Tag Archives: Statism

Decentralize the French State, by José Niño

The real solution to the Yellow Vests’ woes can only come when the French government is dramatically downsized and decentralized. From José Niño at mises.org:

With the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protests raging for more than three months, the European Union’s viability as a political entity has come into question.

Indeed, the EU has gone through a whirlwind of economic and political upheavals since the eurozone crisis of 2009. In 2016, the EU experienced a political earthquake when the Brexit referendum occurred, and British voters decided that it was time for the UK to leave the EU.

To a certain extent, the Brexit vote was a manifestation of British populism. Now, the French populists have made themselves known in the form of the yellow vest movement.

But what are the implications of this?

France’s Out-of-Control Leviathan

France is not exactly in the best economic shape. The unemployment rate has hovered around nine to ten percent during the past decade. The cost of living has risen considerably thanks to government regulations. So, Macron’s failed gas tax proposal, which would have hurt the working class pretty hard, only exacerbates France’s sub-optimal economic situation.

And this is only the tip iceberg as far as France’s over-burdened economy goes.

Research from the Institut Économique Molinari found that the tax burden “typical workers” in France face is higher than any of its European counterparts. Fiscal restraint has not been France’s strong suit with government spending accounting for 56 percent of GDP. On the regulatory front, France is a mess. Its Code du Travail, a 1,600 page, 10,000-article legislative monstrosity, has greatly hamstrung its labor market. According to the Heritage Foundation’s 2019 Index of Economic Freedom, France’s Labor Freedom score places it very close to the “repressed” category.

In a cruel twist of irony, France has reverted back to its monarchical political economy, dominated by an interventionist state that heavily regulates, subsidizes, and controls certain sectors of the economy.

Sadly, many of the yellow vest protestors have not comprehended the 800-pound elephant in the room that is French statism.

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Denial and Defensiveness: The First Tools of the Statist. By John Hunt, MD

This is an incisive look at the psychology of a statist, and actually all those who cling to indefensible positions in the face of contrary evidence. From John Hunt at internationalman.com:

To protect his fragile ego when informed he may be an addict, the alcoholic uses denial first and defensiveness immediately after. This mechanism is a pre-requisite in essentially all addicts, and the drug that controls the addict relies on these underlying personality dysfunctions to protect itself.

“My friend, do you realize you are an addict?” a caring person cautiously, hesitantly, fearfully suggests.

“No I’m not. YOU are!” The addict shuts you and everyone else down, turns away, leaves in a huff, and will not engage in the conversation.

It’s the standard alcoholic’s reply, and standard progressive statist’s reply as well. Although it might be more sophisticated and intelligently stated than that schoolyard sentence, the denial and defensiveness will be identical. Anger, fighting and general stupidity ensues.

If you know addicts, you will empathize. And if you really know addicts, you know it is virtually impossible to cut through their denial (“No I’m not”) or defensiveness (“YOU are!)”

As far as definitions go, denial is straight-forward: a refusal to consider.

Defensiveness, however, is inaptly named. Defensiveness is best described as going on the offense to deflect the conversation away from introspection. The defensive person goes on the attack against the person who is suggesting something they don’t want to hear. Defensiveness, in the addict’s case, is a form of ATTACK.

Denial and defensiveness are ego protections employed to protect a fragile self-esteem from being aware of one’s internal contradictions (self-delusions).

Denial and defensiveness are destructive personality malfunctions. But they aren’t just used by addicts to enable their addiction. They are used by others too. Sociopaths exploit these personality functions to prey on their victims. The victim lies to herself about what her sociopathic controller really is. He couldn’t be an evil person, because I made the decision to marry him, and I can’t admit mistakes to myself. No logic is involved. Only self-delusion.

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Tele-Prompter Boy and Obamacare, by Eric Peters

Much of what TV newscasters read as news is actually editorializing. From Eric Peters at theburningplatform.com:

Listen to this lead-in by a CNN Tele-Prompter readerabout a federal judge in Texas ruling that the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to buy health insurance is unconstitutional:

“The law that brought health care to millions of Americans has been struck down by a federal judge.”

First words out of his mouth.

That’s what they used to call editorializing – as opposed to the statement of fact without the color of opinion you read just above it, in the lead to this story – about the same subject.

The Tele-Prompter reader leaves no doubt as to his view about both the Texas judge’s ruling and the Affordable Care Act, which is annoying right out of the gate because who cares what this Tele-Prompter reader’s opinions are about anything? It’s one thing to listen to a veteran newsman who’s earned some bona fides offer up his slant on an issue, especially if it’s something he’s been covering for decades and maybe thus the man has something to say that’s worth listening to.

But this kid?

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The Broken Clocks’ Minute, by Robert Gore

Sometimes the reasons you’re wrong turn out to be the reasons you’re right.

Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Old Wall Street adage

Anyone who has consistently sounded cautionary or outright bearish notes during the last nine years of relentlessly rising equity markets has been cast aside. Wall Street is bipolar. You’re either right or wrong, and wrong doesn’t buy mansions and Maseratis. Like that broken clock, the so-called permabears have had a couple of minutes when they were right, far outweighed by those 1438 minutes when they were wrong.

Or maybe it’s all a matter of perspective, and it’s the last nine years that amounts to two minutes. In geologic time nine years isn’t even a nanosecond. Perhaps even on time periods scaled to human lifetimes and history, the last nine years will come to be seen as an evanescent flash that came and ignominiously went.

Markets don’t listen to reasons. They’re exercises in crowd psychology and crowds are emotional and capricious. That doesn’t mean that reason is a useless virtue in market analysis, quite the opposite. It’s reason that allows the few who are consistently successful to separate themselves from the crowd and capitalize on its emotion and caprice.

Reason identifies rising stock markets as one symptom of a sugar high global economy. Since 2009, staring into the abyss of debt implosion, central banks acting in concert have promoted furious debt expansion as the finger-in-the-dike remedy. Governments expanded their fiat (aka out of thin air) debt, and central banks monetized that debt with their own fiat debt. Not only did that create loanable reserves within the banking system—private debt fodder—it drove interest rates so low that yield-deprived investors were herded into the stock market. Borrowers won, savers lost.

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Doug Casey on the Coming Holy War

Doug Casey predicts a holy war, probably starting in Europe. From an interview with Casey at caseyresearch.com:

Justin’s note: Today, we have another brand-new Conversations with Casey to share with you. In the interview below, Doug Casey and I discuss holy wars in Europe.

I’m not talking about the Crusades, either. I’m talking about a modern-day holy war.

Some folks will think I’m crazy for even entertaining this idea. But a few weeks ago, Turkey’s foreign minister said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe.

That’s a major warning. You have to take it seriously.

So, I recently sat down with Doug to discuss this matter. I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.

Justin: Doug, Turkey’s foreign minister recently said that “wars of religion” are coming to Europe. Do you think this could actually happen?

Doug: Well, human nature hasn’t changed in many thousands of years. And religion is important to the human animal. Perhaps it’s always been something that people were prone to fight about, but the historical record shows that religious wars only started with the invention of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Of course, these religions—which have always been at war with each other, and all other religions—are similar in that they believe in one god. Pagan religions were and are accepting of other people’s gods and beliefs.

The question is, which god is the right one? Should you believe in Yahweh, or Jesus, or Allah? Because it appears to me that they’re all very different, based upon what they say and what they have their followers believe. Islam and Christianity have been duking it out since the 7th century, and that’s unlikely to change. They both claim to have the one and only true god, but they’re very different gods—not at all the same one. So it’s an irreconcilable difference.

Justin: So, the ingredients for a holy war have always been there?

Doug: Yes. Up to about 100 years ago, Christians felt a moral obligation to convert everyone, including other misguided Christians. Now it’s mostly just the Muslims who feel that way. It’s entirely possible, even likely, we’re going to have an outright war of religion. Although, in the highly Politically Correct West, it will have to be called something else.

The ongoing invasion of Europe by Muslims is one aspect of it—although that’s not so much a religious thing per se. That’s partly because the Muslims are migrating mostly for economic reasons. And because religion is a dead duck in Europe today. Europe is a post-Christian society. Very few people go to church or take Christianity seriously in Europe, it’s a very secular society. Which is a bit of a problem, because they’ve taken the State for their new god.

But the State doesn’t promise anybody an afterlife. So, in my opinion, Europeans are actually ripe for conversion to Islam. It’s a serious problem, because Islam is incompatible with, and antithetical to Western Civilization.

To continue reading: Doug Casey on the Coming Holy War

The End of the High Church, by The Zman

Christianity in the US is being supplanted by another religion, statism. From The Zman on a guest post at theburningplatform.com:

Years ago, I had cause to be at the Episcopal cathedral in Albany for a mass. A friend was being ordained into the church as a priest, so I went up to celebrate the occasion with his family. I noted the subtle beauty of the church, particularly inside. It just oozed tradition, which is quite imposing in the spiritual setting. The outside of the building was rather plain, which is what made the inside impressive. I walked in expecting a utilitarian facility and instead I walked into a beautiful cathedral with arches and stained glass.

The mass was not well attended, despite the fact there were half a dozen people being minted as priests that day. My guess, at the time, was that most of the people were relatives of the condemned. Talking a bit with some people after the mass, I was told that attendance at Episcopal services in the area was down to a sprinkling and most of the regulars were old people. If what I saw in Albany is typical for the church as a whole, I’d bet they are finished in a generation at best. A church without worshipers is a building.

This is a common story with mainline Protestant churches. The local Presbyterian Church is lightly attended and the average age is somewhere in the 60’s. They used to have a grammar school, but that closed. They still run a daycare center, but I suspect that is just a business. They hope that the mothers dropping off their kids will decide to attend services at some point. Until then it is a cash relationship for services rendered. There’s a good chance government subsidies play some role as the kids are mostly black.

To continue reading: The End of the High Church

 

 

25 statist propaganda phrases and how to rebut them, by Matthew Reece

They are phrase that are so commonplace that they are used without thought, and that’s the problem. From Matthew Reece at Liberty.me:

In the discourse of statists, there is a group of phrases of which one or more tend to be present in nearly every argument. While this is not an exhaustive listing of that group, it does contain twenty-five of the most common phrases that statists use in their arguments. As propaganda has a tendency to be repetitive, some of these phrases contain the same logical fallacies, and will therefore have similar refutations. As such, the phrases are ordered so that earlier rebuttals also apply to some later phrases.

“Our government”
“Our” is the possessive form of “we.” This phrase assumes that a collective exists and has ownership of the government, which is another collective. To exist is to have a concrete, particular form in physical reality. To say that abstract objects exist is to beg the question of where they exist, to which there is no answer because there is no empirically observable entity. To say that collectives exist is beg the question of what physical form they take, as all available physical forms are occupied by the individuals which are said to comprise the collective. Thus, there is no “we”; there is only you, I, and every other individual person. By the same token, the government does not exist; each person, each building, each gun, etc. exists. As such, the phrase “our government” is meaningless. Additionally, to own something is to have a right of exclusive control over it. Part and parcel of this right is the right to physically destroy that which one owns. As governments use force to stop citizens who attempt to physically destroy the state, the citizens are not the de facto owners of a government.

http://reece.liberty.me/2015/03/09/25-statist-propaganda-phrases-and-how-to-rebut-them/

To continue reading: 25 statist propaganda phases