Thursday, December 18, 2008

It's been a while... お久しぶり

First off, I'd like to apologize for being away for so long. But real life takes a priority over my internet musings. Anyways, having taken care of business for now, I find myself with some time to comment on the events of the last 4 months. Probably most prominent in everybody's minds is the full-blown financial panic that is sweeping over the world. The dollar is trading for 88 yen, the Dow is down, way down, and the big auto companies are on the verge of collapse. In the midst of this we have Greenspan lamenting the free-market system and Fortune 500 executives running down to Washington to beg for money--your money.

So, it goes without saying that a lot of people are wondering what Obama is going to do with this mess when he gets into office. A lot of people, that is, except for me. That's because I know exactly what he's going to do. He's going to spend a lot of government money. He's going to give a lot of money to big business, of course not the same big business cronies that Bush has, he'll give it to his green frontier democratic buddies. They may very well let the car companies hang (as they really should) but I don't think they'll go through with it. The Democrats are too reliant on unionized labor. Although the only way they're going to be able to pay for all these bailouts and all the social programs they want to cram down our throats is to raise taxes. Or perhaps they'll just raise taxes on businesses and the rich. (As if that won't be even more of a reason for companies and rich people to put their money elsewhere). Or, like Bernanke and the incompetent quacks at the FED have already done, devalue the currency like there's no tomorrow.

0% interest rates are not a good thing. Printing money on 0% interest rates to "increase cash flow" is not a good thing. It has one tangible result. Yes, money increases. But the downside is that money is worth less. Or worthless as the case may be. Japan is still stuck with interest rates next to nothing after 20 years of recession. It took Koizumi and his aggressive stance of let them fail and make them write off their bad debt, that cleansed the banking industry and let Japan recover, if only temporarily. For a brief span, the Japanese economy recovered. But it wasn't long before the looting bureaucrats, the ruling daimyo of the LDP decided to sink their teeth into the only freshly rejuvenated business sector. First off was a crack-down on foreign-sourced investments, increased government intervention in mergers and sales of businesses. A raise in taxes, the dismantling of Livedoor, and the ongoing stink of corruption in Japanese politics all combined to nudge things back over the edge. This was happening well-before the housing meltdown in the US, despite what the pundits say. I know. I've been watching the news, and I have a fairly decent long-term memory. Nonetheless, America wants to charge right after Japan and do exactly the same wrong things they did. Nobody, except perhaps Jim Rogers and perhaps the far too splintered assortment of objectivists and libertarians out there has a real understanding of what needs to be done...or perhaps nobody else who's speaking...

Dismantle the FED. Dismantle the government's centralized banking scheme. This disaster, and the long string of disasters that have been happening for the last hundred years are all the direct result of government intervention. Think about it this way, did they have such a thing as unemployment in early days after the American revolution, when business was relatively unrestricted? No.

Yes, there were poor people and there were rich people. There will always be poor people and rich people. But the difference is that the classical American system enabled people to become rich by their own effort, with the fruits of their will. And with this freedom came the condemnation to poverty for the lack of effort. This is the principle of social justice. That those who do not strive to improve their lives shall not be able to, and that those who do, will be. Whether they will achieve personal happiness or not, is something which no government can ever promise, no human being can ever promise another. But the freedom to pursue happiness, the freedom to strive for it, to grasp for it, to work for it, matched with the opportunity to seize it if it is in your grasp---this is the freedom which drives the mind and hearts of men and women to do great things and to pull themselves up from the sordid depravity of apathetic resignation to misery which so characterizes life in the collectivist nations throughout history.

But you, who would preach that social justice must be meted out by the government, those of you who preach that we should all be held hostage to one man's vision of the future, to one man's dreams, even if he is selected by all of our neighbors, you preach a different creed. For how many years must we pay off the future? For how many years must the children of today be sacrificed for the phantoms of tomorrow? Whose vision is worth the slavery of a single man? A single woman? A single child? The founders of this country said that freedom was the heart and soul of value, that without freedom, there is no value to be had in society. That without freedom, we are slaves. And so we are.

'How can we be slaves?' you may ask. After all, are we not surrounded by art and entertainment to suit any fantasy? Are we not free to elect whoever we want for office? (Although the efforts to keep third-party candidates from participating in elections may cast some doubt on that premise.) What else would you call it when all of us must work as hard as we can to gather what resources we can to survive, but people come with the threat of imprisonment or violence to take what you have worked to bring into creation by force? The presumption is that the fruits of your labor are not yours. The presumption is that they belong to your master and that it is your master's will which has the right to decide how they are dispersed. Whether that master is one man who seized power, or if that master is a group of men who your neighbors have chosen to lead you, even if that master was chosen by you yourself--that does not grant them the moral right to your labor. If you grant others the moral right to dictate the terms of your work and the use of its products, then you grant them the moral right to treat you as a slave. And so we are treated. Groups of men and women gather to decide how they can divvy up the pie of American wealth without any consideration that they did nothing to create it, and have no moral claim to it. They cite legal precedent as the foundation of their right, common law borrowed from Europe.

What they neglect to recognize is that America's break from Europe was an ideological break, a moral break. The morality of Europe had led to the servitude of its citizenry and generations of feudal wars, alliances, treachery, and corruption. The strengths of America were the strengths of an emergent American morality, one which died stillborn for want of a voice to express it in terms detached from the old traditions of altruism. And altrusim has slowly choked that system of strength until America will soon fade into the ranks of other statist, socialist nations, chomping at the bit for a taste of world power. What could have once been a shining model of the glory of human liberation, is slippy into the murky, soiled, and shabby frame of a beggar whining about destiny. A nation of men and women who forged their own destiny with their bare hands, is being whipped and shaped into a nation of equivicators and rationalizers. Let reality be the final judge and arbiter of this debate, of this age-long struggle. Open your eyes and see that the tragedies in the headlines today are the culmination of thousands of years of repeating the same mistakes over and over again. For how long can we repeat those very same mistakes without realizing that the answer is to try something different, something which has not been tried, something which would set us all free to pursue our dreams to the extent of our abilities and fly as high as we are able? Why not try freedom? Why not try capitalism? Real capitalism. Not the watered down, hypocritical vacillation characterized by base opportunists like Greenspan. Real capitalism, like that envisioned by Ayn Rand (whom Greenspan betrayed the moment he joined the FED). Instead, is it really better to emulate a socially stagnant Japan or the disastrous economic policies of Soviet Russia?

Who pays for it? Who pays for it all? We all do. We are all victims in this, and some are both victim and victimizer. But we will all pay the price. Our children will pay it and their children. By supposedly working for the future we are instead signing our children over into a life of slavery, where their dreams will always be ranked second to the demands of any organized group of their neighbors. What's the price? The price is paid for in deserted store fronts. The price is paid in unemployment. The price is paid in disease and crime. The price for your slave-owner's paradise, is that everyone is enslaved, noone and everyone is master, and we all descend into poverty together. Or is it that you imagine yourself in the 'privileged' elite that won't have to muck about with all that. Well, I suppose an altruist like Warren Buffett would probably be the last to feel the effects of the meltdown. But when need and apathy has strained their functional capacity and drained the motivation of it's creative minds--it won't be long before the institutional foundations of businesses around the world come tumbling down like a cascading array of dominoes.

If you are still not convinced, if instead you are more than ever insistent that the only way to cure our current ails is to whip us into better and better shape, to force us at the point of the gun and demand our cooperation through violence, then you deserve everything that's coming down the line. Why? Because it's your choice. The ideas you promote, the people you elect have a tangible effect on the world we live in. You can either choose to make it a better world, one where people are freer and happier. Or you can prolong the suffering, dispense misery and condone the execution of the human soul. You WILL reap that which you sow.

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