Wednesday, April 3, 2013 90 Comments

Felix Salmon's Bitcoin FUD

Felix Salmon has a very good job.  He gets paid - and paid well - to pretend to think.  He's very good at it.  You have to respect anyone who's good at his job.

But if by some misfortune you are actually capable of thinking for yourself and, worse, enjoy it, you cannot have Felix's job or any job like it.  Not only is Felix not paid to think, he is not allowed to think.  Thinking is above his pay grade, as they say in the military.  A private who thinks he's Napoleon is not only not Napoleon, but not a very good private.

Rather, Felix's job (as with all legitimate journalists or columnists - though the former are not even allowed to pretend to think, which must really sting) is to communicate the thoughts of his sources, rewording them as if they were his own thoughts.  His sources are legitimate thinkers - professors, policymakers, and priests.  Just kidding.  Obviously there are no priests. 

Nonetheless, his sources (no sources, no journalist) have obtained distinguished titles at important institutions, which is (a) very difficult and (b) something Felix probably once tried to do, but couldn't.  If he disagreed with these distinguished sources, humbly and respectfully offering his own contrary opinion, they would look very puzzled, as though their golden retriever had attempted to engage them in a debate about Thomas Aquinas instead of fetching the goddamn ball.  Then, they would find a new dog.  An excellent fido is our Felix - but the planet has no shortage of dogs.

It is fundamentally erroneous for an Internet crank like me to argue with one of these microphones.  You might as well argue with a dog, or a lamppost, or anything else that can't change its mind.  My beef is with the sources, or rather, the institutions.  Or rather, the institution

(There is really no one these days who gets paid to think.  The difference between Felix and his sources is only that Felix knows he is not really thinking, whereas his sources actually believe they are.  Nonetheless, they would not have obtained their important positions had they thought differently.  And might even lose them, or at least sink a little, if they changed their minds.  Our Cathedral is made of real stones and real mortar and is quite invulnerable to mere windy thought.)

Nonetheless, Felix is an excellent fido and has a knack for catchy summarization.  It's not as easy as it looks.  His Gladwellian airport-bestseller product is full of transparent FUD, like "OMG haxx0rs!", to which a response would demean us both.  Pretending to think is one thing.  Blatant padding, another. But there are a couple of vaguely substantive anti-Bitcoin points which deserve an equally snappy response from someone with, if I may be so modest, a clue.

The first is the "argument from instability":
This is actually a serious problem, if you’re trying to put together a currency, rather than a vehicle for financial speculation. If the currency of a country ever fluctuated as much as bitcoins did, it would never be taken seriously as a medium of exchange: how are you meant to do business in a place where an item costing one unit of currency is worth $10 one day and $20 the next?
First, every currency is a "vehicle for financial speculation."  When you exchange good X for currency A on Tuesday, you are speculating that you will be able to exchange your A for good Y on Thursday.  This is a guess about the future, ie, "speculation."  Moreover, by choosing to use A as an intermediary rather than B, you are speculating that the exchange rate A/B will not change in B's favor between Tuesday and Thursday.  Otherwise you would have chosen B.

(It's typical of our thoughtfree age that a successful financial columnist feels no qualms about using the word "speculation" as a pejorative.  Can anti-Semitic rabbis be far behind?)

Second, Felix's sources will tell him that a currency has two roles: storing purchasing power and solving the coincidence-of-wants problem.  This is because Felix's sources are thinking thoughts last actually thought in the 1930s, ie, before computers.  With these magical devices, coincidence of wants is not in principle a problem, though small frictional effects persist.

It is trivial to do business in Bitcoin when BTC/USD is unstable.  Simply post the price in USD, and use the BTC/USD exchange rate as of the transaction date.  Even if buyer and seller are both saving in USD, within a couple of seconds they can exchange in, send Bitcoin, and exchange out.  The prices realized may differ slightly from the posted estimate, but only slightly.

In the 21st century, a currency has only one role: storing purchasing power.  Or to be more exact, containing the inevitable overvaluation of at least one asset in an economy where many actors want to store purchasing power.  If you can use this store of value directly in transactions, nice.  Nonetheless, rational actors will "speculate" on their optimal store of value, and convert on the fly if needed.  Using, you know, computers.

It falls under "padding," but I can't resist this moment in which our Felix truly plays his shill card:
The overwhelming majority of dollars in the world are deposited safely and electronically in banks: there’s something weird and self-defeating about the kind of people who keep their savings stuffed under the mattress. In Hollywood, if you show someone counting out huge sums of cash, that’s an easy way for the director to say that he’s a criminal.

Oddly, I actually lived in Cyprus when I was a kid.  It's a dangerous practice for a fido to keep his boilerplate stuffed under the mattress.  He's paid well by the word - the product should be fresh. 

It's also dangerous to channel Bulgakov, whom Felix probably hasn't heard of but can Google:
'In Sawa Potapovich's masterly interpretation we have just heard the story of "The Covetous Knight."  That knight saw himself as a Casanova; but as you saw, nothing came of his efforts, no nymphs threw themselves at him, the muses refused him their tribute, he built no palaces and instead he finished miserably after an attack on his hoard of money and jewels.  I warn you that something of the kind will happen to you, if not worse, unless you hand over your foreign currency!'
It may have been Pushkin's verse or it may have been the compere's prosaic remarks which had such an effect; at all events a timid voice was heard from the audience:
'I'll hand over my currency.'
'Please come up on stage,' was the compere's welcoming response as he peered into the dark auditorium. 
A short blond man, three weeks unshaven, appeared on stage.
'What is your name, please? ' enquired the compere.
'Nikolai Kanavkin ' was the shy answer.
'Ah! Delighted, citizen Kanavkin. Well? '
'I'll hand it over.'
'How much? '
'A thousand dollars and twenty gold ten-rouble pieces.'
'Bravo! Is that all you have? [...] Where are they hidden?'
'At my aunt's, in Prechistenka.'
'And where have you put them?'
'In a box in the cellar.'
The actor clasped his hands.
'Oh, no!  Really!' he cried angrily.  'It's so damp there -- they'll grow moldy!  People like that aren't to be trusted with money!  What child-like innocence.  What will they do next?
Kanavkin, realizing that he was doubly at fault, hung his curly head.
'Money,' the actor went on, 'should be kept in the State Bank, in dry and specially guarded strongrooms, but never in your aunt's cellar, where apart from anything else, the rats may get at it.  Really, Kanavkin, you should be ashamed: you -- a grown man!'
Kanavkin did not know which way to look and could only twist the hem of his jacket with his finger.
'All right,' the artist relented slightly, 'since you have owned up we'll be lenient...' Suddenly he added unexpectedly: 'By the way... we might as well kill two birds with one stone and not waste a car journey... I expect your aunt has some of her own hidden away, hasn't she?'
Okay, that's cheap.  But it is simply lovely how much our fido loves his loving master:
Because it turns out that financial-services companies are a very important part of any democracy.

It’s because we place so much trust in banks, after all, that they are forced to take on a great deal of responsibility. Banks and central banks are given an important job to do, are regulated and scrutinized, and can be held responsible for their actions. The population of the entire country, as represented by the government, stands behind bank deposits and promises to honor them even if the bank goes bust. Money, in other words, is a key ingredient in the glue which keeps the social compact together. (What we’re seeing in Cyprus is in large part a demonstration of what happens when that compact starts becoming unglued.)

Bitcoin, in that sense, is anti-democratic...
Dare I suggest that Fido understands 21st-century democracy perfectly?  "The population of the entire country, as represented by the government."  And hence, transitively, by J.P. Morgan.  I would love to have made it up.  Crap, Orwell would love to have made it up.

But there is substance here, or pseudo-substance anyway.  The cornerstone of the attack on the kulaks and Kanavkins:
Inflation is bad, but deflation is worse. The reason is that in a deflationary environment, no one spends money — because whatever you want to buy is sure to become cheaper in a few days or weeks. People hoard their cash, and spend it only begrudgingly, on absolute necessities. And they certainly don’t spend it on hiring people — no matter how productive their employees might be, they’d still be better off just holding on to that money and not paying anybody anything.

The result is an economy which would simply grind to a halt, with massive unemployment and almost no economic activity. In a word, it would be a Depression. In order to have economic growth, you need monetary growth as well — and that’s something which is impossible to achieve in a bitcoin-based system. Currencies such as the dollar, with a central bank which can print money at will, have succeeded for a reason. As economies grow, the money supply has to be able to grow with them. And that’s why bitcoin can never really succeed over the long term.
"In order to have economic growth, you need monetary growth as well."  But standing in its way - the Covetous Knight again!  A Trotskyist, a hoarder and a wrecker!

Surprisingly, this is perfectly true.  Actually, the key to understanding this argument is to understand that everything in it is true - if you look at it from the right perspective.  Or at least, the fido's perspective.


In order to have economic growth, you need monetary growth as well.  Why?  Because "economic growth" means "increase in the number of monetary units spent by consumers."  In order to increase the number of dollars that consumers spend, consumers need to have more dollars.  But is this "real" growth, ie, more and better products, or "nominal" growth, ie, just "inflation?"  Our hedonics experts will be looking closely at the quality of the products to ascertain this.


At this point, a person actually addicted to the vice of thought might ask: in an economy with a fixed number of dollars, is it possible to have constant dollar spending, for more and better products?  Ie, in fido language, zero "nominal" growth, but positive "real" growth?  What an odd idea.

But again, Fido turns out to be perfectly right.  It is not possible to fix the quantity of dollars in our economy, because the quantity of dollars sensu stricto (that is, liabilities of the Federal Reserve) is vastly disproportionate to the quantity of debt (market capitalization of the financial system).  By well over an order of magnitude.

Imagine a Bitcoin economy in which there were only 20 million Bitcoins, but 200 million promises to deliver future Bitcoins.  It is easy to see that this debt could not possibly be valued at par.  If we started with it valued at par, we would see the effective dilution of the Bitcoin market by a flood of effectively bogus promises.  But the market, being a market, would rapidly unravel this scam and devalue the bogus promises - increasing the exchange rate of a real BTC over a bogus promise, and also increasing the exchange rate of a real BTC against all other goods.

At a macroeconomic level, this would constitute a gigantic depression, exactly as Felix describes.  The fault would be not on the hands of those who exposed and detonated the debt bomb, but those who built and maintained it.  In the dollar debt bomb, continuous monetary expansion is needed to keep the plutonium core stable, which is why Good Professor Ben is lending us $85 billion a month.  With this mega-stimulus, spending scrapes along the bottom in a stagnant desultory way.  Without it, the core begins to contract, accelerates and then implodes - just as Irving Fisher (who originally thought this thought) explained.

Fortunately, there is no significant debt in Bitcoin.  In fact, BTC appreciation is a therapy for the dollar's debt bomb - because as the "bubble" expands, dollar purchasing power is created out of nowhere.  If BTC has the unlikely luck to run to fixation and become the world's standard currency, San Francisco will be full of dollar billionaires, who will spend these dollars - creating consumer spending, ie, inflationary purchasing power.  It would be too much to say this would be a good outcome for everyone, but it would certainly be a good outcome for those in debt.

Moreover, a healthy macroeconomic system with a fixed currency supply will not create a debt bomb.  Debt bombs are created when unpayable debts are guaranteed, formally or informally, by governments who want to profit surreptitiously from seignorage - generally, in the 20C, as part of some scheme to increase consumer spending.  USG itself cannot mint BTC.  So it cannot dilute the BTC supply with bogus BTC which are half bad debt, half "FDIC put."

It's also true that during the transition to BTC, no debt will be produced and there will be no significant BTC financial system.  Real debt requires the power to profit by selling future currency for a discount against present currency.  In a USD economy in which BTC is rising at 5% a day, or whatever, there is no way to complete this loop.

The "deflation" of BTC against USD is simply a function of the shifting volume of savings between the two currencies.  At present, almost all savings are in USD (and friends).  As tiny amounts of this energy flow into BTC, BTC goes up like a rocket.  Of course, the contest is unstable.

But when the entire savings pool has flowed into BTC, leaving the demonetized USD priced as a financial instrument for its expected return in BTC (ie, a dollar is a share of stock in USG, which has lots of awesome assets but no cash and no profits), you have an extraordinarily stable financial structure.  The quantity of BTC is fixed, by math.  The energy in savings is stable, because it corresponds to the real collective desire to defer consumption.  Even the debt capitalization is stable, because the quantity of debt depends on the existence of real productive opportunities.  I believe quite strongly that in this economy, there would be no such thing as a business cycle.

Sadly, I fear we'll never know, because Bitcoin is probably going to be killed by the USG.  Not really for any good reason, not even in self-defense, but just because it's easy to kill and bureaucrats like killing things.

This is the best thing about being a mouthpiece for power.  Your predictions come true.  You argue that the abandoned church next door is a dangerous firetrap, will probably burn down, and should probably burn down before someone moves into it.  It burns down.  Good, you say!  Are you a master thinker?  Or just good friends with a master arsonist?

Power creates opinion.  If Bitcoin goes from a billion-dollar capitalization to zero, which will happen if Washington so much as squeezes lightly on its neck, it's a bubble.  The past is always perceived as inevitable.  Everyone who bought Bitcoin will feel like the world's biggest chump.  How could anyone have thought it was worth something?  When, obviously, it was worth nothing?

No, it's a pity we can't use actual thoughts as a currency.  The quantity is so limited.  And always will be.  Alas, pseudo-thoughts are everywhere and very difficult to distinguish from the real goods.

90 Comments:

Anonymous an actual macroeconomist said...

Dude, judging from your level of understanding of macroeconomics, you hardly have the credential to question anyone's thinking capabilities, even Felix Salmon's.

Oh and btw, he's a finance blogger, he is not paid to think, he is paid to write stuff that people paid to think might fight interresting.

April 3, 2013 at 2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the worst critiques I have ever read.

April 3, 2013 at 2:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ An actual macroeconomist - you tell people that?

I'm an actual Druid. But I don't tell people. They might lock me up.
Or in a more civilized age burn me for witchcraft.

You're smart @macro not to use your real name.

Mencius you must have arrived, you attract Prog Trolls.

VXXC

April 3, 2013 at 2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have rarely seen such an example of intellectual masturbation mixed with Dunning-Kruger false confidence.

I don't think the author successfully disproved a single thing quoted in the article he's critiquing, yet nearly half the post is pointless name calling and implied lack of critical thought and professional ethics.

It all seems so ironic given some of the almost basic macroeconomic concepts that are either misunderstood, misrepresented, or conveniently ignored.

Add that in with the insane semantic arguments which follow the author's very own misappropriations of language like "FUD", which obviously is not present by any definition in the source he's referencing.

What a bunch of tripe.

April 3, 2013 at 4:15 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Well, progs, you must admit at the very least that Salmon's characterization of BTC as 'anti-democratic' ... is amusing and is right in the wheelhouse of this blog. (The online home of Racist Corporate Fascism since 2007).

Check the "Letter to an Open-Minded Progressive" if you don't understand.

April 3, 2013 at 4:23 PM  
Blogger Herb said...

All of your points regarding the monetary aspects of Bitcoin versus the USD are entirely correct. I don't know anything about Salmon (or you, for that matter) so I will content myself with what I just said.

April 3, 2013 at 4:37 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

The coincidence of wants problem is still a problem. Alvin Roth can't just design a mechanism for every application, mechanism design is hard (or we could say the price system solves a hard problem). Even with modern computing there is a large "liquidity premium" for certain assets.

April 3, 2013 at 5:20 PM  
Anonymous fsascott said...

Surely Salmon's claim that a deflationary economy would "simply grind to a halt, with massive unemployment and almost no economic activity" is contradicted by the history of the latter half of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth. During this period, the British pound was the world's reserve currency, and it underwent a mild, long-term deflation. That did nothing to interfere with robust economic growth and the introduction of new technologies at a pace unprecedented at any previous period.

The reason modern macroeconomists so dislike deflation is that it transfers real wealth from debtors to creditors, i.e., people who hold cash or financial instruments denominated in fixed amounts of cash, such as bonds. They attack it as "anti-democratic," because it can be portrayed as allowing the rich to get richer as the poor get poorer.

Inflation, by contrast, transfers real wealth from creditors to debtors. In a period when government is the largest debtor, inflation functions as a substitute for taxation. Little debtors are just along for the ride, and the politicians who engineer inflation enjoy their political support for the inflationary policies. In that sense, and that sense alone, inflation can perhaps be called "democratic" - which reflects nothing very admirable either on inflation or on democracy.

April 3, 2013 at 7:20 PM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

But how would you suppress the credit market, if bitcoins had become the only currency? Your confidence that business cycles would then disappear is baseless.

April 3, 2013 at 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Alrenous said...

Moldbug accuses proggies of being incapable of thought. Proggies show up to sputter and spit, unable to argue. How kind of them!

-

"People hoard their cash, and spend it only begrudgingly, on absolute necessities."

Not spending it on cheap plastic trinkets. What a disaster, how could society possibly function without useless shit everywhere.

-

It happened again.

"mechanism design is hard "

The internet could effectively be a currency, but isn't yet. Even if it was, there's lower cognitive overhead for coins and equivalents.

April 3, 2013 at 11:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In order to have economic growth, you need monetary growth as well. Why? Because "economic growth" means "increase in the number of monetary units spent by consumers." In order to increase the number of dollars that consumers spend, consumers need to have more dollars. But is this "real" growth, ie, more and better products, or "nominal" growth, ie, just "inflation?" Our hedonics experts will be looking closely at the quality of the products to ascertain this.

You're assuming some relationship between "real" growth and "nominal" growth. How do you know what level of "nominal" growth associates with "real" growth? If you don't know, how can you criticize the focus on "nominal" growth on the basis that it impedes "real" growth?

April 4, 2013 at 12:37 AM  
Anonymous StukaPilot said...

Bitcoins reside in cyberspace 1's and 0's. So does the paper check/money you put in a bank. Bitcoin is, therefore, a Bank. So, thanks for the analysis, Moldbug, but I'll just keep my physical silver. Which, like the Covetous Knight, I can stack and clink and, if necessary, defend with something else physical: a gun.

April 4, 2013 at 1:04 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

I think that Alain, a French twentieth century philosopher, said something along the lines of "" the major problem with socialism is that it envisions problems, and the solving of them from the top down".
Alain's vision of socialism allows us to... think ? that our current "democratic" governments are not oligarchical, but secretely ? socialist.
I know nothing about bitcoin.
But I do know that the purpose of HANDS ON MONEY is to represent value, and to allow deferring value to the moment where it changes hands.
Deferring value introduces temporality.
So.. contrast a world where you can hop on a plane in New York at 10 :00 and get off in Paris less than six hours later, a world where you can push buttons and buy stocks ? whatever... in Singapore instantaneously with a world where John Q. Public sticks his cash under the mattress for a rainy day..
But... there is a proverb that goes "a bird IN THE HAND is worth two in the bush", right ?
We have just become too smart for our own good, huh, with all that.. KNOWLEDGE that we've been pimping for so long ?
On the advantages of having the real McCoy in your hand, think the parabole of the talents, my religious (and not..) friends..
Way back when, Jesus was already encouraging.. speculation.. Tragic.
A self made poem for my French friends :

"Je suis cette folle servante qui a reçu le don goulument
Pour le secréter aussitôt dans un lieu ténébreux.
Pas pour moi le commerce journalier des talents,
J'ai laissé accroître mon trésor dans l'ombre
Loin des yeux et des mains envieux
Il a muri et arrive à son terme."

Enjoy.

April 4, 2013 at 1:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Mencius please shine the light of a future column on what Karl Denninger says about bitcoin. Is he correct?
http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=219284

April 4, 2013 at 4:46 AM  
Blogger TGGP said...

People don't disagree with Mencius' analysis merely because they are "progressives". Mencius is now claiming to get his economics from Carlyle and the German Historical School, which means he's going to disagree with pretty much every economist. Of course, whatever deficiencies there may be in Mencius' economics, that wouldn't make Salmon any more correct.

April 4, 2013 at 6:03 AM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

As far as I can see the German Historical School of List, Wagner, Schmoeller etc. has nothing whatsoever to do with Moldbug, still an Austrian of the first water.

April 4, 2013 at 7:13 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Goody, let's juxtapose "The Covetous Knight" with... Don Quixote to realize who comes out on top...

April 4, 2013 at 9:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.cnbc.com/id/100615508

Bitcoin got hacked.

Does this matter? I have no idea.

April 4, 2013 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Evgeniy Martynov said...

Thank you for well thougth article and refutal

April 4, 2013 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger TGGP said...

5371, that used to be the case. Lately I guess he found Mises to be too liberal (or perhaps too mainstream for an antiquarian econ-hipster) and decided the mercantalists were right after all.

April 4, 2013 at 4:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Has this post been linked to on reddit? Because this comment section is filled with faggotry.

April 4, 2013 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger DR said...

"Inflation is bad, but deflation is worse. The reason is that in a deflationary environment, no one spends money — because whatever you want to buy is sure to become cheaper in a few days or weeks. People hoard their cash, and spend it only begrudgingly, on absolute necessities. And they certainly don’t spend it on hiring people — no matter how productive their employees might be, they’d still be better off just holding on to that money and not paying anybody anything."

Felix Salmon is retarded and doesn't even get orthodox macroeconomics correct.

There are always liquid investment assets who's expected return is higher than the rate of inflation. For example real returns on equities historically runs 5% or more.

According to Salmon's logic the same people that would hoard deflationary currency should hoard SPY, since its value tomorrow is expected to be higher.

Felix seems to believe that savings is perfectly elastic to the rate of return. That is as long as its positive people will save 100% of their income.

Conventional macroeconomics says that deflation leads to inflation because nominal wages are downwardly sticky. Felix's story has no ties to anything I've ever heard before, and is clearly a giant econ 101 fail.

April 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Mencius you must have arrived, you attract Prog Trolls.

But, why was it Bitcoin that finally set them off?

April 4, 2013 at 7:59 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

And, I shall add, by UR standards this is very weak trolling, regressives. You're obviously only used to duking it out with Freepers.

April 4, 2013 at 8:02 PM  
Anonymous Dystopia Max said...

"But, why was it Bitcoin that finally set them off?"

Most likely they bought The Financial Instrument of the Future, spoken of only in hushed tones, seeing as how no good progressive would dream of being seen associated with those things only conservatives worry about, like precious metals (sketchy) or fossil fuel commodities (perish the thought!)

Truly believing in your own bullshit has consequences, faggots.

April 4, 2013 at 8:33 PM  
Anonymous fsascott said...

TGGP - MM styles himself a neocameralist. He admires HSH Prince Hans-Adam of Liechtenstein, who has successfully run his country on cameralist principles these many years. He's just gone back to an earlier school of Austrian economics, that of the Graf von Hornigk, J.J. Becher, and the Freiherr von Schröder.

April 4, 2013 at 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bitcoin is a number with a certain property. Here's how the government prints bitcoins:

(1) The government gives you an "extended" bitcoin on your tax return
(2) You sue the government
(3) You pass off that invalid bitcoin to the laundromat
(4) The laundromat sues you
(5) People hold onto real bitcoins as savings and pass around the invalid ones, trusting them exactly as far as they trust the government's ability to force people to accept them

April 4, 2013 at 10:07 PM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

To me Moldbug still seems deeply infected with the Manchester ideology, in its Austrian variant. Hopefully he really is undergoing the transmutation you speak of!

April 5, 2013 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger Racket Mensch said...

I believe the general fear of deflation is strongest with the various levels of government and it's huge hordes of rent-seeking parasites. When real estate values declined slightly in 2008-09, Fairfax County, one of the wealthiest and recession-proof areas in the world, practically crapped it's pants until it could crank the tax-rate up to cover the shortfall. Needless to say the rate hasn't declined after valuations jumped past their previous levels. Bastards. Next time, the deluge.

p.s. - I fucking love the UJ, and an actual economist can actually blow me. "But I'm not gay" - Punky's Whips

April 5, 2013 at 6:48 PM  
Blogger anand srivastava said...

There are actually 3 roles of money.
1) Providing a measuring device, aka Unit of Account. This is the most important aspect of the currency. And this currency must be driven by a central bank. It must be possible to create and destroy it at will. The central bank should only aim for the consumer price index. Nothing else. Because perception is the most important thing for the currency acting as the UoA.

Yes Bitcoin is not in Central bank's control and will never be a UoA.

2) The transaction device aka Medium of Exchange. This must be a currency that has a legal force behind it, aka legal tender. The state forces everybody to accept this currency for all transactions.

Bitcoin can never fulfill this function.

3) The wealth store aka Store of Value. This must be a currency not in the control of govt. It is by definition volatile in the short term, but would be stable in the long term.

This currency proves its value over generations, not years. Till now Gold has been this currency, although people have forgotten about it.

Bitcoin serve in this space. But do you honestly think it will survive a few generations?

Sorry, if I don't have much faith in Bitcoin. It is a bubble which will burst along with the crisis. Yes invest into it, by all means, but I will rely on a store of value that has been valued over generations.

April 5, 2013 at 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir, you are clearly the most intelligent person in the universe and I bow down to your intellect.

In reading your critique, I noted that 70% was dedicated to pointing out that everyone else is an uneducated imbecile while you are the most intelligent person that humankind has ever known, and certainly the only person capable of original thought (which was clearly self-evident from your post).

The remaining 20% was used to quote Salomon, and only 10% was dedicated to your absolutely brilliant thoughts. Which is my problem, we need more of your oh so amazing and enlightened thoughts. Why, oh why can you not provide more of your thoughts? We desperately need them!

Also, I noted that your arguments did not really assist us mere mortals in bridging all of the logical gaps. That's likely a short-coming of the limited intellect of your average audience. Alas, we are not as gifted as you in being able to arrive at the conclusions that your limited explanations offer.

Oh kind God, can you please enlighten us with fulsome explanations of your brilliant thoughts that mortals can have the capacity to understand?

Sincerely Yours (bowing),

Andres

April 6, 2013 at 12:45 AM  
Blogger Junius said...

http://www.suicidenote.info/ebook/suicide_note.pdf#pagemode=bookmarks&page=1526

I am wondering if you have ever seen this.

http://blog.ohinternet.com/3976/review-mitchell-heismans-suicide-note/

I think it might help answer the question you have posed about the steady movement towards liberalism since the English Civil War.

April 6, 2013 at 5:06 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Very interesting points, anand srivastava.
I think that we tend to forget how the long, slow, rise of the modern, western, and centralized nation state gradually eliminated commerce ? intercourse ? that was NOT ONLY limited to monetary transaction.
During our... obscure Western history, physical money was reserved for some transactions, but not used for all. Bartering was also available for economic transactions...
To be very reductionist... banks and centralized states seem to go together, don't they ?
It seems rather ironic that the purpose of liquidity is to be... liquid, and not solid.
You ever try transmitting liquid (over the generations) ?
It doesn't hold together very well.
That's why traditionally, and historically, wealth (not synonym of liquidity..) has been associated with the land...
And just think, you can even plant vegetables on it and eat when the shit hits the fan.
Kind of hard to do that with Bitcoin, I think...
Even the Latter Day Romans, whose civilization ours resembles more and more, had a superstitious recognition that investing too much in intangibles could be hazardous for your health, and your pocketbook.
Even my 1888 born grandmother kept a small parcel of land that she rented out for income.
And I, her 1956 born, college educated granddaughter was dumb enough to sell that land for... liquidity...
This little story goes a long way to showing how far we've gone down the road paved with good intentions...

April 6, 2013 at 7:27 AM  
Anonymous Moses said...

USG will never shut down Bitcoin. They can wield it as a weapon to protect the U.S. dollar.

More and more countries are implementing capital controls. Getting around them will become Bitcoin's #1 use, in my opinion, it's why you can already buy RMB at 6.6 to $1 instead of 6.2 to $1 at the Bank of China.

Bitcoin can be used to weaken weakened currencies and ensure USD's role as reserve currency by always being exchangeable.

April 6, 2013 at 8:21 AM  
Anonymous 5371 said...

dapibus mensas oneramus inemptis

April 6, 2013 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger anand srivastava said...

Debra

Agreed Land is more than a store of value. Its a means of production. With all means of productions, you also need to invest time and effort to make it productive. There is only so much time with a person to make use of the means of production.

It would be a waste and crime against humanity to hoard land and not use it. The same thing applies to industrial commodity.

But gold is not those things. It has no other utility, so it is perfectly ethical to hoard it. You do not deprive of any possible production by hoarding it. It is like rare works of art, rare diamonds, antiques etc. None of those have any use other than storing value.

April 7, 2013 at 3:57 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Anand... the Midas story is there to tell us that we can't eat gold...
A quick look at the way things have been... developing in France, but not just, shows how fast we have been transforming arable land that feeds people into John Q. Public's American/Enlightenment dream : a house on a piece of land, with two cars in the driveway. Owned by the owner, to boot, in the best of all possible worlds.
Do you really think THIS scenario is viable in the long run ? For.. EVERYBODY (equality oblige, as we say here) ?
i don't.
And I think that while our collective, glazed eyes are trained on... ways of measuring the value of liquidity, we are flushing ourselves down the toilet.

April 7, 2013 at 5:35 AM  
Blogger Mitchell said...

On the topic of gold: can anyone comment on the theories of Antal Fekete?

April 7, 2013 at 5:55 AM  
Blogger Racket Mensch said...

Mitchell - The Daily Bell has some discussion of Fekete, also the bionic mosquito. When I first read about him I wondered why he wasn't prominently featured on LRC. Not that I understand finance; I just wanted to see what Austria-Hungarian economics would look like. Guys in suits with pointy helmets?
Sorry for the low-quality comments, especially mine.

April 8, 2013 at 6:19 AM  
Anonymous nk said...

There is alittle problem with BTC : It needs electricity.

Who will trust a money which needs that ?

April 8, 2013 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

TGGP,
In one sense you might be right, Mencius decided Mises was too liberal.

But I suspect Mencius' shift of perspective may be more ethical than economic.

In one sense it is dumb of me to comment at all because I poorly understand mercantilism.

But what stands out for me in the recent post is Mencius' emphasis on how the preferences of virtuists or eudaimonists are often of 'negative utility' or negative hedonicity on a utilitarian perspective. The virtuist has an overriding meta-preference to become 'good' -- or in the old Helleno-Roman archetype, good/strong -- and this often contradicts his lower or more basic preferences. To a virtuist like Carlyle or Nietzsche this paradox is key to human nature and Mencius relates it to the concept of 'work', defined as having a negative utility on the lower level.

I don't think Mencius has declared protectionism is good for a polity/sovereign per se, but rather that virtuism is good for a polity/sovereign -- and protectionism may under some circumstances be a means to enhance social virtue by approaching full employment.

Full(er) employment could also dampen rampant criminality which is a problem for you and me (though as you are aware, we largely solve it through massive and burgeoning incarceration). I'm not sure quite what sort of problem this is. Criminal threat offers you and I negative hedonicity, but might also spur us to become stronger/better through the discipline of self-defense, or something. It all depends on what you value as virtuous -- which people will partly agree on, but only partly, because of their only-partly-shared nature as men.

April 8, 2013 at 5:38 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

Of course these concepts cannot really capture things perfectly. Consider our work as intellectuals, or also consider our remunerative work. They offer many intervals of something like pleasure, also many intervals of largely-aversive feelings.

In the end we would probably just rather get the virtu -- knowledge in the one case, money in the other -- 'for free', or by magic, especially as this would free us for other pursuits.

Or would we? I don't know really.

April 8, 2013 at 5:47 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

[I promise - this is my last Bitcoin post. I fear it attracts low-quality traffic. Comments are off.]

A tragedy this spectacular blog - which FYI is armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons that have been carefully tucked away in North Korea - can't always attract high-caliber commenters.

April 8, 2013 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Sigh...
Even when one may be attempted to believe that one has finally slipped past the Catholic/Enlightenment blinders, they pop out of the Jack in the Box...

"low QUALITY TRAFFIC"...

Fasten your seat belts, eveybody...
You wouldn't want to have an accident, now, would you ??

April 9, 2013 at 7:35 AM  
Anonymous Heh said...

So TUJ -- have you seen this?

http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1800/article_detail.asp

At the end he says:

Most of my conservative friends will, with good reason, doubt the efficacy of my effort. Most have decided that it's impossible to correct the liberal tilt in the academy. Some, therefore, have decided to build and support conservative colleges. Perhaps that is the best we can do, but it is not ideal insofar as it seems to promote the notion that there can be no honest inquiry, no objective search for the truth. There are only warring perspectives, like warring news stations.

Other conservatives have tried to influence the elite schools by giving money in exchange for a more conservative curriculum. Here too the urge is understandable, but are conservatives really comfortable endorsing the principle that he who has the gold controls the curriculum?


You should get in touch with him and tell him your idea about defunding the Cathedral.

April 9, 2013 at 9:34 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

You should get in touch with him and tell him your idea about defunding the Cathedral.

Defunding the cancerous academic pillar* of the Cathedral will begin soon. Sky high college tuition will force them to automate most academic jobs out of existence with online/MOOC classes.

Of course, when the Cathedral falls (thanks to the tech sector gutting the Cathedral like a trout, not the clueless GOP) the rule of USG will default back to corporate oligarchy, not to any "traditionalist" elite.

Some have pointed out that though we would get much better financial policies than we do under the *regressives, immigration policies (and an ever more badly needed OUT-migration policy) would still be wired to depress wages. However, if the Cathedral suffers a system wide failure and is no longer able to scream "RACIST!", then a compromise might be possible similar to the late 19th century:

BIG-Business gets all the wage-depressing labor they want PROVIDED that all immigrants are white. This way, the corporate sector would be happy with lowered wages while the white working and middle classes, though suffering lower wages, wouldn't have their standard of living wrecked by a surge in European immigrants the same way non-white immigration does. i.e., White working and middle class families won't have to pull their kids out of public schools that go 90% Euro immigrant as they do when their public school goes 90% non-white immigrant.

The CEOs would also have better looking hotel maids and waitresses at ski resorts under an "all you can sponsor" white immigrant only system.

Deal?

* Other pillars are either in a death spiral (e.g. newspapers) or under attack (e.g. public and private sector unions.)

April 9, 2013 at 6:46 PM  
Anonymous Ulf Karllson said...

Mency, dear if I like, may call you that I've got a grreat suggestion for a post for you!

Do one that, like tackles the problem of cissexism, misgendering and tone policing both on the blogosphere and that supposed progressive site "Tumblr"

Hugz&Kisses
Ulfy-kun.

April 9, 2013 at 8:05 PM  
Anonymous Maggotmaster said...

Cool poster " The Undiscovered Jew" is a shill for corporations.

Any hypothetically Mencian restoration would involve nationalizing all assets and selling them off to break both the bureaucracy and the power of the current American upper class in the form of SWPLs, the 'professional class' and the corporate oligarchs TUJ loves so much.

Think North Korea, complete with caste system with the brahmins being executed or firmly on the bottom but minus marxist economics. Of course, it'd relax over time and turn into something more like Mencius's ideal.

TUJ has bitched about the increasing authoritarianism of the cathedral, but doesn't realize he has a higher chance of being executed under a reaction.

April 10, 2013 at 11:18 AM  
Anonymous "맹자 금형 버그" said...

자코 바이트 스타일!

April 10, 2013 at 2:39 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Maggotmaster, if you peruse the UR archives, you will see that MM explicitly rejects your plan. "All revolutions are bad." "RAGE (Retire all Government Employees)"

Not going all Pol Pot on the SWPL tribe. Not creating new Boat People who try to escape to Cuba.

All revolutions are bad.

April 10, 2013 at 3:52 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

RAGE: Retire All Gov't Employees

not

RAGE: Roust And Garrote the Eloi

April 10, 2013 at 9:15 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Any hypothetically Mencian restoration would involve nationalizing all assets and selling them off to break both the bureaucracy and the power of the current American upper class in the form of SWPLs, the 'professional class' and the corporate oligarchs TUJ loves so much.

I just don't agree that the corporate class is Cathedral. Cowardly? Sure. Country club GOP squishes? Of course. But are they beneficiaries of leftist governance or hostages?

If the corporate class is Cathedral, why did Wall Street overwhelmingly prefer Romney over Obama in corporate donations? Why the *regressive hostility to Wall Street profiteering in the form of Occupy but nary a peep from the left about the trillion dollar price gauging going on with college tuition? Why does the corporate class, with all of its lobbying power, have such an uphill swim in the face of media hostility to get a measly 5 point cut in capital gains taxes through Congress?

To me it seems that the left has the corporate class in the corner because they can damage the private sector via Cathedral regulations on issues from green energy quotas that raise the cost of doing business to AA regs that force business to piss billions down the drain on blacks and third world immigrant hires.

Worst of all, the private sector can't punish the Cathedral bureaucrats because the left works in organizations where businesses can't punish them for interfering with their affairs as business was able to do under the Spoils System which was so strongly (and correctly) endorsed by none other than Andrew Jackson.

Again, the reason American (in the form of the New Deal) and Western European politics (in the form of Jean Monnet's Euro Federalism) has gone to hell in a hand basket is because the Civil Services both here and across the pond have turned into rogue and unnaccountable branches of government.

This is a perversion of all pre-WWI political thought - in every advanced world system of government (including Communist governance) the Civil Service simply acted out the day to day functions of executive policy. When an Egyptian pharoah or Russian Tsar ordered their bureaucracy to do something, the bureaucrats simply followed policy within the parameters set out by the ruling sovereign.

In the modern West we see a total warping of this executive-civil service relationship: In the West the Civil Service bureaucracies control the executive. In America, the Cathedral has turned into a rogue fourth branch of government that either forces the other three branches of government to not push good policy or gets them to support bad policy.

April 11, 2013 at 7:45 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Maggotmaster, if you peruse the UR archives, you will see that MM explicitly rejects your plan. "All revolutions are bad." "RAGE (Retire all Government Employees)"

A reaction (both in the Mencian and 19th century definitions) is restoration of the rightful political shareholders to power. In America's case, a restoration would have to involve restoring the business class to sovereignty because the founders designed America to be run by business elites.

The Gilded Age barrons like Rockefeller, Carnegie, etc, were the real rulers of America, not the largely non-entity presidents/regents we had from 1865 up to FDR. The reason the heirs of robber barrons went either liberal (think Howard Dean, Justices David Souter and John Paul Stevens, and Pinch Sulzberger) or Rockefeller-left liberal Republican (the Bushies, Chaffees, Welds, etc) after the WWII was because the Cathedral - in the name of creating a professional "civil servant" class that would be "above politics" - created a bureaucratic apparatus that couldn't be reigned in via elections where the robber barron class traditionally controlled politics.

An American restoration means knocking out the Cathedral so that the corporate class can regain control of the other three branches of govt.

April 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The old Civil Service model (including Communist states)

Executive branch controls the Civil Service. This basic workflow diagram holds true for every pre-WWII government whether the executive you're placing under your microscope is a Roman Emperor, Alexander the Great, Adolf Hitler, Chairman Mao, Fidel Castro or Joseph Stalin.

The new Civil Service model AKA Bureaucratic Dictatorship (EU in Europe, Cathedral/New Deal in America)

Civil Service controls the Executive or sabotages the Executive.

Result: Governance that is more dysfunctional (even if not, yet, as lethal) on a broader array of public policy issues than any Communist government.

April 11, 2013 at 8:03 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

And, since I brought up the EU, it looks like at least one Southern Euro country is going to have to leave the Eurozone, probably when one of their brittle parliamentary coalitions breaksup and ushers in an anti-austerity party.

Interestingly, if the EU breaks up this year, it will could signal the end of the 20th century, which will have lasted from 1914-2013, a period of 99 years. The same number of years as the Belle Époque.

April 11, 2013 at 8:12 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

TUJ Are the corporate class really heretics to the Cathedral, just repressed?

I don't see it. Every elite business school is neo-liberal right down the line. They agree with Bezos-Buffett-Brin-Billgates-Barack. These people run the corporations. They're not hiding their true feelings. They believe in the Mysteries.

The largest business that can be considered a heretic is Chick-Fil-A. (A 100% family-owned business with $4.5 billion in sales). And their feet were put to the deep fryer.

Every larger business is a congregant to the Cathedral. Take a look down the Fortune 500 and try to find an exception.

April 12, 2013 at 2:03 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

TUJ Are the corporate class really heretics to the Cathedral, just repressed?

I don't see it. Every elite business school is neo-liberal right down the line.


It's an important question to ask whether corporate America is composed of willing liberals or right-liberals because the corporations would be whom control of America defaults back to if the Cathedral financially implodes. Unless a new elite magically appears to fill the vacuum in a post-Cathedral America, big business is going to be running the show.

To me the evidence points to business being crony-capitalist a la 1865-1932 America, not left-liberal. Gilded Age America, of course, was not perfect but it was far better than what we have now.

Anyway, the business schools that, mind you, are kept on a short noose by the loonier non-business and non-STEM schools, are not the same thing thing as the business sector. The business world's politics varies from the post-WWII Hamiltonian country club Republicanism of Wall Street to the Jacksonian Southern Republicanism of the defense sector, oil industry, and big agriculture.

Really, the only business sectors that could be considered left-liberal are Wall Street and BIG-Consulting. And even this is questionable: If Wall Street is Cathedral, why did their donations overwhelmingly favor Mitt Romney over Obama? Why can't Wall Street suggest even the flimsiest level of social security privatization - which is a good idea - without being castigated by the media as corporate pirates? The demonization Wall Street suffers at the hands of the other Cathedral organs shows they are outer party.

The other major areas of the economy like the defense and energy industries are, obviously, Jacksonian outer party conservative.

As someone who is a Hamiltonian restorationist, the problem with the business class is they will never push the country beyond what is "acceptably" right. They will only be as conservative as the Cathedral's political parameters will allow. Since these parameters are forever moving leftward, the right end business sector of our political distribution is pulled to the left.

However, in the absence of the Cathedral, America would "Re-Parameterize" back to the right on most issues because the left's policies can only be supported with unprecedented volumes of low quality propaganda. And by unprecedented, I mean the volume of lies exceeds even the combined output of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

A post-Cathedral America would resemble 1865-1932 in terms of politics but with a much larger political input from the Jacksonian South, especially Texas, which could lever its newly found economic strength to have a much larger seat at the corporate oligarchist table than they did in the Gilded Age. Under this scenario, we may even be treated to the first Jacksonian POTUS since James Polk.

April 13, 2013 at 7:14 AM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

Yes the energy industry is a natural outer party ally.

But it's not quibbling to note that they have been crossing over to the inner party for some time.

All the big companies have diversity regimes. After 20 years of diversity, it's a fair assumption that most of them are now believers. Southern whites are now more likely to be evangelizing Christ to their diverse co-workers than to be complaining about them behind their backs.

Evangelicals are outer party, sure, but while holding on to Christ as savior, they have been conceding much else to the Cathedral (race, immigration, embracing single moms).

Back to the corporations. The defense industry can no longer be considered outer party. It's an equal mixture at best. They all moved their HQs to Northern Virginia to be close to the government. (They were founded in conservative Los Angeles 75 years ago).

And the Pentagon is a mixed case as well. At this point it's more inner party than outer. This change has accelerated in recent years. When Marine recruiters are actively seeking the best homosexual applicants, marching in pride parades, it's hard to consider them as outside the Cathedral any longer.

Same with the officer corps all reading "Three Cups of Tea," a pure Cathedral tract.

The trends are ever to the left. The beauty of a Restoration is that it asks people to dethrone Washington. It doesn't require us to convert them (folk activism).

April 14, 2013 at 2:43 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

But it's not quibbling to note that they have been crossing over to the inner party for some time.

Yes, this all true (except for one* point you made.) But, I'm asking you to consider what would happen IF the Cathedral is removed from our political relationship diagram.

Should the Cathedral be severely hobbled, then control of Washington would default back to big businesses. Without the Cathedral to pull American politics to the left, we would expect to see big business use their newly restored oligarchical power to move the country in a number of ways to the right.

As it stands now, the corporate sector has to appease the Cathedral. But without the Cathedral to genuflect before would we still see the business sector adhere to diversity, enviro-sustainability, feminism, etc? My guess is no because all of these programs businesses have to at least pretend to obey have negative impacts on business, e.g., racial diversity weakens worker cohesion and productivity, AA wastes billions of dollars on worthless blacks & Hispanics, Green-Nazism raises energy prices and the cost of doing business. And so on.

At a minimum we would get pro-capitalism policies from a restored corporate oligarchy should the Cathedral implode. Pro-white demographic policies would take some extra time to convince businesses to support, but as long as pro-white demographics can be explained to have economic benefits (as Bowling Alone indicated) they would eventually come around to the race realist position.

* The South has always been less racist than Yankeeland and, anecdotally, I can tell you it still is.

The original Union plan for the freed slaves called for expelling all or almost all of them to a colony in Africa whereas the Confederates wanted to keep slavery as long as possible.

Ironically, the blacks were better off as slaves because their living standards were incomparably higher in the South than they would have been in Africa. Thus, the Jacksonian-Jeffersonian South was less racist than the Hamiltonian North. Abraham Lincoln, in particular, was a firebreathing white supremacist even by the standards of the mid-19th century.

April 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

tUJ
.
to quibble, one has to consider the roots of negro folks' predicament in CrakerLand. Also, undubtedly, both Exodus and the babylonian return did lower the Israelite standard of living.
.
Heck, it's likely even every person that emigrated to Palestine post-May 9th 1945 voluntarily chose a lower standard of living.
.
But there is something beneficial to the individual, zhyd or gentile, caucasian or negroid, in freedom. Of course, it is not to say that CrakerLand denizens enjoy even a pale replica of freedom enjoyed in times past.
.
The Popish Sauromatian

April 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

Undiscovered Jew, you are thinking in small boxes.
Thinking that a corporate.. CLASS exists is thinking in a small box. Flesh and blood individuals do not fit well into those little boxes. And.. they do not always behave according to what too many perceive as their RATIONAL INTERESTS.
The French Revolution came about ("we" did not voluntarily decide it ; it came about...) to transfer power to a perennial, disembodied SYSTEM, and to wrest it away from flesh and blood individuals.
This is the legacy of the French Revolution which is still...deploying before our eyes. It is not over yet. No more than l'Ancien Regime is "over" as long as its monuments are erect (and I assure you that they are still standing in France, and that millions of Occidental tourists make pilgrimages to France to see the monuments of l'Ancien Regime... among other monuments, of course) AND ITS WORDS ARE STILL IN OUR VOCABULARY... ("feudalism" for example)
On the money... on the eve of the French Revolution, the monarchy's coffers were empty..
The interesting question, perhaps a chicken and egg one, is, which brought about which ?
Money problems a symptom of loss of faith in the system, maybe, among other things ?
The shrill, angry tone of "the people" in France in 2013 sounds a hell of a lot like the shrill, angry tone of "the people" in 1789..
Interesting, I think.
Hard to get more abstract and disembodied than "the people", though...

April 16, 2013 at 12:22 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Also, undubtedly, both Exodus and the babylonian return did lower the Israelite standard of living.

Your point about freedom is true. Still, the difference in living standards between 1860 American slaves and their cousins over in Africa would have been much more dramatic than the difference between ancient Hebrews living in exile and those living in Israel.

Thinking that a corporate.. CLASS exists is thinking in a small box. Flesh and blood individuals do not fit well into those little boxes.

Your quibbling over minor points.

The fact is, unless there is some different elite to fill the vacuum, rich businessmen will take control of the government if the Cathedral implodes and as the founding fathers always envisioned, a vision that went uninterrupted until FDR's reign of terror which came about by his enslaving the business class, and any other productive American, to his rogue's gallery of unaccountable bureaucrats.

And where did anyone get the impression our Tyranus Magnus would oppose a corporatist ruling elite being restored to power? Hasn't he repeatedly said the country should be ruled by elite shareholders armed to the teeth with Robocop like cyborgs, cryptographicly controlled ion cannons, fusion lasers, and suborbital nuclear weapons?

Exactly how Jefferson himself envisioned good government.

April 16, 2013 at 9:00 PM  
Anonymous RS said...

I'm not sure I entirely agree with your characterization of the old republic. Sure, it was of course oligarchic and I know Washington in particular was a bigtime speculator and businessman rather than just a plantation-inheritor. But I think there was more:

1. Bloodline . . . intermarriage by high-aristoi. Obligation to marry in a way that preserves both wealth and aristocratic virtue.

2. 'Gentleman' ideal - of cultivation and learning. And dueling for that matter . . . which is very much linked to a strong sense of normative behavior and tradition, which was the context for everything.

I'd be pretty inclined to hearken unto whatever Josh thinks about the matter.

Let us not idealize, we know from Josh's description that the circa Civil War republic ran largely on favor banks/ machines. I also know one of James Madison's(?) electoral opponents tried to ply the electorate by handing out a bunch of free grog. I also know what the N-Atlantic syphilis rates were in the past: damn high, at least by the middle to later belle epoque. I still think in spite of all that there was a living tradition which made a freely-acting oligarchy behave better, more responsibly, than Wall Street would behave under your plan to give them oligarchic power unchecked by Noam Chomsky.

Empirically, do you observe responsible behavior from Wall Street right now?

I don't deny that powering down Free Mansions for Holy Races theory, and Chomskyism etc, would probably improve matters, but way less than you think. We just have a semi-nihilistic free-for-all going here, and Goldman-Morgan are just not that counteractive to it, though they could become somewhat more counteractive to it. They would seem to have a looooooong way to go though and you seem to underrecognize this. And I don't mean to be a sophist by pretending Wall Street is our only rich people, but of course they are the bulk of the richest.

I agree of course that unaccountable, unanswerable powerholders are Doom on a stick. Mencius already emphasized this quite heavily but he could probably drive it home even more.

April 17, 2013 at 7:25 AM  
Blogger Debra said...

What makes a modern, unaccountable oligarchy/aristocracy particularly unsavory is its segregation from the population that it rules.
The Southern planters had Negro nannies, nurses, household personnel.
Mingling this way precluded an out of sight, out of mind situation.
True to my personal belief that every disadvantage has its advantage, even slavery... from Antiquity forward had some advantages that the modern salary system does not have.. and being a slave was not an identical experience for everybody.
..
I am NOT quibbling over minor points at all.
Honor has been a founding value of the aristocracy for centuries, hasn't it ?
What does the word mean now, and who is employing it ? The rich businessmen ?
I vote (lol) to look at where the word is surfacing right now for finding a new elite.
Money... has always been insufficient to define aristocracy...
I think it will remain so.
By the way, Undiscovered Jew, as I occasionally say, the recorded history ? story ? of the Jewish people gives the paradigm for understanding the rise of what you, ironically, like to call "the Cathedral"...
That is SOME IRONY there...

April 17, 2013 at 12:21 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I also know one of James Madison's(?) electoral opponents tried to ply the electorate by handing out a bunch of free grog.

The electoral antics of the Cathedral and her twisted technocrat sisters, the Euro-Federalists, dwarfs any electoral shenanigans of Hamiltonian Gilded Age America. But, you knew that.

I still think in spite of all that there was a living tradition which made a freely-acting oligarchy behave better, more responsibly, than Wall Street would behave under your plan to give them oligarchic power unchecked by Noam Chomsky.

It would take a moderate amount of time for the country to snap back to conservatism if the Cathedral is powered down. In that time the business elite, which has been displaced as the inner party by the Cathedral and turned into a timid outer party satellite, would become a better ruling class because being sovereign has an ennobling effect on elites.

And I don't mean to be a sophist by pretending Wall Street is our only rich people, but of course they are the bulk of the richest.

Wall Street would have a large seat at the oligarchical table, but not the majority. There are other powerful segments of the economy as I noted. Big Agriculture is the only industry that has managed to shield itself from free trade thanks to hefty congressional subsidies and barriers.

Furthermore, the Jacksonian South and Jeffersonian interior West would have pull thanks to their pro-business policies and strength in defense, and BIG-Oil-soon-to-be-BIG-Shale energy sector. Jacksonian Texas would be poised to take over the role of pre-Civil War Virginia as the heavy weight Southern state after a corporatist restoration.

Empirically, do you observe responsible behavior from Wall Street right now?

There's crony capitalism to be sure, but nothing as bad as what the Cathedral is up to. It's debatable if the post-Lincoln corporatists were a whole lot moral fiscally, they were after all called the robber barons.

April 18, 2013 at 4:45 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

What does the word mean now, and who is employing it ? The rich businessmen ?

What is the private sector supposed to do? If they are being watched like a hawk by Cathedral agencies for the slightest deviation from party ideology. The EEOC has them staring down the barrel of the lawsuit gun if they don't genuflect before cretinous minorities sufficiently. The EPA will drop the hammer on them for minor carbon violations. The Episcopalian ruled NYTimes (Pinchy is a WASP!) shakes down the helpless Lloyd Blankfeins on Wall Street to fork over NINJA loans to Tyrone and Pedro, which blows up the housing and derivative markets, and then Wall Street is pinned with the blame for risky loans by NYTimes.

April 18, 2013 at 4:54 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I agree of course that unaccountable, unanswerable powerholders are Doom on a stick. Mencius already emphasized this quite heavily but he could probably drive it home even more.

Here is how old style, and, nearly* extinct Communist dictatorship works versus the bureaucratic dictatorship of late-New Deal America and Euro-Federalist Europe:

Communist dictatorship

Sovereign controls civil service which then executes sovereign's orders

Examples,

Stalin sends orders to ---> KGB

Interestingly, both Fascism and Monarchism worked the same way,

Louis XIV dispatches orders to ---> French Civil Service

Hitler gives orders to ---> Gestapo or Abwerhr, etc

Bureaucratic Dictatorship

Civil service IS the Sovereign and orders ex-Sovereign-cum-Outer-Party-Satellite to do its bidding, which is to create more Civil Service bureaucracy.

Cathedral gives orders to ---> elected representatives (who were supposed to act as REGENTS on behalf of elite shareholders, not be Sovereigns under the Founders vision) which then leads elected Representatives to plunder ----> private sector for the sake of ever expanding and ever stronger Borg-like public sector.

In Monnet/Schuman Federalist Europe,

European Commission gives orders to ---> EU Bureaucracy which then gives legally binding orders to ---> what remains of Europe's democracies.

In America what is supposed to happen is that the businessmen give orders to ---> elected representatives/regents who then give orders to ---> Civil Service to execute the will of the executive, legislative, and judicial branches.

The progressives amazingly flipped this imperfect but still satisfactory arrangement around and made the private sector the whimpering bitch of the unaccountable civil service.

* Only Cuba and North Korea are meaningfully Communist. And Cuba could very well turn into an island resort once Fidel, at lang last, croaks.

North Korea, however, is still hanging in there and fighting the good fight against the international Anglo-Banking conspirators with, dare I say, Mencian like efficiency.

April 18, 2013 at 5:12 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

One other point about the Civil Service dictatorship is that no single bureaucracy has absolute control over their zone of jurisdiction. The EPA has influence over environmental policy but it does not have 100% control over the Green movement the way Stalin had 100% control over the KGB or Hitler had over the Gestapo.

The EPA has only partial sovereignty over Gaian orthodoxy because the NYTimes, Harvard, Michael Mann, Greenpeace, Sierra Club, etc can also exert pressure over environmental policy.

As a consequence, defeating one particular Cathedral agency will not do anything more than briefly delay the Cathedral's advance because the another New Deal actor will just take it's place. If Joe McCArthy had arrested the entire faculty of Harvard and shuttered the place, the Cathedral would have kept rolling on anyway because Harvard politics would have been swiftly replaced with Princeton or Yale politics.

So, to defeat the Cathedral we need strategies that defeat the incentive structure rather than focus on one particular point.

April 18, 2013 at 5:23 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Lucky for you, Undiscovered Jew, the process of defeating the cathedral is well under way...
What defeats the cathedral ?
What built up the French revolution (in part, in part, of course...)
WORDS, as in THE WORD.
(A few years ago I wrote a poem in which the first line was "how to hate a word ?". Admit that it's rather difficult to fight words. They can only die... natural deaths. Any form of activism to kill them (think how Adolf was determined to put an end to the word "Jew(ish)"... and where it led us) seems to multiply their power exponentially. We should think about this more.)
Your analogy between fascism and monarchy breaks down because it is superficial.
The ideas behind monarchy and fascism are different.
So.. they are not identical, even if in some areas they resemble each other.
We need to pay more attention to details, and not be so quick to generalize (me, too...) in order to think subtlely, and not shoot our mouths off, the way the globalized structure of Internet conditions us to behave.

April 19, 2013 at 12:19 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

sfYour analogy between fascism and monarchy breaks down because it is superficial.

I was only discussing the classical relationship between the sovereign and the civil service, i.e., in Monarchist, Oligarchical, Fascist and Communist systems the civil service does whatever the sovereign tells it to do. Or else.

Under the New Deal and Euro-Federalist systems, the executives are being dictated to by the civil service. This is a complete perversion of all pre-WWII theories of sound government, a style of politics that has never before existed except in modern late 20th century America and Western Europe. It's such a twisted concept not even Mao, Pol Pot, Stalin or the Kim dynasty could have conceived of such a thing. '

But FDR and Jean Monnet did. This should explain why the Western left defeated both Hitler and the hard-Left European dictatorships - FDR was more evil than either Adolf or Joe.

April 20, 2013 at 10:02 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

And since we are on the topic of whether the Western technocrat elite is worse than the old Communist thugs, I must take advantage of the current paramilitary operations in Boston to drive home my argument that it is the modern left which is worse than the Communists.

As Moldbug gazes down from his Olympian perch at the smoldering ruins of the city which used to be Boston, I invite our Overlord to consider whether Joseph Stalin would have tolerated non-state sanctioned organized violence as USG has tolerated in Mass.

The answer is a definite "nyet". State approved violence, naturally, was more than acceptable to Stalin because Stalin was the state. If Stalin ordered the state to commit violence then the state was correct to do so because Stalin fucking said so - and nobody on Stalin's conference call would want to disagree with Stalin, now wouldn't they? Those eggs, after all, aren't going to turn themselves into an omelet on their own.

USG has committed a mortal sin of omission by failing to deport a legal Chechnyian immigrant whom our "intelligence" agencies had been told two years ago by Putin's regime was in cahoots with terrorists. And yet, USG tolerated his presence.

Compare this to Stalin's treatment of the Chechens. Over at Sailer's place we learn from an old war nerd that Stalin listed the Chechens as a "Criminal Nationality" due to their disobedience to the state. Btw, nationality in Russia means ethnicity or race, rather than country. So Stalin was formally declaring the Chechens to be a Criminal Ethnicity/Race.

Even Stalin got that one right but USG completely screwed up what a non-insane government should would have easily executed as a standard deportation procedure.

The Western Progressives are not Communists, they're worse. To compare USG's reaction to Chechen terrorism to Stalin's proves our government is both crazier and more evil than the Bolsheviks.

April 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Undiscovered Jew...
How do you characterize simplistic arguments that superficially appear to bear the stamp of reason ?
Voltaire would not have approved...
I'm not sure what the words "crazy" and "evil" mean these days. I AM sure that they get far too much exposure for me to be inclined to liberally salt my speech or writing with them.

April 21, 2013 at 5:20 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

I'm not sure what the words "crazy" and "evil" mean these days.

USG's deciding not to deport an immigrant who's on a foreign government's terrorist watch list is both crazy and evil.

What do you call the failure to deport these two brothers, good government?

April 21, 2013 at 6:30 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Jacksonian Texas would be poised to take over the role of pre-Civil War Virginia as the heavy weight Southern state after a corporatist restoration.

Tejas is poised to be Mestizo. They may be slightly better or more rightist Mestizos than you have in Cali due to whatever. But I doubt they will be any bulwark of reaction.

As of the 2010 census, the state was about 45% white, 38% hispanic, 11% black, and 6% other, mostly Asian. That's compared to 53/32/11/4 in 2000.

The modal age is like 49 for Whites and 1 for Mestizos.

April 21, 2013 at 10:50 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Tejas is poised to be Mestizo.

The mestizos and blacks will be politically powerless when the Cathedral has finally been defunded either as an indirect result of the internet revolution or deliberately by anti-Cathedral policies supported by Republicans like Gov. Scott Walker.

Without the Cathedral, 90% of NAMs wouldn't know what month it is. Jacksonians would be more than capable of reclaiming the entire Southwest in the name of European civilization if they didn't have to contend with the late Wilsonian screwballs. It was, afterall, the last Jacksonian president, James K. Polk, who conquered the Southwest in the name of Anglo-Lebensraum. After the Mexican-American war, Polk was even eying Anglo-Anschlus with the great white menace to the North, Canada. "44 40 or fight" was the rallying cry. Fortunately for the Canucks, he decided not to lay their insidious country to waste.

The only violent minority group that would be formidable to Jacksonian Sunbelt oligarchs would be those wonderful Dagestani mountain warlords USG has so wisely imported to obliterate the city of Boston.

April 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Alright, after this most glorious of weeks we're going to have to discuss whether Western government under America's late progs, Europe's EU commisars, and Britain's late Fabian socialists is worse than Communist dictatorship.

I of course vote conclude the Western technocrat elite is orders of magnitude worse in everything except death toll, but that's only because the progs can't kill mass millions of people. Yet.

Does anyone else (I'm looking at YOU, Moldberg) prefer Kim Jong Un, Ho Chi Minh, Mao, or Stalin over the Cathedral?

April 21, 2013 at 3:06 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Ahh... but you have to think about the.. credibility of other government's terrorism lists.. (Just look at the credibility of USG's terrorism lists...)
If the government decides to lock up, or deport everyone who looks, acts, talks.. suspicious (or crazy, another word that gets too much exposure...) how many people will be outside of cells ? (Not to mention the considerable pressure to create a culture of delation.. France still suffers from its WW2 heritage of delation. Not pretty.)
The U.S. imprisonment rate still looks surprisingly.. dictatorial for a country which prides itself on its Enlightenment heritage.
Could there be forces at work in USG that you are not seeing, Undiscovered Jew ?

April 22, 2013 at 1:50 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

I thought you were from here originally and understood the basic facts of the society. Most of the people in prison are nonwhites, most of them (certainly per capita, and also as an absolute plurality or majority) Blacks.

Namely, systematically decultured nonwhites -- probably mostly kind of dysgenesis'd as well.

A large fraction are there on long drugs sentences ; as Foseti says, it became a proxy way to lock people up for having violent potential, when Brahmins and underclass united to make it hard for police to investigate actual accomplished violence.

Another large fraction got busted for violence despite the obstacles to investigating it. After all the obstacles are only so strong and most violent types are really dumb.

I'd guess there might be lots of people in there for poorly substantiated rape, which is rather a political thing, though not politically directed against them as individuals. Probably some number of George Zimmerman types in there too, which is also political. The Duke Lacrosse kids got pretty near jail probably partly on account of being White. But all that has little to do with the incarceration rate being so enormous. Its interest is intrinsic, as opposed to it being of interest in connection with the enormous mass incarceration.

April 22, 2013 at 8:36 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

> Jacksonians would be more than capable of reclaiming the entire Southwest in the name of European civilization if they didn't have to contend with the late Wilsonian screwballs.

K bro only that is some pretty fucking hardcore reaction you're talking about there. A degree of reaction is likely even if the Temple is never fully unplugged, inasmuch as life is apt to get rather harder, and bleedingheart values will accordingly see their near-monopoly on the public Western mind recede at the margins.

But I don't think you get quite that much reactionism even from the most rigorous power-down of the Temple, on the basis of spontaneous reorganization, and the mere deflation or even negation of Temple pieties. You would get a still-postmodern reacto-libertarian soup. Why? Because there is going to be a mixed multitude of ideological inertias leftover, also there are material factors working against you, such as residual relative prosperity, and the cul-de-sac/ single-family-home layouts Josh says were deliberately mandated to make you watch more TV and conduct life in a point-to-point fashion via automobile instead of spontaneously encountering neighbors and acquaintances daily and hourly.

Now I'm not against relative prosperity, I just recognize that it carries certain liabilities if you seek a eudaimonist society.

It depends what you want. Negating the temple and having a postmodern reacto-libertarian soup won't really cut it for my vision of a eudaimonist Texas, featuring racial preservation, an ascending artistic culture and widely shared community tradition, eugenic progress, space colonization, sustainable fecundity, and hierarchies of common discipline directed toward each of the above. This requires an active and energetic palingenesis movement with positive ideals. I demand new Wagners and Mahlers in every Texan metropolis, 15 M cute White chicks of pure breed (not implying any cruelty or even animosity to other races), better alleles, radically restored communitarianism, moon bases, curtains for dogmatic ontological materialism (=scidolatry =secular anti-consciousness). Getting the poor $$ out from under the Temple will not quite do it ; this really requires a new and opposite Temple. Without palingenesis, life will be better, but still essentially postmodern, still kind of sad next to Florence, Elizabeth's London, Hellas, Jerusalem, --the kind of flourishing, living eudaimonist worlds I command you to create.

April 22, 2013 at 8:05 PM  
OpenID mukatsuku said...

TUJ named one of his supposed anti-Cathedral leaders: Gov. Scott Walker.

Errrr...really? The guy is standard issue libertarian republican. Paul Ryan, Rand Paul, Scott Walker etc. Haven't we seen that these guys are part of the loyal opposition? (I.e. not really in opposition).

That reminds me, TUJ has not named any of the corporate leaders that would be able and willing to govern as oligarchs. I imagine if he did name one, the guy would be an underwhelming choice like Walker.

April 23, 2013 at 1:51 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

OT,

Across the Pond, the late-Fabian Socialists were whooping up the news of PM Thatcher's death.

April 23, 2013 at 7:13 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

The U.S. imprisonment rate still looks surprisingly.. dictatorial for a country which prides itself on its Enlightenment heritage.

As pointed out by RS, that's on account of our large population of "vibrancy". However, if the progressives get the ability to lock up conservatives without a trial and on a large scale they would do so and every ounce as gleefully as Kim Jong Un.

April 23, 2013 at 7:18 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

It depends what you want.

What is it that we need? To me it seems we need only two things:

1) Mostly capitalist policy with some reasonable welfare protections (with emphasis on "reasonable" not lifestyle, unless legitimately permanently disabled) with some crony capitalism thrown in to keep certain niche industries a la BIG-Agriculture happy and a smattering of Jacksonian populism, just for fun.

2) Pro-white demographic policies.

Beyond that, there's nothing else we need the government to do because, as Dick Nixon correctly pointed out, the country is designed to run itself. With the above two policies we would be more than back in the game.

The first one, capitalism, we are guaranteed to get in some form or fashion from any business oligarchy restoration.

The second policy would be easy to implement. Just pay non-white immigrants large citizenship/greencard buyouts to leave, sterilize criminals and minority welfare dependents, allow only whites to immigrate, and ramp up crime enforcement against our wonderful "Criminal Nationalities" as Stalin referred to his mighty Chechens.

#2 will require some propagandizing to business leaders who will need time to detox after decades of supplicating before EEOC race commissars.

But it can probably be done if pro-white demographics are put into terms of business self interest.

Some benefits of pro-white demographics would be businessmen could get support for large scale European immigration than non-white immigration because white immigrants don't carry the same negatives against white standards of living as nonwhites.

i.e., Whites will tolerate large levels of white immigration (even though it would depress their wages and fatten corporate profits) because they won't have to pull their children out of schools if they 90% white immigrant as they would if they became 90% non-white. Other benefits are white workforces are happier and, hence, more productive in racially homogoneous teams as Robert Putnam's work suggests. Services would be much better if more services were provided by well mannered Europeans as opposed some scowling, unabrowed piece of crap from Sri Lanka. And a young Polish babe working at the corporate onsite Starbucks or ski resort would make for a more satisfying mistress for the top executives.

The case for pro-white demographics can be tailored in many ways to appeal to a restored business class, but we need a non-insane elite to listen to it. Removing the Cathedral at least gives HBD a hearing.

On to the rest of your wishlist:

I demand new Wagners and Mahlers in every Texan metropolis,

Unlikely. This country rarely produces high-art. As a nation founded to serve businessmen, not monarchs, we do pop culture that can be mass marketed.

Only European monarchs are capable of sponsoring the great works. To reach high art the atrocious EU will have to unplugged and then the monarchs will have to find a way back to their thrones.

To get the Bolshoi, Hermitage, Pushkin, Tchaikovsky you need a Romanov. To get Bernini, Michelangelo, and Da Vinci you need Renaissance Italy. Etc. American high culture? Your moon colonies will have Priceline.com discounts before that happens.

15 M cute White chicks of pure breed

I suggest weighting whites only immigration to favor Southern and Eastern Europeans over British and Germans because the latter two, alas, produce the least attractive and least feminine of women in all Europe.

On the plus side, British and German women have made some excellent leaders thanks to their lack of feminity, e.g., Catherine the Great, Elizabeth I, Thatcher, etc.

As for moon colonies, you're on your own on that one!

April 23, 2013 at 8:08 PM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

That reminds me, TUJ has not named any of the corporate leaders that would be able and willing to govern as oligarchs. I imagine if he did name one, the guy would be an underwhelming choice like Walker.

The Cathedral fired an awful lot of political (and possibly actual) artillery against Walker, more than they used against Mitt Romney.

You ask for a suitable oligarch? Try Donald Trump who at CPAC strongly hinted we should import more European people because the Hispanics will never vote Republican.

April 23, 2013 at 8:10 PM  
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April 23, 2013 at 10:12 PM  
Blogger Debra said...

Quite a few years ago I was stunned to realize that the steamrolling Paulinian project, which is a combination of the Judeo-Christian sacralization of human life as an absolute good (an advantage with no disadvantages...) and Christian individualism (the singular subject, an exacerbated individual human consciousness painfully alone and atomized in a mass of other similar isolated consciousnesses) was taking us to the place where a COMMON identity, and a common good would dissolve, making us ungovernable.
The idea of "the commons" would dissolve.
The media may devote mucho time, energy, and dollars to an autopsy of the recent incident in Boston, but it is likely that isolated, renegade individuals will increasingly be behind them.
We are still looking for the groups behind these isolated individuals but they are probably not there.
In such a context, the idea of COMMON interests of any ethnic group is problematic too.
By the way, the... TEMPLE is hard at work in France right now, destroying any semblance of... CONFIDENTIALITY (called "secret bancaire" here) in order to, in true Christ warrior fashion, stamp out corruption.
François Hollande, our new.. Christ, at war with the banks.. In a country where people are proud to say that they have never opened the Bible. Hallucinant.
Sigh. Those old narratives..
Undiscovered Jew, as though there were ONE old world culture to restore... The Catholic.. FEUDAL foundation of Western European culture which incorporates its Celtic, pre Christian elements too, is under fierce attack from our.. Temple (and its Christ...). In France, at least. I won't speak for elsewhere.
By the way, my future daughter in law is Malgache, from Madagascar... She is beautiful, smart, and has a form of intelligence that my white, school educated son does NOT have. And the experience of poverty. That definitely makes her.. VALUABLE in my eyes, and a welcome addition to our family... (Plus, we get along very well, and I love her as one of my own now.)
Really, I think we ALL need to learn to make do with less... And I'm making an effort in that sense, too.
The current... Temple is certainly pushing mixed marriages, and I don't really approve, but considering that I myself (like you guys, all of you, by the way..) am a product of the Temple, I'm learning to live with my paradoxes.
Remember that no matter how high, hard, and much you gripe.. you ARE a product of the Temple.
To think otherwise is to suffer from hybris.

April 24, 2013 at 12:44 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

Au contraire, I was basically raised by Nietzsche . . . the Vienna Secession . . . Job and Song of Songs . . . Proverbs of Hell. Not that I understood very much as a dreamy young dolt. All in good time.

April 24, 2013 at 5:20 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

> To get the Bolshoi, Hermitage, Pushkin, Tchaikovsky you need a Romanov.

Hilarious . . . heard of Van Gogh, Gaugin, Rimbaud? The mocked-at John Keats? Wagner wrote The Ring while in impoverished exile over '48. Nietzsche and Stendhal passed from consciousness in obscurity along with Blake. Berlioz was treated with lifelong contempt by the establishment, though not at all by Wagner and Liszt (note, you should be listening to the requiem not the symphonie fantastique).

Not that patronage doesn't help.

It's true that American maxi-culture pretty much consists of two movies from Malick (Texan) and Bellow's Augie March, plus a couple of assorted poems and Thoreau. A few canvases like Carnation Lily Lily Rose, which I exhibited here before. A few other things.

That's mainly because people who really wanted to be near the existing art treasures of Europe didn't come here in the first place. 'In our genes'.

April 24, 2013 at 5:42 AM  
Anonymous RS said...

I am more pan-European in feeling. I would love to have 30 M Poles and Russians, but they seem to be needed by Poland and Russia, which has no excess of them.

April 24, 2013 at 5:49 AM  
Anonymous The Undiscovered Jew said...

Not that patronage doesn't help.

Rimbaud, et al, still needed aristocratic patronage to set the environmental stage for High Kultur.

This country has never produced high culture and likely never will, unless it is imported from the Old Continent. As Coolidge said, the business of America is business.

Yes.

I would love to have 30 M Poles and Russians, but they seem to be needed by Poland and Russia, which has no excess of them.

I was thinking of setting whites only immigration to around 300,000 a year. But it might make sense to have zero immigration in some cases. However, assuming we have any immigration at all, then, obviously, all immigrants must be white.

April 27, 2013 at 7:42 AM  

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