When The Truth Is True

In recent times, probably since the Bush years, people we now associate with the alt-right have claimed that Israel controls American foreign policy. Anti-Semites, of course, have always made this charge, but usually without much proof. They just hate Jews and by extension hate Israel, so claiming American foreign policy is run by Zionists has an emotional appeal for them. Paleocons and now the alt-right, in contrast, point to various adventures and neocon statements as proof Israel runs the show.

Still, even with an increasing amount of data to support the general idea that our political class is more concerned with Israel than America, most people don’t believe it. Instead they look for other reasons that are more fun and satisfying. Part of it is most white people just don’t want to agree with the anti-Semites on anything. They have been tuned by generations of conditioning to respond negatively to anything critical of Jews. Another part of it is the aluminum foil hat stuff about the deep state.

The gag during the last presidential election about the conspiracy theories surrounding Hillary Clinton was that it would be easier to dismiss them if they were not true. That’s the issue with the theory that Israel controls American foreign policy. It would be a lot easier to dismiss the claims if they were not true. For example, Trump said he was withdrawing our troops from Syria. Now, all of a sudden, Trump says he has changed his mind and we’re staying in Syria because of Israel. Score one for the anti-Semites.

In his book, Tucker Carlson recounts the fights between the neocons and the paleocons over Iraq. The neocons publicly argued that the paleos were anti-Semites for opposing these wars. In private, neocons like Bill Kristol laughed and said the wars were all about defending Israel. The neoconservatives hate Carlson with a passion, but they have not bothered to dispute this claim. Instead, they accuse him of being a shill for Putin. Put another way, they concede he is correct in his recollections.

In fairness, a lot of Americans have been conditioned to put the interests of Israel above all else, but it is not a majority. Most people voting democrat are anti-war. The rainbow coalition of non-whites on the Left has a strong whiff of antisemitism. On the Republican side, most voters are done with foreign adventurism. It’s why no GOP pols talk about the two decade long war in Afghanistan. The only people who support forever war in the Middle East are Evangelicals, who have made Israel an obsession.

Still, while most Americans would welcome a withdrawal from the world, most also think helping Israel is a good thing. They see her as the plucky little country surviving in a sea of hostile barbarians. That’s why Trump blurted out that line about staying in Syria to defend Israel. He’s pretty much a BoomerCon, so his instincts are in-line with the MAGA hat wearing type who show up at his rallies. They will forgive him for reversing course on Syria, because they share his general sensibilities on defending Israel.

That’s a good rationalization until you take a look at what is going on with Tulsi Gabbard, the Hawaiian politician now running for president. Given the state of the Left and the circus that will be the Democrat primary, she should be a star. In fact, when she first won office, the Left was selling her as the future of the party. She’s young, good looking, heterodox in her politics, without straying too far afield. She served in the military, which is now a weird badge of honor for female politicians. She is the female Barak Obama.

Then they started to look past sex and skin tone. Her father is anti-gay, advocating things like gay conversion therapy. Gabbard herself was never on-board with the assault on marriage, which makes her a homophobe on the Left. More important, she was anti-war and not for the goofy reasons popular on the Left. She opposed the endless wars in the Muslim world because she thinks they are bad for Americans. Even worse, she was willing to meet with Assad, Israel’s sworn enemy. That’s unforgivable.

That’s why on the day she announced her intention to run for the nomination, every single big shot in the Democrat party denounced her. It was so obviously coordinated, it recalled that gag about the Clinton conspiracies. It was if they wanted the world to know that they were reading the lines from a script handed to them by headquarters. Howard Dean was probably the most amusing. His statement on Gabbard suggested that maybe someone was holding his family hostage and he was forced to denounce her or else.

It’s not just the pols trashing Gabbard. The media has been instructed to open up the big guns on her. Here we are a year from the first voting and the Prog media is spending big money to trash one of the fifty candidates. It’s one thing to start throwing mud at one of the favorites, but to attack a minor candidate this far out is weird. The outfit running the shenanigans against Gabbard is in so tight with the Deep State-Democrat Party nexus, it probably has offices at the DNC. New Knowledge is an arm of the party.

Just to be clear, in case anyone is confused, the phrase “Kremlin controlled” or “Putin Stooge” is code for anti-Semite. Anytime you hear the usual suspects linking an enemy with Russia, they are speaking from tribal interests, not Americans ones. It’s why everyone who tumbles out of the NeverTrump clown car starts hooting about how Putin controls Trump. Russia is the great bogeyman of the tribe, so the worst thing you can be is a tool of Russia. We will hear a lot about Gabbard and her Russia ties this year.

Again, it is understandable that people would be slow to notice that a foreign country is dictating American foreign policy. Those anti-Semites are icky and mean. The conspiracy theorists are weird and creepy. No one wants to be associated with them. The thing is though, the truth is true, even if bad people believe it. The truth is, Israel may not control American foreign policy, but they have a tremendous amount of influence. Given what just happened in Syria, it is fair to say Israel has veto power.

Jelly Bean Economics

Imagine you find yourself in one of those underground malls, where they design it such that you never have to go above ground. Now, instead of just the mall, your living and working space is also underground. It is an underground community that is like a small town, except everyone is stuck there, unable to leave the mole utopia. You know, however, that there is a world outside and that people live above ground. It’s a not prison, just a system that is complete, so you have no reason to leave the mole utopia.

In your world, everything works like it does in the world of today. People have jobs, socialize, conduct commerce, and have families, all the stuff we associate with normal human society. The one difference between the mole utopia and this world is their economy is based on jelly beans, the little candies given to kids at Easter. Each color has a different value and people treat them in the same way you would treat coins or bills. When you get paid, it is in jelly beans. When you buy stuff, it is in jelly beans.

No one knows where the beans come from or who is responsible for making sure the supply of beans is correct. There’s some vague notion of a jelly bean consortium and people who spend their days keeping track of all beans in circulation. There are people, who police the bakers to make sure they are not making fake jelly beans. Otherwise, the beans are just the thing that is there, taken for granted by everyone. The jelly beans used in commerce are as much a part of reality as the air people breathe.

Now, there are people in charge and they do control the supply of beans. At first, when they set the system up, they figured the goal was to keep the supply of beans constant, as beans are fragile and people will tend to eat them. The best bean counters in mole utopia were recruited to keep track of the flow of beans in order to determine the overall supply and rate of bean decay. They would order up new beans to be introduced into the supply to keep the supply of beans steady, so there could never be a shortage.

At first they would just have people hand out beans under the guise of charity, but before long the people doing that started cheating. They would keep the beans or only give them to friends and family. The next scheme was to have the government of mole utopia disperse the new beans, by hiring people and buying stuff. This worked pretty well until government started cheating and ordered up beans whenever it needed to buy votes or reward friends of the government. This caused people to lose faith in the jelly beans.

Finally, the bean counters landed on a scheme where they would lend the new beans to banks at extremely low interest. The bean banks, flush with new beans, would then lend beans to people at very low rates. This got the beans into the economy, without anyone stealing them or using the supply to corrupt the system. The one flaw is the bankers got rich from the scheme, but bankers are always rich, so no one really noticed much of a change. It also made the bankers dependent on the bean counters.

The bankers could lend to anyone, including the government. Since rates were so low, the government could borrow vastly more than under the prior arrangements. That meant they could spend vastly more than in the past. The bankers were never worried about the government repaying, because ultimately they controlled the supply of beans, so they could always order more beans. That meant it was the safest type of loan, because the government would always make its payments and make them in full.

The only constraint on the government spending was how fast they could increase spending. Too fast an increase and too many beans would enter the economy of mole utopia, lowering the value of each bean. This could distort markets in unpredictable ways, by increasing demand unexpectedly in some areas, but not in others. This would also raise prices and force lending rates to increase. Therefore, inflation became the only check on spending. As long as inflation remained low, spending was unlimited.

This description of mole utopia may sound simple and ridiculous, but it is how the modern American economy is run by the Federal Reserve. Modern Monetary Theory is the economic argument that government spending is only constrained by inflation, as long as the government has control of the money supply. Here is a short video lecture on the topic from Professor Stephanie Kelton of Stony Brook University. Here is a much shorter version in the form of a post that appeared on Zero Hedge last week.

The basic argument of the MMT people is that as long as there are resources not being utilized by the private sector, the state has a duty to step in and put those resources to use through government spending. That’s a moral argument, not an economic argument or a factual observation. The economic argument is that spending and debt is meaningless, as long as the state is not crowding out the private sector and the spending is not driving up retail inflation. Otherwise, the government can spend as much as necessary.

To many people, this sounds like a version of the old joke about the stranger who comes to a small town looking for a room. He plops down a few hundred dollars and the inn keeper tells him to wait while his room is prepared. In the meantime, the innkeeper rushes out to pay his vendors, who then rush out to pay their vendors. Eventually, that new money reaches the town’s prostitutes, who use the inn for their clients, renting rooms on credit. They rush in with the new money and pay the innkeeper what they owe.

In that old gag, the stranger changes his mind about a room, takes his money back and leaves town, but everyone that was owed money is now paid. That’s the joke. The lesson, of course, is that as long as everyone is getting paid, especially the prostitutes, the system keeps spinning and everyone is happy. That’s the moral theory of MMT in a nutshell. As long as productive resources are being utilized and everyone is getting paid, the system keeps spinning. Just as important, the society remains stable.

The critics will instinctively shoot back that this sort of economics is inherently unstable and the apparent stability is short lived. In the long run, the accumulation of debt becomes untenable and the system collapses. The response to that is no one, especially government, lives in the long run. More important, MMT answers the question as to how government should respond to automation. As robots eliminate jobs, more people become idle. How does the state address the problem of fewer jobs for a growing population?

There’s another way to look at this. The custodial state runs on the same premise as a prison. The first job of the warden is to maintain control of the prison. He does that by making sure the prisoners are always kept busy in ways that work toward his goal of maintaining control of the prison. One mechanism for doing that is controlling the supply of goods and services in circulation in the prison. Prisons have an economy based on items from the commissary and that commissary is controlled by the warden.

What MMT seeks to do is make the sovereign state, by which is meant the issuer of currency, the commissary of the American economy. By controlling the supply of goods and services, via currency manipulation, spending and debt, the state can keep an increasingly useless population busy. It can always reward activities that enhance control of the system and punish activity that creates disorder. Inevitably, the communications companies, banks and technology firms become the prison guards of the system.

The Western Disease

By now, even militant anti-Hollywood people are aware of the zombie apocalypse, where humanity is put at risk by a plague of zombies. It’s not always zombies. It could be a vampire problem. The general idea is always the same though. For some reason, people turn into murderous crazies, attacking normal people. Another variation is the newly dead rise and begin attacking the living, thus increasing the number of zombies while decreasing the stock of the living. This is the most popular version of the concept.

The cause of this problem is either a virus that just turned up for no reason, a virus made by man or some alien bug that arrived here for unknown reasons. The germ of this idea, so to speak, is the novel I Am Legend. In it the hero is the last normal person on earth, plagued by what appears to be vampires. He eventually figures out that they have been infected with a disease that causes the vampire like symptoms. The book ends with him having been captured by a hybrid group of vampires that are the future of man.

The odd thing about Hollywood adaptations of this idea is they never focus on the logic behind a disease that would cause a species to murder itself. A virus that kills the host can only work if the host, in the process of dying, infects new hosts. A pathogen that killed instantly would die off quickly, so it would most likely never evolve in the first place. The first iteration would kill the host, before it could spread or kill the population so quickly that no one could get to another population group in time to infect them.

Species do go extinct, so it is not inconceivable that some new environment element could evolve to take out humanity or a large part of it. The Black Death did a number on Europe, so we know such a plague is possible. Thousand cankers disease is a blight that attacks certain walnut trees. The disease results from the combined activity of the walnut twig beetle and a fungus. It could very well wipe out the walnut tree. Similarly, the common banana, known as the cavendish, is at risk from Panama disease.

This idea of a disease that causes people to turn on one another, combined with the habit of nature to clean the slate from time to time, is a useful way to think about the western disease of multiculturalism. Rather than think of it as a set of nutty ideas or a conspiracy by one population to prey on another, it is best thought of as a pathogen that is causing Europeans to attack themselves. Instead of rage zombies, we have people obsessed with the emotional well-being of aliens, at the expense of their kin.

This live stream with Ed Dutton, John Derbyshire and Richard Spencer from last week gets into it a little bit. Around the 50-minute mark, they talk about how the Finns, in particular, but Europe as a whole, have suddenly and inexplicably become pathological in their altruism. The whole video is worth watching, as Ed Dutton is a very interesting guy with a head full of dangerous ideas. As is often the case, when smart people from this side of the divide get together, they end up puzzling over the disease of multiculturalism.

That’s the thing though, no one ever thinks of it like a disease. Instead, the rock solid belief is that it is simply the result of misreading history or drawing the wrong lessons from the industrial wars of the 20th century. The quest for half a century has been to find the right combination of noises that will drop the scales from the eyes of the ruling elites so they will reject multiculturalism. Despite thousands of smart people working tirelessly to find the right combination of sounds, the disease has spread to all corners of the West.

An important thing Dutton points out is that the Finns used to be a very inward looking population group. In fact, northern people in general were very hostile to outsiders, for practical reasons related to ecology. When you live in challenging environments, cooperation is essential. This inevitably rewards traits that bind people close to their social group and traits that make people hostile to outsiders, who could come in and take some of the precious resources of the group. It’s ecological tribalism.

In the last half century, even the notoriously inward looking Finns have been plagued by the need to invite the world, particularly the most hostile parts, into their community. As Dutton mentions, it even seems to be causing the Finns to lose their shyness, something for which they have been known since forever. What possible reasons could a happy people like the Finns suddenly decided to destroy themselves by inviting in hostile foreigners from the other side of the globe? What’s causing this madness?

That is an important part of stress, with regards to multiculturalism. It is new and just sort of arrived in the middle of the last century. We think of bad ideas as a disease of the mind, but what if it is actually a disease? What if like Toxoplasma gondii, a new germ is infecting Europeans, causing them to lose their natural fear of that which is a threat to their existence? Instead of turning local populations directly against themselves, as is the case with the rage zombie idea, they are losing their ability to defend themselves.

It sounds incredible, but there is growing evidence that the bacteria responsible for gum disease may be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. It has long been known that there is a correlation between periodontal disease and pancreatic cancer. It was assumed it was a common genetic cause, but it could be a common virus or bacteria. Greg Cochran has speculated that something similar could be the cause of homosexuality. His “gay germ” theory is speculation, but not unreasonable, given the data.

Now, such a result would mean the “cure” for multiculturalism is we either treat these people like the rage zombies in TV shows or begin to think of them as lost and unable to assimilate into a newly rationalized West. That is, they will be eaten by the rage zombies they invite into our communities. The rest of us, like the survivors in those TV shows, will have to find our own place to hold up and rebuild. Those in the West immune to the disease of multiculturalism will become the founding stock of the new Western people.

Old And Busted

Way back in the before times, at the dawn of the interwebs, I had some dealings with a small niche publisher. He had a few small newspapers he sold that focused on narrow subjects. Before the internet, there were a lot of these publications. Some were in the magazine format, while others were like a small newspaper. The model was to charge a relatively high subscription fee to a small audience. They could not sell ads, so the only way they could survive was on high subscription rates to loyal fans.

One day, this publisher starts telling me about his plans to abandon the old model and move to the internet. That way he could cut his production and postage costs, which were the biggest part of his operation. I asked him how he was going to handle the revenue side, as this was before firewalls and on-line payment processing, He said he was going to make up the difference with clicks. After some back and forth, I told him banks don’t take clicks, so he better come up with a way to make money, rather than clicks.

The guy thought I was just ignorant about the way the future would work, so he dismissed my skepticism. He was not alone. In the 1990’s, everyone was given a disk and then a CD that allowed them to get on-line and feel like there were on the cutting edge of technology. They were in the new economy, with clicks and traffic, not the old economy with money and expenses. It was a good lesson in human nature. Take people out of their natural environment and you suddenly see their raw cognitive ability.

That story comes to mind whenever there are layoffs in media and the media people start analyzing what went wrong. This story at Wired is better than most, but the fact that it needs to be written at this late date says a lot about the people in the media. By now, everyone should know that the newspaper model was never about the news. It was about the distribution system. The newspaper brought ads and marketing material to the people at a cost and efficiency no one could match. That was always their business.

The news part was the marketing expense. People would buy the paper because of gossip or the sports pages. The news was only interesting when something interesting was happening. Otherwise, the so-called hard news side was a sinkhole. When the internet robbed these operations of their distribution hegemony, the logic of their business went with it. When the internet robbed them of gossip and sports, they were left with hard news, which has a tiny market, but huge expense.

This was obvious by the middle of the Bush years. Yet people in the news business have never noticed. Today, in a world where most everyone knows most news is fake, just made up by desperate losers looking for attention, the point should be impossible to ignore, but here we are anyway. After Vice, Huffington Post and Buzzfeed cut staff in what will be a long journey into insolvency, the media was full of hand wringing about the state of journalism. It suggests the people in the media are not terribly bright.

That still leaves open the question as to why no one can find a model for news that is sustainable, without rigging the market or relying on the charity of billionaires. The on-line advertising model was always a bit of sham and that is becoming increasingly clear as Google and Facebook monopolize the space. Even there, the viewership of the ads is declining, as people employ counter measures. The result is more people are exposed to ads, but fewer people are watching them. At some point, that becomes a problem.

What may be true of the news business is that without monopoly or oligopoly power, it cannot exist beyond some scale. That is, a form of Brook’s Law comes into play. The more journalists that are added to a news enterprise, beyond some optimal number, the faster the enterprise descends into insolvency. A single journalist can create enough content for a theoretical maximum of consumers. Two journalists, however, can produce something less than the sum of those theoretical maximums.

This would explain why local papers somehow manage to bugger on, despite what is happening to city broadsheets and even tabloids. It’s not that the local paper fills a niche, which is certainly true. It’s that it never grows beyond a certain size and that size is well below the failure point. The people working in it don’t see themselves as a secular clerisy and instead take a practical view of their job. As a result, the cultural dynamic inside the organization is like you see inside any small local business.

Another point worth mentioning is that it has always been assumed a new economy would evolve to take advantage of the new efficiency brought on by technology, particularly the free flow of information on-line. What’s going on with mass media suggests maybe there is another option. Technology eliminates large chunks of economic activity, not through automation, but by making it impossible maintain barriers to entry. That is, when the price of something fully reflects all available information, the price drops to zero.

The Five Olds

My guess is John Derbyshire and Ethnark from FTN are the only two people to catch the meaning of the show title this week. It came to me while reading some of the comments to my post earlier in the week on the wealth tax. It reminded me that dissident politics is a much more radical venture than previous opposition movements in that it requires an entirely new moral framework. It’s not just about getting some things in the law changed or better behavior from the people in power. It is a cultural revolution.

At least it aspires to be one. Failure is always an option, particularly when it comes to social movements. The people in charge could start sweeping up bad thinkers and sending us off to camps. For now though, it is about discrediting a lot of old ideas about how we relate to one another, society and our government. That’s not an easy thing as all of us have grown up marinated in the morality of the Left, along with the moral scolding of the so-called Right. Civic nationalism and Progressive morality are all we know.

What I decided to do is focus this week on various old ideas, customs, habits and so forth that no longer fit the present age, It’s not a one hour show detailing a new moral philosophy, but a show picking apart the old habits of mind. I’m most certainly going to be writing about some of these topics in the future, as I think topics like tax policy offer a great way to question (and disrupt!) the old modes of thought. Sadly, I was not able to work in the phrase “invisibilize the unmentionables” this week. Maybe next week.

This week I have the usual variety of items in the now standard format. Spreaker has the full show. I am up on Google Play now, so the Android commies can take me along when out disrespecting the country. I am on iTunes, which means the Apple Nazis can listen to me on their Hitler phones. The anarchists can catch me on iHeart Radio. YouTube also has the full podcast. Of course, there is a download link below. I have been de-platformed by Spotify, because they feared I was poisoning the minds of their Millennial customers.

This Week’s Show

Contents

  • 00:00: Opening
  • 02:00: Our Awakening
  • 07:00: Old Conditioning
  • 17:00: Old Ideas
  • 27:00: Old Morality
  • 37:00: Old Politics
  • 47:00: Old Philosophy
  • 57:00: Closing

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