The Burning Platform’s quote of the day sums it all up perfectly: “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” George Orwell
Contemporary governance embodies corruption within deranged systems resting on foundations of theft and fraud. Corruption makes reform impossible; derangement assures eventual collapse.
“Defense” spending is a misnomer. The US could defend itself at a small fraction of what it spends on its military and intelligence. The US government’s foreign intervention and maintenance of a confederated empire are actually a welfare and transfer payment program. Spending has become the point: maximizing the payoff to military and intelligence contractors, their think tanks and lobbying arms, captured politicians, and the vast bureaucracies. Winning wars doesn’t serve the interests of those beneficiaries, lengthy and inconclusive engagements do.
The war on terrorism is a mother lode. The enemy is whomever the government deems it to be, wherever the government chooses to fight it. The war itself creates more terrorism. Victory cannot be defined; the war will go on as long as the current ideology remains in place. It enriches the military-intelligence-industrial complex, but a war-without-end welfare program is clearly deranged, a fitting target of satire. It will continue indefinitely because its beneficiaries have far more incentive and resources to promote their interests than the rest of us have in promoting peace.
Politicians use other people’s money to line their own pockets and buy votes; recipients accept the largess and become dependent on it. There is no limit to demands that the government fund “needs,” and no limit on the political willingness to meet those demands. It is testament to this lack of limits that the world’s richest countries cannot fund the demand for redistributive largess from their countries’ own resources. Aggregated, they have accumulated the largest debt load in history, far beyond their ability to repay it.
Mounting debt generates its own limit: insolvency. Demographics shaped by the transfer state compound the problem. Stealing the fruits of labor penalizes honest productivity and constricts opportunity. Faced with bleak prospects, many of the young opt out of the financial obligations of starting families, rearing children, or even supporting themselves. Birthrates have dropped far below replacement in most developed countries: fewer people to fund taxes and debt just as the number of putative beneficiaries skyrocket. Pension shortfalls around the world are the canary in this coal mine. The mathematics are inescapable. Present arrangements are unsustainable, but will continue until debt markets and taxpayers rebel.
They will face a counter-rebellion by dependency-warped recipients deprived of that which was never really theirs. Those who can but don’t honestly produce are both dishonest and unproductive. Faced with a cut-off, expect chaos and violence.
Debt and taxes fund governments and enslaves their constituents. They’re the foundation for the second most insidious racket: the banking complex. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 began the shift from real money (gold) to debt, enshrined the banking cartel, and was, through the establishment of the lender of last resort function, the first major step towards making taxpayers the guarantors of bank liabilities. Later, deposit insurance and Too Big To Fail (TBTF) sealed that guaranty.
Bankers have found heaven on earth, but their paradise has destroyed the economy. TBTF has removed capitalism’s most potent corrective: failure. Government debt issuance, central bank monetization, interest rate suppression, and random, whimsical, and absurd policies provide banks with middleman’s profits, inside information, access to cheap funding for speculation, and, as a particularly vicious policy—the war on cash—gathers steam, captive deposits. They destroy honest saving and investment and burden the economy with an increasingly onerous load of debt and taxes. Even governments and central banks, entities that can conjure their own debt and mandate its acceptance, will for all intents and purposes go broke if spending outruns revenues long enough.
The most insidious racket? While the banking camarilla is nothing to sneeze at, lawyers writing laws and regulations must be reckoned the Mt. Everest of rackets. They write, implement, interpret, and enforce the laws, augmenting their wealth and power every step of the way. Even the bankers ostensibly kowtow to the government (what happens behind the scenes is another matter). The repository of lawful coercive force, government inevitable becomes organized crime and the law nothing more than the means to corrupt ends. Write the law and write your own ticket.
Standards of honesty and integrity crumble in societies based on theft and fraud, replaced by a new standard. Coercive, redistributive “altruism” excuses all manner of corruption among the powerful and the servitude of those who either choose or are forced to produce. Bread, circuses, and moral degeneracy entertain and placate the masses. The bizarre becomes commonplace, but the populace grows sated with each new manifestation, always more “transgressive” (of standards that no longer exist) than the previous one, in progressively shorter spans of time.
Anything and everything goes. Only one standard remains that rouses virtually everyone—rich and poor, powerful and powerless—to righteous indignation: the more pervasive the corrupt derangement, the less acceptable it is to talk about it. In our own time, the obvious conclusion that the warfare and welfare states are morally and fiscally bankrupt, doomed to collapse, remains confined to the fringe.
Here’s a rewrite of the “Emperor’s New Clothes” in light of modern realities.
The child points out the Emperor’s nudity.
The Emperor’s beholden courtiers and the impoverished but thoroughly cowed townspeople immediately threaten and intimidate the child.
Naively stubborn, he repeats himself until someone claps a hand over his mouth.
The headline next day: “Child who Questioned Emperor’s Attire Found Dead in Field Outside of Town.”
Hillary Clinton wins support not despite her corruption and derangement, but because of it, especially among the establishment. Their rackets need a participant and patron. Donald Trump is hardly a naively honest child, but he has had the temerity to question a few rackets, notably immigration, trade, and the warfare state’s global empire. Questioning that last one—because it’s the largest and most lucrative—has provoked copious quantities of vehement vitriol.
Truth can awaken minds and rouse people to action, posing an obvious threat to the corrupt and deranged. Should Trump win the election, he will assuredly be presented with the same choice as the child in the story: get with the program or die. Odds are he folds, in which case those of us rooting for meaningful change will be left with the hope that the inevitable collapse occurs before we die.