The Surplus Value of Superman

One of the fascinating things about the ideological struggles of the last century is that no one has ever bothered to refute the claim that capitalism is inherently self-destructive. The destruction of exchange value combined, with the preservation of use value, presents opportunities for new capital investment. The successful business attracts competitors by the nature of its success. Eventually, the market is saturated and profits reach the absolute minimum. The value of the original business is destroyed by its own success.

Marx was, of course, was observing the boom and bust cycles of the English industrial revolution. Much later, Joseph Schumpeter, drawing on Marx, wrote “the process of industrial mutation that incessantly revolutionizes the economic structure from within, incessantly destroying the old one, incessantly creating a new one. ” It is a famous line known as Schumpeter’s gale, which is just a clever way of saying that the destructive forces unleashed by capitalism are the cost of progress.

That came to mind reading this post on the comic book industry. According to people who read comics and follow the business, it has been overrun by howling at the moon social justice warriors. Comics are no longer about Superman vanquishing the bad guys for “Truth, Justice, and the American Way.” Today it is a “half-black, half-Hispanic Spider-Man” lecturing the honkies about their backpack of invisible privilege. Maybe it is more subtle that that, but that seems to be the general direction of the business.

The article he links to assumes the nose dive in sales is due to the lurch into progressive lunacy by the comic book business. There’s no question that there is little to no market for the social justice warrior stuff. It’s why it always has to be imposed. Still, comic books have been in decline for decades. It is not a dying business, but a dead one. In fact, this SJW phase is what happens to the carcass of an industry or business that has already been pillaged by the money men and grifters of the credit age.

In the industrial age, the cycle Marx first observed was tied to the currency arrangements of the age. Societies still dealt in hard money so capital only seemed to appear and disappear like a magic trick. When a company folded, it felt like the money was gone, but in reality, it had just moved somewhere else. The cyclical nature of hard money, it rushes into a market or industry in good times, then rushes out at the peak, is the underlying cause of the booms and busts common in the industrial era.

We live in a a credit money era, where capital can be conjured out of thin air and just as quickly be made to vanish. Money is not the store of labor value. It is the store of intellectual and social capital. The banker is not worth a billion dollars because his labor sold for a billion dollars. He is worth a billion because his social connections and knowledge of the financial system places him at a highly valuable node in the system, allowing him to skim from the traffic on the network, like a highwayman.

What’s happening in the comic book business is emblematic of the credit money age. Into the 1970’s a comic book was cheap entertainment for boys. It encouraged reading and imagination. At the peak, there was something like 15 million comics printed a month. That meant it was an industry of maybe $10 million in annual sales, including revenues related to publishing. By the 70’s they probably made more from licensing than the comics. More kids experienced Superman on TV than through comic books.

By the 70’s it was a mature business with little in the way of growth. Then, clever money men of the credit era decided it was time to bust out the industry and strip away the remaining value. That’s how we got the great comic book bubble. The guy who chronicled this period, the source for the The Weekly Standard article, still has his blog up here. Even if you have no interest in comics, it is an interesting read because it helps explain the phenomenon of social justice warriors in the credit age.

What’s happening in the comic book business is a systematic strip mining of the value created in the golden age of comics. The first stage was to use credit money to blow a massive bubble, drawing in stupid money that the smart money players then ran off with before the bubble burst. That’s the essence of a credit bubble. Credit fuels artificial growth, which attracts real money looking for a quick return. Instead, the sharps take out the real money leaving the credit money behind, which is back by the worthless assets.

There’s another stage though. After the crash, another class of parasites comes in to feed off the carcass. In the case of comic books, there was the old characters developed in the zenith of American culture. In this case, it is the propaganda value of the comic book heroes. Instead of selling cheap fantasy entertainment to boys, they use the super heroes to promote the New Religion. Those social justice warriors now writing for Marvel did not infiltrate the industry. They were recruited.

This seems to be a feature of the credit money era. The ability to conjure money from thin air not only allows for the unnatural growth of industries, it allows dead ones to stagger on like zombies, re-purposed as propaganda. The reason Twitter is worth $10 billion, and Gab is worth $10, is credit money and the utility of the former to be one of the megaphones of the managerial class. At the same time though, the arrival of the SJW’s means the business or industry is dead, just shuffling along on fumes.

If you are a fan of comic books, this is not much solace, but it does suggest that the appearance of SJW’s is a late-phase phenomenon. It only happens when the end is near for the business, industry or movement. In J. B. S. Haldane’s The Inequality of Man, fanaticism is listed as one of the four great inventions of early civilization. It is what allows a society to grow and break out of its natural bindings. When a society is dead, it is the one thing that remains. It is the last to go.



64 thoughts on “The Surplus Value of Superman

  1. Pingback: Tectonic Rumblings: What's Going to Happen to the Alt Media? - Stares at the World

  2. I was born in 1970 and read comics from the late 70s through most of the 80s. I was not a serious fan- I bought, read, and bagged a lot, but was never a convention goer, fan letter writer, first-generation costume maker, or any of that. And my tastes were conventional even by 80s standards- DC more than Marvel, and the less edgy Marvel superheroes. Never read XMen, which was the cool Marvel brand-leader then as perhaps now. OTOH, I read Dr Strange, which represented the New Age wing of comic counterculture. Also read stuff like GI Joe from Marvel [juvenile but flag-waving patriotic; it carried on the 60s trend of always having the main foe be insidious international terrorists and keeping the Soviets on the sidelines, but the Joes were indisputably American rather than the multinational force of the recent bad movies; designed to sell toys of course]. I also read old war comics like Unknown Soldier and Sgt Rock. These were in the 70s and 80s infused with Vietnam era ennui, but still not as counterculture as superheroes.

    Gave up as I left my teen years. I was more a history nerd than a real, comic/computers/fantasy nerd [no D&D], but I still read what I read. Sold it all for peanuts circa 1995 at the bottom of the market. None of it was ever valuable anyway.

    I’ve still been seeing many of the movies over the past 20 years. Not all. I liked the Batman Trilogy with Christian Bale. The third even had a sort of conservative[not yielding the term] or even traditionalist message, which makes it alongside sci-fi adventure Serenity a very rare thing in genre film. The second had some political messages that struck me as troubling and characteristic of the warped minds of disappointed Camelot-fans, but so it goes. Even the first Captain America had Cap deliver a curiously nationalist retort to the Red Skull’s post-Nazi take on a post-national future. But it’s all gone too leftist over time now and frankly I’m also sick of the whole thing and the whole culture.

    I may have almost given up on these movies now, as I long ago did on the comics. In this I find myself in sympathy for the first time with internet movie critic, political commentator, and national security guy James Bowman. [Check out his site. He’s a fine writer and a harsh critic]. He long ago wrote many pieces on the turn to fantasy in film, in the sense of heroes with ever more unrealistic abilities and luck in ever more unrealistic scenarios. Even Raiders of the Lost Ark, or most sci-fi, which still strikes me as a little harsh. But now I see better where he is coming from.

    From 2012-16 I attended my first comic cons of my life, mainly at first for nostalgia reasons and proximity, to get in touch with my teen self. I realized just how much I was only ever on the fringe of “fandom”, and just how much I am farther from the fringe of its political and social sensibilities today. Thank goodness sci-fi still has writers more to my liking, but comic-world and I are done. It was an interesting if prolonged lesson.

    I have a lot of time for the thesis ZMan presents but it’s worth noting that what we now call SJW tendencies were in comics a LOT longer and earlier than that.

    The turn in the early 80s had its upside. It was probably indissolubly linked to the turn to ‘darker’ stories in the 80s. Which I viewed then and still as a potentially good thing. Darker doesn’t actually have to mean anti-government, anti-US, leftist, etc. All the real stories of the West are dark in some way. So is life at times. But in the minds of comic writers, darkness and social justice stories were linked. So we got better art and far better stories and characterization than just “Wonder Cape Boy Saves the Day against Dr Arroganto Chapter XLVII”. And a conscious turn against camp, which I then and still consider an unusually reactionary if mainly stylistic choice. I think the left had decided camp had done its work and was too laughable to keep working. But we also got superheroes facing anti-nuclear angst, anti-Reagan stuff, revisionism on the drug war, AIDS conspiracy theories, racial conspiracy theories, and maybe a little bit of sexual identity angst though carefully managed.

    It had its pros and cons as storytelling, and it probably had its limits even as propaganda, but it had some impact. I find middle-aged serious comic guys one hears of are pretty left, man-feminist, pro-genderqueered, Scalzied, you name it, more often than you might thinking if coming to the issue cold.

    But it goes back further- Stan Lee [maybe Jack Kirby too though I don’t want to blame him if not sure] made some kind of conscious decision as far back as the 60s to make Marvel the graphic form of the counterculture. Spiderman was always about the angst of being a “Teenager” (TM) facing change. The XMen, far from being the Master Race in embryo they so obviously are, were depicted as analogs of minorities, women, or perhaps in retrospect as an analog of gay people, facing unwarranted prejudice for the things that made them “unique” and “special”.

    That’s about as far back as I’d take it. But there’s a moderate case for criticism going all the way back to the origins in the 1930s through the 1950s. Superman really was created by two urban Jewish guys as a wish-fulfillment fantasy. Comics of the 1950s before the Code had some pretty serious stuff- noirish storylines reflecting the cynicism of the age, valorized criminals, vicious horror. Arguably, more serious than the superhero comics and less counterculture by later standards, but I have more time than I used to for the argument that even these comics set a bad example.

    I’d hate to have to junk the whole legacy. They gave me what for me was harmless pleasure. Dark Batman stories in the 80s gave me what that character should always have been and an attitude to crime I enjoyed. The Punisher indulged vigilante fantasies. The superhero stuff gave a contemporary equivalent of mythos. All good, and the stories were not stupid even when in retrospect morally problematic.

    But in the past year or so, even as the partial consumer of that world I described above, as I said I’m mostly out.

    If I were to dip back in, it would be to read old Conan comics from the 80s. Absurd fantasy of its own, but different sensibility entirely. Feminists and genderqueers really hate it. [Traditional gay men probably don’t mind…] It represented what one might characterize the masculinist/patriarchal version of the anti-traditional counterculture. A forgotten cultural thread, and largely living on among pretty deviant comic artists in their own right. But anything that worked with Robert E Howard’s character I can still read for fun.

    Sorry to ramble. The topic still interests.

  3. “According to people who read comics and follow the business, it has been overrun by howling at the moon social justice warriors.”

    Pretty much; though its mainly gotten to lunatic levels in the last couple of years. The problem probably boils down to a major disconnect between them and everything else associated with the characters and concepts. The comics can publish whatever they want and not really suffer a penalty even if its absolutely awful or just outrageous virtue signaling. Millions of people will go to see the latest Thor movie; that should be able to translate into some sort of increased comic book sale. But only a few hundred will bother with Lady Thor fighting to make the Viking tradition safe for feminism. So, will anyone sack the brains behind the comic? To ask the question is to answer it.

    Comic books these days are a dried out husk living on nostalgia for material from 50 years ago. Can anyone name something from the comics that isn’t either iconic (Batman/Superman/Spider-Man) and wasn’t created before 1975?

  4. Was shocked to pick up a comic book some years ago. The price tag was close to $5 ! Have seen an interest by minorities with comic books. Looks like Marvel is just catering to the new fan base.

    Sadly the SJW’s are forced on just about every business. It’s funny to see white suburbanites nod their head in agreement whenever the discussion turns to political correctness. Yet in private they whisper their disapproval.

    The latest Ghostbuster movie might be an indication people have reached there saturation point for all this nonsense.

    One can hope anyways.

  5. The same process is now at work with the weekly news magazines. Someone bought Newsweek for a dollar and then simply used the cover for propaganda purposes because it could be billboarded in magazine racks. Again, it’s final usefulness to the fanatics was as a blunt instrument.

  6. I dunno. On the one hand, comics, like sports, are dying because people view them to get away from the endless drumbeat of politics. On the other hand, unlike sports, comics are pure fantasy. No amount of preaching can convince viewers that girls are as athletic as guys, or that whites are as athletic as blacks, when you can see the evidence for yourself right there every single game. Comics are pure fantasy, though — “in this world, girls are stronger and faster than guys, because reasons.” The Adventures of Captain SJW doesn’t fail because he’s Captain SJW; it’s because they don’t allow Captain SJW to participate in compelling stories (see also: modern sci-fi, fantasy, and horror). In theory, it should be possible to create good stories using their precious Narrative, in much the same way the Renaissance had beautiful art with age-old themes. Of course, they’d never actually DO that, because SJWs always project, but in theory…

    • Just going by the Marvel graphic-novel-format stuff that I’ve read recently — there’s always a hero who’s stronger/more competent than any given heroine, and the heroines tend to tag along to add sparkle to the scenes. The problem, I think, isn’t that the heroines are presented as being equally awesome; rather, the problem is that the heroines aren’t presented as playing identifiably feminine roles in the scheme of things. They do everything that the men do, just not as well (this is how Plato has Socrates describe women in the Republic; he seems to deny that there’s a female nature with a distinct role to play in the scheme of things — but he must be kidding.) Maybe this is also why the stories are far too complicated. If there’s no obvious they-get-married-and-have-a-family ending to aim for, there can’t be any sort of clear story, because this is the deep story of human existence: growing up, getting married, and having/raising children of one’s one.

  7. In a comment on a related Vox Day post I mentioned Disney really doesn’t care about Marvel’s comic book sales. Disney probably makes more per year from one popcorn wagon in one theme park than all of Marvel’s sales. The reason they bought Marvel in ’09 were the lucrative movie and merch licensing deals. And of course, when it comes to PC, that can be summed up in four letters: E-S-P-N.
    I also mentioned the average comic book reader is no longer a kid, comic books are almost exclusively sold through dedicated comic shops (That was the reason the died off). Try finding a comic book in general retail such as supermarkets or newsstands, you might find the ‘digest’ format Archie titles but nothing else. That itself ultimately spells doom for comics. Not to mention the confusion when a youngster comes across Korean Hulk, African/Hispanic Spidey or Thorina (I made none of those up) after seeing the flicks.

    • The people who sold Marvel to Disney were cold-blooded financier types who had no interest in or knowledge of the product. They recognized an opportunity to buy an under leveraged company, bought it with borrowed fiat currency, strip mined and levered up the thing, and then sold it off to Disney. Nice payday. The product could have been Girl Scout Cookies for all they cared.

  8. Dying corporations seem prone to electing female CEO’s as a proxy for SJW because when all else has failed who can point fingers for doing the correct thing?

    • Agree FWIW: Hiring ‘Power Skirts’ (love Z man’s pithy, cynical, accurate descriptors) for Diversity Pokemon Points happens in an input-based management measurement system. Organizations that use those systems are either NGO world, public sector or shortly for bankruptcy court. Hence the attraction to magic SJW thinking.

      Organizations that use output-based management measurement systems, like the evil profit, diabolic ROE, etc. have a chance.

    • The problem with the Von Mises crowd is they suffer from the same hive mindedness of the Left. It’s always their preferred economic model or communism. There’s a reason the word “capitalism” did not exist until socialist Louis Blanc invented it in 1850.

      Again, libertarianism is fine as a critique of central planning. It works great if your society is composed of high IQ sociopaths, isolated from the rest of the world. Otherwise, it has not much to offer.

  9. Off topic: I noticed you deleted the link to Vox Day. Would you mind explaining the background?

    Plus, incidentally, shouldn’t it be “Throne and Altar,” with a’s only in the second item?

    • Just moved it up a rung since he regularly links to me now. He’s in the A-List Fans category now.

      • Sorry, my mistake. Stupidly it didn’t occur to me to look for the link further up instead of further down.

        • The blog is due for a make over and one of things I plan to implement is a drop down menu for links. It’s more efficient and cleans up some space for posting.

  10. So SJWs are like mistletoe. Mistletoe makes trees sick, but only sick trees get mistletoe. Young companies, like young trees, are busy focusing on growth.

  11. A lot of people read graphic-novel-format “comic”-book stories. I’ve bought a lot of them for my kid, including recent Marvel books featuring alternate universes and expanded superhero-teams. I don’t understand why nobody (including the linked-to Weekly Standard writer) has mentioned this (unless I missed it). If you go to Barnes & Noble in Brooklyn you’ll see a bunch of Black nerds cutting school to sit in the comics/graphic-novels aisle and read these things. The Progressivism is indirect, it seems to me. The really insidious thing is that the heroes and heroines — especially the heroines — don’t have families and don’t intend to start families and raise children. Black Panther’s fine — as everyone knows, there are intelligent, helpful Blacks here and there. I haven’t noticed any tranny Thors and Black Spiderboys. I don’t think that’s a big thing.

  12. Many creative people need guidance from realists in order to be able to produce something palatable to the general public. Some of these, after they have seen some success go on to demand more creative license without realizing that the bore they had helping them out earlier was the very reason for their early notoriety. They then go on to make fools of themselves in their further efforts. Cases​ in point: the Matrix trilogy, and George Lucas.
    I think Z’s theory about SJW’s jumping on board sinking enterprises holds up, but often times I think they are also the cause of the decline. Knowing the inflection point precisely would help. This may be a lot like the study of the rise and fall of whole civilizations​. Sometimes the point at which things begin to go south is masked by apparent prosperity or monument building.
    As far as Schumpeter goes, I think his ideas of creative destruction should get less play than his accurate call on estimating GNP in the US in the 1970s(made in the 1940s), and his idea that capitalism would be so successful that one should worry more about it turning itself into socialism than it being taken over militarily by Communism.

      • Also, failure of the organization’s immune system. If non-performers are not culled regularly, then SJW’s can multiply and take over.

    • Doc;
      As you say, one reason for most ‘art’ being dreck these days is the lack of no-nonsense patronage. Mozart would probably be in obscurity these days but for Baron Esterhazy, who knew music but couldn’t write it well. “You like to eat, you compose to me and my friends’ taste.’, is kinda how it went back then.

      Not, ‘Such a genius as yourself must be free do whatever it is that moves you, and all Vienna must then swoon at your feet.’. This, plus spending OPM (other people’s money) on the ‘arts’ is how we got where we are now.

  13. Z-man, I think you’ve fallen off the cliff on your view of capitalism. You mostly expressed it’s basic concept correctly, but strangely penned. Capitalism is simply building a savings from the profit from your work and eventually putting that savings to work in one form or fashion into the same or new business venture. A gardener who saves to buy a better tool to increase his work production is a capitalist.
    High profits do attract competition, this is a concept of a free market. Capitalism and free market have brought the world out of poverty.
    So profits certainly do drop when competition arrives to the benefit of consumers, not necessierly to the detriment of business, poorly mangled companies dies and others take over. Capitalists risk capital and create innovations, some succeed and some fail. Success in innovation bring back profits, companies that are poorly managed will disappear. It’s unethical partnerships with governments that breed regulation. Regulation is a means of market control, which breeds poor business management as your focus has shifted from pleasing the consumer to pleasing the regulators.
    A company in touch with its market and consumer will continue to survive and certainly its profits will ebb and flow in the business cycle, a cycle made more extreme and dangerous by the creation of money control of the central banks.
    Ludwig Von Mises have written volumes on this subject. Your ideas are a bit off base because you are confusing capitalism in a free market with what we have today, and that is a market riddled with government intervention and a quasi socialist/capitalist market.
    American never had a free market, maybe it’s impossible to have a truly free market, but certainly America’s most prosperous building and successful period was when our government was reigned in under our limited power constitution. Our Consitition is mostly an ignored document today, with the exception of the horrible amendments of the 20th century (the cause of our demise). These bad amendments have brought forth this SJW environment we have today as well as the horrible banking system, and a government that is not longer limited and now more of a democracy than a republic. This all which will soon bring us the biggest depression the world has ever known.

    • The turnover you describe in regard to capitalism and the free market is know an “churn”, and it is an essential element of all evolutionary processes. Without it, you cannot get a selection for fitness and continue the improvement of the species.

    • What the readership is missing in Z’s post is that the currency is different now. In the old days, hard currency was accumulated, saved, and invested in new projects. The key to the whole thing was that hard currency could not be printed up, loaning it out was problematic (how does one collateralize a loan of hard assets?), and it never multiplied or disappeared, it just changed hands. Hard currency also limited economic growth, due to the difficulty of leveraging up a hard asset economy. Recessions and depressions were quick, frequent, and brutal. No cash, no go. You couldn’t easily borrow your way out of trouble.

      With paper money-fiat currency-you can print it up, loan it out, collect it for debts, and write up a contract for collateralization of a financial commitment. Lever it up, enter it as pixels on a screen. Conjure “money” out of thin air and pump up the economy. But when the fiat is leveraged pixels on a screen, converted into securities, which are then “marked to market”, the “money” can multiply or burn down at a moment’s notice. The last thousand dollar transaction can add or subtract billions from the marketplace. Nobody knows where they truly stand, and a good or bad market day can set one up financially for life or break him down to poverty. The old rules don’t apply any more. You makes your bets, you takes your chances. When confidence in the markets is lost, money will burn down by the trillions. As quoted from South Park, “and it’s gone!”

    • I have to agree. Since the Trump election I’ve been spending more and more time perusing the world of the “alt-right” – and I seem to see quite a few attacks on “capitalism” – which mostly seem to come from sheer ignorance – or maybe not.

      I tend to take a bottom up view of the way the world is constructed. You can’t have a wall without bricks – so you first have to figure out how the bricks get made. You can’t have bricks without clay – so you had better understand clay – etc.

      I run into an awful lot of people living out here in leftie-land (MA) – who just constantly bitch and whine about “capitalism”. Since their heads are typically fully infused with leftist malarky – asking them to define what exactly capitalism is – is an exercise in futility.

      So – going along with some of the same theories that I’ve seen in multiple Z-man columns, I’m going to start with the assertion that a human being is not just a blank slate – not just a piece of clay that can be made into a brick. Each one has certain built in characteristics – and each one is born with some level of human *capital* – that is all theirs. If you’re a smoking hot woman – you’ve got your looks and you reproductive organs, you will likely play that capital into the best societal position you can manage (given your mental capital). If you’re fit black man – you may do well at sports – and with hard work play that inherent capital into the best reward you can manage. …… etc.

      The example I have used to beat down a number of leftist types is one of an 18 year old kid who is just out of high school – and looking for a job. He’s fit – and a “work animal”. One of his neighbors is old – but has 25 trees he wants cut down. Neighbor has a chainsaw (capital) – but not the physical capability any more to do the work. The kid has more than enough physical capability to do the work – and could likely accomplish the task with just an axe, but the neighbor says : “cut my trees – I’ll let you use my saw – and I’ll pay you $2500”. Everybody is working their own capital to the best advantage – and that kid – who has NOTHING to his name except his ability to work – is now making money with his HUMAN CAPITAL.

      Please explain to me ( I will say) – how the other 18 year kid who lives right near these two – and who is a lazy shit – has ANY claim whatsoever to the deal made between these two – when in the end what he would be making a claim to – is the work accomplished by the 18 year old who cut down the trees? This is the scam that socialists want to try and sell you about how “capitalism” is evil – and socialism is good. When they are arguing that stealing from a person who sells their human capital – is ok.

      In the end – we are all born with nothing unless it is given to us – or we work for it. We’ve got human capital – and we need to make that work for us in some form or fashion. People who demand things from me – are basically making a demand on my ability to work – and I don’t see the difference between this – and slavery , except for the fact it is apparently obfuscated enough that a good many people can’t seem to figure this shit out on their own.

      So call me a proud capitalist.

  14. Fiat
    Fiat dominates every aspect of the economic sphere of activity
    Fiat rules
    Fiat thinking
    Fiat money
    Fiat investment
    Fiat politics
    Fiat regulation
    Fiat influence
    Fiat “law”
    Fiat greed
    Fiat power
    The only system of intrinsic value and wealth is what is loosely termed System D
    All of the above fiat is in some measure an instrument or results in eliminating System D.
    There is another thing, unfettered economic freedom, which employs no Fiat in it’s exchange. Unfettered economic freedom is absolutely a bedrock component of liberty. In some ways, personal liberty is not possible without absence of Fiat in the exchange and activity of economic freedom.
    Take gold or silver, or barter for example, they all carry an intrinsic value which is absolute, all three can not be counter fitted, physically or figuratively, their value is tied directly to the value of the sweat of ones brow, the fruits of ones labor. There is nothing to skim or fractionalize, there is nothing blue sky or pretend about all three.

    Use myself for a living example. It sounds complicated, but it is actually a natural process of co-equal trade/barter. It just takes a bit of thinking different from using Fiat as a trade medium.
    I need a beef for food for my family to carry through the year. I don’t have the pasture and hay/grain fields on my land to support raising cattle, but I do have land and a food source, (wood lot for their rooting, and a large truck garden, the refuse from along with woods foraging helps reduce my grain bill for raising pigs), I also have another resource, my welding metal fabrication skills and tools.
    My neighbor, who we abut land together, has beef cows, doesn’t like raising hogs, and has numerous farm equipment that requires repairs/modification etc.
    We strike up a deal. I get half a beef, he gets a hog, I repair his equipment, he gives me a winters worth of cord wood, I split and stack his wood, he provides the trees from his land and the tractor to skid said trees out of his wood lot and transport said cordwood, I supply the chain saw and he the wood splitter, he provides acerage and tractor with attachments to till the earth, to plant corn and sourgum, (sugar cane), I harvested seed from last years crop, saved and stored said seed, we both till and plant our saved seed, I tend to weeding and cultivating over growing season, we both harvest and process crop, I receive a portion of crop, i.e. share cropping, to feed my pigs, we grind some corn for corn meal to eat, and squeeze the sugar cane, and cook it down to make sugar syrup and molasses.
    There is no fiat money exchanged. It is entirely a honor and respect system, it is reciprocal in every aspect. Once we got into the spirit of it, we became a co-operative. The intrinsic value of it surpasses ant system conceivable, it is a totally forward and upwards flow system. The value we each receive is greater than the sum of us singularly. The benefits are compound, the interest is built in, it pays both ways and better yet, it pays forward. Now we just get humping to it, we trust each other, and we have an unspoken rule we both give each other better than we received in trade.
    Now, to me, gold, silver, barter, all three possesses that intrinsic value, there is no funny business with them. Nobody can take a nip off those precious metal coins, and pass them off as full original value and content.
    And nothing or nobody can ever bullshit or dissimulate these truths, these medium of exchanges, and their built in intrinsic worths as anything else than what they are.
    Some say well that system won’t work on the large scale. I call Bullshit!
    The only reason they “can’t work” is because people are being dishonest, and don’t want it to work, because that way they can avoid the work of creating something of true value.

      • Karl, you have more brains than that. That is the oldest lie going for not using a gold standard there is. Tell me, how is that growing wealth on the fiat racket working?
        And why every time gold or silver begins to increase in dollar value is it’s worth artificially manipulated and the market flooded with bullion, if that lie was not a lie?
        Growing real intrinsic wealth is not tied to the quantity of scarce metals, it is keeping that wealth to make more wealth by the fact you can not create fake gold like you can fake dollars.
        The scarce metals set the real value of production, not who who sets the value based on a skimming operation which the fiat system is used for.

    • Fiat is Latin for “decree”. Anything can be currency (money, if you will). Oystershells or bitcoins. whatever. Usurers have decreed that debt is money. The interest can never be repaid on an exponentially increasing debt. Sovereign defaults lie ahead for all the nations which are in thrall to the usurers and their bankster tools. The comments about the cycle of finance and paper-mongers using the system are interesting; the dark drama behind the scenes is ultimately our doom. Moneychangers in the temples are always the death of every empire.

  15. The pension funds and 401Ks are the second to last bag holder. We and our parents are the final bag holders.

    I sometimes wonder if that is an evolved or a designed end state. I wonder if the plutocrats sit around over cigars and cognac and congratulate themselves that when the last bubble bursts, the people absorbing damn near 100% of the loss will be people too old to do much about it? Or did it just work out that way?

    You’re right, Zman. The SJWs are a protective mechanism of the managerial class and their masters in the cloud. When the final bubble bursts, they will blame the old, mostly white pension holders for being the real culprits. The blue-haired, fluid gendered SJW that Severian often brings up will become an Obergruppenfuhrer and the old will suffer cold and hunger in silence.

  16. comics are dying because of video games (which are a superior form of fantasy support). games will also kill movies, soon. and most traditional toys. once full immersion technology is widely available, the world will become very quiet…

    • I think this is correct to some degree. Comics were dying before MMORPG games, but modern video games have drawn all of the creative talent away now. If you are a young, creative type with off-beat interests, video game design is where you go, not cartooning.

    • They are dying the same way board based war games died and along with plastic model and wooden model airplane building and general handicrafts for men like leather, wood and metal work.

      Of course the first nail in the coffin was removal of shop classes in school. Lets take away fundamental skills. Make boys feel inadequate.

      Those old enough remember when every small town had a hobby shop with model trains, rockets, airplanes, plastic models and figures, etc. They’ve gone the by the wayside now.

      Oh you can still buy plastic model kits, but they cost a arm and a leg, basically priced out of existence for boys. And now just a hobby for old men.

      Hammered by computers and immersive video gaming.

      The end result it will produce a new white male that is totally useless in the world. They can’t fix a car, do work on the house, work power tools or even a dremel. Just useless pants loads with graveyard complexions.

      Not evolution but regression.

      • on the other hand there are some wizard things you can do with model railroads now (thanks to improvements in small motors and RF contollers)

        and drones!

        kids still do those things but they aren’t shown on TV or in movies, so it seems like they don’t.

        there are still hobby shops, but wood and metal working classes do seem to have gone the way of the dodo.

  17. There are few things more disturbing than grown men who read comic books. I read comic books–when I was 10 years old. When I became a man I put away childish things. The business can’t die fast enough.

    Twitter is worth $10B because it has 320MM unique monthly users.

    Gab is worth $10 because it has a total of 150k unique users.

    I have said this before and I’ll say it again, Gab will die in the crib due to the idiotic sign-in policy. In an era of ubiquitous surveillance on the internet, no Normie wants to sign into a website to read pithy 300 character commentary, particularly one that is closely associated with the alt-right. Simply being a member of Gab is enough to get a Normie fired from his/her job these days. Gab is destined to become a tiny community of self-reinforcing, circle jerking for alt-right people who got kicked off Twitter and their fanboys.

    • Gab is also worth $10 because you have to wait before they let you sign up for it. I “applied” a few days ago and was informed that there were over 490,000 people waiting in line ahead of me. I am now about 600 places farther back in line than when I started. There may be half a million people waiting their turn to get in, but I kinda f’in’ doubt it.

      It’s a BullShi’ite scam and I’m no longer bothering with it.

      • It’s not a scam. It’s simply a matter of resource management. It’s a small startup. If they let everyone in right now their servers would tip over. It’s also a real business running off donations and monthly subscriptions. No VC money. Growth will be organic.

        • I hope it takes off. But it had better get organically growing pretty damn quick if it wants to get the business of the half a million folks waiting to get access. Startups gotta start.

          By the way, why does my place in line go backwards each day rather than forward?

        • Based upon what I have seen, which is admittedly little, it appears they are taking the Field of Dreams approach. Let the content creators on first, then hope that the content they generate will draw the eyeballs. This will draw the hardcore alt-right eyeballs who want the content enough to generate a user account and maybe pay for access, but it is not going to scale.

          I do not have a Twitter account, nor do I want one, but I can peruse Twitter at will. Zman, I scroll your Twitter feed a few times a week. I used to click through to your Gab posts. It displayed one post. Any attempt to navigate the site brought up the obnoxious sign in message. The page was usually open for less than 10 seconds. Now I don’t even bother clicking the link.

          Twitter may well go the way of Yahoo, particularly if the SJWs keep up their attacks. But I don’t see how Gab gets beyond a tiny audience of Zealots.

    • Twitter has never turned a profit. It will never turn a profit. It should have a market cap of zero.

      Gab actually has a business model that can work. It will not be a billion dollar tech company, but it can be a successful tech venture. It’s just never going to be a bust out like twitter of snap chat, so Wall Street has no interest in them.

    • Are you guys fibbing or embellishing to make a negative point seem legitimate?
      What your saying doesn’t add up.
      I haven’t seen anything wrong with GAB you guys are talking about. I signed up to get in, they said it could be 2 weeks minimum, 7 days later I was in.
      Whats so difficult with that?
      If it is a long wait, it means it is a growing and popular platform. They have stuck to their clearly stated mission and mandate of free speech and unfettered expression of beliefs from the start. Thats integrity, more than can be said for the data mining and social engineering programming of faceborg and twitter.
      How can the two entirely different platforms even be compared?

  18. I collected comics in the Silver Age, 1960’s into early 70’s. I watched as the value of older comics grew exponentially. The Golden Age comics from the 30’s and 40’s cost so much more. Partially because of historical value, but mostly because of rarity. Paper drives during WWII, mothers that saw them as junk and threw them out or sold them in garage sales, and decay of the type of paper used in their construction decreased the amount in existence. Plus, the initial runs of the great titles, like the first Superman or Batman, Captain America, Fantastic Four and Spiderman, had a minimum number printed since they were somewhat speculative. The companies had no idea if they would sell. But, by the time the 70’s came around, the creative energies of Marvel and DC were mostly spent. They kept cranking out comics, but most were just recycling the same ideas. And while people may outgrow comics, there is always another generation coming along to spend money. By the 80’s, you had a fragmentation of the business. Writers and artists were creating their own product. New companies, like Image and Dark Horse came along and made millionaires out of some individuals. But, like all creative ventures, production of good product tends to be cyclical. Some was good, most was crap.

    The development of the comics industry in the 90’s was the ultimate bubble. Some of the famous titles from the past in Mint to Near Mint condition could bring 40 to 50,000 dollars. X-Men was a major cash cow for Marvel. They kept coming out with new titles to milk the X-Men fans. The most egregious example was the creation of the X-Men series in 1991. The initial run was over 8 million copies. They had at least 4 different covers for X-Men #1. Over 3 million copies were sold. Collectors, remembering how Fantastic Four and Spiderman #1 became an unbelievably good investment, bought multiple copies, placed them in Mylar bags and set them aside, waiting for them to be worth thousands of dollars. Today, it is still worth about what it cost to buy in 1991. Comics follow that immutable law of supply and demand. When there are 3 million copies out there, there is no real demand.

    Today, the comic industry is almost dead. You can read independent titles online. Manga competes for the out-of-pocket dollar. Like newspapers, comics are being kept around not to entertain people (mostly boys) but to program them with SJW politically correct drivel. If it wasn’t for the movies and TV shows that DC and Marvel still sell, they would have no real market position. The comics are a loss leader to sell destructive ideas to kids as truth.

  19. One of the major untold stories is that pension plans have quietly become one of the biggest holders of bad debt driven by the credit economy. Most of these plans are now managed by Liberals and have made promises of future performance that simply cannot be fulfilled. They maintain the charade by presuming the emergence of a “greater fool” (e.g. taxpayer) down the road to rescue them.

    When that bubble bursts, then things will get real interesting, real quick.

    • “Most of these plans are now managed by Liberals and have made promises of future performance that simply cannot be fulfilled.”

      I think you’ve pretty much defined modern liberalism perfectly. Promises of future performance that simply cannot be fulfilled.

  20. Funny, I was just reading about the next Thor movie coming up this summer.
    Apparently Disney/Marvel hired people to make that movie that decided to …
    Thor gets a haircut, the iconic long blonde hair is shorn.
    Thor changes his weapon loadout, The Hammer is out, twin short bladed ninja swords are in.
    The ‘Band of Brothers’ can stay home, a multicultural band of tough women warriors will be at his back.

    That movie should hit the stacks at the local library by the holidays, I’ll borrow it then. Since Marvel movies also went full SJW a while ago I don’t spend actual money on them any more. Plus, Summertime is actually a bad time to spend indoors watching PC crap.

    I suppose the the Morlocks will be climbing out of their parents basements after sunset to flock to see this and the other summer blockbusters. If we started charging them a high enough rent the entire movie industry would collapse.

    See you on the river.

    • There’s a latency to this stuff. The first PC stuff still did well with audiences. They just looked past the SJW stuff to enjoy the old characters and stories. But as this stuff spirals into madness, the audiences are turning away from it. The move Ghost in the Shell is the most recent example.

      It’s not unreasonable to think that movies are dying. The long form drama is where we see the talent. I’m watching the old Boardwalk Empire series. It is a well done drama without the PC lunacy. It’s not great art, but it is solid entertainment. I can’t think of the last movie I watched that I’d rank as high on the quality scale.

      • Ghost in the Shell? Oh no… that’s one of my favorite animes. This is the first I’ve heard that it’s gone SJW, and all I can do is hope that the infection isn’t too bad, and that I can still enjoy it.

        Now I’m really apprehensive… when I had been looking forward to seeing it.

        Oh, damn! Why do those SJW idiots have to ruin everything!

    • You knew the way things were headed when Archie Andrews was, first, turned into an SJW himself, and then died saving his “best friend,” a gay homosexual war hero with political ambitions who was also in an interracial marriage, from an angry white gunman (no doubt a future Trump supporter).

      With apologies to Wilde: One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Archie without laughing.

  21. Just as their entrance foretold the death of comics, could the SJW infiltration of the university campuses indicate that the college bubble is similarly near its end?

    • That’s my assumption. College debt is $1.2 trillion with ~20% delinquency. The rise of the campus SJW is a defense mechanism.

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