Category Archives: Philosophy

Capitalism Is The Worst, Except For All The Rest, by Lance Roberts

This is the third of a series on capitalism, the first two parts are linked below. From Lance Roberts at realinvestmentadvice.com:

n Part 1, we discussed how “Capitalism” was distorted by Wall Street. In Part 2, we reviewed some of the “myths” of capitalism, which are used to garner “votes” by politicians but are not really true. Most importantly, we discussed the fallacy that “more Government” is the answer in creating equality as it impairs economic opportunity.

I want to conclude this series with a discussion on the fallacy of socialism and equality, and provide a some thoughts on how you can capitalize on capitalism.

Socialism Requires Money

The “entire premise” of the socialist agendas assumes money is unlimited. Since there is only a finite amount of money created through taxation of citizens each year the remainder must come from the issuance of debt.

Therefore, to promote an agenda which requires unlimited capital commitments to fulfill, the basic premise has to be “debt doesn’t matter.” 

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Make the Truth Irrelevant, by Robert Gore

Our rulers believe their Holy Grail is in sight.

But there’s always a purpose in nonsense. Don’t bother to examine a folly—ask yourself only what it accomplishes.

Ellsworth Toohey to Peter Keating, The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand, 1943

What do the follies of Russiagate and the Ukraine impeachment controversy accomplish?

Truth is always the enemy of power. Exposure of power’s motivations, depredations, and corruption never serves power’s ends. Truth is often suppressed and those who disclose it persecuted. Any illegitimate government (currently, all of them) that fails to do so risks its own termination.

What if, instead of suppressing the truth, a regime could render it irrelevant and not have to worry about it? That prospect is the Holy Grail for those who rule or seek to rule.

Imagine an announcement to the populace: We rule you and every aspect of your life. Your wishes, desires, and plans are immaterial to us. You will do as we tell you or you will be severely punished or eliminated. Our sole end is power and we will be its corrupt and criminal beneficiaries. You are our slaves. Imagine that the announcement was not met with outrage and resistance, only quiet acceptance, even approval. The regime has disclosed the horrifying truth about itself, and nobody protests or cares. It has rendered the truth irrelevant. What future disclosure could threaten it in any way?

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The World’s Least-Free Countries Reveal Just How Much “Socialism Sucks”, by David Gordon

David Gordon reviews a book with a self-explanatory title. From Gordon at mises.org:

[Socialism Sucks: Two Economists Drink Their Way Through the Unfree World. By Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell.  Regnery Publishing, 2019. 192 pages.]

Robert Lawson and Benjamin Powell are well-known free market economists, and they do not look with favor on a disturbing trend among American young people. “In the spring of 2016,” they tell us, “a Harvard survey found that a third of eighteen-to twenty-nine year olds supported socialism. Another survey, from the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, reported that millennials supported socialism over any other economic system.” (p.8)

Unfortunately, the young people in question have little idea of the nature of socialism. Lawson and Powell would like to remedy this situation, but they confront a problem. Ordinarily, one would urge students to read Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson, Mises’s “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth,” and similar classic works, in order to understand the basic facts about the free market and socialism, but the millennials are unlikely to do so. One must attract their attention. What can be done?

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America 2019: Even the Wealthy Are Poorer in Everything That Matters, by Charles Hugh Smith

Just because you’re rich doesn’t mean you’re happy. From Charles Hugh Smith at oftwominds.com:

The price we’re paying to keep our heads above water steepens while the pay-off is dropping off a cliff.

A good friend related a story that goes directly to the heart of what’s broken in our way of life. My friend went to a reunion in Silicon Valley attended by the most successful cohort in America: super-smart, highly educated people in their mid-40s who have achieved the highest levels of professional accomplishment and built enormous financial wealth, with net worths not just in the millions but in many cases in the tens of millions of dollars.

These are people at the apex of the American economy and society, those who did everything right, worked hard and grasped the brass ring of conventional success.

Yet when the meeting broke into small groups and individuals were asked to speak briefly about their lives, more than a few people teared up and began weeping. My friend was struck by the disconnect between their tremendous success and their personal misery–of failed marriages, of being trapped in their jobs, in feeling their sacrifices weren’t worth it and in sensing the shallowness of their success and the poverty of their inner lives.

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An Offer You Can’t Refuse, by Doug “Uncola” Lynn

Doug “Uncola” Lynn reviews Everything I Know About Business I Learned From The Godfather. As you’ve probably already guessed, I wouldn’t be posting it if it was a bad review. From Lynn at theburningplatform.com:

We read to know we’re not alone.

Although that particular truism is often mistakenly attributed to the author C.S. Lewis, it was actually William Nicholson who wrote those words in his 1989 play “Shadowlands”, a story about C.S. Lewis.

Indeed. The power of words. And perhaps many of us out here in the interwebic blogosphere write to know we’re not alone as well.

Especially during times like these.

We use words to comfort and curse, to encourage, to promise, to teach, buy, sell, debate, learn, manipulate, lie, share, seduce, pray, preach, promote, warn, and even survive.

In the aforementioned play, “Shadowlands“, there is another quote that many now reading this may also find relevant to our times:

….pain is God’s megaphone to rouse a deaf world. Why must it be pain? Why can’t he rouse us more gently, with violins or laughter? Because the dream from which we must be wakened, is the dream that all is well.

No, Dear Reader, all is not well.  But it never has been in this corrupt world; or, at least, very well for very long. Everything turns. And whether or not any megaphonic pain originates from God or the devil is beside the point.  The truth remains: life is suffering and it’s been that way from the time of man’s first moans.

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No Cheers for Democracy, by Jayant Bhandari

The founding fathers equated democracy with mob rule, and they weren’t too far off the mark. From Jayant Bhandari at internationalman.com:

Democracy, the most celebrated religion of both the Left and Right, has spread like wildfire…

Zimbabwe has recently fallen for more democracy. Social movements in the Middle East — with the most recent one known as the Arab Spring — are inching the area toward more democracy. Even in reclusive Saudi Arabia democracy is slowly gaining an upper hand.

Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Nepal are solidifying their democracies; their military or traditional-religious heads have found it increasingly difficult to assert their will. Many political leaders in Africa now vacate their seats in response to the verdict of their citizens.

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Infectious Insanity, by Jeff Thomas

How Marxism takes root. From Jeff Thomas at internationalman.com:

collectivism

In any country, during prosperous times, the great majority of people go to work each day with the understanding that productivity results in an improved life. Even for those of humble means, the existence of prosperity around them is a daily assurance that, if you work hard and/or work smart, your life will steadily improve.

This is the normal state of affairs and has existed since time immemorial. Whether progress is quick or slow in a given location, the principle remains the same. A general condition of prosperity is a continual reminder of the value of a strong work ethic.

In a collectivist country, however, this is missing. The leaders live quite well, but they’re small in number and, for the most part, are outside of the view of the proletariat. What the common man sees around him is uniform poverty. No one in his midst is visibly progressing, so there’s no one to be jealous of.

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