The Problem With Centralisation

Nassim Taleb slams the European project. Perfect timing to counteract the Nobel Peace Prize nonsense.

Via Foreign Policy:

The European Union is a horrible, stupid project. The idea that unification would create an economy that could compete with China and be more like the United States is pure garbage. What ruined China, throughout history, is the top-down state. What made Europe great was the diversity: political and economic. Having the same currency, the euro, was a terrible idea. It encouraged everyone to borrow to the hilt.

The most stable country in the history of mankind, and probably the most boring, by the way, is Switzerland. It’s not even a city-state environment; it’s a municipal state. Most decisions are made at the local level, which allows for distributed errors that don’t adversely affect the wider system. Meanwhile, people want a united Europe, more alignment, and look at the problems. The solution is right in the middle of Europe — Switzerland. It’s not united! It doesn’t have a Brussels! It doesn’t need one.

The future is unpredictable. In economics some decisions will be lead to desired results and others will not. Real-world outcomes are ultimately impossible to predict, because the real world is chaotic and no simulation can ever model the real world in precise detail; the map is not the territory.

Centralisation concentrates decision-making. Centralisation acts as a transmission mechanism to transmit and amplify the effects of centralised decisions throughout a system. This means that when bad decisions are made — as inevitably happens in human behaviour — the entire system will be damaged. Under a decentralised system, there is no such problem. Under a decentralised heterogeneous system, mistakes are not so easily transmitted or amplified. Centralisation is fragile.

And central planning is mistake-prone. Central planners are uniquely ineffective as resource allocators. Free markets transmit information; the true underlying state of supply and demand. Without an open market to transmit price information, central planners cannot allocate resources according to the true state of supply and demand. Capital, time, and labour are allocated based on the central planner’s preferences, rather than the preferences of the wider society.

These two factors taken together mean that centralised systems tend to be both fragile and mistake-prone. That is a dangerous — and unsustainable — combination.

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123 thoughts on “The Problem With Centralisation

  1. Pingback: The Problem With Centralisation « Hawks5999

  2. Centralization is simply an efficiency mechanism that facilitates theft on a grand scale.

    If anybody understand the pitfalls of central planning, it would be the financiers, but moments like these only come around every so often, so I am sure they feel compelled to exploit this opportunity [maximally].

    Can you imagine being in the position of being able to fleece 7B people coincidentally?

    Obviously too much for temptation for these paragons of virtue.

  3. Centralization is indeed inefficient, unfair, tyrannical, fleecing-enabling, and just about any other pejorative we can recall or imagine. So we need to arrest its advance and undertake its diminution. Where to start?

    There is an imminent fork in the road, leading to either a start or an end to rolling back this curse on mankind.

    Centralization’s strongest weapon is government — monopoly and force. The world’s largest economy has an election in three weeks in which the most collectivist, unlawful and corrupt political coalition in its history seeks to stay in power in order to complete its destruction of Constitutional protection of people’s rights from government. [In case it's not clear to someone who hasn't read/understood the Declaration of Independence: that's diffused power vs. centralized power].

    • As in Roberts Rules of Order, I rise on a point of clarification. Please allow a change in the 3rd line of the last paragraph above, to strike “…to stay in…” and substitute “…consolidate its…”. The sentence now reads: “The world’s largest economy has an election in three weeks in which the the most collectivist, unlawful and corrupt political coalition in its history seeks to consolidate its power in order to complete the destruction of Constitutional protection of people’s rights from government.

      I might have added the 1920s historical parallel of Germany’s Nazi’s taking power in a legal democratic election, followed by legally legislating absolute power to the Chancellor, one Adolph Hitler.

  4. Seems like there is a pretty strong view out there among some who study history that lack of centralization is what once gave Europe its edge and allowed ideas to flourish that would have been crushed (and were) in the top-down, highly centralized Chinese empire. Motivated people with radical and unwelcome, but good, ideas, could often leave one state and go elsewhere in search of a friendlier reception and pursue their goals. This may have led to Europe leapfrogging ahead of China, which had been more advanced in most ways. The “Guns, Germs and Steel” view if I remember correctly.

    Regarding Switzerland and its beautiful mountains and very clean streets, I can’t help but recall Churchill’s comparison of it to tempestuous, untidy Italy producing great art for the ages, while orderly Switzerland has given the world the cuckoo clock.

    • Your Italian art hypothesis ignores history. During the the Renaissance Italy was fragmented and definitely not governed by a strong central government. Very similar to Ancient Greece and the Spring and Autumn in China. All were periods of hyper creativity that are still benefitting from.

  5. Of coarse we need to remember it’s not only Governments guilty of ‘Central Planning’, those great Free Market enterprises the Banks and Global Corporations are Te current rulers of Central Planning.

    But agreed, centralisation is inherently flawed and inevitably leads to a concentration of power. But I will never trust the private sector with The Commons, Coca Cola is not a benign distributor of water or air.

  6. AAMC: Please explain how you can fail to see that “the private sector” must work its collectivist mischief/evil through government: WHO appoints and (should) oversee central bank officers, Justices, regulators, etc.? And who legislates the rules and loopholes therein?

    • I see it. And the answer to that is to remove Govt entirely and allow existing privilege to continue it’s march to Fascism unimpeded, or to work to resolve the revolving doors and the corruption?

      • OK. If we add a 3rd alternative — allow government to gain power over everything — we can readily see that we want to avoid the 1st (anarchy) and 3rd (tyranny) and work to regain and secure our rights.

  7. Awesome post, with one caveat.

    The extended quote ignores the fact that Europe’s diversity is also the source of its most bloody and atrocious wars. The military history of the Industrial Revolution in the western world was all about brutal failures to unify Europe. The Euro might be stupid economically in lots of ways, BUT it’s promulgated by people who think the alternative (world war 3) is much more costly.

    • Hey — I’ve been looking for a way to pose a couple of basic questions which seem to have been ignored. TPS writes of “brutal failures to unify Europe”; others cite warring ancient Chinese kingdoms. Aren’t wars started by kings, Kaisers, dictators, Popes, Caliphs — wielders of all forms of absolute power? Don’t people with a reasonable degree of freedom usually prosper and (if they are prudent) have peace through strength and the will to use it?

    • I think you’ll find that as the Bundesbank splits from the ECB and the Pirate Party develops a wider appeal across the German area…the German State will itself split up into something along the (political) lines of a Switzerland …

  8. You can have unity without centralisation. We are a European unity. It feels that way to me, an Englishman, There is an Italian shop down the road. The graffiti on the corner of my street is in Spanish. I get free healthcare when I work in Spain. The political center of Europe is Socialist. This is because we are an advanced civilisation. We share this insight that we are social beings and understand that for social species there is a trade off between individual interests and a wider survival potential. This insight is at the core of Chinese thought too, incidentally. Mr. Seager makes a strong point. The EU must be the only example of peoples cooperating to cede sovereignty without imposition by conquest. If only for that it is a triumph. Mr Hugh Smith was right on the Keiser Report, we must break the hold of the Bank Cartel. Europe for the People!

    • More basic questions arise. Can we differentiate between “democratic socialism” and Marxian/Communist socialism? Is a society adopting the former doomed to economic collapse from decreasing work ethic and increasing demands? (Lenin-Hitler-Stalin-Mao revealed the inevitable outcome of the latter).

      Is a Constitutional Republic (e.g., USA*) doomed to degrade into socialism according to the ancient (but inescapable?) certainty of economic collapse once > half the people discover that they can raid the treasury?

      As must be obvious, I, a senior US citizen political activist with experience in business, politics, and government, weigh what I have experienced and seen more than theory. But I try to keep an open mind!

      BTW: Each of the 13 States in the British N.American colonies ceded (limited) sovereignty to a union of all.

        • If US citizens would unite in your earlier-posted “work to resolve” effort, we could hope to enjoy Sweden’s homogeneity of culture and lack of politically agitated class and race dissension. This is another way to describe the grass-roots “tea party” movement.

          I hope that antagonistic self-segregated Muslim immigrants have/will not spoil Sweden’s

  9. People worry way too much about the particulars. All systems are essentially the same. You have a group of elite who want to take everything from the everybody else. Same shit, different century.

    So, why squabble whether it is better that the thief is come in through back door or the upstairs window, when s/he is going to make a b-line for your valuables?

    Until people are ready to take responsibility for their own welfare, don’t look for a whole lot of change. But, otoh, the crisis has already occurred and will eventually be resolved. So, let’s prepared ourselves to genuflect to the next generation of elite, while handing over practically everything we own so they won’t [fill in the blank] us.

    Lose the fear, you take all their power away.

  10. What is a successful economy? Certainly not one where the sole measure is money “wealth”, in my view. Is it better to make cluster bombs than to do nothing? Is it more useful to society to run a Multinational producing fattening food than to earn a wage plodding along comfortably sweeping streets with an inefficient broom? In many ways this economic collapse is a good thing because it is reducing the consumption of fossil fuels and concomitant environmental degradation. Money burns biosphere if its application is not morally purposeful. The United States is a centrally planned economy. Its largest industries, arms and now finance are socialised. The invisible hand of the market will never reach out for a nuclear submarine. The American state IS the corporations. Exxon Mobile is The State. CNN is The State. Goldman Sachs is The State. The arguments of economic liberalism are a kind of Scholasticism like the Soviet theories in reverse. For “the forces of history” substitute “market forces”; for “the masses” substitute “the consumer”; for the Utopian endgame of “communism” substitute “the end of history”. It’s all nonsense. We need to evolve something that works in practice. Start with evolutionary biology. We are a social species and have evolved altruism and emotions of well being. Socialists are happier. That alone is worth the cost. How is it that Cuba has better health outcomes than the USA, and exports health workers globally, Cuba that lives on sugar and cigars? And America, that should be the natural inheritor of the Enlightenment sees its citizens dying because of ideological intransigence?

    • Roger, that’s all well and good and certainly nobody here will disagree with any of it, but what does it mean?

      Isn’t what you wrote simply the today’s trendy [among the alternative] view on, “things?” Next week, it could be a whole different deal.

      There is no need to understand any of this [as this is impossible, anyway], What is needed is to unhitch our wagons to the prevailing systems [of thought, of action, of being].

      • Roger:

        The United States is a centrally planned economy. Its largest industries, arms and now finance are socialised. The invisible hand of the market will never reach out for a nuclear submarine. The American state IS the corporations. Exxon Mobile is The State. CNN is The State. Goldman Sachs is The State.

        Agree.

        The arguments of economic liberalism are a kind of Scholasticism like the Soviet theories in reverse. For “the forces of history” substitute “market forces”; for “the masses” substitute “the consumer”; for the Utopian endgame of “communism” substitute “the end of history”. It’s all nonsense. We need to evolve something that works in practice. Start with evolutionary biology. We are a social species and have evolved altruism and emotions of well being. Socialists are happier. That alone is worth the cost. How is it that Cuba has better health outcomes than the USA, and exports health workers globally, Cuba that lives on sugar and cigars?

        Really strongly disagree. Cubans are still dying at sea by boat trying to get to America, for all America’s faults. American corporatism is a fundamentally flawed model, and so is Sovietization. Neither is a democratic free market.

        The model that is not fundamentally flawed is decentralised democracy. Switzerland is closest to this.

        • I was arguing with regard to Cuba that even a fragile economy can achieve good results in, for example, health care outside the free market / privatised model, because it is often argued that that is not possible, that socialist practice is inherently inefficient, and so on. This is demonstrably not true if you compare health outcomes of the US and those of Cuba.
          Like you I favour Decentralised Democracy. I accept that Cuba is far from a satisfactory society. But I can’t avoid the temptation to point out that thousands of Americans kill themselves with drugs in an attempt to escape from America. I think that society should create free healthcare, free education with a grant for living expenses, pensions for the elderly and care for the vulnerable, what we had in the UK in the 60s. This is quite possible to achieve through taxation and organisation of human resources. When that bottom line is achieved let people accumulate wealth, but not before. There is a name for it…civilisation. Yes, we can. But I suspect you agree. I enjoy your website.

        • I think that society should create free healthcare, free education with a grant for living expenses, pensions for the elderly and care for the vulnerable, what we had in the UK in the 60s. This is quite possible to achieve through taxation and organisation of human resources.

          I think that societies should be free to implement whatever kind of system they want. I think that with true decentralised democracy there would be a wide-range of systems. I think more often than not there would be some kind of socialised healthcare, but I think it is good if there are also some more libertarian societies. Within the USA, if individual states were allowed to decide, I think some states (possibly the majority) would choose socialised medicine, others wouldn’t. I think that that is fairly reasonable; if people want socialised medicine, they should be free to move to a state with it, if they want individual responsibility they should be free to move to a state without it.

        • Isn’t Switzerland is an isolationist, selfish, oligarch-controlled, race and class discriminatory society profiting from the spoils of war* and legal/illegal “crime”? Are the “Gnomes of Zurich” not representative of the nation/people? Your money is welcome, but you are only as long as you remain independently wealthy or for the life of a job picking grapes, etc.

          * Let’s not forget that the Swiss secured the Nazis’ gold taken from Holocaust corpses, and tried to keep it when the depositors didn’t didn’t claim it.

          [John, what do you think of weakening the Swiss Franc to keep up--correction--keep down with the Euro?]

        • Debasing the franc is an awful idea, Don. Swiss authorities acting in the interest of Nestle and UBS and ignoring wider Swiss public. No country is perfect, but Switzerland still more democratic and free than virtually any other nation (sadly including the United States, whose Constitution may be the best in history, but which is no longer living up to that promise).

    • 1. You think that Cuba has better healthcare than the US? We KNOW that Canada does not!

      2. MAN (CO2) – CAUSED global warming is a FRAUD — a hoax to make money! I just read that Gore is now worth $100,000,000*. Fraudsters have handed out double-digit $ billions of US citizens’ money to crony governments and companies. This may not be the most damaging lie of Obama et al, but it is the most brazen because it has been scientifically and historically disproved!

      3. “Socialists are happier”. Assuming that you mean ordinary citizens, not the overlords, that is a silly generalization without a qualifying “some” or “sometimes”. You should consult people of the former USSR, East Germany, Eastern Europe captive nations, N. Korea, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, etc. China witched to capitalism (but NOT civil liberty) decades ago; their people are much more prosperous (including eating better) and might be “happier” than under the previous top-down socialism. As for DEMOCRATIC socialism, as per Aziz’s comments, the majority of people can choose their system (‘though they must watch out for creeping authoritative top-down control as is now supplanting our US Constitutional rights), or individuals can emigrate.

      4. As you Brits used to say, I yield to no man in my admiration for Aziz, but I must expose the error in a couple of assertions in Yates’ diatribe to which Aziz agreed. (a) Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” does not have the job of determining requirements for nuclear submarines or other defense expenditures (although it helps when men on the firing line {users/consumers} are consulted on specifications. (b) Exxon, CNN, Goldman are NOT “the state”, nor vice versa. XOM’s is one of over a half-dozen competing international “major” oil companies, the largest of which are wholly or partially own by governments; its operations are mostly abroad; it’s (private) shareholders are international; its operations on US federal lands and seas are supervised by a government agency which, prior to Obama, was a reasonable agent maximizing the return on the people’s assets. CNN may love Obama because of journalism school bias, but they were anti-Bush — they are not government. Goldman et al sure as hell need more oversight and less collusion with politicians and special treasury “concessions”, but they are not “the state”.

      * Coincidentally, $100,000,000 is the same figure estimated for the two Clintons’ wealth. Has any of the three ever done an honest day’s work? But, of course, Gates’ billions and Romney’s $250,000,000 are greed because they made them competitively and honestly.

      • I don’t mean that the US State owns the Corporations, Don, rather that the Corporations own the US State.
        Socialism does not imply a Soviet model any more than Capitalism a Nazi one.
        If you want small Government and minimal regulation of the individual, why not move to Somalia or Liberia? Not much government there.
        Venezuela has seen a 75% drop in extreme poverty under Chaves. I am sure these folk are happier, which I suppose will be the reason for his reelection.
        There is a great deal of research that shows that people who self identify as “on the left” are happier, which is counter intuitive when you consider that the world economy is in the process of being destroyed by Neo Liberal head cases.
        I am British pensioner on a basic State pension. If I were required to chose between living on the Social Provision of the poorest in America or in Cuba I would chose Cuba without a second thought, and so I think would you, if you have a sense of self preservation.
        Cuban health care costs $400 per person year and has better outcomes across the board than does US health care that costs getting on ten times as much. They cured old Hugo too.
        Half your tax dollars go on the military. How’s that for small government?
        This comment is intended to be friendly towards you and respectful, but intellectually combative. I wish you well.

        • Fair points about Cuba’s health system. Hugo Chavez could have flown to Germany, but placed his life in the care of the Socialist Health Care system of Cuba (Germany is Socialist in some respects)

          Australia is a Capitalist country with a big Socialist Health care System. In High School economics it was explained to me that Australia has a mix of Socialism (Australia started the 40 hour week movement) and Capitalism, but over the last 10 years State businesses have been privatised, and run into the ground due to lack of maintenance.

          Goverment is now under massive pressure to balance the budget, so they are terminating government worker jobs. For Australia, the promise to balance the budget by the current Labour (akin to Democrat) government has become an election issue. They are so desperate that they are willing to sacrifice a few bureaucrats. This is why our dollar is stronger than the US dollar, even with a slowing China. Australian Bonds are as good as gold. If we had to we could literally mine the gold to back the bonds.

          10 years ago, local government was amalgamated into super sized local government with bigger geographical footprints. The hope was to stamp out local corruption and “contracts for mates”, but the result is local business can’t compete for tenders, as the job is too big to manage. The super wealthy and connected are now getting the local contracts to repair roads, cut grass, provide services etc. Local issues are sidelined. I can see this on a National scale being the same. The result is less competition and less access to representation. By the way, local rates/taxes have escalated to the point that some farmers are revolting and not paying their taxes. We are literally having a Tea Party revolution. The government administrators are panicking and holding talks to resolve but the farmers are not budging.

          So the argument that centralisation can cause economies of scale and cheaper administration is a fallacy.

    • So corporations in America are “the State?” No, my friend, corporations are but a result of a society based on freebo0ms – at least on of the freer societies to date. Will, as Professor Tytler suggested in 1787 we evolve into a Bondage? A posibility if we did not have that means to peacefully fransfer power overy 3 or 4 years. As Repuublics go, we have made it this far, but I see an end coming even given the above. Term limits and the inability to vote in riches for the very indivividuals we vote in has gone to extrems. Social dependantcy is teetering on disolving our system of free enterprise and capitalistc progress. Indeed we have allowed banks too much control by their sheer size resulting in our “Too big to fail,” approach so over-used.

      Public unions have born too much power resulting in a unique form of taxation without due representatiion – more appropriare, governtment without reprsentation.

      Our freedoms have led to cultural breakdowns whereby we no longer honor proper marriage for the benefit of child-rearing. We have for the 4th time implemented a Keynesian “solution” but this time to a degree never seen in world history. While I stand a firm capitalist existing in a decentralized form of government, without a moral compass, I am becoming ever more convinced any form of government will fail.

      Whether Socialist or de-centralist, whether economically Socialistr or capitalist, humans will seemingly always eventually fail without that morality, love of fellow-man, respect for private property and the understanding that service is the way of life on Earth that will reap the rewards one might seek. The USA may well pull through this period (I pray) but much like the “Sleeping giant” refereneced by the Japanese Admiral, it will ultimately be some event impacting the masses that will, I think, motivate the re-emergence of the human spirit characteristic og the Founders of America. Time will tell; one hopes our best years are still in front of us.

  11. The way I see it ‘state’ appears and develops as a tool. As community evolves into society, (F. Tonnies, http://media.pfeiffer.edu/lridener/courses/GEMEIN.HTML) because of the advent of large scale division of work, that particular group of people need a formal structure to maintain the order which was previously maintained ‘as a matter of fact’, ingenuously, through every day intercourse of the ‘neighbors’.
    The problem is that in time ‘wise guys’ become aware that the very presence of the state creates new opportunities and they start to use this tool, the state, in order to fulfill their own goals, whatever they might be. And when something like this happens the state, and the society at large, become weaker and weaker.
    In Pareto’s terms the foxes have risen to power, once again. http://www.bolenderinitiatives.com/sociology/vilfredo-pareto-1848-1923/vilfredo-pareto-lions-and-foxes

  12. Decentralized decision making’s superiority over centralized decision making is best illustrated in nature. I recently read the book Smart Swarms, a book about the “collective intelligence” of insects and bugs. Although the Queen ant, the Queen bee, and the Queen termite, are thought of as the top of the hierarchy in their respective kingdom, they are little more than an insect factory and have no decision making or planning ability whatsoever.

    Ants, termites, and bees construct massive mounds and hives without an engineer or architect. They respond to threats and find food without a central command. They calculate the ideal place to construct a new living quarters for the colony. They do so many things without a central authority and they have been around for hundreds of millions of years.

    • Although it would take several lifetimes to ascertain the penultimate essence of Man’s intellectual arrogance, assuming that we can understand what other species are about, in any way, shape, or form, has to be right up there!

    • I love your pseudonym — i sure think that naps are cool! But to hold up ant organization as a model for humans — or even to compare — is ridiculous. If your book didn’t explain, try “Godel, Escher, Bach — an Eternal Golden Braid” by an undoubted genius in logic and artificial intelligence, whose name i can’t remember.

    • ….so, we are discounting man’s ability to reason and learn? The “Nature” example has been argued for…. well, since bugs were born! :) But applying that to the discussion would mean we all are still living in tribes, pack-hunting game with no invention of the “wheel.”

      • Gary: I gotta jump in here to attaboy your clarity on the state and human society/civilization. And on the difference between ant and human society — one is sturdy, the other is evolving, to oversimplify.

  13. Until all of humanity looks at a humble weed or a fly with respect and admiration similar to a Orchid or a Butterfly, we will always need central command and control.

    Humanity is not there yet. Anarchy is a pipe dream of the enlightened few but it’s not a realistic goal – yet.

    These goals should be set in stone, and buried for the future civilisations to find. I won’t see in my life time. I go to the afterlife with a clear conscious though.

    • One might suggest that centralization is better termed, “premeditated anarchy.”

      Anarchism, otoh, is simply a philosophical position, and can no more exist than can any of the other, “-isms.”

        • All systems are controlled dis-order, i.e., order. Look at what goes on in the world. “Order,” is simply Orwellian for controlled pillaging.

          The natural order of the Universe is dis-order, but dis-order with purpose. :)

  14. Pingback: The Problem With Centralisation « Silver For The People – The Blog

  15. for now, i’ve got two problems with you, aziz.

    problem the first: you stubbornly insist on misspelling words like centraliZation; substituting a bloody “s” for the more correct and americaner “z”. what’z up with that?

    problem the second: you seem to be reading my mind & and stealing my thoughts. i’ve warned you about this in the past; so consider yourself double-warned (which is one step shy of triple-warned…and we all know what that means).

    i was gonna devote an entire post to this subject (centralization…not your attempt to batter off with my private stash of genius); which is to say that i was gonna take it a few steps further and trim it with a lil of the ole grandiloquence. so i’ll just let your article predicate my larger and awesomer point. hell, calling what follows a “point” doesn’t quite do it justice; does it? no, this shall be a mini-treatise…or should we say “hemi-treatise”?

    on second thought, maybe janus shouldn’t get too carried away. no, actually, i think it’s in everyone’s best interest if i do magange to get carried away.

    first things first…music:

    aziz, have you ever been to alabama? right, you’re still alive so i suppose the question is a bit rhetorical. yup, they’d probably shoot you in the chest for your bizzare habits viz. the letter “z”. hell, they once arrested a mercedes benz executive because he spoke with proper syntax and diction. it makes them nervous when non-native speakers get all fancy with words and whatnot. no, really, i’m not joking…

    http://slatest.slate.com/posts/2011/11/21/mercedes_benz_executive_arrested_under_alabama_immigration_law.html

    that’s not a story from the onion. just SOP in alabama. any of you wealthy industrialists looking to open a facility in that fecal repository of bigotry and violence may want to consider other options. that’s what goes for southern hospitality.

    oh, and then there’s the very real possiblity of your son or daughter being slaughtered if they find themselves intoxicated on one of alabama’s institutes of higher learning.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/11/gil-collar-shooting-video_n_1958480.html

    pardon me, aziz…i wanted to take the opportunity to both ridicule that confederacy of dunces and use it as a segue unto globalization (probably not the best segue, i confess; but, these dayz, i’ll twist the blade it bama’s back with increasing frequency — and i’ll contort whatever context i’m given to further that end).

    seems someone (and his name is aziz) may be reading good ole george soros…don’t worry, your secret is safe with janus. watch yourself, aziz. if you dare to accept the ideas of an individual as genius, you are therefore guilty of all his sins (real or imagined). this is rule #1 of the blogosphere. nevertheless, i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, the theory of reflexivity is pure genis. and in saying this, i understand that most morons reading this will inductively conclude that janus is a fanatical acolyte of george soros; and tithe to him regularly; and have a small icon on my dresser, its name is sorosthustra… i sacrifice tiny virgin lizards to it on the first wednesday after full moons. sorosthustra demands the blood of tiny virgin lizards; and so he gets it.

    this is the conclusion of part I (the sceen is acting funny…maybe i’m taking too much space. HA! we’ll see bout that!)

    • Hey, Janus, you show some potential! I’m thinking of P.J. O’Rourke, who is very wise (agrees with me) and very clever (writes like you, only grown up and sobered up). As to Sorosthrustra, do you think that he is a/the puppet master of Obama?

      • i get the sense that you’re probably a hoot to drink with, mr. guier. i get the sense that we share a certain sensibility. and i further sense that you are a threat to the ossified orthodoxy that pervades this senseless and brutish world.

        you’re dangerous, mr. guier; and i like it.

        as to mr. o’rourke, i must admit that you’re the fifth or sixth person who’s compared him to janus. i’m sure mr. o’rourke is flattered; and, suffice it to say, janus is likewise flattered (though not nearly as much as o’rourke).

        but i was troubled over something. if folks are now comparing my sobriety (or lack thereof) to an irishman, and i am the unfavorable element in said contrast; then i need to sober up…and fast.

        all joking aside: i had, for a good long while, been drinking too much (far too much on certain nights). i’ve been wounded by this world; and it still stings. now, i am a family man and do have to tend to many and varied responsiblities; so i ranted and raved on ZH instead of the halls of my home. i tried to keep it away from my sons (and i know, at least to a certain extent, that my older boys understood)…and i, for the most part, kept it at beer and wine.

        that being said, the recent death of this young man in alabama (a young man i knew very well; and a dear frind of my eldest son) has changed me. i haven’t drank since the night that morbid news floored me. i will continue to drink, but much less volume per session and far less frequently.

        i am going to stop taking my gifts for granted.

        i also want you to know that i am now going to make time for mr. o’rourke. until now, i’ve only given him a cursory glance (maybe a snippet here or there); but i’m beginning to suspect that he deserves much more.

        whatever the case, and whether or not you care about any of this, i do appreciate what i understand to be a complement.

        {and for those who may have read me on ZH, SEE! janus can take, and he in fact invites, teasing…and if it’s done with wit and panache, you get a high-five. get snarky, sophmoric, churlish or purile and, well, you know what’s commin}

        thanks,
        janus

        • Your melodic prose, is a refreshing frame for the perverted economic canvas that we examine and ridicule daily.

          If we did not have centralisation and bureaucracy (Big business included), where would all the children from elite schools go to after they finish school? If we got rid of centralised government, and government for that manner, who would employ the teachers from said schools?

          If you look at any regional small town, the economy is basically the same. These small businesses have no need for verbose aggrandisement. Red Tape, Paper work, White Papers, Briefs, Policy Documents are unheard of. Small business owners, assess their local market and satisfy it. No meetings, no lengthy delays. They just act.

          I have worked in big business. Everybody is protecting their little “kingdom”. Meeting after meeting to “politic” to get through agendas. Lengthy “Business Papers” to implement “change”.

          The French Revolution and the “Modern Regime” that proceeded it, created endless positions to satisfy the desires of bureaucratic aspirants. The European Commission is an extension of this.

          Government jobs are parasitic, and those who aspire government jobs for the perceived security and benefits are no less ignoble than welfare recipients. In fact they cost the taxpayer more. They don’t provide services, they provide a disservice to the community. Every dollar spent propping up their department means less capital to fund innovative businesses ideas and products. As soon as the youth are taught this fact, they will think differently about big government.

        • Janus of Oct15 @12:32:27:

          I do care and my remarks are indeed meant to be complimentary. And it appears that you and my new Ukrainian-descended Aussie buddy, Buddy Igor Rojek, have some common interests/ideas.

          If you will agree to post no more foul language (which restricts sharing), I will post another complimentary comparison — I think in the form of a quiz question. And I might put you on to a book that will expand your awareness of the “laws” of the universe — and even your understanding, if you’re as bright as you appear and you choose to work at it.

  16. The destruction of all categories reached its orgasmic climax by dissolving the relatively immaterial discursive distinction that previously was laid out through criteria’s of reference. Such criteria’s divided civilization amongst competing frames of the ‘subjective’ and the ‘objective’, and necessarily overlooked one simple fact: all the human thinking that is transmitted through complex codes of communication – even that which utilizes computers – stems from a subjective point of view. The supposed God of objectivity, detached as it was from human interpretation was but a temporary, and perhaps even necessary episode of theological extremism in the guise of modernity, thanks to the arrogant enthusiasm of an admittedly still wonderful and highly productive scientific community. The implications of this realization are quite meaningful, for it means that quite literally the only obstacle to anything is imagination, of which there is a great surplus in the 21st century thanks to the information revolution. Thinking poverty will end will end poverty, for example. So the question then arises, what next? What planet should we colonize? That, I submit, is the new scientific project.

    • before you go blasting off, i’d like to reccomend a dear ole friend. there was a dane, a Great Dane — as it were, who ran around the moors of denmark with a cumbersome & vowell-laden name…twas soren kierkegaard (kierkegaard means graveyard in danish (i think…but my danish is rusty…rusty like the hinge on a crypt’s cover)).

      and if i were you (and i have been you), i’d start with “either/or”.

      this is the first step to membership in the symparanecrominoi (i think it’s spelled symparanecrominoi…it means ‘fellowship of dead souls'; or something like that…my greek is a little rusty…rusty like the gears of the modern greek economy).

      you cannot request to join; and that’s because you have no choice in the matter.

      anyway, he can help you sort all that objective/subjective suff out. but, it’s best to have a comprehensive understanding of Scripture first. and you’ll probabaly need to familarize yourself with the major schools of philosophy (with a particular emphasis on aristotle and hegel — SK uses their positions as foils and strawmen, and it can be tough to keep up.)

      that, or get yourself a well-annotated version. either/or — but the former’s preferable.

      time to leave the capsule/
      if you dare,
      janus

  17. Part the 2nd (broken up into two parts because aziz is awesome but his website is not yet prepared for the verbocity of janus):

    as we collectively witness the grim and inevitable closing of yet another loop in the cyclical sweep of human events; as we stroke our beards in bafflement over the ponderous procession of Providence; as we brood expectantly and anxioiusly over the panic and paranioa exibited by our world’s ‘leaders’, it is important to remember that this ‘problem’ we face is ecumenical in scope and incalcuable in scale.

    we are indeed at the precipise of something that is beyond our ability to comprehend. these economic collapses are coded into our very DNA. they have served to stablize the succeding society and culture, but only for a time. soon enough, the stability and sound-money that resulted from the pain of the preceding collapse are leveraged and then sacrificed at the altar of “this time is different”.

    fortunately, the hubris and folly that attends human thinking has, heretofore, been insulated and contained by the limits of the hamlet, village, town, city or nation-state it infected. in other words, the ability to inflate bubbles (whether they be sea-shells with a special pink hue, tulips, housing, or derivatie swaps) was correlated to the size of the medium in which it found fertile ground to proliferate. so when the collapse came, its effects were felt only by a relative few.

    as it stands, i’m typing these words in america (awesome-boston) on a computer whose parts were cobbled together from across the globe, by a supply chain that is more akin to a labyrinth, in some hyper-polluted province of china; and it was made possible by a intentionally warped international fiscal compact (the petro dollar), which is manipulated by all sides to benefit only those at the tippy-top of all respective sides.

    by that i mean that there is no longer any insulation or containment. this is truly global in every conceivable regard. there is no ‘cleanest dirty shirt'; they all emit the rank and oderferious stank of a bachelor party gone horribly wrong. as long as the booze were flowing and the whores were, well, whoring, we didn’t take note of it. but we all bellied up to the bar together…there is no designated driver, and the cops just clocked us going 16 trillion in a 500 billion zone.

    we don’t have adjectives to describe what’s right ahead, and anyone who tells you that this can be managed or ‘unwound’ in a systematic or orderly fashion is still swillin rot-gut gin.

    the main thing that we, as a species, need to learn is that we do not need leaders at all. they always lead those that follow into ditches, on purpose and with impunity. now they are leading us over a cliff. should we follow them once again, all lemming-like and trusting?

    it is time to start agressively challenging, questioning and doubting those who lead us here. they sold themselves as ‘experts'; now it’s time to demand our money back. now it’s time to hold ‘leaders’ to account.

    if you vote for anything this fall (and i mean across the globe), vote for the formation of tribunals to try, convict and punish this world’s leaders.

    we have allowed whatever merits were yeilded from globalization to mold in a centrally planned morass of duplicity, vanity and graft.

    world, don’t let these evil men turn you against each other. don’t let the divisive and predatory politics of racism and hatred divert your focus from your true enemy — your ‘leaders’.

    stuck in the middle with you,
    janus

    • Agreed. That is why my retirement nest egg is Agricultural Land, Australian Government Bonds (We can dig up the gold to repay the debt) and AUD, oh I collect old machinery in mechanical working order, so I don’t need to rely on Chinese supply chains. I have a mountain of DVD’s and heaps of old VCR and DVD players and TV’s generator etc, stockpiles of diesel, so I can be entertained. I am stockpiled with spices and personal care products, and have neighbours who I can trade produce with (Lambs for vegetables).

      If everything is smooth sailing, so what, I don’t have to shop.

      BTW I received a parcel form the USA and it was wrapped in newspaper that had all these grocery specials. You guys pay the same prices I do, but our miniumum wage is twice yours (You housing and gasoline is cheaper though).

      Is a senior pension about $350 a week?

      • i’m not sure; but 350 sounds right.

        it appears you’re in a great situation. i’ve always wanted to spend some time in australia…i could see myself being very comfortable down there.

        if you need a farmhand, give me a shout. also, i can fix anything. unless it frustrates me to distraction, and i deem it useless, and destroy it beyond repair. baring that, i can fix anything.

        in fact, australia, because of its proximity to asia, may soon see a flood of americans aged 20-40. yes, most definitely…over-the-horizon, the land-down-under is on the rise.

        cheers, mate…,
        janus

        • I will give you a hint. Take a holiday. Never leave. Provided you pay cash for medical attention, and never drive a car (risk of being pulled up) you could survive quite easily.

          Thousands of Anglo Backpackers and Asian do it. I am not condoning illegal immigration. quite the contrary, but without it, Australia’s fruit and vegetable prices would be double (Our welfare recipients find this too hard a days labour), and this would screw up our CPI, and therefore blow out our welfare (CPI indexed) budget, so the wonks in Canberra (D.C. equivalent) turn a blind eye, and only send in immigration to a couple of unlucky farmers (For TV propaganda)

          You might even find a lucky lass, and you can use you accountant as Trustee to manage your assets in a Trust, and therefore all bills are not in your name etc etc. He might even let you use the house you reside in.

          Going back to our theme of Central planning, how can they compete with the adaptive mind of an individual?

          All are welcome at the 21/12/2012 end of the USD party at my farm.

    • “we don’t have adjectives to describe what’s right ahead, and anyone who tells you that this can be managed or ‘unwound’ in a systematic or orderly fashion is still swillin rot-gut gin.”

      Hey Nostrajanus, you seem to be a wee bit intoxicated by your own bullshit.

    • Janus (re your Part the 2nd, Oct 15):

      1. We country boys might boil your advice down to: “Think for yourself!”

      2. Some of us OLD country boys were exposed to Shakespeare at home and in public schools, e.g., Laertes'(?) advice to his son, ending in: “This above all; to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man”.

      3. Lest you think that “1.” above is critical of your and O’Rourke’s prose, I quote John Adams’ tribute to Thomas Jefferson’s “eloquence of your pen”.

  18. holy shit!

    i just reread what i wrote, and i realiZed something…something troubling.

    i didn’t deploy a single fuckin cuss word in either of those goddam posts. muther fucker.

    i promise, azis…it won’t happen again.

    ain’t that some shit,
    janus

  19. Pingback: Owning gold makes us less vulnerable to centralized dependency. | Owning Gold Blog

  20. Hey John, if nothing else, you have assembled at least ten people who can actually communicate through the written word.

    This, in and of itself, should qualify your blog for some sort of award.

  21. Absolutely agree with the case for decentralisation. One of the arguments often used against it is that there have been wars in Europe. Well, everyone who thinks that it is the people of Europe who wanted to fight each other should read Jyri Lina’s book ‘Architects of deception’ about the fake revolutions and wars in Europe, all organised and planned by freemasons paid for by the money printers. The most profitable aspect -by far!- of any war is the increase in government debt on both sides of the conflict. Without central banks legally counterfeiting everyone’s money, there would probably not be any wars anywhere since a long long time. That certainly was what Ferdinand Lips was thinking, the Swiss banker who wrote ‘Gold Wars’. Great book.

  22. Juri Lina is an antisemitic head case, helloteke. We’ve heard all this crap about Freemasons and Jews before from the Nazis. It is deeply offensive and unacceptable in any intelligent progressive discourse.

  23. While I have not done the research, I would think that European history, including wars, is an open book.

    What about African tribes? Did the genocide (tribeocide?) start or increase with civilization (and “anti-poverty” gifts)? Same question about tribes in Central & South America.

    I’m afraid the story in North America is known — Indians recruited to fight on both sides of the French & Indian War.

  24. Hey,Buddy! (Yours of Oct 15 @ 20:17:52). Did I miss something? What happens on Dec. 21, 2012?? Did the Mayans predict the end of the US$ along with the world?

    • No the party is a mockery of the fear mongers fear of the 21/12/2012 being the end of the world. We’ll wake up with a splitting headache and my neighbours sheep dog licking our faces. Then its Christmas time in 3 days.

      The USD will collapse before then.

    • From your link: “The US government introduced legislation in 1966 granting Cubans automatic residence on reaching the United States.”

      Did not know that, now I realise this was an act to cause chaos to the Cuban Nation. What people would not want to live in the USA during the biggest period of economic growth.

      And here is silly old me thinking that the Cubans were oppressive dictators and people had to flee for their lives.

      And now Cuba is the new hot travel destination. Due to the time warp imposed by the USA.

      It is funny how a Central decision in Washinton, could turn the once peaceful Florida and Keys into a little Havana, with Gangs and drugs and a latino culture. No concern for the locals and their culture and lifestyle. How’ that for Democracy.

    • Spend a couple of days listening to Noam Chomsky on Youtube. He is a dreamer for a better world (nothing wrong with that) but his life study of American Foreign Policy is hard headed, impeccably researched using freely available sources, and I think no one would take him on regarding the facts. It’s hard work but worth it. He has a good article on the Al Jazeera site (go into AJ news) on the Cuba Crisis 50 years ago. In October 1962 I was sleeping on the beach on Ibiza with a bunch of nascent hipsters waiting for the flashes in the sky, getting the English language newspapers 2 days late. We got troubles now but not like that. The girls were friendly though………

      • Roger: Dare I hope that your “not like that” is a realization that nuclear war with the USSR would be really serious? That keeping the cold war cold, through Peace through Strength, was good? There are lots of lessons from history, even recent history.

        • Kennedy, who was a compulsive cocksmith pumped up on steroids, brought the world to within a whisker of annihilation in October ’62 through drug induced arrogance and recklessness. It was luck,coupled with the pragmatic common sense of Khrushchev, that prevented a nuclear war. Read some of the facts, Don.
          http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/10/2012101673513443640.html It was Khrushchev who kept the cold war cold. American foreign policy, as it has been for the past 50 years,was a world destabilising menace.
          The Soviet Union, and Cuba, by the way, were and are illiberal anti democratic autocracies. Their political systems were and are unacceptable.
          The United States is an Imperialist thug. My country too. Our largest industry is arms (BAE Systems). It’s horrific. an absolute disgrace. I am personally ashamed.

  25. And central planners at the end of the day (or the total collapse of the system they engineered) are able to just snap their fingers and walk away with their golden parachutes, and cast blame upon those they oppress.

  26. Roger: Well, it looks like you’re batting .400 — great for baseball, but not for advising on foreign policy*: (1) RIGHT about Kennedy’s womanizing and steroids (therapy for WW II combat injury) and (2) RIGHT about USSR and Cuban autocracy; (3) WRONG about who (USSR) played brinkmanship, (4) WRONG about a comparatively stable 50 years of no world war except for Muslim Jihad, ending “the cold war”, and China’s switch to capitalism (but with serious blunders of Viet Nam and long-term policing of Iraq and Afghanistan), (5) WRONG about “arms” being our largest industry. [Until I check I'm reserving judgment on Muslim al Jazeera as a souce of facts].

    *Your recalling Kennedy’s ear-manic adultery reminds me of a recent TV wit’s “Before Clinton, we used to call it foreign AFFAIRS — I wonder why?”.

      • What do you mean by “a relatively stable 50 years of no world wars”? America (supported by the UK and “the West”), has exported war and terror throughout the world, and particularly in Latin America, by destabilising any country that dared to have a government of national independence (like Cuba, or Chile) on grounds of spurious “freedom”, while promoting and aiding horrific, murderous tyranical governments like that of Pinochet.
        When the Berlin wall came down I predicted that the Military / Industrial / Media / Political Complex of the US would select the Islamic sphere as a much needed opponent to justify its existence.
        Al Jazeera is a liberal secular Arabic news station. Muslim has nothing to do with it. Is CNN a “Christian” station? Watch AJ online for a week, you realise the world is not entirely white and “western”. They played a significant role in supporting the Egyptian uprising for democracy against a murderous tyrant client of the USA. In any case the “facts” you doubt as “Muslim” are given here by an American professor at MIT. I really urge you to study Chomsky by watching his lectures on Youtube. It is always liberating to open up to a different perspective. I spent a week really trying to agree with Milton Freedman. As Bill Burroughs said long ago ” It was the nastiest thing I ever stood still for”. I came to the conclusion that Friedman was a complete Oaf of course, an opinion justified be recent financial events.
        Talking of Vietnam, I was there in 1965. There is a recollection of this brief visit in “Saigon Boulevard” on my Blog (poetry I am afraid, but don’t be put off it’s readable…Scroll on down, its not far). Paste in Rogeryates.blogspot.co.uk
        I meant that arms are the biggest (I should have said manufacturing) industry in the UK. I think our biggest industry is probably financial fraud…….KEEP ON TRUCKIN’ as Mr. Natural used to say…….

        • I misread your “our” to mean US — sorry. I’ll do some reading before more commenting, though I doubt that I’ll disavow Friedman in favor of Marx. Meantime I would ask if you think that 9/11, Arafat’s massacres and all terrorist murders were “selected” by the US-UK military-industrial complex, and if the Muslim Brotherhood uprisings were “democratic”. And I’ll keep in mind that all Muslims are not Arabs, but nearly all Arabs are Muslims. And, oh yes, I’ll keep looking for Buddhist and Hindu terrorists masquerading as Muslims.

        • Pol Pot and the boys in the Khmer Rouge, many WW II Japanese soldiers and the North Koreans are all Buddhists. Read up on the Partition of India for Hindu atrocities. No one has a monopoly on terror.
          The Present government in Egypt was democratically elected. Check out Zeinobia’s blog. I
          will put a link below. She is a liberal Muslim feminist with little affection for the Islamists but she accepts the election was fair. As was the election of an Islamist party in Algeria 20 years ago that precipitated a western backed military coup and civil war that was an absolute holocaust (with a small h out of respect for past horrors). We can’t have it both ways. Democracy is fine so long as you vote for someone we approve of. A democratic secular government was elected in Iran in 1953 and its leader was murdered by western powers after he nationalised BP leading to the insertion of the Shah. Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind. We support the Saudis who are a pantomime horse with the Wahadists who are the source of extremism in the Muslim world.
          I agree the terrorism is real, but in my view it springs from the destabilisation in the region created by the West’s demand for easy oil dating back at least to the events in Iran in the 50s. Hegemonic Power distorts everything, bottles up explosive forces. And yes, the Military Industrial Crew just love Al Qaeda ( Oh dear, just set off all the CIA Bots there….Hi guys!) these bearded twerps (the Jihaddists I mean) should demand to be on the payroll. I’m not a conspiracy theorist, they are all too stupid.
          Arafat was a murderous little thug of course.
          I imagine you, Don, sitting on the back porch somewhere in Kentucky listening to The Greatful Dead (Working Men’s Dead) with a glass of moonshine in one hand and a 12 gauge shotgun in the other, contemplating a vote for Ron Paul…….. Am I right or am I right???

      • How’s this: it was a Hindu terrorist, of course, who shot Mahatma Gandhi at point blank range. Watch Nine Hours to Rama.
        You don’t have time to reply, Don. You should be getting into those Chomsky lectures. By the way, Chomsky, who is a Libertarian Socialist (opposed to Power in general, the State in particular, and believing in decentralised roots up organisation, worker control and so on) said that if he had to have dinner with any Republican it would be Paul. They would spend the time arguing about health care.
        Turn off the Fox News and CNN and watch Al Jazeera Live Stream for a month. You will be surprised how it feels not to be brainwashed.
        Bourbon is better for you unless it’s Minerve, drunk at the vintage sales, in Minerve.
        Ever picked grapes, Don? It will turn you into an Agrarian Communist in 5 hours.
        Get on with the Chomsky!!

  27. Roger: Just read Chomsky’s lengthy 2012* piece on 1962 Cuban crisis, with a lot of relevant information I didn’t know as I lived through it. But, besides his occasional bias-revealing snide anti-US language and downplaying “who (USSR) started it” , Chomsky has a MAJOR blind spot — no, blindness: in 1962 — not very long after WW II (where US supplied USSR), USSR post-war occupations, and Korea (UN-“free world” powers vs. USSR-China) — the USA & Allies WERE still legitimate “hegemons” AND the true and recognized good guys in a world divided by the Cold War.

    * By 2012 Chomsky should have discovered that the world has changed, including the economic and social collapse of the Soviet Empire.

    • P.S. Roger, I read some of your poetry. It’s not my favorite style (I’m old and old-fashioned in taste*), but I judge it to be quite good! Congratulations!

      Oh, and thanks for the warning to watch out for non-Muslim terrorists: the Gandhi assassin and the escaped WW II Buddhist Japanese troops!

      * What is Minerve? And, BTW, I still prefer non-American Bordeaux, although I admit that California, Australian and other reds are just as good (for my old nose and palate, anyway) and a helluva lot cheaper.

      • Minerve is a Red Wine made in the small town of Minerve in Langudoc in the south of France. I bought a bottle there for $2 in ’91 at the vintage sales that I never forgot. Minerve is cellebrated as the home of the Cathar Rebellion against Catholic Hegemony 700 years ago. The Cathars were libertarian rebels who are behind ideas of Chivalry. The wandering Troubadours of Medieval Europe were inspired by these ideas. In England we had the Peasants Revolt around this time. The Occupiers shout “we are the 99%”, the Peasants under Watt Tyler shouted “When Adam Delved and Eve span / Where was then the Gentleman?” Their great great grandchildren founded America. Maybe we should set out again….where’s that boat…..

      • Cheers for your comments on the poems Don. I think you would like Anne Bradstreet. She was a very early New England settler who wrote of her life raising children then. We in England recognised her genius and she was called “The Tenth Muse” in the blurd to her book published around 1620 at a guess. She was a contemporary of Shakespeare and ranks with the greatest.

    • Chomsky (who often irritates me too, by the way, but is an invaluable source of facts) details the waning of US Imperial Hegemony which was at its height just after WW II and has been in decline ever since. This is his thesis on US Foreign Policy, generally put. He says he “cares about America” and I believe him. He is a Jew who spent some time on a Kibbutz in his youth. He favours a One State Solution and sympathises with the Palestinian Struggle. He believes that giving ground to the Palastinians is essential for Israeli survival and supports the existence of an Israeli State.I have my doubts on his position on a One State Solution. There is a long set of Lectures on the decline of US Power somewhere on Youtube which is REALLY GOOD and essential reading for Ron Paulers and Tea Party Goers everywhere. This is a really interesting time where the radical Right and Left are agreeing on the common ground of Liberty in many areas. On your side of the pond you need to pull Occupy and the T Crew together to challenge this Corporatist / Soviet model of State Central Control in the hands of the Elites.Then when you’ve kicked their buts get yourself a National Health Service. I remember when American friends used to come over to the UK for free childbirth. We gave you lot free access. We leftist Brits were so proud. To our American friends Britain was like a Promised land, a Utopia. Of course they were earning twice what we earned. Not any more your not…….and we still have an extant (a bit tattered by the Tory scum) health system. My old mate in Princeton who has the BEST health insurance gets no better care than me. Indeed they have thought to relocate here for our healthcare many times.

  28. The anthem of Socialists is”The International”. It depends what you globalise. Banking fraud and theft? State terror? The power of an elite that has no national allegiance, that is trans national? Low wages and slave conditions? Or the interests of the majority, rule of law? How about Global Tax Treaties for a start? Close the offshore pig trough. Globalise the uprisings. How about that? Ultimately globalisation is both unstoppable and desirable. We are all one people. It then becomes a question of who has the power and what is the nature of the globalisation. Decentralised globalisation is not an oxymoron.

  29. Roger: I’ll keep reading as time permits. And you should open your eyes and mind. Here are a few (of many) experiential updates from your idealistic/naive Princeton and Ibiza youth: “Occupy” and “Tea Party*” people have little or nothing in common; US healthcare is good but expensive, with disagreement on how to lower costs, but certain knowledge that multi-thousand-page Obamacare will only increase cost and overall socialist degradation; THE fork-in-the-road issue remains WHO SHALL BE SOVEREIGN, people or government, not “globalization”, hegemony, “corporatism”, energy, diversity, etc.

    Did anyone ever call to your attention the then-unique principles of the US as founded? They are (1) the people are sovereign with “unalienble” rights, (2) to secure their rights, government is established by the people and limited to specified-only powers, and (3) in addition to specifying limits of government powers, the Constitution establishes the structure and process by which laws are made, not the laws themselves. If the American people will retake control of their government, common sense and charitableness will eventually be restored.

    BTW. Detailed polling data reveals that Obama’s reelection is dependent upon huge majorities of three — ALL three — minority “single-issue” groups: race (black & Hispanic), religion (atheists), and abortion (single women), with indicated majorities of 87%, 78% and 65% respectively. [Not to mention undifferentiated smaller solid-Democratic voting blocs: fraudulent voters & counters, gays, radical environmentalists, socialists, pacifists, Muslims, government employees & retirees, etc.]. The “melting pot” and family values are long gone and forgotten; morally corrupt politicians, educators, journalists, and entertainers have substituted apartheid (“diversity”), class warfare, dependence, and promiscuity.

    * Typical “tea party” doctrine is limited to three “values”: Constitutionally limited government, fiscal responsibility, and free markets.

    • I am going to sign off now, Don. I wish you and yours well, and recommend a strict diet of Minerve (get a good one), Al Jazeera Live Stream, Chomsky and Richard Dawkins for luck. An occasional Ron Paul binge is permissible…….

      • Roger: I’m trust you will approve of my priority (Minerve), on which I have lready begun internet research:

        “Yes here they are called Minervois they are a blend typically of the carignan grape along syrah and others. Prices vary from the $10 range to the $40 range”.

        “Jean-Baptiste Senat (producer name) Minervois la Nine(wine name) he make other blends as well; L’Oustal Blanc (producer name) Minervois Giocoso(wine name) makes other wines as well; Domaine Anne Gros Jean Paul Tollot (producer name) Minervois la Ciaude (wine name) makes several wines; Domaine de Courbissac (producer name) Minervois also makes several wines.”

  30. Actually none of the issues we have been discussing is at all important or significant. It maybe too late to discuss the issue our descendants will identify as the primary problem of our time. That issue is biodiversity and the man made mass extinction event we are precipitating. The Arctic is melting. The oceans are dying. In my country we have lost up to 90% of the population of some of our once common birds. The cuckoo Shakespeare wrote of is no longer heard over much of England. And this has happened in the last 20 years.
    We have radically changed the constitution of the atmosphere of this planet by pumping the carbon accumulated from three billion years of life processes into it in two centuries. Just run that fact through your mind. As you know the oxygen and CO2 in our atmosphere are
    there because of the evolution of DNA life systems. It is a fine balance. And we pump all the sequestered CO2 of that process back up in an evolutionary eye blink?
    Of course it’s not happening. It’s all a plot of the liberal elite science community. Whatever gets ya through the night……
    The big and interesting question is this: does the evolution of intelligence have survival potential in evolutionary terms? The answer to that may be no. But life will survive if we do not. There have been mass extinctions before. A new set of species would evolve from the Eucariotic cells that would be plentiful in oceans empty of fish, marine mammals including us. If the elephants died out another big herbivore would fill that environmental niche in a couple of hundred million years of evolution.Maybe intelligent parrots would invent a parrot god to help them face reality. It has already happened more than once on this planet. A new heaven and a new earth, so to speak. We are just surface phenomena on the bedrock of Eucariotic algae that contain 99% of the life information that accumulates in us. ( THEY are the 99% !) We should have reverence for that rather than in demonstrably false religious systems. The meek Eucariotic cells shall inherit the earth…..
    BTW I really like your phrase “common sense and charitableness will prevail”. That’s worthy
    of respect. We need a bit of that.

  31. Socialism would be the perfect utopia, Jesus lived it, unfortunately we are mere mortals and cannot resist the temptations of greed, envy and the lust for power. Centralisation of governments is the result of these vices, so called democratic governments want to stay in power for ever and control everything the citizens do so they bribe them with money they print from thin air.They try to make everybody dependent on the state for something (MR’s statement that >50% of Americans depend on the government) and thereby they will be re-elected again and again. Doing the right thing is political suicide therefore governments resist it as far as possible until they are overtaken by events like revolution, anarchy and riots, at that point the centralised state dies and a new body takes over. It’s happening in the middle east now and how much longer before it spreads westward into Europe via Greece and eventually to America when QE5 fails.
    It could be saved if we got out of everybody elses business, allowed nations to develop in their own way and at home cut the government payroll massively, paid no heed to special interst groups, lobbyists and other government advisors and elected people who want to make the world a better place, not shysters who only want to line their own pockets and collude with money bandits (bankers).

  32. Well said, Le Brit. We Americans have a choice in two weeks time: (1) Do nothing and hope for early and relatively merciful “revolution, anarchy and riots” followed by a benign “new body takes over”; or (2) Start the long hard road back to a nation described by your last paragraph.

    “All that is required for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.”

  33. Two points: First, the earth has not warmed in 16 years, but we may still find ourselves extinct due to failing earth magnetic field (500 yrs?). Second, all political systems tend to degenerate when the population overwhelms resources. Perhaps the remaining producers in the US should tweak the constitution and tax law to allow only taxpayers (or property owners?) to vote? That may buy us enough time to find a technological solution to point 1.

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  35. I believe the EU is a long-term project of the western ruling elite. Read some of the UN documents. They never planned for centralization to be an improvement for humankind, but for the rulers. It is a mess, because they wanted a mess. They have planned – and this is written into UN documents – to divide the world into five regions. The North American Union is one of those regions, part of the plan, as is the EU, an African Union, etc. They plan regional governments by secret ruling bodies in each of those 5 regions, all to be secretly ruled by a world government – one that is invisible to the people of the world and which, therefore, cannot be overthrown. This was never planned as a solution to anything but the pathological need of a certain class to have full ownership over all that exists in this world – sentient and non-sentient.

  36. PC: I don’t know what “UN documents” or where to find them, but I have read the Charter: it is devoid of power to act diplomatically or militarily, presumably because the two (only two, US and UK) then-dominant nations were determined to recruit the USSR no matter what. As for centralization of power: (1) the General Assembly is a disorganized mob of all nations, mostly non-democratic, which occasionally coalesce around anti-Israel and Anti-US resolutions; (2) Authority is vested in the Security Council, whose five members are irrelevant France, Communist China*, renegade Russia* UK and US, to the exclusion of economic powers Japan, Germany, India, Persian Gulf states, Brazil etc. This geriatric anachronism, which can’t do anything useful, doesn’t seem a likely suspect for world domination.

    * Communist China inherited its seat from “Nationalist China”, and Russia from the defunct Soviet Union.

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