Economic History · Federal Government · Personal Finance

The Ministry of Normal Existence

I’ve spoken before on the trend of the government and corporations essentially becoming one and the same. This is not “corporatism,” as many lolbertarians will smugly insist. It does however spell disaster for the future, and most especially in the short-term. The difficult part is ascertaining what precisely individuals can do in a strategic manner to protect themselves from this great scourge.

First on the list of grim tidings is the story emerging about Bank of America. The company, which currently occupies a position as the second-largest bank in our country, has been caught serving as a dutiful underling for the State. According to Tucker Carlson, BOA reviewed the private transactions and records of customers to determine if they had taken part in the DC events last month. What’s more, they were casting a wide net, going after people who had no indications of involvement with that scenario.

Even the greatest liberal humanitarians should find fault with this behavior. Corporations that rhapsodize about protecting customer data from breaches or marketing can simply turn around and hand it over to the powers that be, all in the name of security policy. There is no bar or threshold requirement, only the shrill declarations of politicians who lie frequently to generate hyperbolic sympathies. Not to mention what throngs of young fools will buy it all absent questions.

But problems fail to end there. Various airlines have already moved to ban passengers affiliated with the controversial protest, effectively crafting their own no-fly lists out of thin air. Bear in mind that these people have not been convicted of any crime; they simply hold a political opinion now considered to be toxic. Yet the desperate calls for regulating out-of-control corporations seem strikingly quiet, largely because people stand to benefit politically from such disenfranchisement.

So what is the proper solution? One might point to the notion of a protective rights bill, though this will require passage through the upper house, where finance and tech lobbying has no limit. Alternatively, a push for nationalization and redistribution of profits to the poor could feasibly scare the larger firms into better guarding individual liberties, though I certainly think they will fight on all fronts to defend the sniveling worship of power.

After all, it is a tremendous drug.

Culturalism · Economic History · Federal Government

The Cult of Conventionalism

I hope this will be the last (contemporary) political post made on the blog for a while. As much as the topic is compelling, one cannot escape the feeling of its overall vapidity. We observe representatives voting to object to an election in small numbers, knowing well in advance the act is mere grandstanding to avoid what harsh realities a corrupt system has foisted on the people. They “do their part,” even while the finishing glaze was conjured up weeks ago.

Strangely enough, there is a different kind of electoral moralization going on in D.C. and state capitols around the country: that of defending convention. Not long after the fury blew up on Capitol Hill, empowered libertarian representatives quickly rushed to “defend the Constitution” by joining with Democrats and ratifying the results of an obviously corrupt election. These are the same characters frantically warning about excess spending, surveillance, and endless wars, yet the critical moment is simply too trying for their sensibilities. So instead of taking a principled stand to favor what they believe, the route is one of guarding the system and status quo.

What makes this behavior especially confusing is the purveyors’ own knowledge that they are waging a losing battle by being good town watchmen over modern day malevolence. The reason spending does not come down is because the decision gets devolved across fifty different states, all with various projects and payoffs lined up for fulfillment. Wars are similarly driven by money, and continue to be pushed by the uniparty majority despite public opposition. Such programs are not going anywhere on the basis of libertarian idea-spreading, and certainly no Balanced Budget is forthcoming.

Keeping all that in mind, what exactly do these steady tradition enforcers get in exchange for their complicity? The simple enough answer is as follows: an opportunity to flaunt moral self-righteousness by being “right” because they warned folks in advance. If the rest of us had only listened to the libertarians and conservatives, somehow the cities wouldn’t be burning, racism would hardly matter, and decency might reign supreme. Now that all is ashes, we should turn and recognize our steady friends who wouldn’t allow the structure to collapse, not for all the ideological triumph in the world.

Perhaps an addendum here should speculate as to whether the system defenders cultivate a martyr complex in their minds to feel better about the collapse of convention. It would certainly jive well with the sacrificial themes of those Abrahamic religions they follow, in which the upright are cut down while preaching forgiveness and respect towards their enemies. Thus they can die (or devolve into the political deserts) knowing their honor was bright, and the other side is wrong or sinful.

Now let us pose one final query: should the more radical Rightists somehow seize power in the future, what shall the libertarians and conservatives do? Will they yet lament the collapse of the system, which holds the bulk of their spiritual wealth, or simply revert to becoming grifters aligned to that triumphant cause?    

Like Descartes, I leave the answer to my dreams.

Culturalism · Economic History · Federal Government

The Opposition Death Squad

A few days ago, an octogenarian called Botoxi was reelected to lead the House of Representatives over the next two years of bland political soap opera. While a narrow outcome, the result was hardly unexpected, as Democrats possessed a 222-211 majority in the new chamber. Nevertheless, five centrist Dems refused to cast their ballots in the Speaker’s favor, either voting for other candidates or simply dropping “present” on the lectern. Botoxi was thus denied a clear numerical majority, sailing through on the force of a 216-209 tally.

Yet it should have been worse. In a move entirely predictable for their ilk, all six members of the Democratic Socialist “Squad” voted to return Nancy to power. Supreme Leader Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had this statement to justify the empowered decision:

“Well, you know, I think when you look at the razor-thin margin … We are just an extremely slim amount of votes away from risking the speakership to the Republican party and this is, it’s, it’s bigger than any one of us and that is consequential. But I also think it’s important that we realize that what kind of communities, which communities and all of the communities that, that creates Democratic power, power,”

The last several words are highlighted for a reason. Against all claims of fighting the system and opposing corporate influence, the Plural Left’s freedom fighters marched right back into the loyalty column when times demanded it. Though one could dismiss the issue as minimal, those brave partisans might have placed real pressure on the Democrats by embarrassing them with a Kevin McCarthy victory, thus setting up a consequence, but of course they did not.

 AOC’s mental recriminations reminded me of an observation made by Georges Sorel in Reflections On Violence:

“A cunningly conducted agitation is extremely useful to Parliamentary Socialists, who boast before the Government and the rich middle class of their ability to moderate revolution; they can thus arrange the success of the financial affairs in which they are interested, obtain minor favors for many influential electors, and get social laws voted in order to appear important in the eyes of the blockheads who imagine that these Socialists are great reformers of the law.”

Notice the bit on “minor favors,” and then go back to AOC’s quote about the slim amount of votes. She is essentially admitting that the only way for the Squad to oppose Botoxi was if the Speaker’s success had already been guaranteed, presumably by a large Democratic majority. Hence progressive opposition is merely a pipe dream involving the securement of a subcommittee seat or symbolic commitment to generalities like “universal healthcare,” all while the system chugs on in contentment.

Later on, Sorel considers the fakery of DemSoc reforms:

“The social revolution is conceived by Jaures as a kind of bankruptcy; substantial annuities will be given to the middle class of today: then from generation to generation these annuities will decrease. These plans must often seem very alluring to financiers accustomed to draw great advantages from bankruptcies; I have no doubt that the shareholders of L’Humanite think these ideas marvelous; they will be made liquidators of the bankruptcy, and will pocket large fees, which will compensate for the losses which this newspaper has caused them. ”

That, in effect, is Democratic Socialism. Any pronounced opposition is annihilated as soon as money and power become matters of discussion. Just keep spinning and ranting about Wall Street taxes.

Culturalism · Economic History · Federal Government

Is AOC Actually Wrong?

Ever since her victory in the 2018 Democratic primary over incumbent corporate Dem Joe Crowley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been the prevailing fodder of Conservatism Inc. They love yukking it up over her air-headed takes on the issues, and lamenting the seemingly-delusional slide of her millennial supporters towards socialism. As irrelevant as she happens to be in the grand scheme of things, they simply can’t let go of the entertainment factor.

The latest iteration of their guffawing comes in the form of the following tweet, in which she gets angry at people dismissing her as a do-nothing social media icon:

Of course we have the obligatory Cernovich reply below, which, coming from the biggest Twitter prostitute of all, drips of smug hypocrisy:

Much as we might like to dismiss AOC’s complaint, it feels rather legitimate in the context of modern politics. Sure, she mostly makes big statements and tweets, but then again, what politician doesn’t do the same? Trump certainly is guilty of this, and for that reason alone he may have lost considerable support. Take a look at these examples:

So he’s “closely monitoring” a situation as the country tears itself apart, just like he promised an executive order on birthright citizenship, and the classification of AntiFa as a terrorist organization. Then we have Jim Jordan screeching about Big Tech, all while planning to do nothing, These are supposedly “strong” indications of action, but in the end they manifest as nothing more than empty words, just like AOC’s public proclamations. The deceptive smoke blows both ways.

If we examine democracy from a broader perspective, this is not exactly new. Politicians have always made large declarations about their intentions or ideas to do something, for the simple fact that election or reelection depends upon visibility and assumed competence. A leader who chooses to play it safe and focus on the policy wonk aspects is liable to be smothered, as the media will not report anything beyond the headline, apart from C-SPAN at least. Thus these short messages are strategic, even if they amount to little in the end.

The relative “problem” caused by AOC is not so much “only tweeting,” but rather the manner in which she has somewhat dislodged the established “conservative” alternative media from its fine pedestal. Prior to her rise, the leftist burn-bringers online were largely made up of the Young Turks or ripped segments from cable news. While useful, these sources lack the power of an indignant and uncompromising opposition. AOC on the other hand injects a certain vitality into the narrative which they cannot control, especially in regards to the role of government versus corporations. That is the main issue.

Tweet on, and do nothing.   

Culturalism · investing · Personal Finance

The Federal PRESERVE of Wall Street

Some people ask me how I’m able to stay sane as an investor during times like these. The answer is quite simple: just pay attention to the federal government.

As most already know, the Congress approved a $2 trillion monstrosity by voice vote yesterday, with the only visible opposition coming in the form of representatives AOC and Thomas Massie. Beyond its inclusion of various stimulus programs, the legislation creates a fat bailout fund for larger companies, and allows the Federal Reserve to leverage up to $4 trillion in support of the economy (Read: Wall Street ).

In the words of Powell the Owl:

“Effectively one dollar of loss absorption of backstop from Treasury is enough to support $10 worth of loans. When it comes to this lending we’re not going to run out of ammunition.”

Some Democrats openly demanded oversight for $500 billion in assistance that corporations will have partial access to through the bill, and succeeded in establishing an inspector general to monitor disbursement of the money. In response, Republicans began to weep miserably.

Just kidding. In reality, El Orangelo was several steps ahead of them, placing his ink on the bill accompanied by a fancy signing statement, which effectively allows him to ignore parts he doesn’t like. According to the man himself:

“I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required.”

In relation to congressional oversight requirements for specific funds he added:

“These provisions are impermissible forms of congressional aggrandizement with respect to the execution of the laws.”

In other words, the money is already compromised. If that wasn’t enough, the legislation also shrouds Federal Reserve meetings in deeper secrecy, establishing an effective wall against FOIA requests.

So Wall Street will be fine, although your currency is another question. But don’t worry, you can forget all that and just rage against Thomas Massie.