Thursday, February 21, 2008
Not surprisingly, Dante, in his Inferno, placed those who used fraud in a worse level of Hell than those who used force. Force is easy to recognize; those who lie sometimes have great skill at it, and can fool many people.
Here's an example: in the U.S. wages peaked in 1973, in today's money, at $33,000. Since then, they've bounced up and down, but essentially haven't gone up. Today, depending on how you measure it, they are $4,000 to $6,000 a year lower than they were 30 years ago.
There are two reasons people are surviving: wives are now working, and most people are badly in debt, from the equity in their houses, and on their credit cards. That's not going to last, I guarantee you that, and I predicted the housing crises in the middle of 2004.
Since 1973, the United States has sent trillions of dollars of its wealth to Arabia for oil (instead of drilling for our own), and more recently, over a trillon to China for its trinkets, and also to India. That wealth, had it stayed in the U.S., would have raised wages. Had it stayed, what would the average salary be -- $80,000 a year?
What wealth that has stayed in the U.S. has gone to the upper few percent, whose wealth has increased enormously. The U.S. economy has doubled since 1980, but virtually all of it has been concentrated among those already enormously wealthy,
How did this happen? By what else -- government interference in the economy, designed to divert wealth alway from the middle and working classes to the wealthy. The U.S. doesn't have a free market -- it has a mercantile economy designed to enrich the tiny few at the expense of the very many.
The chattering classes and the intellectual court whores are trying to convince the public that "free trade" with other countries (it's anything but "free") enriches the whole country, as if people who lose their high-paying middle-class jobs should be consoled that they can buy cheap imported Chinese trinkets at Wal-Mart.
Why doesn't the public rise up, march on Washington D.C., and hang everyone there upside by their heels, as was done to Mussolini?
Here's why: Pareto called the masses, Sheep. They're a peculiar kind of Sheep -- ones complacent yet bloodthirsty at times. Most divert their attention from their economic problems by going into debt with SUVS, McMansions and wide-screen TVs, hoping they won't lose their jobs or have to declare bankruptcy.
When a war comes along, the middle classes, who don't have to fight, cheer them on, giving some meaning and excitement and vicarious thrills to their not-very-meaningful and not-very-exciting lives. It's another diversion from their economic and social problems. Later, they wake up and realize they have been conned. But at first, they always fall for it.
A quick defintion of Sheep are those who believe in the federal government -- or who believe any government is their friend.
As for the working classes, who these days can't find any jobs at all except maybe at some fast-food place, they are the ones who become cannon-fodder. At least in the military they get dental and health care, and better pay than at McDonalds. The downside, of course, is getting killed or maimed.
The problem, then, is that the middle and working classes are complicent in their own destruction -- only they don't really know it. They keep voting for President and Congress, thinking it's going to change things, not realizing the federal government is about 50 times bigger than it should be, and that Republicans and Democrats are two wings of the same party, with about a dime's worth of difference between them.
It is overwhelming the federal government that has been the cause of the enrichment of the rich and the impoverishment of the middle and working classes. And the moronic Sheep keep sending them more power! That is simply astonishing.
And it is the federal government that has started every way the United States has been in.
I have for many years thought that the more political power people gain, they worse they become. There are, of course, exceptions. But overwhelmingly, those who are drawn to getting poliitical power are automatically the worse people. I need do no more than point to our current administration.
In other words, the federal government is infested with Foxes and a few Lions. But, overwhelmingly, they are a bunch of liars -- and the Sheep fall for it. That's why Pareto called them Sheep.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Ooh, they're red, white and blue.
And when the band plays hail to the chief,
Ooh, they point the cannon at you, lord."
"Fortunate Son," Creedence Clearwater Revival
I'm three-quarters Scots-Irish, out of Tennessee and Kentucky and the Missouri Ozarks. The other quarter is German and some Cherokee. I am very familiar with low-class Scots-Irish culture, having been raised in it.
I was hanging out in bars by the time I was 15. I knew girls who were having sex at 15, 14, 13. I know about the sex and drugs and rock 'n' roll. I know about the anti-intellectualism, the obsession with sports, the misguided patriotism, the militarism, and the evangelical Christianity that has little to do with the teachings of Jesus.
And more than anything else, I know these dumbfuck dickheads have been used as cannon-fodder for the last several hundred years by "the elites" (I use that term neutrally). Even today, most of the military is rural Scots-Irish kids, dying for a Connecticut Yankee like George Bush (he's no Texan) and the rest of the people in D.C., almost all of them out of Harvard and Yale and Princeton.
In the War Between the States, most of the soldiers on both sides were Scots-Irish. Brothers killing brothers! Just how stupid can you get?
George Patton said the Scots-Irish were the most fierce warriors in the world, never conquered. Cool, but so what, when you're cannon-fodder for people who think that's your purpose in life? What's so great about being a drunken homicidal swarm that commits mayhem on people halfway around the world, at the orders who someone who had, and has, no intention of fighting?
And then when you come back (if you come back), with all you limbs if you're lucky, you find yourself out of a decent job because the rich and politically-connected prate about flooding the country with Third Worlders, because they'll do jobs "Americans don't want to do." What a way to treat those who "defended" their country.
Vifredo Pareto (and anyone else who has a lick of sense) wrote the masses were Sheep, and the rulers Foxes who use fraud, and Lions who use force. What he meant is that a very small group of people, a few hundred, can rule millions. Of course, it's obvious they couldn't do it unless the Sheep went along with it. That's what I mean about the misguided patriotism and the belief in the military. The Sheep aren't defending their country: they're defending the Foxes and Lions, who won't fight themselves (you don't see Bush's daughters in the military). Only the Sheep don't know it, the dopes!
The richer and the politically-connected, when they gain control of the government, and the media, and the schools, use propaganda to brainwash the masses into fighting and dying. And the hypnotized sheep go right along with it, thinking they're being patriotic.
There is a scene in the movie Braveheart where the English send Irish conscripts charging the Scottish lines. That never happened in real life, but one of English officers sums the attitude of all the "elites" like him: "They're just Irish conscripts."
What did happen in life is that the English used Welsh archers, with the Welsh longbow, to try to mow down the Scottish. The English using Celts to kill Celts, just the way the Lions and Foxes have always used the Sheep to murder "the enemy."
Are these people ever going to wake up? Will they ever see through the lies of the federal government, the schools, and the churches? All of whom are convincing them to sacrifice their lives for someone else? And what do they get in return? To be the only ethnic group that it is okay to mock? To be called Cracker, and redneck, and hillbilly and white trash? That's the ugly reality.
A little education is in order here. Or, maybe, a lot. But since it hasn't worked in the last one thousand years, I don't expect it to work anytime soon.
Saturday, February 9, 2008
The United States was...were...originally referred to as "are," as in, "The United States are a good place to live." Each state was free and independent. The federal government was a small, fetid backwater in the swamps of D.C.
Sometime after the War Between the States, it became, "The United States is a good place to live," meaning the federal government was paramount, and the states were no longer free and independent.
Were the Founding Fathers alive today, they would be appalled. Were the average citizens of the late 1700's alive, they too would be appalled. The federal government is about 50 times bigger than they ever imagined it should be. They never imagined an enormous military, crashing around the world, or a Federal Reserve Bank (which is not federal, has no reserves, and is not a bank), or a President who could start decades-long wars without a declaration of war.
Ask yourself this: what good has the federal government ever done? Very little, perhaps nothing. When you compare the bad it has done to the good (however you define "good") it's not even close. Especially when you take into account the number of people killed by the feds.
The "federal government," in a sense, does not exist. It's a group of people -- a very small group, merely a handful, who have captured it and use it to serve their own interests. The media and the public schools have taught people that the federal government represents the interests of the entire nation. It doesn't.
This is known as the Fallacy of Reification, "when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it represented a concrete, real event or physical entity. In other words, it is the error of treating as a 'real thing' something which is not one. When people describe nonbiological events (like a geyser) or social institutions (like government) as alive, they are committing a reification fallacy."
In short, a mere handful of people have conned millions of people that they, that small handful, are the nation. And mass man, brainwashed sheeple that they are, have marched off to war, become cannon-fodder, and died by the hundreds of thousands. Not for their families, not for their friends, not for their nation....for a handful of people who have grabbed control of the federal apparatus.
As the twig is bent, so the tree grows. That saying applies to children, who become adults.
Vifredo Pareto, who should be taught in kindergarten, claimed the mass of men are Sheep. The rulers are either Lions, who use force, and Foxes, who use fraud. In a nutshell, nearly everyone is one of the Sheep, eaten (literally) by Lions and Foxes. And most of the time, the Sheep stick their heads into the mouths of the Lions and Foxes! Unbelievable!
Here's what we're taught: Things should be top-down, federal government on top, down to the individual at bottom. The Lions and Foxes are the ones who count: the Sheep are expendable.
The reality, the way things should be: things should be bottom-up, individuals and families first, then neighborhoods, counties, states, nation. The federal government, the Lions and Foxes, should be absolutely last, never to be trusted. They should know they can easily be hung by their heels, like Mussolini.
The federal govenment has now become a behemoth, a Blob, a Black Thing that interferes in the intimate life of everyone.
You can no longer trust the public schools or the mainstream media. How many times have any of them told people their very worst enemy is the federal government?
Here's what else we are taught: we are good and our "enemies" are evil. Here is good, on our side; there is evil, over there, with our enemies.
The reality: good and evil are a continuum. When we see things as good and evil, we will always see ourselves as good, and those who are not-us as evil. That allows us to scapegoat them, to project all our problems on them, allows us to maintain the fiction of our innocence and goodness, and therefore to dehumanize and murder those Others, thereby getting rid of our problems -- even though it never happens that way. What happens instead is war, destruction, catastrophe.
Suzette Haden Elgin, a linguist and science-fiction writer, wrote this about good and evil: "The standard 'Western' way of looking at good and evil is to divide up all behavior into two parts, calling one part good and the other part evil. But there's another way of looking at it, in which good and evil are on a continuum from goodness to evilness and there are places where they run together."
David Frum and Richard Perle recently wrote a propaganda book, An End to Evil: How to Win the War on Terror. In that book, the United States is good; those who disagree with it are evil. That is exactly how simplistically the authors see things.
Both writers see things as top-down, federal government first, as representing the entire nation. They also see good and evil as separate categories, instead of the continuum it is.
The egregious Frum, who is not American but a Canadian, once wrote an article, "Unpatriotic Conservatives," in which is tried to define true Americans as unpatriotic. In reality, Frum is not only unpatriotic, but a traitor. And he's trying to control the language in order to control the perception of reality.
Edward Bernays, one of the founders of PR and advertising, had this to say about mass man: "The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country."
Of course, Perle and Frum, who are cowards and traitors (they're Foxes who use fraud, not Lions) have no intention of fighting. That's for the brainwashed sheeple. Their job is to tell people what they are supposed to die for -- not family, not friends...for the handful of people who have captured the federal government. And Frum and Perle, and others like them, see themselves as part of the federal government. To them, your job is to die for their beliefs.
Both would have agreed with Hitler: "The receptivity of the great masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan."
The astonishing thing is the number of people who think they are defending their country when instead they are fighting for the federal government. And I repeat, the federal government consists of a handful of people. Those hundreds of thousands of people are fighting and dying for a handful of people, whose interests are the exact opposite of the citizens.
If nothing else, remember these things:
Things should be bottom-up, not top-down.
Good and evil are a continuum.
The federal government does not exist and is instead a handful of people whose interests are opposed to the citizens.
When people become aware of what is being done to them, it cannot be done to them anymore. It's easy to manipulate people who are unconscious. In fact, it's one of the easiest things there is.
In other words, a little bit of violence prevents a lot. The war is Iraq, for example, is a blood feud. The neocons, who are cowards and chickenhawks, are mostly Jews involved in a blood feud with the Muslim world. Why should that be my problem?
I'd call out every neocon alive: William Kristol, John Podhoretz, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith. All would run away, being cowards, and lose the miniscule honor they have.
Wild Bill Hickok, who only fought one duel, used to post a sign in a town, telling certain people to get out of town, or be killed. They all left.
We need such signs today.
Friday, February 1, 2008
I never cease to wonder how artists always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else. Oftentimes, several steps and several years. Sometimes, several decades. Ezra Pound, too, noticed their perplexing ability to be ahead of everyone, which is why his most famous comment is, "The artist is the antenna of the race."
Since artists are antenna, I think it would be a good idea if the government used them as advisors, the way ancient Hebrew kings had their prophets.
Perhaps the kings didn't always act on the advice, but at least they listened.
Modern artists certainly couldn't do worse, and I'd bet money they would do better, than the "Best and Brightest" consistently oozing out of Harvard and Yale.
I'll have to smile, though, at the image of George Bush or Donald Rumsfeld reading William Gibson's Neuromancer or Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash. The fact that the former have never heard of the latter--and wouldn't believe or understand them--is part of their, and therefore our (as in "our country's" and "our world's") problem.
How do artists do this? Intelligence is part of their gift, but not all of it. Even genius is overrated, if it is attached to a lousy character. One need look no farther than Robert McNamara in the past or any of the neocons, such as Max Boot and David Frum, today. Not that the latter two are geniuses. Far from it, as a matter of fact. They do have miserable characters, though.
Yet, many artists, and most especially the good ones, seem to be sensitive to what really matters. They somehow have their fingers on the pulse of their culture.
My belief is that imagination--which Stephen King called "dreaming with your eyes open"--is another reason, beyond the intelligence. Those who have imagination can take advantage of other's experience. Those without imagination, cannot. Those with imagination can put themselves in the place of other people.
Imagination, as a friend on mine told me, gives you a sense of "heightened reality." People with strong enough imaginations don't have to personally experience the horrors of combat; they can read the work of others, and accurately imagine--and feel--it. When I read Robert Mason's memoirs about his time in Vietnam as a helicopter pilot ferrying live soldiers, dead ones, and parts of dead ones, I understood his life over there. I don't need to do what he did. I now have his experience, his thoughts and feelings, as part of me.
The lack of imagination among politicians (and many other people) is why they truly don't understand the horror of war. It's happening to "someone else," someone with whom they cannot connect or empathize.
Writes Bill Larsen (a disabled combat vet, wounded in
Arrogance--hubris--makes this inability to connect far, far worse--and dangerous. Indeed, one of the characteristics of hubris is the inability to see another as a full human being. Those afflicted with hubris can't even imagine them as "real" people.
I seriously doubt people like Bush, Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney have any imagination, although they certainly have no shortage of hubris. And such a lack is not a minor flaw, considering Albert Einstein's trenchant observation, "Imagination is more important then knowledge." Apparently, no matter how much knowledge you have, you can't put it together correctly and predict the future unless you have imagination. The flaws of the men listed make them not sober realists, as they believe they are, but dangerous and deluded crackpots.
Those who have sufficient imagination understand the answers are, in a sense, already inside them. By imaginatively identifying--sympathizing--with someone else's experience, they can share that experience and knowledge. But they are able to do this because of what's inside them--their imagination. The truth is not only "out there," it's also "in here."
Another reason for the ability of artists to foresee the future is that the good ones almost always have a pronounced anarchistic streak. They almost instinctively see the State for the oppressor that it is, probably because they are able to easily empathize with others, and in doing so, can see just how little good, and how much harm, the State does. And, obviously, those who spend their lives working for the State (which pretty much excludes those with great intelligence, imagination and anarchism) aren't going to see it as the Black Thing that it truly is. They're going to see it as a good thing, especially if they've made millions of dollars from it machinations and exploitations.
Let's take as an example that very famous dream known as “The X-Files.” It was a huge hit, and was about something that I don't think was ever on TV before: a series about five interrelated, archetypal truths: the State, conspiracies, lies, paranoia, and attack by monsters who want to conquer the world.
In Fox Mulder's world, the State is involved in a conspiracy to lie about attacks by monsters who want to conquer the world.
Indeed, the State and the monsters are in cahoots with each other to the extent they are the same thing. The truth in the program, true in the past, now, and in the future, is that the State, no matter how benevolent it appears, is a monster that wants to conquer everything.
I should point out there is a profound, indeed radical, distinction between true government and the State. True government is based on Natural Law and the Economic Means--peaceful trade. The State is based on the Political Means--force, coercion, theft, lies and murder. That makes it one thing only: a monster, because its nature is to attack the natural order of the Economic Means of Society. The State always attempts to usurp the authority of Society, just as it always tries to break Natural Law . . . which can't be done.
People who know Mulder think he's paranoid, but in reality he knows the truth. His justified "paranoia" is about the collusion between the alien monsters "out there" and the monster of the State "in here." The monsters out there have, just like the barbarians all civilizations fear, gotten inside the gate.
Mulder's paranoia is more than justified; it's necessary. It's a darker, less cartoonish version of the comment of “The Simpsons'” Chief Wiggum: "I didn't say the government couldn't hurt you. I said it couldn't help you." In “The X-Files,” the government is always harmful, never helpful. It's pretty much the same in reality.
Because of these archetypes, all of them oh-so-true, “The X-Files,” ostensibly science-fiction, is also horror. And the eternal archetype of the horror story is Chaos intruding on Order. That's Mulder's mission: to find and stop the Chaos attempting to destroy Order. It is the mission of every hero.
The real monster, as Mulder clearly sees, is the State. Or, more specifically and correctly, the cabal that runs the State, and which sees the human race as pawns to be moved around as they see fit.
Mulder is always telling everyone what he knows, but few people believe him. That is the eternal complaint of the prophet. People in the past who have seen the truth, and proclaimed it, were almost never believed in their own time, indeed ignored and insulted, and then believed and honored hundreds of years later. What's that old saying? "A prophet is with honor except in his home country"?
“The X-Files” is fiction, obviously. Does its "truth" apply to the real world? Yes, it does. The State is a monster: It lies, it is a conspiracy to impose itself on citizens, it wants to conquer everything, and those who clearly see these things are often not believed and labeled as paranoid.
They are called wearers of Tin-Foil Hats, paranoid conspiracy buffs, traitors. In fantasy. In reality, they're prophets, ones who see the loss of individual freedom and the State's attempts to enslave people's minds. They are, as I have heard Mulder and Scully referred to, the "avengers of truth and freedom."
The one thing that the evil cannot withstand is to have the light of truth shone on them. They don't evaporate like vampires (although I'd rather see them melt like the Wicked Witch when she had water tossed on her), but being exposed is the last thing they want, because it gets them ridiculed and then costs them their power.
That shining of the light on evil is also an archetype--a universal truth that all understand, even the evil. That's why they hide. And that shining of the light, the telling of the truth, the exposing of evil, is the function of all prophets.
If programs like “The X-Files” are indeed “antennas” predicting the future, we have reason to cheer up. Ultimately, all States--world-conquering monsters based on lies, conspiracies and paranoia--will follow the paths of all monsters. That is, killed off by the artistic antenna known as the dreamers and the prophets.
I am a paleo-libertarian who does not believe in open borders. Why? Because the only way a country can have open borders is if it has a huge federal government. Right now, we have a huge federal government, so we have open borders. It overrules the states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, and individuals.
One of the reasons the federal government overrules everyone is because corporations want cheap labor, and those corporations have immense influence on the feds. Another reason is that the lowered wages diguises the inflation created by the Federal Reserve Bank -- which is neither federal, a reserve, or a bank.
Under a purely libertarian, anarcho-capitalist, society (which will never exist), all property would be private. Contrary to the belief the borders would be open, the truth is the exact opposite. There would not be mass immigration, because the property owners would not stand for it.
I was raised in an area with a bunch of farmers who owned very large tracts of land. I learned at a very young age I was to never trespass on their property without permission. All those old boys had shotguns. When the government doesn't interfere, people will energetically defend their property.
One guy I knew decided to steal watermelons from a farmer. I know that sounds like something out of a country-and-western song, but he actually tried it one night. He got a charge of rock salt in his butt. He told me later that for a year he thought he would never have kids, because some of that rock salt landed in a very sensitive area, and that area wouldn't work for that year.
Then there was the farmer who owned the land on which my subdivision was built. One night many decades ago he caught a burglar breaking into his home. Years later he mentioned the incident to the police. The cops shrugged. Why dig the guy up? He's still under the intersection near my grade school.
When I was a teenager I used to hike and camp a lot. I met other hikers, who did a lot more hiking than I did. I stayed off of private property. They didn't, but in every case they asked permission to cross the property. One hiker told me once the owner met him in his truck with a shotgun across his lap. Once he explained why he was hiking up the guy's driveway, he got his permission.
It may sound like these country people are crazy, but they're not. I still occasionally eat dinner with these people. They're friendly in a way most people never see. Neighbors walk in and out without knocking. I've seen them fall asleep on the floor in front of the TV after eating. No one said a word. But they will defend their property from strangers.
Occasionally libertarians tell me, "Well, immigrants would pay to cross the property." Say what? Where are millions of poor immigrants going to get the money to pay for such a thing? It also assumes the owners place money above all, that all people are what incompetent economists call "economic man." The only people I've seen do that are people who don't have any money. People who have money have other priorities.
I guess these "libertarians" believe property owners are going to stand outside all night with a flashlight and catch illegal immigrants crossing their property and charge them a dollar. Ludicrous.
I've had defenders of open borders tell me they want to destroy neighborhoods and other voluntary associations. This is libertarian? It sounds more like leftism to me, because the essence of leftism is the desire to destroy existing institutions in the naive belief all the "goodness" in human nature will just pop up. Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn made the comment -- and I agree completely -- that leftists don't merely misunderstand human nature, they don't understand it at all.That's why I get comments about millions of immigrants paying to cross private property. Such a belief is literally in orbit because of its unreality.
I also get the comment, "I should be able to hire whom I want." True. But how are those people they want to hire going to get there, when they have to cross other's property, and the property owners won't let them?
None seem to understand that illegal immigrants use the federal interstate highway system, which was originally built to transport the federal military. Even today, the military, if need be, has precedence over civilians to use that system.
My stupid pug has enough sense to defend what he thinks is his property. It's mine, but if he thinks it's his, that's fine with me. Even a Pomeranian will defend its territory. Yet the defenders of open borders think thousands if not millions of people will allow mass migration across their private property? What planet do these people live on, to believe such a thing?
Pat Buchanan said it best: "The peril of ideology is that it rarely comports with reality and is contradicted by history, thus leading inevitably to disillusionment and tragedy."
What am I supposed to think, when libertarians who claim to despise the federal government above all, support policies that can only exist because of that same despicable government? They live in a fantasyland, that's what I think.