My Blog List

Friday, September 22, 2017

Democratic Facts

I'm still reading the book Democracy in Chains by Nancy MacLean. This is taking longer than I expected, for two reasons,

  1. It is long and detailed.
  2. It is about James Buchanan, so fact checking means reading his writings and some of the sources.

Waging Totalitarian War on the 90%

It is also about how conservative doctrine have become totalitarian.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Confusing Capital with Rental Opportunities

I keep running into the same faulty arguments that hinge on the same devious argument. They heap all kinds of wealth formation under the title "capital formation" and so deliberately mislead people. Now:

Capital in the Twenty First Century, by Thomas Piketty,

Does define most forms of wealth, for simplicity sake, as capital; but he did that to simplify his argument. The word capital is also misused in finance and accounting (deliberately) to refer to financial wealth. To use that simplification in formal economics however is misleading. Capital, strictly speaking is:

"wealth that is used in production, including wealth that is in the course of exchange."

That meaning excludes wealth that is used to generate rents, financial wealth, labor and "nature's bounty"; land and mineral resources. Usually those selling capitalism use the later definition for the sales, but the former definition for the reality.

And there is a reason for that.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Esotericism and the Books on the Shelf

A new translation of the Zohar, puts it in reach of modern English Speakers. The work is an apocryphal work, purportedly written around the same time as parts of the Talmud, but actually possibly not written down til the late 13th century, it represents oral teachings handed down and later written down by Rabbi's and their disciples. Who knows how many? The Zohar, like much of Mahayana Buddhism, Tendai and Nichiren Teachings, represents the work of teachers following a contemplative tradition. The Jewish Authors may not have been monks (Buddhist or Christian) but their insights are part of a tradition of meditation and contemplation with roots from before either Christianity or Judaism took their present form. That is what makes the work interesting to me. This translation of the Zohar can be useful to anyone studying religion, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim or non Jew. Arthur Green, in is review of the book illustrates some of why that is true. My book (if I ever finish it) explains why. At the very least folks should read his article:

Zohar Kabbalah & Mainstream Judaism

Thursday, September 7, 2017

How Government is and isn't a Business

People in this country are really confused about how Government should function. Many think it should be run like a business. Indeed Government should be run like a well run business. But more importantly a well run business is a well governed business.

The reason people are confused about the relationship between business and government is that businesses are governing entities! When Government is run for the sake of Oligarchs only, it is tyranny and privateering!

The Lockean Definition of Tyranny is government for "private, separate advantage.":

We give the people within them the privilege of governing property, their own affairs and in return a sane society expects them to operate within the parameters of that title or charter. This corporate privilege allows Businesses to be run for the private separate advantage of the owners and senior management, within restrictions set by law. When everyone behaves it works for the greater good. When they don't, you get tyranny and privateering.

Government is a business of all the businesses, all the many factions and associations of the people within its jurisdiction. So it has to be run for the people's business, like a virtuous business, and not like a pirate camp.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Libertarian Bait and Switch -- The role of James M Buchanan

I'm wading through a rather large book named "Democracy in Chains" by Nancy MacLean. The book focuses on James M. Buchanan, the Koch Brothers and their role in allowing elitist activsts to use exoteric movements to promote esoteric causes via deception and manipulation. Her book focuses on how the Far right expresses itself through movements that are basically projects of program offices based in far right institutions. She fills in much of the story of how the University of Virginia helped birth a deeply subversive movement when it founded "Thomas Jefferson Center for Studies in Political Economy." It follows familiar territories and provides missing pieces to the puzzle of how this all was integrated. She helps demonstrate how:

"What we think of as dysfunction is the result of years of strategic effort." [Review]

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Trump Goes Full Nixon

Trump gave a policy speech last night. He sounded so incoherent I fell asleep. Before he gave it I figured he might try something old as new (see: "Will Trump Create an American East India Company"). As bad as that idea was and yes the Robert Clive idea may be completely mercenary and privateering (and therefore so Trump) but at least it would have shown some imagination. He went Nixon instead. Incoherent and tricky.

He made three points that, like his Watergate-like corrupt politics remind me of 1969. His speech was pure Nixon:

Monday, August 21, 2017

Will Trump Create an American East India Company?

Trump is going to give a policy speech tonight. If he promises to keep troops in Afghanistan and the Mideast he'll be doing what every other flaccid spine Politician does to avoid humiliation, with one of these wars. I suspect he has another idea in mind; to privatize the war. Trump is a privateer, and as I wrote previously; Privatization is a tool of Privateering, and has been since a group of "adventurers" (pirates) and businessmen (same) petitioned for the Creation of the East India Company around 1600. This would duck responsibility for human life by offshoring it and shucking it off to yet another International Company.

I believe that Trump is going to try to establish an "American East India Company" to privatize our Efforts in the middle east ala Blackwater and Erik Prince's other freebooting efforts.