The Question Of Capitalism

triumph_of_the_consumer_over_nature

Longtime readers know that the magical formula for restoration of the West — aristocracy, nationalism, capitalism and transcendental experience — becomes controversial in any group because almost everyone objects to one of its pillars. Let us look into capitalism.

Your task is to design a country. You have two basic choices for economies: you can let the economy sort itself out through the actions of individuals, or you can set up a power structure to command it. This most importantly functions in assessing how many or how much of each product or resource will be available at any given location.

Implicitly, the “free market” option is reward-based: where reward exists, someone will find a way to meet it, and so — this is the bottom line — the need will be met. It may be more wasteful than an absolutely ideal system, and it creates rich people along the way, but it ensures that needs are met. This means that its weakness is everything else.

The “command economy” option however is punishment-based. Central command sets up targets; you either do that, or something bad will happen to you, because there is not a reward structure in place. This mirrors the fundamental problems of all subsidy states, which is that performance above the minimal becomes optional while ideological compliance becomes mandatory.

From that view, it becomes hard to want to adopt a command economy because free markets work. That does not mean they are without problems. In particular, Free Northerner picks up on the problems of a broken reward structure:

The current socio-economic system is designed by rootless, soulless, high-IQ, low-time preference, money-/status-grubbing homo economicus for benefit of those same homo economicus. It is a system for designed for intelligent sociopaths. Those who are rootless with high-IQ and low-time preference can succeed rather well in this system, but it destroys those who need rootedness or those who are who are low-IQ or high time preference.

What makes these people powerful? Others want to buy their products. How was this accomplished, through voodoo or hypnotism? No, through the inherent tendencies of a herd of humans. So, we have created a false elite of people whose success results from their popularity with the largest segment of our society, the clueless and neurotic quasi-competents who make up most of our species.

In this, there is a weakness in capitalism: unless the audience is controlled, it will create a demand for products that match its (moronic) level of taste and ability. The result is not Wal-mart, but McDonald’s: for the price of a pound of beef at the grocery store, you get a half-pound burger made mostly of soy, but there are celebrities and cartoon characters drawn on the bag and thirty-two ounces of flavored carbonated sugar water!

Contrast that to the 1930s, where everything was more elevated. What was the difference? The buying power was in the hands of the upper castes. Is it surprising, then, that the commercial elements of our society wanted it to grow and to become bottom-heavy? No: they wanted the easy audience to expand, marginalizing the hard audience, who now find that 99.99% of what they encounter in public is insufficient for their needs.

Capitalism has always revealed the queasy relationship between proles and commercial interests. Commerce loves morons because they will pay high markups for cheap items rebranded with novelty, popularity or self-image boosters. Proles love commerce because it makes them feel powerful; someone finally cares what their opinions are. Commerce requires them, in a bondage-style relationship, and for their dollars, it gives them control. They can command what product thrives and what dies. They can tell someone else what to do. They have power.

In that way, capitalism is in their view a replacement for social order. Social order ranks people above one another; with capitalism, all are equal, provided they have dollars in their little fists. Even more, in this form, capitalism works as an equalizer, reducing all to the same level as consumers of the same products. This is why even our wealthiest end up drinking soft drinks and eating fast food: whatever becomes available and succeeds, quickly crowds out everything else.

Capitalism becomes suicidal through this process. Whatever succeeds generates clones, and then the market must kill them off. The race downward means that at some point, innovation is killed and replaced by a circular pursuit of customers who are the least discerning, eventually creating the type of economic curve we see in the third world: a few companies own nearly everything, nothing new is invented, and most small businesses are marginal.

There’s another problem with capitalism of this sort. Like other forms of demotism, including peer pressure and democracy, it cripples decision-making, as libertarian sources notice:

What about Americans’ right to “preserve their culture”? I’m tempted to call it the nativist version of a “safe space,” but cultural preservation is far more totalitarian. A “safe space” is but an enclave – a small corner of the world where politically-correct norms prevail. To “preserve a culture,” in contrast, requires a whole country to impose traditional norms on everyone. And this is crazy: You don’t even have the right to force your culture on your adult children, much less millions of strangers.

The problem with libertarianism is its liberal heritage. “Classical liberals,” like liberals today, believed in the rule of equality and the “invisible hand” of markets and popularity which would choose the best. This is just not so, and if anything, the herd always chooses the worst and does so on the basis of the individual, which precludes any social change that is not optional just like performance under socialism.

So why do I support capitalism?

For two reasons: first, it works and the option fails every time; second, no System of any form can be trusted to run a society by itself. There are no “invisible hands.” There need to be highly visible hands, namely strong leaders and strong culture. The other three in the magic bullet list — aristocracy, nationalism, and transcendental goals — take care of that. Nationalism protects a group so that it can have culture at all. Aristocracy creates good leaders. Transcendental guidance places the fancy world of shiny material objects far away and focuses on the existential quality of life instead.

In fact, the best thing about aristocracy — which necessarily includes a caste system — is that it arrests the endless quest for growth and social mobility, replacing it with stability. As Anomaly UK predicts:

The key point is that nobody in the system has the aim of destroying society. That is an incidental byproduct of the competition for power.

The competition for power, not power itself, is what corrupts. When power exists, it is either in the hands of the good or not. That is easily fixed. But a condition of endless competition for power corrupts everything, including capitalism. Millennials and others should note that our current “capitalism” is far from being capitalistic, having been merged with the welfare state, and also lacks these forces above it. Our crisis is of that making, not capitalism.

Tags: , , , , , ,

46 Responses to “The Question Of Capitalism”

  1. Dark Axe says:

    Pro sports is the only domain in which libs are not concerned with the equality of outcome. You will not find a single lib who will spot the crummy NBA team an extra 20 points handicap. Only when the outcome is meaningless like in pro sports do libs allow the state of nature to play out towards its natural biological resolution.

  2. capitalist says:

    Do you understand that the US is not capitalist? Business licenses and business regulations do not exist in capitalism, not to mention the government’s subsidizing of idiots.

    • I understand the point you are making, but I am not sure pure capitalism ever exists. There is always a limiting factor: culture, leadership, external forces, etc.

      The closest one comes to “pure” capitalism might be the international drug and weapons trade, and even then, there are limits.

      • JPW says:

        It doesn’t. It ceases to exist in the absence of perfect ethics. The 1st time Person A screws over Person B, the refs get called in and regulation occurs. Pure Capitalism is victimized by human imperfectability.

        • And also, pure capitalism is Coca-Cola, Big Macs and Justin Bieber. Most people are poor judges of quality.

          • -A says:

            Pure capitalism is almost as rare as pure communism or socialism. Human imperfection and exploitation will always screw it over. Perhaps the focus should always be on culture and legitimate leadership? Economic solutions to non-economic matters is really just a distraction from the cold hard facts of life. This is why I just can’t be libertarian.

            • In addition to your excellent comment, should we expect a single theory to provide for everything we need?

              I share your reservations on libertarianism. It is a partial answer that demands more or it is as ideological as leftism. But it is part of the answer.

              “Freedom” is no answer to anything but “what do most people think they want when they are wrong”?

        • capitalist says:

          The US existed for far over 100 years with no business licenses or any business regulations. In the late 1800s corruption happened when the US government started suppressing competition against large railroad companies under the guise of “market fairness.” Even then ñ the regulations were very minor. It wasn’t until socialist Hoover that business regulation started in a serious way, and then he caused a severe depression. Then once everyone was broke, FDR promised free things and tried to go full-on socialist. He even instituted a 100% tax on all income over $25,000. A 13 year depression was inevitable with FDR’s Stalinist policies. Let’s try to learn from history.

          Historically, Europe had private law, for thousands of years. The courts were never meant to be dominated by the government; that was a usurpation of power by the monarch in order to steal from the other aristocrats. Even today, courts independent from the government exist in England. Private arbiters have always solved disputes between individuals. Why do you guys think government is the only solution to any problem?

          • The US existed for far over 100 years with no business licenses or any business regulations.

            Or public education, for that matter. Another good thing to throw out with government.

            I do not think people here, generally speaking, believe in government.

            We want private and natural solutions like rule of culture (nationalism) and aristocracy.

            This leads to the question: have you read any of the articles on the site?

            • capitalist says:

              Public education is one of the ten planks of communism.

              I’ve read through the site. It seems like you are against automation, and support protective tariffs. As long as you understand that automation lowers prices and protective tariffs raise prices, then you can defend them. However, I’ve yet to see a post explaining why higher prices are better. Who determines what should be imported, and what should not? The stricter the ban on imports, the higher the incentive for smuggling because the potential for profit increases dramatically. It’s simply not practical because you would have to turn the nation into a prison to enforce the ban.

              • I’ve read through the site. It seems like you are against automation, and support protective tariffs.

                Against automation? Clearly I’m not on the site I thought I was!

                Tariffs are useful to equalize labor costs but beyond that I find them suspicious. Like unions or socialism, they are a way of protecting the non-effective in groups.

                • capitalist says:

                  “Tariffs are useful to equalize labor costs”
                  What does this mean?

                  • Labor costs are higher in first world than third world, so tax imports from those areas to equalize the difference.

                    • capitalist says:

                      That is a protective tariff…

                      If you save money by buying a cheaper product from overseas, you then you can have the same amount of goods, but with some money left over to invest at home.

                      The only argument against free-trade that I see being plausible is that over-specialization of the economy can cause dependence on other nations, which can be a problem in wartime. The thing is, with a country as large as the US, I don’t see a scenario where over-specialization can happen because the economy will always be greatly diversified. There is also vast amounts of forest and unused land that can be mobilized in times of war. I also don’t see any possibly of an embargo on the US because the vast range of coastline.

                    • If you save money by buying a cheaper product from overseas, you then you can have the same amount of goods, but with some money left over to invest at home.

                      Cause-effect logic is important. If people buy cheaper from overseas, domestic industry collapses.

                    • capitalist says:

                      Some industries may collapse, but others flourish. Specialization in one country correlates with specialization in a complementary industry. Over-specialization can only be a problem in a small nation. For example, some tropical island exclusively produces vanilla and imports all products. Someone invents synthetic vanilla and their economy collapses. If the US were to attempt to specialize in something, there would never be enough buyers. The US can dedicate 100% of its economy into car manufacture, but it could never sell so many cars, so such specialization is not possible in a large nation. The US will always be sufficiently diversified in its productive output, in a free-market, such that it will always be able to be self-sufficient in times of war.

                    • capitalist says:

                      Correction:

                      Specialization in one country correlates with specialization in a complementary industry in another country.

                      The point is that the dependence becomes mutual. The carpenter must cooperate with the manufacturer of nails and hammers and the harvester of timber. If one person tries to produce all their own lumber, all their own nails, and then do the carpentry, they will be less productive.

                      Specialization is the basis of civilization.

                    • Specialization is the basis of civilization.

                      Ah, wonderful! I could not disagree more.

                      Cooperation — or collaboration — is the basis of civilization in my view.

                      Specialization is a means to an end.

                      If one person tries to produce all their own lumber, all their own nails, and then do the carpentry, they will be less productive.

                      And yet if they vertically integrate a complete supply chain, their margins will be the highest in the industry.

                    • capitalist says:

                      “Specialization is a means to an end.”
                      What a bizarre thought-terminating cliche.

                      Cooperation depends on specialization. You are literally saying there should be no full-time carpenters, no full-time teachers, no full-time authors. They specialized, and must cooperate to survive as they do not produce food.

                      What is the ends specialization is used to obtain?

                      One person can not be an industry by himself. He must cooperate with others(employees/contractors). He may have employees specialized in the manufacture of nails, while he may specialize in carpentry work.

  3. moe connoisseur says:

    Systems like capitalism start with an initial guess (or a finite set of guesses). In this specific case, the guess is about efficient production and good products. Then, some variation (limited by what’s considered “safe” within the model) is introduced to generate new “guesses”, and the best option(s) is picked. These are called evolutionary algorithms.

    Capitalism could be called “doubly evolutionary”, because the evaluation decision-making (consumer interest) is also by an evolutionary algorithm (trying different products and seeing what works). In layman’s terms this is trial and error, but knowing the model behind it is useful. We know that evolutionary algorithms find local maximums, but arriving at the global maximum is up to luck. Also, when consumer interest is decided by an evolutionary algorithm, that system, too, has to be healthy arrive at a local maximum. For capitalism to work, people have to be able to know what works and what doesn’t.

    This is essentially (at least in this context) a recap of what you wrote, but I believe a mathematical presentation is important for the accumulation of knowledge, since there will be no attempt to “revision” what has been once proven.

    • We know that evolutionary algorithms find local maximums, but arriving at the global maximum is up to luck.

      Good point. And also: outside of nature, what system runs itself? Natural systems work well because they seem bottom-up, but reflect a top-down order because all species respond to it as incentive/adaptation. With humans, and our ability to self-deceive, this type of order does not work.

      Capitalism cannot exist without some guiding force. Just like 99 out of 100 people make leadership decisions wrong, and most voters are thus delusional, most buyers are too.

      • -A says:

        Perhaps this is also an unwillingness to accept the natural system of human beings. An Aristocratic system does almost run itself in the sense of Aristocrats being so by their very natures. Interrupting this leads to hemorrhaging of the system itself. A human system of human beings, being rebelled against for the sake of ego. Even when we try our damnedest to make a sterile and inhuman solution (always seeking perfection, never accepting the gritty reality)the harsh reality of how we work will burst through. Just look at the not-so-demotist democrats seeking to undermine the populist wunderkind Trump. The people be damned! We will always have an Aristocracy, we just need one that is de jure and legitimate instead of de facto and illigetimate or incompetent.

    • capitalist says:

      https://mises.org/library/bureaucracy

      This book describes what economic planning is like in the absence of market prices(is impossible). This is why the USSR used proxies to determine profit such as measuring total output of factories by weight. This is why everything the USSR produced eventually became very heavy. The USSR had to use Macy’s catalogs to help run their economy ffs. You need prices as a measure of efficiency, and there is no other successful method yet devised. Maybe you guys can up with one, but until then, the free-market has been the most efficient system of production.

  4. NH says:

    Is capitalism the eternal truth? Many seem to think it is, but I wonder if they are placing short term ideas on a long term quandary.

    By eternal I mean is this economic system the one great system or must we as humans keep pondering? If we are destined to float across the milky way in a sliver of air on top of a ball, did we really break the mold here? Are there better ideals to reach for?

    Where are our ethics best rooted, and does capitalism reflect these ethics or is is a system that sells our ethics short?

    How will the math of capitalism and the labor pools work as technology absorbs more labor?

    Is owning a business and assuring its growth the best math and ideal in a limited sliver of air?

    Always good writing here, but these have been long standing questions for me regarding this human structure. It is a fine human model, but is it the one true model or must the thinkers keep thinking?

    • It is a fine human model, but is it the one true model or must the thinkers keep thinking?

      I don’t think there is a one true model. I think there is a general theory, putting the best before the rest, and several designs that reflect that: nationalism, aristocracy, capitalism and a transcendental goal.

      Capitalism requires other things to modify it, like aristocracy and nationalism.

      One thing is for sure: all of the non-capitalist models have failed, so avoid those!

      I also am certain the thinkers will come up with nothing new. The human power structures are known. It is time to simply pick those which work and balance them against one another.

      • -A says:

        Yep. Like I said (I am verbal today, do excuse me)or at least tried to refer, economics is just a by-product of a better and more thorough system. Granted, by today’s standard, would be a kind of anti-system. We could call it “The Human System” if we wanted to.

      • moe connoisseur says:

        Every system we use to predict or change reality is a heuristic. Every heuristic suffers from the exceptions it can’t handle, and has the rulebreakers benefit from them, however rare those cases might be.

  5. Dark Axe says:

    Capitalist makes a key correct point that the US is so overregulated through bureaucracies that we no longer can honestly say that we have a free market economy. Our government is much closer to that of the former USSR than we realize.

    • I agree the USA has gone “full Soviet,” just in typical hipster crypto fashion.

      • capitalist says:

        After the Soviets, Stalin came and killed all the peasants in order to control the food supply. This program is well underway in the US, though more subtly than just executing farmers(though that is going on too). The federal government is taking actions such as flooding private land, or setting it on fire, then buying the land for low prices. If you refuse to sell, they declare it a nature preserve. If that fails, then they arrest or execute you. USSA, here we come.

  6. J.j. Cintia says:

    Let me tell you sport, capitalism is a non-starter. Most of the Rich are outsourcing, allowing other countries to steal our technology and hollow out our economy by causing massive unemployment. At this point there seems to be no interest for these fools to invest in America because they get access without having to contribute anything. This is good for nobody. Even these capitalists are going to go belly up if the US Dollar loses its value which at this point is a virtual certainty because no one trusts it as the World Reserve Currency anymore. Irregardless of Government lies, there has been huge inflation the past seven years and most of the other nations no longer see the US Dollar as a viable currency for trade due to massive inflation. Only some government intervention that locks out those who don’t hire Americans or contribute to our economy will stop the death spiral we’re in at this point.

    • there has been huge inflation the past seven years and most of the other nations no longer see the US Dollar as a viable currency for trade due to massive inflation.

      …quite possibly the result of socialist-style programs. The more money you give away, the less it is worth.

      • J.j. Cintia says:

        Look I bought the false dichotomy of capitalism vs communism too, but like the GOP and the Democrats, they are actually controlled by the same oligarchs. All the media is conglomerated in six media companies. That’s not a free press. Those aren’t journalists they are corporate workers saying what their bosses want you to know.
        Hillary has Billionaires like Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and others giving her millions of dollars in donations. This crap about tax the Rich is just a cover for the fact they are all in it together.
        And this is not cynicism. Why would Big Money fund socialists like Hillary? Access. They give her Big Money and she pays them back with contracts and tax loopholes. Also, she’s dirty and has a ton of skeletons in her closet. If she starts getting ideas of not paying them back, all those corporate media sites will start airing her dirty laundry to take her down. You are being played.

        • Why would Big Money fund socialists like Hillary?

          …because Socialism is a path to permanent control, and they fear death like the rest of us. ;)

        • capitalist says:

          Capitalism vs communism is a false dichotomy, but then I honestly don’t understand the connection to everything you say immediately after. They are true statements, but under capitalism there are no government favors to be bought; the government has no authority. Under the Constitution, they don’t have authority anyways, but no one anymore is able to read a ten page document. Maybe if someone posted it on instagram…

    • capitalist says:

      Inflation is caused exclusively by the Federal Reserve. This is their stated goal, and they outright say their planned yearly inflation rates. Just watch some of their announcements. Inflation is a discrete way to tax the poor.

      Deflation is actually closer to the natural state of the economy. Goods continuously get cheaper as efficiency improves.

      “Most of the Rich are outsourcing,”
      That is because the US is going full Stalinist. I would move my factories too before the government confiscated them. There’s a reason why they’re moving the factories now, but not 50 years ago, or even last year. It’s not like the option to move overseas didn’t exist before, but the factories are moving away at an accelerating pace.

      “Only some government intervention that locks out those who don’t hire Americans or contribute to our economy will stop the death spiral we’re in at this point.”
      Good luck with that type of regulation. There’s no way to force someone to do something like that without enslaving them. I think you would actually support government confiscation of factories.

      The death spiral can not be stopped, but it is not a permanent condition. The economy will collapse, within the next few years, but if the government brings back capitalism, then the recovery will be swift. Within two years, you will be better off than before the upcoming depression. But in reality, idiots will probably just demand that Stalin receive even more power, and in that case, there will be no recovery.

      • Inflation is a discrete way to tax the poor.

        I disagree here. There’s no point to taxing the poor; they have nothing.

        Inflation forces people to stay engaged in the economy in order to preserve the value of their money.

        Otherwise, people might just hoard it in mattresses and disengage from society, and Crowdism wants everyone to be forced to engage.

        • capitalist says:

          The poor do not have nothing. There is always something to take. It is actually the norm, even in the USSR where the poor were literally peasants. Take a dime from every poor person in the US, and then tell me there is nothing to take when you have those millions of dollars in your pocket.

          Nearly all government programs exist exclusively to tax the poor. Social security is a more blatant example of a program that just takes money from the poor and gives it to the wealthier. Of course, the poor are too stupid to notice, so is it immoral to take from them?

          “Inflation forces people to stay engaged in the economy in order to preserve the value of their money.”
          This sounds like a description of Homo economicus. How often do you consider inflation when making everyday decisions? It’s not like there isn’t a motive to invest without the existence of inflation.

          “people might just hoard it in mattresses”
          The amount of currency has no bearing on the aggregate wealth of a nation. Money is a medium of exchange, which is why printing more money does not make a nation wealthier. As long as a money is readily available for exchange, then the supply of it does not matter. Widespread hoarding would merely deflate the money supply, which would in turn increase the purchasing power of those who are not hoarding. Also, in a free market of monies, such as what existed before the establishment of the Federal Reserve, there would be even less impact from hoarding.

          I’ll even venture to say that hoarding is good, because the other name for hoarding is “saving.” Saving money for a future investment is not to be demonized, as longterm planning is central to a functioning society. The depreciation in value of savings in an inflationary economy is a discreet tax. Those that are first to receive newly printed dollars are directly purchasing with the depreciated value of money saved by others. The first recipients of the money are bankers, and then their rich friends. The poorer half is thus taxed.

          • Widespread hoarding would merely deflate the money supply, which would in turn increase the purchasing power of those who are not hoarding.

            I agree, which is one reason to distrust banks.

            But, the point is this: government wants to force total 100% engagement of citizens in society. That means they must start agreeing with its precepts and acting out its ideological script.

  7. Dark Axe says:

    Capitalist makes a great point about the Fed’s role in causing inflation.
    I recommend investing in platinum mining companies in Africa , as well as investing in Gugenheim Candaian dollar shares to avoid the US dollars collapse. I also like undervalued gold and silver miners such as hecla and Silver Standeard Resources.
    The US housing market will collapse in a year or two . Yellen is trying to keep the party going though , so private equity companies like Carlyle Group , KKR, and Blackstone Group will be lucrative from now until the crash since they are vulture companies playing with globalist funny money.

    On the topic of tariffs:

    tariffs are a necessary evil when you are running a 400% trade deficit with Red China.

  8. […] (1, 2, 3). Owned markets. The Thing that cannot be named. “… our current ‘capitalism‘ is far from being capitalistic …” Capital under populist pressure (also). […]

  9. @Brett

    It’s fine to support capitalism for Amerikans as they seem to be self-selected (HBD) for it, but have you noticed in Russia everything of importance has ever been built by the Tzars? Or Communists. Look at the history of China and India. It seems for a lot of human groups initiative from the state to make and build things is necessary or else they won’t do it themselves.

    Different human groups are different. For some human groups, building things through private initiative is a great. Other groups have either little in the way of private initiative (waiting the good emperor to command and provide for them, being comformist and obedience oriented) or their private initiative is mostly destructive, either attacking and looting each other or play the game of thrones.

    This all boils down to what selective pressures different human groups had. Anglo-American individualism perhaps boils down the era of ship captains, if in a country rebels are regularly exterminated and the Baronage becomes a mere executer of the absolute monarchs will (Russia) they will become more conformists who await the state to command them and not do things themselves, and if chaos selects for warlords and intrigue then you have the bad kind of private initiative.

    Culture is nothing but adaptation to your genetics and your environment. Tocqueville noted how France has a more statist culture than the English and Americans. This is largely because the genetic and historic pressures were different (more land war, for starters).

    Capitalism is important as long as you are designing a country for the kind of human groups who are selected for the good kind of initiative.

    • It’s fine to support capitalism for Amerikans as they seem to be self-selected (HBD) for it, but have you noticed in Russia everything of importance has ever been built by the Tzars?

      There’s a couple factors here, one about conservatism and one about HBD.

      The conservative one is that looking for the “single great idea” to run society on autopilot is a Leftist concept necessitated by the idea that everyone is equal, therefore we cannot have kings. This is why I point to four pillars — nationalism, aristocracy, capitalism and transcendental goals — because they balance each other. The only “single great idea” is parallelism, and it innately denies the autopilot theory.

      The HBD one is that Russia is a vast population of Asiatic hybrids ruled over by a European upper caste (or at least it was until the Bolsheviks came along). That peasant herd has an IQ average in the mid-90s; they are Not Very Bright (NVB) and their decisions throughout history reflect that. NVB populations require strongmen to rule them. I would also point out that the situation in Russia had selection pressure on aristocrats; anyone who could get out did because the situation was so unstable.

      Culture is nothing but adaptation to your genetics and your environment. Tocqueville noted how France has a more statist culture than the English and Americans.

      I agree with the general theory. I elaborate on this more in an upcoming writing, but the ability to understand culture reflects genetics too, which is why smarter populations have similar cultures.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>