Category Archives: Philosophy

The Friendly Faces of Fascism, by Robert Gore

Like flies drawn to steaming manure, tycoons are drawn to politics and government, all in the interests of a better world, of course.

There are two modes of human interaction: voluntary and involuntary. The symbol of the former is the market; the symbol of the latter is government. Historically, the pendulum has swung back and forth. Since the early 1900s the pendulum has swung towards government and the involuntary. Humanity’s future hinges on whether or not it will swing back. Ominously, many of the biggest beneficiaries of voluntary free choice are ideologically opposed to it.

It may seem paradoxical that Mark Zuckerberg, Eric Schmidt, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, and Tim Cook, among others, build fortunes on the voluntary choices of billions of customers, then join forces with those aligned against voluntary choice. Silicon Valley used to be almost a libertarian outpost, now it’s a bastion of statism. However, there are skewed rationales for it, lodged in the nature of government and business in the 21st century, psychology, and historical precedent.

Government has become so big and all-pervasive that once a business reaches a certain size, it’s going to run into the behemoth blob. Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are huge, and aside from Apple, they dominate their markets. (Apple had a little under 15 percent of the smart phone market in the first quarter of 2017). Computers and the internet are at the heart of the national security state, and Facebook, Google, Apple, and Microsoft are the heart of social media, search, smartphones, communications, and business computing. Along with Amazon, they all have significant roles in cloud data storage. In its voracious quest for information with which to track, blackmail, and subjugate the citizenry, it was inevitable the government would turn to these treasure troves.

How does a company say no to the FBI, the CIA, the Department of Defense, the NSA, and other intrusive government agencies? With difficulty. The “war on terrorism and drugs” rhetoric probably doesn’t cut any mustard, but as Senator Chuck Schumer said, the agencies, “have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.” You get along by going along. Large shareholders—hedge, pension, and mutual funds—and the corporate collections of cowards known as boards of directors would take a dim view of a CEO who for ideological reasons fought a quixotic and ultimately unprofitable battle with the federal government over something as trivial as a principle.

Let’s not forget that the government has $4 trillion a year to throw around. Amazon received a $600 million dollar contract from the CIA in 2013. Tucked into the latest National Defense Authorization Act is an amendment authorizing $54 billion in online purchases by the government. Amazon will undoubtedly get the lion’s share. The government buys billions of dollars worth of computer and smart phone hardware and software every year. It also buys a lot of advertising, and Facebook and Google are the dominant online advertising platforms. You have to keep a customer that large satisfied.

Beyond payola, there’s publicity, prestige, pride, politics, and power. The first thing you do once you’ve acquired your tens of billions is set up a tax-exempt foundation. Founder and foundation then dive head first into the pool of altruistic goop into which anyone who acquires any measure of fame and fortune in contemporary America dives. It simply won’t do to say you’ve accomplished all you’ve accomplished for yourself. You must find a cause greater than yourself and proclaim your devotion to it.

That incantation serves several purposes. Bill Gates transformed from evil monopolist to philanthropic saint after he established his foundation and retired from Microsoft to devote his efforts full-time to it. Once you’ve acquired the halo, you’re ready to grab the power to which you’re wealth and superior intellect entitle you. Like flies drawn to steaming manure, tycoons are drawn to politics and government, all in the interests of a better world, of course.

There’s nothing new about this. In America, the prototype is John D. Rockefeller. He used state of the art refining technology, ruthless negotiating tactics, industrial consolidation, bribery, and governmental suppression of competitors to become the nation’s first billionaire. Rockefeller was a charter member of the oligarchy that guided the US into central banking, the income tax, foreign interventionism, and its nascent empire in the first few decades of the 1900s. His foundation sheltered his fortune from taxes, gave a bunch of money to worthy causes, burnished his image, augmented his power, and promoted world government organs like the Council on Foreign Relations and, after his death, the Trilateral Commission.

Anyone who gets involved with the behemoth blob wants power, the ability to use force to direct the actions of others. Any shred of a morality that recoils at coercively exacting involuntary compliance is abandoned. Involvement with the corrupt obscenity that is our government means either a conscious or unconscious surrender to the Dark Side paradigm: might makes the only wrong and right.

At the heart of it lies a simple truth: governments can anything they want to you if they claim they’re doing it for you. The altruistic veneer conceals every horror, from history’s bloodthirstiest regimes down to nanny state bureaucrats dictating toilets’ flush capacity. A warm place in hell is reserved for those who covet power under cover of professed good intentions. The hottest fires are reserved for those give it to them, surrendering without protest control of their own lives.

Once the government has assumed control, the entrepreneurs and executives of ostensibly private businesses toe the government’s line. It’s the only way to survive and indeed thrive under fascism, the correct label for the current system. All under cover of noble aims and approved good causes, of course. In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand drew a sharp distinction between her competent champions of freedom and the incompetent toadies of soul-crushing altruism, collectivism, and statism. In real life freedom’s biggest beneficiaries have become some of its biggest—because of their competence and gargantuan fortunes— enemies.

The gravest threats to the most basic civil liberties—freedom of thought, expression, and transaction—come from the technology giants. Not simply because they’re the dominant commercial, communications and computing platforms, but because they’ve aligned themselves with the government. They’re engaging in creeping censorship, gathering massive amounts of data, cooperating with the surveillance state, and propagating propaganda. Call it the Orwellian or Panopticon state: Facebook, Google, Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft will be invaluable in establishing it. We’re at least halfway there. No surprise that these companies have been stock market leaders. It’s the first rule of fascist investing: buy the companies the government favors.

Italian economist and philosopher Vilfredo Pareto (1848-1923) argued that regardless of the label given to a system of government, a ruling class always emerges and enriches itself. There are no historical counterexamples, certainly not 2017 America. What’s historically unprecedented, however, is the power and control America’s technological oligarchy can potentially exercise, and the relative weakness of those who champion freedom and warn of impending involuntary servitude. The louder the oligarchs proclaim their good intentions and hail tomorrow’s better world, the graver the threat becomes.

The Story of a Man Who

Did It For Himself

AMAZON

KINDLE

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He Said That? 11/17/17

From Isaac Asimov (1920–1992), American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, known for his works of science fiction and popular science:

Don’t you believe in flying saucers, they ask me? Don’t you believe in telepathy? — in ancient astronauts? — in the Bermuda triangle? — in life after death?
No, I reply. No, no, no, no, and again no.
One person recently, goaded into desperation by the litany of unrelieved negation, burst out “Don’t you believe in anything?”
Yes”, I said. “I believe in evidence. I believe in observation, measurement, and reasoning, confirmed by independent observers. I’ll believe anything, no matter how wild and ridiculous, if there is evidence for it. The wilder and more ridiculous something is, however, the firmer and more solid the evidence will have to be.

President George W. Bush: The Last Republican President? by Jack Kerwick

George W. Bush made the government much bigger and more powerful, both at home and abroad, the antithesis of what the Republican party once said it stood for. From Jack Kerwick at lewrockwell.com:

We can only hope

“I don’t like him. I don’t know much about him, but I know he’s a blowhard. And I’m not too excited about him being a leader.”

So says George H.W. Bush about President Donald J. Trump in Mark K. Updegrove’s soon-to-be-released, The Last Republicans. And Bush Senior admits to having voted for Hillary Clinton.

Neither is Bush Junior an admirer of his successor. “Wow, this guy doesn’t know what it means to be president.” W maintains that a president should not “exploit” and “incite” anger, but “come up with ideas to deal with it.”

Junior states that he voted for neither Trump nor Hillary Clinton.

Every American who ever desired to know the truth about our political system should thank God for Trump—regardless of whether or not they like him as a person or as a politician. Trump’s candidacy and presidency have exposed the System in all of its ugliness.

The Bushes are the proverbial textbook illustration of this ugliness.

It is now painfully obvious that the so-called “conservative movement” hadn’t been anything of the sort from at least the time of Reagan.  Rather, it has largely been a neoconservative movement, a species of soft or covert socialism and a cover for the Republican Party.

It is now painfully obvious that both the Democratic and Republican parties are corrupt organizations comprised of professional politicians that have labored indefatigably to deceive American voters into thinking that the parties presented voters with a genuine choice.

It is now painfully obvious that D.C., and, thus, the country, is in fact led by a Mono-Party. The idea of an “opposition party” is a politically-useful fiction that Democrats and Republicans, like the Bushes, have long exploited in order to advance their own interests, a fiction that proves especially handy during election season and, of course, for fundraising purposes.

To continue reading: President George W. Bush: The Last Republican President

The New York Times and the “Lost Cause” of Bolshevism, by William L. Anderson

There’s always somebody out there claiming communism, Bolshevism, socialism, or other variations of collectivism have never actually been tried, and all the murderous episodes that go under those names weren’t the real thing. The New York Times has a soft spot for Bolshevism, not withstanding tens of millions murdered by Bolshevist regimes in the Soviet Union. From William L. Anderson at lewrockwell.com:

A century ago this week, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia ushered in a century of mass murder, starvation, summary execution of millions of people, destruction of ancient social institutions, wars, a vast network of death camps, and the evisceration of liberty, at one time, of a third of the planet.

According to the New York Times, we should be mourning the passage of this era and all of its promises of a better life for all.

You read that correctly.

For the past few months, leading up to the centennial of when the followers of Lenin and Trotsky overthrew the Provision Government of Russia and established “all power to the Soviets,” the Times has run a series of op-ed articles by people mostly mourning the “Lost Cause” of communism and all of its promise. We have learned that Bolsheviks were wonderful parents, that women under communism had great sex, Mao liberated women(when he wasn’t murdering them), that Bolshevism promoted a pristine, clean environment and we should all be communists if we want environmental purity (except that the communist bloc had much worse pollution problems than the so-called polluted capitalist West), and that the revolutionary fervor of communism can lead to a glorious socialist future.

As one reads these articles, it becomes clear that to the NYT, the end of communism as we knew it – except for a few backwaters like North Korea and Cuba – really was the end of hope for a better life, the end of hope of liberation from the slavery of capitalism, and the end of hope that the state could forcibly destroy human institutions from marriage to religion and replace them with peace, love, and brotherhood. If only.

Should there be a common theme in these odes to the glories of Bolshevism, one senses that the world missed the opportunity to install paradise because those great Keepers of the Secret continued to die before they could share their great knowledge with the rest of humanity. Oh, if only reactionary Germans had not killed Rosa Luxemborg in 1919, for sheknew how to make socialism work. If only Trotsky had triumphed instead of Stalin in the 1920s. If only Lenin hadn’t died prematurely from complications from a stroke. If only Mao had not contracted ALS and died. And so on.

To continue reading: The New York Times and the “Lost Cause” of Bolshevism

The Triumph of Collectivism, by Jeff Thomas

Collectivism, which inevitably fails, marches on. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

The Triumph of Collectivism

The French Revolution began in 1789. Maximilien Robespierre was one of its most eager proponents. An extreme left-winger, he sought a totalitarian rule that claimed to be “for the people” (echoing the recently successful American Revolution), but in reality was “for the rulers.” He in turn inspired Karl Marx, author of The Communist Manifesto.

Both Robespierre and Marx had been well-born and well-educated but rather spoiled and, as young adults, found that they had no particular talent or inclination to pay their own way in life through gainful employment. Consequently, they shared a hatred for those who succeeded economically through their own efforts and sought a governmental system that would drain such people of their achievements, to be shared amongst those who had achieved less.

Interestingly, neither one saw himself as a mere equal to the proletariat that they championed. Each saw himself in the role of the one who was to cut up the spoils and make the decisions for the rest of society.

It’s worthy of note that collectivist leaders never see themselves as becoming the humble and patient recipients of whatever bones the government chooses to throw them. They always see themselves in the role of rulers.

Collectivism has remained unchanged in its essence to the present day. It attracts those who would take the productivity of others, enrich themselves, and dole out the remainder to the masses. Seen in this light, collectivism would seem abhorrent. Who in his right mind would wish to lose his freedom, to end up as a member of the lumpenproletariat?

But collectivism has thrived, based on one human emotion—jealousy. Collectivist leaders have learned to sell the people on the enslavement of collectivism by convincing them that those they envy will be brought down—to have their gains taken from them and distributed by the state to those who are less able or less inspired.

Let’s have a look at a few quotes from some of the most noted collectivists and see how their ideas are holding up in today’s world…

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” – Vladimir Lenin

“The best way to destroy the capitalist system is to debauch the currency.” – Vladimir Lenin

To continue reading: The Triumph of Collectivism

Civilization Declared “A White Male Construct”, by Paul Craig Roberts

From the article: “Reason, says Professor Caputo, “is a white male Euro-Christian construction.” Reason is not anybody’s construct, but if it were a white male construct, then they did something right. From Paul Craig Roberts at paulcraigroberts.org:

A number of readers have turned out to be excellent research assistants. In response to my articles, “The American Left: RIP,” and the two follow-ups, “The Absurdities Mount” and “Goodbye Western Civilization,” readers have supplied the following.

A white male professor of philosophy has discovered that in order to have an academic career in these days he must find “white privilege” everywhere. Professor John Caputo, according to this report, https://downtrend.com/robertgehl/professor-calls-reason-itself-a-white-male-construct, has found white male privilege in reason itself.

Reason, says Professor Caputo, “is a white male Euro-Christian construction.” Since reason is white, reason is not neutral. It implies that what is not white is not rational. “So white is philosophically relevant and needs to be philosophically critiqued.”

Professor Caputo ties into University of California professor Sara Giordano who defines science as a “colonial and racialized form of power” that “must be replaced with an anti-science, antiracist, feminist approach to knowledge production.” https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=10021

I can’t say that this would be all bad. This way we wouldn’t have nuclear weapons and the frustrating digital age. But before I vote for it, I want to know what feminist science is. I have a disturbing feeling that it brings with it the genocide of the white heterosexual male. After all, if white heterosexual males are responsible for all the evil and ills of the world, how can we tolerate their existence?

The University of Oregon’s Jewish president was prevented by students from giving an university address this month about free speech. Free speech, declared the student protesters, perpetuates “fascism and white supremacy.” http://ijr.com/the-declaration/2017/10/1004087-protesters-block-speech-college-president-supporting-free-speech/?utm_campaign=Conservative%20Daily&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=57696223&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-_lEYnedyjzkJdQg3N0OOoF5PhhKtm5yUGqIhbxb5fs878ae8aYjTk2wdWuWYc-7oq7BaJJbOQ6kJI-21n_qpeRECaKqA&_hsmi=57696223

Journalists seem to agree with the Oregon students. The European Federation of Journalists is leading a “Media against Hate” campaign against hate speech and stereotyping of illegal immigrants. https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11214/europe-journalists-free-speech In other words, any European who protests his/her country being overrun by foreign invaders must be shut up. The scenario in The Camp of the Saints is now happening before our eyes.

To continue reading: Civilization Declared “A White Male Construct”

He Said That? 10/25/17

From Confucius (551–479 BC), Chinese teacher, editor, politician, and philosopher of the Spring and Autumn period of Chinese history, The Analects:

One who never anticipates deceit or expects duplicity, and yet is the first to recognize such things – is that not a sage indeed?