfill the definition set out above (and Democracy Watch's campaigns push governments and corporations to implement these measures):

-a constitution that sets out the essential operating rules for the organization (or the country, province/state, and municipalities), including strong protection of fundamental human rights, and a clear separation between every government institution and any religious entity;
-an election system for choosing representatives that is fair and results in a governing body that represents citizen votes accurately -- for details, go to the Voter Rights Campaign;
-a direct decision-making process (initiative and referendum, for example) that allows citizens to initiate decisions and actions on issues that their representatives refuse to address -- for details, go to the Voter Rights Campaign;
-strong requirements with no loopholes that apply to every organization (especially every government or government-funded institution, but also every corporate organization (especially large corporations -- for details, go to the Bank Accountability Campaign and the Corporate Responsibility Campaign), media, non-profit citizen group, and charitable social service agency) in the areas of:
-representativeness (elections, public consultation and direct decision-making processes that ensure true representation -- for details, go to the Voter Rights Campaign);
-openness (disclosure requirements and access-to-information laws that ensure transparency -- for details, go to the Open Government Campaign);
honesty (including an honesty-in-politics law with an easily accessible complaint filing process -- for details, go to the Honesty in Politics Campaign);
ethics (including ethics rules, and limits on donations and gifts of money, property and services and on other related ways of influencing decision-makers, and strict regulations on lobbyists -- for details, go to the Government Ethics Campaign and the Money in Politics Campaign), and;
-spending rules (including strict waste-prevention measures), and responsiveness and responsibility in general operations (including publicly disclosed performance standards and regular performance reports -- for details, go to the Voter Rights Campaign) -- AND these requirements must also apply to every individual in their relationships with other individuals and with regard to their overall individual responsibility;
-to emphasize, the requirements must be strong enough and comprehensive enough to ensure that citizens not only own governments (as voters and taxpayers), corporations (as shareholders, workers and customers), unions and citizen groups (as members), and public resources (land, water, air, TV/radio airwaves, publicly generated research and infrastructure), but also that citizens effectively direct, control, and hold accountable governments, corporations, unions and other citizen groups, and public resources (See links for each issue area above under #4);
-watchdog agencies (including police) that are fully independent (from political or other biased influence), fully empowered (and required to investigate, rule publicly and penalize), and fully resourced (to ensure a high chance that violators will be caught) that strictly enforce the strong requirements in the areas of elections, public consultation and direct decision-making processes, access-to-information, honesty, ethics, spending, and general operations, and strong requirements for individuals concerning relationships with other individuals and individual responsibility (See links for each issue area above under #4);
-courts/tribunals that are fully independent (from political or other biased influence), fully empowered (to investigate and penalize), fully resourced (to ensure justice is not unreasonable delayed) to handle disputes about rights and responsibilities in every other area of society (including protection of fundamental human rights) -- For details, go to the Voter Rights Campaign; and see links to other human rights groups listed on Democracy Watch's 20 Steps mandate page;
-a clear right for anyone to "blow the whistle" on any violation of any requirement, and to be protected from retaliation, and rewarded if the requirement violation is proven true (For details, go to the Government Ethics Campaign);
-a clear right for citizens to complain to the watchdog agencies, and to the courts/tribunals, if any requirement is violated, including the right to sue as a group (known as "class actions" -- See links for each issue area above under #4);
-penalties for the violation of requirements that are high enough to actually and effectively discourage violations of the requirements (See links for each issue area above under #4);
-every large organization (especially government and large corporations) required to assist the citizens affected by it to organize into, and sustain, a citizen group that will advocate for the interests of the citizens and help them hold the organization accountable (For details, go to the Citizen Association Campaign);
-easily accessible and independent means (TV, radio, print publications, Internet sites) for citizens to share key, accurate information with each other about every organizations' record in complying with the requirements set out above (For details, go to the Citizen Association Campaign, and also the network of which Democracy Watch is a member);
-an economy large enough to finance the operation of all of the above organizations/investigative agencies/courts/citizen groups, and equitable enough so that every citizen (adults and children) has easy access to the above participation and accountability rights, and (For details, go to the Bank -Accountability Campaign and the Corporate Responsibility Campaign, and also see links to human rights, labour and social equity groups listed on Democracy Watch's 20 Steps mandate page);
-enough people with the needed skills, knowledge and integrity to ensure that the operations of the above organizations and agencies, and participation and accountability rights, actually function well, along with an effective education system and high enough level of participation by citizens that they actually direct, control and hold accountable their governments and other organizations (For details, go to the Voter Rights Campaign and to the website of Democracy Education Network (Democracy Watch's charitable partner organization).

However, it is important to note that even if all 14 measures set out above are in place and functioning effectively, it is still essentially impossible to stop three key undemocratic activities, and as a result these three activities (even if they don't occur very often) will always remain a threat to all societies aspiring to be democracies, as follows:
it is essentially impossible to stop secret gifts of money and favour-trading corrupting politicians and government officials;
it is essentially impossible to stop secret lobbying of politicians and government officials and government secrecy overall, and;
it is essentially impossible to stop police, security and armed forces from abusing their secret investigation powers by invading people's privacy and rights.
Copyright Democracy Watch 2011

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-04 09:51:51

[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=75#176621 date=1449187438]
I suspect we need a definition of Democracy : Mob rule may not be an accurate description.

And address the elephant in the room : What are the alternatives ?


Well considering that historically all governments evolved from protection rackets I think mob rule is a pretty accurate description (though of course those doing the indoctrinating don't want you to think of it that way).

What are the alternatives to some people owning other people? How about universal abolition?

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-12-04 10:24:46

"Put your money where your mouth is" approach to elections.



An Alternative to Democracy? [/size]

[img width=400 height=400]

Source:Freakonomics (
Author: Steven D. Levitt
Date: 2012.10.31

With the U.S. presidential election nearly here, everyone seems to have politics on their mind. Unlike most people, economists tend to have an indifference towards voting. The way economists see it, the chances of an individual’s vote influencing an election outcome is vanishingly small, so unless it is fun to vote, it doesn’t make much sense to do so. On top of that, there are a number of theoretical results, most famously Arrow’s Impossibility Theorem, which highlight how difficult it is to design political systems/voting mechanisms that reliably aggregate the preferences of the electorate.

Mostly, these theoretical explorations into the virtues and vices of democracy leave me yawning.

Last spring, however, my colleague Glen Weyl mentioned an idea along these lines that was so simple and elegant that I was amazed no one had ever thought of it before. In Glen’s voting mechanism, every voter can vote as many times as he or she likes. The catch, however, is that you have to pay each time you vote, and the amount you have to pay is a function of the square of the number of votes you cast. As a consequence, each extra vote you cast costs more than the previous vote. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say the first vote costs you $1. Then to vote a second time would cost $4. The third vote would be $9, the fourth $16, and so on. One hundred votes would cost you $10,000. So eventually, no matter how much you like a candidate, you choose to vote a finite number of times.

What is so special about this voting scheme? People end up voting in proportion to how much they care about the election outcome. The system captures not just which candidate you prefer, but how strong your preferences are. Given Glen’s assumptions, this turns out to be Pareto efficient — i.e., no person in society can be made better off without making someone else worse off.

The first criticism you’ll likely make against this sort of scheme is that it favors the rich. At one level that is true relative to our current system. It might not be a popular argument, but one thing an economist might say is that the rich consume more of everything – why shouldn’t they consume more political influence? In our existing system of campaign contributions, there can be little doubt that the rich already have far more influence than the poor. So restricting campaign spending, in conjunction with this voting scheme, might be more democratic than our current system.

Another possible criticism of Glen’s idea is that it leads to very strong incentives for cheating through vote buying. It is much cheaper to buy the first votes of a lot of uninterested citizens than it is to pay the price for my 100th vote. Once we put dollar values on votes, it is more likely that people will view votes through the lens of a financial transaction and be willing to buy and sell them.

Given we’ve been doing “one person, one vote” for so long, I think it is highly unlikely that we will ever see Glen’s idea put into practice in major political elections. Two other economists, Jacob Goeree and Jingjing Zhang have been exploring a similar idea to Glen’s and testing it in a laboratory environment. Not only does it work well, but when given a choice between standard voting and this bid system, the participants usually choose the bid system.

This voting scheme can work in any situation where there are multiple people trying to choose between two alternatives — e.g., a group of people trying to decide which movie or restaurant to go to, housemates trying to decide which of two TV’s to buy, etc. In settings like those, the pool of money that is collected from people voting would be divided equally and then redistributed to the participants.

My hope is that a few of you might be inspired to give this sort of voting scheme a try. If you do, I definitely want to hear about how it works out!

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-04 15:24:46



Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-04 15:29:59

[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=75#176623 date=1449242686]
Last spring, however, my colleague Glen Weyl mentioned an idea along these lines that was so simple and elegant that I was amazed no one had ever thought of it before. In Glen’s voting mechanism, every voter can vote as many times as he or she likes. The catch, however, is that you have to pay each time you vote, and the amount you have to pay is a function of the square of the number of votes you cast. As a consequence, each extra vote you cast costs more than the previous vote. Just for the sake of argument, let’s say the first vote costs you $1. Then to vote a second time would cost $4. The third vote would be $9, the fourth $16, and so on. One hundred votes would cost you $10,000. So eventually, no matter how much you like a candidate, you choose to vote a finite number of times.

Interesting idea. I first heard of it on Robin Hanson's Overcoming Bias ( blog.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-07 12:53:11

Quotation of the Day…

is from page 78 of Harry Kurz’s 1975 English translation of Etienne de la Boetie’s 1552-53 The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude (

It is incredible how as soon as a people becomes subject, it promptly falls into such complete forgetfulness of its freedom that it can hardly be roused to the point of regaining it, obeying so easily and so willingly that one is led to say, on beholding such a situation, that this people has not so much lost its liberty as won its enslavement.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-13 20:02:19

After 40 years, $1 trillion, US War on Drugs has failed to meet any of its goals

[ed: to be fair, it failed to meet any of its *stated* goals. I'm sure it has been a fantastic success in supporting the govt]

MEXICO CITY – MEXICO CITY (AP) — After 40 years, the United States' war on drugs has cost $1 trillion and hundreds of thousands of lives, and for what? Drug use is rampant and violence even more brutal and widespread.

Even U.S. drug czar Gil Kerlikowske concedes the strategy hasn't worked.

"In the grand scheme, it has not been successful," Kerlikowske told The Associated Press. "Forty years later, the concern about drugs and drug problems is, if anything, magnified, intensified."

This week President Obama promised to "reduce drug use and the great damage it causes" with a new national policy that he said treats drug use more as a public health issue and focuses on prevention and treatment.

Nevertheless, his administration has increased spending on interdiction and law enforcement to record levels both in dollars and in percentage terms; this year, they account for $10 billion of his $15.5 billion drug-control budget.

Kerlikowske, who coordinates all federal anti-drug policies, says it will take time for the spending to match the rhetoric.

"Nothing happens overnight," he said. "We've never worked the drug problem holistically. We'll arrest the drug dealer, but we leave the addiction."

His predecessor, John P. Walters, takes issue with that.

Walters insists society would be far worse today if there had been no War on Drugs. Drug abuse peaked nationally in 1979 and, despite fluctuations, remains below those levels, he says. Judging the drug war is complicated: Records indicate marijuana and prescription drug abuse are climbing, while cocaine use is way down. Seizures are up, but so is availability.

"To say that all the things that have been done in the war on drugs haven't made any difference is ridiculous," Walters said. "It destroys everything we've done. It's saying all the people involved in law enforcment, treatment and prevention have been wasting their time. It's saying all these people's work is misguided."

[ed: um, yeah, exactly]

In 1970, hippies were smoking pot and dropping acid. Soldiers were coming home from Vietnam hooked on heroin. Embattled President Richard M. Nixon seized on a new war he thought he could win.

"This nation faces a major crisis in terms of the increasing use of drugs, particularly among our young people," Nixon said as he signed the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act. The following year, he said: "Public enemy No. 1 in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive."

His first drug-fighting budget was $100 million. Now it's $15.1 billion, 31 times Nixon's amount even when adjusted for inflation.

Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:

— $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the United States spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking moved to Mexico — and the violence along with it.

— $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"-style messages to America's youth and other prevention programs. High school students report the same rates of illegal drug use as they did in 1970, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses have "risen steadily" since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 last year.

— $49 billion for law enforcement along America's borders to cut off the flow of illegal drugs. This year, 25 million Americans will snort, swallow, inject and smoke illicit drugs, about 10 million more than in 1970, with the bulk of those drugs imported from Mexico.

— $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.

— $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.

At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.

Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.

"Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."


From the beginning, lawmakers debated fiercely whether law enforcement — no matter how well funded and well trained — could ever defeat the drug problem.

Then-Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, who had his doubts, has since watched his worst fears come to pass.

"Look what happened. It's an ongoing tragedy that has cost us a trillion dollars. It has loaded our jails and it has destabilized countries like Mexico and Colombia," he said.

In 1970, proponents said beefed-up law enforcement could effectively seal the southern U.S. border and stop drugs from coming in. Since then, the U.S. used patrols, checkpoints, sniffer dogs, cameras, motion detectors, heat sensors, drone aircraft — and even put up more than 1,000 miles of steel beam, concrete walls and heavy mesh stretching from California to Texas.

None of that has stopped the drugs. The Office of National Drug Control Policy says about 330 tons of cocaine, 20 tons of heroin and 110 tons of methamphetamine are sold in the United States every year — almost all of it brought in across the borders. Even more marijuana is sold, but it's hard to know how much of that is grown domestically, including vast fields run by Mexican drug cartels in U.S. national parks.

The dealers who are caught have overwhelmed justice systems in the United States and elsewhere. U.S. prosecutors declined to file charges in 7,482 drug cases last year, most because they simply didn't have the time. That's about one out of every four drug cases.

The United States has in recent years rounded up thousands of suspected associates of Mexican drug gangs, then turned some of the cases over to local prosecutors who can't make the charges stick for lack of evidence. The suspects are then sometimes released, deported or acquitted. The U.S. Justice Department doesn't even keep track of what happens to all of them.

In Mexico, traffickers exploit a broken justice system. Investigators often fail to collect convincing evidence — and are sometimes assassinated when they do. Confessions are beaten out of suspects by frustrated, underpaid police. Judges who no longer turn a blind eye to such abuse release the suspects in exasperation.

In prison, in the U.S. or Mexico, traffickers continue to operate, ordering assassinations and arranging distribution of their product even from solitary confinement in Texas and California. In Mexico, prisoners can sometimes even buy their way out.

The violence spans Mexico. In Ciudad Juarez, the epicenter of drug violence in Mexico, 2,600 people were killed last year in cartel-related violence, making the city of 1 million across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas, one of the world's deadliest. Not a single person was prosecuted for homicide related to organized crime.

And then there's the money.

The $320 billion annual global drug industry now accounts for 1 percent of all commerce on the planet.

A full 10 percent of Mexico's economy is built on drug proceeds — $25 billion smuggled in from the United States every year, of which 25 cents of each $100 smuggled is seized at the border. Thus there's no incentive for the kind of financial reform that could tame the cartels.

"For every drug dealer you put in jail or kill, there's a line up to replace him because the money is just so good," says Walter McCay, who heads the nonprofit Center for Professional Police Certification in Mexico City.

McCay is one of the 13,000 members of Medford, Mass.-based Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, a group of cops, judges, prosecutors, prison wardens and others who want to legalize and regulate all drugs.

A decade ago, no politician who wanted to keep his job would breathe a word about legalization, but a consensus is growing across the country that at least marijuana will someday be regulated and sold like tobacco and alcohol.

California voters decide in November whether to legalize marijuana, and South Dakota will vote this fall on whether to allow medical uses of marijuana, already permitted in California and 13 other states. The Obama administration says it won't target marijuana dispensaries if they comply with state laws.


Mexican President Felipe Calderon says if America wants to fix the drug problem, it needs to do something about Americans' unquenching thirst for illegal drugs.

Kerlikowske agrees, and Obama has committed to doing just that.

And yet both countries continue to spend the bulk of their drug budgets on law enforcement rather than treatment and prevention.

"President Obama's newly released drug war budget is essentially the same as Bush's, with roughly twice as much money going to the criminal justice system as to treatment and prevention," said Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance. "This despite Obama's statements on the campaign trail that drug use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal justice issue."

Obama is requesting a record $15.5 billion for the drug war for 2011, about two thirds of it for law enforcement at the front lines of the battle: police, military and border patrol agents struggling to seize drugs and arrest traffickers and users.

About $5.6 billion would be spent on prevention and treatment.

"For the first time ever, the nation has before it an administration that views the drug issue first and foremost through the lens of the public health mandate," said economist and drug policy expert John Carnevale, who served three administrations and four drug czars. "Yet ... it appears that this historic policy stride has some problems with its supporting budget."

Carnevale said the administration continues to substantially over-allocate funds to areas that research shows are least effective — interdiction and source-country programs — while under-allocating funds for treatment and prevention.

Kerlikowske, who wishes people would stop calling it a "war" on drugs, frequently talks about one of the most valuable tools they've found, in which doctors screen for drug abuse during routine medical examinations. That program would get a mere $7.2 million under Obama's budget.

"People will say that's not enough. They'll say the drug budget hasn't shifted as much as it should have, and granted I don't disagree with that," Kerlikowske said. "We would like to do more in that direction."

Fifteen years ago, when the government began telling doctors to ask their patients about their drug use during routine medical exams, it described the program as one of the most proven ways to intervene early with would-be addicts.

"Nothing happens overnight," Kerlikowske said.


Until 100 years ago, drugs were simply a commodity. Then Western cultural shifts made them immoral and deviant, according to London School of Economics professor Fernanda Mena.

Religious movements led the crusades against drugs: In 1904, an Episcopal bishop returning from a mission in the Far East argued for banning opium after observing "the natives' moral degeneration." In 1914, The New York Times reported that cocaine caused blacks to commit "violent crimes," and that it made them resistant to police bullets. In the decades that followed, Mena said, drugs became synonymous with evil.

Nixon drew on those emotions when he pressed for his War on Drugs.

"Narcotics addiction is a problem which afflicts both the body and the soul of America," he said in a special 1971 message to Congress. "It comes quietly into homes and destroys children, it moves into neighborhoods and breaks the fiber of community which makes neighbors. We must try to better understand the confusion and disillusion and despair that bring people, particularly young people, to the use of narcotics and dangerous drugs."

Just a few years later, a young Barack Obama was one of those young users, a teenager smoking pot and trying "a little blow when you could afford it," as he wrote in "Dreams From My Father." When asked during his campaign if he had inhaled the pot, he replied: "That was the point."

So why persist with costly programs that don't work?

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, sitting down with the AP at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, paused for a moment at the question.

"Look," she says, starting slowly. "This is something that is worth fighting for because drug addiction is about fighting for somebody's life, a young child's life, a teenager's life, their ability to be a successful and productive adult.

"If you think about it in those terms, that they are fighting for lives — and in Mexico they are literally fighting for lives as well from the violence standpoint — you realize the stakes are too high to let go."

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-14 13:28:44

It is even worse than I imagined. How deluded do you have to be to maintain faith in authority?


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-14 13:32:23


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-12-15 18:20:26

Banking in the 'Commons' 'for 'the people by the people' ... the neofascist bankers and financial fraudsters of mainstream banking won't like this.
The huge leaps forward that Iceland made in changing the political/banking, system is being rolled back to be inline with the gangsterism that is the western governments globally; lets see if they let it happen yet again.

This seems like a warning shot across the bow, folks aren't happy:

<snip>Iceland residents are debating this issue thanks to the rising popularity of an ancient Sumerian religion known as Zuism. Roughly 1% of the country’s population, or 3,100 people, have registered as Zuist in just the past few weeks in order to avoid paying Iceland’s religious tax, according to a recent report by the Guardian.<snip>


Left-Green: No to “Bank Breadcrumbs”
Source: icelandreview (
Author: Vala Hafstad
Date: October 26, 2015 14:03

Chairperson of the Left-Green Movement Katrín Jakobsdóttir would like to see a “social bank” established in Iceland, rather than receiving “breadcrumbs” from state-owned banks, thereby referring to the Independence Party’s proposal to distribute 5 percent of the shares of state-owned banks among the public, according to RÚV.

The Movement’s leadership was reelected Saturday at its annual meeting in Selfoss.

A “social bank” would protect the public interest and not have profit as a sole purpose. The party would like to see Landsbanki become such a bank instead of a traditional investment bank.

“I think,” Katrín noted, “that here we see crystallized a certain policy difference between the two different parties&#8213;right, left. Because it has to with whether we want to see a bank working for all of society, or whether we want each and every one of us to get breadcrumbs from the profit created by large investment banks.”

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-17 21:08:02

The Chilling Progressive Response to Mark Zuckerberg’s Charity
And One Billionaire’s Total and Utter Admiration for State Power

MAX BORDERS Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg is starting a charitable LLC to donate 99 percent of his Facebook stock to charity, and the usual suspects are all in a tizzy.

But in the process of analyzing this curious response, I was treated to a frightening glimpse into the mind of one particular progressive:

Krämer: I find the US initiative highly problematic. You can write donations off in your taxes to a large degree in the USA. So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes? The donors are taking the place of the state. That’s unacceptable.

SPIEGEL: But doesn’t the money that is donated serve the common good?

Krämer: It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires. So it’s not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide. That’s a development that I find really bad. What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?

The interviewee, German shipping magnate Peter Krämer, is discussing the idea of tax-deductible giving in the United States. I hadn’t seen the exchange before, but it has been dredged up in an article critical of Zuckerberg’s decision to give.

Reading Krämer’s statement, one shudders. Or one ought to. To repeat: “So the rich make a choice: Would I rather donate or pay taxes? The donors are taking the place of the state. That’s unacceptable.”

The progressive objection writ large is that the state ought to be the only charity.

Unacceptable to whom?

The man who uttered these words is himself a German billionaire, apparently, but one who seems fully committed to the idea of the deutsche Sozialstaat. One wonders if Krämer plans to give his remaining billions to the state, or if he simply plans to hoard it.

In any case, here we have wealth that the state had no hand — visible or invisible — in creating. Even Elizabeth Warren ought to be assuaged by the amount of taxes Zuckerberg has already paid so that he can drive on the roads to get to work, or be secure in his commercial activities by the military-industrial complex.

Investors, users, advertisers, and Zuckerberg grew Facebook from a Harvard side project to a multibillion dollar company. (I’ll pass over the irony that I found the original article on Facebook, which was shared at no cost to the author.) And Zuckerberg is choosing to give his money to charity or to charitable causes, rather than the state.

So it would seem he has satisfied the conditions of just acquisition and transfer, if there is anything to the idea that his wealth was both peacefully acquired and transferred. Still, if your idea of justice has to do with being forced to dole out half of your wealth on principle to people with guns and jails, then we have really found the difference in starting points between progressives and the rest of us, who see more than just a little connection between risk and reward.

Now, to recap, this successful entrepreneur (Zuckerberg) would like to use some of his net worth to give to charity. Krämer’s objection — indeed the progressive objection writ large — is that the state ought to be the only charity, a giant, perfect monolith of determining the right and the good, meted out by wise elites. All tax loopholes should be closed such that fewer resources go to the voluntary sector. Leave the entrepreneurs just enough so they don’t stop laying those golden eggs. Then tell them this: To be just, you must channel your goodness into the state apparatus, with its attendant angels (bureaucrats, regulators, and cronies). For it is a moral monopoly.

Now, if all that were the case, it would lead us to some very curious conclusions:

People in government are perfect sweethearts who only have the goal of redistributing wealth from rich to poor so that everyone is equal — and such a goal is an unassailable ethic.
People in government are not using “charitable” dollars to kill citizens in the streets of Chicago or Ferguson, to bomb weddings in Pakistan, to spy on our private correspondence, to jail victimless criminals, to divert public resources into the pockets of cronies, or to bail out other profligate social states like Greece.
People in government already know the best way to help people &#65533;&#65533; that is, they already have preexisting knowledge about how best to help the sick, the old, and the poor, all without making them permanent, dependent wards of the state. Indeed, the state knows how to make everyone healthy, happy, and well cared for.
Of course, not one of these statements is true. In fact, we’ve already dispelled the idea of unicorn governance in these pages.

So when we think about how the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world give their money, we can at least take comfort in the fact that some of their resources are going to an actual charity — not to standing armies, corrupt politicians, violent police, layabouts, or state-funded indoctrination camps.

I’m sure Zuckerberg intends to use some of those resources on political candidates (you know, those great, anointed leaders who make everything better). But recall that he has already tried treating the government as a charity. And, predictably, that effort went into Newark Bay with the rest of Jersey’s sewage.

Once bitten, twice shy.

By putting his money into an LLC, Zuckerberg should have the flexibility to invest in double-bottom-line ventures, or even for-profit ventures that, like most companies, create real value in the world. After all, an IRS tax designation is not a magic wand that automatically makes a company create social value.

But an errant thought, which niggles in the minds of progressives, remains: “It is all just a bad transfer of power from the state to billionaires. So it’s not the state that determines what is good for the people, but rather the rich want to decide.”

The assumptions, of course, are:

The state has the foundational “power” to give, but somehow nefarious entrepreneurs figure out how to get that power in the form of assets, even though such is the moral province of the state.

The rich, after people voluntarily made them rich, should never deign to attempt helping others in opposition to the means and ends of the state.
The state is and ought to be what determines what is good for the people — not the people themselves, nor those who would give to the people, nor those willing to experiment in order to find out how best to improve the lot of humanity.

This, folks, is a window into the progressive mind. And it leads us to a final question, which, happily, Kramer provides:

“What legitimacy do these people have to decide where massive sums of money will flow?”

The answer to this question divides us utterly.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2015-12-18 11:36:01

This comment I think really captures where we are at, and the frustration that is 'government' failing to deliver for the 'commons'; begging the question who are they plodding on for ?

phil dude
-Silver badge-
modulated outrage...
I sometimes wonder if I have hit some sort of saturation threshold. No longer outraged at the blanket abuse of civil liberties (in the UK) or ignoring The Constitution (in the US)...
Perhaps I am more annoyed that they are spending *our* money on ineffective technological solutions, with *eye watering* inefficiency.
And then the bravado to tell us it is necessary with their vapid political campaigns...



Big Brother is born. And we find out 15 years too late to stop him [/size]

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:The Register (
Author: Duncan Campbell
Date: 2015.12.16

Exclusive The "Big Brother" comprehensive national database system feared by many MPs has been built behind their backs over the last decade, and even has a name for its most intrusive component: a central London national phone and internet tapping centre called PRESTON.

PRESTON, which collects about four million intercepted phone calls a year, has also recently been used to plant malware on iPhones, according to disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. The phones were then targetted for MI5 "implants" (malware), authorised by a ministerial warrant.

The location and role of the PRESTON tapping centre has never previously been publicly identified, although published Crown Prosecution Service guidance to senior prosecutors refers to secret "Preston briefings" which they can be given if tapping evidence in a case they are prosecuting reveals that a defendant may be innocent. (The guidance also notes that the briefing may be given after exculpatory intercept evidence has been destroyed.)

Located inside the riverside headquarters of the Security Service, MI5, in Thames House, PRESTON works alongside and links to massive databases holding telephone call records, internet use records, travel, financial, and other personal records held by the National Technical Assistance Centre (NTAC), a little known intelligence support agency set up by Tony Blair's government in a 1999 plan to combat encryption and provide a national centre for internet surveillance and domestic codebreaking.

Soon after, the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee were told that the spy agencies would fund NTAC as "a twenty-four hour centre operated on behalf of all the law enforcement, security and intelligence agencies, providing a central facility for the complex processing needed to derive intelligence material from lawfully intercepted computer-to-computer communications and from lawfully seized computer data ... The NTAC will also support the technical infrastructure for the lawful interception of communications services including Internet Services."

The Home Office then commissioned and funded a technical plan to establish an interception network for the domestic internet, and allocated a £25m budget to get NTAC started.

In 2002, the Home Office announced that NTAC would continue to support the needs of law enforcement for a continuing flow of intelligence and evidence. Lingering concerns about NTAC's full planned role were shrugged off and forgotten after the 9/11 attacks.

Slurping and storing your bank card records ... because nobody's innocent

NTAC's officially authorised interception targets now also include international banks and airlines, in order to copy, decrypt and store personal credit card and banking transactions and flight bookings.

Some airlines such as BA have agreed to co-operate and voluntarily hand over their passengers' details to NTAC's data stores; those who do not agree, or have not been asked, have their data networks tapped under special warrants by NTAC in an operation codenamed CATSUP. Since 2006, NTAC has been managed by GCHQ and integrated into all agencies' operations.

Intercepted personal financial and banking information has been identified inside NTAC and GCHQ as FININT, and is subject to special handling arrangements, as is Travel Tracking Authorisations (TTA) which are based on similar sources.

In about 2008, Vodafone Cable, under its previous identity of Cable and Wireless, provided fibre optic cables to link intercepted internet communications and send communications data direct to NTAC.

According to engineers who have worked at major telecommunication companies' headquarters, including Orange in Bristol and Vodafone in Newbury, the companies were compelled by secret orders to connect optical fibre links direct to NTAC in London.

The links carry tapped internet and phone connections to NTAC, which acts as a distribution centre to other intelligence agencies and police forces. BT data centres are also directly linked to NTAC for the supply of subscriber information, telephone call records, and domestic internet interception.

Orders to install the secret connections to NTAC were issued using powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA). In its 2014 Disclosure Report, Vodafone pointed out that "Section 19 of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 prohibits disclosing ... the existence of any requirement to provide assistance in relation to a warrant."

"This duty of secrecy extends to all matters relating to warranted lawful interception", the Vodafone report adds. 2,795 warrants were issued during 2014, roughly double the numbers issued annually before NTAC was created. Each warrant can cover multiple lines or e-mail addresses.

The fact of lawful telephone interception has been public since the Interception of Communications Act (IOCA) was passed in 1985. But another law passed the year before has secretly been used to build a massive database at NTAC of every telephone call everyone in Britain has made over the past 15 years.

The existence of the telephone call record database at NTAC was completely secret until March this year, when the government started to allow hints in a series of official reports that it had been using a special power under the Telecommunications Act of 1984 to require all UK telephone companies to hand over "bulk records" of everyone's telephone calls.

During the passage of RIPA, and in many debates since 2000, Parliament was asked to consider and require data retention by telephone companies, claiming that the information was vital to fighting crime and terrorism.

But Prime Minister Tony Blair and successive Home Secretaries David Blunkett and Jack Straw never revealed to Parliament that at the same time, the government was constantly siphoning up and storing all telephone call records at NTAC.

As a result, MPs and peers spent months arguing about a pretence, and in ignorance of the cost and human rights implications of what successive governments were doing in secret.

When former shadow home secretary David Davis MP asked Home Secretary Theresa May in March 2014 "whether she has given directions under Section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 to the providers of telecommunications services for the acquisition of data in bulk relating to (a) thousands and (b) millions of people", he was fobbed off with the ritual excuse "as with the practice of previous Governments, we do not comment on security matters."

At the same time, telephone companies like BT also refused to confess as to whether they were handing over all customers' call records in bulk.

Finally, on November 4th, the Home Office took the lid off what had been going on secretly since 2000. Asking Parliament to allow mass surveillance of telephone records to continue, Home Secretary Theresa May admitted that "under Section 94 of the Telecommunications Act 1984 ... successive governments have approved the security and intelligence agencies’ access" to [bulk] communications data from communication service providers", claiming that it helped MI5 "thwart a number of attacks here in the UK"

The next day, former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg revealed that he had been part of the deception: "When I entered government in 2010 ... a senior official took me aside and told me that the previous government had granted MI5 direct access to records of millions of phone calls made in the UK – a capability only a tiny handful of senior cabinet ministers knew about – I was astonished that such a powerful capability had not been declared either to the public or to parliament and insisted that its necessity should be reviewed."

It wasn't reviewed. Clegg blocked the failed 2012 Communications Data Bill, which the government has now reintroduced in a more ferocious and far-reaching form.

David Davis MP told The Register this week that "much of the debate for the last 15 years appears to have been a charade about data that the government very likely already held. It is also clear that the legislation that the government relied upon was being interpreted in ways that Parliament never imagined."

He intends to raise the significance of the long term concealment of the national call record centre in evidence to Parliament's review committee on the new Investigatory Powers Bill, which also seeks to legalise the massive collections of "Personal Bulk Datasets affecting millions of Britons" that the Home Office now admit has been taking place for a decade.

There are now dozens of intelligence "Bulk Personal Datasets" on millions of people, "the majority of whom are unlikely to be of intelligence interest", as the government has admitted in documents accompanying the draft Investigatory Powers Bill.

Intelligence agency staff have stated: "These datasets vary in size from hundreds to millions of records. Where possible, Bulk Personal Datasets may be linked together so that analysts can quickly find all the information linked to a selector", such as a telephone number or search query. The information retrieved "may include, but is not limited to, personal information such as an individual’s religion, racial or ethnic origin, political views, ... medical condition, sexual orientation, or any legally privileged, journalistic or otherwise confidential information."

NTAC has access to NHS information, according to official documents.

Before PRESTON, there was "TINKERBELL"

The Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee were told earlier this year that "Bulk Personal Datasets may be acquired through overt and covert channels" (such as by intercepting data links), and that the agencies, including NTAC, share Bulk Personal Datasets between them.

The legal authority for the acquisition and use of Bulk Personal Datasets was claimed to be authorised by the Intelligence Services Act 1994, but to be "implicit rather than explicit".

As the minister who arranged for the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to pass through Parliament, David Davis says that officials never conveyed, even secretly, how they saw the law as authorising the creation of a joined-up secret national database.

"What is becoming ever more clear in the latest revelations around the IP Bill is that the level of intrusive surveillance has for over ten years been massively more than the government ever admitted to Parliament, most particularly in the field of bulk data sets", he told The Reg.

Ironically, it was the revelation of Britain's first national telephone tapping centre, known to the police as "Tinkerbell", that forced the government to acknowledge and then legally regulate phone tapping. Tinkerbell was located in Chelsea, half a mile from where PRESTON now operates. I revealed the Tinkerbell centre in the New Statesman magazine in 1980, forcing the government to announce a white paper, appoint a judge, and finally to create the Interception of Communications Act.

That act also legalised bulk collection from overseas cables, I wrote at the time. Confirmation of that story has taken 30 years, to the time of Edward Snowden.

The Reg, seemingly alone in the UK press, has not been 15 years behind in hearing of and warning about the Big Brother national database. Our Christopher Williams, now at the Telegraph, got wind of the NTAC central database story in 2009, and also got the first scoop on the start of GCHQ's mass surveillance "Mastering the Internet" program, now revealed as Project Tempora in documents provided by Edward Snowden.

Vigilance on behalf of liberty has had little discernible impact, except in the field of semantics. Across 299 pages in the new Investigatory Powers Bill [PDF], the word "database" does not appear once.

Billions of call and internet records, stolen financial data, intercepted travel records, a heap of bulk personal datasets on matters including religion, racial or ethnic origin, political views, medical condition, sexual orientation, or legally privileged, journalistic or otherwise confidential information, all joined up together and archived in secret do not constitute a "database", whatever techie readers may think. And that's official.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-18 11:40:55


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-26 14:53:13

The foolish ‘theism’ of government enthusiasts

by George Will

Presidential campaigns inflate expectations that power wielded from government’s pinnacle will invigorate the nation. Thus campaigns demonstrate that creationists threaten the creative ferment that produces social improvement. Not religious creationists, who are mistaken but inconsequential. It is secular creationists whose social costs are steep.

“Secular theists” — economist Don Boudreaux’s term — produce governments gripped by the fatal conceit that they are wiser than society’s spontaneous experimental order. Such governments imposed order suffocates improvisation and innovation. Like religious creationists gazing upon biological complexity, secular theists assume that social complexity requires an intentional design imposed from on high by wise designers, a.k.a. them.

In his book “The Evolution of Everything: How New Ideas Emerge,” Matt Ridley refutes the secular creationists’ fallacious idea that because social complexity is the result of human actions, it must, or should, be the result of human design. In fact, Ridley says, “Far more than we like to admit, the world is to a remarkable extent a self-organizing, self-changing place.”

What explains the reluctance to admit this? Perhaps the human mind evolved to seek a Designer behind designs. (“On the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel,” Ridley says, “Adam and God touch fingers. To the uneducated eye it is not clear who is creating whom.”) Or perhaps people feel anxious if no one is in charge. Ridley’s point is that everyone is in charge of social change. It is propelled by what Friedrich Hayek, echoing Darwin, called “selection by imitation of successful institutions and habits.” This is a broad-based, bottom-up process by which society, like Darwinian nature, is constantly experimenting.

Morality evolves: Religious and other moral instructors base their moral codes on the way people who are considered moral behave — people who are deemed moral because they exemplify rules conducive to human flourishing. Legal systems evolve: The common-law basis of the system under which Americans live had no inspired lawgiver; it emerged from centuries of the Anglosphere’s trial and error.

Describing the way living cells respond to local effects, Ridley, an evolutionary biologist, writes: “It is as if an entire city emerged from chaos just because people responded to local incentives in the way they set up their homes and businesses. (Oh, hang on — that is how cities emerged too.)”

Similarly, no committee or other command-and-control system decreed the rules of the world’s languages. Darwin: “The formation of different languages, and of distinct species, and the proofs that both have been developed through a gradual process, are curiously parallel.” Ridley: “It is as if a human language, with all its syntax and grammar, were to emerge spontaneously from the actions of its individual speakers, with nobody laying down the rules. (Oh, hang on . . . ).”

In 1908, a French philosopher applied Darwinian reasoning to the evolution of fishing boats: “It is clear that a very badly made boat will end up at the bottom after one or two voyages and thus never be copied. . . . It is the sea herself who fashions the boats, choosing those which function and destroying the others.”

Ridley applies to everything the perspective of Leonard E. Read’s famous 1958 essay “I, Pencil.” In it a pencil explains that “I am a mystery” because not a single person knows how to make me. The seemingly simple pencil is wood harvested by loggers using saws and ropes made elsewhere, wood transported by trucks and trains made by many thousands of people, to mills where machines — the products of ore mined by thousands and steel mills staffed by thousands more — prepare the wood to receive graphite mined abroad and the eraser from foreign rubber, held in place by aluminum mined somewhere and smelted somewhere else, before lacquer (castor beans and other ingredients) is applied, and. .&#8201;.&#8201;.

Behind a pencil stand millions of cooperating people, but no mastermind. Which is why worshipers in the church of government, the source of top-down authority, disparage a free society’s genius for spontaneous order: It limits the importance of government and other supposed possessors of the expertise that supposedly is essential for imposing order from above.

No one, writes Ridley, anticipated that when Gutenberg made printed books affordable, increased literacy would create a market for spectacles, which would lead to improved lenses and the invention of telescopes, which would produce the discovery that the Earth orbits the sun. No one planned that one particular book’s argument for the fecundity of freedom would bolster the case for limited government the way Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” did when published in 1776.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2015-12-30 17:12:32

“The state — or, to make matters more concrete, the government — consists of a gang of men exactly like you and me. They have, taking one with another, no special talent for the business of government; they have only a talent for getting and holding office. Their principal device to that end is to search out groups who pant and pine for something they can’t get, and to promise to give it to them. Nine times out of ten that promise is worth nothing. The tenth time it is made good by looting ‘A’ to satisfy ‘B’. In other words, government is a broker in pillage, and every election is a sort of advanced auction on stolen goods.”

-- H.L. Mencken

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-01 15:48:27

Live Aid: The Terrible Truth

Remember how in the 80s Bob Geldof and Live Aid raised $100M for famine relief in Etheopia? Turns out all the money was used by the govt to buy weapons to crush the opposition in a civil war. Good intentions + willful ignorance + govt = death and suffering.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-04 17:09:10

Quotation of the Day is from page 182 of H.L. Mencken’s essay “On Government,” as it is reprinted in the 1996 Johns Hopkins University Press collection of some of Mencken’s essays, Prejudices: A Selection:

"The government can not only evoke fear in its victims; it can also evoke a sort of superstitious reverence. It is thus both an army and a church, and with sharp weapons in both hands it is virtually irresistible. Its personnel, true enough, may be changed, and so may the external forms of the fraud it practises, but its inner nature is immutable."

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-07 11:35:06

Quotation of the day is from page 92 of the 1978 collection, edited by Eric Mack, of Auberon Herbert’s essays, The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State; specifically, it’s from Herbert’s March 1884 Forthnigtly Review essay “A Politician in Sight of Heaven”:

"You may use your own reason when you say that compulsory education, or compulsory temperance, is good for certain people, and proceed to carry it out; but in so acting you disallow the existence of reason in those whom you compel. You have placed them in a lower rank to yourself, you retaining and using your reason, they being disenfranchised of it."

People who, obsessing over current differences in monetary incomes or wealth, call for forced ‘redistribution’ are blind to nearly all diversity and differences among people. Not only are such ‘redistributionists’ blind to the differences in ages that account for much of the difference in incomes (for example, young people do not earn today as much as middle-aged people, or as much as these same young people will earn 30 or 40 years from now). And not only are these ‘redistributionists’ blind to the different tastes and preferences that exist in any human population (for example, the person who chooses a career as a college professor chooses to take much of his or her income in the form of leisure and job security compared to the person who chooses a career as a hedge-fund manager). Such ‘redistributionists’ are blind also to the inequalities of power necessarily created when some people, using the force of the state, assume the authority to compel others to do their bidding. And this inequality is no less real or worrisome if those who have a disproportionate share of it are exercising power for their own narrow ends or are exercising power ostensibly to ‘help’ those over whom it is wielded.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-01-09 16:15:08

Therefore, Nietzsche believed the state was an artifice invented to serve a political class, based on the myth of a shared culture and past.

Who did the state serve? “The history of the state is the history of the egoism of the masses and of the blind desire to exist,” Nietzsche wrote in his notes in 1873. He again echoed those sentiments in Thus Spake Zarathustra, writing, “All-too-many are born: for the superfluous the state was invented.” Everything about the modern state was corrupt: education (“they steal the works of the inventors and the treasures of the sages for themselves”), the media (“they vomit their gall and call it a newspaper”), and most of all, politics. Nietzsche characterized politics as a mad rush for power, which squandered the talents of great men, who were forced to pander to the lowest common denominator.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-13 09:49:56

Quote of the day...

"The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside."

---Allan Bloom

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-13 17:27:40

US Drug Laws Destabilize Other Nations

By Randall Holcombe • Monday January 11, 2016 4:00 PM PST

This article in USA Today ( is headlined, “El Salvador: World’s New Murder Capital.” El Salvador’s murder rate is 104 per 100,000 population, and as the article notes, this is a national average. “If you start looking at where the pockets of violence are, it’s shocking.”

Why are things so bad in El Salvador? The article says, “All countries south of the U.S. border face the same problem: cartels and gangs fighting to control smuggling of drugs and people to the United States and infiltrating government institutions to help them.”

It should be difficult for Americans to support domestic policies that have such pernicious effects overseas.

The effects spill over at home too. The article says, “The surge in violence explains why thousands of Salvadorans and other Central Americans have fled to the United States and why immigration officials are stepping up efforts to send them back home.”

The drug war clearly compromises individual liberty at home. Freedom has no meaning if people are only free to engage in activities that meet with government approval. I could list a host of other negative consequences stemming from the war on drugs, but I will save that for another time, to emphasize how our domestic policies have had such negative consequences for our neighbors.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-15 13:08:57


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-01-15 23:56:35

Quote of the Day:

"There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew" [/size]
- Marshall McLuhan-


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-17 21:52:25

Quote of the day...

"Finally, the concluding essay is a cry from the heart on the
basic reason why a person should be a Libertarian: not as an
intellectual parlor game, not from the utilitarian weighing of
costs and benefits, and not because there will be X percent
more bathtubs produced in the free society. The basic reason
for one’s libertarianism should be a passion for justice, for
sweeping away as quickly as possible the tyranny, the thiev-
ery, the mass murder, and enslavement, which statism has, for
too long, imposed upon mankind. It is only such a concern
for justice that can inspire the Libertarian to try to abolish, as
quickly as he can (and far from the Marxian sense), the
exploitation of man by man."

-- Murray N. Rothbard

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-01-18 11:04:32

Quotes of the day...

Human beings will be happier - not when they cure cancer or get to Mars or eliminate racial prejudice or flush Lake Erie but when they find ways to inhabit primitive communities again. That's my utopia.
-Kurt Vonnegut-

Our problem right now is that we're so specialized that if the lights go out, there are a huge number of people who are not going to know what to do. But within every dystopia there's a little utopia.
-Margaret Atwood-

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-01-19 11:36:01

Certainly orthogonal takes on the invasion from the Middle East are growing and an chemistry that won't work is being fermented.



President of the Czech Republic speaks on Islam's non-miscability with the West [/size]

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:Liveleaks (
Author: Eeyorevladtepes
Date: 2016.01.17

There are only a few leaders willing to speak the truth about islam, let alone not criminalize the truth about it. The president of the Czech Republic is one of the chief among these. This is well worth the time to watch.


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-19 16:27:42

Quotation of the day...

… is from page 91 of the 1978 collection, edited by Eric Mack, of Auberon Herbert’s essays, The Right and Wrong of Compulsion by the State; specifically, it’s from Herbert’s March 1884 Forthnigtly Review essay “A Politician in Sight of Heaven”:

"Moreover, physical force in a man’s hand is an instrument of such brutal character that its very nature destroys or excludes the kindlier or better qualities of human nature. The man who compels his neighbor is not the man who reasons with and convinces him, who seeks to influence him by example, who rouses him to make exertions to save himself. He takes upon himself to treat him, not as a being with reason, but as an animal in whom reason is not."

Government (so-called) is force. Force has its place and uses – namely, to protect one’s self and one’s property from aggressions initiated by others. In a world with people willing to resort to force to achieve their ends at others’ expense and without others’ uncoerced consent, force must be employed by non-aggressors to defend themselves against aggressors. But nearly all that government actually does is unable to be explained, even through the most skillful legerdemain, as being consistent with this appropriate use of force.

Subsidies to farmers and to Boeing? Tariffs on foreign-made clothing? Prohibiting low-skilled workers from competing for jobs by offering to work at wages below the government-stipulated minimum? Prohibitions on Uber? FDA’s refusal to let individuals choose to use whichever medicines and medical devices they wish? Taxing “the rich” simply in attempts to make the ‘distribution’ of monetary incomes more equal? The vast array of occupational-licensing restrictions?

None of these, and not many other, government projects is a use of force to protect innocent people from the forceful aggression of others. Each of these, and many other, government projects is the initiation of force against peaceful others in order to oblige those peaceful others to do, or to refrain from doing, as the force-wielders command.

In some cases the force wielders might indeed be aiming at ends that most people regard as desirable. In most cases, however, the force wielders – though they always attempt to disguise their venal motives with fine words – have no goal in mind higher than to profit materially at the expense of others. And in many cases, as Bruce Yandle famously explains (here and here), the force is wielded by conniving rent-seekers conveniently allied with people who fancy themselves to have ‘higher’ motives. The latter are typically dupes for the former (as when, for example, professors and preachers, thinking themselves friends of poor workers, support minimum-wage legislation the benefits of which redound to higher-skilled workers or to the owners of relatively capital-intensive firms and the costs of which are inflicted upon poor workers).

Force is primitive. It’s the way of the thief, the vandal, the arson, the kidnapper, the thug, the pirate, the terrorist, the warmonger, the rapist. It’s the instinct of every ill-mannered child on the school playground who envies a schoolmate’s toy. The first, because it most primitive, thought that occurs to the child is to snatch the toy from the schoolmate. It’s such a simple solution. No reason is involved. The thought here of the child is practically identical to that of the dog, the weasel, or the shark. But, of course, even a child is a human with higher intelligence. He can form a coalition with other children, thus forming a stronger force against the children with better toys. Negotiation among the gang involves some higher powers of thought; the gang – amongst themselves – compromise and exchange. But when they finally turn their power against the weaker children whose toys will be seized, the gang of children act as animals. No negotiation, no reason, just force.

Force is among the most primitive of human instincts and behaviors. In essence, force is idiotic, for it is the primal urge of the idiot who demands to have his way.

And yet, we today, when such force is instantiated into a large gang and given the trappings of elections and flags and anthems and columned buildings, and its leaders given deceptive titles (“Hon.”), the force often becomes so powerful that, in most cases, it merely needs to be threatened rather than actually used in order that the gang gets from others what its members want. And so we forget that it’s force. We mistakenly call the state “government,” and we call its dictates “law.”

In this way, primitive, unreasonable, and uncivilized brutality is made to appear to be something that it is not and by its nature cannot possibly be.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-21 18:30:39

Quotation of the day....

"All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptable. " -- Frank Herbert

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-01-24 14:55:18

Worlds Apart or Worlds in Collision ? The current rhetoric about China/ financial gloom and doom belies the what is really going on as a stable middle class emerges and the Western Bankers have sour grapes because they don't own the game and pull the levelers for person gain, but they meet delusional in the idea they still run the world as their personal sandbox hat they can soil at will.



Davos 2016: It's now all about technology, but what actually happened?[/size]

[img width=600 height=300]

Source:The Register (
Author: Kieren McCarthy
Date: 2016.01.23

Robots wars, encryption battles, bitcoin skirmishes[/size]

Sketch It used to be that the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in the Swiss ski resort of Davos was all about finance and politics.

But since it turned out that the bankers were almost exactly as corrupt and incompetent as the small cadre of protestors that stood in the snow every year insisted they were, finance has taken a back seat to tech.

So much so in fact that the "official theme" of this year's meeting was the "Fourth Industrial Revolution" – a term that WEF chair Klaus Schwab is desperate to promote and associate himself with.

What does it mean? Well, according to Schwab it is about the mass unemployment that will brought about by our future robot masters.

If that's not enough stimulus for the tech egos in this tiny, over-priced town, what could be?

Maybe noted financier/politician/technologist Leonardo di Caprio, who appeared on stage and pledged $15m for environment grants while complaining about oil companies. "Enough is enough," he told members of the mega-rich assembly, who were too busy asking each other: "Have you seen Revenant yet?"

Another movie star, Kevin Spacey, was also there, trying to find someone rich enough to bail out Relativity Studios (of which he has just become chairman) in an effort to prevent his House of Cards series from disappearing into financial dust.

His pitch was all Hollywood but aimed at Northern California: "In the next few years Silicon Valley is going to much more involved in content. I would not be surprised if a big tech company would buy a studio," he told reporters. Hint, hint, nudge, nudge.
More of the same

Not that Microsoft's Satya Nadella nor Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg were listening. They were too busy being feted on a main panel for regurgitating the same things that every tech CEO has said since the dawn of time.

Don't be afraid of the robots, they both said to a cowering Schwab, hiding behind his pile of autographed books on the subject, we're optimistic about the possibilities that technology brings.

"While we have major issues that we need to address in terms of jobs, we also have the possibility of job creation that is even larger," said either Sandberg or Nadella.

As an example of this empathetic, beautiful Brave New World, Sandberg then used the example of a three-year-old refugee who drowned on a Turkish beach.

"It would be nice if we could all have all those human connections in person, but most people will not be able to connect with a Syrian refugee in person and so the ability to do that with video and pictures is what is going to create that empathy," she enthused, while failing to note that despite all the millions of "Likes" on pictures of a dead kid with heart-rendering messages typed on top, he was still dead.

Sheryl was on a roll, though. Next up she decided to show the world exactly how its done, and started talking about how Facebook was going to help fight in the war against Islamic extremism, just days after White House officials turned up on her doorstep asking Facebook to help in the fight against Islamic extremism.

And in case you were wondering why Davos even exists, it is precisely in that exchange. Davos is for the people that run the world's companies, financial institutions and political establishments to say the same thing they've been saying to bored audiences all year, but this time to people they've seen on the telly.
Old and new

In that sense, Silicon Valley execs turned up to push their case on encryption. Namely, that they want it without a big government-sized hole in the middle.

The fact is that governments have been placing increasing pressure on tech companies to give them the information they have – just take a look at the ever-increasing number of requests that Google, Facebook, Apple et al put out in their "transparency reports."

On this point, there was an interesting split between the long-term attendees of Davos and the new kids of the block.

The epitome of old power, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, doesn't think tech should even express an opinion. "I don’t think it is Silicon Valley’s decision to make about whether encryption is the right thing to do," he said, missing the somewhat obvious point that the data – the tsunami of web traffic – his company has access to is far, far more personal than the other firms that he encourages to shut up.

As for the new kids, the chief scientist of Silent Circle Javier Aguera made the encryption counterargument: "You can do what you want from a policy perspective, but you can’t stop mathematics." Give him another decade of Davos meetings, he'll soon his tune.

And of course sat right in the middle was Microsoft: an old timer but desperate to be hip with the new kids. Its top-lawyer-turned-president Brad Smith literally talked about being stuck in the middle. "You could be placed in a situation where you have to decide what law to break," he told yet another panel. "It isn’t a comfortable place to be."

Also on the old-timers side was Cisco, and its newly installed CEO Chuck Robbins. He stuck with the tried-and-tested routine of talking about what great technology was coming and how everything was going to be great.

Big data means no more refugees and no more death, he pitched. All this wonderful technology we have at our fingertips, things have never been better. It was classic Davos: utterly devoid of awareness outside its rarefied world.

There was a small sliver of space for the finance industry to enter into however: their use – or non-use – of new technology in the form of digital currencies. Bitcoin and the like.

The International Monetary Fund scoffed at its size – just $7 billion in digital currency compared to $1.4 trillion in proper money. But, it warned, it may be time to start learning about this digital stuff.

Nonsense, said Citi’s chief economist Willem Buiter in between sips of Dom Perignon: "We know that Bitcoin itself is a complete failure and shows the number one law of programming and software: that anything that can be programmed can be hacked. So nothing is completely secure."

The same came from Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank. "I wouldn’t be so worried," said John Cryan, co-CEO of Deutsche Bank finishing his cigar. "Blockchain technology is interesting. Bitcoin, I don’t think is."
Coming down

Which of course leads to the question: what are these people on? OK, maybe nothing more than the sweet smell of success, but we do know that the people hired to protect them from the real world outside were.

Twelve Swiss soldiers were sent home for being high on cannabis or cocaine, an army spokesman admitted. You can hardly blame them, it can't be easy standing at the intersection of two wildly different worlds. ®

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-01-25 23:58:24


To Quote [BL] "my tail gets all bushy" when the 'Banksters' are going to deliver to us a new world order by 2030. Meshing that with their new found interest in AI it say 'MATRIX 2030'

Cheers 'Blue Pill in Hand'


The similarity is just to ironic for me:
Davros is a genius who has mastered many areas of science but also a megalomaniac who believes that through his creations he can become the supreme being and ruler of the Universe. Lord of the Dalek robot race..



Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-27 11:48:30

Quotation of the day is from page 180 of Daniel Boorstin’s 1958 volume, The Americans: The Colonial Experience:

Where every sect lacked the power to coerce, they all wisely “chose” to persuade.

Yes. And such persuasion forms essential paving stones for civil society.

I propose a corollary to Boorstin’s observation: where some people have the power to coerce, not only do they never choose the option of persuasion, but also their coercion soon comes to be regarded by both the coercers and the coerced as the only possible means of achieving whatever desirable outcomes the coercion is believed to be used to achieve. Using coercion to achieve X crowds out not only the actual use of peaceful, persuasive means of achieving X, it also destroys any realization that X can be achieved non-coercively.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-01-27 20:14:30


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-02-01 17:25:30

[emphasis added]

Quote of the day is from page 22 of the late Nobel laureate Elinor Ostrom‘s important 1990 volume, Governing the Commons:

"An assertion that central regulation is necessary tells us nothing about the way a central agency should be constituted, what authority it should have, how the limits on its authority should be maintained, how it will obtain information, or how its agents should be selected, motivated to do their work, and have their performances monitored and rewarded or sanctioned."

Yes. Calls to empower and entrust government to undertake this or that task are typically done with shocking recklessness. The presumption behind these calls is that the power that is being called upon is a god-like entity – a miracle-worker – who by assumption and by assumption only not only puts “our” interest ahead of its own, but is also sufficiently informed and wise, and who operates with such an ideal mix of prudence and creativity, that we can be sure that it will improve our lives.

This wholly unscientific – this largely faith-based – manner of regarding the state is not confined to rubes, children, and people who are bewitched by the likes of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. It is, I am chagrined to say, the manner of regarding the state that is typical among most economists. Very common today is the economist who swears his or her allegiance to Objective Science (although, I note in passing, most of these oaths are to the false god of scientism and not to actual science as it is appropriate for the study of society) – who boasts of being “data driven” as a means of trumpeting his or her Scientific creds – who sincerely believes that he or she is an immune-to-bias evaluator of “the facts” as these relate to different policy options. But regardless of the actual scientific merit of such work as it applies to the study of the private economy, far too much of it merely assumes, with a faith that would humble St. Paul, that government can be trusted to exercise power wisely and successfully for the good of all humankind.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-02-10 08:49:07

“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all. We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain.”

-- Frédéric Bastiat, The Law

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-02-21 21:05:45

"What is obvious may be relative to one's time. If a thinker of the stature of Aristotle could not see that slavery was unjust, we must question how objectively obvious it was. And on the other hand, future generations will likely find obvious some things that we have difficulty seeing today. 'Is there a special group of people with the right to use threats to force everyone else to obey their commands, even when their commands are wrong?' Future generations may view the answer to that as too obvious to merit discussion."

~Michael Huemer. The Problem of Political Authority

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-02-22 00:20:29


Eco was born in Alessandria, Italy on January 5th, 1932 and died at the age of 84 in Milano, Italy on January 19th, 2016.

“When men stop believing in God, it isn't that they then believe in nothing: they believe in everything.” -Umberto Eco-

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-02-25 08:47:18


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-03-02 19:37:52


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-03-12 10:07:05


The "Anarchists" here are the so-called left anarchists, aka collectivists, communists, AnSocs, etc. They insist that Capitalism is inconsistent with anarchy (it is not, maybe corporatism but not capitalism), and distance themselves from the historical communist governments of Stalin and Mao, but fail to see their own hypocrisy when it comes to interfering in what other people are allowed to do voluntarily.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-05-28 11:31:58

Why We Couldn’t Abolish Slavery Then and Can’t Abolish Government Now
By Robert Higgs | Posted: Thu. August 20, 2009

Slavery existed for thousands of years, in all sorts of societies and all parts of the world. To imagine human social life without it required an extraordinary effort. Yet, from time to time, eccentrics emerged to oppose it, most of them arguing that slavery is a moral monstrosity and therefore people should get rid of it. Such advocates generally elicited reactions that ranged from gentle amusement to harsh scorn and violent assault.

When people bothered to give reasons for opposing the proposed abolition, they advanced many different ideas. In the first column of the accompanying table, I list ten such ideas that I have encountered in my reading. At one time, countless people found one or more of these reasons an adequate ground on which to oppose the abolition of slavery.

In retrospect, however, these reasons seem shabby—more rationalizations than reasons. They now appear to nearly everyone to be, if not utterly specious, then shaky or, at best, unpersuasive, notwithstanding an occasional grain of truth. No one now dredges up these ideas or their corollaries to support a proposal for reestablishing slavery. Although vestiges of slavery exist in northern Africa and a few other places, the idea that slavery is a defensible social institution is defunct. Reasons that once, not so long ago, seemed to provide compelling grounds for opposing the abolition of slavery now pack no intellectual punch.

Strange to say, however, the same ideas once trotted out to justify opposition to the abolition of slavery are now routinely trotted out to justify opposition to the abolition of government (as we know it). Libertarian anarchists bold enough to have publicly advanced their proposal for abolishing the state will have encountered many, if not all, of the arguments used for centuries to prop up slavery. Thus, we may make a parallel list, as shown in the table’s second column.

In the table, my repetition of the cumbersome expression “government (as we know it)” may seem odd, or even irritating, but I have chosen to tax the reader’s patience in this way for a reason. When the typical person encounters an advocate of anarchism, his immediate reaction is to identify a list of critical government functions—preservation of social order, maintenance of a legal system for resolving disputes and dealing with criminals, protection against foreign aggressors, enforcement of private property rights, support of the weak and defenseless, production and maintenance of economic infrastructure, and so forth. This reaction, however, shoots at the wrong target.

Libertarian anarchists do not deny that such social functions must be carried out if a society is to function successfully. They do deny, however, that we must have government (as we know it) to carry them out. Libertarian anarchists prefer that these functions be carried out by private providers with whom the beneficiaries have agreed to deal. When I write about government “as we know it,” I am referring to the monopolistic, individually nonconsensual form of government that now exists virtually everywhere on earth.

Readers may object that at least some existing governments do have the people’s consent, but where’s the evidence? Show me the properly signed and witnessed contracts. Unless all of the responsible adults subject to a government’s claimed authority have voluntarily and explicitly accepted its governance on specific terms, the presumption must be that the rulers have simply imposed their rule. Propaganda statements, civics texts, opinion surveys, barroom allegations, political elections, and so forth are beside the point in this regard. No one would think of proffering such forms of evidence to show that I have a valid contract with Virgin Mobile, which supplies me with telelphone service. When will the governments of the United States, the state of Louisiana, and St. Tammany Parish send me the contracts wherein I may agree (or not) to purchase their “services” on mutually acceptable terms?

The similarity of arguments against the abolition of slavery and arguments against the abolition of government (as we know it) should shake the faith of all Americans who still labor under the misconception that ours is a “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” From where I stand, it looks distressingly like an institutional complex that rests on the same shaky intellectual foundations as slavery.

Arguments Against the Abolition of Slavery and Arguments Against the Abolition of Government (as We Know It)

Slavery is natural.

Government (as we know it) is natural.

Slavery has always existed.

Government (as we know it) has always existed.

Every society on earth has slavery.

Every society on earth has government (as we know it)

The slaves are not capable of taking care of themselves.

The people are not capable of taking care of themselves

Without masters, the slaves will die off.

Without government (as we know it), the people will die off.

Where the common people are free, they are even worse off than slaves

Where the common people have no government (as we know it), they are much worse off (e.g., Somalia).

Getting rid of slavery would occasion great bloodshed and other evils.

Getting rid of government (as we know it) would occasion great bloodshed and other evils.

Without slavery, the former slaves would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem.

Without government (as we know it), the people would run amuck, stealing, raping, killing, and generally causing mayhem.

Trying to get rid of slavery is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal.

Trying to get rid of government (as we know it) is foolishly utopian and impractical; only a fuzzy-headed dreamer would advance such a cockamamie proposal.

Forget abolition. A far better plan is to keep the slaves sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and occasionally entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter.

Forget anarchy. A far better plan is to keep the ordinary people sufficiently well fed, clothed, housed, and entertained and to take their minds off their exploitation by encouraging them to focus on the better life that awaits them in the hereafter.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-05-28 11:35:32


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-05-28 11:37:49


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-05-28 11:39:31




Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-05-28 11:54:55


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-05-30 17:12:44

Seems Finland is looking at different ways to represent the people, albeit still Government.



Finland is introducing experimentation to politics on both national and city level

Finland is taking many steps in order to become the first truly experimental nation in the world.

Firstly, ministries and municipalities are picking experimental methods. For example, there are over 100 mobility experiments being planned and executed, many of them under the administration ministry of traffic and communications, which plans to turn Finland into a one giant Mobility Laboratory.

Secondly, the Prime Minister’s Office is currently investigating how to transform funding so that it can better support different experiments. This investigation is also undertaken by Demos Helsinki.

Thirdly, Finland is creating new platforms for communicating about experiments: sharing information, know-how and related practices.

As the first step the Prime Minister’s Office is setting up the an experimentation office to oversee the experiments and scaling.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-06-02 14:27:36

-Pat Condell-

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-07-09 12:36:04

I like this new blog >>

What is anarchy?

Chaos in the streets. That’s what most people will think about when you say the word ‘anarchy’ to them. In their mind’s eye, scenes of riots and hooded youngsters setting cars on fire may start to play out. Of course it helps that mainstream media news anchors frequently and wrongly apply the term to such situations and that mostritos people have never been taught or even given the opportunity to consider what anarchy really means.

But what does “anarchy” really mean? To answer that, we must first reclaim the original, literal meaning of the word itself.

Anarchy comes from the ancient Greek (anarchia), combining (a), “note, without” and (arkhi), “ruler, leader, authority.” “Anarchy” thus means (a person or society) “without rulers” or “without leaders.”

So far from being about chaos in the streets, anarchy simply means that we desire to organize our everyday life, our neighborhoods, our cities and our societies using any and all effective means at our disposal – chiefly free market interactions between completely free human beings – but we are not going to have any ‘special’ human beings that get to lord it over other human beings. That’s it. Not very complicated, is it?

Anarchy is not about chaos or wanton destruction. In fact, what has actually caused the most horrific periods of chaos and suffering for human beings throughout history? The answer of course is: rulers! maoHitler, Stalin, Mao. These rulers, while claiming to bring order and prosperity, actually killed hundreds of millions of innocent human beings. Anarchy means no more Hitlers, no more Stalins, no more Maos. Although the present rulers that most of us live under today are not as bad as that horror cabinet of historical rulers, they still stunt growth, imprison people for victimless crimes, steal money from ordinary people to bailout big corporations, and engage in out near-constant warfare.

There is another complication: some people like to call themselves anarchist and communist or socialist at the same time. This makes very little sense – in fact, you could argue this is oxymoronic. If people in an anarchist society want to share things between them freely – communally – they would of course be free to do so. But under “anarcho-communism”, you would be forced to share – which of course implies that you need some type of ruling class to wield that power and decide how to redistributed the stolen goods. Meaningful anarchy can also be called “anarcho-capitalism”, where capitalism simply means the free exchange of goods between free individuals.

‘Capitalism’ is another word who’s meaning has been hijacked and corrupted by those who do not like its original meaning. For example many people today associate capitalism with the present political system in America. In so doing, they confuse capitalism with ‘corporatism’, the system that many of us unfortunately live under today, where big corporations control most aspects of our lives through manipulation of an increasingly powerful and centralized government. These corporations make huge profits when times are good and should their risky behavior ever lead them to the brink of bankruptcy, government will tax regular citizens and ‘bail out’ the corporations, ostensibly because they are ‘too big to fail’. In fact, capitalism basically just means private property ownership, free markets and free competition – a concept far removed from the actual organization of almost all societies today, including the US.

So there you have it – anarchy simply means the absence of rulers. For society, this simple concept has the power to set people free from under the thumb of big corporations and big government and to usher in a new era of supercharged economic growth, peace and prosperity for the human race. And the love of that vision is what this site is all about – welcome to “I Love Anarchy!”

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-07-09 12:52:49


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-07-13 11:15:30


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-07-14 23:13:55

Lots to disagree with in this article, yet I was somewhat encouraged that the topic was taken up at all. Certainly it parrots the mainstream media cry that Bernie Sanders is a socialist, which by any world view is just silly and glosses over the bordering on criminal nature of the Clintons. It shorts the real influence that that big money has on how the office of president proceeds when in office.

Cheers Fritz

[color=red][size=6]Democracies end
when they are too democratic

Source: The New Yorker (
Author: Andrew Sullivan
Date: 2016.05.01

[img height=300 width=500]

And right now, America is a breeding ground for tyranny.

As this dystopian election campaign has unfolded, my mind keeps being tugged by a passage in Plato’s Republic. It has unsettled — even surprised — me from the moment I first read it in graduate school. The passage is from the part of the dialogue where Socrates and his friends are talking about the nature of different political systems, how they change over time, and how one can slowly evolve into another. And Socrates seemed pretty clear on one sobering point: that “tyranny is probably established out of no other regime than democracy.” What did Plato mean by that? Democracy, for him, I discovered, was a political system of maximal freedom and equality, where every lifestyle is allowed and public offices are filled by a lottery. And the longer a democracy lasted, Plato argued, the more democratic it would become. Its freedoms would multiply; its equality spread. Deference to any sort of authority would wither; tolerance of any kind of inequality would come under intense threat; and multiculturalism and sexual freedom would create a city or a country like “a many-colored cloak decorated in all hues.”

This rainbow-flag polity, Plato argues, is, for many people, the fairest of regimes. The freedom in that democracy has to be experienced to be believed — with shame and privilege in particular emerging over time as anathema. But it is inherently unstable. As the authority of elites fades, as Establishment values cede to popular ones, views and identities can become so magnificently diverse as to be mutually uncomprehending. And when all the barriers to equality, formal and informal, have been removed; when everyone is equal; when elites are despised and full license is established to do “whatever one wants,” you arrive at what might be called late-stage democracy. There is no kowtowing to authority here, let alone to political experience or expertise.

The very rich come under attack, as inequality becomes increasingly intolerable. Patriarchy is also dismantled: “We almost forgot to mention the extent of the law of equality and of freedom in the relations of women with men and men with women.” Family hierarchies are inverted: “A father habituates himself to be like his child and fear his sons, and a son habituates himself to be like his father and to have no shame before or fear of his parents.” In classrooms, “as the teacher ... is frightened of the pupils and fawns on them, so the students make light of their teachers.” Animals are regarded as equal to humans; the rich mingle freely with the poor in the streets and try to blend in. The foreigner is equal to the citizen.

And it is when a democracy has ripened as fully as this, Plato argues, that a would-be tyrant will often seize his moment.

He is usually of the elite but has a nature in tune with the time — given over to random pleasures and whims, feasting on plenty of food and sex, and reveling in the nonjudgment that is democracy’s civil religion. He makes his move by “taking over a particularly obedient mob” and attacking his wealthy peers as corrupt. If not stopped quickly, his appetite for attacking the rich on behalf of the people swells further. He is a traitor to his class — and soon, his elite enemies, shorn of popular legitimacy, find a way to appease him or are forced to flee. Eventually, he stands alone, promising to cut through the paralysis of democratic incoherence. It’s as if he were offering the addled, distracted, and self-indulgent citizens a kind of relief from democracy’s endless choices and insecurities. He rides a backlash to excess—“too much freedom seems to change into nothing but too much slavery” — and offers himself as the personified answer to the internal conflicts of the democratic mess. He pledges, above all, to take on the increasingly despised elites. And as the people thrill to him as a kind of solution, a democracy willingly, even impetuously, repeals itself.

And so, as I chitchatted over cocktails at a Washington office Christmas party in December, and saw, looming above our heads, the pulsating, angry televised face of Donald Trump on Fox News, I couldn’t help but feel a little nausea permeate my stomach. And as I watched frenzied Trump rallies on C-SPAN in the spring, and saw him lay waste to far more qualified political peers in the debates by simply calling them names, the nausea turned to dread. And when he seemed to condone physical violence as a response to political disagreement, alarm bells started to ring in my head. Plato had planted a gnawing worry in my mind a few decades ago about the intrinsic danger of late-democratic life. It was increasingly hard not to see in Plato’s vision a murky reflection of our own hyperdemocratic times and in Trump a demagogic, tyrannical character plucked directly out of one of the first books about politics ever written.

Could it be that the Donald has emerged from the populist circuses of pro wrestling and New York City tabloids, via reality television and Twitter, to prove not just Plato but also James Madison right, that democracies “have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention … and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths”? Is he testing democracy’s singular weakness — its susceptibility to the demagogue — by blasting through the firewalls we once had in place to prevent such a person from seizing power? Or am I overreacting?

Perhaps. The nausea comes and goes, and there have been days when the news algorithm has actually reassured me that “peak Trump” has arrived. But it hasn’t gone away, and neither has Trump. In the wake of his most recent primary triumphs, at a time when he is perilously close to winning enough delegates to grab the Republican nomination outright, I think we must confront this dread and be clear about what this election has already revealed about the fragility of our way of life and the threat late-stage democracy is beginning to pose to itself.

Plato, of course, was not clairvoyant. His analysis of how democracy can turn into tyranny is a complex one more keyed toward ancient societies than our own (and contains more wrinkles and eddies than I can summarize here). His disdain for democratic life was fueled in no small part by the fact that a democracy had executed his mentor, Socrates. And he would, I think, have been astonished at how American democracy has been able to thrive with unprecedented stability over the last couple of centuries even as it has brought more and more people into its embrace. It remains, in my view, a miracle of constitutional craftsmanship and cultural resilience. There is no place I would rather live. But it is not immortal, nor should we assume it is immune to the forces that have endangered democracy so many times in human history.

Part of American democracy’s stability is owed to the fact that the Founding Fathers had read their Plato. To guard our democracy from the tyranny of the majority and the passions of the mob, they constructed large, hefty barriers between the popular will and the exercise of power. Voting rights were tightly circumscribed. The president and vice-president were not to be popularly elected but selected by an Electoral College, whose representatives were selected by the various states, often through state legislatures. The Senate’s structure (with two members from every state) was designed to temper the power of the more populous states, and its term of office (six years, compared with two for the House) was designed to cool and restrain temporary populist passions. The Supreme Court, picked by the president and confirmed by the Senate, was the final bulwark against any democratic furies that might percolate up from the House and threaten the Constitution. This separation of powers was designed precisely to create sturdy firewalls against democratic wildfires.

Over the centuries, however, many of these undemocratic rules have been weakened or abolished. The franchise has been extended far beyond propertied white men. The presidency is now effectively elected through popular vote, with the Electoral College almost always reflecting the national democratic will. And these formal democratic advances were accompanied by informal ones, as the culture of democracy slowly took deeper root. For a very long time, only the elites of the political parties came to select their candidates at their quadrennial conventions, with the vote largely restricted to party officials from the various states (and often decided in, yes, smoke-filled rooms in large hotel suites). Beginning in the early 1900s, however, the parties began experimenting with primaries, and after the chaos of the 1968 Democratic convention, today’s far more democratic system became the norm.

Direct democracy didn’t just elect Congress and the president anymore; it expanded the notion of who might be qualified for public office. Once, candidates built a career through experience in elected or Cabinet positions or as military commanders; they were effectively selected by peer review. That elitist sorting mechanism has slowly imploded. In 1940, Wendell Willkie, a businessman with no previous political office, won the Republican nomination for president, pledging to keep America out of war and boasting that his personal wealth inoculated him against corruption: “I will be under obligation to nobody except the people.” He lost badly to Franklin D. Roosevelt, but nonetheless, since then, nonpolitical candidates have proliferated, from Ross Perot and Jesse Jackson, to Steve Forbes and Herman Cain, to this year’s crop of Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and, of course, Donald J. Trump. This further widening of our democracy — our increased openness to being led by anyone; indeed, our accelerating preference for outsiders — is now almost complete.

The barriers to the popular will, especially when it comes to choosing our president, are now almost nonexistent. In 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote and won the election thanks to Electoral College math and, more egregiously, to a partisan Supreme Court vote. Al Gore’s eventual concession spared the nation a constitutional crisis, but the episode generated widespread unease, not just among Democrats. And this year, the delegate system established by our political parties is also under assault. Trump has argued that the candidate with the most votes should get the Republican nomination, regardless of the rules in place. It now looks as if he won’t even need to win that argument — that he’ll bank enough delegates to secure the nomination uncontested — but he’s won it anyway. Fully half of Americans now believe the traditional nominating system is rigged.

Many contend, of course, that American democracy is actually in retreat, close to being destroyed by the vastly more unequal economy of the last quarter-century and the ability of the very rich to purchase political influence. This is Bernie Sanders’s core critique. But the past few presidential elections have demonstrated that, in fact, money from the ultrarich has been mostly a dud. Barack Obama, whose 2008 campaign was propelled by small donors and empowered by the internet, blazed the trail of the modern-day insurrectionist, defeating the prohibitive favorite in the Democratic primary and later his Republican opponent (both pillars of their parties’ Establishments and backed by moneyed elites). In 2012, the fund-raising power behind Mitt Romney — avatar of the one percent — failed to dislodge Obama from office. And in this presidential cycle, the breakout candidates of both parties have soared without financial support from the elites. Sanders, who is sustaining his campaign all the way to California on the backs of small donors and large crowds, is, to put it bluntly, a walking refutation of his own argument. Trump, of course, is a largely self-funding billionaire — but like Willkie, he argues that his wealth uniquely enables him to resist the influence of the rich and their lobbyists. Those despairing over the influence of Big Money in American politics must also explain the swift, humiliating demise of Jeb Bush and the struggling Establishment campaign of Hillary Clinton. The evidence suggests that direct democracy, far from being throttled, is actually intensifying its grip on American politics.

None of this is necessarily cause for alarm, even though it would be giving the Founding Fathers palpitations. The emergence of the first black president — unimaginable before our more inclusive democracy — is miraculous, a strengthening, rather than weakening, of the system. The days when party machines just fixed things or rigged elections are mercifully done with. The way in which outsider candidates, from Obama to Trump and Sanders, have brought millions of new people into the electoral process is an unmitigated advance. The inclusion of previously excluded voices helps, rather than impedes, our public deliberation. But it is precisely because of the great accomplishments of our democracy that we should be vigilant about its specific, unique vulnerability: its susceptibility, in stressful times, to the appeal of a shameless demagogue.

What the 21st century added to this picture, it’s now blindingly obvious, was media democracy — in a truly revolutionary form. If late-stage political democracy has taken two centuries to ripen, the media equivalent took around two decades, swiftly erasing almost any elite moderation or control of our democratic discourse. The process had its origins in partisan talk radio at the end of the past century. The rise of the internet — an event so swift and pervasive its political effect is only now beginning to be understood — further democratized every source of information, dramatically expanded each outlet’s readership, and gave everyone a platform. All the old barriers to entry — the cost of print and paper and distribution — crumbled.

So much of this was welcome. I relished it myself in the early aughts, starting a blog and soon reaching as many readers, if not more, as some small magazines do. Fusty old-media institutions, grown fat and lazy, deserved a drubbing. The early independent blogosphere corrected facts, exposed bias, earned scoops. And as the medium matured, and as Facebook and Twitter took hold, everyone became a kind of blogger. In ways no 20th-century journalist would have believed, we all now have our own virtual newspapers on our Facebook newsfeeds and Twitter timelines — picking stories from countless sources and creating a peer-to-peer media almost completely free of editing or interference by elites. This was bound to make politics more fluid. Political organizing — calling a meeting, fomenting a rally to advance a cause — used to be extremely laborious. Now you could bring together a virtual mass movement with a single webpage. It would take you a few seconds.

The web was also uniquely capable of absorbing other forms of media, conflating genres and categories in ways never seen before. The distinction between politics and entertainment became fuzzier; election coverage became even more modeled on sportscasting; your Pornhub jostled right next to your mother’s Facebook page. The web’s algorithms all but removed any editorial judgment, and the effect soon had cable news abandoning even the pretense of asking “Is this relevant?” or “Do we really need to cover this live?” in the rush toward ratings bonanzas. In the end, all these categories were reduced to one thing: traffic, measured far more accurately than any other medium had ever done before.

And what mainly fuels this is precisely what the Founders feared about democratic culture: feeling, emotion, and narcissism, rather than reason, empiricism, and public-spiritedness. Online debates become personal, emotional, and irresolvable almost as soon as they begin. Godwin’s Law — it’s only a matter of time before a comments section brings up Hitler — is a reflection of the collapse of the reasoned deliberation the Founders saw as indispensable to a functioning republic.

Yes, occasional rational points still fly back and forth, but there are dramatically fewer elite arbiters to establish which of those points is actually true or valid or relevant. We have lost authoritative sources for even a common set of facts. And without such common empirical ground, the emotional component of politics becomes inflamed and reason retreats even further. The more emotive the candidate, the more supporters he or she will get.

Politically, we lucked out at first. Obama would never have been nominated for the presidency, let alone elected, if he hadn’t harnessed the power of the web and the charisma of his media celebrity. But he was also, paradoxically, a very elite figure, a former state and U.S. senator, a product of Harvard Law School, and, as it turned out, blessed with a preternaturally rational and calm disposition. So he has masked, temporarily, the real risks in the system that his pioneering campaign revealed. Hence many Democrats’ frustration with him. Those who saw in his campaign the seeds of revolutionary change, who were drawn to him by their own messianic delusions, came to be bitterly disappointed by his governing moderation and pragmatism.

The climate Obama thrived in, however, was also ripe for far less restrained opportunists. In 2008, Sarah Palin emerged as proof that an ardent Republican, branded as an outsider, tailor-made for reality TV, proud of her own ignorance about the world, and reaching an audience directly through online media, could also triumph in this new era. She was, it turned out, a John the Baptist for the true messiah of conservative populism, waiting patiently and strategically for his time to come.

Trump, we now know, had been considering running for president for decades. Those who didn’t see him coming — or kept treating him as a joke — had not yet absorbed the precedents of Obama and Palin or the power of the new wide-open system to change the rules of the political game. Trump was as underrated for all of 2015 as Obama was in 2007 — and for the same reasons. He intuitively grasped the vanishing authority of American political and media elites, and he had long fashioned a public persona perfectly attuned to blast past them.

Despite his immense wealth and inherited privilege, Trump had always cultivated a common touch. He did not hide his wealth in the late-20th century — he flaunted it in a way that connected with the masses. He lived the rich man’s life most working men dreamed of — endless glamour and women, for example — without sacrificing a way of talking about the world that would not be out of place on the construction sites he regularly toured. His was a cult of democratic aspiration. His 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, promised its readers a path to instant success; his appearances on “The Howard Stern Show” cemented his appeal. His friendship with Vince McMahon offered him an early entrée into the world of professional wrestling, with its fusion of sports and fantasy. He was a macho media superstar.

One of the more amazing episodes in Sarah Palin’s early political life, in fact, bears this out. She popped up in the Anchorage Daily News as “a commercial fisherman from Wasilla” on April 3, 1996. Palin had told her husband she was going to Costco but had sneaked into J.C. Penney in Anchorage to see … one Ivana Trump, who, in the wake of her divorce, was touting her branded perfume. “We want to see Ivana,” Palin told the paper, “because we are so desperate in Alaska for any semblance of glamour and culture.”

Trump assiduously cultivated this image and took to reality television as a natural. Each week, for 14 seasons of The Apprentice, he would look someone in the eye and tell them, “You’re fired!” The conversation most humane bosses fear to have with an employee was something Trump clearly relished, and the cruelty became entertainment. In retrospect, it is clear he was training — both himself and his viewers. If you want to understand why a figure so widely disliked nonetheless powers toward the election as if he were approaching a reality-TV-show finale, look no further. His television tactics, as applied to presidential debates, wiped out rivals used to a different game. And all our reality-TV training has conditioned us to hope he’ll win — or at least stay in the game till the final round. In such a shame-free media environment, the assholes often win. In the end, you support them because they’re assholes.

In Eric Hoffer’s classic 1951 tract, The True Believer, he sketches the dynamics of a genuine mass movement. He was thinking of the upheavals in Europe in the first half of the century, but the book remains sobering, especially now. Hoffer’s core insight was to locate the source of all truly mass movements in a collective sense of acute frustration. Not despair, or revolt, or resignation — but frustration simmering with rage. Mass movements, he notes (as did Tocqueville centuries before him), rarely arise when oppression or misery is at its worst (say, 2009); they tend to appear when the worst is behind us but the future seems not so much better (say, 2016). It is when a recovery finally gathers speed and some improvement is tangible but not yet widespread that the anger begins to rise. After the suffering of recession or unemployment, and despite hard work with stagnant or dwindling pay, the future stretches ahead with relief just out of reach. When those who helped create the last recession face no consequences but renewed fabulous wealth, the anger reaches a crescendo.

The deeper, long-term reasons for today’s rage are not hard to find, although many of us elites have shamefully found ourselves able to ignore them. The jobs available to the working class no longer contain the kind of craftsmanship or satisfaction or meaning that can take the sting out of their low and stagnant wages. The once-familiar avenues for socialization — the church, the union hall, the VFW — have become less vibrant and social isolation more common. Global economic forces have pummeled blue-collar workers more relentlessly than almost any other segment of society, forcing them to compete against hundreds of millions of equally skilled workers throughout the planet. No one asked them in the 1990s if this was the future they wanted. And the impact has been more brutal than many economists predicted. No wonder suicide and mortality rates among the white working poor are spiking dramatically.

“It is usually those whose poverty is relatively recent, the ‘new poor,’ who throb with the ferment of frustration,” Hoffer argues. Fundamentalist religion long provided some emotional support for those left behind (for one thing, it invites practitioners to defy the elites as unholy), but its influence has waned as modernity has penetrated almost everything and the great culture wars of the 1990s and 2000s have ended in a rout. The result has been a more diverse mainstream culture — but also, simultaneously, a subculture that is even more alienated and despised, and ever more infuriated and bloody-minded.

This is an age in which a woman might succeed a black man as president, but also one in which a member of the white working class has declining options to make a decent living. This is a time when gay people can be married in 50 states, even as working-class families are hanging by a thread. It’s a period in which we have become far more aware of the historic injustices that still haunt African-Americans and yet we treat the desperate plight of today’s white working ­class as an afterthought. And so late-stage capitalism is creating a righteous, revolutionary anger that late-stage democracy has precious little ability to moderate or constrain — and has actually helped exacerbate.

For the white working class, having had their morals roundly mocked, their religion deemed primitive, and their economic prospects decimated, now find their very gender and race, indeed the very way they talk about reality, described as a kind of problem for the nation to overcome. This is just one aspect of what Trump has masterfully signaled as “political correctness” run amok, or what might be better described as the newly rigid progressive passion for racial and sexual equality of outcome, rather than the liberal aspiration to mere equality of opportunity.

Much of the newly energized left has come to see the white working class not as allies but primarily as bigots, misogynists, racists, and homophobes, thereby condemning those often at the near-bottom rung of the economy to the bottom rung of the culture as well. A struggling white man in the heartland is now told to “check his privilege” by students at Ivy League colleges. Even if you agree that the privilege exists, it’s hard not to empathize with the object of this disdain. These working-class communities, already alienated, hear — how can they not? — the glib and easy dismissals of “white straight men” as the ultimate source of all our woes. They smell the condescension and the broad generalizations about them — all of which would be repellent if directed at racial minorities — and see themselves, in Hoffer’s words, “disinherited and injured by an unjust order of things.”

And so they wait, and they steam, and they lash out. This was part of the emotional force of the tea party: not just the advancement of racial minorities, gays, and women but the simultaneous demonization of the white working-class world, its culture and way of life. Obama never intended this, but he became a symbol to many of this cultural marginalization. The Black Lives Matter left stoked the fires still further; so did the gay left, for whom the word magnanimity seems unknown, even in the wake of stunning successes. And as the tea party swept through Washington in 2010, as its representatives repeatedly held the government budget hostage, threatened the very credit of the U.S., and refused to hold hearings on a Supreme Court nominee, the American political and media Establishment mostly chose to interpret such behavior as something other than unprecedented. But Trump saw what others didn’t, just as Hoffer noted: “The frustrated individual and the true believer make better prognosticators than those who have reason to want the preservation of the status quo.”

Mass movements, Hoffer argues, are distinguished by a “facility for make-believe … credulity, a readiness to attempt the impossible.” What, one wonders, could be more impossible than suddenly vetting every single visitor to the U.S. for traces of Islamic belief? What could be more make-believe than a big, beautiful wall stretching across the entire Mexican border, paid for by the Mexican government? What could be more credulous than arguing that we could pay off our national debt through a global trade war? In a conventional political party, and in a rational political discourse, such ideas would be laughed out of contention, their self-evident impossibility disqualifying them from serious consideration. In the emotional fervor of a democratic mass movement, however, these impossibilities become icons of hope, symbols of a new way of conducting politics. Their very impossibility is their appeal.

But the most powerful engine for such a movement — the thing that gets it off the ground, shapes and solidifies and entrenches it — is always the evocation of hatred. It is, as Hoffer put it, “the most accessible and comprehensive of all unifying elements.” And so Trump launched his campaign by calling undocumented Mexican immigrants a population largely of rapists and murderers. He moved on to Muslims, both at home and abroad. He has now added to these enemies — with sly brilliance — the Republican Establishment itself. And what makes Trump uniquely dangerous in the history of American politics — with far broader national appeal than, say, Huey Long or George Wallace — is his response to all three enemies. It’s the threat of blunt coercion and dominance.

And so after demonizing most undocumented Mexican immigrants, he then vowed to round up and deport all 11 million of them by force. “They have to go” was the typically blunt phrase he used — and somehow people didn’t immediately recognize the monstrous historical echoes. The sheer scale of the police and military operation that this policy would entail boggles the mind. Worse, he emphasized, after the mass murder in San Bernardino, that even the Muslim-Americans you know intimately may turn around and massacre you at any juncture. “There’s something going on,” he declaimed ominously, giving legitimacy to the most hysterical and ugly of human impulses.

To call this fascism doesn’t do justice to fascism. Fascism had, in some measure, an ideology and occasional coherence that Trump utterly lacks. But his movement is clearly fascistic in its demonization of foreigners, its hyping of a threat by a domestic minority (Muslims and Mexicans are the new Jews), its focus on a single supreme leader of what can only be called a cult, and its deep belief in violence and coercion in a democracy that has heretofore relied on debate and persuasion. This is the Weimar aspect of our current moment. Just as the English Civil War ended with a dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell, and the French Revolution gave us Napoleon Bonaparte, and the unstable chaos of Russian democracy yielded to Vladimir Putin, and the most recent burst of Egyptian democracy set the conditions for General el-Sisi’s coup, so our paralyzed, emotional hyperdemocracy leads the stumbling, frustrated, angry voter toward the chimerical panacea of Trump.

His response to his third vaunted enemy, the RNC, is also laced with the threat of violence. There will be riots in Cleveland if he doesn’t get his way. The RNC will have “a rough time” if it doesn’t cooperate. “Paul Ryan, I don’t know him well, but I’m sure I’m going to get along great with him,” Trump has said. “And if I don’t? He’s gonna have to pay a big price, okay?” The past month has seen delegates to the Cleveland convention receiving death threats; one of Trump’s hatchet men, Roger Stone, has already threatened to publish the hotel rooms of delegates who refuse to vote for Trump.

And what’s notable about Trump’s supporters is precisely what one would expect from members of a mass movement: their intense loyalty. Trump is their man, however inarticulate they are when explaining why. He’s tough, he’s real, and they’ve got his back, especially when he is attacked by all the people they have come to despise: liberal Democrats and traditional Republicans. At rallies, whenever a protester is hauled out, you can almost sense the rising rage of the collective identity venting itself against a lone dissenter and finding a catharsis of sorts in the brute force a mob can inflict on an individual. Trump tells the crowd he’d like to punch a protester in the face or have him carried out on a stretcher. No modern politician who has come this close to the presidency has championed violence in this way. It would be disqualifying if our hyper­democracy hadn’t already abolished disqualifications.

And while a critical element of 20th-century fascism — its organized street violence — is missing, you can begin to see it in embryonic form. The phalanx of bodyguards around Trump grows daily; plainclothes bouncers in the crowds have emerged as pseudo-cops to contain the incipient unrest his candidacy will only continue to provoke; supporters have attacked hecklers with sometimes stunning ferocity. Every time Trump legitimizes potential violence by his supporters by saying it comes from a love of country, he sows the seeds for serious civil unrest.

Trump celebrates torture — the one true love of tyrants everywhere — not because it allegedly produces intelligence but because it has a demonstration effect. At his rallies he has recounted the mythical acts of one General John J. Pershing when confronted with an alleged outbreak of Islamist terrorism in the Philippines. Pershing, in Trump’s telling, lines up 50 Muslim prisoners, swishes a series of bullets in the corpses of freshly slaughtered pigs, and orders his men to put those bullets in their rifles and kill 49 of the captured Muslim men. He spares one captive solely so he can go back and tell his friends. End of the terrorism problem.

In some ways, this story contains all the elements of Trump’s core appeal. The vexing problem of tackling jihadist terror? Torture and murder enough terrorists and they will simply go away. The complicated issue of undocumented workers, drawn by jobs many Americans won’t take? Deport every single one of them and build a wall to stop the rest. Fuck political correctness. As one of his supporters told an obtuse reporter at a rally when asked if he supported Trump: “Hell yeah! He’s no-bullshit. All balls. Fuck you all balls. That’s what I’m about.” And therein lies the appeal of tyrants from the beginning of time. Fuck you all balls. Irrationality with muscle.

The racial aspect of this is also unmissable. When the enemy within is Mexican or Muslim, and your ranks are extremely white, you set up a rubric for a racial conflict. And what’s truly terrifying about Trump is that he does not seem to shrink from such a prospect; he relishes it.

For, like all tyrants, he is utterly lacking in self-control. Sleeping a handful of hours a night, impulsively tweeting in the early hours, improvising madly on subjects he knows nothing about, Trump rants and raves as he surfs an entirely reactive media landscape. Once again, Plato had his temperament down: A tyrant is a man “not having control of himself [who] attempts to rule others”; a man flooded with fear and love and passion, while having little or no ability to restrain or moderate them; a “real slave to the greatest fawning,” a man who “throughout his entire life ... is full of fear, overflowing with convulsions and pains.” Sound familiar? Trump is as mercurial and as unpredictable and as emotional as the daily Twitter stream. And we are contemplating giving him access to the nuclear codes.

Those who believe that Trump’s ugly, thuggish populism has no chance of ever making it to the White House seem to me to be missing this dynamic. Neo-fascist movements do not advance gradually by persuasion; they first transform the terms of the debate, create a new movement based on untrammeled emotion, take over existing institutions, and then ruthlessly exploit events. And so current poll numbers are only reassuring if you ignore the potential impact of sudden, external events — an economic downturn or a terror attack in a major city in the months before November. I have no doubt, for example, that Trump is sincere in his desire to “cut the head off” ISIS, whatever that can possibly mean. But it remains a fact that the interests of ISIS and the Trump campaign are now perfectly aligned. Fear is always the would-be tyrant’s greatest ally.

And though Trump’s unfavorables are extraordinarily high (around 65 percent), he is already showing signs of changing his tune, pivoting (fitfully) to the more presidential mode he envisages deploying in the general election. I suspect this will, to some fools on the fence, come as a kind of relief, and may open their minds to him once more. Tyrants, like mob bosses, know the value of a smile: Precisely because of the fear he’s already generated, you desperately want to believe in his new warmth. It’s part of the good-cop-bad-cop routine that will be familiar to anyone who has studied the presidency of Vladimir Putin.

With his appeal to his own base locked up, Trump may well also shift to more moderate stances on social issues like abortion (he already wants to amend the GOP platform to a less draconian position) or gay and even transgender rights. He is consistent in his inconsistency, because, for him, winning is what counts. He has had a real case against Ted Cruz — that the senator has no base outside ideological-conservative quarters and is even less likely to win a general election. More potently, Trump has a worryingly strong argument against Clinton herself — or “crooked Hillary,” as he now dubs her.

His proposition is a simple one. Remember James Carville’s core question in the 1992 election: Change versus more of the same? That sentiment once elected Clinton’s husband; it could also elect her opponent this fall. If you like America as it is, vote Clinton. After all, she has been a member of the American political elite for a quarter-century. Clinton, moreover, has shown no ability to inspire or rally anyone but her longtime loyalists. She is lost in the new media and has struggled to put away a 74-year-old socialist who is barely a member of her party. Her own unfavorables are only 11 points lower than Trump’s (far higher than Obama’s, John Kerry’s, or Al Gore’s were at this point in the race), and the more she campaigns, the higher her unfavorables go (including in her own party). She has a Gore problem. The idea of welcoming her into your living room for the next four years can seem, at times, positively masochistic.

It may be that demographics will save us. America is no longer an overwhelmingly white country, and Trump’s signature issue — illegal immigration — is the source of his strength but also of his weakness. Nonetheless, it’s worth noting how polling models have consistently misread the breadth of his support, especially in these past few weeks; he will likely bend over backward to include minorities in his fall campaign; and those convinced he cannot bring a whole new swath of white voters back into the political process should remember 2004, when Karl Rove helped engineer anti-gay-marriage state constitutional amendments that increased conservative voter turnout. All Trump needs is a sliver of minority votes inspired by the new energy of his campaign and the alleged dominance of the Obama coalition could crack (especially without Obama). Throughout the West these past few years, from France to Britain and Germany, the polls have kept missing the power of right-wing insurgency.

Were Trump to win the White House, the defenses against him would be weak. He would likely bring a GOP majority in the House, and Republicans in the Senate would be subjected to almighty popular fury if they stood in his way. The 4-4 stalemate in the Supreme Court would break in Trump’s favor. (In large part, of course, this would be due to the GOP’s unprecedented decision to hold a vacancy open “for the people to decide,” another massive hyperdemocratic breach in our constitutional defenses.) And if Trump’s policies are checked by other branches of government, how might he react? Just look at his response to the rules of the GOP nomination process. He’s not interested in rules. And he barely understands the Constitution. In one revealing moment earlier this year, when asked what he would do if the military refused to obey an illegal order to torture a prisoner, Trump simply insisted that the man would obey: “They won’t refuse. They’re not going to refuse, believe me.” He later amended his remark, but it speaks volumes about his approach to power. Dick Cheney gave illegal orders to torture prisoners and coerced White House lawyers to cook up absurd “legal” defenses. Trump would make Cheney’s embrace of the dark side and untrammeled executive power look unambitious.

In his 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis wrote a counterfactual about what would happen if fascism as it was then spreading across Europe were to triumph in America. It’s not a good novel, but it remains a resonant one. The imagined American fascist leader — a senator called Buzz Windrip — is a “Professional Common Man … But he was the Common Man ­twenty-times-magnified by his oratory, so that while the other Commoners could understand his every purpose, which was exactly the same as their own, they saw him towering among them, and they raised hands to him in worship.”

He “was vulgar, almost illiterate, a public liar easily detected, and in his ‘ideas’ almost idiotic.” “&#8197;‘I know the Press only too well,’&#8197;” Windrip opines at one point. “&#8197;‘Almost all editors hide away in spider-dens, men without thought of Family or Public Interest … plotting how they can put over their lies, and advance their own positions and fill their greedy pocketbooks.’&#8197;”

He is obsessed with the balance of trade and promises instant economic success: “&#8197;‘I shall not be content till this country can produce every single thing we need … We shall have such a balance of trade as will go far to carry out my often-criticized yet completely sound idea of from $3000 to $5000 per year for every single family.’&#8197;” However fantastical and empty his promises, he nonetheless mesmerizes the party faithful at the nominating convention (held in Cleveland!): “Something in the intensity with which Windrip looked at his audience, looked at all of them, his glance slowly taking them in from the highest-perched seat to the nearest, convinced them that he was talking to each individual, directly and solely; that he wanted to take each of them into his heart; that he was telling them the truths, the imperious and dangerous facts, that had been hidden from them.”

And all the elites who stood in his way? Crippled by their own failures, demoralized by their crumbling stature, they first mock and then cave. As one lone journalist laments before the election (he finds himself in a concentration camp afterward): “I’ve got to keep remembering … that Windrip is only the lightest cork on the whirlpool. He didn’t plot all this thing. With all the justified discontent there is against the smart politicians and the Plush Horses of Plutocracy — oh, if it hadn’t been one Windrip, it’d been another … We had it coming, we Respectables.”

And, 81 years later, many of us did. An American elite that has presided over massive and increasing public debt, that failed to prevent 9/11, that chose a disastrous war in the Middle East, that allowed financial markets to nearly destroy the global economy, and that is now so bitterly divided the Congress is effectively moot in a constitutional democracy: “We Respectables” deserve a comeuppance. The vital and valid lesson of the Trump phenomenon is that if the elites cannot govern by compromise, someone outside will eventually try to govern by popular passion and brute force.

But elites still matter in a democracy. They matter not because they are democracy’s enemy but because they provide the critical ingredient to save democracy from itself. The political Establishment may be battered and demoralized, deferential to the algorithms of the web and to the monosyllables of a gifted demagogue, but this is not the time to give up on America’s near-unique and stabilizing blend of democracy and elite responsibility. The country has endured far harsher times than the present without succumbing to rank demagoguery; it avoided the fascism that destroyed Europe; it has channeled extraordinary outpourings of democratic energy into constitutional order. It seems shocking to argue that we need elites in this democratic age — especially with vast inequalities of wealth and elite failures all around us. But we need them precisely to protect this precious democracy from its own destabilizing excesses.

And so those Democrats who are gleefully predicting a Clinton landslide in November need to both check their complacency and understand that the Trump question really isn’t a cause for partisan Schadenfreude anymore. It’s much more dangerous than that. Those still backing the demagogue of the left, Bernie Sanders, might want to reflect that their critique of Clinton’s experience and expertise — and their facile conflation of that with corruption — is only playing into Trump’s hands. That it will fall to Clinton to temper her party’s ambitions will be uncomfortable to watch, since her willingness to compromise and equivocate is precisely what many Americans find so distrustful. And yet she may soon be all we have left to counter the threat. She needs to grasp the lethality of her foe, moderate the kind of identity politics that unwittingly empowers him, make an unapologetic case that experience and moderation are not vices, address much more directly the anxieties of the white working class—and Democrats must listen.

More to the point, those Republicans desperately trying to use the long-standing rules of their own nominating process to thwart this monster deserve our passionate support, not our disdain. This is not the moment to remind them that they partly brought this on themselves. This is a moment to offer solidarity, especially as the odds are increasingly stacked against them. Ted Cruz and John Kasich face their decisive battle in Indiana on May 3. But they need to fight on, with any tactic at hand, all the way to the bitter end. The Republican delegates who are trying to protect their party from the whims of an outsider demagogue are, at this moment, doing what they ought to be doing to prevent civil and racial unrest, an international conflict, and a constitutional crisis. These GOP elites have every right to deploy whatever rules or procedural roadblocks they can muster, and they should refuse to be intimidated.

And if they fail in Indiana or Cleveland, as they likely will, they need, quite simply, to disown their party’s candidate. They should resist any temptation to loyally back the nominee or to sit this election out. They must take the fight to Trump at every opportunity, unite with Democrats and Independents against him, and be prepared to sacrifice one election in order to save their party and their country.

For Trump is not just a wacky politician of the far right, or a riveting television spectacle, or a Twitter phenom and bizarre working-class hero. He is not just another candidate to be parsed and analyzed by TV pundits in the same breath as all the others. In terms of our liberal democracy and constitutional order, Trump is an extinction-level event. It’s long past time we started treating him as such.

*This article appears in the May 2, 2016 issue of New York Magazine.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-07-17 22:47:47

Just Do It ! Means re-calibrating what creating wealth really means.



Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-07-22 10:05:34

[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=120#176739 date=1468422930]

Account terminated. What was it?

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-08-07 13:55:01

The lost youtube video.


Failure of Capitals models in the hands of government GDP as an example.
Yanis Varoufakis All the good stuff that cannot be measured 2016 opp

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-14 12:25:35

[quote author=Fritz link=board=63;threadid=44072;start=120#176745 date=1470592501]
The lost youtube video.

Interesting, thanks. I agree with Varoufakis that GDP is probably over-utilized and misinterpreted, but I disagree that there are important qualities that cannot be measured. He seems to be referring to subjective evaluations like love, beauty, and quality in general. Apparently he is one of many economists that is unfamiliar with price theory. (Paul Krugman is another famous example.) It is true these properties have no objective measure, but every individual can assign a quantitative measure (comparatively or using indifference curves, similar to assigning monetary value), and these sets of evaluations have objective statistical objective measures.

So for example, in the market of browser users it is possible to say that Chrome has objectively higher quality than IE.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-14 12:29:47


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-14 12:30:38


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-14 12:32:23


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-14 12:34:01


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-14 12:36:48

Primum non nocere, or, in English, “first, do no harm,” is a venerable maxim often traced to the Hippocratic Oath. It has long served as an important admonition in the ethics of physicians and other healthcare providers. It seems an eminently sensible rule. In a way it resembles the provision in Catholic moral teaching that one must not do evil in the hope or even the expectation that good will come of it.

The idea merits much wider application. Indeed, it would be a godsend if governments applied it to all their actions.

However, if applied consistently across the board, it would shut down government as we know it completely. Such involuntary government cannot even exist without first doing great harm, namely, compelling tribute from one and all for supporting the government, notwithstanding that many of those forced to pay may want nothing to do with the government and others may want the government but not value its services as much as they value the funds they are forced to cough up. In short, all governments as we know them rest on a clear wrong, namely, extortion (euphemistically called taxation), often supplemented by outright robbery in the form of fines, fees, civil forfeitures, and other confiscations backed by threats of violence against those who refuse to comply with the government’s demands.

Many people, of course, would not wish to apply the principle in this consistent, thoroughgoing way, being unwilling to give up the benefits they imagine themselves to be receiving from the government in spite of—but actually because of—its reliance on a wrongful means of supporting itself and channeling wealth to its chief cronies and dependents. Still, primum non nocere is a sound principle of action (or the lack thereof). Too bad it is not taken to heart and applied far beyond the doctor’s office.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-14 12:38:06


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-20 12:19:12

As seen on reddit (

“It isn't a coincidence that governments everywhere want to educate children. Government education, in turn, is supposed to be evidence of the state's goodness and its concern for our well-being. The real explanation is less flattering. If the government's propaganda can take root as children grow up, those kids will be no threat to the state apparatus. They'll fasten the chains to their own ankles.” -- Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-08-20 12:59:39


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-09-24 12:49:32


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-09-24 15:41:56

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: White Fox on 2016-09-25 11:29:53

Does this include this particular Red Pill?

Swallowing the Red Pill: a journey to the heart of modern misogyny (

Not that I support it, merely jesting. I think I would rather take the harsh, and often shitty truth of reality then to just live in sheer ignorance of it - all in all. Some great videos here, thanks to all for sharing.

Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: admin on 2016-10-01 10:06:53

Can you imagine a politician that tells the truth more than half the time? Neither can I.


Title: Re:The Red Pill
Post by: Fritz on 2016-10-02 14:38:46

An overview of a course at U. of Calgary. I found it rather thought provoking.

Cheers Fritz

Human Communication in the Critical Theory Tradition [/size]

Source: Communications Studies 441 (
Author: Robert M. Seiler, Ph.D.
Date: 2016.10.02 (][img height=200 width=700)

Human Communication in the Critical Theory Tradition

by Robert M. Seiler

By definition, criticism involves the application of principles or values in order to make judgments for the purpose of bringing about positive change. Understandably, criticism comes in a variety of forms. For example, rhetorical criticism carefully examines and judges the quality of discourse. Our subject here is critical social science, which critiques basic social structure (Littlejohn, 1992, p. 238; hereafter cited by page number). The following features inform all varieties of critical social science:

   •   Critical social scientists believe that it is necessary to understand the lived experience of real people in context. Critical Theory shares the ideas and the methodologies of some interpretive theories.
   •   What makes critical scholarship different from interpretive scholarship is that it interprets the acts and the symbols of society in order to understand the ways in which various social groups are oppressed.
   •   Critical approaches examine social conditions in order to uncover hidden structures. Naturally, critical theory borrows from structuralism. Critical theory teaches that knowledge is power. This means that understanding the ways one is oppressed enables one to take action to change oppressive forces.
   •   Critical social science makes a conscious attempt to fuse theory and action. Critical theories are thus normative; they serve to bring about change in the conditions that affect our lives.
In a word, analysts working in this tradition align themselves with the interests of those opposed to dominant order of society. They ask questions about the ways in which competing interests clash and the manner in which conflicts are resolved in favour of particular groups.

One of the most important intellectual strands of the last century was Marxist-based social theory. Based on the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, this movement is made up of a number of loosely related theories which oppose the dominant order of society, i.e., economic, political, ideological, and theoretical.
1. Classical Marxism
In The Communist Manifesto (1848), Marx and Engels argued that the means of production determines the very nature of society. This is the linear idea of the base-superstructure relationship: The economy is the base of all social structure, including institutions and ideas. In capitalistic systems, profit drives production and thus dominates labor. Working-class groups are oppressed by the group (in power) who benefit from profit. All institutions that perpetuate domination within a capitalistic society arise from this economic system. Only when the working class rises against the dominant groups can the liberation of the worker be achieved.
Such liberation furthers the natural progression of history in which forces in opposition clash in a dialectic that results in a higher social order. This classical theory is called the critique of political economy. Think of the recent financial crises in Malaysia, Japan, Russian, and Latin America, thanks to the rapid (uncontrolled) movement of money.
Marxist-based critical theory thrives today. Not all adherents to Critical Theory are strictly Marxist however. The basic ideas of dialectical conflict, domination, and oppression remain important. Much contemporary critical theory views social processes as over-determined, as opposed to Marx's simple base-superstructure model. They see social structure as a system in which numerous elements interact with one another. A number of approaches to Marxist communication theory can be taken. They all focus on two kinds of problems.
The Politics of Textuality
This approach has to do with the ways the media produce encoded messages, the ways audiences decode those messages, and the power domination apparent in these processes. The text scholar might study (say) the ways certain kinds of media content, such as network news, are produced and how those depictions are understood by audiences so as to perpetuate or oppose the power of certain dominant economic institutions, such as government.
The Problematic of Cultural Studies
This line of investigation examines the relation among media, other institutions, and the ideology of culture. Cultural theorists are interested in how the dominant ideology of a culture subverts other ideologies via social institutions, such as schools, churches, and the media. Both traditions focus on the evils of class society and the struggles that occur among the different social forces. Both emphasize the ways social structures are produced and reproduced in the natural daily activities of individuals, groups, and institutions.
The task analysts take on is uncovering the oppressive forces operating in society, i.e., by means of dialectical analysis. This method--the art of knowing truth by uncovering the contradictions in the reasonings of one's adversary--exposes the underlying struggle between opposing forces. The argument here is that only by becoming aware of the dialectic of opposing forces, in a struggle for power, can individuals liberate themselves and change the existing order.
2. Neo-Marxism
In The Frankfurt School of Critical Theory, we see one of the longest and the most famous traditions of Marxism. Often, commentators refer the tradition as "Critical Theory," meaning a special kind of social philosophy. To begin with, the Frankfurt School grew out of the Institute of Social Research, which was founded in 1923 at the University of Frankfurt by Felix Weil, a political scientist with a passion for Marxism. Weil had studied at the university, writing a dissertation socializing the economy. His father (a wealthy merchant) set up a substantial endowment for the institute. One of the major purposes of the institute was to study (and eventually explain) the dynamics of social change. Carl Grunberg (political scientist) served as director for the years 1923-29. Grunberg stressed the historical context to research, recommending research which combined historical study and theoretical analysis. Max Horkheimer (philosopher and sociologist) served as director for the years 1930-58. Horkheimer stressed the interdisciplinary nature of the institute's research programme. His collaborators included Theodor Adorno (philosopher, sociologist, and musicologist), Erich Fromm (psychologist), Franz Neumann (political scientist), and Friedrich Pollock (economist). Over the years, many celebrated thinkers, such as Herbert Marcuse (philosopher), Walter Benjamin (essayist and literary critic) and Leo Lowenthal (literary critic), were associated with the group.
When National Socialism came to power, the institute fled (in 1933) to Geneva and then (in 1935) to New York, being attached to the Department of Sociology at Columbia University. In 1941, the Institute relocated to California. During WW II, then, members of the Institute settled in various parts of the United States. In 1949, Horkheimer, Adorno, and Pollock returned to Germany, and in 1951 they re-established the Institute for Social Research, with Horkheimer as director. Marcuse and Lowenthal among other members remained in the United States. The institute disbanded in 1969, but its influence continued in the work of Jurgen Habermas, representing the second wave of Critical Theory.
Horkheimer imposed an interdisciplinary programme of research on his colleagues, one which (he argued) would result in a better understanding of the complexities of modern social life. From the outset, Horkheimer rejected the prevailing practice among empirically oriented sociologists of studying social matters in isolation/employing quantitative techniques, thereby separating facts and values. Instead, he proposed an holistic approach, a synthesis of philosophy and social science he called Critical Theory, i.e., a combination of theory and practice, which would enable researchers to respecify "the great philosophical questions" of the time using the most scientific methods; reformulate and make more precise the questions in the course of work as demanded by the object; and develop new methods without losing sight of the universal. The goal (he added) was to situate these studies in concrete historical contexts, in a definite period of time, in a definite location, taking into consideration the economic process, the psychic structures of individual members, and the totality of the system that affects and produces their thoughts.
During their exile in the United States, Horkheimer and Adorno focused on the commercial media, presenting their critique in Dialectic of Enlightenment (1944), a work which might be called the first volume of Cultural Studies. Here, they argue that, as a consciousness industry, the media willingly manipulate a passive and irrational public, focusing attention on (a) the great influence the media exert in setting the agenda of what should be thought about in society, and (b) the way in which the media encourage people to think about their lives.
the New Left
For three decades, Habermas has been the best known scholar working in this tradition. During the 1970's, Habermas and Marcuse helped shape the New Left--in Germany and then in the United States. Habermas' work draws on a wide range of thought and presents a coherent view of (communication and) society. He believes that society must be understood as a mix of three major interests: work, interaction, and power. By work, he means the efforts to create necessary material resources. Because of its highly instrumental nature, i.e., achieving tangible tasks and accomplishing concrete objectives, this is basically a "technical interest." By interaction he means the use of language (and symbols) for communication. Because social cooperation is necessary for survival, Habermas calls this item "practical interest." It involves practical reasoning and is represented in historical scholarship and hermeneutics.
Social order naturally leads to power distribution; yet, a natural interest in being freed from domination also comes from the application of power. Power leads to distorted communication, but by becoming aware of the ideologies that dominate in society, groups can themselves be empowered to transform society. We can understand the rationality of power as self-reflection and the branch of scholarship that deals with it is critical theory. For Habermas, the kind of work done by the Critical Theorists discussed so far is emancipatory; it can empower otherwise powerless groups (p. 249). Human life cannot be conducted from the perspective of only one interest: work, interaction, or power. No single activity is entirely within any one of these but includes some combination of them. All three are necessary for a complete understanding of society (p. 250).
No aspect of life is interest-free. An emancipated society is free from unnecessary domination of any one interest, and everybody has the same opportunity to take part in decision-making.

The Public Sphere
Habermas takes as his point of departure the work of the Chicago School (see notes on the Cultural Studies Tradition), which was interested in THE PUBLIC SPHERE as a concept, as well as the work of the Frankfurt School, which viewed the mass media as an oppressive (read this as "consciousness-shaping") institution. In "The Public Sphere" (1964), Habermas argued that a part of the public sphere comes into being in every conversation where private individuals assemble to form a public body. This sphere mediates between society and state: conversation is crucial to the formation of that entity we call "the public." This means that CONVERSATION is crucial to the formation of that entity called the public.
Like members of the Chicago School, Habermas believes that the formation of opinion takes place at the community and peer-group level. Like Robert Ezra Park, he acknowledges the role played by the early newspapers in bringing about an active and partisan public which discussed the news. Unlike the members of the Chicago School, however, he does not believe that A GREAT PUBLIC OF HUMAN UNDERSTANDING (Dewey's formulation) follows from the information transmitted by modern means of communication. Habermas believes that the formation of a rational public depends upon the news and information available, together with the situations available for discussing the significance and the meaning of news and information.
As well, Habermas argues that it is the INTERPERSONAL SITUATION in which we converse that provides the necessary context for informed opinion. In formulating the concept of an IDEAL SPEECH SITUATION, Habermas stresses the need for

   •   adequate opportunity for people to speak,
   •   adequate opportunity to challenge the rules or the topic of discussion,
   •   adequate opportunity to acquire the skills of discourse (including those of the media), and
   •   adequate opportunity to be free of violence and other forms of coercion.
These observations should remind us that THE REPRESENTATIONS OF SOCIAL REALITY we receive depend upon organised, international effort for their production and dissemination.
Neo-Marxism Today
Neo-Marxism flourished during the 1970's, especially in Great Britain. Theorists still place great emphasis on the means of communication in society. This means that communication practices are an outcome of the tension between individual creativity in framing messages and the social constraints on that creativity. Thus, only when individuals are free to express themselves with clarity and reason will liberation occur.
One of the chief constraints on individual expression is language. A class society is dominated by a language that makes it very difficult for working-class people to understand their situation and to get out of it. It is the job of the critical theorist to create new forms of language so that the predominant ideology can be exposed and that competing ideologies can be heard. Anideology can be defined as a set of ideas that structures a group's notion of reality, a system of representations or a code of meanings governing how individuals (and groups) see the world (Hall, 1989). For classical Marxism, an ideology is a false set of ideas that has been perpetuated by the dominant political force, i.e., an ideology reflects social existence.
(a) Antonio Gramsci
Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937), the Italian political theorist and activist, founded the Italian Communist Party. He believed that the Bolshevik revolution (1917) could be transplanted to Italy. He played a key role in the general strike of 1920. As it happened, Benito Mussolini (1833-1945) became dictator in 1922. In 1926, the Fascists arrested Gramsci (a member of parliament) and put him in jail--where he spent the rest of his life. In prison, he had the misfortune of "enforced leisure" to reflect on the socialist defeat and the crucial role of culture in society, writing Prison Notebooks, trans. H. Hoare and G. Nowell Smith (New York, 1971).
Many Critical Theory analysts see society as the ground on which competing ideologies struggle for domination (p. 247). Following Gramsci, they define hegemony as a process of domination, whereby one set of ideas subverts or co-opts another (Gramsci, 1971). They conceptualize it as a process whereby one group in society exerts leadership over others. They point out that hegemony is what binds society together without the use of force. This is achieved when the upper classes supplement their economic power by creating "intellectual and moral leadership." The upper classes make compromises to achieve this leadership. In other words, culture is one of the sites where the struggle for hegemony takes place.
The process of hegemony occurs in many ways and in many settings. In essence, the process of hegemony takes place when events or texts are interpreted in a way that promotes the interests of one group over those of another. The process can be as subtle as co-opting the interests of a subordinate group into supporting those of a dominant one. For example, during the 1980s advertisers often exploited the "women's lib" theme, making it look as though the corporation supports women's rights. What happened was that women's rights were being reinterpreted to promote the interests of the capital economy. The point to remember is that ideology has always played a central role in this process because it structures the way in which people understand their experience, and it is therefore powerful vehicle for shaping how they interpret events.
Early studies of advertising were cast in the problematic of ideology and hegemony. In conducting textual and ideological analyses of advertising, analysts stressed the selling not just of commodities but also of ways of looking at the world. Analysts explained that advertisers set out to create an "identity" for a product, associating the brand in question with desirable human values. Buying a brand meant not only buying a product but also a lifestyle, a set of values. From this perspective, one might argue that a person is nothing more than the commodities he or she wears. According to Judith Williamson (1978), objects in advertising are signifers of meaning which we decode in the context of known cultural systems associating products with other cultural "goods." While an image of a particular product may denote a car, it also connotes "nature" or "family." In this way, advertisers encourage us to "buy into" ideologies. We thus construct our identities through the consumption of consumer goods. As Williamson (1978) argues, Advertising is thus ideological in obscuring economic inequality at the level of production by creating images of free and equal consumption.
Similarly, analysts study the impact of the mass media on consciousness. That is, analysts show that television programs encourage us to think of ourselves as a market--as opposed to a public, consumers as opposed to citizens. As we know, networks make shows by guessing what will please audiences and finding ways to speak to them that perpetuate the cultural hegemony in operation. Networks then sell those audiences to advertisers who want what they think will be suitable audiences for their products. As well, analysts study how, in liberal capitalism, hegemonic ideology domesticates opposition, absorbing it into forms compatible with the core ideologies, absorbing and domesticating conflicting definitions of reality. Analysts like Erica Carter (1987) and Daniel Bell (1976) claim that liberal capitalist society is deeply conflicted, that is, liberal capitalist society urges people to work hard--but proposes that real satisfaction is to be found in leisure.
(b) Louis Althusser
Louis Althusser (1918-90), the French philosopher and ideology theorist, flourished in Paris after the student uprisings of 1968. Althusser formulated a structuralist version of Marxism (so as to make Marxism scientific). He wrote two important books, For Marx, trans. B. Brewster (1970), and Lenin and Philosophy, trans. B. Brewster (1971).
According to Althusser (1970), ideology is part and parcel of society itself; that is, ideology arises from the actual practices undertaken by institutions in society. As such, ideology forms the individual's consciousness and creates the person's subjective understanding of experience. We live in a set of shaping conditions (he added), but we normally do not understand our relationship to actual conditions except via ideology. The real conditions of existence can only be discovered by means of science, which he poses in opposition to ideology.
From this perspective, we can say that superstructure (social organization) creates ideology, which in turn affects individuals' notions of reality (p. 247). This superstructure consists of repressive state apparatuses (RSAs), such as politics and the military, and ideological state apparatuses (ISAs), such as education, religion, and the mass media (Althusser, 1971). The repressive mechanisms enforce ideology when it is challenged, and the ideological apparatuses reproduce it in the everyday activities of communication--by making any particular ideology seem normal.
We should note that Althusser coined the term "over-determined" to signal that the reality of the economy (mode of production) is not expressed in ideology or in consciousness simply but exists in a displaced form throughout the social formation. Many determinants compete with and contradict others to create a "society," e.g., economic, political, and cultural. From this perspective, then, we can understand ideology as a conceptual framework for making sense of our lived, material conditions. Ideology thus produces our culture as well as our consciousness of who we are. During the 1970s especially, Alhusser's analysis was absorbed by British Cultural Studies.

Feminist theory (Kramarae, 1989, pp. 157-60) is a generic label for a perspective or group of theories that explores the meaning of gender concepts. Feminist theorists argue that almost all aspects of life can be understood in terms of gender qualities. The feminist critique aims to expose the powers as well as the limits of the gendered division of the world.
Gender. Feminist theory begins with the assumption that gender is a pervasive category for understanding human experience. The argument is that gender is a socially constructed system of values, identities, and activities and that sex is biologically determined. Feminist theory aims to challenge the prevailing gender assumptions of society and to achieve more liberating ways for women and men to exist in the world (p. 313).
Patriarchy. Wood (1997): Patriarchy (the second key concept) means "rule by the fathers." This (dictionary) definition highlights the central idea that patriarchal values, institutions, and practices reflect the experiences, values, and interests of men as a group and protect their privileges while simultaneously denying, dismissing, and/or devaluing the experiences, values, and interests of women as a group (p. 314).
Patriarchy is an overall system of structures and practices that sustains inequities between the experiences, responsibilities, status, and opportunities of different social groups, especially women and men.
Feminist communications scholars examine the ways the male language bias affects the relations between the sexes, the ways male domination has constrained communication for females, the ways women have accommodated and resisted male patterns of speech, and so on. For the feminist scholar, traditional methods of research and male-biased theories are not only misleading but dangerous because they mute the experience of women and hide the values of women's experience. For this reason, feminist scholarship usually focuses on women's experience as central, legitimizing the value of women's experience itself.
Multiple Ways of Knowing. Most feminist theorists believe that different people develop different ways of knowing, as they respond to the particular circumstances of their of their lives. They say that no particular way is true or best. A good deal of research has focused on identifying feminine ways of knowing, experiencing, and acting (Belenky et al., 1986). Feminist theorists point out that women and men are typically socialized in gender-segregated groups and that as a consequence they develop different ways of communicating, i.e., experiencing life. For example, Wood points out, much research suggests that women tend to be interdependent, relationship oriented, cooperative, egalitarian, and process-minded, whereas men tend to be independent, competition-oriented, and outcome-minded (p. 316).
Within a patriarchal universe of discourse, women's interdependence and concern for relationships are viewed as a lack of independence--not as a choice for relatedness; women's willingness to nurture children and others who need help is admired less earning a high income; women's cooperativeness and their efforts to achieve equality are recast as fears of success and lack of competitive instinct. If we operated in a matriarchal universe of discourse, we'd probably disparage men who focused on jobs to the neglect of family life and we'd criticize men for lacking a cooperative instinct (p. 317).
Briefly: The principal goal of most feminist research is to diminish the gendered inequities that saturate cultural life. It is not sufficient to document inequities; description and critique serve as the starting points in the larger attempt to restructure the social world.
Feminist theorizing proceeds through two stages. During the first, the inclusion stage, scholars attempt to increase an awareness of women's contributions, experiences, values, and ways of acting and to raise awareness of inequality between women and men. One line of research focuses on education: the differences between how men and women are treated in schools. During the second, the revisionist stage, scholars attempt to broaden views of significant communication beyond public speaking to include the kinds of activities in which women have traditionally participated, to enlarge perspectives on professional communication to incorporate cooperation and attention to relationships, and to confer value on homemaking and nurturing that is equivalent to the value accorded to income-producing activities (p. 318).
Feminist theories acknowledge that the world can be understood in a variety of productive ways, and they resist the search for positive (measurable) truth. They also see the feminine as a way of knowing that is distinct from the masculine way of knowing. Carol Gilligan makes this case in her book, In a Different Voice (1982). Remember that feminism is not a single theory; it is not even a single system of thought. It is a movement. At least four different feminisms have emerged:
1. Liberal Feminism
Liberal feminism was the foundation of the women's movement of the 1960's and the 1970's. Liberal democracy is based on the idea that justice involves the assurance of equal rights for all individuals. Liberal feminists say that women have been oppressed as a group and that they have not had equal rights with men, that on average women make less money, that women are excluded from centres of power, and so on. In short, liberal feminism deals primarily with the public image and the rights of women.
2. Radical Feminism
In some ways, radical feminism is a reaction against liberal feminism. Radical feminists believe that liberal democracy barely scratches the surface, that the oppression of women runs deeper than public rights. That is, the problem is not simply changing the laws but giving equal rights to women: this problem goes to the heart of our social structure. The patriarchy perpetuates a set of gender-laden meanings that promote masculine interests and subordinate feminine ones. If in our present order of things gender is a social construction, it is a man-made construction. The term radical suggests the demand for basic redefinitions of all facets of society. This means that women must not only aspire to achieve the equal right to become a physician but that society itself must redefine the whole nature of medicine, especially in regard to how it treats the experience of women. Indeed, the answer to social problems can be a complete restructuring of how society defines human experience.
3. Marxist Feminism
Marxist feminists focus on capitalism as the source of oppression. They argue that the domination of women by men is a consequence of capital's domination over labour.
4. Dual Systems Theory
According to Sylvia Walby (1990), dual systems theory represents the coming together of Marxist and radical feminism--in the belief that the oppression of women results from a complex articulation of patriarchy and capitalism. Other feminist perspectives have been formulated. For example, Rosemary Tong (1992) outlines seven feminist perspectives: liberal, radical, Marxist, psychoanalytic, socialist, existentialist, and postmodern. Below, we consider two prominent feminist theories of communication.
A. Muted-Group Theory
As Wood points out, two features make this theory distinctive: focusing on how language names experiences and thus determines what is socially recognized and paying close attention to the way that a dominant discourse silences or mutes groups that are not in society's mainstream (p. 321).
Masculine Bias
Edwin Ardener and Shirley Ardener (1975), two anthropologists, formulated the theory we know as muted-group theory. After reflecting on a large number of studies of culture, Edwin Ardener argued that anthropologists have characterized cultures in terms of the masculine. He noticed that many ethnographies were biased toward the observation of/interviews with males in a culture (p. 322).
Examining the studies more closely, Ardener concluded that the actual language of a culture had an inherent male bias, that men created the meanings for a group, and that the feminine voice was suppressed or "muted." This silencing of women leads to the inability (of women) to express themselves eloquently in the male parlance.
Muted Language/Muted Experience
Shirley Ardener (1978) added to the theory, suggesting that the silencing of women has several manifestations and that this discrimination is especially evident in public discourse, i.e., women are less comfortable and thus less expressive in public situations than they are in private. Thus, women monitor their communications more intensely than men do.
Cheris Kramarae (1981) has expanded the muted-group theory, suggesting that Western society remains divided into public and private spheres that are occupied by men and women respectively. (Kramarae based her work on the results of research on women and communication.) She outlines the basic assumptions of muted group theory in these terms (p. 323):

   •   Because men and women have different experiences (based on the division of labor in society), they perceive the world differently.&#8232;
   •   Men are politically dominant in society, and their systems of perception are therefore dominant, which prevents women's perceptions from being publicly adopted.&#8232;
   •   Women must translate their own ways of understanding into terms of the male world-view in order to participate in public life. &#8232;
Based on research findings, Kramarae suggests a number of hypotheses about women's communication:
   •   Women have more difficulty expressing themselves than men have. A common female experience is to lack a word for a feminine experience, because men who do not share the experience have not developed a term for it.&#8232;
   •   Women understand men's meanings more easily than men understand women's.&#8232;
   •   Women have created their own means of expression outside dominant male system.&#8232;
   •   Women tend to express more dissatisfaction about communication than men express.&#8232;
   •   Women often make efforts to change the dominant rules of communication in order to get around or to resist conventional rules.&#8232;
   •   Traditionally, women have been less likely to coin new words that become popular in society at large.&#8232;
   •   The things women find humorous are quite different from the things men find humorous. &#8232;
The Power to Name
Dale Spender (1984), an Australian communication studies scholar, added to muted group theory, highlighting the power of naming. To illustrate the ways in which language mutes experience, Spender cited the example of childbirth. Giving birth, she points out, is described from a male point of view--which emphasizes the joy and the beauty of the experience. Spender points out that childbirth is also a painful experience. Men have not encoded this experience into the language--because they have not undergone the physical pain of giving birth (pp. 323-34).
For the Ardeners and for Spender, the power to name experiences is equivalent to the power to construct reality. Those who name the world have the privilege of highlighting their own experiences--and thereby identify what they consider important. Thus, groups that have a marginal status are denied the vocabulary to define (and express) their own experiences. A good example is the recognition of sexual harassment, a term which was not used prior to the 1970's (see pp. 324-25).
Resistance to dominant Discourses
One change feminist theories should bring about: Women must assume the power to name their own experiences in ways that reflect their meanings (p. 325). Julia Penelope (1990) insists that language is a dynamic, changing system of words and meanings and that the dominant discourse is decidedly masculine. Penelope thinks that this situation can change; she argues that creating a more equitable society requires revising the universe of discourse (see below).
B. The Patriarchal Universe of Discourse
Julia Penelope (1990) has developed a critical theory of patriarchal universe of discourse. For this linguist, language is central to all human experience. A universe of discourse is a set of linguistic conventions that reflect a particular definition of reality. The people who accept the language accept its categories of truth. The vast majority of language users do so without question.
A universe of discourse imposes certain meanings on members of a culture who employ it. She cites the following example: being mistaken for a housewife, once when she was at home during the day, when a salesman called at the door, and once when she was called "lady of the house" by a woman on the phone. In other words, the definitions, meanings, and interpretations embedded in the patriarchal universe of discourse promote the interests of men and subordinate those of women. Most women (Penelope, 1990) do not question the categories of their language; they become co-opted into the male-dominant system. Many women use a sub-code, the cosmetic universe of discourse, which signals recognition and approval of their subordination. What distinguishes this female code? Using the highest pitch range more often than men; pausing more often than men; and using a more questioning intonation than men. It includes a vocabulary of fashion, housework, and child-rearing. Women also use more hedges like "well" and "sorta" than men typically use. They also use more tag questions, which reflect uncertainty. Women also use longer sentences than is customarily the case with men.
Penelope goes on to note that language is a living, changing system. The problem is that most people fail to recognize that it is a human creation that has been moulded to meet human needs. The culprit is prescriptive grammar, which is a codified set of rules written by men for the purpose of making language pure and unchanging. The conventions of English--as with many other languages of the world--were established by aristocratic men in ways that promoted their own interests. She lists many standard rules of English to show how they were created, why they are arbitrary, and how they perpetuate the interests of white men over other groups. One of the most important sets of conventions for the oppression of women is gender, which Penelope (1990, p. 20) calls "an essential element of the heterosexualization of grammar."
She also argues that classifying things into two categories based on biological sex is a distinctly male tendency. Even in English, where formal gender applies only to actual sexed animals and humans, e.g., bitch, husband, bull, and daughter, the language implicitly defines particular attitudes, actions, and objects as feminine and others as masculine. She calls this phenomenon sexual dimorphism. Thus, war, money, sex, cars, and sports are most often viewed as masculine, whereas babies, cosmetics, and recipes are feminine. Another example is the association of elements of nature with women because of the male tendency to manipulate objects in the environment, which she believes comes from man's need to control.
Genderization is one of the most thoroughly and uncritically accepted features of language. What makes it especially insidious is the fact that it is not just a bimodal system of classification; it is a system whereby the masculine is considered the "normal." The solution to the problem presented by the patriarchal universe of discourse is, first, to reject the assumption that the categories of language are true and invariant; second, to become conscious of the ways language oppresses; and third, to refuse to reinforce the categories of language or to resist the rules that oppress.

Concluding Remarks
Theorists and researchers working in this tradition align themselves with the interests of those opposed to dominant order of society. They ask questions about the ways in which competing interests clash and the manner in which conflicts are resolved in favour of particular groups. In this regard, critical social science is economic and political in nature. Of course, much of it concerns communication. A Critical Theory of communication (or economics or politics) is necessarily a critique of society as a whole (p. 239).

Works Cited
Althusser, Louis. 1970. For Marx, trans. B. Brewster. New York: Vintage Books.&#8232;---. 1971. Lenin and Philosophy, trans. B. Brewster. New York: Vintage Books.&#8232;Ardener, Shirley, ed. 1975. Perceiving Women. London: Malaby Press.&#8232;Belenky, Mary Field, et al. 1986. Women's Ways of Knowing. New York: Basic Books, Inc.&#8232;Bell, Daniel. 1976. The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism London: Heinemann.&#8232;Gilligan, Carol. 1982. In a Different Voice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.&#8232;Gramsci, Antonio. 1971. Selections from the Prison Notebooks, trans. Q. Hoare and G. Nowell Smith. New York: International.&#8232;Kramarae, Chris. 1989. "Coming to Terms with Women's Language." In International Encyclopedia of Communications, ed. Erik Barnouw et al. 2 vols. New York: Oxford University Press, ii, 157-60.&#8232;---. 1981. Women and Men Speaking. Rowley, MA: Newbury House.&#8232;Littlejohn, Stephen W. 1992. "Critical Theories." In Theories of Human Communication. 4th edn. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co., pp. 238-59.&#8232;Marx, Karl. 1888. The Communist Manifesto. London: Reeves.&#8232;Penelope, Julia. 1990. Unlearning the Lies of the Fathers' Tongues. New York: Pergamon Press.&#8232;Spender, Dale. 1984. Man Language. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.&#8232;Tong, Rosemary. 1992. Feminist Thought: A Comprehensive Introduction. London: Routledge.&#8232;Walby, Sylvia. 1990. Theorising Patriarchy. Oxford: Blackwell.&#8232;Williamson, Judith. 1978. Decoding Advertising. London: Marion Boyars.&#8232;Wood, Julia T. 1997. Communication Theories in Action. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Co.

Robert M. Seiler, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Emeritus, Communication and Culture
University of Calgary
Courses and Course Materials&#8232;Detailed Marking Code&#8232;Recent Publications and Work in Progress
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