Saturday, September 12, 2009

It's not just me...

Greetings good citizen,

Weekends are tough as the ‘news cycle’ sort of stops in its tracks…not that I’m bitchin’, the respite is nice.

That said, I closed yesterday’s offering with a rather grim assessment of the latest short range intelligence coming out of the blogosphere and speculated it ‘might’ just be me. But as tonight’s offering shows, I’m not the only one that has a pessimistic outlook.

[Purloined from: The Automatic Earth]

Friday, September 11, 2009
Through the prism of fraud and poverty

Ilargi: I’ll try to take a slightly different approach today, while remembering the dead, and let someone else do the talking for a change.

Yesterday, I picked up the article below, written by an investment adviser named J. S. Kim, who puts his finger right where it hurts most. In my view, everybody needs to read it who can. Though I’ve never actually met Kim, and, since he charges about $3000 per hour for a private consultation, likely never will, I must say he has a remarkably sharp eye, and a pen that makes his analysis as good as probably anything I've seen recently.

Kim's words appeal to me especially because at this point in time I feel it's increasingly important to provide an appropriately sized counter-weight against the hollowed-out echo chamber of ultimately irrelevant here-and-gone exuberance that spreads around the world. It's as false as it is dangerous. People, on an individual, community and societal basis, will make decisions based on the illusion that growth is back and the recession but an unpleasant memory. Resources that might still have been used to build some kind of shelter from the storm are instead incessantly being wasted not on building solid foundations but on decorative gargoylic elements for the rooftop, never mind that the supporting walls have crumbled beyond any call at recognition or redemption. Are you really hungry enough for good tidings to set your own house on fire?

What this will lead to, and indeed already has, is levels of poverty, both in scope and in depth, which we haven't seen in a long, long time. And which, unless we act to halt their advance, will blow our communities and societies to smithereens from the inside.

When I say that you can judge the quality of a society by the way it takes care of its weakest, many if not most Americans will immediately think of the word "socialism", even as they don't know what it means. But it's not about partisan political choices, about freedom, or the pursuit of happiness, or about big government. It's very simply about minimum requirements for a functional society, period. You can't have tens of millions of people being unemployed and/or living below the poverty line for extended lengths of time without resorting to oppressive measures of physical force aimed at keeping down those who have landed in your gutters. And if you would choose that option, one that many Americans would, knowingly or not, support, then freedom takes on the meaning of "the freedom to repress others", or even "the freedom to repress whoever you can", and down the line, as the single logical outcome, Orwell's "some animals are more equal than others".

While elements of this notion may seem to have much appeal to many of those who remain standing for now, don't be fooled. Unless you want to see soldiers and tanks overflowing your neighborhoods, not providing for your weakest is not an option. And no, you won't feel just as happy about your life, and that of your families, if and when on your way to work you’re forced to pass by children starving by the side of the road while clasping a shotgun in your lap. A functioning society, whatever political label you might prefer to stick on it, is possible only when its members manage to suppress the temptation to take so much for themselves that too little to survive is left for their neighbors.

And them there's your picks: either choose temporarily increased riches at the cost of blowing up your communities, or voluntarily give up on some of it in order to preserve them. Sure, we haven’t had to deal with issues such as these for decades now, and for most of us not in our lifetimes. That was because we were growing, or at least were able to fool ourselves into thinking we were. Present market developments have many among us believing we still are growing.

The human mind in all its segments and facets, developed over millions of years, is the ultimate and perfect sucker for such ideas. That doesn't make them any more true, though. You simply can't grow your economy by borrowing money from yourself. Still, that is, in the final analysis, the only underlying cause for the rally we're about to see run out the door never to return.

We are here, 25 years after 1984 has passed, and 61 years after George Orwell wrote his book by that name. If he could see us now, do you think he would he feel vindicated for being so right, or instead desperate that we have walked into the trap with our eyes wide open despite his warnings?

Here’s the link to the article Ilargi refers to in the beginning of his ‘intro’.

Ironically, because this happens all the time, I posted last night’s piece and then ran into this article. (In fact, I don’t think this article was posted until this morning, the previous day’s post was still up last night.) Which is to say this piece didn’t influence the commentary in my own work (and as far as I know Ilargi doesn’t read me…)

I feel as Ilargi does, it’s important that people not buy into this false recovery or start making decisions based on the idea the ‘depression’ is behind us. It’s not, it can’t be, nothing at all has been ‘fixed’, nothing has changed and that alone should frighten most of you a whole lot.

If you follow the link you will find Mr. Kim also thinks the rally is ‘fraudulent’ (to put it mildly!) He’s also not afraid to point a finger at the guilty parties…

I’m easing up to this one good citizen because it is important. Ilargi is right, society itself is being threatened and (from what we saw yesterday in Joe’s video) there are a lot of people not ‘up to the challenge’.

Registered conservatives only make up 20% of the electorate…but they win elections, which means the number of people who know the definition of socialism are outnumbered by the people who have no clue that ALL societies are SOCIALIST, BAR NONE!

This by itself is disturbing beyond belief because it means most people are ignorant why they belong to a society in the first place. In fact, many are so clueless it has never occurred to them to wonder why they live among a bunch of people that speak the same language and dress like they do!

In fact, they don’t really understand what a ‘liberal’ believes. Seriously, half of Limbaugh listeners think ‘liberalism’ is a kind of disease you can catch from reading books! (Or being born in a liberal household, which makes you ‘defective’ from the get-go.)

Which is to point out that when the shit hits the fan, a full 50% of the population will be opposed to doing anything about it. In fact, these, er, ‘misguided souls’ will come out on the side of the ‘oppressors’.

And not one of them will realize they are the equivalent of ‘good life’ in Saberhagen’s Berserker universe…

Yes, good citizen, a tough sled has just gotten tougher.

Thanks for letting me inside your head,


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