October 31, 2016 § 67 Comments
In the post below donnie suggests:
Trump supporters may be liberals who are still half-asleep, but at least that means they’re also half-awake.
I don’t see “make America 90’s again, other than the opposition to abortion and homosex” as half awake. I see it as the typical consolidation of a new ‘conservatism’ which attempts to protect liberalism from its current worst excesses (white genocide, safe spaces vs free speech, etc).
The central focus of Trumpism is on stopping white genocide, but under the guise of immigration/nationalism. The reason for this is twofold.
First, liberalism is the political philosophy of white people and cannot survive – at least not yet – under a system which is not ruled by a majority of white people capable of overruling dindu, la raza, and mohammedan tribalisms.
Second, Trumpism is promoted under the guise of ‘nationalism/immigration’ because that allows charges of racism to be plausibly denied while still opposing white genocide. Nationalist liberalism is still liberalism, so liberalism itself can remain unchallenged and unquestioned.
So Trumpism represents a walk-back of liberalism’s most recent and most self destructive excesses without any repudiation of liberalism whatsoever, and with the ‘successful’ innovations (e.g. normalization of sodomy) retained. That is how the process works: successful liberal innovations are retained, while unsuccessful ones are walked back and re-tooled.
Meet the new cuck. Same as the old cuck.
October 30, 2016 § 15 Comments
We must not tolerate illegal immigration. Since 1992, we have increased our Border Patrol by over 35%; deployed underground sensors, infrared night scopes and encrypted radios; built miles of new fences; and installed massive amounts of new lighting. We have moved forcefully to protect American jobs by calling on Congress to enact increased civil and criminal sanctions against employers who hire illegal workers. Since 1993, we have removed 30,000 illegal workers from jobs across the country. – Between Hope and History, by Bill Clinton, p.134 , Jan 1, 1996
Donald Trump in 2016 is objectively very similar to Bill Clinton in 1992. The main difference is that from an Overton Window standpoint Trump is now an extreme right wing candidate rather than an extreme left wing candidate. Anything resembling social conservatism has simply dropped off of the radar: even the pro life movement these days is pro choice. Donald Trump when elected (assuming he is smart enough to let Grandma Abortion Witch implode) will just be the third black president.
Liberalism is insane and anti-human, but its insanity ironically makes it extremely adaptable. The Trump phenomenon is not some great new hope for the salvation of Western civilization: some new direction which represents the possibility of a future free from SJW excesses and other leftist insanity. Rather what we are witnessing is the action, in real time, of liberalism’s own internal mechanisms for protecting itself from the results of its own excesses as it continues to dominate more and more of reality. We are witnessing how it absorbs and repurposes any possible incipient opposition, turning the energy of that opposition toward liberalism’s own ends: ends which include self preservation.
Liberalism’s greatest enemy has for centuries been the consequences of its own comprehensive triumph. But by keeping all political conflict inside of its inescapable gravity well it ensures its own long term persistence, in spite of itself.
October 27, 2016 § 9 Comments
October 26, 2016 § 37 Comments
So called ‘gold standard’ currency is a scrambled mess of confused and opaque financial nonsense, a toxic mix of securities and commodities which poisons the finances of governments and the minds of economists. I’ve explained why fiat currency is more transparent and honest than gold standard currency any number of times. But of course many folks know all sorts of things that aren’t true about sovereign finance, and can’t tell the difference between a financial security and the media upon which it is printed; so they disagree.
Sometimes folks relate better to concrete stories than to dry and abstract explanation of financial concepts. So in this post we’ll consider a hypothetical situation which will hopefully help the still-perplexed understand why fiat currency is more honest and financially transparent than ‘gold standard’ currency.
Suppose we are on a gold standard currency. The government issues official gold notes and for each gold note there is 1/40 gram of gold stored in the vault at Nakatomi Tower. Each gold note notionally entitles the bearer to 1/40 gram of gold, though in practice almost nobody ever actually turns in the notes in exchange for actual gold. The government accepts the gold notes it issues – and only those gold notes – for payment of taxes.
Hans Gruber and his merry band of faux-terrorists carry out a sophisticated paramilitary assault on Nakatomi Tower. Despite John McClane’s best efforts they escape with all of the gold and McClane’s selfish chunky feminist wife, whose constant whining causes half of the exceptional thieves to commit suicide. McClane reclaims his stolen children and lives happily for a while as a NYC cop, until he is killed in a Black Lives Matter terrorist attack on police orchestrated by the Clinton Foundation in conspiracy with a Saudi Arabian donor — a terrorist attack which gets blamed on Donald Trump, who at the time was innocently visiting Playboy Mansion but just for the articles.
Back in front of your iPad in suburbia, you have plenty of government issued gold notes and a tax bill that is coming due.
Should the government accept the gold notes that it issued from you, even though the gold is gone; or are you out of luck because your gold is in a non-extradition country earning 20%? Now that all of the gold has been spirited away, is everyone holding government gold notes a tax evader with literally no available legal means to pay their taxes?
If the government should accept the gold notes that it issued to settle your tax bill – even though the gold is gone, the top of the skyscraper exploded along with the heads of numerous Austrian economists, and the Johnsons and their helicopters are no more – doesn’t that tell you that the presence or absence of the gold doesn’t really have much of anything to do with the value of the “gold notes” as a financial security issued by the government?
October 25, 2016 § 23 Comments
Voting is like heroin for the secularized masses: each dose makes them feel good about themselves momentarily while deepening addiction to and dependence upon our ruling class and their political philosophy, liberalism. As time goes on the angst merely deepens, though, and the payoff becomes more a matter of staving off the agony of withdrawal rather than fleeting and illusory good feelings.
Social media and voting combined is like fentanyl-laced heroin. Social media amplifies the personal effects of participating in liberalism’s liturgy – which are the only effects of any appreciable note – while at the same time destroying personal, Church, and family relationships; that is, while destroying the very things which anchor human beings in some lived reality other than the liberal singularity.
October 25, 2016 § 76 Comments
Voting in mass market democratic elections is not rational if it is viewed as a procedure by which we rank public preferences for candidates and choose candidates according to that ranking.
But voting is perfectly rational from the point of view of our ruling class and their ruling ideology of liberalism. Because voting is a public liturgy in which a large portion of the populace personally endorses the legitimacy of our ruling class and their ruling ideology of liberalism.
Voting is perfectly rational as ritual act of doffing your hat to the king.
October 24, 2016 § 72 Comments
Critics of democracy sometimes point to Arrow’s Theorem as demonstration that it is rationally impossible in principle for any kind of democratic process to produce good political results. That isn’t precisely correct: what Arrow’s theorem demonstrates isn’t that democracy cannot produce good results. What it demonstrates is that democracy cannot produce results that anybody wants: Arrow’s theorem pertains to the achievement and ranking of preferences, not the achievement and ranking of objective goods.
One of the superficial objections that comes up from time to time is that in our elections we do not rank and choose policies: we rank and choose representatives. But it does not follow that therefore Arrow’s theorem does not apply. What follows is that no democratic process can successfully select representatives that we prefer from the available choices.
Reality seems to agree with Arrow’s theorem, if you observe the representatives we actually get. Whether or not some technical objections to the application of Arrow’s theorem obtain here and there, the overwhelming empirical confirmation is difficult to deny.
October 22, 2016 § 32 Comments
An important feature of cryptography is authentication: the ability to verify that a document comes from who it claims to come from and has the authority it claims to have. Authentication is a feature of the medium in which a message is delivered: it is not the message itself.
There are two kinds of financial securities, for present purposes: bearer securities and securities which must be cleared when they are transferred. The latter sort have to pass through a transfer agent who verifies the identities of the parties and the legitimacy of the transfer of rights. Rights are not technically transferred until the check clears, and if someone is being dishonest we know who they are and can hunt them down.
But bearer securities transfer the rights they represent immediately, with transfer of possession. They don’t leave a paper trail, and it has to be possible within reason to authenticate them as they are.
Folks are always asking me to speculate about why gold or silver was the printing medium of choice for bearer securities (in particular sovereign currency) for much of premodern history. Whatever else may be the case, it seems obvious that premodern sovereigns had limited choices of available counterfeit-resistant print media from which to choose.
As for why masses of people tend to think that the value inheres in the print media rather than the financial security it represents, that obviously involves mass psychology about why lots of people have wrong ideas about something or other. It isn’t as if the mass of humanity has a good track record of being right about politically and religiously charged subjects. Centuries of rampant usury has doubtless contributed to a mass illusion wherein many folks can’t tell the difference between actual bread and a promise of bread, and it is an especially modern error to conflate medium and message. At the end of the day what matters is what is true though, not the results of a popularity contest.
If you find yourself psychologically in need of a reason why gold was a favored medium for bearer securities before the modern age, you need look no further than the development of cheaper counterfeit-resistant print media. And you should probably work on your own demotic resistance to the fact that a whole lot of the time the great mass of human beings muddle through without really understanding what is going on.
October 21, 2016 § 38 Comments
A fiat dollar is a security issued by the sovereign. Like every other financial security issued by an institution, fiat dollars grant the owner of the security an economic claim backed by the institution’s balance sheet. Like every other financial security issued by an institution, it is possible to trade fiat dollars for other property in the marketplace. It is also possible to exercise the specific rights granted by the security instead of trading it: in the case of fiat dollars, to turn it in to the sovereign who issued it for the satisfaction of a particular tax obligation.
The worth of a fiat dollar derives from the financial rights that it grants. Its price in marketplace exchanges represents what other people are willing to pay, in terms of different kinds of property, in exchange for the financial rights granted by the fiat dollar.
A ‘gold standard’ dollar is the same kind of thing. It is a financial claim against the balance sheet of the sovereign; the financial rights conferred are the satisfaction of debts owed to the sovereign, in particular tax liabilities. The difference is that the gold standard irrationally presupposes that a substantial portion of the sovereign balance sheet must or should be made up of gold — an otherwise not very noteworthy kind of property, property which while fairly durable sits unproductively in a vault where it destroys economic value in the demands that it places on its defense and maintenance against the universal tide of entropy.
Advocacy of gold standard dollars is like advocacy of gold standard capital stock: in essence, it requires than any securities which an institution issues must be printed on gold or must come along with some ratio of gold stored away in addition to the rights granted by the security. Advocacy of gold standard dollars assumes that gold is the only valid kind of wealth, when in fact almost all of the wealth in the world is constituted by property other than gold. A gold standard involves making a wildly irrational assumption about sovereign finance that we would never make about private finance. It is as if the stock price of corporations were required to be indexed to the amount of gold that the corporation has stored away in a vault, even though the gold is entirely useless in the company’s business operations and its storage and provision for security constitute a senseless and perpetual drain of resources.
Gold standard dollars are no more rational than requiring by statute that eggs be sold in golden egg cartons, or bundled with certificates entitling the bearer to a gram of gold per egg. Gold standards are literally crazy, a scrambling together of entirely unlike property into a toxic mix. Folks who simply hate government per se advocate for them precisely because they understand on some level that the gold standard is irrational, debilitating poison. If you can’t drown the balance sheet of the government you hate by weighing it down with lead, at least maybe you can weigh it down with gold.
But you won’t see them – at least not the more rational ones – advocate for a ‘gold standard’ in the securities that make up their retirement portfolios, or in the goods they buy in the grocery store. An investor with an equity portfolio doesn’t want to require the companies whose stock he owns to carry large quantities of inert and unproductive gold on their balance sheets. For these folks, the gold standard is an unprincipled exception intended to apply only to government precisely because it is financial poison for the institution which they despise.
The crazier wing of the gold standard crowd isn’t even sophisticated enough to grasp that a gold standard is financial poison. They like the gold standard because GOLD. Their attachment is pure unreasoning emotion. A gold standard is, objectively, a requirement to literally add useless dead weight to unrelated kinds of property.
But better to let the scrambled eggs rot than to give up our irrational attachment to gold.
 Absent contractual terms or other legal restrictions to the contrary.
 T-bills are just fiat dollars once removed, as stock options are just shares of capital stock once removed: they are not debt, and the sooner you banish the idea that they are debt from your mind the better you will understand them.
October 20, 2016 § 29 Comments
In retrospect I suppose it is odd that this hasn’t come up before; but it isn’t the sort of angle I’d thought to raise myself. That’s just not how my mind works.
In the comments below MarcusD writes:
A priest in my diocese, when the subject of usury comes up (well, all two times), states that opposition to usury is “inextricably linked with antisemitism.” Do you have any thoughts on that position? Will you add a rebuttal to that to the “Usury FAQ”?
My first thought was that the assertions of this priest are just obviously ridiculous, the sort of modern guilt-by-association lunacy unworthy of the validation involved in treating it as a serious objection. (To be clear: it is certainly not a serious objection).
Several things may be noteworthy though, at least in terms of characterizing the association and the guilt — to the best of my knowledge, and with all the usual caveats, this being well outside the domain of what I consider substantively pertinent to the basic moral question.
First, the fact that diaspora Jews in Christian lands gravitated toward usury as a profession is as much Christians’ fault as Jews’ fault. The attitude was that Jews were heathens and were going to Hell anyway, so the Christian sovereign’s law actually treated Jews more leniently than it treated Christians. Christians were prohibited from engaging in usury for the sake of their own souls; but Jews were damned anyway so why not let them do what they want? A libertine approach to the laws that applied to Jews was really a form of cruelty toward them, as is true of libertine legalism in general. It was also a good way to cultivate anti-Christian forces within Christian society over the long term.
Just imagine if there were a tribe in modern America who were treated as if the law against violent crime didn’t apply to them. Wouldn’t that in objective fact be cruelty toward that tribe? Wouldn’t we expect the violent behavior of that tribe to increase, to their own detriment and ours?
Second, the situation illustrates the lie built into ‘libertine’ law in the first place. Without the Christian sovereign’s enforcement, usurious contracts would have no teeth. To the extent that the Christian sovereign enforced usurious contracts he formally cooperated with them: you can’t enforce contract terms without intending them. So professional usury on the part of Jews was really a partnership between Jews and their Christian enforcers.
Third, there were in fact significant non-Jewish tribes or dynasties associated with professional usury, notably the Lombards. As is the case in many high IQ professions Jews were doubtless overrepresented in part simply because they have greater intelligence than most of the rest of the bell curve. But it isn’t as if they had a monopoly on the particular sin in question.
Of course it is risible in the first place to claim that the Church’s doctrinal condemnation of usury depends on whether or not one tribe or other has become, fairly or unfairly, disproportionately associated with that sin. Alcohol abuse doesn’t become immune to criticism in virtue of its (fair or unfair) association with the Irish.
But in any case with usury, as with any basic execrable disgusting filthy sin against nature and nature’s God, there is plenty of guilt to go around.