Boomerang

The current economic depression, which occupies 400 times the news space as any actual problem we have, is not the Great Depression. It will blow over.

However, like the Great Depression, it’s a historical stopping point. It’s the moment when people realized that what they thought was a “magical” system was actually mortal. It doesn’t self-maintain and generate infinite profit on its own.

In fact, like most things in history, it surprises people only because they have zero concept of the scale on which actions in history occur. When you see it reported today, rest assured the concept is at least a decade old, and it will take at least two decades but more like 20 decades for you to see its consequences.

We are, as a culture stretching from Europe through the Americas, only barely seeing the results of 1789 as they trickle down. Both the Great Depression and the current economic hiccup are footnotes in that process, along the lines of “We kept on the trail to the objective, and thought maybe we could use a sled, but that didn’t work, nor did the bicycle, so we’re looking for a boat.”

The lasting problem is that modern society by its very emphasis on equality tends toward a progressive government, and progressive governments redistribute wealth. That, like concentrating the wealth in the hands of a few merchants, is destructive because it paralyzes society.

When you spread the wealth around, it gets frittered away on consumer goods. Those tend to be at the end of their value-added economic arc, and so tend to build up retirement accounts instead of getting re-inserted into the stream of commerce, as payments to manufacturers or distributors do.

The welfare state is destroying the future of both the USA and Europe. While the current hiccup is not its end, like the Great Depression it’s a signal that the path we’re on will not support us in the future. History has finally come around on the question of socialized welfare states.

The bigger point is that if an economy becomes too self-referential, it stops producing and focuses instead on re-directing its wealth internally. This is why both socialism and capitalism fail at some point, if left to their own devices: they form a cycle that winds down quickly.

As the ancients knew, but we have forgotten, it is important to have the best people in charge for life so that they can re-direct wealth in constructive ways. Kings build great museums, palaces, cathedrals, and cities, and spend their discretionary income to subsidize Mozarts and Beethovens. Modern society subsidizes its least effective people and then drowns in them.

This is why after two centuries of varying degrees of social welfare programs and equality, and us fiddling with them to try to make them work, they keep failing. These programs are the opposite of leadership and as a result always become self-referential, then like a spinning top they lose momentum and collapse.

Our societies did OK as long as they could continue growth. Colonialism, mercantilism, and even the dot-com booms were all part of this. We had to keep manufacturing new ways to “make” money in order to keep the growth alive.

But as the Baby Boomers retire, and the world’s most reckless population boom recedes, the constant forward momentum of growth is failing us. We are instead looking at negative growth, as we pay out to support those who are retiring, and do so with not only smaller nations, but changed nations.

The sense of unity of the past is gone, as is the idea of a work ethic, because there’s no goal to support it. We don’t have goals as nations. Our goal in all liberal democratic nations is to support services for our fellow citizens. But we often take advantage of few of those services, and feel no kinship with the fellow citizens.

When we move our societies from hierarchy (aristocracy, meritocracy) to a notion of subsidy (socialism, equality) we stop having a forward goal. In other words, we make ourselves the ends or goal of our society, and not the means or method of achieving it.

The result is false bravado in the form of reckless growth, an overvaluation of ourselves, and then a sudden disintegration and swift downstroke, after which we emerge as the husk of another burnt-out once-great nation, like most third-world nations today.

30 Comments

  1. Thomas says:

    Not so sure about that “blow over” part………

    1. EvilBuzzard says:

      Two data points to take into consideration.

      http://kunstler.com/blog/2012/05/1-2-3-puke.html

      France just repudiated any sense of responsibility either for the maintenace of it’s national identity or for the repayment of what it borrows or taxes from others to maintain its population of Socialist pod-people. They just plugged right back into The Matrix like Cypher Reagan.

      2) http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/05/05/the-war-against-the-young/

      The entire system in America has increasingly become geared towards confiscating the future of the young in order to palliate the labidoes and greed of the so-called “seasoned” citizens.

      You can’t eat the seed corn and end a depression. Regardless of whether the US decides that the Mitt will fit or not; we’re going off the kfucing cliff next year. So please put the tray-tables in the locked and upright position. Fasten your seatbelts. Assume a forward-leaning position and cover your heads. Brace for impact.

      1. Esotericist says:

        Romney is going to inherit a disaster but he can patch it up. The problem is that at some point the weight of all the patches is more than the flesh itself, and it all falls down.

  2. ferret says:

    “The bigger point is that if an economy becomes too self-referential, it stops producing and focuses instead on re-directing its wealth internally. This is why both socialism and capitalism fail at some point”

    It’s true for capitalism, especially for it’s phase with well developed banking capital. And it’s hard to tell about socialism, as it has never been tried.

    1. Sun says:

      Sure its been tried.

      It is just that Marxist sympathizers then say “X wasn’t ‘true’ socialism.”

      1. ferret says:

        I’m not a Marxist sympathizer, but I studied this stuff, and still remember the definitions what is communism, socialism, and capitalism. Even though I don’t like this matter, I can tell the difference.

        Can you tell what exactly has been tried and where?

      2. Esotericist says:

        Socialism is the idea that you subsidize your population so that it’s more equal. There is no true or untrue form, any system of government that uses that idea is part socialist.

        1. ferret says:

          Socialism has nothing with subsidizing.
          Socialism is the first transitional phase of Communism.

          Communism and Socialism: Means of production belong to people (not private, not state).

          Communism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”. It is possible only if there is an abundance of material goods and services.

          Socialism: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his contribution”.

          Nothing about subsidizing. Nothing about equality.
          No equality.
          Does not suppose to be equality in Socialism. By definition. Period.

          If somebody want to know what Capitalism is (I believe, people living in Capitalist countries, may be curious about it), let me know. I will explain for an additional fee.

          1. A. Realist says:

            You’ve mistaken what a theory says it is for what it is in reality. Socialism grew out of the egalitarian movement and every socialist writer was egalitarian (as opposed to social Darwinists like Ayn Rand and Murray Rhothbard).

            1. ferret says:

              The reality is that in the Soviet Union, for example, there was a State Capitalism, not Socialism (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socialism). And I’ve seen it myself.

      3. A. Realist says:

        I’ve heard people say that about Communism.

        I’m always like, “And what part of the ideology isn’t represented?”

        They generally STFU at that point. They’re using the failure of the ideology to “prove” it was never done, which is piss-poor logic.

        1. ferret says:

          “And what part of the ideology isn’t represented?”

          Let me start from the definition:
          Socialism /ˈsoʊʃəlɪzəm/ is an economic system characterised by social ownership and/or control of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy,[1] and a political philosophy advocating such a system (wiki, Socialism).

          1. In the USSR all means of production were owned by the state.
          2. In the USSR there was a strong hierarchy of the “functioners” who ruled. It was far from “a socialist state in which the working class would be in power” (ibid). This working class remained in the slavery state.
          3. In the USSR there was no democracy as it is supposed by the ideology. No actual elections, all positions were filled by the appointment “from above”.

          Thus, both the economy and politics of the society didn’t fit the socialist type.

          For Communism (as a stateless, moneyless, etc., society), it would be even simpler to prove that nothing has been ever tried.

  3. ferret says:

    “Modern society subsidizes its least effective people and then drowns in them.” – well said, exactly what we have.

    1. Esotericist says:

      Ron Paul says we should stop the subsidies and get rid of the laws that protect the incompetent. That would fix a lot of these problems, but will create a large angry underclass like in Russia about 1916, so we will then have to kill them or die by their hands.

      1. ferret says:

        There is a method of dealing with this kind of problems without killing, but it is out of context of this society. It requires some common sense.

        1. A. Realist says:

          Enslaving them is not the worst option.

          1. ferret says:

            Enslaving means feeding with getting back little or no outcome. Welfare with zero political rights.

            Enslaving proved to be inefficient in societies with developed technologies. That’s why we don’t have traditional slavery, not because men pity slaves.

            If it were profitable, we would have the Constitutional right to have slaves. But, in a Capitalist society the traditional slavery cannot compete with paid labor.

            That’s why we have only atavistic slavery in areas where the technology doesn’t offer affordable quality solutions, e.g., sex.

  4. ferret says:

    “When we move our societies from hierarchy (aristocracy, meritocracy) to a notion of subsidy (socialism, equality) we stop having a forward goal.”

    That’s right, except socialism is not about subsidy. The main distributing principle of socialism is “to each according to his contribution”. And what is “equality”?

    1. Sun says:

      Ideally, we all contribute equally under a Marxian directive.

      If one has to contribute more then others, while gaining the same benefits, that causes resentment and counter revolution.

      Simply, people end up getting pissed that they have to contribute and sacrifice more then others, a system that requires everyone to participate.

      Case in point: The European Union crises.

      1. ferret says:

        “Ideally, we all contribute equally under a Marxian directive.”

        Marx knew nothing about equal contribution: he didn’t attend the US public school. His fault.

        1. Sun says:

          Indeed.

          I despised the days when my grades in high school depended on a “group projects”–Marx would have hated group projects.

          1. Esotericist says:

            Not unless everyone got the same grade.

            1. ferret says:

              People are not equal. Ask Brett, he will confirm this one more time.

              No way of making equal contribution. And who needs it, anyway?

              1. A. Realist says:

                A caveat also we want some people to not contribute, because they’re incompetent.

      2. A. Realist says:

        Ideally, under a Marxian directive, we all own equally and like shareholders get our percentage of the profits.

        In practice, like all egalitarian systems, it ends up being leaderless and collapsing from its middle management outward.

        Socialism and communism have both failed.

        They live on as certain types of social programs like welfare, socialized medicine, subsidized housing etc. I think these are all destructive because they start a slippery slope that expands to consume all government functions.

  5. ferret says:

    “The result is false bravado in the form of reckless growth, an overvaluation of ourselves, and then a sudden disintegration and swift downstroke”

    That’s what A. Smith and K. Marx were talking about. If you are interested in Marxism, be careful: there are a lot of inappropriate dangerous ideas in it.

    1. Plato, Aristotle, Spengler and Evola also wrote about this from a right-wing perspective.

      1. A. Realist says:

        Don’t forget Edward Abbey, John Zerzan and the Unibomber.

        1. A. Realist says:

          Garrett Hardin and John Muir too.

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