Category Archives: Culture

A Global Fiat Currency: “One Ring to Rule Them All”, by Thorsten Polleit

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One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

We’re fighting Sauron. From Thorsten Polleit at mises.org:

1.

Human history can be viewed from many angles. One of them is to see it as a struggle for power and domination, as a struggle for freedom and against oppression, as a struggle of good against evil.

That is how Karl Marx (1818–83) saw it, and Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) judged similarly. Mises wrote:

The history of the West, from the age of the Greek Polis down to the present-day resistance to socialism, is essentially the history of the fight for liberty against the encroachments of the officeholders.1

But unlike Marx, Mises recognized that human history does not follow predetermined laws of societal development but ultimately depends on ideas that drive human action.

From Mises’s point of view, human history can be understood as a battle of good ideas against bad ideas.

Ideas are good if the actions they recommend bring results that are beneficial for everyone and lead the actors to their desired goals;

At the same time, good ideas are ethically justifiable, they apply to everyone, anytime and anywhere, and ensure that people who act upon them can survive.

On the other hand, bad ideas lead to actions that do not benefit everyone, that do not cause all actors to achieve their goals and/or are unethical.

Good ideas are, for example, people accepting “mine and yours”; or entering into exchange relationships with one another voluntarily. Bad ideas are coercion, deception, embezzlement, theft.

Evil ideas are very bad ideas, ideas through which whoever puts them into practice is consciously harming others. Evil ideas are, for example, physical attacks, murder, tyranny.

2.

With Lord of the Rings, J. J. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) wrote a literary monument about the epic battle between good and evil. His fantasy novel, published in 1954, was a worldwide success, not least because of the movie trilogy, released from 2001 to 2003.

What is Lord of the Rings about? In the First Age, the deeply evil Sauron—the demon, the hideous horror, the necromancer—had rings of power made by the elven forges.

Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,

Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,

Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,

One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,

One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.

In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.

But Sauron secretly forges an additional ring into which he pours all his darkness and cruelty, and this one ring, the master ring, rules all the other rings.

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Doug Casey on the Rise of Phyles and Like-Minded Communities… and Why You Need to Find One Right Now

Thanks to the Internet and the wonders of modern travel, you can have like-minded friends all over the world. From Doug Casey at internationalman.com:

Phyles

International Man: It seems now more than ever that people have less and less in common with others who happen to carry the same government ID.

At the same time, like-minded people are finding each other from across the world.

What’s your take on this trend? What does it mean for the nation-state?

Doug Casey: Once upon a time, like-minded people came to America because of their desire for personal freedom and financial opportunity. That’s part of what made America what it is. Americans were the kind of people that were drawn to the ideals put forth by the country’s Founding Fathers.

But now America is drawing the wrong kind of people. They’re not people who necessarily want freedom. Some do, of course. But many are drawn to the massive welfare benefits, free medical care, and free schooling.

Past migrants may have been dirt poor and ignorant, but they had to make their own way. The State didn’t subsidize them; it gave them absolutely nothing. But that’s not the case today. The character of America has changed, and so have the kind of people who want to migrate here. They don’t want to accept American values. They want to maintain their Somali, Afghan, or Haitian values. Most won’t become Americans; they’ll become United Statesers. America, a republic sharing a common culture, is being washed away and replaced by the US, a multicultural domestic empire.

America used to be totally unique, but now the US is just another nation-state like all the others. Of course, change is a constant in all areas of life. But I’ll miss the America of the before times because it was a refuge for things like free thought, free speech, free markets, and entrepreneurialism. Oh well, nothing lasts forever, and America had a pretty good run.

With that said, the main danger to you is your own government, particularly the US government headquartered in Washington DC, and to a lesser degree, state and local governments. Like other United Statesers, you’re not personally endangered by Iranians, the Chinese, or Russians—they’re on the other side of the world. You are, however, directly threatened by the US government and by other US citizens. They widely, indeed overwhelmingly, now accept socialist and welfare-state principles. Your fellow United Statesers don’t mind turning you into a serf. You’re largely on your own when it comes to trouble.

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The Importance of Dune Part 2: The Jihad, by Tom Luongo

Tom Luongo sees many similarities between Frank Herbert’s classic and the present day West. From Tom Luongo at tomluongo.me:

In 2020 I wrote a pair of editorials for the Gold Goats ‘n Guns Newsletter in sympathy to the movie’s original release for last December. This one appeared in November after the (s)election of Joe Biden as U.S. president. I’ve written a lot about the ideas contained in this essay but I felt it appropriate to revisit it now that we’re in the window of seeing our story play out on the big screen, where art still has the possibility of moving us to action.


The Jihad

“We Fremen have a saying: God created Arrakis to train the faithful. One cannot go against the word of God.”

— Frank Herbert

In my last editorial I talked about why Frank Herbert’s Dune was even more relevant today than when it was published in 1965.  As we approached the election, after re-reading Dune, I made it into Herbert’s sequel, Dune Messiah.

And having not read it in thirty years I was amazed at how good it was.  The whole book is about a moment in time that Paul, who can see into the future, cannot see beyond.  The 2020 election felt exactly that way to me.

That moment was a singularity, a point we pass through without knowing what lies on the other side.  The parallels were simply too deep for me to ignore.  The trope Herbert used in Dune Messiah has been copied a hundred times since then, but its metaphoric power remains the same.

A moment like that turns everything on its head when it happens.  It shattered Paul’s life and ushered in the next period of chaos far deadlier than the last.

Dune left us knowing that with the victory over the entrenched, sclerotic power structure of the great houses there would be a religious jihad by the Fremen which would sweep across the galaxy like a plague of killer locusts.

That jihad occurred and Paul was powerless to stop it.

And, like Paul, this is what I fear is coming. The results of the election confirm for me that what comes next will be a terrible thing.

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An Outline of Post-Western Civilization, by Paul Rosenberg

When you get rid of the best parts of the generations that proceeded yours, it’s not generally an improvement. From Paul Rosenberg at freemansperspective.com:

Western civilization is over. It may live on in some of us, but at the public level it has been replaced. Every major institution has thrown in with the new civilization.

The question facing us, then, is what this new civilization is like. And so, with the usual caveats, here are the essential components of the new boss, Post-Western civilization:

Governance: Democracy may remain as a sort of talisman, but fewer and fewer changes of power will be forthcoming. Already Europe is controlled by unelected apparatchiks and the United States is ruled by executive order. (Canada has perhaps been worse and Australia has very definitely been worse.) Resistance has been minimal. Public information has been censored and police forces have been willing to enforce almost anything.

Commerce: Stakeholders (giant corporations, states and a few others) have taken control. Small businesses have been destroyed en masse and the middle class has been hollowed out. Commerce and state are no longer separated.

Debt: Debt would normally be considered part of commerce, but over the past two decades, it has been universally available and Westerners have used it to maintain an illusion of prosperity. This left them unable to resist a usurping civilization. To put it simply, Westerners have been silenced by a variant of Coach Lombardi’s dictum: Debt makes cowards of us all.

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An Open Letter To General Mark Milley, by Quentin L. Smith

General Milley gets a lesson in the white rage he professes not to understand. From Quentin L. Smith at thebluestateconservative.com:

During testimony before the Congress of the United States you stated:

I want to understand white rage, and I’m white…What is it that caused thousands of people to assault this building and try to overturn the Constitution of the United States of America?…I want to find that out.

Well, General, I am a 76-year-old white man, a former officer in the United States Army (1967-70), and a retired Special Agent of the FBI with nearly 29 years of service (1971-1999).  I attended Trump’s rally on January 6th and I think I may be able to help you understand the reasons for “white rage.”

You impugn the motives of hundreds of thousands of patriotic citizens: whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Asians, male, female, young and old.  They weren’t trying to overturn the Constitution!  They wanted nothing more than to make their voices heard and, if possible, delay the certification of an election they believed, with probable cause, was stolen.  You and the media repeatedly claim Trump’s allegations of a “stolen election” are false.  Neither you, I, nor anyone else know whether this is true or not because the evidence (hundreds of witness affidavits signed under penalty of perjury, pristine mail-in ballots, xeroxed ballots, the synchronized shutdown of ballot counting in 5 swing states until observers were removed from the election headquarters, etc.) has never been tested in court or disclosed to the people.

Apparently, my presence in Washington, DC on January 6th qualifies me, in your estimation, as one of those “outraged white people” you want to understand.  Since you appear to be somewhat intellectually challenged, let me give you just 13 easy to understand reasons for my “white rage” as you like to call it.

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Do You Live in a Social Capital Desert? by Charles Hugh Smith

What can you draw on from the people around you, the people you know? What can they draw on from you? From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

Necessity is a magnet, and perhaps as what’s essential in our lives changes, social capital will start sprouting, even in the most unlikely places.

“Desert” has become a favored metaphor: food deserts describe neighborhoods with few places to buy fresh fruits and vegetables, democracy deserts describe political regions rigged by gerrymandering, and so on.

Many of us working our way forward to a more resilient, sustainable and healthier future talk about social capital–the intangible but very real network of connections and relationships that characterize social mammals such as humans.

We call this network of ties and trust “capital” because it takes time and effort to build and maintain, and it generates value.

The value generated by social capital has many forms, but the one most commonly cited is favors with an economic value. We say we’re “calling in favors” when we seek help in locating clients, contractors, mechanics, employees, etc., or ask for help in childcare, yardwork, picking someone up at the airport, etc.

The foundations of this form of social capital are 1) longstanding ties to families, schools, home towns or neighborhoods, etc., and 2) reciprocity, being generous with one’s connections, time, experience and expertise to one’s network.

This “investment” isn’t made with calculated returns in mind (though some people do offer help in the hopes of gaining something of far more value than they offered); the eventual value generated is unknown, but everything that’s given–especially the trust that you do what you say you’ll do– is like a savings account that adds value to your place in the network.

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Wither Germany? by Francis Lee

Germany is the powerhouse of the EU and could certainly go it alone if it wanted. From Francis Lee at thesaker.is:

Germany has been the keystone of the failing EU. Does it intend to remain so, or is it time to pursue its own interests?

Germany has been and still is the most important economy in Europe, the export-driven colossus and if not yet the most important imperial power; that designation belongs to France with its Force de Frappe (Nuclear Strike Force), and additionally the UK which is also a member of the nuclear club but has since left the EU remains as a loyal – and oh so loyal! – member of NATO. (1) However, Germany is without question the most dominant country in Europe and still the main creditor and funder of euro states. Looking back to the rise of (West) Germany was a key presence in the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) in 1951. These various states pooled the coal and steel resources of six European countries: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg which became known by the acronym – BENELUX. These states would be collectively known as “the Six”. It was argued that the pooling of coal and steel resources greatly reduced the threat of war between France and (West) Germany.

It was perhaps entirely predictable that Germany with its system of Bismarckian style guided capitalism would emerge to poll position in this imperial club. At the time France had other, imperial and pressing commitments in Algeria and Indo-China, the British had commitments more or less everywhere East of Suez, and even little Belgium had problems in the Congo (Zaire). Germany had no such incumbrances on its economic development and was thus free to power ahead with its version of guided, bank-funded capitalism, and avoid the pitfalls of Anglo-American financialised capitalism. Under Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and Economics Minister Ludwig Erhard Germany’s rebirth was dubbed the Wirtschaftswunder (economic miracle). A far-reaching contract between business and labour unions allowed the rapid rebuilding of industry and strong growth, creating the foundations of an economic powerhouse.

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US Collective Suicide, by Chris Hedges

Governments die, people live on. Most of us will still be around after the US empire departs this veil of tears, so the “Collective Suicide” is overwrought. It’s still a good article. From Chris Hedges at consortiumnews.com:

The return of the Taliban to power will be one more signpost of the end of the American empire — and nobody will be held accountable.

(Original illustration by Mr. Fish)

The debacle in Afghanistan, which will unravel into chaos with lightning speed over the next few weeks and ensure the return of the Taliban to power, is one more signpost of the end of the American empire.

The two decades of combat, the one trillion dollars spent, the 100,000 troops deployed to subdue Afghanistan, the high-tech gadgets, artificial intelligence, cyberwarfare, Reaper drones armed with Hellfire missiles and GBU-30 bombs and the Global Hawk drones with high-resolution cameras, Special Operations Command composed of elite rangers, SEALs and air commandos, black sites, torture, electronic surveillance, satellites, attack aircraft, mercenary armies, infusions of millions of dollars to buy off and bribe the local elites and train an Afghan army of 350,000 that has never exhibited the will to fight, failed to defeat a guerrilla army of 60,000 that funded itself through opium production and extortion in one of the poorest countries on earth.

Like any empire in terminal decay, no one will be held accountable for the debacle or for the other debacles in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Yemen or anywhere else. Not the generals. Not the politicians. Not the CIA and intelligence agencies. Not the diplomats. Not the obsequious courtiers in the press who serve as cheerleaders for war. Not the compliant academics and area specialists. Not the defense industry. Empires at the end are collective suicide machines.

The military becomes in late empire unmanageable, unaccountable, and endlessly self-perpetuating, no matter how many fiascos, blunders and defeats it visits upon the carcass of the nation, or how much money it plunders, impoverishing the citizenry and leaving governing institutions and the physical infrastructure decayed.

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The Visegrad Nations Have Nailed Their Complaints to the EU’s Door, by Tim Kirby

The Eastern European countries don’t want to merge into the EU’s bureaucratic blob. From Tim Kirby at strategic-culture.org:

The Visegrad nations in the center of Europe are challenging the orthodoxy of the EU elite and throughout history direct challenges to enforced dogmas spark a lot of chaos, change, and empower others to stand against the status quo.

Right before the Protestant Revolution in Europe many significant players doubted the necessity of Rome and had some qualms about certain dogma, but they dared not speak heresy, at least not publicly. When Martin Luther nailed his list of complaints to that church door it instantly shifted the Overton Window just enough to make yesterday’s unspeakable blasphemy, become a possible option with many lethal consequences. Luther’s heresy (or bravery depending on your religious views) opened the door for others to follow and led to the downfall of the Catholic Church in many nations, ending Western European Christian unity. It looks like history is yet again repeating itself as certain leaders are spreading a new heresy, openly and loudly against the sacred dogma of 21st century Europe.

We have all heard about the famous Russian law that bans “homosexual propoganda”. This has been blasted by the mainstream media but it is very much an external problem from their standpoint. In the minds of today’s spineless and genderless European hipster serfdom Russia is a distant backwards realm locked eternally in the Dark Ages. The Western subconscious mind is held together by the glue of belief in its own inherent superiority. This makes the Russians eternally bad, but that bad is an “out-group” sort of bad.

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Saving Civilization, by Robert Gore

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Savagery or civilization?

Imagine you had been picked as a juror for the Derek Chauvin trial. Before you hear a shred of evidence, you very well might make a decision most people would not only admit was the better part of valor, but that harmonized perfectly with prevailing morality.

Your pretrial verdict? Guilty. There had been threats since Chauvin was charged with second and third degree murder and second-degree manslaughter that acquittals would provoke rampaging riots. After the riots last summer, no one could doubt the threats’ credibility. A guilty verdict on all counts could avoid injuries, deaths, and billions of dollars in property damage. Against those consequences, what do the rights or the life of a policeman matter? You’re predetermined verdict is for the greater good.

Even if such considerations never entered your head, you’d need extraordinary courage and independence to impartially hear the evidence and if you thought it warranted, vote for acquittal. You’d have to withstand pressure from your fellow jurors. You’d run the risk that your personal information was leaked by some mainstream or social media scumbag and mostly peaceful thugs showed up at your door. You might be canceled out of a job, your business network, and your social circle. Your privacy would be obliterated and reputation ruined in the wilting glare of nonstop publicity and odium. Politicians and other public figures would denounce you.

The chance that one such person would land on the jury was remote, the chance of twelve nonexistent. Under the inverted standard of justice that prevailed, the outcome was always going to be dictated not by the facts of the case, reasoned consideration of the evidence, deliberation, and the applicable law, but by “social considerations,” which is a polite way of saying the mob.

The mob hailed the verdict as justice. It’s the same justice as John Gotti’s three acquittals after his goons intimidated jurors. Chauvin was guilty unless proven innocent beyond a “reasonable” doubt as defined by the mob. In the same vein, the policeman who shot and killed Ashley Babbitt at the Capitol is not guilty—without a trial—because that’s what the mob demanded. Such blatant contradiction is mob justice.

A morality that confers “rights” on mobs and strips those of an individual is the morality of savages. Maxine Waters is a savage, but so too are the members of the Minneapolis City Council who agreed to pay George Floyd’s estate $27 million before Chauvin’s trial had begun, the judge who recognized the prejudicial unfairness of Waters’ inflammatory statements but passed the buck for doing anything about it to the appellate courts, and the political, media, and celebrity jackals from Joe Biden on down who’ve been howling for Chauvin’s conviction since Floyd’s death.

Whatever the justifications they cite for their pre-verdict demands, they are implicitly insisting that Chauvin’s rights are of no consequence. When the “rights” of some outweigh the rights of one, anything goes. There are people who call for reducing the world’s population to 500 million, which implies a genocide of over 7 billion. That such people are on university faculties rather than denounced and shunned as advocates of mass murder shows just how far the barbarism of collectivist justification has advanced, even when the collective embraced is a fraction of the number of individuals whose lives are to be canceled!

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Service and sacrifice are the watchwords of government, the ultimate mob. Who’s served and who’s sacrificed? There has never been a government that has not arrogated to itself the privilege of using force and fraud to strip individuals of their production, their property, their rights, their liberty, and ultimately, their lives. That privilege is governments’ defining essence and is the privilege that has always threatened humanity. The rationales and rhetoric are invariably collective: the demands of the mob supersede individual rights and individual justice.

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