Author Topic: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!  (Read 57816 times)

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Offline Geolibertarian

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Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« on: November 16, 2010, 12:42:05 pm »
In the following clip Alex Jones explains how the global elite control politics through the use of the false "left-right" paradigm:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PToRYV4xFQ

Thanks in large measure to Alex, millions of people are now aware of that paradigm (although, since it relates primarily to the two major parties, I think a more accurate term than "left-right" would be "Democrat-Republican"), and have either broken free of it or are at least attempting to break free.

Sad to say, very few people seem to realize that there are other false paradigms in which, if one is not careful, one can easily become entrapped.

An obvious case in point is the reactionary manner in which right-wing ideologues routinely employ the use of red-baiting labels.

For instance, if (hypothetically speaking) Obama gives the lion's share of federal outlays to the poor, he's called a "socialist"; if, on the other hand, he does the opposite and gives it instead to the parasitic war machine and to his filthy rich cronies on Wall Street -- which is actually what he's doing! -- he's still called a "socialist."

-------------------------------------

http://www.globalresearch.ca/america-s-fiscal-collapse/12517

America's Fiscal Collapse

by Michel Chossudovsky
Global Research
March 2, 2009



    “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger" (President Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 24 Feb 2009)

    "Those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account—to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day—because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government." (President Barack Obama, A New Era of Responsibility, the 2010 Budget)


"Strong economic medicine" with a "human face"

“Promise amid peril.” The stated priorities of the Obama economic package are health, education, renewable energy, investment in infrastructure and transportation. "Quality education" is at the forefront. Obama has also promised to "make health care more affordable and accessible", for every American.

At first sight, the budget proposal has all the appearances of an expansionary program, a demand oriented "Second New Deal" geared towards creating employment, rebuilding shattered social programs and reviving the real economy.

The realities are otherwise. Obama's promise is based on a mammoth austerity program. The entire fiscal structure is shattered, turned upside down.

To reach these stated objectives, a significant hike in public spending on social programs (health, education, housing, social security) would be required as well as the implementation of a large scale public investment program. Major shifts in the composition of public expenditure would also be required: i.e. a move out of a war economy, requiring a movement out of military related spending in favour of civilian programs.

In actuality, what we are dealing with is the most drastic curtailment in public spending in American history, leading to social havoc and the potential impoverishment of millions of people.

The Obama promise largely serves the interests of Wall Street, the defence contractors and the oil conglomerates. In turn, the Bush-Obama bank "bailouts" are leading America into a spiralling public debt crisis. The economic and social dislocations are potentially devastating.

[Continued...]


http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-pentagon-budget-largest-ever-and-growing/16181

The Pentagon Budget: Largest Ever and Growing

by Sara Flounders

Global Research, November 19, 2009
International Action Center - 2009-11-07

On Oct. 28, President Barack Obama signed the 2010 Defense Authorization Act, the largest military budget in U.S. history.

It is not only the world's largest military budget but is larger than the military expenditures of the whole rest of the world combined. And it is growing nonstop. The 2010 military budget--which doesn't even cover many war-related expenditures--is listed as $680 billion. In 2009 it was $651 billion and in 2000 was $280 billion. It has more than doubled in 10 years.

[Continued…]


http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-s-big-sellout/16488

Obama's Big Sellout
The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders

by Matt Taibbi



Global Research, December 10, 2009
Rolling Stone - 2009-12-09

The president has packed his economic team with Wall Street insiders intent on turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway

Barack Obama ran for president as a man of the people, standing up to Wall Street as the global economy melted down in that fateful fall of 2008. He pushed a tax plan to soak the rich, ripped NAFTA for hurting the middle class and tore into John McCain for supporting a bankruptcy bill that sided with wealthy bankers "at the expense of hardworking Americans."

Obama may not have run to the left of Samuel Gompers or Cesar Chavez, but it's not like you saw him on the campaign trail flanked by bankers from Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. What inspired supporters who pushed him to his historic win was the sense that a genuine outsider was finally breaking into an exclusive club, that walls were being torn down, that things were, for lack of a better or more specific term, changing.

Then he got elected.

What's taken place in the year since Obama won the presidency has turned out to be one of the most dramatic political about-faces in our history. Elected in the midst of a crushing economic crisis brought on by a decade of orgiastic deregulation and unchecked greed, Obama had a clear mandate to rein in Wall Street and remake the entire structure of the American economy.

What he did instead was ship even his most marginally progressive campaign advisers off to various bureaucratic Siberias, while packing the key economic positions in his White House with the very people who caused the crisis in the first place. This new team of bubble-fattened ex-bankers and laissez-faire intellectuals then proceeded to sell us all out, instituting a massive, trickle-up bailout and systematically gutting regulatory reform from the inside.

[Continued…]

-------------------------------------

In light of the above, most readers will likely realize just how spot on Webster Tarpley is when he explains, in the following clip, why attacking Obama from his "right" serves only to strengthen Obama politically by giving him the "left cover" he needs to implement what in reality is a pro-Wall Street/corporate fascist agenda:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZdHEkm7DoY

Now, at this point the question arises: if accusing Obama of being a "socialist" and of wanting to redistribute wealth to the undeserving poor is the very thing that Obama's public relations experts and media whores thrive upon, then why do so many conservatives and libertarians continually play right into their hands?

For the same reason they so often scapegoat the poor for the crimes of the rich: because they bought into the lie that the only alternative to Austrian School "capitalism" is either Marxist "socialism" or some Keynesian variant of it.

Consequently, their minds and intellects are literally enslaved within the ridiculously narrow and self-defeating confines of one or both of the following overlapping paradigms:

       * The false anarcho-capitalist-vs.-Marxist paradigm.

       * The false Austrian School-vs.-Keynesian School paradigm.

Now, I'll be the first to agree that socialism, particularly as defined by Karl Marx, simply does not work.

The most masterful refutation of Marxist socialism I know of is the following book by Single Tax advocate, Max Hirsch:

       http://books.google.com/books?id=D5QWAAAAYAAJ

As for Keynesian economics, while arguably not as bad as Marxism, it is nevertheless inherenty and fatally flawed in its own right, due primarily to its reliance upon (a) an anti-labor/pro-land speculation tax system and (b) a debt-based money system.

Unfortunately, due to the overlapping paradigms mentioned above, many if not most within the so-called "liberty movement" have been duped into believing that the only "alternative" to those two horribly flawed ideologies is the equally flawed Austrian School.

There's a reason for this.

What is that reason?

I'll adress that question in my next post.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2010, 12:43:49 pm »
There are an alarming number of Austrian School cultists who routinely suggest or imply that anyone who supports having any sort of social safety net is, by definition, either a Marxist or neo-Marxist.

Although they'll never admit to this openly, the real reason said cultists are so morally and self-righteously offended by the very idea of a social safety net is not because they love "liberty" so much, but because their cult was (for all practical purposes) founded by privileged, parasitic aristocrats who had a deep-rooted disdain for the poor -- a disdain matched only by the deep-rooted love they had for their own elevated socioeconomic status.

There's nothing these aristocrats hated more than the sight of millions upon millions of what once were poverty-stricken, working class peasants transforming into a relatively healthy, happy and prosperous middle class. So they silently funded a propaganda campaign to counteract this trend:

----------------------------------

http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0812/S00378.htm

Mr. Anonymous and the Not-So-Spontaneous Birth of the Libertarian Movement

William S. Volker (1859-1947)
Mr. Anonymous

William Volker, alias "Mr. Anonymous," alias the "First Citizen" of Kansas City, Missouri, "was an extremely modest, enormously wealthy home-furnishings tycoon. He became the unrecognized donor of thousands of gifts, large and small."

Volker was born on April 1, 1859 into a prosperous household in Hanover, Germany. At age 12, Volker's family immigrated to Chicago. At 17 he went to work for a picture frame manufacturer. With the death of his employer in 1882, Volker bought out the company and moved the enterprise to Kansas City. From there, his "little window shade business" grew into a national giant.

In 1911, 52 year old William Volker married. Returning from his honeymoon, he announced he had put one million dollars in his wife's name and, he said, intended to give the rest of his enormous fortune away. Over the next 36 years, he donated millions of dollars, much of it anonymously. When Volker died at age 88 on November 4, 1947, many schools, parks, and public spaces were named for the furnishings tycoon.

So why pick on this guy?

The answer is that the overwhelming priority of Volker's "philanthropy" was focused, not on public spaces but on reactionary ideology. Dismayed by the rise of Socialism in America and doubly dismayed by what he saw as the evolution of government and political thinking towards accommodation and a "new liberalism", eventually personified by the widespread adoption of the economic views of John Maynard Keynes and the New Deal policies of Franklin Roosevelt, Volker set out to create a new and much more reactionary "mainstream" ideology based loosely around his own ideas of "laissez-faire" capitalism (i.e. a largely unregulated economy) and social Darwinism (the pseudo-scientific notion that in society, unhindered competition would allow the "cream to rise to the top").

In truth, Volker was no great scholar or thinker. The ideology he set out to create was built upside down, starting only with a set of foggy conclusions for which he had a predisposition. From these conclusions, it was the task of Volker's considerable fortune to find a set of justifications, then an enabling ideology or "theory" that gave it all perspective and unity and, eventually, a true philosophical platform from which to launch the whole. But if this task was analogous to building the Great Pyramid, starting from the top, Volker was undaunted. He may not have had a brain but he had money... and he had a personal connection to one of the most reactionary sections of that most reactionary of organizations - the National Association of Manufacturers. Volker's "associates", who would all participate closely, included Jasper Crane of DuPont, B. E. Hutchinson of Chrysler, Henry Weaver of General Electric, Pierre Goodrich of B.F. Goodrich, and Richard Earhart of White Star Oil (which through many mergers and acquisitions would eventually become Mobil Oil). Moreover, Volker had "influence" at the leading scholarly institution in his home town: The University of Chicago was founded by none other than John D. Rockefeller and created with a certain ideological "bent".

In 1932 Volker established the William Volker Fund and, with that, started on the road to becoming perhaps the most significant anonymous a-hole of our times. In every way, William S. Volker was the true "father" of Libertarianism and Modern Conservatism.

For the first dozen years, the fund largely floundered. There is some evidence that Volker may have flirted with Fascism. That ideology though, which attracted such celebrities as Henry Ford and Charles Lindbergh, was thought to have a limited future in America. In the face of Keynesian economics, widespread social spending, and the CIO, what was really required was a return to pre-New Deal economic policy and an anti-communist/anti-union social policy.

Eureka!

The breakthrough came in 1944, when Volker's nephew, Harold Luhnow, took over, first the business and then the Fund. In the same year, Friedrich Hayek's The Road to Serfdom was published. The book was a product of the "Austrian School" of economists, originating at the University of Vienna and first coming to modest prominence at the end of the 19th century in its attacks on Marxist and Socialist economics. Hayek's book was an almost mystical (and hysterical) defense of laissez-faire capitalism and the "free market". According to Hayek, market prices created a "spontaneous order, or what is referred to as 'that which is the result of human action but not of human design'. Thus, Hayek put the price mechanism on the same level as, for example, language." In turn, any attempt at regulation would inevitably lead to "totalitarianism" and in this, both Marxist and New Deal "socialism" were essentially similar. The theory was perfect. Volker and Luhnow had found their ideology. The cash began to flow.

In short order, the Volker Fund and its larger network arranged for the re-publication of Hayek's book by the University of Chicago (a recurring and important connection) despite the fact that it had been almost universally rejected by the Economics establishment. A year later, the book was published in serial form by the ultra-reactionary Readers Digest not withstanding the fact that it was supposed to be a "scholarly text", ordinarily inappropriate for the readership of the Digest, and despite the fact that it had also had been panned by literary critics. In 1950, the Fund arranged for Hayek to secure a position at the University of Chicago and when the University only granted an unpaid position, they arranged for the Earhart Foundation to pay him a salary. Hayek was only the first of a veritable flood of émigré, "scholars".

Recruiting the Homeless

Hayek's teacher in Vienna had been one Ludwig von Mises who, in turn, had been the student of Eugen von Boehm-Bawerk (who had gained fame for his attack on Marxist Economics) and who, in his turn, had been the student of Carl Menger, the founder of the Austrian school. Each of these had published several books that were virulent attacks on Socialism and defended "pure capitalism". It was all very good. Von Mises book was called Socialism: An Economic and Sociological Analysis and it too had been received with yawns when it was published in English in 1936.

While von Mises really had "taught" at the University of Vienna, his was an unpaid position. The University had turned him down on four separate occasions for a paid position. Not surprisingly, in 1940 the nearly destitute von Mises had emigrated to the United States. In 1945, an unpaid "visiting professorship" was obtained for him at NYU while his salary was paid by "businessmen such as Lawrence Fertig". Fertig was an associate of the Volker Fund and a friend of Henry Hazlitt, the Fund's friendliest journalist. In all, they would fund von Mises for 25 years and von Mises never would need a "real job".

In fact, this was typical of the Fund's "bait and switch" tactic for developing resumes. In the United States, von Mises was the "famed economics professor from the University of Vienna". In Europe, he would become the "famous American economist from NYU".

Local Reinforcements

The economist Milton Friedman, during his fifteen minutes of fame, took the opportunity of the publication of his opus, Capitalism and Freedom to decry the shabby treatment that the likes of Hayek and Mises had received from the Economics "establishment". On his own similar reception, he wrote in the 1982 preface of his book:

    "Those of us who were deeply concerned about the danger to freedom and prosperity from the growth of government, from the triumph of welfare-state and Keynesian ideas, were a small beleaguered minority regarded as eccentrics by the great majority of our fellow intellectuals.

    "Even seven years later, when this book was first published, its views were so far out of the mainstream that it was not reviewed by any major national publication--not by the New York Times or the Herald Tribune (then still being published in New York) or the Chicago Tribune, or by Time or Newsweek or even the Saturday Review--though it was reviewed by the London Economist and by the major professional journals. And this for a book directed at the general public, written by a professor at a major U.S. university, and destined to sell more than 400,000 copies in the next eighteen years."

It is attractive to believe that Friedman was really this foolish and that his expertise in the "politics of fame" was similar to his expertise in Monetary Policy. In fact, his separate acknowledgements of the importance of the Volker Fund belie this possibility. In truth, the Fund and its progeny identified Friedman early on, shepherded his career at the University of Chicago, subsidized him through a paid lecture series (which eventually were combined into Capitalism and Freedom), paid his way to Mont Pelerin, arranged for the serialization of his book by Reader's Digest, and bought a significant number of the books that Friedman was so proud of "selling".

Friedman was only one of dozens of such local "scholars" who were suddenly "discovered" through the efforts of the Fund.

The Fund also now began to recruit friendly young "future-scholars" and subsidize their development. Not only was the cause thus advanced, but a modest intelligence network became a part of the "Libertarian Movement". One such early recruit was Murray Rothbard, later to become famous as the "father" of "Left Libertarianism", "Libertarian anarchism", and "anarco-capitalism". Later much castigated for his "sellout to the Right-wing Republicans", Rothbard had, from the first, been intimately wrapped up in Anti-Communism, McCarthyism, the "Old Right", and the right-wing ideology of the Volker Fund. It was through the Fund that he became an associate of Ayn Rand and a student of Mises.

Rothbard began his consulting work for the Volker Fund in 1951. This relationship lasted until 1962, when the VF was dissolved. A major part of Rothbard's work for the VF consisted of reading and evaluating books, journal articles, and other materials. On the basis of written reports by Rothbard and another reader - Rose Wilder Lane - the VF's directors would decide whether to undertake massive distribution of particular works to public libraries.

The VF also asked Rothbard to submit reports on particular questions, such as how to rank sundry economists in terms of friendliness to the free market, surveys of the literature on monopoly, Soviet wage structures, etc., etc. Rothbard's memos number several hundred, covering works in economics, history, philosophy, and political science. The memos, which range in length from one page to seventy pages, provide a window into the scholarship of the period - and Rothbard's views on that scholarship. They thereby shed much light on Rothbard's emerging worldview and his systematic defense of "liberty."

They also shed "much light" on how the Fund decided which "scholars" to promote, and which to attack. Rothbard later called his work with the Volker Fund, "the best job I've ever had in my life".

Multiplying Like Rabbits

In support of the imported scholars and the new ideology, the Volker Fund also pioneered a process which would become the hallmark of the "Libertarian Movement". The Fund started to spin-off organizations by the boatload, each intended, not just to serve specific purposes but to give the appearance of many "independent" efforts spawned by a "mass" appeal. The list of "begats" is too numerous to chronicle but the first set are illuminating.

Among the very first "front organizations" of the Volker Fund was the "National Book Foundation". While the Foundation's affiliation to the Volker Fund was not hidden, it was circumspect enough to suggest, even to most "Libertarians", that it was independent. The fund began modestly enough by distributing free copies Eugene Böhm-Bawerk's works to thousands of libraries and universities across the country. As the Volker efforts geared up, the Foundation began to distribute millions of books from dozens of authors, all coming from the Fund's stables. Many educational "incentives" were initiated such as "teach a course on Hayek, get 10 (or 100) textbooks for free"...

The Foundation for Economic Education was spun out in 1946, under the leadership of Leonard Read, a leading figure in the Chambers of Commerce. The grand-daddy of all libertarian "think-tanks", the FEE initiated the original Mont Pelerin Society meetings. Its own publication, The Freeman, became the founding journal of "Libertarianism". The rent was paid by Volker.

The Institute for Humane Studies was created by Floyd "Baldy" Harper, the "ace recruiter" of the Volker Fund, in 1961. The IHS identified and subsidized "bright young students" and "promising scholars" friendly to the new "Libertarian" doctrine. Not only did the IHS fund thousands of "students", but it spawned dozens of similar organizations throughout the world. After the Volker Fund was finally closed, subsidies for the IHS shifted to some of the most reactionary organizations in America: The Scaife Foundation, Koch Family Foundations, The Bradley Foundation, and the Carthage Foundation.

The Intercollegiate Studies Institute was founded in 1953 to combat what they would eventually call "political correctness" and "'left-bias" in colleges and universities. The organization now consists of 50,000 college students and faculty and through its lavish subsidies, sponsors dozens of programs representing the entire spectrum of right-wing "Libertarian" causes. The first president of the ISI was a young William F. Buckley Jr.

The Earhart Foundation was created by and named for Richard Earhart of White Star Oil, one of Volker's original collaborators in the National Association of Manufacturers. This foundation was used to subsidize various émigrés and not only financed Hayek but also Eric Voegelin, yet another "Austrian". Through Voeglin, the Earhardt Foundation became connected with the infamous Leo Strauss and, since then, various "projects" of not just a "libertarian" but of a "neo-conservative" perspective have been beneficiaries of the Foundation. In addition, The Earhart Foundation helped to pioneer still another use of the newly-emergent Libertarian think-tanks. As the network of these think-tanks grew, they undertook not only to promote ideology but also specific points of policy, particularly in support of private corporations. The culmination of the Foundation's efforts in this direction came with the founding of the George C. Marshall Institute in 1984. The Institute was initially a foremost proponent of the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), heavily promoted by the Defense Industry....The CEO of the Institute is currently a registered lobbyist for ExxonMobil.

Through the list of organizations, above, the Volker Fund's near-biblical "begats" encompass nearly every single prominent individual and organization of the "Libertarian" and "New Conservative" movements of today.

The Not-So-Secret Society

"In 1947, 39 scholars, mostly economists, with some historians and philosophers, were invited by Professor Friedrich Hayek to meet at Mont Pelerin, Switzerland, and discuss the state, and possible fate of classical liberalism and to combat the "state ascendancy and Marxist or Keynesian planning [that was] sweeping the globe". Invitees included Henry Simons (who would later train Milton Friedman, a future president of the society, at the University of Chicago); the American former-Fabian socialist Walter Lippmann; Viennese Aristotelian Society leader Karl Popper; fellow Austrian School economist Ludwig von Mises; Sir John Clapham, a senior official of the Bank of England who from 1940-6 was the president of the British Royal Society; Otto von Habsburg, the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne; and Max von Thurn und Taxis, Bavaria-based head of the 400-year-old Venetian Thurn und Taxis family."

If the above rings of "Bohemian Grove" and similar fodder for conspiracies, it is because informal "retreats" at out-of-the-way resorts are one of the favorite methods by which the wealthy of many countries formulate a common international policy. What distinguishes the Mont Pelerin Society, however, is that it did not consist primarily of the wealthy. Instead, it was comprised of a majority of marginal, thread-bare "scholars", united only by their common hatred of "socialism" and Keynesianism (which were one and the same for most of them) and sprinkled with only a handful of rich patrons and journalists. In fact the Mount Pelerin Society was organized as much by the Volker Fund as by Hayek himself and the Foundation paid the way for all 10 of the American "participants".

Once in Switzerland, the "scholars" agreed on their hatred of "socialism" but on little else except to meet yearly to "facilitate an exchange of ideas between like-minded scholars in the hope of strengthening the principles and practice of a free society and to study the workings, virtues, and defects of market-oriented economic systems."

From this not-so-secret-but-thoroughly-right-wing society's more than humble beginnings, the phoenix of laissez-faire capitalism would rise, propelled skyward by unlimited funds. Over a dozen of the scholars who could not previously get a job, a review, or a book deal would go on to win the "Nobel Prize in Economics" (this "epic" story will be told separately). More importantly, the Mont Pelerin Society would itself beget 500 foundations and organizations in nearly 80 countries... again with strategic contributions from Mr. Anonymous. Once transformed into an "international movement", there was no end to what was possible. One example tells the story.

Initiated at Mont Pelerin and copying the FEE, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was created in London in 1955. Serving as a conduit for both cash and "ideas", the IEA set about the task of "rejuvenating" the dead and decaying British Tories. By 1985, the "Iron Lady", Margaret Thatcher, would positively gush on the occasion of the Institute's 30th Anniversary: "You created the atmosphere which made our victory possible... May I say how thankful we are to those who joined your great endeavor. They were the few, but they were right, and they saved Britain." With that, the IEA begat the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which in turn created a network of over 50 "think-tanks" in more than 30 countries.

[Continued...]

----------------------------------

Note: In my view, a more accurate title for the above essay would be, "Mr. Anonymous and the Not-So-Spontaneous Birth of the Royal Libertarian Movement."

Also, notice how it dovetails with the following four-part interview of Webster Tarpley:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuHCAXtjZ6Q
       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlJT-5w21IY
       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxe-LlAO_cQ
       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bl5jOUvIcuI
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2010, 12:45:22 pm »
Although I strongly disagree with him on several key issues -- e.g., gun control, compulsory schooling, the rose-colored glasses through which he views Keynesian economics and debt-based money, etc. -- I nevertheless generally agree with much (though far from all) of what Steve Kangas has to say in critique of the Austrian School.

Below are two criticisms I particularly agree with:

----------------------------------

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-gold.htm

Myth: The gold standard is a better monetary system.

Fact: The gold standard causes deflation and depressions.

. . . .Gold bugs argue that we don't need to adjust the size of the money supply to match the level of economic activity -- the value of money will automatically adjust itself to the level of economic activity. Here's how it works. Suppose three people live in a village, and they have 100 gold coins among them. And suppose this covers 100 units of work. A loaf of bread may require five units of work, and therefore cost five gold coins. Now suppose that their economy grows to 120 units of work. There are two ways for the money supply to adjust to this new activity. The villagers could simply add 20 more coins to their money supply, so they now have 120 coins. Or they could let the value of the coins increase.

How would that work? Well, suppose the extra 20 units of work is being produced by just one of the three villagers. Obviously, he is eager to sell his product, just as the other two are eager to buy it. But no one can afford the sale, because there is insufficient money. So they artificially "create" money by lowering their prices for all their other goods, to increase their savings so they can buy it. For example, a loaf of bread still requires five units of work, but they may lower its price from five to four gold coins. The extra gold coin can now be used towards the purchase of the new product. This process is called deflation.

Prices do indeed inflate and deflate in this way. The problem is that this process is terribly inefficient. In real economies, prices tend to be "sticky" -- that is, enormously resistant to change. (At least in a downward direction. In an upward direction, they climb easily. This is good if you want to fight inflation, bad if you want to fight unemployment and recessions.)

There are several reasons for price stickiness. One is psychological -- people hate to cut their prices and wages. Another is that salaries and wages are often locked into contracts, the average of which is three years. And for many, raising prices incurs certain costs (reprinting, recalculating, reprogramming, etc., not to mention a dip in business) that may not make the price change seem worth it. Even if they do decide to change prices, it takes many companies quite some time to put them into effect. Sears, for example, has to reprint and remail all its catalogues. But perhaps the most important reason is that in a big and complex economy, people just don't realize at first when goods start becoming excessive on the market, and the glut may have to reach severe proportions before people notice it and take action.

Price stickiness means that the value of money is slow to adapt to changing economic conditions. Economists have found it much faster and simpler just to expand the money supply and cut the recession short. The Great Depression, for example, dragged on for ten years, with the natural deflation of money proceeding at a glacial pace. It wasn't until World War II that the government was forced to conduct a massive monetary expansion (to fund its defense spending). The result was such explosive economic growth that the U.S. economy doubled in size between 1940 and 1945, the fastest period of growth in U.S. history. Another example is Japan in the 1990s. Its economy has stagnated for five years now, and many economists have criticized its government for not doing enough to expand the money supply. But whatever the solution, the important point is that Japan's government has done very little, and its economy has not deflated or adjusted itself -- Japan's economic pain continues five years later. . . .

Bitter controversy over the gold standard was a hallmark of the Gilded Age. It was widely regarded as a tool of the rich. Democratic presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan spoke for the poor when he charged, famously, that "You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold." The U.S. suffered three depressions during the Gilded Age, and the gold standard and its bank panics were often held to blame.

Throughout this era, the value of gold was fixed at a certain price. One U.S. dollar, for example, was defined as 23.22 grains of pure gold. A British pound sterling was defined as 113.00 grains of pure gold. This meant that the total value of a nation's money supply was determined by the size of its gold reserves. Furthermore, fixed rates meant that international exchange rates were also fixed. In other words, the world operated under a single, unified monetary system. One British pound always equaled 4.8665 U.S. dollars (113.00/23.22), at least according to the official rate. The actual rates might fluctuate, due to the shifting supply and demand of international trade, but the nations set up a system to make sure that they never fluctuated too far from the official rate. This system was rather complex, but basically it kept exchange rates stable and close to the official rate by making sure that nations with trade deficits paid their bills quickly and directly in gold.

But there were economic consequences to such a system. Suppose Britain ran up a trade deficit with the U.S., and promptly paid in gold. The U.S. money supply would expand, and its economy would experience a mixture of inflation and growth. Conversely, the British money supply would shrink. Theoretically, this should have resulted in deflation, but in practice it resulted in widespread unemployment, due to price stickiness. Therefore, outflows of gold from a country were often very painful to its economy. And when people learned that gold was leaving the country, they often conducted bank runs, trying to withdraw their gold before it ran out. Thus, the Gilded Age was replete with bank panics and failures.

The Gilded Age was brief, lasting from the 1870s to 1914, when World War I broke out. During the war, nearly all nations either placed restrictions on gold convertibility or issued non-convertible paper money. But one of their top priorities after the war was the recreation of the full gold standard. It took several years before they succeeded. Britain restored its gold standard in 1925, but in an act of folly, made the pound worth $4.86 again in U.S. dollars -- its old, pre-war parity. Unfortunately, the pound was overvalued at this price now, due to changes in the price of gold, and Britain subsequently experienced a drastic outflow of gold. Again, severe unemployment was the result, not the expected deflation. Britain would struggle with unemployment for the rest of the decade.

By 1928, all the major currencies and most of the minor ones had returned to the gold standard. But the coming Great Depression would lay bare all its disadvantages. A unified monetary system meant that no nation could protect itself from a disaster that occurred in another nation. When the depression struck in the U.S., it quickly ricocheted across the Atlantic. In the U.S., two gigantic bank runs caused over 10,000 bank failures. So many people were left holding worthless banknotes that the money supply shrank by about a third -- a catastrophic reduction.

When Roosevelt took office in 1933, unemployment had soared to nearly 25 percent. His inauguration took place literally in the middle of a third bank panic. Roosevelt stopped it in its tracks by doing something novel: he intervened. He declared a "banking holiday" that closed banks to the public for eight days, to prevent further withdrawals. During that time, the banking system was reorganized. When banks finally reopened, banks deposits actually exceeded bank withdrawals. It was a tremendous political success for Roosevelt, and America's last bank run. Later under the New Deal, bank deposits would become insured by the federal government.

After the Great Depression struck, the world wasted little time severing its ties to gold. Britain left the gold standard in 1931, as did the U.S. in 1933. By 1937, not a single country remained on the gold standard. After World War II, the U.S. partially restored the gold standard for international trade. And to prevent citizens from bank panics, it made its currency inconvertible at home. In 1971, a diminishing gold supply and growing deficits caused the U.S. to suspend the gold standard even for international trade. Ever since, international trade has been based solely on the dollar and other paper currencies. Today, there are no mainstream economists who call for a return to the gold standard; it is widely regarded as a fringe idea of the radical right.

[Continued...]


http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-ausmon.htm

MONOPOLIES

Austrians believe that the government destroys the market process for several reasons. Rockwell writes:

    "One obvious example… takes place at the Justice Department's antitrust division. There the bureaucrats pretend to know the proper structure of industry, what kind of mergers and acquisitions harm the economy, who has too much market share or too little, and what the relevant market is. This represents what Hayek called the pretense of knowledge.

    "The correct relationship between competitors can only be worked out through buying and selling, not bureaucratic fiat. Austrian economists, in particular Rothbard, argue that the only real monopolies are created by government. Markets are too competitive to allow any monopolies to be sustained."

The claim that governments cause monopolies defies the historical evidence. History actually shows the opposite: the more unregulated the market is, the worse the problem of monopolies.

However, the Austrian claim is not wholly without merit. Utilities are examples of monopolies run or regulated by the government (although they are natural monopolies, and privatizing them doesn't work, as Britain found out in the 80s). Often companies persuade governments to erect barriers of market entry to potential competitors. Sometimes government subsidies allow one company to overpower its competitors. But such cases are usually the result of money-based lobbying, which is a corruption of the system. Corruption in the public sector no more "refutes" its central principle than does corruption in the private sector. The solution to corruption is to eliminate it by enforcing better laws. European democracies offer broad practical evidence that this sort of corruption can be greatly reduced.

But this Austrian critique completely ignores another, more common type of monopoly: that which forms naturally on the unregulated market. There are many reasons for this tendency, ranging from "it takes money to make money" to the greater efficiency of large corporations. Without antitrust laws or some other countervailing market force, growing companies will not stop until they become monopolies or oligopolies.

The height of monopoly growth and abuse in the U.S. coincided with its greatest period of laissez-faire, or government nonintervention in the market. Known as the Gilded Age (the period between the Civil War and World War I), this period saw the phenomenal rise of the Robber Barons and their great trusts (monopolies). John D. Rockefeller monopolized oil under his Standard Oil Company; J.P. Morgan dominated finance; Andrew Carnegie, steel; James Hill, railroads. Historians have well chronicled the ruthlessness of these men -- Morgan once remarked that "I don't know as I want a lawyer to tell me what I cannot do. I hire him to tell me how to do what I want to do." Rockefeller's father once boasted that "I cheat my boys every chance I get, I want to make 'em sharp." These men lived for market conquest, and plotted takeovers like military strategy.

In the late 19th century, trusts formed also in wheat, fruit, meat, salt, sugar refining, lumber, electrical power, rubber, nickel, paper, lead, gypsum, iron, cottonseed oil, linseed oil, whiskey distilling, cord manufacture -- and many others. Once a trust emerged, it would raise its prices and drop its quality of service, as well as engage in unfair trading practices that drove other firms out of business. The abuses of these monopolies became so great that they became a national scandal. So deep was antitrust sentiment that when both houses of Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890, there was only a single dissenting vote! But U.S. presidents did not bother to enforce it, and the monopoly problem continued to worsen.

The worst period of monopoly formation was between 1898 and 1902. Prior to this, there was an average of 46 major industrial mergers a year. But after 1898, this soared to 531 a year. By 1904, the top 4 percent of American businesses produced 57 percent of America's total industrial production, and a single firm would dominate at least 60 percent of production in 50 different industries. The power of these monopolies easily dwarfed the governments that oversaw them. As early as 1888, a Boston railroad company had gross receipts of $40 million, whereas the entire Commonwealth of Massachusetts had receipts of only $7 million. And when Rockefeller, Carnegie and Morgan united in 1901 to create U.S. Steel, the result was an international sensation. Cosmopolitan magazine wrote:

    "The world, on the 3rd day of March, 1901, ceased to be ruled by… so-called statesmen. True, there were marionettes still figuring in Congress and as kings. But they were in place simply to carry out the orders of the world's real rulers -- those who controlled the concentrated portion of the money supply."

The role of government in all this was to stand back and let this market process happen. It wasn't until Teddy Roosevelt launched his great "trust-busting" campaign in 1902 that this process was reversed. Actual enforcement of the Sherman Act reduced monopolies until the Roaring 20s, when laissez-faire policies again returned to Washington. Over that decade, about 1,200 mergers swallowed up more than 6,000 previously independent companies; by 1929, only 200 corporations controlled over half of all American industry. The New Deal era ushered in yet another era of antitrust policy, again reducing the percentage of monopolies. This was followed by the Reagan era, a period which saw both massive deregulation and another frenzy of mergers and takeovers. In 1988, Federal Trade Commissioner Andrew Strenio remarked:

    "Since Fiscal Year 1980, there has been a drop of more than 40 percent in the work years allocated to antitrust enforcement. In the same period, merger filings skyrocketed to more than 320 percent of their Fiscal Year 1980 level."

Two objections are possible here. The first is that these growing corporations may have captured government and then used it as a tool to capture the market. Those familiar with the Golden Age and Roaring 20s know, however, that governments were basically bribed to stand back and do nothing. They passed very little legislation that actively prevented any firms from entering the market and competing. The Reagan era was different, in that corporate lobbyists began using government as a proactive agent to discourage competition. Nonetheless, the periods of government trust-busting show the proper role of government, and its effectiveness in restoring market competition.

The second objection is that a wave of mergers may result in a more natural and efficient equilibrium of larger players, and this could be beneficial for the economy. The result doesn't have to be a monopoly -- perhaps just an oligopoly. The problem is that at the top end, mergers become increasingly harmful to the economy, with monopolies merely representing the worst result. Even oligopolies engage in price-gouging and collaboration. A natural equilibrium hardly represents the best equilibrium -- as recessions and depressions show.

How do Austrians deal with the historical correlation between laissez-faire and monopolies? By denying it, of course. The presence of any government at all proves that their conditions of a free market were not met, so the entire correlation is rejected. This is like someone attempting to argue that not watering a plant will result in the fastest growth. And when you point out to him that there is a correlation between the amount of water given to a plant and its rate of growth, he dismisses these experiments on the basis that they all used water.

----------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2010, 12:46:32 pm »
So, if Marxist, Keynesian, and Austrian School economics, respectively, are not the only options, then what else is there?

There are several other options from which to choose. Webster Tarpley, for instance, advocates the so-called "American School" of economics (which I partly agree with).

I, on the other hand, advocate Georgism:

-----------------------------------

http://www.politicaleconomy.org/gaffney.htm

Excerpts from The Corruption of Economics

by Mason Gaffney

Neo-classical Economics as a Stratagem against Henry George

Neoclassical economics is the idiom of most economic discourse today. It is the paradigm that bends the twigs of young minds. Then it confines the florescence of older ones, like chicken-wire shaping a topiary. It took form about a hundred years ago, when Henry George and his reform proposals were a clear and present political danger and challenge to the landed and intellectual establishments of the world. Few people realize to what a degree the founders of Neoclassical economics changed the discipline for the express purpose of deflecting George and frustrating future students seeking to follow his arguments. The stratagem was semantic: to destroy the very words in which he expressed himself. Simon Patten expounded it succinctly. "Nothing pleases a ... single taxer better than ... to use the well-known economic theories ... [therefore] economic doctrine must be recast" (Patten 1908: 219; Collier, 1979: 270).

George believed economists were recasting the discipline to refute him. He states so...in his posthumously published book, The Science of Political Economy (George, 1898: 200-209). George's self-importance was immodest, it is true. However, immodesty may be objectivity, as many great talents from Frank Lloyd Wright to Muhammad Ali and Frank Sinatra have displayed. George had good reasons, which we are to demonstrate. George's view may even strike some as paranoid. That was this writer's first impression, many years ago. I have changed my view, however, after learning more about the period, the literature, and later events.

Having taken shape in the 1880-1890s, Neo-Classical Economics (henceforth NCE) remained remarkably static. Major texts by Alfred Marshall, E.R.A. Seligman and Richard T. Ely, written in the 1890s, went through many reprintings each over a period of 40 years with few if any changes….

Not until 1936 was there another major "revolution," and that was hived off into a separate compartment, macro-economics, and contained there so as not to disturb basic tenets of NCE. Compartmentalization, we will see in several instances, is the common NCE defense against discordant data and reasoning. After that came another 40 years of Paul Samuelson’s “neoclassical synthesis.” J.B. Clark’s treatment of rent, dating originally from his obvious efforts to refute Henry George (see below), “has been followed by an admiring Paul Samuelson in all of the many editions of his Economics” (Dewey, 1987: 430).

Clark's capital theory "... gives the appearance of being specially tailored to lead to arguments for use against George" (Collier, 1979: 270). "The probable source from which immediate stimulation came to Clark was the contemporary single tax discussion" (Fetter, 1927: 142). "To date, capital theory in the Clark tradition has provided the basis for virtually all empirical work on wealth and income" (Dewey, 1987: 429; cf. Tobin, 1985). Later writers have added fretworks, curlicues and arabesques beyond counting, and achieved more isolation from history, and from the ground under their feet, than in Patten's dreams, but all without disturbing the basic strategy arrived at by 1899, tailored to lead to arguments against Henry George.

To most modern readers, probably George seems too minor a figure to have warranted such an extreme reaction. This impression is a measure of the neo-classicals' success: it is what they sought to make of him. It took a generation, but by 1930 they had succeeded in reducing him in the public mind. In the process of succeeding, however, they emasculated the discipline, impoverished economic thought, muddled the minds of countless students, rationalized free-riding by landowners, took dignity from labor, rationalized chronic unemployment, hobbled us with today's counterproductive tax tangle, marginalized the obvious alternative system of public finance, shattered our sense of community, subverted a rising economic democracy for the benefit of rent-takers, and led us into becoming an increasingly nasty and dangerously divided plutocracy.

The Imperative to Put Down Henry George

Neo-classical economics makes an ideal of "choice." That sounds good, and liberating, and positive. In practice, however, it has become a new dismal science, a science of choice where most of the choices are bad. "TANSTAAFL" (There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch) is the slogan and shibboleth. Whatever you want, you must give up something good. As an overtone there is even a hint that what one person gains he must take from another. The theory of gains from trade has it otherwise, but that is a heritage from the older classical economists.

Henry George, in contrast, had a genius for reconciling-by-synthesizing. Reconciling is far better than merely compromising. He had a way of taking two problems and composing them into one solution, as we lay out in detail below.

[Continued...]


http://www.monetary.org/henry-georges-concept-of-money-ful/2010/12/

HENRY GEORGE’S CONCEPT OF MONEY
And Its Implications For 21st Century Reform

by Stephen Zarlenga
American Monetary Institute
2001

Preface and Synopsis:

Attesting to the importance of Henry George’s life and work are his 5 million books in print; the active Henry George organizations and schools around the globe with thousands of supporters and uncountable others who still respond to his name with “Oh yes - the single tax”. A man considered important enough to require the attention of one of the political establishment’s most potent operators to derail his 1886 campaign for Mayor of New York City. George was influential enough to merit that POPE LEO XIII direct a section of a Papal encyclical at his work in 1891.

This kind of effect, I’d suggest, was not generated by the economic theorizing or theoretical observations of any individual or school, but has resulted from what was really a great moral crusade for economic justice.

To George, the land question was the key means to that end, and his name is rightfully associated with land tax reform -- with the “single tax”, described below. But although that was his main focus, there was a lot more to George than that. As Ken Wenzer pointed out “An important element of Georgism was reform of the banking and monetary system”  That’s the main focus of this paper.

My task has been to find and present George’s monetary views, within the context of his own times and values; and to evaluate their relevance to present day questions. A task made more complex by the confusion and misinformation in which the monetary subject has traditionally been shrouded. For this reason it was necessary to organize the paper into several steps. Step one describes George’s major views and values; step two describes the real monetary context of his time, separating out the monetary myths. George’s explicit monetary views are presented in step three. Step four draws some “Georgist” conclusions on monetary reform today and offers suggestions for consideration.

This study was proposed because several years ago on first reading George, I found indications that his monetary views might have been quite advanced and potentially relevant to present day arguments over the proper monetary role of government. This research has confirmed that -- to a much larger and clearer extent than I had imagined.

His monetary viewpoint may be especially important to the divergent monetary prescriptions advocated from participants within the present day Georgist movement. Some prominent Georgists advocate a move to “free banking”; a quite radical change from our present monetary system. Other prominent Georgists advocate the establishment of a gold standard. Some support establishing forms of locally circulating moneys often referred to as LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems). An awareness of George’s viewpoint could be an important factor in such discussions.

The conclusion of AMI’s monetary research to date is that such monetary systems cannot be reconciled with two of George’s overriding requirements: that social institutions be consistent with individual self-determination; and with the principle of equal rights.

True monetary reform must take a better path. AMI’s research indicates that money, properly defined, is a legal institution of society and government, not a commodity or economic good of the markets; that if money is a legal institution, then the control of monetary systems can be rightfully viewed as a proper function of government; much as the law courts are. This broad definition or attribute of money leads directly to conclusions on what is needed for a monetary system to operate justly; not favoring one or another group through the establishment of special monetary privileges. This study finds (repeatedly in his own words) that Henry George in large part shared this view.

This viewpoint does go counter to the current idolization of free markets, and the faith being placed in them to automatically create optimum results for mankind. But the overwhelming body of historical evidence that we’ve studied indicates that while some things can and should be left to free markets, a society’s monetary system is emphatically not one of them.

This was the reason suggested by AMI to the Schalkenbach Foundation, that we do this study rather than just requesting others much better versed in Henry George’s work to simply look up what he wrote about money. His monetary views need to be examined in the light of their implications for present day questions. The local currency advocates would find some very limited support from George’s actions. The free bankers and the gold advocates would probably both tend to characterize George’s monetary position as primitive. But according to AMI’s research, this is a misreading -- perhaps not so much of George’s views, but of monetary theory -- of the nature of money.

GEORGE’S WORLD VIEW

We now step back a bit from our monetary topic to note the major aspects of George’s work which will later help place his monetary ideas into context. Bear with me -- those of you who know George like the back of your hand. This paper does not assume the reader is well versed in his work.

THE MORAL CRUSADER

“(Political Economy) may be argued in a great many different ways, but I prefer the ground that its opponents have taken, the ground of justice. I believe that justice is the supreme law of the universe”, wrote Henry George

One of George’s important accomplishments was the re-introduction of moral issues into economic thought. From Adam Smith’s Wealth Of Nations (1776) and earlier, there had been a tendency for moral questions -- evaluation of the right or wrong -- the good or evil of economic policies to be largely ignored or shunted aside and replaced by a questionable utilitarianism which generally ended up supporting the status quo of the power structure.

Thus Ingram wrote of Adam Smith that “He does not keep in view the moral destination of our race, nor regard wealth as a means to the higher ends of life.”

One of Smith’s contemporaries -- economist Reverend Thomas Malthus -- twisted morality to preach that the poor must choose between what he called “vice” -- having children and therefore engaging in sex -- or starvation. Economics rightly earned the title of “the dismal science”.

In The Scholastic Tradition

But there is nothing dismal about George’s writings, which can be seen as in the much older tradition of the Catholic “Scholastics” or “Bookmen” -- the church scholars of about 1100 to 1500 AD who were very familiar with the existing written works available in the west. The Scholastics made the first attempt at a science of economics to build a rationally based moral code of business behavior and determine what should be, rather than what was. To their credit, they were much more influenced by Aristotle than by the bible, and many of them such as Albert the Great of Cologne and his student Thomas Acquinas were later canonized as saints.

Though George was generally well read, I didn’t find indications that he was aware of this body of work which has become better known in the English speaking world since the 1940’s.  When George uses the term “Scholastic” it is to refer negatively to the university economists of his day.

While the content of George’s work differed greatly from that of the Scholastics, their form was very similar. George did not focus on the issues of concern to the Scholastics -- mainly usury, and the “just price” -- but he would have probably felt very much at home with their method, and especially with their deep concern for justice. Their method -- a reliance largely on theoretical reasoning -- is useful for investigating questions of morality, but not as useful in determining questions of fact or of utility. Interestingly, most 19th and 20th century economists continued using the Scholastics theoretical method, but ignored the moral questions and inappropriately applied it to other matters. George, concentrating on moral issues, generally avoided this error.

GEORGE’S GUIDING PRINCIPLES

Also diverging from the Scholastics was the manner in which George’s guiding principles were framed. The great goal of justice was shared by both, but the Scholastic’s aims were more socially oriented -- a just order of society, in conformity with reason, observation, tradition and law -- natural, human, and sacred law. George’s primary guidelines on the other hand, are framed in a much more individualistic fashion.

The two core principles which are George’s anchors, are evident -- and explicit -- throughout his writings:  The principle of equal rights, and of individual self determination. George expresses this as “The law of human progress…the moral law…the equality of right between man and man …(and) the perfect liberty which is bounded only by the liberty of every other…” (P&P, 526).

[Continued...]

-----------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2010, 12:47:12 pm »
If I had to pick a label other than "geolibertarian" with which to describe myself ideologically, it would be progressive libertarian -- "libertarian" in the sense that I advocate limited government on both personal and economic issues, "progressive" in the sense that I believe efforts to reduce government spending should be directed at programs designed to assist the poor only to the extent that the tax, monetary and regulatory policies that created the apparent need for such programs in the first place are either abolished outright or structurally reformed.

If I were a Congressman, for instance, I would oppose efforts to repeal the minimum wage so long as Congress insisted on taxing wages to death. I would oppose cutting Medicare spending so long as Congress refused to relegalize alternative medicine (including medical marijuana) and revoke overextended drug patents (particularly those granted for "me-too" drugs and for drugs developed primarily at taxpayer expense). I would oppose cutting social welfare so long as Congress insisted on wasting billions of dollars on corporate welfare. I would oppose cutting tax-funded job training programs so long as state governments refused to reduce occupational licensing barriers (see this and this).

The underlying principle of my approach to economic issues in general is crystallized in the following quote:

    "Social injustice, therefore, prevails, not on account, nor in spite, of Individualism, but through the absence of Individualism, through the active and passive disregard of equal individual freedom by the State. The removal of social injustice, therefore, is not to be obtained by still further interference with equal individual freedom, and still less by the abolition of individual freedom which Socialism contemplates; it can be obtained only by the removal of all interferences with individual freedom which exceeds that necessary for the maintenance of equal freedom for all.

    "This conclusion is not invalidated by the admission that remedial measures involving further restrictions of individual freedoms...may have had beneficial results. For if State limitations of individual and equal freedom have deprived the majority of the people of independence and power to resist capitalistic oppression, as they have done and are still doing, restrictions placed upon the oppressors, otherwise unnecessary, may to some extent alleviate the oppression. Nevertheless, it is clear that such consequential interferences would be unnecessary if, through the removal of the original interferences, the balance of power were restored. At their best, moreover, they are merely attempts to alleviate symptoms without touching the cause of social disease."

-- Max Hirsch, Democracy vs. Socialism, pp. 254-5


Now, to fully understand and appreciate the progressive libertarian approach to public policy reform, one must understand the issue of privilege:

---------------------------------------

http://savingcommunities.org/issues/

Privilege

Behind all issues lies the problem of privilege -- legal mechanisms that give some people artificial advantages over others, enabling them to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Political privileges give leverage in the political system, ultimately conferring a political monopoly over others. Economic privileges are similarly leveraged over time into economic monopoly.

Three privileges stand out. The core political privilege is the way we choose leaders. What was supposed to be citizens deliberating and choosing officials to serve them has degenerated into a competition by those who want more and more political power over a largely passive electorate. The economic privileges are a land tenure system that allows some people to monopolize the earth and its resources and a monetary system that lets private institutions lend money that was created out of nothing into circulation.

Other economic privileges include privately owned public utilities, monopoly franchises, over-extended intellectual property laws, subsidies, artificial restrictions on competition, and policies that benefit established businesses to the detriment of potential new competitors.

They tie together because people with economic privileges help those in office keep their political privileges and those in office reciprocate.

[Continued...]

---------------------------------------

Royal libertarians (of which Austrian Schoolers are a subset) are fond of railing against the "welfare state" that was instituted by FDR and then expanded by LBJ. Yet what they refuse to acknowledge is what created in the minds of the masses the apparent need for a welfare state in the first place.

It was the original layer of economic privileges that had been bestowed to the rich -- and the horrid economic conditions to which that original layer had, in turn, given rise -- that created the widespread demand for all of these additional layers of compensatory and/or offsetting privileges for the poor.

---------------------------------------

"This imperfect policy of non-intervention, or laissez-faire, led straight to a most hideous and dreadful economic exploitation; starvation wages, slum dwelling, killing hours, pauperism, coffin-ships, child-labour -- nothing like it had ever been seen in modern times....People began to say, perhaps naturally, if this is what State absentation comes to, let us have some State intervention.

"But the State had intervened; that was the whole trouble. The State had established one monopoly, -- the landlord's monopoly of economic rent, -- thereby shutting off great hordes of people from free access to the only source of human subsistence, and driving them into the factories to work for whatever Mr. Gradgrind and Mr. Bottles chose to give them. The land of England, while by no means nearly all actually occupied, was all legally occupied; and this State-created monopoly enabled landlords to satisfy their needs and desires with little exertion or none, but it also removed the land from competition with industry in the labour market, thus creating a huge, constant and exigent labour-surplus." [Emphasis original]

-- Albert Jay Nock, Free Speech and Plain Language, pp. 320-1

---------------------------------------

As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. And although I generally support limited government and free enterprise (I'm a Georgist on economic matters, not a Marxist), I nevertheless think the following image accurately reflects both the corporate monstrosity that laughingly passes for "capitalism" these days and the plutocracy that laughingly passes for "democracy."



And as Max Hirsch correctly points out, if the "original" privileges were simply eliminated, then socioeconomic conditions would so improve that there would soon thereafter cease to be a widely perceived need for all of the bureaucracy-ridden additional ones -- at which point they could be easily and gracefully phased out of existence and replaced with a Guaranteed Income (see this).

Thus, the difference between progressive libertarians and royal libertarians is that the latter want to start abolishing privileges at the bottom of the power pyramid and work their way upward (and even then only to a point), whereas the former want to start at the top and work their way downward.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2010, 12:47:49 pm »
Below are two excellent essays, both written from a progressive libertarian angle:

------------------------------------

http://cooperativeindividualism.org/omara-mike_ethics-beyond-left-and-right-2006.html

Ethics Beyond Left and Right: Progressive Freedom-oriented Policies

by Mike O'Mara

Many prominent advocates of rationalism and freethought have gone beyond "left" and "right," by promoting progressive, freedom-oriented policies as rational, practical alternatives to bureaucratic governments controlled by special interests. Governments dominated by special interests are typically inefficient and wasteful, and tend to enact counterproductive laws favoring the few while harming most citizens, resulting in poverty and extreme inequality.

Among those who have advocated such alternative policies are Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and John Stuart Mill. Other more recent rationalists and freethinkers have endorsed similar progressive, freedom-oriented policies as a more practical, humane alternative to the failed policies of "left" and "right."

This essay will discuss two wings of the movement promoting freedom: progressive advocates of freedom and conservative advocates of freedom. Another term that could be used to describe progressive advocates of freedom might be "progressive libertarians," but use of the term "libertarian" is problematic. From about the 1950s, many people who are fundamentally economic conservatives have been claiming the term "libertarian," although they distort the original meaning of the word. While such conservative "libertarians" do tend to support civil liberties, they confuse economic freedom with economic conservatism, an outlook based on very different principles. As will be shown, genuine economic freedom requires freedom from corporate welfare (subsidies and other favoritism to corporations), freedom from policies that cause concentrated ownership of land and natural resources, and freedom from other policies that involve favoritism to special interests, leading to poverty for the many and to extreme inequality between the rich and the poor.

Many people are surprised to hear that the word "liberal" originally meant the same as "libertarian." Both come from the word "liberty." "Liberals" used to emphasize the need to limit the power of government, because, as the old and wise saying goes, "power corrupts." Liberals used to recognize that we need to limit the amount of power we give to politicians and government. The kind of liberals in that original tradition are now called "classical liberals." But too many of today's liberals seem to have forgotten the point that power corrupts, resulting in a modern liberalism that bears little resemblance to classical liberalism and its emphasis on liberty and suspicion of authority.

Although the terms "progressive libertarian" or "progressive classical liberal" might come close to describing the tradition of liberty as advocated by such progressive advocates of freedom as Paine and Mill, the common misuse of the words "libertarian" and "liberal" requires correction. This article will avoid these terms and will focus on the main points that distinguish progressive advocates of freedom from conservative advocates of freedom.

The Ethics of Government Power

Liberty is neither "left-wing" nor "right-wing." Instead of talking about "left" or "right," advocates of liberty have found it helpful to understand liberty in terms of "up" or "down, where "up" is toward individual liberty, and "down" is toward authoritarianism. Advocates of liberty base their ethics on the principle that no person should have the right to violate another person's freedom by initiating force against them or dealing fraudulently with them. Liberty is the opposite of authoritarianism.

The Bill of Rights was written by advocates of the ethics of individual liberty, and that document reflects the recognition that the form of government most likely to protect liberty is a constitutional democracy, a type of constitutional republic which places limits on the power of government. These limits are specified in the Bill of Rights.

Advocates of liberty insist that power corrupts, which is why governmental powers must be limited. George Washington expressed this view by observing that "Government is not beauty, it is not eloquence -- it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant, and a fearful master." Every law made by government is ultimately backed or enforced by police power -- the use of government force. We should therefore be very careful how far we go in handing over power to politicians and government. Governments lacking proper limitations on their power can and do use the force of law and police power to make people do what the government decides they need to do or refrain from doing, including what they are allowed to say, publish, drink, smoke, believe, choose for entertainment, and how they may spend their money and live their lives.

Progressive advocates of freedom have pointed out that seeking to maximize liberty is the most practical approach to social issues. Liberty is like a truce: an agreement to allow people to have the right to freedom of religion, belief, and lifestyle, the right to keep the products of their own labor, the right to have access to the earth's natural resources (more about that in a moment), and the right to freely exercise one's values and preferences as long as one does not violate the same freedoms which others should also have. A progressive system of liberty is the most benevolent system because it not only prohibits violent forms of oppression and persecution, it also prevents economic oppression that arises from the concentration of economic power in special interests that seek governmental support for policies inconsistent both with liberty and efficiency.

No nation currently comes close to being consistent about upholding liberty, although some countries at least have more freedom than others. For example, the U.S. has usually tended to have more civil liberties than most other countries, but on the other hand, it still has many violations of civil liberties and many policies that violate economic freedom by favoring special interests.

The Two Wings of the Freedom Movement

As mentioned earlier, since about the 1950s, the word "libertarian" has been increasingly used by people who are really economic conservatives. Although they support the civil liberties specified in the Bill of Rights, they promote a distorted version of economic liberty. Many conservative advocates of freedom are unconcerned with cutting corporate welfare or avoiding favoritism to special interests, although some of them do speak out against such favoritism as a violation of economic freedom. The biggest difference between conservative advocates of freedom and progressive advocates of freedom is over the question of concentrated ownership of land and natural resources, including oil, mineral deposits, valuable urban land, and TV and radio airwaves, which are also natural resources.

Progressive advocates of freedom have emphasized that economic freedom requires limitations on the concentrated ownership of land and natural resources, since such concentrated ownership results in concentrated control over the rest of the economy. These ideas are found in the writings of Paine, Jefferson and Mill, and can also be found in the writings of Benjamin Franklin, Henry George, and Leo Tolstoy. More recently, eight Nobel Prize winning economists have advocated similar policies. Current organizations promoting a progressive idea of freedom include the Democratic Freedom Caucus and the Banneker Center for Economic Justice.

Conservative advocates of freedom include the Cato Institute and the Libertarian Party, which have both long avoided the basic issue of concentrated ownership of land and natural resources. The University of Chicago has also long been a center for the conservative wing of the freedom movement, and most Chicago School economists avoid these crucial issues. Later in this article, I'll have more to say about the differences between the two wings of the freedom movement.

[Continued...]


http://geolib.com/essays/sullivan.dan/greenlibertarians.html

Greens and Libertarians

The yin and yang of our political future

by Dan Sullivan
(originally appearing in Green Revolution, Volume 49, No. 2, summer, 1992)

Over the past three decades, people have become dissatisfied with both major parties, and two new minor parties are showing promise of growth and success. They are the Libertarian Party and the Green Party. These are not the only new parties, but they are the only ones that promise to attract people from across the political spectrum. Most other small parties are either clearly to the left of the Democrats or to the right of the Republicans. Such parties would have a place in a system that accommodates multiple parties, but are doomed to failure in a two-party system.

The Libertarian Party is made up mostly of former conservatives who object to the Republican Party's penchant for militarism and its use of government to entrench powerful interests and shield them from market forces. The Green Party is made up mostly of former liberals who object to the Democratic Party's penchant for centralized bureaucracy and its frequent hypocritical disregard for natural systems of ecological balance, ranging from the human metabolism and the family unit to the ecology of the planet.

Both minor parties attempt to adhere to guidelines that are much clearer than those of either major party. Libertarians focus on rights of individuals to control their own lives, limited only by the prohibition against interference with the rights of others. These rights include their right to the fruits of their labor and the right to freely associate and form contracts. They advocate limiting government to protecting those basic rights.

Greens advocate ten key values (ecological wisdom, grass roots democracy, social justice, non-violence, decentralization, community-based economics, post-patriarchal values, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and sustainable future focus as a guide for government as well as for their own party organization.)

These different guidelines underscore basic differences between the approaches of the two parties and their members. Libertarians tend to be logical and analytical. They are confident that their principles will create an ideal society, even though they have no consensus of what that society would be like. Greens, on the other hand, tend to be more intuitive and imaginative. They have clear images of what kind of society they want, but are fuzzy about the principles on which that society would be based.

Ironically, Libertarians tend to be more utopian and uncompromising about their political positions, and are often unable to focus on politically winnable proposals to make the system more consistent with their overall goals. Greens on the other hand, embrace immediate proposals with ease, but are often unable to show how those proposals fit in to their ultimate goals.

The most difficult differences to reconcile, however, stem from baggage that members of each party have brought with them from their former political affiliations. Most Libertarians are overly hostile to government and cling to the fiction that virtually all private fortunes are legitimately earned. Most Greens are overly hostile to free enterprise and cling to the fiction that harmony and balance can be achieved through increased government intervention.

Republicans and Democrats will never reconcile these differences, for whatever philosophical underpinnings they have are overwhelmed by vested interests that dominate their internal political processes. These vested interests thrive on keeping the distorted hostilities alive and suppressing any philosophical perspectives that might lead to rational resolution of conflict.

But because minor parties have no real power, they are still primarily guided by values and principles. Committed to pursuing truth above power, they should be more willing to challenge prejudices and expose flaws in their current positions.

There is nothing mutually exclusive between the ten key values of the Greens and the principles of the Libertarians. By reconciling these values and principles, we can bring together people whose allegiance to truth is stronger than their biases.

This could be of great value to both parties, partly because any new party that wants to break into a two-party system has to appeal to a broad spectrum of voters. But even more importantly, each party needs attributes the other has to offer. Libertarians need the intuitive awareness of the Greens to keep them from losing touch with people's real values, and Greens need the analytical prowess of the Libertarians to keep them from indulging in emotional self-deception. Libertarians can teach Greens about the spirit of enterprise and the wonders of economic freedom, and Greens can teach Libertarians about the spirit of compassion and the wonders of community cohesion.

Reconciliation is absolutely necessary. Even if one of the parties could rise to power, it could do great harm by implementing its current agenda in disregard for the perspective of the other. Moreover, proposals that violate values and principles of one party often violate those of the other. If members of both groups come together to discuss each other's proposals, they are likely not only to find areas of agreement, but to find conflicts between each group's proposals and its own principles. If this happens, and the two parties work in concert, they stand a real chance of overtaking one of the major parties and drastically altering the political power structure.

Many third parties have had important impacts on American politics, but the last time a political party was dislodged was when the Republicans knocked the ailing Whig party out of contention over 130 years ago. It should be noted that the Republicans were a coalition of several minor parties with seemingly differing agendas, including the Abolitionist Party, the Free-Soil Party, the American (or Know-Nothing) Party, disaffected northern Democrats, and most of the members of the dying Whig Party. A similar coalition of parties has a much better chance of repeating this success today.

Anyone who looks at current national platforms of Greens and Libertarians will conclude that bringing these groups together is no easy task. For example, the Libertarian platform states dogmatically that they "oppose any and all increases in the rate of taxation or categories of taxpayers, including the elimination of deductions, exemptions, or credits in the name of 'fairness,' 'simplicity,' or 'neutrality to the free market.' No tax can ever be fair, simple, or neutral to the free market." On the other hand, the national platform of the Greens leaves one with the impression that they never met a tax they didn't like.

Yet the historical roots of the Greens and the Libertarians are quite similar. That is, early movements for alternative, intentional communities that live in harmony with nature greatly influenced, and were influenced by, anarcho-syndicalists who advanced principles now embraced by the Libertarian Party. This essay will attempt to show that the differences that have emerged are due less to stated principles and values of either group than to the baggage members have brought to each party from their liberal and conservative backgrounds.

On Conservatism and Liberalism

It is said that Libertarians have a conservative philosophy and Greens have a liberal philosophy. In reality, conservatism and liberalism are mere proclivities, and do not deserve to have the name "philosophy" attached to them. People who have more power than others are inclined to conserve it, and people who have less are inclined to liberate it. In Russia, as in feudal England, conservatives wanted more government control, as government was at the root of their power. Liberals wanted more private discretion.

In the United States today, where power has been vested in private institutions, conservatives want less government and liberals want more. What passes for conservative and liberal "philosophies" is merely a set of rationalizations that power-mongers hide behind.

Conservative support for traditional approaches and liberal support for new ways of doing things also follows from the desire for power. Traditional approaches have supported those now in power, and change threatens to disrupt that power. Changes are often embraced by conservatives once they prove unable to disrupt the underpinnings of power.

For Greens and Libertarians to rise above the power-based proclivities of liberalism and conservatism, they must focus on their roots and reconcile their positions with their philosophical underpinnings.

On the Roots of the Greens

In The Green Alternative, a popular book among American Greens, author Brian Tokar states that "the real origin of the Green movement is the great social and political upheavals that swept the United States and the entire Western world during the 1960's." As part of that upheaval, I remember the charge by elders that we acted as though "we had invented sex." Mr. Tokar acts as though we had invented Green values.

Actually, all the innovative and vital features of the Greens stem from an earlier Green movement. The influx of disaffected liberals to the movement since the sixties has actually imbued that movement with many features early Greens would find offensive.

This periodical, for example, has been published more or less regularly since 1943, calling for intentional communities based on holistic living, decentralism, sharing natural bounty, freedom of trade, government by consensus, privately-generated honest monetary systems and a host of other societal reforms. Yet the founder, Ralph Borsodi, wrote extensively about the evils of the state, and would clearly oppose most of the interventionist policies brought to the Green Party by disaffected liberals and socialists. The same can be said of more famous proponents of Green values, such as Emerson and Thoreau.

The Green movement grew slowly and steadily and quite apart from mainstream liberalism throughout the sixties and seventies. In the eighties, however, it became clear that the liberal ship, and even more clear that the socialist ship, was headed for the political rocks. The left had simply lost credibility, even among those who felt oppressed by the current system. Gradually at first, discouraged leftists discovered the Green movement provided a more credible platform for their positions.

Because of their excellent communications network, additional members of the left quickly discovered the Greens, embraced their values (at least superficially), joined their ranks and proceeded to drastically alter the Green agenda. For example, early Greens pushed for keeping economies more diverse and decentralized by promoting alternative, voluntary systems, and by criticizing lavish government expenditures on interstate highways, international airports, irrigation projects, and centralized bureaucracies that discriminated against small, independent entrepreneurs.

Today the National Platform of the Green Party calls for "municipalization" of industry (that is, decentralized socialism), limits on foreign trade to save American jobs (which they insist is not protectionism), and other devices to create artificial decentralization under the guiding hand of some benevolent central authority.

The influence of Greens who are fond of government intervention (referred to as "Watermelons" by more libertarian Greens) seems to be strongest at the national level and weakest within most Green local organizations. Despite the National Green Platform's resemblance to a new face on the old left, many people who are genuinely attracted to Green principles are either undermining or abandoning the left-dominated Green Party USA. Specifically, the principle of decentralism is being used to challenge the right of a national committee to dictate positions to local Greens. This is fortunate for those of us interested in a coalition of Greens and Libertarians, as reconciliation between the Green Left and libertarianism is clearly impossible.

On the Roots of the Libertarianism

The Libertarian Party was born in 1971. Like the Green Party, it has philosophical roots that extend far back into history. It emerged, however, at a time when conservatism was in decline. Just as Greens attract liberals today and are strongly influenced by the liberal agenda, Libertarians attracted conservatives and were influenced by their agenda. However, as Libertarians are more analytically rigorous, there are fewer blatant inconsistencies between their positions and their principles.

Libertarian bias tends to show up more in prioritization of issues than in any particular issue. For example, Libertarians are far more prone to complain about the capital gains tax than about many other taxes, even though there is nothing uniquely un-libertarian about that particular tax.

Many Libertarians ignore classic libertarian writings and dwell on the works of Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard and Ludwig von Mises. The classical libertarians get mere superficial attention. For example, few have read Tragedy of the Commons, but many quote the title. Specifically, they are unwilling to recognize that the ecological mishaps like those referred to in that work had been absent for centuries when almost all land was common. As with the tragedy of the reservations, commons were abused because so many people had to share access to so little land. All this was a result of government sanction, allowing vast tracts of commonly held land to be appropriated by individuals without proper compensation to those who were dispossessed of access to the earth. These facts are ignored because they cannot be reconciled with pseudo-libertarian conservatism.

Just as contemporary Greens have fondness for government and contempt for private property that their forebears did not share, Libertarians take an extreme position on private property and have hostility to all forms of government that their philosophical predecessors did not share.

Their refusal to acknowledge natural limits to private property and their insistence of unlimited protection of property by the state is their one great departure from their predecessors and their principles. For example, they dismiss the following statement by John Locke, known as the father of private property:

    God gave the world in common to all mankind. Whenever, in any country, the proprietor ceases to be the improver, political economy has nothing to say in defense of landed property. When the "sacredness" of property is talked of, it should be remembered that any such sacredness does not belong in the same degree to landed property.

They similarly ignore Adam Smith's statement that:

    Ground rents are a species of revenue which the owner, in many cases, enjoys without any care or attention of his own. Ground rents are, therefore, perhaps a species of revenue which can best bear to have a peculiar tax imposed upon them.

Private ownership of the earth and its resources is the one area where Libertarians depart from their own philosophy. After all, their justification of property is in the right of individuals to the fruits of their labor. Because the earth is not a labor product, land value is not the fruit of its owner's labor. Indeed, all land titles are state-granted privileges, and Libertarians deny the right of the state to grant privileges.

Even here, Libertarians are on solid ground when they argue that freedom could not survive in a society where land tenure depended on bureaucratic discretion. They are split, however, over devices like land value taxation that would, with a minimum of bureaucracy, put the landless in a more tenable position with respect to land monopolists. Just as liberals dominate the National Greens, conservatives dominate the Libertarian position on this issue, though many Libertarians, including Karl Hess, former editor of the Libertarian Times, do not share that conservative position.

Again, this is a key issue for reconciliation. The Green tradition cannot be reconciled with pseudo-libertarian claims that a subset of the people can claim unlimited title to the planet.

The Magic of Honest Compromise

Compromise is too often a process whereby people on each side give up what they know to be right in order to gain a supposed advantage for their interest group. What I am proposing is that each side give up supposed advantages in order to harmonize with what is right. It takes an open mind and a great deal of courage, but the results can be magnificent.

[Continued...]

------------------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2010, 12:48:24 pm »
From http://www.henrygeorge.org/isms.htm:



"Left-wing" proposals call for society to achieve equity by redistributing most of the wealth. No distinction is made between the sources of income (land, labor or capital), and individuals control only a small portion of the wealth. In most cases this entails a large measure of social control, and a "planned economy."


"Right-wing" proposals hold that efficiency requires more wealth to remain in private hands (also making no distinction between rent, wages and interest), and that society, or government, should only get the minimum it needs for necessary services, e.g., the role of "traffic cop." This implies leaving the running of the economy to private interests.


"Middle-of-the-road" proposals seek a "balanced system" in the distribution of wealth and power between individuals and society - but make insufficient distinctions between earned and unearned incomes, and do not carefully define the proper spheres of society and the individual. The result is a hodgepodge in which efficiency and equity always appear to be at odds.


The Georgist proposal is different from all these ideologies in that it makes a distinction between the unearned income of land (rent) and the earned incomes of labor and capital (wages and interest). Rent to society, wages and interest to the individuals who earned them.

The proper spheres of society and the individual are clarified. The Georgist proposal achieves the goal of "left-wingers" for security and social action, but without restrictions on liberty. It achieves the goal of "right-wingers" to attain freedom, but without privilege and monopoly. And it achieves a balanced system sought by "middle-of-the-roaders," but in a just rather than arbitrary way.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2010, 12:48:59 pm »
Lest anyone think I'm overly hostile to any and all things having to do with the Austrian School, I should probably clarify by saying that -- despite my harsh criticism of Austrian School dogma -- I actually agree with that school's adherents on quite a few issues. Like them, I oppose all of the following:

     * occupational licensing barriers;

     * both wage and sales taxes;

     * corporatist trade agreements that, as such, are neither "free" nor "fair";

     * interventionist foreign policies;

     * compulsory schooling;

     * victim disarmament (otherwise known as "gun control"); and

     * governmental assaults on civil liberties.

And even on the issue of monetary reform, once fractional reserve banking has been outlawed and the current debt-based money system completely replaced with a debt-free "Greenback" system, I would at least be open (particularly if certain election reforms remained unimplemented) to reforming the legal tender law so that U.S. currency is good merely for the payment of all public debts (as opposed to both public and private), since this would allow for an assortment of competing private currencies to rise up alongside the national currency, thereby keeping those in charge of the latter in check.

However, there are four key issues on which I passionately disagree with the Austrian School:

(a) the idea that the only way to have "sound" money is to institute a gold-based money system;

(b) the idea that the only way to get out of the current depression is to let everything collapse first -- i.e., to let the financial terrorists who caused this crisis in the first place foreclose on everyone (even though they gave no lawful consideration for any of the collateral-backed IOUs they accepted in exchange for the non-existent "money" they loaned), and to add insult to injury by euphemistically characterizing this patently unjust and totally unnecessary looting of the economy as a mere case of "market forces" imposing a just and necessary "correction" on the economy;

(c) this cartoonish notion that all government regulations (not just most) are bad and evil by definition, and the consequent reluctance of Austrian School ideologues to even mention the word "derivatives" (let alone acknowledge the primary causative role they played in the financial meltdown of 2008), presumably since doing so would draw attention to the fact that the quadrillion-dollar derivatives bubble could never have been created to begin with had the Glass-Steagall Act -- a form of (gasp!) "government intervention" -- not been repealed in 1999; and

(d) the notion that there's no fundamental difference between commodity speculation and land speculation (see this and this).

I tend to distinguish between the well-meaning patriots who've fallen prey to euphemism-laced Austrian School propaganda, on the one hand, and the paid propagandists who sit atop the Austrian School hierarchy, on the other.

In a certain sense, these propagandists are the ideological equivalent of Glenn Beck: like Beck, they'll express a lot of truths to lure people to their side, then poison the minds of their followers by mixing those truths with half-truths and outright falsehoods. For instance, they'll rightly criticize how ridiculously bureaucratized and self-perpetuating the federal welfare system is, then falsely conclude from this that the "solution" is to have no social safety net at all.

They'll correctly expose the unintended consequences of rent control, but conveniently ignore or, worse, rationalize the privilege-induced rack-renting that created the apparent need for rent control in the first place.

They'll rightly criticize the quasi-private Federal Reserve System, then falsely conclude from this that the "solution" is to make money creation even more privatized than it already is.

Perhaps worst of all, however, is the tendency of Austrian School propagandists to suggest or imply that a total collapse of the entire U.S. economy (and hence of America itself) is not only inevitable, but desirable; and that any governmental policy or program that interferes with this collapse -- an example of such interference being Webster Tarpley’s proposal to “stop all foreclosures on primary residences, businesses, and farms for five years or the duration of the depression” -- is therefore a bad thing, not a good thing.

Why is it a "bad" thing?

Simple. Because, just as socialists perceive "the State" as a mystical, God-like entity existing independently of the people who compose it, Austrian Schoolers have a similar conception of the "free market," as evidenced by this quasi-religious notion they incessantly promote that, following said collapse, a mystical, God-like entity which they call the "free market" will magically rise like a phoenix from the ashes of our destroyed nation, give birth to a “sound” (read: gold-based) money system, and all will be well with the world.

In that sense, these do-nothing/let-everything-collapse Austrian Schoolers are eerily similar to “rapture” cultists:

       http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=196858.msg1170633#msg1170633

Bottom line: just as the NWO promotes "order" out of chaos, the Austrian School promotes economic revival and stability out of chaos. Either way you're dealing with a glorified cult that tries to sell people on the insane idea that "chaos" is a legitimate and effective means of achieving a desirable socioeconomic goal.

It is for this reason that I respectfully call on all thinking members of the anti-NWO/pro-America movement to stop letting Austrian School propagandists portray themselves as the divine gatekeepers of any and all things having to do with "liberty," "property" and "free enterprise."

Just as we must defend America from those who would destroy it in the name of the NWO, we must defend it against those who would -- by deliberate act of omission, and in the name of “liberty” and the "free market" -- knowingly allow America to be destroyed by an otherwise solvable economic and political crisis.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2010, 12:50:31 pm »
However, there are four key issues on which I passionately disagree with the Austrian School:

(a) the idea that the only way to have "sound" money is to institute a gold-based money system;

If you attend a Tea Party rally and bring up the issue of monetary reform to the people you meet there, then regardless of whether it's a "Republican-hijacked" Tea Party rally or not, you'll probably discover that nearly everyone in attendance has been literally indoctrinated (if not outright brainwashed) by Austrian School propagandists, and that their minds and intellects are consequently enslaved within the ridiculously narrow confines of the false Austrian School-vs.-Keynesian School paradigm -- and hence within the equally false gold money-vs.-debt money paradigm.

If there's one thing these propagandists all have in common, it's that they continually obsess over the "fiat" and "paper" aspects of the current money system. And the reason they do so is obvious: because deep down they know full well that if they openly acknowledged the fact that it's actually the debt aspect that is doing all the damage, then many if not most of the people to whom they're attempting to peddle their economic snake-oil would naturally gravitate towards the "Greenback" alternative.

One of the Austrian School's absolute worst nightmares is hundreds of millions of people awakening to the fact that -- contrary to Austrian School dogma -- there is a fundamental difference between (a) debt-based fiat paper money that, as such, is loaned into circulation at interest, and (b) debt-free fiat paper money that is spent in at no interest, because they want desperately for everyone to blindly assume that the only alternative to the current debt-based system is a deflationary gold-based system.

So what they're essentially exclaiming to anyone foolish enough to listen is:

     "Pay no attention to that usury behind the curtain! Paper is the source of all monetary evils!"  ::)

Thus, whenever I see an Austrian Schooler wrap himself in the American flag and mindlessly insist that "unbacked paper money" (regardless of whether it's issued free of debt or not) is an assault on the principles of the Founding Fathers and thus an affront to "liberty," I always correct him by explaining that, if the Founders had taken the Goldbugs' advice and not employed the use of such money, then there would never have been a United States to begin with!

--------------------------------------------

http://www.monetary.org/a-brief-history-of-money-in-the-usa/2009/08

CONTINENTAL CURRENCY - LIFEBLOOD OF THE REVOLUTION

The skirmishes at Lexington and Concord are considered the start of the Revolt, but the point of no return was probably May 10, 1775 when the Continental Congress assumed the power of sovereignty by issuing its own money.

Congress authorized a total of $200 million; and though at first, they had no legal power to do so, had no courts or police, or power to levy taxes; the Continental currency functioned well in the early years and became a crucial part of the revolution. In 1776, it was only at a 5% discount to coinage, when General Howe took over New York city and made it a center for British counterfeiting. Newspaper ads openly offered the forgeries:

    "Persons going into other colonies may be supplied with any number of counterfeit Congress notes for the price of the paper per ream. They are so neatly executed that there is no risque in getting them off. ... Enquire for Q.E.D. at the Coffee House from 11 PM to 4 AM."

Congress did not exceed its authorized issue of $200 million (except to replace worn out notes), but the British certainly did. We don’t know how much they counterfeited, but it could have been billions; and yet the Continental currency continued to function! In March 1778 after 3 years of war, it was at $2.01 Continental for $1 of coinage.

General Henry Clinton complained to Lord George Germaine that "The experiments suggested by your lordships have been tried, no assistance that could be drawn from the power of gold or the arts of counterfeiting have been left untried but still the currency ... has not failed."

Finally it did fail, but not before providing the foundation for delivering the nation, carrying the revolution over 5 years to within 6 months of its victory. Thomas Paine wrote:

    "Every stone in the bridge that has carried us over, seems to have a claim upon our esteem. But this was a corner stone, and its usefulness cannot be forgotten." (p. 116)

CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION DOWNPLAYED US EXPERIENCE

Yet by the time of the Convention, the great benefits of the Continentals was nearly ignored; along with much of the rest of our hard won monetary experiences. Many wanted to emphasize that the Continentals became worthless; placed all abstract money under that cloud, and rejected the idea of paper money altogether.

They ignored the fact that paper money was crucial in giving us a nation; that abstract money usually requires an advanced legal system in place; that the normal method of assuring its acceptability is to allow the taxes to be paid in it. And then there was the little matter of a War against the world’s strongest power!

Tom Paine would say it best:

    "But to suppose as some did, that, at the end of the war, it was to grow into gold or silver or become equal thereto was to suppose that we were to get $200 millions of dollars by going to war, instead of paying the cost of carrying it on." (p. 117)

CONVENTION SKIRTS THE MONEY ISSUE

The Convention met from May to September, 1787, but the money question was not taken up in earnest until August 16! When we think of the "Founders" at the Convention, we should remember that Jefferson and Paine were not there; and Franklin was so advanced in age that someone else had to deliver his closing speech for him. Van Buren was 6 years old.

In addition to ignoring the nations rich practical experience with money, the convention paid little heed to the brilliant writings of John Locke and Benjamin Franklin on money. The delegates didn't bother to find out why Locke in 1718 wrote:

    "Observe well these rules: It is a very common mistake to say that money is a commodity ... Bullion is valued by its weight ... money is valued by its stamp."

Locke viewed money as a pledge for wealth, rather than wealth itself:

    "For mankind having consented to put an imaginary value upon gold and silver by reason of their durableness, scarcity and not being liable to be counterfeited; have made them by general consent, the common pledges ... they having as money, no other value, but as pledges ... and they procure what we want or desire only by their quantity, it is evident that the intrinsic value of silver and gold, used in commerce is nothing but their quantity."

They didn't consider the reasons Ben Franklin gave in his 1729 "Modest Inquiry Into The Nature And Necessity Of A Paper Currency, for agreeing with Locke’s view: "Silver and gold...(are) of no certain permanent value..." and "We must distinguish between money as it is bullion, which is merchandise, and as by being coined it is made a currency; for its value as merchandize and its value as a currency are two distinct things ..."

THE ABUSE OF MONETARY THEORY

Unfortunately the delegates were more influenced by a crude and primitive theory which heavily supported the Bank of England, and contained several crucial monetary errors, which tended to "legitimize" the Bank’s system of finance. This theory of money was part of Adam Smith’s WEALTH OF NATIONS, published in 1776, and quoted by delegates to the Convention. Smith wrote very little about money, but his monetary mistakes and inconsistencies have had such a bad effect on mankind’s money systems, that we’ll devote a full chapter to him later. His book promoted the idea that only gold and silver are money, and never mentions the legal concept of money, as put forward by the philosophers and jurists Bishop Berkeley, John Locke, Julius Paulus, Plato, Aristotle, and others.

In 1786, anticipating the Convention, a very curious book, "ESSAYS ON MONEY" was published anonymously in the US Its entire thrust was to "theoretically" attack the idea of government paper money:

    "State bills are an absurd form of money and not money at all."

Why? - no answer. It turned out to be written by the Clergyman, John Witherspoon. Referring to Locke and Franklin’s views, he misrepresented their point on money, saying:

    "They seem to deny the intrinsic value of gold and silver."

Discussion? - none.

Then, using a rhetorical device, he stated some arguments for government paper money, and stonewalled them, pretending they didn't matter. Concerning those with personal knowledge of some of the colonies paper money systems:

    "We are told by persons of good understanding that (paper money) contributed to (the colonies) growth and improvement."

Rebuttal? - none.

Concerning the fall of the Continental Currency:

    "(Some say it was due to the) Counterfeiting ... of our enemies".

Disagreement? No germane discussion.

[Continued...]

--------------------------------------------

I then explain that the problem is not that our paper currency isn't "backed" by a commodity or precious metal, but that it's issued as an evidence of interest-bearing debt expansion instead of as an evidence of interest-free wealth expansion; that it vanishes from the money supply whenever bank loans are repaid; and that the money needed to pay the usurious interest on these inherently fraudulent loans is never created in the first place (the consequence of which is that there's always a built-in shortage of money).

William Jennings Bryan said it best:

    "Having behind us the producing masses of this nation and the world, supported by the commercial interests, the laboring interests and the toilers everywhere, we will answer their demand for a gold standard by saying to them: You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold."

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DFKSBF6d9O4

Those who value humanity more than a piece of metal must stop letting monetary flat-earthers from the Austrian School fool people into believing that the only "alternative" to enslaving mankind within a prison of debt is to crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. It is a lie and a fraud, and must be exposed as such.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2010, 12:51:15 pm »
Those who value humanity more than a piece of metal must stop letting monetary flat-earthers from the Austrian School fool people into believing that the only "alternative" to enslaving mankind within a prison of debt is to crucify mankind upon a cross of gold. It is a lie and a fraud, and must be exposed as such.

Thanks to the educational efforts of monetary reformers such as Ellen Brown, Richard C. Cook, Byron Dale, Bill Still and Stephen Zarlenga, millions of people are now aware of just how disastrous the gold standard in all its variants has consistently proven to be in the past, and of how finance oligarchs have historically promoted this system while demonizing debt-free Greenbacks.

As an apparent consequence of this, it has in recent years become fashionable among many public relations-savvy Austrian Schoolers to avoid even mentioning the discredited gold standard, and to instead peddle the notion that if we simply turned money creation entirely over to the (euphemism alert!) "free market," then we would finally have a “sound” money system, and, as a result, all of our monetarily-caused economic problems would magically "correct" themselves.

Yet there's a fatal flaw with this idea that its advocates either can't or won't see: once the government declares commodity-backed currencies A, B & C good for the payment of taxes and commodity-backed currencies X, Y & Z not good for such payment (or not as good), then automatically the value that the former three have relative to the latter will be based in large measure on the very government "fiat" Austrian Schoolers profess to oppose, at which point they will cease to be “free market” currencies.

Of course, many if not most Austrian Schoolers are -- despite the obligatory lip service they pay to the Constitution -- anarcho-capitalists, and so their likely response to this would be that there shouldn't even be a government.

The "no government" fantasy is particularly delusional, because they simultaneously advocate the very sort of land tenure system that invariably and inevitably gives rise to oppressive "governments" in the first place:

--------------------------------------------

http://lysanderspooner.org/node/59

In process of time, the robber, or slaveholding, class -- who had seized all the lands, and held all the means of creating wealth -- began to discover that the easiest mode of managing their slaves, and making them profitable, was not for each slaveholder to hold his specified number of slaves, as he had done before, and as he would hold so many cattle, but to give them so much liberty as would throw upon themselves (the slaves) the responsibility of their own subsistence, and yet compel them to sell their labor to the land-holding class -- their former owners -- for just what the latter might choose to give them.

Of course, these liberated slaves, as some have erroneously called them, having no lands, or other property, and no means of obtaining an independent subsistence, had no alternative -- to save themselves from starvation -- but to sell their labor to the landholders, in exchange only for the coarsest necessaries of life; not always for so much even as that.

These liberated slaves, as they were called, were now scarcely less slaves than they were before. Their means of subsistence were perhaps even more precarious than when each had his own owner, who had an interest to preserve his life. They were liable, at the caprice or interest of the landholders, to be thrown out of home, employment, and the opportunity of even earning a subsistence by their labor. They were, therefore, in large numbers, driven to the necessity of begging, stealing, or starving; and became, of course, dangerous to the property and quiet of their late masters.

The consequence was, that these late owners found it necessary, for their own safety and the safety of their property, to organize themselves more perfectly as a government and make laws for keeping these dangerous people in subjection; that is, laws fixing the prices at which they should be compelled to labor, and also prescribing fearful punishments, even death itself, for such thefts and tresspasses as they were driven to commit, as their only means of saving themselves from starvation.

These laws have continued in force for hundreds, and, in some countries, for thousands of years; and are in force today, in greater or less severity, in nearly all the countries on the globe.

The purpose and effect of these laws have been to maintain, in the hands of the robber, or slave holding class, a monopoly of all lands, and, as far as possible, of all other means of creating wealth; and thus to keep the great body of laborers in such a state of poverty and dependence, as would compel them to sell their labor to their tyrants for the lowest prices at which life could be sustained.

The result of all this is, that the little wealth there is in the world is all in the hands of a few -- that is, in the hands of the law-making, slave-holding class; who are now as much slaveholders in spirit as they ever were, but who accomplish their purposes by means of the laws they make for keeping the laborers in subjection and dependence, instead of each one's owning his individual slaves as so many chattels.

[Continued...]

--------------------------------------------

The key point here is that a group of private individuals presuming to "own" all the land comes first, and the "government" (or, more accurately, the State) into which they organize out of common interest comes second. (Whether they actually call it such is irrelevant.) That's the inevitable result of allowing the concept of "private property" to be applied to the Earth on which all must live yet which none produced in the same unlimited, unconditional sense that it's applied to the products of human labor.

       http://geolib.com/sullivan.dan/commonrights.html

It's also the inevitable result of turning the power of money creation (as the Austrian School would have us do) entirely over to private interests:

    “Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money."

-- attributed to Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England (appointed 1928)

The typical Austrian School reaction to this is to shamelessly engage in hysterical fearmongering about the presumed evils of government-issued currency. Yet one could just as easily posit all sorts of ridiculous fearmongering scenarios concerning government-controlled police and government-controlled armies as a way of scaring well-meaning yet gullible readers into embracing the stateless utopian fantasy world of the Austrian School, wherein -- according to those who promote this quasi-religious fairy tale -- a mystical, God-like entity euphemistically called the "free market" magically keeps privately controlled police and privately controlled armies from terrorizing, oppressing and enslaving the masses.

Fortunately, most readers aren't quite so gullible. They know that keeping the police and military in public rather than private hands is, if nothing else, the far lesser of two evils; and that the reason certain public institutions have become so corrupt and oppressive is that they've been, in effect, "privatized" to one extent or another (case in point: the "Federal" Reserve), and that the solution, therefore, is not to mindlessly throw the baby out with the bathwater, but to reclaim from these private interests our rightful control over our own government.

I, for one, say "no" to the privatized tyranny that anarcho-capitalists would have us all living under if they had their way, and "yes" to the liberty and freedom that can only be experienced in a truly Democratic Constitutional Republic:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DioQooFIcgE (The American Form of Government)

I'm sure I'm far from alone in that regard.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2010, 12:53:30 pm »
Since self-appointed Thought Police from the Austrian School so love to demonize Greenbackers such as Ellen Brown and Stephen Zarlenga (presumably for the purpose of discouraging relative newcomers from ever reading what these evil thought criminals have written on the issue of monetary reform), I think it's only fair that I post the following so that readers can decide for themselves which side of this debate they most agree with:

------------------------------------

http://www.webofdebt.com/excerpts/chapter-37.php

Chapter 37

THE MONEY QUESTION:
GOLDBUGS AND GREENBACKERS DEBATE



You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.
                     -- William Jennings Bryan, 1896 Democratic Convention


At opposite ends of the debate over the money question in the 1890s were the "Goldbugs," led by the bankers, and the "Greenbackers," who were chiefly farmers and laborers. The use of the term "Goldbug" has been traced to the 1896 Presidential election, when supporters of gold money took to wearing lapel pins of small insects to show their position. The Greenbackers at the other extreme were suspicious of a money system dependent on the bankers' gold, having felt its crushing effects in their own lives. As Vernon Parrington summarized their position in the 1920s:

    To allow the bankers to erect a monetary system on gold is to subject the producer to the money-broker and measure deferred payments by a yardstick that lengthens or shortens from year to year. The only safe and rational currency is a national currency based on the national credit, sponsored by the state, flexible, and controlled in the interests of the people as a whole.

The Goldbugs countered that currency backed only by the national credit was too easily inflated by unscrupulous politicians. Gold, they insisted, was the only stable medium of exchange. They called it "sound money" or "honest money." Gold had the weight of history to recommend it, having been used as money for 5,000 years. It had to be extracted from the earth under difficult and often dangerous circumstances, and the earth had only so much of it to relinquish. The supply of it was therefore relatively fixed. The virtue of gold was that it was a rare commodity that could not be inflated by irresponsible governments out of all proportion to the supply of goods and services.

The Greenbackers responded that gold's scarcity, far from being a virtue, was actually its major drawback as a medium of exchange. Gold coins might be "honest money," but their scarcity had led governments to condone dishonest money, the sleight of hand known as "fractional reserve" banking. Governments that were barred from creating their own paper money would just borrow it from banks that created it and then demanded it back with interest. As Stephen Zarlenga notes in The Lost Science of Money:

    All of the plausible sounding gold standard theory could not change or hide the fact that, in order to function, the system had to mix paper credits with gold in domestic economies. Even after this addition, the mixed gold and credit standard could not properly service the growing economies. They periodically broke down with dire domestic and international results. In the worst such breakdown, the Great Crash and Depression of 1929-33, . . . it was widely noted that those countries did best that left the gold standard soonest.

The debate between these two camps still rages. However, today the Goldbugs are not the bankers but are in the money reform camp along with the Greenbackers. Both factions are opposed to the current banking system, but they disagree on how to fix it. That is one reason the modern money reform movement hasn't made much headway politically. As Machiavelli said in the sixteenth century, "He who introduces a new order of things has all those who profit from the old order as his enemies, and he has only lukewarm allies in all those who might profit from the new." Maverick reformers continue to argue among themselves, while the bankers and their hired economists march in lockstep, fortified by media they have purchased and laws they have gotten passed, using the powerful leverage of their bank-created fiat money.

Congressman Ron Paul of Texas is one of the few contemporary politicians to boldly challenge the monetary scheme in Congress. He is also a Goldbug, who argued in a February 2006 address to Congress:

    It has been said, rightly, that he who holds the gold makes the rules. In earlier times it was readily accepted that fair and honest trade required an exchange for something of real value . . . . As governments grew in power they assumed monopoly control over money. . . . In time governments learned to outspend their revenues (and sought) more gold by conquering other nations. . . . When gold no longer could be obtained, their military might crumbled.

    . . . Today the principles are the same, but the process is quite different. Gold no longer is the currency of the realm; paper is. The truth now is: "He who prints the money makes the rules". . . . Since printing paper money is nothing short of counterfeiting, the issuer of the international currency must always be the country with the military might to guarantee control over the system.

    . . . The economic law that honest exchange demands only things of real value as currency cannot be repealed. The chaos that one day will ensue from our 35-year experiment with worldwide fiat money will require a return to money of real value.

Modern-day Greenbackers, while having the highest regard for Congressman Paul's valiant one-man crusade, would no doubt debate the details; and one highly debatable detail is his assertion that it is the government that now has monopoly control over money, and it is the government that is counterfeiting the money supply.  Greenbackers might say that the government should have monopoly control over money creation, but it doesn’t. Wars are fought, not to preserve the dollars of the U.S. government, but to preserve the Federal Reserve Notes of a private banking cartel. It is this private cartel that has monopoly control over money, and its monopoly grew out of a shell game called "fractional reserve banking," which grew out of the very "gold standard" the Goldbugs seek to reinstate. We have been deluded into thinking that what is wrong with the system is that the government has a monopoly over creating the money supply. The government lost its monopoly when King George forbade the colonies from printing their own money in the eighteenth century. Banks have created most of the national money supply for most of our national history. The government itself must beg from this private cartel to get the money it needs; and it is this mounting debt to an elite class of banker-financiers, not profligate government spending on social goods, that has brought the United States and most other countries to the brink of bankruptcy. If Congress had used its Constitutional power to create money to fund its own operations, it would not have needed to pursue imperialistic foreign wars to extort money from its neighbors.

[Continued...]


http://www.monetary.org/a-refutation-of-mengers-theory-of-the-origin-of-money-abridged/2010/12

A REFUTATION OF MENGER'S THEORY OF THE ORIGIN OF MONEY

Here below is a two page summary plus communication with the Austrian School

A challenge to the Austrian School of Economics and the Ludwig Von Mises Institute. Of much more general importance than it sounds, obeisance is universally paid to Menger's 19th century re-incarnation of John Law's theory of money, by present day Austrian economists. Menger's origin theory is also at the base (often explicitly) of much so-called libertarian thinking and writing today. For example Robert Nozick uses it to launch his book Anarchy, State, And Utopia, (p.18) one of the Libertarian's "bibles".

This paper most likely deals a "death blow" to this core thesis of the Austrian School, as formulated by Carl Menger, the school's founder. In effect the Austrian's are left without a viable theory of money. It would be difficult to imagine that one could be provided by Von Mises a more confused and self contradictory book than THE THEORY OF MONEY AND CREDIT. The understandable reluctance of "Austrian gatekeepers" to address this issue is documented below.

SYNOPSIS:
The paper challenges Menger on three grounds:

METHODOLOGICAL GROUNDS:
Though it is generally assumed that Menger's theory is at least in part derived from historical evidence, the paper demonstrates that its derivation is entirely theoretical, by showing that all the historically based evidence cited by Menger is 180 degrees counter to his theory. The paper points out the inappropriateness of attempting to divine an historical event or process with only deductive logic.

RATIONAL GROUNDS:
The paper points out that even within the framework of Menger's scheme, there are two fatal flaws. First the circularity of his reasoning in determining his causes of liquidity, which arises from his use of the "development of the market and of speculation in a commodity" as a cause of liquidity, when in fact it is a definition of liquidity and even Menger uses it as such. The paper explains the crucial difference. This is not quite an example of what has been called "Weiser's Circle". Second, the paper points out that within Menger's scheme, it is not liquidity, but volatility (or lack of it) which is much more important.

FACTUAL GROUNDS:
The paper shows that some of Menger's closely held general views of the stability of gold and silver and their universal use as money, are simply false. In addition the existence of the millennia long dichotomy in the gold-silver ratio between east and west, which Menger seems to be unaware of, appears sufficient to doom his theory.The paper presents some of the factual evidence gathered by William Ridgeway, in the ORIGIN OF METALLIC WEIGHTS AND STANDARDS; by A.H. Quiggin in A SURVEY OF PRIMITIVE MONEY; by Paul Einzig in PRIMITIVE MONEY; and by Bernard Laum in HEILEGES GELD; all as an indication that an institutional origin of money, whether religious or social, is much more likely to have occurred than Menger's assumed market origin.

[Continued...]


[Andrew] Jackson and Van Buren removed the monetary power from the private bankers but did not re-establish it in the hands of the nation. Instead, Van Buren organized the Independent Treasury System, establishing 15 sub branches of the Treasury to handle government moneys in 1840. From December 1836 the government moved toward making and receiving all payments in coinage, or truly convertible bank notes....Once the state bank notes were no longer accepted by the government, their circulation was cut back dramatically.

This was the closest our nation has ever come to implementing a real gold/silver standard. Operating under the commodity theory of money, Van Buren, who truly cared for the Republic, helped bring on the worst depression the Nation had ever seen, starting in 1837. It was reportedly even worse than that caused by the 2nd Bank of the U.S. in 1819. Bad as the state bank notes were, they had still been functioning as money!

Those who proclaim that no gold and silver money system has ever failed should consider that whether you are a laborer, farmer, or industrialist, the money system's success or failure is not measured by the value of a piece of metal. When your job, your farm, or factory has disappeared in a monetarily created depression, the system has failed!

-- Stephen Zarlenga, The Lost Science of Money, p. 426


Thanks to over a century of relentless propaganda, the image of the Greenbacks comes down to us as worthless paper money. But upon more careful examination, on balance they were probably the best money system America has ever had....Demonstrating how far monetary history has been distorted, readers may be surprised to learn that every Greenback printed was ultimately as valuable as its gold equivalent, and became redeemable for gold coinage at full value. Today the Greenback supporters are erroneously presented as merely being pro-inflation or against sound money. What they really wanted was a more honest money system, controlled by government, instead of banks....

They [Greenbacks] were receivable for all dues and taxes to the U.S., except import duties, which still had to be paid in coin. The Greenbacks were payable for all claims against the U.S. except interest on bonds which was still payable in coin. The Greenbacks were declared a legal tender for all other debts, public and private....

Greenback critics argue that they were inflationary and mistakenly measure the inflation against gold, starting at equal to a gold dollar in early 1862, and falling to 36 cents against a gold dollar by mid 1864. So one gold dollar exchanged for nearly $2.50 in Greenbacks. That is often the whole of their analysis and it is very misleading. Actually the Greenbacks did drop against gold; first to 58 cents at the end of 1862, then back up to 82 cents in mid 1863 and then down to a brief low of 36 cents on July 16, 1864.

From that point they moved up steadily, averaging 39 cents for August; 45 cents for September; and 48 cents for October, 1864. They retreated to $0.44 in December, and averaged $0.68 for December 1865. From there they gradually rose to $1.00, at par with gold in December 1878. Greenbacks became freely convertible into gold, dollar for dollar, in January 1879....

Economists mistakenly argue that it was only because the Greenbacks were eventually made convertible into gold by law, that made them hold and increase their value. However, that law was a hard fought political struggle, dependent on the 1868 presidential election. The battle could have gone either way and the actual "resumption" law could not get passed by Congress until 1874, for implementation in 1879. This could not have kept the Greenback from further declines, and start moving it upward back in mid-1864.

What did occur in July 1864 was that our government put a limit of $450 million on the Greenbacks and from that month they started rising (i.e. gold began falling in terms of Greenbacks)....

While the Greenbacks lost substantial value for a period, the nation was engaged in the bloodiest war in its history, in which 13% of the population served in the armed forces and 625,000 died....Is it reasonable to expect that any government in those circumstances could completely protect its citizens from financial and other hardships?

[Economic historian Irwin] Unger has noted that:

    "It is now clear that inflation would have occurred even without the Greenback issue."

And comparing a wartime inflation under a government run money system (the Civil War) to wartime inflation under a private banker run system (WW I), Civil War historian [J.G.] Randall wrote:

    "The threat of inflation was more effectively curbed during the Civil War than during the First World War."....

The fact that the Greenbacks were not accepted for import duties may also have been an important negative factor against the currency:

"Hence it has been argued that the Greenback circulation issued in 1862 might have kept at par with gold if it, too, had been made receivable for all payments to the Government," wrote financial historian [Davis Rich] Dewey.

Also, if interest payments on government bonds had been paid in Greenbacks instead of gold, a large part of the demand for gold would have disappeared.

-- Stephen Zarlenga, The Lost Science of Money, 453-65


The great German hyper-inflation of 1922-1923 is one of the most widely cited examples by those who insist that private bankers, not governments, should control the money system. What is practically unknown about that sordid affair is that it occurred under the auspices of a privately owned and controlled central bank.

Up to then the Reichsbank had a form of private ownership but with substantial public control; the President and Directors were officials of the German government, appointed by the Emperor for life. There was a sharing of the revenue of the central bank between the private shareholders and the government. But shareholders had no power to determine policy.

The Allies' plan for the reconstruction of Germany after WWI came to be known as the Dawes Plan, named after General Charles Gates Dawes, a Chicago banker. The foreign experts delegated by the League of Nations to guide the economic recovery of Germany wanted a more free market orientation for the German central bank.

[Hjalmar] Schacht relates how the Allies had insisted that the Reichsbank be made more independent from the government:

"On May 26, 1922, the law establishing the independence of the Reichsbank and withdrawing from the Chancellor of the Reich any influence on the conduct of the Bank's business was promulgated."

This granting of total private control over the German currency became a key factor in the worst inflation of modern times.

The stage had already been set by the immense reparations payments. That they were payable in foreign currency would place a great continuing pressure on the Reichsmark far into the future.

HOW IS A CURRENCY DESTROYED?

In a sentence, a currency is destroyed by issuing or creating tremendously excessive amounts of it. Not just too much of it but far too much. This excessive issue can happen in several ways, for example by British counterfeiting as occurred with the U.S. Continental Currency, and with the French Assignats. The central bank itself might print too much currency, or the central bank might allow speculators to destroy a currency through excessive short selling of it, similar to short selling a company's shares, in effect allowing speculators to "issue" the currency.

The destruction of an already pressured national currency through speculation is what concerns us in this case. A related process was recently allowed to destroy several Asian currencies, which dropped over 50% against the Dollar in a few months time, in 1997-98, threatening the livelihood of millions.

It works like this: First there is some obvious weakness involved in the currency. In Germany's case it was World War One, and the need for foreign currency for reparations payments. In the case of the Asian countries, they had a need for U.S. dollars in order to repay foreign debts coming due.

Such problems can be solved over time and usually require national contribution toward their solution, in the form of taxes or temporary lowering of living standards. However, because currency speculation on a scale large enough to affect the currency's value is still erroneously viewed as a legitimate activity, private currency speculators can make a weak situation immeasurably worse and take billions of dollars in "profits" out of the situation by selling short the currency in question. This doesn't just involve selling currency that they own but making contracts to sell currency that they don't own -- to sell it short.

If done in large amounts, in a weak situation, such short selling soon has self-fulfilling results, driving down the value of the currency faster and further than it otherwise would have fallen. Then at some point, panic strikes, which causes widespread flight from the currency by those who actually hold it. It drops precipitously. The short selling speculators are then able to buy back the currency that they sold short, and obtain tremendous profits, at the expense of the producers and working people whose lives and enterprises were dependent on that currency.

The free market gang claim that it's all the fault of the government that the currency was weak in the first place. But by what logic does it follow that speculators take this money from those already in trouble? Currency speculation in such large amounts should be viewed as a form of aggression, no less harmful than dropping bombs on the country in question.

Industrialists should realize that when they allow such activity to be included under the umbrella of "business activity," they are making a serious error. They should help isolate such speculation and educate the populace on how destructive it is, so that it can be stopped through law.

Limitations could easily be placed on speculative currency transactions without limiting those that are a normal part of business and trading, while stopping the kind of transactions that are thinly disguised attacks on the country involved. Placing a small tax on such transactions would be a healthy first move.

TOO MANY GERMAN MARKS ISSUED

By July 1922 the German Mark fell to 300 marks for $1; in November it was at 9,000 to $1; by January 1923 it was at 49,000 to $1; by July 1923 it was at 1,100,000 to $1. It reached 2.5 trillion marks to $1 in mid November, 1923, varying from city to city.

In the monetary chaos Hamburg, Bremen and Kiel established private banks to issue money backed by gold and foreign exchange. The private Reichsbank printing presses had been unable to keep up and other private parties were given the authority to issue money. Schacht estimated that about half the money in circulation was private money from other than Reichsbank sources.

CAUSE OF THE FIRST INFLATION: SCHACHT'S FIRST "EXPLANATION"

There is often a false assumption made that the government allowed the mark to fall, in order to more easily pay off the war indemnity. But since the Versailles Treaty required payment in U.S. Dollars and British Pounds, the inflationary disorder actually made it much harder to raise such foreign exchange.

Hjalmar Schacht's 1967 book, The Magic of Money, presents what appears to be a contradictory explanation of the private Reichsbank's role in the inflation disaster.

First, in the hackneyed tradition of economists, he is prepared to let the private Reichsbank off the hook very easily and blame the government's difficult reparations situation instead. He minimized the connection of the private control of the central bank with the inflation as mere co-incidence....

THEN SCHACHT GIVES THE REAL EXPLANATION

Schacht was a lifelong member of the banking fraternity, reaching its highest levels. He may have felt compelled to give his banker peers and their public relations corps something innocuous to quote. But Schacht also had a streak of German nationalism, and more than that, an almost sacred devotion to a stable mark. He had watched helplessly as the hyper-inflation destroyed "his mark."

For whatever reasons, after 44 years he proceeded to let the cat out of the bag, with some truly remarkable admissions, which shatter the "accepted wisdom" the Anglo-American financial community has promulgated on the German hyper-inflation....

SCHACHT'S REVELATION

It was in describing his 1924 battles in stabilizing the Rentenmarks that Schacht made his revelation, giving the private mechanism of the hyper-inflation. Schacht was obviously very upset when the speculators continued to attack the new Rentenmark currency. By the end of the November 1923:

"The dollar reached an exchange rate of 12 trillion Rentenmarks on the free market of the Cologne Bourse. This speculation was not only hostile to the country's economic interests, it was also stupid. In previous years such speculation had been carried on either with loans which the Reichsbank granted lavishly, or with emergency money which one printed oneself, and then exchanged for Reichsmarks.

"Now, however, three things had happened. The emergency money had lost its value. It was no longer possible to exchange it for Reichsmarks. The loans formerly easily obtained from the Reichsbank were no longer granted, and the Rentenmark could not be used abroad. For these reasons the speculators were unable to pay for the dollars they had bought when payment became due (and they) made considerable losses."

Schacht is telling us that the excessive speculation against the mark -- the short selling of the mark -- was financed by lavish loans from the private Reichsbank. The margin requirements that the anti-mark speculators needed and without which they could not have attacked the mark was provided by the private Reichsbank!

This contradicts Schacht's earlier explanation, for there is no way to interpret or justify "lavishly" loaning to anti-mark speculators as "helping to keep the government's head above water." Just the opposite. Schacht was a bright fellow, and he wanted this point to be understood. He waited until he wrote the Magic of Money in 1967. His earlier book, The Stabilization of the Mark (1927), discussed inflation profiteering but did not clearly identify the private Reichsbank itself as financing such speculation, making it so convenient to go short the mark.

Thus it was a privately owned and privately controlled central bank, that made loans to private speculators, enabling them to speculate against the nation's currency. Whatever other pressures the currency faced (and they were substantial), such speculation helped create a one way market down for the Reichsmark. Soon a continuous panic set in, and not just speculators, but everyone else had to do what they could to get out of their marks, further fueling the disaster. This private factor has been largely unknown in America.

-- Stephen Zarlenga, The Lost Science of Money, pp. 579-87




------------------------------------

Byron Dale on why the gold standard is not the panacea that monetary flat-earthers from the Austrian School blindly insist it is:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9E0UPBtmTb0 (part 1 of 3)
       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9FWECWWN5o (part 2 of 3)
       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aM7D3mnUSI0 (part 3 of 3)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2010, 12:55:16 pm »
http://www.infowars.com/the-after-the-fed-solutions-debate-begins-greenbackers-vs-goldbugs/

It is true that gold has been valued in society for thousands of years and it will likely continue to maintain its terrific investment value for the foreseeable future. Gold clearly has a physical value derived from the incredible energy it requires to mine and refine it. But gold, as a limited resource, is interest bearing and can be hoarded by those with the wherewithal to do so. This would seem to suggest that gold could then be manipulated by the few who control vast sums of it. And that sounds a lot like the economic tyranny we face today with the private Fed.

North attacks Greenbackers because they “are opposed to central banking, unless the central bank is 100% owned and controlled by Congress.” As if to say, how dare the people demand ownership of their own currency. It shows a blinding distrust for Constitutional government and obvious preference for private banking interests.  

[Continued...]

Toward the end of The Money Masters (released in 1996), Bill Still makes the following prophetic warning:

    ''Our country needs a solid group who really understand how our money is manipulated and what the solutions really are, because if a depression comes, there will be those who call themselves conservatives who will come forward advancing solutions framed by the international bankers.

    "Beware of calls to return to a gold standard.

    "Why?

    "Simple. Because never before has so much gold been so concentrated outside of American hands, and never before has so much gold been in the hands of international governmental bodies such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

    "A gold-backed currency usually brings despair to a nation, and to return to it would certainly be a false solution in our case. Remember: we had a gold-backed currency in 1929 and during the first four years of the Great Depression.

    "Likewise, beware of any plans advanced for a regional or world currency. This is the international bankers' Trojan Horse.''


Keep the above in mind as you read the following:

--------------------------------------------

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/world-bank-chief-calls-for-new-gold-standard-2010-11-07

World Bank chief calls for new gold standard

By Chris Oliver
MarketWatch
Nov. 7, 2010

HONG KONG (MarketWatch) –- The president of the World Bank said in a newspaper editorial Monday that the Group of 20 leading economies should consider adopting a global reserve currency based on gold as part of structural reforms to the world’s foreign-exchange regime.

World Bank chief Robert Zoellick said in an article the Financial Times that leading economies should consider “employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values.”

Zoellick made the proposal as part of reforms to be considered at this week’s G-20 meeting in Seoul.

[Continued...]

--------------------------------------------

I've said it before and I'll say it again: with "opponents" like the Austrian School, the international bankers don't need any allies!
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Damascus

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2010, 02:14:02 pm »
More and more I find a lot of agreement with you and you do not sound like any libertarian I have ever met. I would like to also point out that sadly on college campuses they are pitting atheist against religious people when the issues we face are greater then the petty squabbles about who is right on matters we cannot prove either way. A recent talk(atheist) I did not go to(because I am pretty much ostracized) was on weather atheist should be confrontational with religious people. Any time I brought up real issues I was basically laughed out of the group. I brought up some food issues and federal reserve issues and was basically called a republican. later when I brought up the conspiracy theory show to an "independent" They said he was way left for calling for bush to be held to the same standards the troops are. This Independent said that people that think that should go live in another country. Well he dose so thanks.

Offline birther truther tenther

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2010, 05:06:07 pm »
Geolibertarian and Anti_Illuminati are freaking rock stars!

These two guys are a full decade ahead of the game, and they are the primary reasons why I signed up for Prison Planet Forum.

I will definitely be sending people to this thread long into the future.

Thank you Geolibertarian for summarizing all of this into one thread.

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2010, 12:43:04 pm »
Geolibertarian and Anti_Illuminati are freaking rock stars!

Then where's my million dollar bank account? Where are the scantily clad groupies? I've been cheated! ;)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Is Austrian School "capitalism" the only alternative to Marxist "socialism"?

Infowarrior Kurt Nimmo (whom I respect and admire) seems to think so:

-----------------------------

http://www.infowars.com/michael-moores-communist-rhetoric-distracts-from-crimes-of-the-banksters/

Michael Moore’s Communist Rhetoric Distracts from Crimes of the Banksters

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 7, 2011

Last week, filmmaker Michael Moore declared war on the producers. Moore told Laura Flanders of GRITtv that people who did not create trillions of dollars of wealth are entitled to steal it from those who did. Private wealth, Moore insisted, is a “national resource” that can be expropriated from the producers and divided parasitically between the non-producers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzfd_sNw2-Y (Really Rich Michael Moore Says All Wealthy Americans' Money is Not Theirs It's 'Ours')

Michael Moore and the socialists – in fact, communists – invariably advocate theft in one form or another. It is the very foundation of the their philosophy.

Our founders were adamantly opposed to all “schemes of leveling,” as Samuel Adams described the redistribution of wealth. James Madison, author of the Constitution, wrote: “I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”

Madison’s admonition against organized thievery by government was long ago lost. Now the act of wealth confiscation at gunpoint by non-producers is considered routine, even mundane, and normal as the change of seasons. It is taught incessantly in government training camps – otherwise known as pubic education – and is disseminated ad nauseam by the corporate media.

[Continued...]

-----------------------------

Is Kurt so determined to wrap the anarcho-capitalist dogma of the Austrian School in the American flag that he's willing to imply (without stating so outright, of course) that the taxation authorized in the Constitution was not meant to be levied at "gunpoint"?

"The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States."


And is he unaware of the fact that many of the Founders initially called for a tax on land values?

-----------------------------

http://savingcommunities.org/foundersplan/whyfounders.html

Why America's Founders Wanted a Property Tax on Land Value, And NOT a Sales Tax!

Why a Land Value Tax?

Land for ordinary citizens

William Penn wanted to keep aristocrats from grabbing up land as they had in Europe. He declared Pennsylvania a "commonwealth" where each landholder would pay a modest rent that "would put an end to taxes, leave not a beggar, and make the greatest bank for national trade." The first tax in Pennsylvania was a land value tax.

Thomas Jefferson also saw that land monopoly made ordinary Europeans poor, while cheap land made Americans rich. He also proposed taxes on real estate to prevent land grabbers from driving land prices up.

Keeping taxing power local

Under the Articles of Confederation, the federal government taxed each state on its land value. Each state would tax each county, and citizens would never have to deal with state or federal tax collectors. Our founders did not trust strong central governments. They believed that people govern their own communities better than powerful states can govern them.

[Continued...]

-----------------------------

I, of course, agree with Kurt that -- contrary to what Michael Moore and his fellow socialists believe -- there's nothing wrong with earned profit.

There's plenty wrong, however, with profit derived from privilege (see this, this and this). And just as the Marxist-dominated "Left" loves to equate the former with the latter in order to attack it, the Austrian School-dominated "Right" loves to equate the latter with the former in order to defend it.

-----------------------------

"When we tax houses, crops, money, furniture, capital or wealth in any of its forms, we take from individuals what rightfully belongs to them. We violate the right of property, and in the name of the State commit robbery. But when we tax ground values, we take from individuals what does not belong to them, but belongs to the community, and which cannot be left to individuals without the robbery of other individuals."



"Disregard of the equal right to land necessarily involves violations of the unequal right to wealth."

-- Max Hirsch, Democracy vs. Socialism, p. 372


"I do not wish to be misunderstood as falling into the trap of the socialists and communists who condemn all privately owned business, all factories, all machinery and organizations for producing wealth. There is nothing wrong with private corporations owning the means of producing wealth. Georgists believe in private enterprise, and in its virtues and incentives to produce at maximum efficiency. It is the insidious linking together of special privilege, the unjust outright private ownership of natural or public resources, monopolies, franchises, that produce unfair domination and autocracy.

"The means of producing wealth differ at the root: some is thieved from the people and some is honestly earned. George differentiated; Marx did not. The consequences of our failure to discern lie at the heart of our trouble."



"Marx's biggest error was to suppose that society could be improved by grand design: that the solution was to impose a new order, rather than to abolish privileges embedded in the existing order. His scheme actually rescued the aristocracy he had condemned, as it required an aristocracy to run it, and it pitted labor against capital, when, in fact, true capital is nothing more than the fruits of labor, and is a natural ally of labor against privilege....

"The errors of anti-Marxists derive mostly from overreaction -- from denying whatever Marx asserted, replacing Marxist half-truths with equally false anti-Marxist half-truths. Often, in so doing, they fall into the trap of accepting underlying Marxist assumptions....

"While Marx treated land as capital to attack it, anti-Marxists treat land as capital to defend it. This not only accepts the Marxist redefinition of capital, but causes anti-Marxists to say absurd things about land that make sense only with regard to true capital.

"Buying into the Marxist equation of wealth and privilege, anti-Marxists defend privilege as if it were wealth. They do this with regard not only to land, but to banking, incorporation, franchises, the overextension of patents, etc. While there are sometimes glimmers of theoretical distinctions, there is a near constant defense of those parties whose wealth comes almost entirely from capitalized privilege, and only minimally from true capital. Such errors defy logic, are inconsistent with classical liberalism, and are intuitively rejected by the unindoctinated."


-----------------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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http://www.infowars.com/jesse-jackson-jr-s-communist-bill-of-rights/

Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Communist Bill of Rights

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
March 9, 2011

In the video below, Jesse Jackson, Jr., U.S. House representative for Illinois’s 2nd congressional district, calls for adding Rob Peter to pay Paul amendments to the Constitution. According to Mr. Jackson, you are entitled to a house, a decent job, food, etc., and your kids are entitled to iPods and laptop computers.

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSkMw7pLEdo

In oratory fashion (and hyperbole) inherited from his father, Jackson cites a speech delivered by FDR more than sixty years ago. In the speech, FDR declared the original Bill of Rights “inadequate to assure us equality in the pursuit of happiness” and he proposed an “economic bill of rights.”

Under FDR’s scheme, the government would provide useful and remunerative jobs, the right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation, the right of farmers to raise and sell products at a return which will provide a decent living, the right of every family to a decent home, the right to adequate medical care, the right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment, and also the right to an education.

FDR’s bill of rights differed little from that of the Communist Party of America. The CPUSA devised a “Bill of Rights Socialism” that will supposedly “guarantee all the freedoms we have won over centuries of struggle, and also extend the Bill of Rights to include freedom from unemployment” and also freedom “from poverty, from illiteracy, and from discrimination and oppression.”

Jackson’s speech is like something right out of the CPUSA playbook.

Socialists, recognized by the late Gary Allen as actually communists, rarely talk about how they plan to pay for all their utopian schemes, but that really is a no-brainer – they plan to steal the money from you at gunpoint and give it to their constituents.

Michael Moore said recently that there is plenty of money in this country that can be confiscated by the government and redistributed. He was talking about a small number of wealthy people – the folks who invest and create jobs, or did before the banksters deliberately ran the economy into the ground.

Moore’s audience thinks he is talking about the mega-rich – the banksters and the financial elite – but of course, as Leona Helmsley famously quipped, those folks don’t pay taxes, the little people do. Moore was talking about the millionaires, not the trillionaires like Bill Gates and the Rockefellers who hide their immense wealth in philanthropic foundations or take it offshore entirely.

It was the mega-rich and their globalist trade agreements that stripped the United States of decent jobs. It wasn’t the guy down the street who made his first million working hard to establish a car dealership from the ground up. It wasn’t the family that earned a few million by establishing a grocery store or a chain of dry cleaners.

The Bank of America does not pay a red dime in tax because it is part of a special breed. It is a transnational corporation and a member of the Fortune Global 500. A gaggle of socialists marching into a Bank of America branch and screaming and yelling about the injustice of it all will not change anything. International banks own Congress.

Calls by Moore and Jackson for social and economic justice will not take down the banksters. It will result in more of your wealth being confiscated after the self-made millionaires are stripped clean and reduced from producers to non-producers.

[Continued...]
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2011, 12:51:48 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/a-revolution-by-any-other-name.html

A Revolution by any other Name?

Tony Cartalucci
Prisonplanet.com
April 10, 2011


Call it the Ron Paul Revolution

While no personality should be followed, rather the ideals they represent, the necessity to reclaim the Tea Party is apparent. By naming it the “Ron Paul Revolution” it will become virtually impossible to commandeer without conceding to the ideals of Constitutionalism, minimal government, non-interventionism, and ending the Federal Reserve. Impossible indeed would it be to slip in the disingenuous continuation of the doomed ever-convergent left/right agenda.

By battling for the leadership of the Tea Party, now thoroughly infested by Neo-Conservatives and feckless career Republicans, we are needlessly expending our energy. The very name “Tea Party” invites ambiguity amongst which vile infiltrators can peddle agendas nothing at all related to restoring and upholding the US Constitution. In fact, it has allowed the Ron Paul Revolution, from which the Tea Party was spawned, to be pushed back toward the controlled left/right paradigm.

[Continued...]

-------------------------

I know Mr. Cartalucci means well, but he contradicts himself when he says that "no personality should be followed, rather the ideals they represent," and then, in the very next breath, advocates renaming the Tea Party after a "personality."

That might free (if only partially) the Tea Party from the left-right paradigm, but in the process of doing so would completely enslave it within another false paradigm -- namely the Austrian School "capitalism"-vs.-Marxist "socialism" paradigm.

The reason for this should be obvious: because Ron Paul (whom I greatly respect and agree with on many issues) is an avowed Austrian Schooler. His economic policy agenda and that of the Austrian School are practically one and the same.

Thus, to name it the "Ron Paul Revolution" would be to name it (in effect) the Austrian School Revolution.

The inevitable result? Scores of Ron Paul supporters emulating (however unwittingly) all of the worst behavioral aspects of the very slogan-parroting Obama-worshippers they were making fun of (and rightly so!) just a few years ago. Remember how, during the 2008 presidential race, Obama supporters would always mindlessly scream "racist" if you so much as questioned their messiah's policy positions (or lack thereof)? Well, if we follow Mr. Cartalucci's advice, we'll end up seeing Ron Paul-worshippers screaming "socialist," "communist" or "freedom hater" every time an ideological heretic commits the blasphemous sin of challenging the presumed infallibility of Austrian School dogma.

Sorry, but the solution to the Obama cult is not to create a personality cult of our own. And I'm almost certain Ron Paul himself would agree with me on that.

What's the true solution, then? Instead of narrowing the political base of anti-war/anti-police state/anti-NWO candidates (as Mr. Cartalucci's proposal would do), we should broaden it!

How do we broaden it? For the answer, see the following:

       http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=198869.0
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Rebelitarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #18 on: April 11, 2011, 12:54:15 pm »
Money Problems That Never Seem To End:

25 Reasons To Be Absolutely Disgusted With The U.S. Economy
     

The Economic Collapse
April 11, 2011

It seems like wherever you turn there is bad news for the U.S. economy.  Unemployment is rampant, the cost of gasoline is going up, the cost of food is going up and American families are getting poorer.  Millions of jobs continue to leave the country and everyone is wondering why it seems like the “American Dream” is dying.  American consumers are absolutely swamped with staggering levels of credit card debt, student loan debt and mortgage debt and each year the consumer debt crisis only seems to get worse.  For millions of American families the money problems never seem to end.  Meanwhile, our politicians are doing next to nothing to fix our horrific national debt problem.  So yes, there are a whole lot of reasons to be absolutely disgusted with the U.S. economy.  We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and anyone with half a brain can see that we are heading for complete and total disaster.

A lot of Americans do not like to read about economics, but what has been going on over the last few years has been nothing short of extraordinary.  The Federal Reserve has basically tripled the adjusted monetary base.  We have now been conditioned to accept that trillion dollar deficits are “normal”.  The U.S. dollar is being systematically destroyed right in front of our eyes and most Americans don’t even seem alarmed about it.

Our entire financial system is coming apart.

The signs are everywhere.

The following are 25 reasons to be absolutely disgusted with the U.S. economy….

#1 There are now 6.4 million fewer jobs in America than there were when the recession began.

#2 In Southern California, the average price of a gallon of gasoline is $1.00 higher than it was at this time last year.

#3 The average price of gasoline in the United States has jumped about 20 cents in just the last two weeks.

#4 Over the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in the United States has gone up by about 30%.

#5 In the 8 days leading up to the “historic” $38.5 billion budget deal, the U.S. national debt increased by $54.1 billion dollars.

#6 The $38.5 billion in budget cuts that the Republicans and the Democrats have agreed to represent approximately one percent of the federal budget.

#7 During the 2010 campaign, the Republicans promised voters they would cut $100 billion from the budget for 2011.  Instead, they gave in when the Democrats offered just $38.5 billion.

#8 The Obama administration had been estimating that the federal budget deficit for fiscal 2011 would be approximately 1.6 trillion dollars.  Now it will likely be somewhere around 1.55 trillion dollars which will still be an all-time record.

#9 According to numbers released by Deloitte Consulting, a whopping 875,000 Americans were “medical tourists” in 2010.

#10 The median pay for CEOs increased by 27 percent during 2010.

#11 Thanks to globalism, U.S. workers now must directly compete for jobs with workers in places such as Indonesia.  In Indonesia, full-time workers make as little as two dollars a day.  So how are Americans supposed to compete with that?

#12 Last week, the price of gold set a new all-time record on Tuesday, on Wednesday, on Thursday and on Friday.

#13 The price of silver rose almost 7 percent last week alone.

#14 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#15 According to the Economic Policy Institute, almost 25 percent of U.S. households now have zero net worth or negative net worth.  Back in 2007, that number was just 18.6 percent.

#16 Americans now owe more than $903 billion on student loans.

#17 According to the New York Times, as of 2009 the wealthiest 5 percent of all Americans had 63.5 percent of all the wealth in America.  Meanwhile, the bottom 80 percent had just 12.8 percent of all the wealth.

#18 According to a recent report from the National Employment Law Project, higher wage industries accounted for 40 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months but only 14 percent of the job growth.  Lower wage industries accounted for just 23 percent of the job losses over the past 12 months and a whopping 49 percent of the job growth.

#19 The first week of air strikes in Libya cost the U.S. government about 600 million dollars.

#20 The price of corn has more than doubled over the past year.

#21 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.

#22 Back in the 1950s, corporate taxes accounted for about 30 percent of all federal revenue.  Today they account for less than 7 percent of all federal revenue.

#23 If the U.S. government eliminated all discretionary spending and all defense spending it would still not balance the budget.

#24 It is being projected that U.S. government debt will rise to about 400 percent of GDP by the year 2050.

#25 Americans spend approximately 27.7 billion dollars a year preparing their tax returns.

That last statistic really gets me.  During the month of April the American people are going to be spending massive amounts of time and money to prepare their taxes.

But what do Americans get in return for their taxes?

What they get is a government that is completely and totally incompetent.  Our “leaders” are running the greatest economy in the history of the world into the ground, but unfortunately most Americans have no idea what is happening.

Why are Americans so clueless?

Well, the truth is that over time we have been turned into a nation of idiots and morons.

To get an idea of just how “dumbed down” we have become as a nation, just check out this Harvard entrance exam from 1869.

I wouldn’t have a prayer of passing that exam.

What about you?

Thanks to the slothfulness of society, the deficiencies in our education system and the toxins in our food, air and water it has become hard for most of us to think clearly.

Most of us are fat, dumb and totally clueless.  The entire economic system is being shredded and most of us just drool and turn up the television a little louder.

If we have money problems, most of us just run out and apply for another credit card.  If our state and local governments run into financial problems they just borrow even more money.

Of course the biggest offender of all is the federal government.  What our politicians are doing to future generations is not just criminal.  It is beyond criminal.  It is absolutely unconscionable.

So please excuse me if I am absolutely disgusted with the U.S. economy.

We took the greatest economy in the history of the world and we wrecked it.

How in the world are we going to explain this to our children and our grandchildren?

http://www.prisonplanet.com/money-problems-that-never-seem-to-end-25-reasons-to-be-absolutely-disgusted-with-the-u-s-economy.html

Offline attietewd

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #19 on: April 11, 2011, 01:04:42 pm »
Quote
We took the greatest economy in the history of the world and we wrecked it.

It shouldn't say "we" it should say "they" (TPTB).  They have the desire to do it and the power and money to fulfill that desire.  "We" the people are not at fault.  "We" the people just want to live our lives in peace.  I will tell my grandkids the truth.  I refuse to accept responsibility for what "TPTB" have done to our world.
“Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus…”

Offline Geolibertarian

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Enthusiasm for Capitalism
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2011, 11:50:56 am »
http://www.cooperative-individualism.org/brown-harry-gunnison_enthusiasm-for-capitalism-1958.html

Enthusiasm for Capitalism

by Harry Gunnison Brown

[Reprinted from the Henry George News, July 1958]

According to the Marxist-Leninist-Stalinist economic philosophy labor produces all that is produced, and income from property is "surplus value." Its adherents manifest little or no interest in differentiating between the capital which, by working and saving, men produce to aid them in further production and, on the other hand, natural resources, urban sites and tracts of land usable for agriculture, forestry and grazing.

There is, however, a philosophy that does distinguish between capital and land and between the incomes yielded by the one and by the other. Adherents of this philosophy stress the thought that, since man-made capital can come into existence only as there is work and saving, and since capital adds to the productiveness of industry, the private enjoyment of income from capital is a desirable -- and a deserved -- incentive to bringing capital into existence.

But they look with less kindly eyes on the private enjoyment of income from land, purely as such, and favor having an increasing amount of such income taxed into the public treasury. For the private enjoyment of such income appears, to adherents of this philosophy, as a requirement from landowners that others pay them for permission to use the earth. More specifically, they think of land rent as payment required by landowners of the payers for permission to work, live on, and draw subsoil deposits from, the earth or those parts of the earth which geological forces and community development have made relatively productive and livable.

Is there or is there not significant reason for distinguishing between the capital that, by working and saving, men produce to aid them in further production and, on the other hand, natural resources, sites and tracts? Is there, in short, good reason for distinguishing between capital and land?

Surely the rent of land is in a very peculiar sense socially produced rather than individually earned, and it ought to be sharply distinguished in thought from interest on capital produced by men's labor and saving. If there is any kind of return which is peculiarly fitted to be a source of public revenue, it is the rent of land.

Time was when the American Declaration of Independence and the struggle of the American states for freedom from political domination by Great Britain, stirred the imaginations of liberty-loving people in many other countries. Today we seek allies and sympathizers in our ideological struggle against the socialistically regimented countries of the Communist bloc. Will it help us in this ideological struggle -- will it stir enthusiasm for capitalism -- if in the "capitalism" that we practice and urge upon others, we include vast private income derived from charging (a) for permission to use -- and history might have been such as to make it so -- navigable lakes and streams, or (b) for permission -- and this is the way history really has made it -- to work on and to live on the earth?

Professor Henry E. Hoagland has stated that vacant lots are the largest single class of property in American cities. His statement is substantiated by a survey of eighty-six cities ranging In population from 900 to over 800,000, the results of which were published in 1955. The survey showed that approximately 43 per cent of the land area -- excluding streets and water areas -- was held vacant.

When land is held out of use speculatively or otherwise, rents which must be paid for apartments or homes and their sites become higher; thus the purchase price of land -- and homes -- increases. Wherever large amounts of land are vacant all public utility services become more expensive to install and maintain. If our taxes were shifted more largely to bare land and reduced or abolished on buildings and other capital, the building of apartment houses and other dwelling units would increase. Capital, because taxed less and thus yielding more, would flow in, causing rents to fall.

Without understanding the theory of land value taxation no economist can be expected to advise wisely regarding what tax policy is favorable to low-cost housing, slum clearance, industrial development or labor productivity. How shall we account, unless by the existence of an unfavorable intellectual climate among the economics professoriate, for the persistent ignoring, by most -- not, of course, quite all -- of our economists and their textbooks, of cause and effect relations so clear and so significant?

"Capitalism" is under heavy attack in a large part of the world. And the college graduates our economics professors have taught, are but poorly armed against the bombardments of communist and socialist ideology, when they can oppose the optimistically idealized programs of the "planners" with nothing better than the contemporary caricature of what capitalism could be at its possible best. Why have they not been shown the blueprint of a free private enterprise system which would be for many a college student, were it adequately explained to him, an acceptable societal goal and an inspiration to personal effort towards its realization?
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline ItsJustaDream

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #21 on: May 28, 2011, 06:14:12 pm »
It shouldn't say "we" it should say "they" (TPTB).  They have the desire to do it and the power and money to fulfill that desire.  "We" the people are not at fault.  "We" the people just want to live our lives in peace.  I will tell my grandkids the truth.  I refuse to accept responsibility for what "TPTB" have done to our world.

While I agree that the infamous "They" have done much to thwart freedom in the efforts of illuminist/marxist beliefs and outright slavery, "We the people" must take responsibility for the things we have done and look ourselves in the mirror and admit that we were Sheeple too.

For instance (not to put you on the spot or anything), do you have a Social Security card? Do you have a Drivers License?

This will only encourage educational conversation and bring up necessary points of discussion!

God bless
Almost all people are hypnotics. The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, and the people believed properly. --Charles Fort

Offline attietewd

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #22 on: May 28, 2011, 08:21:45 pm »
While I agree that the infamous "They" have done much to thwart freedom in the efforts of illuminist/marxist beliefs and outright slavery, "We the people" must take responsibility for the things we have done and look ourselves in the mirror and admit that we were Sheeple too.

For instance (not to put you on the spot or anything), do you have a Social Security card? Do you have a Drivers License?

This will only encourage educational conversation and bring up necessary points of discussion!

God bless

I stand corrected.  Yes I was a sheeple.  It sucks doesn't it? 
“Thus, condemnation will never come to those who are in Christ Jesus…”

Offline ItsJustaDream

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #23 on: May 28, 2011, 09:00:59 pm »
I stand corrected.  Yes I was a sheeple.  It sucks doesn't it? 

It's never fun admitting that we are idiots! :)

We can only grow from the experience though, and not repeat the mistakes we've made. The truth shall set you free.

The Social Security number is attached to the debt-system, the Federal Reserve, the IMF, the WARS and the IRS.... it's a nasty business, this Socialist Security Card...  the drivers license is bad too!
Almost all people are hypnotics. The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, and the people believed properly. --Charles Fort

Offline America2

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #24 on: June 04, 2011, 07:00:17 pm »
Geo and everyone here, are you familiar with Thomas Dilorenzo, who happens to be an Economics professor at Loyola Univ, AND is a supporter of Austrian school of economics?

I first crossed paths with this guy on the yahoo search engine, and I was also surprised Pastor John Weaver(no, he's not famous, but for those of you who go to sermonaudio.com, I'm sure you are familiar with him) yoked together with this guy at some Southern Heritage Politcal Action Conference(pretty much bashing Lincoln and defending the South in the Civil War).

For anyone that has listened to Weaver on sermon audio, he's a pretty darn sound preacher who preaches out of the KJV only, and has called out the corporate 501c3 church monster. Which is why I'm very surprised why a sound preacher like Weaver would yoke himself up with a Jesuit-trained professor supporting a VERY NWO economics agenda.

Here's the link of both of them yoking up at this Southern Heritage conference.
http://www.southernheritagepac.org/2008/lee_jackson.php

Offline WakeUpAmerica

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #25 on: June 04, 2011, 07:10:31 pm »
I really need to get this research up on my site. You do great work geolib, how shall I credit you?

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #26 on: October 12, 2011, 12:52:25 pm »
Since right-wing reactionaries from the privatize-everything Austrian School and left-wing reactionaries from both the big government-worshipping Marxist School and Federal Reserve-worshipping Keynesian School have been going out of their way in recent weeks to enslave the minds of the masses within one "false paradigm" after another -- particularly (a) the anarcho-"capitalism"-vs.-Marxist "socialism" paradigm, (b) the Austrian School-vs.-Keynesian School paradigm, and (c) the gold/silver money-vs.-debt money paradigm (note: there's obviously a lot of overlap between these three paradigms) -- I thought I'd bump this thread.

If there's one thing the controlled "Left" within Occupy Wall Street and the controlled "Right" within Occupy the Fed have in common, it's that they want everyone to blindly assume

*  that the only alternative to Austrian School "capitalism" is either Marxist "socialism" or some Keynesian variant of it; and

*  that the only alternative to enslaving mankind within a prison of debt is to crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.

Time to start thinking "outside the box" people!
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline giark65

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #27 on: October 13, 2011, 03:33:39 pm »
bump...bookmark

Another great thread G.  I speak for myself and state I appreciate all your efforts.  Thank you.

Offline Geolibertarian

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More On Ron Paul - by Paul Craig Roberts
« Reply #28 on: January 23, 2012, 06:44:31 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/more-on-ron-paul.html

More On Ron Paul

Paul Craig Roberts
Prisonplanet.com
Monday, January 23, 2012

If Ron Paul’s libertarian handlers and support base could escape their ideology, Ron Paul could be much better positioned to win the Republican nomination.

Here are some suggestions.

Ron Paul should be making the point that Social Security and Medicare are threatened by multi-trillion dollar wars that are funded by debt, by bailouts of a deregulated banking system, and by money creation to keep the banks afloat. Libertarians support deregulation, but their position has always been that deregulated industries must not be bailed out with public subsidies, much less subsidies that are so extensive that they threaten government solvency and the value of the currency.

Instead of hitting hard on the serious threat to Social Security and Medicare posed by Obama and Republican candidates for the nomination, all of whom serve Wall Street, the military/security complex, and the Israel Lobby, Ron Paul has been positioned both by his supporters and his opponents as the danger to Social Security and Medicare. This is an amazing strategic mistake by the Ron Paul campaign.

The mistake is somewhat understandable. Ron Paul’s supporters are mainly among the young. The importance to them of Social Security and Medicare will not register for many years, but for the vast majority of the population Social Security and Medicare are essential for survival. A candidate who is positioned as the destroyer of what scant economic protection the American elderly have is not positioned to win an election for president.

Many libertarians regard Social Security and Medicare as welfare handouts and as Ponzi schemes, when in fact these programs are a form of private property. People pay for these programs all their working lives, just as they pay premiums for private medical policies and make their deposits into private pension plans. Libertarians are great defenders of private property, so why don’t they defend the elderly’s private property rights in Social Security and Medicare benefits? Social Security and Medicare are contracts that government made with citizens. These contracts are as valid and enforceable as any other contracts. If Social Security and Medicare are in dire trouble, why is the government wasting trillions of dollars in behalf of private armaments industries, a neocon ideology, and Israel’s territorial ambitions? Why isn’t this question the most important issue in the campaign?

Instead, in a decade that has seen two massive stock market crashes and an amazing amount of financial fraud, libertarians prattle on about privatizing Social Security and about how much larger the retirement pensions would be. They speak about delaying the Social Security retirement age to 70 without any thought to what a person does who is retired by his employer at 65. People who suggest making Social Security and Medicare off limits until people reach 70 need to have a look at the cost of private medical plans for older people. A group plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield Florida for a 64-year old woman has a $18,000 premium, large deductibles per medical issue, and a 20% co-pay. Even a person with private insurance faces potentially ruinous health care expenses.

Libertarians will not wait to think before they inform me that private savings are funded but Social Security and Medicare are not. They are incorrect on both accounts.

Social Security and Medicare are funded with a payroll tax. It is true that the government has stolen the funds, spent them, and left non-marketable IOU’s in their place. But in our deregulated casino financial system with street registration of “securities,” the same thing happens to private holdings. Where is the money that individuals had in MF Global? What happened to people’s savings invested with Madoff? What happened to Enron’s investors? Can AIG make good on its promises to pay the benefits that people have purchased? Can banks whose balance sheets are loaded with subprime derivatives make good on their depositors’ accounts? US government debt is a component of many private pension plans. How secure are the values of Treasury bonds?

The notion that free unregulated markets are totally trustworthy is the enormous mistake that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made, for which American and European peoples continue to pay. Libertarians endorse this fantastic mistake to the hilt.

This is not meant to be an attack on libertarians. Rather, it is an explanation of some of their mistakes. There is much to admire about libertarians. They believe in civil liberty, that is, in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. They understand that government cannot substitute for the market. I know a lot about libertarians. I was associated with them for years, serving for several years as Distinguished Scholar at the Cato Institute until I was run off for independent thinking.

Libertarians are sectarian, and their tolerance does not extend beyond their ideology.

The biggest mistake that libertarians make is the way they view government and private sectors. Government is the root of all evil, and the private sector is the source of all good. Libertarians have never figured out that people are the same whether in the government or in the private sector. They will abuse their power regardless of where they perch. That is why government needs to be tied down by the Constitution and the private sector by regulation. Yes, regulation can go too far. Certainly, deregulation has gone too far.

The ongoing financial crisis from deregulation and ongoing jobs crisis from offshoring constitute empirical evidence that the belief is false that an unfettered private sector is the source of all good.

Some readers misunderstood the point of my previous column, “America’s Last Chance.” I am endorsing the U.S. Constitution and making the point that Ron Paul is the only candidate for president in either party who is committed to resurrecting the Constitution. Without the Constitution we cease to be American citizens and become subjects of a tyrannical police state. My complaint is that the only candidate who could bring back the Constitution cannot be elected because of the inflexibility and sectarianism of his base. Possibly there are more worthy third party candidates, but they have no prospect of visibility. Ron Paul is visible, and the opportunity is going to waste.

I hope readers will spare me their comments about how important their various single issues are. There are many important things. The question is: what is the over-riding important thing?

Civil Liberty, essentially the accountability of government to law that serves to protect the innocent, is the historic achievement of the English over many centuries from its beginnings with the foundation for common law established by Alfred the Great in the 9th century through Magna Carta in the 13th century to the Glorious Revolution in the 17th century. If this human achievement is lost, it is unlikely to be resurrected. If the Constitution that Bush and Obama have murdered stays in its grave one more presidential term, no one will be able to re-establish the Constitution’s authority.

And please, no prattle from libertarians about “natural rights.” The only rights we have are rights achieved by centuries of human struggle that we have the wits and strength to retain.

And no prattle from left-wingers who denounce the Constitution for not protecting slaves and native Indians. The Constitution did not establish universal justice. The Constitution protected the people covered by it. Over time rights were extended. During the past decade the Constitution lost its power. Today rights depend on the subjective opinion of the executive branch. This is tyranny. We should be unified in our opposition to tyranny.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: More On Ron Paul - by Paul Craig Roberts
« Reply #29 on: January 23, 2012, 11:07:05 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/more-on-ron-paul.html

More On Ron Paul

Paul Craig Roberts
Prisonplanet.com
Monday, January 23, 2012

If Ron Paul’s libertarian handlers and support base could escape their ideology, Ron Paul could be much better positioned to win the Republican nomination.

Here are some suggestions.

Ron Paul should be making the point that Social Security and Medicare are threatened by multi-trillion dollar wars that are funded by debt, by bailouts of a deregulated banking system, and by money creation to keep the banks afloat. Libertarians support deregulation, but their position has always been that deregulated industries must not be bailed out with public subsidies, much less subsidies that are so extensive that they threaten government solvency and the value of the currency.

Instead of hitting hard on the serious threat to Social Security and Medicare posed by Obama and Republican candidates for the nomination, all of whom serve Wall Street, the military/security complex, and the Israel Lobby, Ron Paul has been positioned both by his supporters and his opponents as the danger to Social Security and Medicare. This is an amazing strategic mistake by the Ron Paul campaign.

...

The notion that free unregulated markets are totally trustworthy is the enormous mistake that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan made, for which American and European peoples continue to pay. Libertarians endorse this fantastic mistake to the hilt.

This is not meant to be an attack on libertarians. Rather, it is an explanation of some of their mistakes. There is much to admire about libertarians. They believe in civil liberty, that is, in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. They understand that government cannot substitute for the market. I know a lot about libertarians. I was associated with them for years, serving for several years as Distinguished Scholar at the Cato Institute until I was run off for independent thinking.

Libertarians are sectarian, and their tolerance does not extend beyond their ideology.



This is the single biggest issue that will keep people from voting for Ron Paul.
Paul Craig Roberts hits the nail on the head.
And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Constitutionary

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #30 on: January 23, 2012, 11:47:57 am »
Let's give Ron Paul al ittle more credit.

The way the banks have been un-regulated shows what disaster comes with it.


That & Ron Paul is well aware of the Josiah Stamp quote:

Quote
“Banking was conceived in iniquity and was born in sin. The bankers own the earth. Take it away from them, but leave them the power to create money, and with the flick of the pen they will create enough deposits to buy it back again. However, take it away from them, and all the great fortunes like mine will disappear and they ought to disappear, for this would be a happier and better world to live in. But, if you wish to remain the slaves of bankers and pay the cost of your own slavery, let them continue to create money."


-- attributed to Sir Josiah Stamp, Director of the Bank of England (appointed 1928)


To say there would be a free for all under Ron Paul just isn't accurate.


Offline Geolibertarian

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How Ron Paul Could Win
« Reply #31 on: January 28, 2012, 10:07:11 am »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/how-ron-paul-could-win.html

How Ron Paul Could Win

Paul Craig Roberts
Prisonplanet.com
January 28, 2012

In the Soviet Union common criminals were punished less harshly and received better treatment than political prisoners. A person who had committed a violent crime had more rights than someone who expressed criticism of the government and could be portrayed as having acted against the government. We now have the same situation in the US.

In a recent case the Supreme Court overturned the sentence of a drug dealer who was convicted on the basis of a warrantless 28-day search by having a GPS device affixed to his car. In other words, a common criminal still has privacy rights under the Constitution, but not US citizens who are suspected of vague and nebulous “terrorist support.”

Both Republicans and Democrats have demonstrated disregard for the civil liberty protections guaranteed by the US Constitution. Among the visible candidates for president, only Ron Paul has respect for the Constitution. As it is now possible for the executive branch to take away the life and liberty of a US citizen without due process of law, the Constitution is for all practical purposes lost. Tyranny looms, and Ron Paul is the only candidate who stands against tyranny.

This is why I have written that Ron Paul is our last chance and encouraged his libertarian handlers to be flexible enough for the electorate to elect Ron Paul. I agree that Ron Paul, if elected president, would be hamstrung by the Establishment, but the other candidates offer no hope whatsoever.

What is at stake is not libertarianism, but the US Constitution. Unfortunately, not many libertarians see that. Neither do many progressives. If truth be known, Americans are too divided and in opposition to one another to be able to unite against tyranny.

In previous columns I explained how Ron Paul could appeal to low income Americans, to elderly Americans, and to those Americans concerned about illegal immigration. I suggested that Ron Paul endorse Ron Unz’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $12 per hour as a way of turning the jobs taken by illegal immigrants into a more livable income for Americans. I suggested that Ron Paul should acknowledge that people who have paid a payroll tax all their working lives have private property rights to Social Security and Medicare benefits.

A number of libertarians replied, as I knew they would from my long years of association with them, with their standard dogmatism that the minimum wage causes unemployment and that Social Security and Medicare are government programs not private property. They were blind to Ron Unz’s point that low wages cause unemployment among Americans who are unable to live on the wages, and, thus, cause an inflow of illegal immigrants who take the low wage jobs.

I don’t need to repeat my suggestions as the columns are available on my web site. I will, however, point out that the fact that Medicare and Social Security are intergenerational transfers does not mean that they are not private property. Consider your homeowner’s policy. If your neighbor’s home burns down or a person’s home in a distant location, the insurance company draws on the pool of funds created by policy holders’ premiums in order to compensate the person who lost his home. The damaged homeowner is not simply compensated from his own paid-in premiums. If more homeowners are elderly than young, it is an intergenerational transfer when a young homeowner’s home burns down.

Like Medicare, private health insurance is a transfer payment as premiums from the healthy support the care of the sick. Private medical insurance could also be an intergenerational transfer. Premiums are adjusted for age, but generally speaking, the young are more healthy than the old.

For Ron Paul to further broaden his base, he also needs to add to my previous suggestions his endorsement of regulation to protect the environment and to protect private savers from fraud and irresponsible debt leverage by private financial institutions.

Libertarians claim that the best way to protect the environment is to have it privately owned. If streams, oceans, and underground aquifers were privately owned, the owners could sue polluters such as the oil companies, the mining companies, agri-business, etc. Thus, private property would protect the environment. Whether this would work or not, we are a long way from such private ownership, and many private economic activities are destroying common environmental resources.

The list is endless. The World Wildlife Fund reports that Asia Pulp & Paper is destroying the last remaining Sumatran tigers by clear cutting the tigers’ last remaining refuge in order to produce toilet paper marketed in the US under the Paseo and LIVI brand names. “Feel the Power! Buy our product and flush a tiger and a rain forest!”

The National Defense Resource Council reports that under an Obama regime and state of Utah plan, massive coal mining will be permitted adjacent to Bryce Canyon National Park. Three hundred heavy diesel trucks per day will travel down the scenic two-lane highway to supply China with dirty coal.

The Obama regime has granted Shell Oil tentative approval to begin drilling off the coast of the Arctic Refuge, the main on-shore birthing ground for polar bears.

Defenders of Wildlife reports that Shell Oil is pushing to open Bristol Bay to oil drilling, despite the danger to fisheries and wildlife and despite the fact that the long-term value of the renewable fisheries far exceeds the short-term value of nonrenewable fossil fuel extraction in the area.

In the Powder River Basin in Montana, coal companies are mobilizing to destroy the water resources and ranchers in the eastern part of the state.

All of these are current hot ticket items with progressives, environmentalists, and ranchers. Obama is vulnerable. He has put the tar sands pipeline on hold, but many believe he will approve the environmentally destructive project once he is re-elected.

Air, water, wildlife, and fish in the sea are not private property and have no protectors. They are being destroyed by the lack of regulation. Moreover, private property has not protected forests from being clearcut or soil from being depleted of its natural nutrients. The chemical farming with which agri-business has replaced natural farming has polluted America’s aquifers, streams, lakes, rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico, which has extensive dead areas from chemical fertilizer run-off.

As Herman Daly and other environmental economists have made clear, the world is running out of sinks into which to dump its wastes. The external costs of unregulated activity are mounting. Once a threshold is crossed, the environment is ruined. The drive to maximize short-run profits is a great source of ruin. The external costs associated with maximizing short-run profits can exceed the value of the private output.

A candidate committed to saving the Constitution, environment, private savings, protecting the security of the elderly, opposing war, and boosting the incomes of the worst off, which has the added benefit of reducing illegal immigration, is a candidate without equal in the presidential election.

We will not have such a candidate, because libertarian sectarian dogmatism will prevent it. Libertarians will be pure to the end and take the Constitution and the rest of us down with them.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #32 on: April 03, 2012, 12:20:57 pm »
In light of the above, most readers will likely realize just how spot on Webster Tarpley is when he explains, in the following clip, why attacking Obama from his "right" serves only to strengthen Obama politically by giving him the "left cover" he needs to implement what in reality is a pro-Wall Street/corporate fascist agenda:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZdHEkm7DoY

If you want a vivid illustration of how economic right-wingers give Obama's corporate fascist policies "left cover," look no further than Peter Schiff:

       http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4ZS0oleO3U

With "opponents" like him, corporate-whore Democrats like Obama don't need any allies!
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #33 on: May 06, 2012, 10:49:20 pm »
http://www.prisonplanet.com/warning-corporate-lobbyist-at-work.html

Warning: Corporate Lobbyist At Work

Tony Cartalucci
Prisonplanet.com
May 5, 2012

Like a tentacle of a sea monster breaking the surface of the water, a recent news story starring a “libertarian” think-tank’s billboard comparing “climate change” proponents to Theodore Kaczynski (also known as the Unabomber) represents but a small part of a much larger beast.

Like in any movie script, the billboard put up by the Heartland Institute is designed to play the role of the villain. Heroically riding in to fight this villain is “Think Progress,” a so-called “progressive” project maintained by the Center for American Progress. To the average, poorly informed observer, it appears as if an increasingly heated debate over man’s impact on the environment is unfolding, framed by a vitriolic “denier” camp reduced to name-calling, with a dignified progressive camp refusing to move from its foundation of “reason” and “science.”

In reality we are watching two think-tanks funded, backed, and involved with the very same handful of corporations. Both the Heartland Institute and the Center for American Progress are funded by Wall Street and together they create a false paradigm with which to trap unassuming millions while sidelining real issues, problems, and their solutions.

Think Progress itself exposes the Heartland Institute as funded by major corporations including Amgen, Bayer, Comcast, GlaxoSmithKline, Eli Lilly & Company, Microsoft, PepsiCo, General Motors, Pfizer, and Time Warner Cable. It then berates these corporations for their support for the Heartland Institute in a more recent article of theirs titled, “Heartland Institute Compares Climate Science Believers And Reporters To Mass ‘Murderers And Madmen’.” The US Chamber of Commerce is also listed as a contributor to the Heartland Institute in a .pdf provided by Think Progress.

What Think Progress doesn’t tell readers is that these very same corporations are recipients of their own John Podesta’s lobbying services – because indeed Think Progress and its umbrella organization, the Center for American Progress is chaired by John Podesta, co-founder of the Podesta Group – a notorious corporate lobbying firm involved with some of the most dubious characters and corporations on Earth. Amongst Podesta’s clients are the above mentioned Amgen and General Motors, as well as BAE Systems, General Dynamics, General Electric, Raytheon, British Petroleum, Lockheed Martin, and many others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMd0mGlKDEw (Ted Turner on Overpopulation)

Video: Meet the founder of the United Nations Foundation, depopulation and climate change enthusiast Ted Turner previously of Time Warner. Turner peddles Malthusian talking-points on national TV attempting to link overpopulation with global warming. And while Turner is no longer with Time Warner, its subsidiary Time Inc is still a corporate partner of the UN Foundation while Time Warner itself is listed as a supporter of the Heartland Institute – guilty of “climate denial.” The Fortune 500 is replete with examples of corporations playing both sides of the climate debate.

....

To fully illustrate this false paradigm, it should be mentioned that one of the patrons of the Heartland Institute and their “climate denial” – Time Warner – though its subsidiary Time Inc is also a corporate partner of the United Nations Foundation – a premier promoter of climate change hysteria. Time Warner’s Ted Turner created the foundation with a 1 billion dollar donation and is an outspoken “global warming” and “overpopulation” activist. Joining Time Warner in partnering with the UN Foundation is the Bill & Malinda Gates Foundation, also prominent global climate change activists. Bill Gates being founder and a current chairman at Microsoft – is also a sponsor of “climate denial” at the Heartland Institute.

The Podesta Group openly admits that it conducts media campaigns including planting op-eds in popular newspapers including the Christian Science Monitor and the Huffington Post. The Podesta Group features a “PG At Work” segment on each page of its website showcasing such articles, written either by journalists approached by the lobbying firm, or by Podesta Group members themselves, often never disclosing their affiliations. Similarly, Podesta openly admits it “arranges” for Senators to make specific floor speeches. When one wonders the “how” regarding corporate-financier interests purchasing our elected representatives and manipulating our press, the answer is lobbying firms like Podesta. Ensuring the public goes along with such a flagrant abuse of power and influence is left to the creation of false paradigms, false choices, and emotionally charged misdirecting debates.

By the same corporations funding a vicious debate moderated by professional lobbyists in their employ, the corporate-financier elite ensure that the public is herded into a matrix of false choices where both real problems and their solutions are non-issues and instead an endless circular debate mired in infinite minutia is conducted. Regardless of which public opinion prevails regarding anthropogenic global warming, the corporate-financier oligarchs have institutions and legislation in place to capitalize, be it big-oil or carbon-credit trading big-banks.

Climate change is not the only issue where both sides of the debate are dominated by the same interests for the purpose of maintaining a false paradigm and an effective strategy of tension. Just recently, another media circus was erected around a Chinese “activist,” Chen Guangcheng.

Chen had been built up since at least 2008 by another PR firm of sorts, the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy and its various subsidiaries including Freedom House, the International Republican Institute (IRI), and the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Like Podesta, NED not only plants op-eds across the corporate-media, but maintains a global network of clearinghouses it funds with US taxpayers’ money. One such example, Thailand’s Prachatai, is fully funded by NED, USAID, and convicted criminal George Soros‘ Open Society Institute (also a sponsor of the above mentioned Center for American Progress). On a daily basis, Prachatai regurgitates US State Department talking points, while masquerading as an “independent” media organization.

Together, these fraudulent media clearinghouses with Congressional members of NED, IRI, and NDI, turn a nameless, inconsequential “activist” or a contrived human rights issue into an international point of contention – not for the cause of human rights, but to be used as leverage for geopolitical and financial concessions. In China’s case, Chen was used as a PR stunt in the lead up to high-profile talks between Washington and Beijing.

And just like with the climate change issue, indeed, the very injustice Chen Guangcheng was protesting, with US money and support, was a creation of the West itself – namely China’s draconian population control policies, funded by the UN with the US the primary donor to its “Population Fund.”

The “War on Terror” is yet another false paradigm, both created and perpetuated by the West, while it simultaneously “fights” against it. In fact, many of the most adamant proponents of the “War on Terror” are literally lobbying for the US State Department-listed foreign terror organization (#29) Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) of Iran, while others are calling on the US to fund, arm, and politically recognize listed terror organizations like the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) of Libya, and terrorists currently destabilizing Syria.

While some may be confused as to why one would simultaneously perpetuate a war while trying to end it, the answer is quite simple – the trillions the US is spending to fight the endless “War on Terror” is not going into a black hole, rather, it is going to a myriad of defense contractors while building the foundation for other large corporate-financier interests to plunder nations previously beyond America’s geopolitical and financial reach – the ultimate goal being to turn the entire planet into a borderless playground for the corporate-financier oligarchs of Wall Street and London.

What To Do When Both Sides of the Debate Are Controlled.

When we are trapped within a matrix of false choices, a paradigm created by and for the corporate-financier elite, our only recourse is to escape it. We do this by creating an agenda and program of our own while recognizing, boycotting and replacing the corporate interests that have constructed this paradigm around us in the first place.

Picking sides between the Heartland Institute and Think Progress is indeed an exercise in futility but one the corporate-financiers hope you commit to anyway. And no matter where one stands on the issue of “climate change,” they end up supporting the same corporate interests regardless. By deciding for ourselves what issues are truly important and entirely ignoring or exposing as a fraud the false debates put in front of us, we can begin making real progress that is in our collective best interests while undermining the elitist minority that has dominated and manipulated public discourse for so long.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Political Labels for Dummies
« Reply #34 on: June 09, 2012, 05:33:10 am »
As I explained earlier in this thread, I disagree strongly with Steve Kangas on several key issues -- e.g., gun control, compulsory schooling, the rose-colored glasses through which he views both Keynesian economics and debt-based money, etc.

But there are also several issues on which I at least mostly (thought not necessarily entirely) agree with Mr. Kangas, not least of which is the following:

----------------------

http://www.huppi.com/kangaroo/L-socialism.htm

Myth: Liberalism is socialism, and socialism is big government.

Fact: Liberals believe in private ownership of the means of production; socialists, public.


Summary

Modern American liberals are democratic capitalists. That is, they believe that private capitalist individuals should own and control the means of production, as long as they operate within the democratic law. By contrast, socialists believe that everyone should own and control the means of production. Socialism has been proposed in many forms. Perhaps the most popular form is social democracy, in which workers vote for their supervisors, company policy, and industry representatives to regional or national congresses. Another form of socialism is anarcho-socialism, in which employee-owned firms would compete or cooperate on the free market, absent any centralized government at all. As you can see, a central planning committee is not a necessary feature of socialism; only worker ownership of production is. Dictatorships can never be socialist, because workers do not own or control anything when a ruling elite is telling them what to do. For this reason, socialists reject the claim (made by the Soviet Union itself) that the Soviet Union was a socialist country. It was instead a brutal dictatorship over workers.

Argument

One of the main features of the Great American Debate is the perversion of basic political terms. The far right, for instance, has succeeded in promoting the myth that "liberalism equals socialism equals big government." In reality, there are a great many distinct and opposing ideologies on the left. These include:

     Liberalism
     Progressivism
     Socialism
     Social Democracy
     Anarcho-socialism
     Anarcho-syndicalism
     Mutualist anarchism
     Social anarchism
     Communism
     Marxism
     Stalinism

This list may confuse some readers who have inadvertently accepted the far right's revisionism; after all, isn't the term "anarcho-socialism" an oxymoron? If this is your reaction, then it is an excellent example of how successfully the far right has redefined the left. This essay will clarify these terms using definitions drawn up by the adherents themselves. Knowing these distinctions is vital, because most people only embarrass themselves by attacking an ideology, only to discover they can't even define it.

Who owns the means of production?

One of the central questions of any political ideology is "Who should own and control the means the production?" (Means of production refers to factories, farmlands, machinery, office space, etc.) Generally there have been three approaches to this issue. The first was aristocracy, in which a ruling elite owned the land and productive wealth, and peasants and serfs had to obey their orders in return for their livelihood. The second is capitalism, which disbanded the ruling elite and allows a much broader range of private individuals to own the means of production. However, this ownership is limited to those who can afford to buy productive wealth; nearly all workers are excluded. The third approach is socialism, which is defined as "the collective ownership and control of the means of production." That is, everyone owns and controls productive wealth, which is accomplished through the vote. As you can see, there is a spectrum here, ranging from a few people owning productive wealth at one end, to everyone owning it at the other.

Socialism has been proposed in many forms. The most common is social democracy, where workers vote for their supervisors, company policy, and industry representatives to regional or national congresses. Another proposed form is anarcho-socialism, where workers own companies that would compete or cooperate on a free market, without any centralized government at all. As you can see, a central planning committee is hardly a necessary feature of socialism. The primary feature is actually worker ownership of production.

This point is probably the most confused and misunderstood aspect of socialism. "Collective ownership" does not necessarily mean "government ownership," as the case of anarcho-socialism shows. For those who automatically equate socialism with big government, the mere existence of an ideology called "anarcho-socialism" is a direct refutation of that belief.

And in those variations of socialism which do call for a centralized government, that government is always a democracy -- never a dictatorship, central planning committee, or other form of ruling elite. Workers do not own or control anything when a dictator is telling them what to do. "Collective ownership" means that the group is in control; "dictatorship" means that a single person is in control. Therefore it is a logical impossibility to have "collective ownership" by a dictator. It is for this reason that socialists reject the claim (made by the Soviet Union itself) that the Soviet Union was socialist. It was instead a brutal dictatorship over workers. True socialism has never been tried at the national level anywhere in the world, although some employee-owned firms have successfully employed it in the West.

Socialism may always be democratic, but what type of socialism depends on what type of democracy is practiced. There is actually a spectrum of democracy, ranging from direct democracy at one end to republicanism at the other. Let's briefly review both:

In a direct democracy, voters vote on their laws directly, without representatives. To the extent that government exists, its only function is to enact the decisions of the voters. Most scholars reject strong forms of direct democracy on the grounds that it is unworkable. Democracy only works if the people are educated, but voters would become overwhelmed trying to educate themselves on the best bicycle parts society should build, what 32 flavors of ice cream a store should sell, and what electronic components should go into microwave ovens. Obviously, a lot of ignorant votes would be cast in such a behemoth system, even if it were possible to build it.

So most democracies are actually republics, or representative democracies. In these systems, voters elect representatives who legislate laws for them. Again, there are varying degrees of republicanism. A more "direct" form of republicanism is the U.S. House of Representatives, where legislators represent smaller districts and serve two-year terms. A more "republican" form is the U.S. Senate, where legislators represent entire states and serve six-year terms. The extreme in republicanism is the U.S. Supreme Court, where judges are nominated and voted upon by the people's representatives, but enjoy lifetime tenure.

In designing a well-functioning republic, the main goal is to avoid making it so direct that voters become overwhelmed by its requirements, but not so republican that representatives can operate impervious to the will of the people. Somewhere in the middle there is an optimal balance.

How does this apply to social democracy? Social democracy merely takes the republican principle and applies it to the workplace. It should be noted that the U.S. has enjoyed an increasingly successful republic for 220 years, with no reversion to dictatorship or tyranny. Indeed, American history shows that inherited tyrannies like slavery, child labor and discrimination have been eliminated or greatly reduced as democratic reforms have grown stronger. In short, the republican system of government has a track record of success and continuing improvement that can be well-defended. And it is this system, not dictatorship, that social democrats would apply to the workplace.

Socialists argue that the workplace is one of the last bastions of dictatorship still in existence in Western society. As Noam Chomsky points out: "There is no human institution that approaches totalitarianism as closely as a business corporation. I mean, power is completely top-down. You can be inside it somewhere and you take orders from above and hand 'em down. Ultimately, it's in the hands of owners and investors." Capitalists argue that voluntary contracts on the free market prevent the abuse of such totalitarian power by business executives. But this presumes the nonexistence or nonimportance of market failure and contract failure, in the face of widespread evidence to the contrary.

Socialism thus defined, what is the difference between socialism and modern American liberalism? The difference is rather profound, and lies in who owns the means of production. Liberals are capitalists, meaning they favor a system where private individuals can own productive wealth, choose their own management teams, and set their own industrial policy. Liberals would prevent business owners from abusing their powers through checks and balances like strong labor unions and democratic government regulations. Liberalism is a compromise between individual freedom and social responsibility: you can do what you want, as long as it's within the law.

In general, the only thing that unites liberals and socialists is the belief that corporate totalitarianism should be avoided. But they differ on how to make businesses more socially responsible, and uninformed critics who lump the two together should not be taken seriously.

A POLITICAL GLOSSARY

Below is a glossary of common political ideologies on both the left and the right. Self-definitions are indicated by quotation marks and footnotes.

Socialism

"Socialism is the collective ownership by all the people of the factories, mills, mines, railroads, land and all other instruments of production. Socialism means production to satisfy human needs, not, as under capitalism, for sale and profit. Socialism means direct control and management of the industries and social services by the workers through a democratic government based on their nationwide economic organization.

"Under socialism, all authority will originate from the workers, integrally united in Socialist Industrial Unions. In each workplace, the rank and file will elect whatever committees or representatives are needed to facilitate production. Within each shop or office division of a plant, the rank and file will participate directly in formulating and implementing all plans necessary for efficient operations.

"Besides electing all necessary shop officers, the workers will also elect representatives to a local and national council of their industry or service and to a central congress representing all the industries and services. This all-industrial congress will plan and coordinate production in all areas of the economy. All persons elected to any post in the socialist government, from the lowest to the highest level, will be directly accountable to the rank and file. They will be subject to removal at any time that a majority of those who elected them decide it is necessary.

"Such a system would make possible the fullest democracy and freedom. It would be a society based on the most primary freedom: economic freedom.

"For individuals, socialism means an end to economic insecurity and exploitation. It means workers cease to be commodities bought and sold on the labor market and forced to work as appendages to tools owned by someone else. It means a chance to develop all individual capacities and potentials within a free community of free individuals.

"Socialism does not mean government or state ownership. It does not mean a state bureaucracy as in the former Soviet Union or China, with the working class oppressed by a new bureaucratic class. It does not mean a closed party-run system without democratic rights. It does not mean nationalization, or labor-management boards, or state capitalism of any kind. It means a complete end to all capitalist social relations." (1)

Social democracy

The most commonly proposed form of socialism, calling for worker ownership of the means of production and centralized democratic government. In democratic elections, workers would vote for 1) their supervisors, 2) their representatives to a local and national council of their industry or service, and 3) their representatives to a central congress representing all the industries and services.

Anarcho-socialism

A term which broadly refers to anarchism (social) and anarchism (mutualist). Most anarcho-socialists deem the term redundant, however, and prefer to be called "anarchists," not "anarcho-socialists." This is because they believe that the only true anarchy is socialist, and the only true socialism is anarchic. However, it remains a useful term, because it distinguishes them from others who, right or wrong, also consider themselves anarchists and socialists: for example, anarcho-capitalists and social democrats.

Anarchism (mutualist)

"A proposed socialist economic system calling for businesses to be owned and controlled by employees, not private capitalist individuals. These businesses would then compete on the free market, without a central government." (2)

Anarchism (social)

"A proposed classless, stateless socialist society of directly democratic self-governing communities and workplaces freely united in a confederation by a system of mandated, recallable delegates. Decisions flow from the bottom up and are based upon intensive discussion by those affected by them. Production is for use, not profit, and the community owns and workers control the means of production. Anarchists think that direct democracy within voluntary associations and the abolition of wage slavery is the best way to maximize individual liberty. Also known as libertarian socialism or libertarian communism." (3)

Anarcho-syndicalism

"A political philosophy that proposes that workers organise into decentralised, self-governing workplace and community organisations to take over and run the means of production and create a left-libertarian society. Heavily influenced by social anarchist ideas." (4)

Liberalism

"1) Openness to progress or change. 2) Generosity and willingness to give. 3) In the 18th century, a political philosophy that advocated smaller government and greater individualism, much as modern conservatives do today. Also known as "classical liberalism." 4) In modern times, a political philosophy that advocates greater public support, defense, regulation and promotion of the private sector." (5)

Progressivism

"1) A political philosophy advocating change and progress, especially as led by science. Colloquially, a "progressive" refers to a very liberal person. 2) The U.S. Progressive Movement between 1890 and 1920, which is also known as the Progressive Era. This movement was responsible for introducing the campaign primary in many states (replacing caucuses), the initiative, the referendum, and the recall, among other reforms." (6)

Marxism

The philosophies and teachings of 19th century economist Karl Marx. Although Marx is credited with the idea of socialism and communism, Marx did not really elaborate much on his utopian government. The vast majority of his writings were critiques of capitalism. However, he viewed the struggle of workers as a continuation of historical forces that would one day lead to communism. This would occur in three stages. The first stage was capitalism, in which the proletariat (workers) are exploited by capitalists (business owners). The second stage would be socialism, or a "dictatorship of the proletariat." Marx envisioned that this stage would be brief. In the final stage -- communism -- society would become so classless and collectivist that the formal state would wither away, and society could spontaneously operate as a collective whole without government.

Communism

1) A social and economic system in which all (or nearly all) property is public, not private. That is, resources are shared by everyone. Not to be confused for socialism, which only grants to everyone the ownership of the means of production -- not necessarily all property. 2) A technically incorrect but widely used term for the system practiced by the Soviet empire. 3) In Marxist ideology, a utopia achieved in the third and final stage of workers' struggles. (See Marxism, above.)

Stalinism

1) The type of dictatorial government practiced by Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union. This system was characterized by totalitarian control not only of society, but the economy as well. Stalinism was not socialist (if it had been, workers would have voted on all government policy), nor was it communist (in which case the state would have disappeared completely). However, Stalin co-opted these terms to describe his rule, and they are still used to describe it today. 2) The type of government practiced by all nations in the Soviet and Red Chinese empires after Stalin.

Conservatism

1) The disposition to preserve tradition and resist change. 2) A political philosophy calling for reduced government and greater individual freedom in the private sector.

Capitalism

An economic system in which private individuals or corporations own and invest in the means of production.

Anarcho-capitalism

A proposed economic system calling for an anarchic society with sovereign individual property rights and a capitalist free market. Any public services that are deemed valuable, such as law enforcement, would be privatized.

Libertarianism (left)

"A political philosophy calling for as much self-government for individuals as possible. Opposes all forms of hierarchical authority (particularly those associated with capitalist companies and the state) and social inequality in favor of group direct democracy, individual liberty and social equality. This would be accompanied by either no government or government reduced to a minimal level." (7)

Libertarianism (right)

A political philosophy calling for very strong or even sovereign property rights for individuals. This would be accompanied by either no government, or government reduced to its minimalist functions: for example, police and military defense.

HISTORICAL MISDESCRIPTIONS

One of the most common fallacies in political argument is that a nation or leader who adopted a political label actually practiced that ideology. However, experienced political scientists know that misnomers abound in the history of political labels. Here are but a few examples:

The "Social Democracies" of Northern Europe: The Scandinavian states are actually progressively liberal. Private capitalist individuals own the means of production, coexisting with large labor unions and democratic governments. These states are colloquially known as "social democracies" only because the Social Democrats are the largest or ruling parties. But they are only one among many.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics: Neither socialist nor a republic, this was actually a dictatorship by a ruling elite over workers.

The German Democratic Republic: Neither democratic nor a republic, East Germany was actually Stalinist.

Hitler's National Socialist Party: When Hitler first joined the party, it was a true socialist party dedicated to the cause of German workers. As Hitler rose through its ranks, he changed the ideology to dictatorship, but didn't change the name.

The People's Republic of China: More like Mao's Dictatorship over China.

Vladimir Zhirinovksy's Liberal Democrat Party: Neither liberal nor democratic, this Russian demagogue is actually a czarist or monarchist.

There are countless more examples, but these should be enough to make the following point: political ideologies should be identified by their actual features, not their labels.


Endnotes:

1. The Socialist Labor Party. The SLP publishes a variety of literature on Socialism. The People, Marxist bi-weekly since 1891, is available on-line. Address correspondence to: [email protected], or [email protected]. Snail Mail: Socialist Labor Party, P.O.Box 70517, Sunnyvale, CA 94086-0517; (408) 245-2047; FAX (408) 245-2049.

2. Personal communication with Scottish anarchist Iain MacSoarsa, in collaboration with several anarcho-socialists.

3. Ibid.

4. Ibid.

5. Steve Kangas.

6. Ibid.

7. MacSoarsa.


----------------------
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #35 on: June 09, 2012, 06:51:27 am »
The reason for my previous post is that I've noticed that -- despite all that's been said in recent years about the false "left-right paradigm" -- an alarming number of people within the anti-NWO/pro-America movement still have a self-discrediting tendency to mindlessly label as "socialist," "communist" or "collectivist" anything that falls outside of this tiny little ideological box known as anarcho-capitalism.

To understand what I mean, consider the following analogy.

Imagine someone has an extreme hatred of cats. Then imagine that, upon seeing seeing a horse, he goes on a ridiculous tirade about how the only thing worse than a regular-sized cat is an oversized cat. You, of course, try to explain to him that it’s not a cat at all, but a horse. And he replies: "But all cats have four legs and a tail, and so does that thing, so it must be a cat."

You then spend the next half-hour explaining to him (very slowly, of course) all of the things that make horses fundamentally distinct from cats. And he responds by accusing you of being a disinfo-spewing cat lover who’s just trying to conceal the fact that the animal he’s looking at is really just another breed of cat. “A cat is a cat is a cat!” he exclaims. And if he’s particularly arrogant, he’ll then start asking you ridiculously loaded questions such as: “Why do you love cats so much?” and “How long has it been since you first realized you had an eery fondness for cats?”

If you’re like most people, this childlike tactic will evoke from you a not-so-kind response, at which point he’ll play innocent by saying something along the lines of: “Hey, no need to get upset. I’m just trying to have a calm, rational discussion, here, because I’m merely curious to know what it is, specifically, about cats that makes you love them as much you do, and why it is you feel the need to conceal this fact from others.”

You think you might feel just a little disgusted at that point?

Well that is exactly what economic right-wingers do whenever they equate with “socialism," "communism" and/or "collectivism" anything that in any way conflicts with the anarcho-capitalist dogma of the privatize-everything Austrian School.

If I say -- "All cats have four legs and a tail, but not everything with four legs and a tail is a cat.” -- most rational people would regard that as simple, common sense discernment -- the sort of discernment that even a five-year-old can employ. But not Austrian Schoolers. That requires way too much thought. They just want to know whether or not the person in question falls outside of the aforementioned "box" they’re in. If he does, then rather than exercise even the most basic of common sense discernment, they immediately jump to the conclusion that he’s a “socialist,” "communist" and/or "collectivist," and begin lecturing him for being anti-"liberty."

If you were part of the NWO, isn’t that exactly the sort of people you would want to territorialize any grassroots movement against you, since this would keep most if not all of the countless millions of people out there who aren’t reactionaries from ever joining that movement in the first place, since they have better things to do with their time than listen to right-wing ideologues invoke red-baiting labels all day long whenever they hear something that in any way conflicts with anarcho-capitalism?

Why hire disinfo agents to divide the anti-NWO/pro-America movement against itself when you have label-obsessed Austrians to do it for you?

http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=232841.0 (Rothschild and Rockefeller interests created the Libertarian-Communist dialectic)
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline bento

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #36 on: June 09, 2012, 08:05:22 am »
Thank you again for the life line back to reason. I would not equate Tarply to a "well meaning socialist" he is many things but I do not think he fits entirely in to that box or that label as it is brandished now. In a free and open society or market would you not allow all forms of ideology to compete instead of brow beating everyone that dose not adhere to one particular philosophy? In stead it looks again like the one monopolistic polarizing ideological philosophy is trying to push all others out. This leads to the other side becoming what they think is the "opposite" and fueling a Hegelian dialectic instead of an open debate. The only weakness here is the human psychology is well developed for the "either or" arguments and the masters know it. Either you're with us or against us, "us vs. them" group think "gang mentality" of 100% one way or the other.
We are all the sum of our tears. Too little and the ground is not fertile, and nothing can grow there. Too much and the best of us is washed away.

Offline Satyagraha

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #37 on: June 09, 2012, 08:49:44 am »
Thank you again for the life line back to reason. I would not equate Tarply to a "well meaning socialist" he is many things but I do not think he fits entirely in to that box or that label as it is brandished now. In a free and open society or market would you not allow all forms of ideology to compete instead of brow beating everyone that dose not adhere to one particular philosophy? In stead it looks again like the one monopolistic polarizing ideological philosophy is trying to push all others out. This leads to the other side becoming what they think is the "opposite" and fueling a Hegelian dialectic instead of an open debate. The only weakness here is the human psychology is well developed for the "either or" arguments and the masters know it. Either you're with us or against us, "us vs. them" group think "gang mentality" of 100% one way or the other.

"You're either with us or you're with the terrorists" - George W. Bush

Black & white thinking.

If you criticize Ron Paul, you must be an Obama supporter/communist/socialist/liberal/anti-liberty -  yada yada... black and white thinking.

In black and white thinking, there is no room for shades of grey -- that's not allowed. That's how you shut down critical thinking; make it a 'bad' thing by forcing people to adhere to one person/philosophy 100%, or demonize them and shun them. Therefore critical thinking is trumped in favor of acceptance by one (or the other) camps. It's a very effective tool because, for most people, the need to "belong" to an "acceptable" group is stronger than the need to use their own cognitive skills to determine their own opinion and stick to it.  Get into the 'camp' and stick to the philosophy, or be at risk of getting 'outed' as not 100% aligned.
Very effective control method.

Proof of this is the "shock" seen in the Ron Paul camp at Rand Paul's support for Romney. What? He's supporting Who? How will they rationalize that cognitive dissonance? That's the 'ticket' for the Bilderbergers and their masters; the rationalization will be that a vote for Romney is a 'vote' for Rand/Ron Paul. Watch it happen; it will happen and it will be rationalized and made 'acceptable'.
Mission accomplished.

Romney will be a more 'powerful' opponent to Obama (not that this matters at all ... the result is the same agenda).
The sad part is that people believed that Ron Paul would effect change: and in the end, the 'change' was similar to Obama's 'change' - e.g., no change at all.  The neocon agenda is served; the son of the father has been indoctrinated, and will bring the followers along. Was this the agenda all along? At some point, when more 'cognitive dissonance' is introduced (when Ron Paul asks has delegates to support Romney at the convention), we might have a chance to discuss the entire operation as it unfolded.   It's still too soon - the rationalization is happening, and we need another 'shock' to open up that discussion.


And  the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, 
Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren,  ye have done it unto me.

Matthew 25:40

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #38 on: June 09, 2012, 04:58:45 pm »
Thank you again for the life line back to reason. I would not equate Tarply to a "well meaning socialist" he is many things but I do not think he fits entirely in to that box or that label as it is brandished now.

Tarpley advocates the so-called "American system" of political economy:

     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_School_(economics)
     http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_System_(economic_plan)
     http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11103

Regardless of whether the person in question subscribes to that particular ideology or not, and regardless of whether one happens to agree with it or not, the fact remains it isn't even close to being "Marxist-Leninist."

That I still have to point out something this obvious only proves what I said earlier today about how the intellectual confusion caused by this conditioned obsession with indiscriminate labeling continues to prevent even those among us who are smart enough to know better from employing even the most basic of common sense discernment.
"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: Left-vs.-Right is not the only false paradigm!
« Reply #39 on: June 10, 2012, 03:42:33 am »
In black and white thinking, there is no room for shades of grey -- that's not allowed. That's how you shut down critical thinking; make it a 'bad' thing by forcing people to adhere to one person/philosophy 100%, or demonize them and shun them. Therefore critical thinking is trumped in favor of acceptance by one (or the other) camps. It's a very effective tool because, for most people, the need to "belong" to an "acceptable" group is stronger than the need to use their own cognitive skills to determine their own opinion and stick to it.  Get into the 'camp' and stick to the philosophy, or be at risk of getting 'outed' as not 100% aligned. Very effective control method.

Mr. Nailhead, meet Mr. Hammer!

"Abolish all taxation save that upon land values." -- Henry George

"If our nation can issue a dollar bond, it can issue a dollar bill." -- Thomas Edison

http://schalkenbach.org
http://www.monetary.org
http://forum.prisonplanet.com/index.php?topic=203330.0