Western Supremacy: The Triumph of an Idea?
By: Sophie Bessis
This book traces the journey of western domination from the conquest of the Americas to the current forms and practices of globalization and development. Bessis contends that the West, unlike other empires of the past, is the only one to have produced a theoretical (philosophical, moral, and scientific) apparatus to legitimate its supremacy and hegemony around the world. While making her case, she explores what she terms as the ultimate paradox of the West: its ability to produce and even violently promote universals
(e.g., democracy, justice, and human rights) and yet, at the same time, exert an inexhaustible capacity to self-justify its own violations of these very universals.
It is precisely this capacity to disassociate what it says from what it does, the author asserts, that makes the West both unintelligent and illegitimate to the world. This book, divided into three parts with 12 chapters, provides the reader with an excellent introductory overview of the nature and extent of western domination, as well as the relationship it has fostered with the rest of the world. Part 1, “The Formation of a Culture,” sets out the West’s historicopolitical formation, tracing its birth to the turn of the sixteenth century.
Chapters 1 through 5 offer a historical account, albeit in broad strokes, of how the West built its hegemony upon the twin processes of exclusion and appropriation. These chapters highlight how the West’s exclusively Greco-Roman founding myth enabled it to erase non-Christian and oriental influences from western European civilization. Europe reinvented itself by excluding the historical, intellectual, cultural, and scientific contributions made to it by the Babylonian, Egyptian, Indian, and Islamic (Arab) civilizations, among others, in order to believe, and then persuade others to accept, that the West built itself and owes its greatness only to its own efforts. The forced expulsion of Jews and Muslims from Spain, for example, declared a new political territory of the West and was matched by the expulsion of Jewish-Muslim thought from Europe’s intellectualterritory.
The exclusion of “Others” was paralleled by the appropriation of their lands, which, as Bessis explains, led Europe to carry out the first large-scale genocide in history. She explores how the rapid depopulation of the Americas and the trans-Atlantic slave trade were rationalized by an ideology of domination that legitimated the idea of racial superiority and the West’s self-election as the only full human beings. In addition, she explores how new myths appear and histories are rewritten to validate this history on the West’s insistence that its expansion was necessary in order to introduce the world to freedom and liberty and to promote human rights. In Part 2, “The Way of the World,” chapters 6 through 9 move into a critical analysis of the development discourse and the world’s partition into the Global South and the Global North. Overviewing the history of development and the West’s modernization agenda, the author explains how the monolithic blueprint for the world to “catch up” to the minority-world was intrinsically set up for failure. As yet another example of the discrepancy between what the West proposes and what it does, Bessis insists that development ideology exhorted the world to embrace the universality and inevitability of modernity and progress – but only on the condition that their development and modernization do not interfere with the West’s interests.
In this section, Bessis explores how the West manages and dominates the “post”-colonial era through a sequence of double standards and outright hypocrisy. She points out the underlying deception in development ideology, whereby a single path to growth is promoted ostensibly to mimic the West, even though it is, in fact, unattainable for the rest of the world because the same rules of appropriation and exploitation of lands, resources, and the freedom to migrate no longer apply. In this sense, the South raced to reproduce the model, while the North fiercely opposed alternative models and devised new strategies to control and dominate so that it would eventually yield more of its power. Accounting for the disconnect between what the West states and what it does is made glaringly evident: Only the West has benefited, in terms of increased wealth and power, from the failure of the development decades from the 1960s onward.
In “Two Sides of the Mirror,” she explores the new face of the West’s old civilizing mission: to promote and protect universal human rights. Here, again, the book’s common thread is revisited as Bessis explains how the West, in its historical and current contexts, covers up its own violations as often as it appropriates to itself the right to be the sole protector and guarantor of democracy, modernity, and human rights. Once again, societies are forced to shape and mold themselves into the West’s image, which is identified as the uncontested model of a “civilized” society that the rest must transform into but will never fully become. Reforming and rescuing the “Other” to make it more closely resemble the West is the ultimate goal of the new forms of intervention and imperialism. According to the author, the West’s inability to embrace pluralism and multivocality undermines its very strength and the rightful existence and legitimate place that non-western peoples have in the world. Bessis concludes by asking the poignant question of how do we collectively move from a unitary domination by the West to a body of ideas and a discourse in which all members of humanity can recognize themselves and share in its construction.
In her final analyses, Bessis concedes that although the West does not want to admit or submit to this direction, it inevitably will be pushed, either willingly or unwillingly, to finally locate itself realistically in the world. This rather passionate polemical critique leaves the reader with the impression that in the face of this totalizing entity described as the West, the rest of the world is rendered powerless and silenced into submission. The major shortcoming of this book is that it does not provide a warranted discussion of the diverse ways in which non-western people historically and presently seek to rupture, dismantle, resist, and recreate themselves and their societies in both the heartland and hinterlands of the West.
The author also fails to explore how the West’s intrusion has instigated diverse forms of resistance and transformations that are opening up the very alternative paradigms that she herself hints are needed urgently. Nevertheless, this book is an important introductory read that is well researched and passionately written. It offers a concise overview of western hegemony that is appropriate and useful for undergraduate level courses in Third World studies, international development, and sociology.
Why Hierarchies Thrive
By: Harold J. Leavitt
HOW THE RULING CLASS RULES
By: John Marini
In The Bureaucrat Kings: The Origins and Underpinnings of America’s Bureaucratic State, Paul Moreno indicts the American administrative state and our new ruling class, its chief beneficiary. A professor of history at Hillsdale College, he writes as a historian but also a citizen in rejecting the inherent beneficence or historical inevitability of social “reform” and “progress.” Alert to the profound effect the idea of progress has had on popular government, he nonetheless judges historical and political changes in light of an unchanging standard of the public good, or justice, an idea inherent in the founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
“The United States is ruled by an establishment nowhere mentioned in the U.S. Constitution,” Moreno laments. “Once a federal republic, we have become a centralized bureaucracy run by an unelected administrative class,” one that “combines the legislative, executive, and judicial functions that the Constitution separated.” Congress is particularly guilty, he argues, for “delegat[ing] its lawmaking power to this bureaucracy” in ways that make “Congress more powerful and less accountable.” Because these actions have undermined federalism and the separation of powers, the conditions that sustain popular rule, Moreno does not spare the executive and judicial branches or the states for helping transform a constitutional regime into a bureaucratic state.
* * *
The Bureaucrat Kings rejects those administrative law professors who purport to have discovered “a hidden or forgotten” administrative constitution extending throughout American history.” No one would deny the importance of administration as a practical necessity for all governments, but centralized administration, or bureaucracy, is a new form of rule that establishes “organized intelligence” as the heart and mind of the “rational state” imagined by G.W.F. Hegel. In Max Weber’s view, it was understood to be the final form of rule, an expression of the last Western value, “rationality.” Moreno, by revealing the theoretical and political roots of the founders’ Constitution, shows them to be wholly incompatible with what has come to be understood as bureaucratic, or rational, rule. His judgment concerning the absence of bureaucratic rule throughout much of America’s past comports with two of the most discerning students of modern democracy and bureaucracy.
In the 19th century Alexis de Tocqueville described the phenomenon of bureaucracy almost before it had revealed itself. He called it centralized administration, which he considered the new form of despotism that democracies must fear if they are to remain free. This democratic disease had not yet infected the Jacksonian America he examined; in fact, he praised America for its burgeoning civil and political associations, and for the absence of centralized administrative rule. The Constitution and a federal system had allowed for a decentralized political and administrative system of government, which inhibited the rise of the administrative state. Nonetheless, Tocqueville in Democracy in America warned against abandoning those traditional political and social institutions that had prevented its growth.
Ludwig von Mises confirmed Tocqueville’s judgment regarding America. In Bureaucracy (1944), von Mises wrote, “Although the evolution of bureaucratism has been very rapid in these last years, America is still, compared with the rest of the world, only superficially afflicted. It shows only a few of the characteristic features of bureaucratic management.” Unlike Great Britain and continental Europe, Von Mises insisted, “America alone is still free to choose. And the decision of the American people will determine the outcome for the whole of mankind.”
Von Mises believed that America was still governed by officials whose power was limited by a written Constitution’s authority, as opposed to being ruled by those whose authority rested on expert knowledge. “If the citizens are under the intellectual hegemony of bureaucratic professionals,” he contended, “society breaks up in two castes: the ruling professionals, the Brahmins, and the gullible citizenry. Then despotism emerges, whatever the wording of constitutions and laws may be.” Like Tocqueville, he considered bureaucratic rule a form of democratic despotism, and believed that America still had a choice.
* * *
Moreno shows that, for more than a century after America’s founding period, administration was limited by constitutionalism, and decentralized by federalism. Popular government required that the rule of law be established by the people’s representatives and legitimized by consent of the governed. Although he does not deny the reality of “social and economic change,” he implies that political choice depends more heavily on political ideas or theory. Relying on Abraham Lincoln as a guide to applying timeless principles to changing circumstances, Moreno notes that “socioeconomic reality changed between the American Revolution and the Civil War, but Lincoln and the Republicans persuaded the American people to return to the principles of the Founding” (emphasis in the original).
By the end of the 19th century, however, the influence of German philosophy and political science had made any such return almost unthinkable. The idea took hold that it was impossible to reject change once History with a capital H, understood in terms of rational necessity, had nodded its approval. Then, rational choice dictated adapting or accommodating the new—and ruled out any return to the former principles as by definition irrational and reactionary.
It was, Moreno suggests, “the late-19th-century progressives [who] chose not to return to our founding principles, but to adopt modern, continental European theories of government.” The progressive philosophy of history would establish the theoretical and practical ground of the administrative state. By the end of the 20th century, as American government increasingly accommodated itself to the requirements of administrative rule, the bureaucracy supplanted the political branches as the arbiter of policymaking.
* * *
Moreno gives a brief but masterly account of the “four waves of the administrative state” over the past century. The first (1900–1930), on behalf of an expansive national public sector, was spearheaded by activist presidential leadership within both parties. In the second (1930–1945), the New Deal established “the state as an entitlement-provider rather than a rights-protector.” The third wave (1945–1975), the “Great Society and the New Social Regulation” led “by a resurgent judiciary,” centralized administrative power on behalf of civil rights and the national regulation of social and economic problems. Finally, the fourth wave (1975–2010) revealed that the constitutional branches and political parties were unable to limit administrative rule. Although the separation of powers was “designed to prevent the rise of a centralized bureaucratic state,” he recognizes that “[o]nce that state was established…the same structure made it difficult to undo.”
The almost unbroken ascendancy of the administrative state in the last half of the 20th century undermined the political dynamic that made the separation of powers work. The political branches could no longer understand the common good from the perspective of constitutionally established institutions. Instead, the legislative and executive branches both understood their powers and prerogatives from the perspective of the administrative state. In such circumstances, it became almost impossible to make “ambition counteract ambition.” The legislature no longer defended its constitutional power or acted as a body whose collective purpose was defined and expressed by lawmaking. It became mainly a collection of individual offices that mirrored the executive branch, comprising members who were co-administrators instead of lawmakers.
Nor could the president re-establish political rule from the executive branch. Indeed, Moreno denies that the Nixon and Reagan presidencies did, or could do, much to challenge administrative rule. In fact, Moreno contends that Ronald Reagan strengthened rather than reduced the power of the administrative state by doing “more to make presidential control of the bureaucracy a reality than did all of his predecessors.” Despite the intentions of individual presidents, for and against administrative rule, presidential control of the bureaucracy alone could not re-establish the political conditions of constitutional rule. Rather, it had become clear by the end of the century that administration had become the heart of modern government, almost impervious to political control.
* * *
Of course, every activity of government requires execution and agents with the discretion needed to discharge their duties. The necessity of competent administration was well known to the American Founders. Its problematic character, in terms of constitutional government, derives from the fact that, as Alexander Hamilton observed in The Federalist, “the administration of government, in its largest sense, comprehends all the operations of the body politic, whether legislative, executive, or judiciary.” The Constitution’s political success depended on separating those governmental powers to prevent unified and despotic rule, establishing instead a limited government compatible with political consent and popular rule.
Consequently, the Constitution grants administration no independent or autonomous authority. The political branches participate in establishing the ground of administrative authority, and controlling its effects as well. Only within the modern concept of the “rational State” does administration acquire a new kind of technical and rational authority, derived from scientific or universal knowledge, which both establishes its autonomy and assures its status.
The idea of a rational State, operating with autonomous and politically neutral administration, was a product of the 19th-century historicism that inspired the agenda for Progressivism and 20th-century liberalism. The bureaucratic state’s growth parallels the rise of the new social sciences and the positivist understanding of law. The authority that legitimized the modern administrative state is the technical, rational knowledge derived from the new social sciences’ methods. In John Dewey’s view, the “social intelligence” produced in the modern research university would establish the means to administer progress within the Hegelian “rational state.” Accordingly, the new disciplines of political science, economics, sociology, history, and law viewed America’s past and future through the lens of Progressive theory. All attempted to understand political, economic, and social reality as revealed and made intelligible by the empirical, or scientific method. Since Auguste Comte, the social sciences were intended to be the applied science of the rational state.
* * *
The theoretical defense of bureaucratization rests on the premise that change, or progress, is not merely good but historically inevitable. This championing of the new was a revolution in politics and political thought. If Hannah Arendt is to be believed, the figure behind that theoretical view was also the father of the modern state (lo stato) and revolution, or re-founding, itself. There “exists in our political history one type of event for which the notion of founding is decisive, and there is in our history of thought one political thinker in whose work the concept of foundation is central, if not paramount,” she notes in her essay “What Is Authority?”. “The events are the revolutions of the modern age, and the thinker is Machiavelli, who stood at the threshold of this age and, though he never used the word, was the first to conceive of a revolution.”
The revolution Machiavelli initiated was not merely political and social. By establishing novelty—openness to change—as an essential feature of the modern mind, it undermined nearly all tradition. Is “this piece of Machiavelli’s mind beginning to feel familiar to our modern eye and ear?” Harvey Mansfield asked in the Wall Street Journal in December, in a piece marking the 500th anniversary of The Prince. “Here, in the constant need for novelty and acquisition—our freedom in combat with our necessity—we have the germ of our modern politics, our business, our intellectuals, our arts, our morals.” Why have those revolutions, so receptive to innovation, been so often transformed into the rigid conformity and uniformity of bureaucratic rule? Nearly every modern regime has been established on a revolutionary foundation. Are they all Machiavellian, destined to follow the historical pattern established at the beginning of modernity? If it has become impossible to preserve tradition of any kind, “rational” rule is modern man’s fate.
It is hard to imagine a writer more contemptuous of bureaucracy than Franz Kafka, who once wrote that “every revolution evaporates and leaves behind only the slime of a new bureaucracy.” In his view, bureaucracy would seem to be the unnatural outgrowth of revolutionary fervor bred of utopian expectations. His hatred of bureaucracy informed his understanding of all politics and civil society as well. If Kafka and Max Weber are right, all revolutionary politics must end in bureaucracy. In their view, it would appear that bureaucracy is the inevitable but also the inhuman result of revolutionary modernity.
* * *
Weber, perhaps the greatest social scientist of the 20th century as well as the most profound student of modern bureaucracy, argued that “the fate of our times is characterized by rationalization and intellectualization and, above all, the ‘disenchantment of the world.’” In his view, the shift from traditional authority to legal-rational authority would lead to a “polar night of icy darkness” culminating in an “iron cage” of rational control. In Weber’s view, modern bureaucracy is the final form of the metamorphosis of reason, and its last and only value. “Joined to the dead machine, [bureaucratic organization] is at work to erect the shell of that future bondage to which one day men will perhaps be forced to submit in impotence…if a purely, technically good, that is, rational bureaucratic administration and maintenance is the last and only value which is to decide on the manner in which their affairs are directed.” In his despair he wondered: “what have we to set against this machinery, in order to preserve a remnant of humanity from this parceling-out of the soul, from this exclusive rule of bureaucratic life ideals?”
It is not surprising that bureaucracy, unlike science, technology, or medicine, is the only kind of rational progress or change that is unwelcomed by liberals and conservatives, progressives and reactionaries. Even Karl Marx disputed Hegel’s contention that universal knowledge establishes the status and authority of a civil service class, whose expertise would free it of any social or economic ties. As Marx noted in his Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, “The state formalism, which the bureaucracy is, is the state as formalism, and Hegel has described it precisely as such a formalism. Because this state formalism constitutes itself as a real power and becomes itself its own material content, it is evident that the bureaucracy is a tissue of practical illusion, or the illusion of the state.” Marx calls the bureaucracy “a circle from which one cannot escape.” In its “hierarchy of knowledge,” the “top entrusts the understanding of detail to the lower levels, whilst the lower levels credit the top with understanding of the general, and so all are mutually deceived.” For Marx, organized knowledge would not and could not bring about revolutionary change. Only a revolutionary class—the proletariat—would deliver us. But even they turned out to need minding by a vanguard class of intellectuals.
* * *
Were Kafka and Weber right in their assumption that all modern revolutions are destined to disintegrate into a historically inevitable bureaucratic slime? In analyzing modern revolutions since Machiavelli, Arendt noted, “The fact that not only the various revolutions of the twentieth century but all revolutions since the French have gone wrong, ending in either restoration or tyranny, seems to indicate that even these last means of salvation provided by tradition have become inadequate.” None of those revolutions could reconcile the notion of founding with the defense of any kind of tradition. All were destined to consume themselves in the process of founding. Nonetheless, Arendt exempted one modern revolution from her verdict. She insisted that of all revolutionary attempts, “only one, the American Revolution, has been successful” (emphasis added).
Although America established itself on a revolutionary foundation, it did not, like France, attempt a new order that obliterated its moral, religious, and intellectual legacy. Indeed, in the eyes of the American Founders, the revolution and its re-constitution were meant to defend the highest intellectual, political, and religious traditions, those derived from philosophy, literature, science, and theology. Under America’s regime of civil and religious liberty, defense of those traditions would become a defense of the founding and those eternal principles upon which it had established itself: the trans-historical ideas derived from reason, nature, and revelation. The founders sought to protect the theoretical ground of both philosophy and religion, and thereby defend the way of life derived from each.
In the aftermath of the American Revolution, the theoretical defense of rational limits imposed by nature or nature’s God, as a condition of human happiness, was to become almost indistinguishable from a defense of the founding and the founders themselves. The abandonment of the founders’ theoretical perspective of justice, or natural right, and rejection of its embodiment in the political science of the Constitution, made bureaucratic rule possible and, perhaps, inevitable. But the long-term political success of administrative rule would require delegitimizing the founding’s principles in order to establish the legitimacy of the administrative, née rational, state. That has yet to occur.
* * *
Nonetheless, as Paul Moreno has shown, the politics of progressivism has succeeded in empowering a new class, the bureaucrat kings, drawn from both the public and private sector, whose interest requires the perpetuation of an administrative state directed from the center. Consequently, the defense of justice, of a common good understood in terms of the principles that established constitutional government, still demands the defense of political rule as opposed to rational rule. As von Mises has noted,
democracy means self-determination. How can people determine their own affairs if they are too indifferent to gain through their own thinking an independent judgment on fundamental political and economic problems? Democracy is not a good that people can enjoy without trouble. It is, on the contrary, a treasure that must be daily defended by strenuous effort.
Both Tocqueville and von Mises had described an America still animated by constitutionalism and attachment to civil and religious liberty. By failing to comprehend its animating principles, or by denying the justice of its own past, is it destined to succumb to the fate described by Kafka and Weber? The verdict on America is not yet in, but as long as democracy includes the capacity to choose new leaders and transform political institutions, the rule by bureaucrat kings, however well organized and intended, remains precarious. If, on the other hand, the path of least resistance is to enjoy the benefits of rational rule rather than reestablish political rule, then only “the pitiless crowbar of events,” in Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s words, can reawaken the desire for freedom and self-government.
By Ovid Demaris
Who is responsible for the powerful Chicago rackets which have blighted business, looted the treasuries of labor unions, padded public contracts, made puppets of policeman, cowed courts, maimed and murdered with impunity? It is not a dark mystery which cannot be solved. Yet exasperated citizens are repeatedly asking: Why are not these rackets smashed and the racketeers put in jail? The answer is that racketeers are useful to certain men favorably situated in business, in politics, and even in some of the professions and to a portion of the press. It is only when the racketeer becomes too strong and gets out of hand that the cry is raised by privileged persons that the racketeer must go.
"In the modern criminal underworld we face a nationwide, highly organized, and highly effective internal enemy." John F Kennedy
From the moment of its incorporation as a city in 1837, Chicago has been systematically seduced, looted and pilloried by an horde of venal politicians, mercenary businessmen and sadistic gangsters. Nothing has changed in more than 130 years. The same illustrious triumvirate rate performs the same heinous to services and the same dedicated newspapers bleat the same inanities. If there has been any change at all, it has been within the triumvirate rate itself. In the beginning, the dominant member was the business tycoon, the ruthless entrepreneur out to make a quick financial killing, whether it be in land speculation, wheel roads, hotels, meatpacking or public utilities. Pirates like Potter Palmer, Philip Armer, George Pullman, Charles T Yorks and Samuel Insall fed the city with one hand and blooded dry with the other. Then, around the turn-of-the-century, with the population explosion out of control, the politician gained the upper hand over his partners in the coalition. It remained for the gangster to complete the circle in 1933 following the murder of Mayor Cermak. Today it is nearly impossible to differentiate among the partners, the businessman is a politician, the politician is a gangster, and the gangster is a businessman. This, then, is the story of this revolving triumvirate rate, and of the people who support its crimes and applaud it circuses.
Since it has been impossible to penetrate the mysterious upper echelon of the Mafia, the criminal nexus of organized crime, police like to think of it in terms of a corporate structure. In this scheme, Tony Accardo becomes chairman of the board, the old man who was kicked upstairs after 13 years of exemplary leadership. Gathered around him at the board table are such venerable directors as Paul the waiter Rica, Anthony Bonelli, James DeGeorge, Frank Laporte and Philip casino. There are others, of course, who have managed to ills infiltrate the real corporate structure and who live unimpeachable private lives in quiet luxury, give generously to charities, and direct their criminal activities through trusted emissaries.
As the president of the Corporation, Sam Dion sauna is the chief executive, the boss of all bosses, the man responsible for the day-to-day success of the operation. Under him our vice presidents, department heads, district supervisors and straw bosses. This executive staff of approximately 1000 men commands a fourth conservatively estimated at over 50,000; about 1% of the population of Cook County; consisting of burglars, hijackers, fences, counterfeiters, moonshiners, panderer's, prostitutes, be girls, cabdrivers, bartenders, extortioners, narcotics peddlers, juice men, collectors, torturers, assassins, kinky cops, venal judges and politicians, union and business fronts, plus an array of gamblers including bookies, steers, and policy runners. The annual revenue in Cook County is estimated at more than 2 billion, a figure arrived at by local authorities and newspapers; federal sources place the gambling gambling take a loan at more than 1 billion.
In terms of leadership, this makes Jian Connor the most powerful arch criminal in the world. Where New York rackets are divided among six separate organizations; five boroughs in New Jersey; Dion, is the ostensible ruler of a single syndicate with interests extending as far west as Hawaii. His immediate perimeter stretches from Cleveland to Kansas City, from Hot Springs to New Orleans. Trusted lieutenants operate lucrative rackets in Florida, the West Indies, Arizona, Nevada and California. Although the corporate structure analogy helps to simplify an otherwise baffling conspiracy of inexplicable loyalties and alliances, there is much that still remains obscure. Even the FBI, which likes to keep things neat and orderly, has failed to arrive at a definitive picture. The real reason why the Mafia cannot befall efficiently, Luigi bar scene he observed in the Italians, is that it is many things at the same time but not one type well-run organization. It is a many headed dragon which can continue to live for a long time with no head at all. In order for a single international organization to exist and function it would have to be disciplined and centralized. It would be dangerous but easy to discover, penetrate, and destroy.
From the era of Al Capone to the present, labor racketeering has been a multi-edged sword in the hands of ruthless gangsters. The syndicates infiltration of unions was the first step in its invasion of legitimate business. It was basically an extension of the protection racket. A typical example was the takeover of the building trade unions at the turn-of-the-century. The primary objective was not the unions but the wealthy contractors who faced costly penalty charges and less work was completed on schedule. By threatening strikes and other operational tieups, the gangsters extorted tremendous penalties of their own. In time, of course, hoodlums like Louis P who called her in New York City's garment district and Humphries in Chicago recognize the potential in unionism itself..
The underworld view of unionism was specifically expressed by Dan Sullivan, operating director of the Miami crime commission, when he testified before the McClellan committee in 1958. Sullivan had asked one hoodlum why he had moved from other enterprises into the union one welfare field, and the answer was: well, first of all, when you have a checkoff system, you have a foolproof system of collections. It doesn't cost you money to operate. Secondly, if you run into one of these insurance companies or welfare outfits, you don't pay any money out and you take it all in. And thirdly, you have no inspection on the local, county, state or federal level so your friends are not audited.
Besides being the major source of revenue for the syndicate, labor racketeering is an integral part of machine politics. The control of this tremendous pool of manpower inevitably carries with it the clout of patronage, which in Chicago is the original fountain of pro-political perpetuity. William A Lee, president of the Chicago Federation of labor and industrial Union Council, was Mayor Daley's first civil service chief. The fact that the wage scale of local government workers is above union rates, sort of a sweetheart contract in reverse, is another indication of the political muscle of labor bosses. The power of numbers is even more meaningful when coupled with the power of ruthless terrorism. Thus it becomes a combination impossible to top; or topple. Even the prestige of Lee's lofty status has failed to insulate them from the facts of political life in Daley's clout bill. For the past 17 years, William Lee has been guarded by a two-man police detail. His moment of terror began on a cold November night when three hoodlums approached them on a dark street and said we want in. Lee, who was then president of local 734 of the bakery wagon drivers union, shook his head. We want in or something might happen, they warned. Nothing doing, Lee said and quickly walked away. And that, reportedly, was the end of it. That is, except for the two bodyguards peering over their shoulders for 17 years. Through the years, there have been some who have questioned Lee's survival tactics, explaining that bodyguards in Chicago have been known to bleed as profusely as anyone else. If there was a secret to Lee's subsequent success, John A Kilpatrick could have used a clue. As the international president of the United industrial workers of America, Kilpatrick was deeply concerned about the imaginations of angle low in Cisco, president of the union's Chicago local 286 and also chairman of the board of the American Continental insurance company, which carried the welfare insurance of the unions 4000 members. Unknown associate of Tony Arce Accardo, and Cisco had a criminal record dating back to 1930, with convictions for auto theft, illegal transportation of liquor and grand larceny.
Shortly after his release from prison in 1938, Enesco emerged as a labor leader, and like most hoodlum union unionists, was soon involved in wholesale violence. After he was shot in the right knee in 1953, he had to police bodyguards at his side for several years. What these two minions of the law were doing while Enesco was cracking skulls with baseball bats or consorting with Accardo remains a mystery. Following his appearance in 1955 before U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating union health and welfare funds, Enesco was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of illegally collecting for 20, 267 space in insurance payments from 22 companies employing members of his local, and for squandering union funds on fancy gifts and European travel for hoodlum friends, in a moment of amorous extravagance in Cisco had even purchased a $65,000 home in Encino, California, for his girlfriend. Four years after his indictment, Enesco was convicted and sentenced to serve 10 years in federal prison and fined $22,000. Meanwhile, Kilpatrick had filed a civil action against Enesco to recover misappropriated union assets, a move that did little to improve Enesco's frame of mind, since he had already blamed Kilpatrick for his present predicament. On the morning of April 28, 1961 while Kilpatrick and Gregory Granda, vice president of the international, were standing in a courtroom cord or awaiting their turn to testify in the civil suit, Enesco approach them and pointed a finger at Kilpatrick: I'm going to kill you, he said. I'm not going to do it personally, but I'll have it done. Kilpatrick reported that threat, plus a score of others that came over the telephone, but was not granted the standard protective escort. The threat was realized on October 20, 1961. That morning Kilpatrick's body was found slumped in the front seat of his car, a single bullet hole behind his left ear. Two sticks of dynamite, found wired to the brake pedal and connected to the ignition system, had failed to explode because they were water soaked, presumably as a result of a recent rainfall. Atty. Gen. Robert F Kennedy remember Kilpatrick as a witness who had cooperated with the McClellan committee while he had been its chief counsel. After explaining the circumstances to J Edgar Hoover, Kennedy issued an emphatic order: find out who's behind this killing and get him. Kennedy's edict marked the first time the FBI was ordered to investigate a gangland slang in Chicago. 50 special agents were assigned to the case. Within a week an estimated 2000 persons had been interviewed, including in Cisco, who was free on bond pending appeal of his conviction and his chief organizer, Ralph Polk, who was then awaiting trial on charges of having assaulted a non-striking employee with a baseball bat.
Anton J Cermak was elected mayor in 1931. The four architects of his victory were Moe Rosenberg, Jake RV, Al Capone and Patrick A Nash committeeman of the 28th Ward in the heart of the Westside Irish ghetto and Brennan successor to the Irish leadership of Mike McDonnell's Democrats. Nash was also a fatcat sewer contractor and graft or whose income was among the city's 10 highest. Nash Brothers did more sewer contracting for the city than any other firm. In a three-year period, Nash and his nephews, the DO WDL E Brothers received contracts from the sanitary district alone totaling 13 million. An income tax investigation in 1930 forced Nash to ante up another hundred and $77,000 to the government. That same year the Dowdell brothers were indicted for income tax evasion amounting to $203,000, but the cases were delayed for six years and finally non-processed by the new United States attorney, Michael LI GOE. The money and patronage controlled by these four bosses, combined with Cermak's own political fortunes, created the most invincible political machine in modern times. I Cermak, award politician, had been at the public trough for 30 years. He had been a member of the Illinois Gen. assembly, were his record was distinguished largely by his conflict of interest work as secretary of the United societies, a large and formidable lobby of saloon keepers, brewers and distillers. That the Brewers got value and kind was attested to by one contemporary historian who wrote: as leader of an organization which assume the misleading name of United societies, Cermak aroused and and organize the underworld to enforce its demand for wide-open town. For a quarter of a century, any politician, whatever his party, who dared to support any measure that would curb the license of these antisocial hordes, was immediately confronted by Cermak, snarling and waving the club of the underworld vote. Where the Thompson machine gun had been a quid pro quo Grab Bag political spoils and diffused power structure, the Cermak machine was appear medicals peer a middle structure of tempered discipline, molded around the dictatorial committeeman in each ward at the base and moving vertically up through the organizational structure to the pinnacle of power, Cermak. His patronage, the foundation of Illinois politics, was the largest ever controlled by mayor. Then with the election of Henry Horner to the governorship in 1932, Cermak became the boss not only of Chicago and Cook County but of the state of Illinois as well. In the wards, the strength flowed from lucrative gangster operated rackets which supply both money and jobs. The Westside became popularly known as the Capone block.
After Capone was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison in October, 1931, Cermak began looking for an underworld boss who would be subservient to the Democratic machine. James P Allman was appointed police commissioner with the understanding that law enforcement policies regarding gambling advice would be dictated by the individual ward leaders. Ted Newberry, Capone's North Side boss following the demise of the Moran I yellow gang, became Cermak's favorite candidate for the underworld post.
In the age of specialization, the syndicate also wants its lawyers to specialize. The syndicate retains income tax lawyers, real estate lawyers, union lawyers, corporation lawyers, criminal lawyers for state cases, lawyers for federal raps and lawyers who excel in the pellet work. Some of the top talent in the federal bullpen include Anna Arledge in, Accardo's appeal of attorney and a close friend of Judge Nathan:, Edward J Callahan, George Callahan, Maurice Walsh, and Richard E Gorman; all former prosecutors in the United States attorney's office Gorman, however, had even more going for him when he switched his allegiance to the bad guys. Years ago he was chief of the polygraph section of the Chicago Police Department, and had been a member of the old Scotland Yard unit, formed to fight organized crime in pre-Wilson days. In fact, Gorman was so well equipped for his new vocation that even Jian, and Prieto sought his services. Like all successful syndicate lawyers, Gorman was particularly brilliant in the field of loopholes. In one case, for example, he argued that his client, Eugene C James, could not be guilty of income tax evasion since the $900,000 item in question had been embezzled from the laundry workers Union and thus was not taxable as income. The US Supreme Court concurred and Congress moved swiftly to plug the loophole. Jubilant over his victory, Gorman submitted his $15,000 fee not to James, but to the union.
Nobody gets to be a judge in Chicago unless somebody with clout puts in their. Candidates are passed upon by Daly, Kean, Simon, Marzullo, and other party potentates. Qualifications are assessed strictly across along party lines: service, loyalty, indebtedness, gratitude, connections, sponsorship, financial contribution, vote pulling potential, overall clout, and nationality. Legal ability is an accidental bonus. Through the years syndicate lawyers of hell the inside track not only in nominating candidates but in achieving the ultimate station for themselves. One of the most recent appointees to the federal bench was Abraham Lincoln Morrow vets, former attorney for Willy by off. In theory, federal judges are nominated by the president with the approval of the Senate. But almost without exception the appointment is based on the personal wishes of the senator from the state involved, and the senator in turn goes along with the wishes of the local party chieftain. Incumbent judges were virtually assured lifetime tenure when the Illinois court system was modernized in 1964. The purported intention of the legislature was to make judges as free as possible from political affiliations and pressures. Once a judge has been elected on a partisan basis, his name is periodically placed on a retention ballot. Instead of running against a political opponent he now runs against his record. All he needs to survive is majority of yes as opposed to know votes.
The Bar Association is welded to the machine. Hundreds of its members staff the offices of the state's attorney, US attorney, Corporation Council and Illinois Atty. Gen. Hundreds more are on political payrolls or receive major portions of their income from political fees or appointments. Association offers had powerful law firms that have prospered through city patronage and court awarded receiverships. Monotonous Democratic victories and judicial elections have convinced distinguished attorneys outside the political orbit of the machine that judgeships are rewards for work in the precincts rather than for distinctions within the profession itself. Occasionally there are exceptions which make the world more Paladino bolt to would be reformers and low-key critics. Few reformers are stall wart enough to attack a corrupt judge for fear that the effort may prove unsuccessful. As Emerson once said to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, if you shoot at a king you must kill him. Even Pres. Johnson's own crime commission, convened in 1965 with the mandate to conduct the most extensive study of US crime ever attempted, failed to be specific in any area of corruption. For example, a 63 page special report on the links between Chicago hoodlums and public officials, prepared by Notre Dame professor Robert Blakey, was reduced to four innocuous footnotes in the commission's final report, up. Among the censored items was Blakey's thesis that the success of the Chicago mob has been primarily attributable to its ability to corrupt the law enforcement process including police official and members of the judiciary.
The police and courts are the grease that keep the wheels of the machine in motion. Without this lubricant, the elaborate machinery would soon come to a screeching stop. Nobody appreciates this fact more than the gangster. So long as the wheels keep turning, his position will be secure in his power and wealth will continue to multiply, regardless of newspaper crusades, crime commissions, elections, stronger laws or books such as this one this is not only Chicago's problem, but in various degrees, America's. The question is: what are we going to do about it?
Our Search for Meaning and the Dangers of Possession
By: Lisa marchiano
Secularism doesn't mean the end of religious thought, it just takes on new shapes. Jung felt that traditional religions could provide an adequate means of relating to the infinite where the believer still maintained a “vital participation” with her faith.2 David Foster Wallace agreed with Jung that traditional religions or value systems were a good place to look for meaning. He cautioned that worshipping the wrong thing can have dire consequences. “The compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god or spiritual-type thing to worship—be it JC or Allah, be it YHWH or the Wiccan Mother Goddess, or the Four Noble Truths, or some inviolable set of ethical principles—is that pretty much anything else you worship will eat you alive.”
Traditional religions do have features that make them less likely to become devouring. They draw on ancient traditions that are often philosophically rich, and they are knitted into the social structure of our society. They provide deep, time-tested channels through which transpersonal energies can flow. But even in Jung’s time, such faith in traditional religious institutions was often lacking. Today in the West, of course, fewer and fewer people find a spiritual home in traditional faiths.
As Routledge notes, we may declare ourselves to have risen above the confining superstitions of the religions of our grandparents, but in many cases, we have merely replaced them with inferior proxies. “We are not absent the gods,” writes Jungian analyst James Hollis. “Quite the contrary. We have too many of them. Too many surrogates with which the ego seeks to resist the spiritual vacuum of modernism. Besieged by pseudo-deities such as Power, Wealth, Health, Pleasure, Progress, we grow more and more alienated from nature, from each other, and from ourselves.”3 Hollis and Wallace are both pointing out that the new deities that many of us unconsciously worship do not connect us with anything of abiding significance.
Even if we manage to avoid worshipping the pseudo-deities that Hollis writes of, we aren’t out of the woods. For being in relationship to the infinite always carries with it the dangerous possibility of psychological possession, particularly when this contact is unmediated by the sturdy cultural buttresses of long-held tradition. Jung used the word “possession” to refer to a psychological state in which the conscious personality comes to identify with a powerful archetypal idea or image, becoming inflated and dangerously out balance. The Greeks knew that the personal ego cannot easily withstand direct contact with transpersonal energies – Zeus’s paramour Semele was incinerated when she was tricked by Hera into demanding that her lover show himself to her in his full divine glory.
In ancient Greece, psychological inflation was called hubris, and was considered a sin against the gods, for it meant that there had been a violation of the divinely ordained limits set for mortals. The Romans knew of inflation as superbia, and guarded against it in their rulers lest it brought divine disfavor. Robed in imperial purple, victorious generals were paraded through Rome amid cheering throngs. All the while, a slave stood in the chariot behind the general, whispering in his ear again and again, “remember you are mortal.”
The Greeks and Romans guarded against psychological inflation because they knew that it could imperil the entire collective enterprise. Jung used the term “godlikeness” to describe those in an inflated state. He noted the tendency for this attitude to give rise to groupthink, proselytizing, fanatical certainty, and a crusader mentality. Above all, such “godlikeness” is perhaps most characterized by a “pathological will to power.”4 Put another way, psychological inflation tends to give rise to extremism – personal and political. There are countless ways to become possessed, innumerable crusades one can fight. In the 2005 film Grizzly Man, documentarian Werner Herzog profiles bear enthusiast Timothy Treadwell, who spent more than a decade living among grizzlies in the Alaskan wilderness of Katmai National Park. Even watching the trailer, one can see that Treadwell worshipped the bears.
Enthusiasm comes from the Greek meaning “possessed by God,” and Treadwell’s rapture as he describes grizzlies has a religious fervor. “I’m here with one of my favorite bears, it’s Mr. Chocolate,” Treadwell narrates. “Hi Mr. Chocolate! He’s been with me for over a decade and he’s been my good friend. Oh! He’s a big bear!” In 2003, Treadwell’s life ended tragically, if predictably, when he and his girlfriend were killed by one of the grizzlies he loved so much. Treadwell was eaten alive, making Wallace’s point quite literal. [Treadwell] tried to be a bear… For us on the island, you don’t do that. You don’t invade their territory. For him to act like a bear the way he did… for me, it was the ultimate of disrespecting the bear and what the bear represents…. If I look at it from my culture, Timothy Treadwell crossed a boundary that we have lived with for 7,000 years.
While Haakanson is speaking, Herzog cuts away to a scene of a grizzly swimming near the bank of a calm lake. A bare-chested Treadwell gets in the water with the bear, and we as viewers feel a bit breathless with awe. Treadwell swims right up to the bear, but the animal seems to barely notice him. One gets the impression that Treadwell may feel at one with the bear, but the bear certainly doesn’t feel at one with him. As the bear edges past him, Treadwell reaches out and touches the animal’s fur. The bear snaps its head around in irritation. Treadwell developed a distorted sense of mission, believing that his presence in Katmai was necessary to protect the bears from poachers. Protecting bears was his “calling in life,” and he became convinced that he had been singled out to do this work. “I’m the only protection for these animals,” he states emphatically in the film. In fact, there is no evidence that the bears in Katmai were under any threat from poaching. Nevertheless, the sense of mission Treadwell felt in relation to the bears gave him a sense of a special destiny.
Bears carry an undeniably numinous energy and have forever been associated with the divine in various traditions. Treadwell had indeed made contact with the infinite. However, he lacked any structure to ground these experiences. He transgressed human limits, and like Semele, was destroyed. The transpersonal can be destructive if it is not mediated. Consider the case of Eva Tiamat Baphomet Medusa, the chosen name of a 58-year-old who is in the process of transforming into a dragon, and who prefers to be referred to as “it” or the Dragon Lady. Born Richard Hernandez to migrant farm workers, the Dragon Lady was abandoned by its mother and stepfather to be raised by its grandparents. Fascinated as a child by the diamondback rattlesnakes in the woods near its grandparents’ home, the Dragon Lady honors these reptiles as its “true” parents.
The Dragon Lady has spent 20 years modifying its body. It has a full body tattoo of reptilian scales, and has had numerous subdermal implants above the eyes. Horns have been implanted, the whites of its eyes have been dyed permanently green, and its tongue has been surgically split. Ears and nose have been removed. It describes these body modifications further in this news report. Reptiles don’t have ears and my ears needed to go. I have had two procedures done on my nose. The first stage was to basically reshape the nose, remove all the cartilage in my nose, remove the nostrils and remove the septum completely, pulling the skin down and reattaching the skin to my upper lip. Now I have what I call is my dragon nose with a bigger nostril, which are basically slits right up on both sides of my nose and I can breathe so much easier now.
Though its chosen name invokes four different female goddesses or mythological entities, it prefers to go by Tiamat. “Tiamat is the Acadian five-headed dragon,” it explains, according to this interview, apparently referring to a character from Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game. (Another article about Tiamat attributed the name to a video game character.) In fact, Tiamat is the great goddess of the salt sea in the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian creation epic. She is both the embodiment of the original abyss, and personification of primordial chaos, while also the creator goddess who brings forth the cosmos. Tiamat is an image of very powerful transpersonal energies related to creation and destruction. We can’t know for certain whether the Dragon Lady is aware of Tiamat’s mythological significance, although it seems that it has only become aware of the goddess through the cheapened, third-hand sources of video and role-playing games. Even in such a diluted form, the archetypal power carried by the Babylonian goddess and her rattlesnake kin grips, inspiring the Dragon Lady to undertake a complete metamorphosis.
Like Treadwell, Tiamat appears to have become possessed by these powerful energies. It experiences itself as having been singled out for a unique destiny, vowing to “defy and stand alone against the world.” “I am what I am,” it says. “I am my own special creation.” This powerful belief has driven The Dragon Lady to spend decades denying its human biology in an effort to become Tiamat. Archetypal contents that have fallen from ancient pantheons – bears, dragons, snakes – into the unconscious represent one kind of threat in their own right, but such energies can also feed a fascination with ideologies that promise utopian renewal. These can grip not just individuals, but groups, and even whole nations. When this happens, such inflations feed mass movements that can be destructive on a larger scale. Ideologies and isms make for easy objects of worship, substituting handily for religions of old. “Our fearsome gods have only changed their names,” Jung wrote. “They now rhyme with -ism.”6 Political or social ideologies are appealing because they tend to confer de facto special status upon adherents, and offer a clear path to transformation. They therefore set us upon a quest toward a better life or a better society, and so provide compelling structures that dictate meaning and purpose.
“Anyone who falls down from the roof or ceiling of the Christian cathedral falls into himself,” Jung wrote. By this, Jung meant that, when conventional structures of meaning and value cease to have validity, one is thrown back on oneself to form such judgments. These days, falling into ourselves often means falling into the internet, which is proving to be a powerful tool for the dissemination of ideologies.
Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof was one example of someone recruited into an ideology via the internet. Roof worshipped the darkest of gods – the most philosophically disingenuous, morally bankrupt, and ugliest, as well. According to a profile of Roof in GQ, he suffered from a profound lack of meaning in his life. “I don’t like it when people try to read into things, or try to find, or create meaning that isn’t there,” Roof wrote in his journal while awaiting trial. “For example, I stated before I never used drugs to ‘drown the pain,’ or ‘self-medicate.’ I used drugs because they get you high. There is no deeper meaning behind this. There is no deeper meaning behind any of my behavior.”
Psychological inflation can manifest as a sense of feeling different and special from everyone else in a positive way, but it can also be characterized by a feeling of being singled out in a negative way. In a negative inflation, we are special by virtue of our great suffering and victimhood. When Roof found white supremacy websites, his special status as a victim of African American oppression and crime became clear to him. In his prison manifesto, Roof states that he googled “black on white crime.” “I have never been the same since that day…There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on White murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment, I realized that something was very wrong.”
White supremacism gave Roof meaning, and impelled him to hate and brutality. “Even if my life is worth less than a speck of dirt,” Roof wrote, quoting a movie, “I want to use it for the good of society.” At his trial for the murder of nine African Americans, Roof said of his deed, “I felt like I had to do it, and I still feel like I had to do it.”
“Everything is Problematic”
Fervent certainty such as that evidenced by Roof may be the surest indication that we have fallen into an archetypal inflation. This kind of certainty is seen in activism along the political spectrum. Such certainty brooks no disagreement, holds space for no nuance, and cannot tolerate any doubt.
Former campus activist Trent Eady wrote about his experience of ideological possession in a remarkable personal essay from 2014. The experience did indeed nearly eat him alive. What began as a passionate desire to make a change for the better evolved into a consuming orthodoxy that became “the darkest chapter in [his] life.” This kind of activism begins, writes Eady, with “good intentions and noble causes, but metastasizes into a nightmare. In general, the activists involved are the nicest, most conscientious people you could hope to know. But at some point, they took a wrong turn, and their devotion to social justice led them down a dark path.”
Eady’s world became divided into what he calls “the righteous and the wrong-teous.” There were those chosen and special – and everyone else. Ingroup status could be maintained only by strict adherence to the special truths. “When I was part of groups like this, everyone was on exactly the same page about a suspiciously large range of issues. Internal disagreement was rare. The insular community served as an incubator of extreme, irrational views.”
Eady gives his own cogent definition of a crusader mentality: “an extreme self-righteousness based on the conviction that they are doing the secular equivalent of God’s work.” He continues with a warning:
The danger of the crusader mentality is that it turns the world in a battle between good and evil. Actions that would otherwise seem extreme and crazy become natural and expected. I didn’t think twice about doing a lot of things I would never do today.
Trent found that when he laid down the yoke of ideology, “a world that seemed grey and hopeless filled with colour…. Losing my political ideology was extremely liberating. I became a happier person. I also believe that I became a better person.”
The Religious Function of the Psyche
How do we worship without being eaten alive? A genuinely religious attitude in the psychological sense is an antidote to inflation. The word religion may come from the Latin religare, which means to bind fast, or place an obligation on. In contrast to puffed-up inflation, a religious attitude binds us to something larger, and puts upon us a sacred obligation to the infinite. An awareness of our dependence upon that which is larger breeds the humility without which wisdom is not possible. It reminds us that our ego is just a small part of us, and is dependent upon – and easily influenced by – irrational, unconscious forces that are beyond our full understanding. We must be humble before the destructive capacity that exists within each one of us, and like the Roman slave, we must remind ourselves occasionally, that we are merely ordinary.
By: Ron Liebermann
Dear Dr. Marchiano,
I read your article entitled "Our Search for Meaning" and feel that you have made a couple of errors in your interpretation of worship. First of all, there are several kinds of worship as expressed through prayers; blessing and adoration, petition, intercession, thanksgiving, and praise. Each kind of prayer has a different effect on the psyche. These prayers can be analyzed through transactional analysis to give the patient a profound insight into the nature of his or her unhappiness. The object, of course, is to change "worship" from a constant demand for petition and intercession; to a loving pattern of adoration and praise. This means developing a new life script.
And when you speak of the spiritual vacuum of modernism, and the lack of meaning in men's lives, please understand that this is not simply a byproduct of our culture. It is a deliberate effort to deny men the right to judge. For example, do you teach your patients about semantic space, and its relation to the Godhead? I bet not. How about transactional analysis? Logic? The meaning of colors?
As you see, you don't teach them much of anything. Instead, you allow them to flounder aimlessly with vague notions about "Jungian Psychology." So do your clients a favor: stop talking about trans-personal energy, and start actually teaching.
Science is meant to be "value free."
by Jordan Peterson
This guy couldn't be more wrong. All science, and all truth is a function of culture, and its underlying values. To make my point, I'll refer to five books: Transactional Analysis in Health Care, When God Says You're OK, The cost of Discipleship, The Myth of the Machine, and Gravitational Mystery Spots.
Basically, reality (even math and logic) is a human construct. For example, if we didn't want 2+2 to equal 4, then it wouldn't. But it does equal 4 because there are injunctions in our culture which tell us it's true. In fact, the injunctions are so strong, that we are not allowed to even question the fact that belief precedes reality. This phenomenon is the adapted child that we have all become. We have exchanged our free will and our humanity for the "safety" of science; and the solace of pseudo-religion.
But there is a deeper, and much more malevolent force at work, which seeks to make men believe that they are powerless without the saving grace of an unforgiving God, and the power of science. In The Myth of the Machine, Lewis Mumford says "Western society has accepted as unquestionable a technological imperative that is quite as arbitrary as the most primitive taboo: Not merely the duty to foster invention and constantly to create technological novelties, but equally the duty to surrender to these novelties unconditionally just because they are offered, without respect to their human consequences."
In other words, we are conditioned to believe at ALL change is good. But obviously, that's not the case. And if you believe that the Christian religion is a counterpoint to change as a fait accompli; read these lines written by Dietrich Bonhoeffer:
"Through the call of Jesus men become individuals. Willy-nilly they are compelled to decide, and that decision can only be made by themselves it is no choice of their own that makes them individuals, it is Christ who makes them individuals by calling them. Every man is called separately, and must follow alone. But men are frightened of solitude and they try to protect themselves from it by merging themselves in the society of their fellow men and in their material environment. They become suddenly aware of their responsibilities and duties, and are loath to part with them. But all this is only a cloak to protect them from having to make a decision. They are unwilling to stand alone before Jesus and to be compelled to decide with their eyes fixed on him alone. Yet neither father nor mother, neither wife nor child, neither nationality nor tradition, can protect a man at the moment of his call. It is Christ's will that he should thus be isolated, and that he should fix his eyes solely upon him. At the very moment of their call, men find that they have already broken with all the natural ties of life. This is not their own doing, but his who calls them. For Christ has delivered them from immediacy with the world, and brought them into media sleep will with himself. We cannot follow Christ unless we are prepared to accept and affirm that breach as a fait accompli. It is no arbitrary choice on the disciples part, but Christ himself, who compels them thus to break with the past. Why is this necessary? We are not allowed to grow slowly, gradually, uninterruptedly in progressive sanctification out of the natural order into the Fellowship of Christ? What is this power which so angrily comes between a man and the natural life in which it had pleased God to place them. Surely such a breach with the past as a legalistic technique and surly contempt for the good gifts of God, a technique far removed from the liberty of the Christian man. We must face up to the truth that the call of Christ does set-up a barrier between man and his natural life."
What has happened is that the Christian religion has been subverted. (By the way, I should mention that I am Jewish.) Christ never asked people to reject human relationships so that he could be the sole source of love. It's human relationships that ARE the source of love. Christ has been misquoted by science in the attempt to isolate individuals, and render them powerless. If you don't believe it, remember that a Church loses its tax-exempt status if it discusses politics. And the Masons won't take a man with a criminal record. The Christian religion that exists today is a scam. The intent of science is to rob men of their identity, so that they can be made to believe that everything is human; including robots. And if men cannot assemble; and have no identity; then they are merely agents; as are robots. But whose agents? Well, to answer that, let's read a few lines by Jon Tal Murphee:
"When we talk about the reason for existence, there are two sides of the coin that pose problems for the adult. The two sides are enunciated in philosophy by distinguishing between the efficient cause and the final cause. We can think of the one as what caused my existence and the other as why my existence was caused. Often we use the word reason in both ways. I might say, the reason I exist is that God caused me. Or I might say, the reason God caused me was that he had a purpose for me. For the sake of clarity, we will think of reason in the first sense as cause and in the second sense as purpose. Now when I discovered the reason for my existence in both senses, two of the greatest problems facing me as a modern man are immediately resolved for my Adult. The first has been called the crisis of identity. Modern man is asking what caused me? Who am I? A college student wrote, "We young people are the hope of the world, but we have no hope. We only have hope in ourselves, and who are we? We cannot even discover who we are. Through our relationship with my creator, I discover who I am, I am the created of God, I am a child of God. This tells me who I am in the universe."
What this poor young man doesn't realize is that he has been denied the sort of education that would really allow him to know who he is. So, it is out of isolation and nihilism that he finally accepts Christ. And since we are all sinners anyway, there is no need for moral correctness. (I have to tell you that Jews shake their head in wonder at this bullshit. How can white people, who are otherwise so smart, be so stupid?)
This gets us back to the original question: Is science concerned with morality? Of course. There is no science independent of men; and there are no men independent of meaning; and there is no meaning independent of ethics. But by claiming otherwise, scientists feel that they are not sinning when they reduce beautiful people to the level of animals: After all, we are all sinners, so who is anyone to judge? (Another bullshit argument that Jews can't understand.) People are inherently good. That was Christ's message.
There is no such thing as an "entity." There are only people, who live and love in communities that they feel are morally correct. But allow me to finish with a question: If there were other planets with people, and those people offered to help rule earth for their own benefit, by destroying human identity, would Christ take them up on the offer? Would he serve as an agent for extra-terrestrials? Would Science? Let me tell you that the Jews have long experience with these matters, and they know it's a bad offer.
Allow me to quote from the Mishnah: "The Mishnah's persistent citation of authorities makes explicit the claim that some men, now dead, have made their contribution and in so doing have given shape and substance to tradition, that tradition which is shaped by one, and handed on board by another. Choices were made; authorities made them. So the Mishnah indeed is, and therefore is meant as, a legal code, a schoolbook, and a corpus of tradition. It follows that the purpose for which the Mishnah was edited into final form was to create such a multipurpose document, a tripartite goal attained in a single body of formed and formal sayings. And yet it is also obvious that the Mishnah is something other than these three things in one. It transcends the three, and accomplishes more than the triple goals which on the surface form the constitutive components of its purpose.
Here's what Jordan Peterson won't tell you: it's time to completely rewrite the Bible, and to put government and science in its place as junior partners, nothing more. The human race can self-actualize just fine.
Paul B. - Claremont, CA Just curious to ask because my cousin was trying to buy a house in Rancho and Fontana and he would always got outbid from Chinese buyers. Is it easy for foreigners to get approved than US citizens?
Jonathan Z. -Cypress, CA I had the same problem. It seems they want to own our country.
Jo M. - Rancho Cucamonga, CA An alleged "maternity hotel" in Chino Hills, Calif. is housing a "maternity tourism" business accommodating women who travel from Asia to give birth to babies with U.S. citizenship.
Paul B. - Claremont, CA Our country is really falling apart.
Long Beach, CA - Not just Chino Hills. I see pregnant Chinese women walking in small groups my neighborhood too. They buy up homes within one day of being on the market. Homes range in the $650K-$900K range. Chinese Realtors ask me if I want to sell my house all the time and are willing to go 10% over market value in cash. I've had a few say they'd go $50K off the books if I agree to list it below market value for a guaranteed buyer. They're always working shady deals.
We live in Corporatocracy / Plutocracy. The model of countries is rarely applicable. However maternity vacations or whatever must be outlawed, these citizenships revoked, owners of these businesses tarred and feathered.
It is slave labor, child labor TOO
@ Dez this is true. I know a lot of family members and friends who have been approached like this. Its crazy to have to spend all that money just to delivery and then what, does that grant them citizenship?
These maternity hotels are popping out everywhere. TImes are tough nowadays and you see business owners or corporations being shadier and shadier daily
Rancho Cucamonga, CA - No Joke, the other day when buying something and at the counter of guest services there was this asian business man and 2 pregnant women with him. Toys R Us and Babies R us are joined and guest service desk is stationed in the middle of the 2. They had 2 carts of very expensive items not enough cash. The Toys R us rep was advising the patron he could leave some items on hold or pay the remainder with a credit card. His total was almost 4000....yes I was ear hustling lol I was next in line and he was holding up the line! Long story short, he was given the option to apply for credit card with a social security he didnt have. He was asking myself and people in the line to pay 100.00 to use our social security # even asked the employee! WTF
America needs to impose the same pregnancy law they have over there.
Paul B. - Claremont, CA - I get letters trying to buy my rental home, from translators with bank statements willing to pay 20% over market value :0/
Japanese and Asian Politics
By: Steven Vogel
The system of political funding in Japan is in need of reform. The two basic components of reform should be complete disclosure of political funds and expansion of publics of support for political activities. The major problem surrounding political funds is their mystery. Even though the amounts in question are immense, their sources and destinations are unclear. People suspect politicians of lining their own pockets and distorting what should be public policy decisions. Public distrust of politics has so intensified with the recent succession of scandals that it is rocking the very basis of parliamentary democracy, as the unusually low voter turnout rate suggest. Politicians, meanwhile, have no method of proving their own innocence under the current system. Politicians attempts to vindicate themselves are ineffective in the face of such deep public suspicion. The best way to increase public trust is to make the flow of money completely transparent. All political fund receipts and expenditures, right down to the last yen, must be reported with total disclosure, politicians will lose all latitude for cheating, and the people will not have a pretext for distrust. Each politician should be limited to a single funding group, through which all monies for political activities including receipts and expenditures must pass. These groups will make full annual disclosures of all accounts. This will prevent sloppy mingling of political and private funds, as well as monetary transactions that accompany the policymaking process. For politicians, full disclosure will become a way to prove their innocence. Some politicians and opinion leaders have suggested that ombudsman or other supervisory organizations should be established and regulations governing political contributions be strengthened. However, these moves would only expand bureaucratic power; expansion that would run counter to our aims of reform. In any case, we really could not have very high expectations of such supervision. Full disclosure, on the other hand, would mean that 120 million people would have their eyes on the flow of political money. This is by far the most democratic and effective method of supervision. Companies and other groups must not be allowed to give money to individual politicians.
Individual ministries and agencies in Japan still control the careers of their employees from entrance to Post bureaucracy employment, still maintain an array of affiliated agencies around them, and still resist cooperation with other agencies, thus maintaining the "silo" character of the Japanese bureaucracy. Nor has the fabled neutrality of the British civil service taken firm root in Japanese soil. In the past roughly half of civil servants openly admitted to supporting the liberal democratic Democratic Party; in the 2000's that proportion sharply declined but virtually none supported opposition parties, and not surprisingly, the Democratic Party of Japan's vociferous criticism of bureaucratic control of policymaking did not encourage civil servants to cooperate actively the untested and possibly evanescent ruling party. The basic pattern in which interest group support the LDP while working out the details of policy with the bureaucracy has not fundamentally changed. Interest group still contact the bureaucracy far more frequently than they do politicians. Despite some reforms proposed by Prime Minister Abbé local farmer cooperatives and especially the national Japan agricultural cooperatives agricultural Association still dominate agricultural policy in concert with the MAFF, and through their domination of local markets for fertilizer, seeds, rice sales, and even banking and insurance, the cooperatives cast a powerful shadow over rural districts crucial to the electoral domination of the Liberal Democratic Party. "Keidanren" has gradually weakened, and groups such as doctors and dentists are not quite as wedded to the Liberal Democratic Party as before, but few interest groups, even unions, have strong ties to the opposition. Similarly, Japanese-style corporate governance and the permanent employment system, while under pressure, are still largely intact. Efforts to make the policymaking system more open and professional collide with the tendency to put everything under the direct authority of the Prime Minister. Moreover, virtually every Prime Minister learns that controlling the bureaucracy means making skillful use of individual bureaucrats; both those seconded to the cabinet, and those in key positions in the ministries.
One cliché about Japanese politics is that decision-making has been controlled by government officials rather than by politicians. According to this, politicians spend their time engaging in factional disputes and cultivating their personal political machines at the district level, while bureaucrats actually make the decisions. The classic statement of this position is that of charmers Johnson in his book MITI and the Japanese miracle. Bureaucratic supremacy, however, though reasonably apposite as a description of civil service influence during the heyday of LDP dominance between the 1950s and 1980s has been seriously eroded sense. An important stage in a complex process was reached in 2001 reforms to the structure of central government were instituted, and much more power was placed in the hands of the Prime Minister. This was done through the creation of the cabinet office night cop Khufu and by increasing political control with the introduction of deputy ministers and others to boost the decision-making resources available to the Prime Minister. Koizumi, who became prime minister a few weeks after the reforms were implemented, made good use of the increased powers available to him to rescue the beleaguered banking system and to implement his pet project of privatizing the Postal Service, especially the huge Postal Service savings bank.
The main purpose of this reform was to promote his neoliberal agenda of market efficiency and to break the hold of special interests over the national economy the culmination of his campaign over the Postal Service occurred when he faced down postal privatization rebels within his own party and one the lower house general elections of September 2005.
The Japanese created in some ways a dual economy, with less efficient industries that supply domestic customers; private and public; along with competitive export sector. In the current world environment, Japan's past Pro strategy appears less appropriate. Japan's economy has ground to a halt, plagued by a form of economic organization rooted in a bygone technological age. In an economy in which each competitor offer some world-class ability, the successful firm will be one that takes what the market offers and adds value to. This is exactly what Japanese firms are not good at doing. The keiretsu system is not designed to create or support the openness that allows firms to leverage this higher level of specialization. Instead, it creates a walled city that shuts in its members from outside distraction. The notion of a closed economy; nations as base camps from which to leap into the world market; has passed. So there are four growth policies that Japan needs: reform of retail and distribution, land-use and construction, financial markets, and a greater culture of openness. What is remarkable about this list is that they are all among the highest priorities of US trade policy. That is the point. We have too often thought of these policies as unilateral concessions we demand of the Japanese. It is time to think of them instead as medicine for what ails Japan.
Japanese Standing Committees Special Committees:
Cabinet Campaign - Finance Reform
General Management - 10% Budget Reduction
Justice - Prosecute the Yakuza
Foreign Affairs - Chinese Containment
Finance - Raise bond yields to 5%
Education and Science - Cut school budgets by 10%, and change to Montessori Model.
Social Welfare and Labor - Repatriotize manufacturing
Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries - Reduce fish catch by 25%
Economy and Industry - Reduce electricity prices by 20%
National Land and Transport - Reduce bullet train prices by 20%
Environment - Stop building unnecessary roads
Security Increase Military budget by 25% - Prepare for conflict with China.
Basic National Policy - Align political interests with the United States
Budget - Reduce spending in all areas except military by 10%
Audit Management - Publish annual audited financial statements for each department
House Management - Publish thirty-page report for each committee monthly
Disciplinary - Prosecute graft, corruption, and bribery
Why I did it.
By: Dylan Roof
I was not raised in a racist home or environment. Living in the South, almost every white person has a small amount of racial awareness, simply beause of the numbers of negroes in this part of the country. But it is a superficial awareness. Growing up, in school, the white and black kids would make racial jokes toward each other, but all they were were jokes. Me and white friends would sometimes would watch things that would make us think that ?blacks were the real racists? and other elementary thoughts like this, but there was no real understanding behind it.
The event that truly awakened me was the Trayvon Martin case. I kept hearing and seeing his name, and eventually I decided to look him up. I read the wikipedia article and right away I was unable to understand what the big deal was. It was obvious that Zimmerman was in the right. But more importantly this prompted me to type in the words ?black on white crime? into Google, and I have never been the same since that day. The first website I came to was the Council of Conservative Citizens. There were pages upon pages of these brutal black on white murders. I was in disbelief. At this moment I realized that something was very wrong. How could the news be blowing up the Trayvon Martin case while hundreds of these black on white murders got ignored?
From this point I researched deeper and found out what was happening in Eur0pe. I saw that the same things were happening in England and France, and in all the other western European countries. Again I found myself in disbelief. As an American we are taught to accept living in the melting pot, and black and other minorities have just as much right to be here as we do, since we are all immigrants. But Eur0pe is the homeland of white pe0ple, and in many ways the situation is even worse there. From here I found out about the Jewish problem and other issues facing our race, and I can say today that I am completely racially aware.
I think it is is fitting to start off with the group I have the most real life experience with, and the group that is the biggest problem for Americans.
Niggers are stupid and violent. At the same time they have the capacity to be very slick. Black people view everything through a racial lense. Thats what racial awareness is, its viewing everything that happens through a racial lense. They are always thinking about the fact that they are black. This is part of the reason they get offended so easily, and think that some thing are intended to be racist towards them, even when a white person wouldnt be thinking about race. The other reason is the Jewish agitation of the black race. Black people are racially aware almost from birth, but White people on average dont think about race in their daily lives. And this is our problem. we need to and have to. Say you were to witness a dog being beat by a man. You are almost surely going to feel very sorry for that dog. But then say you were to witness a dog biting a man. You will most likely not feel the same pity you felt for the dog for the man. why? Because dogs are lower than men.
This same analogy applies to black and white relations. Even today, blacks are subconsciously viewed by white pe0ple are lower beings. They are held to a lower standard in general. This is why they are able to get away with things like obnoxious behavior in public. Because it is expected of them. Modern history classes instill a subconscious white superiority complex in whites and an inferiority complex in blacks. This white superiority complex that comes from learning of how we dominated other peoples is also part of the problem I have just mentioned. But of course I dont deny that we are in fact superior. I wish with a passion that niggers were treated terribly throughout history by whites, that every white person had an ancestor who owned slaves, that segregation was an evil an oppressive institution, and so on. Because if it was all it true, it would make it so much easier for me to accept our current situation. But it isnt true. None of it is. we are told to accept what is happening to us because of ancestors wrong doing, but it is all based on historical lies, exaggerations and I have tried endlessly to think of reasons we deserve this, and I have only came back more irritated because there are no reasons.
Only a fourth to a third of people in the South owned even one slave. Yetevery white person is treated as if they had a slave owning ancestor. This applies to in the states where slavery never existed, as well as people whose families immigrated after slavery was abolished. I have read hundreds of slaves narratives from my state. And almost all of them were positive. One sticks out in my mind where an old ex-slave recounted how the day his mistress died was one of the saddest days of his life. And in many of these narratives the slaves told of how their masters didnt even allowing whipping on his plantation.
Segregation was not a bad thing. It was a defensive measure. Segregation did not exist to hold back negroes. It existed to protect us from them. And I mean that in multiple ways. Not only did it protect us from having to interact with them, and from being physically harmed by them, but it protected us from being brought down to their level. Integration has done nothing but bring whites down to level of brute animals. The best example of this is obviously our school system.
Now white parents are forced to move to the suburbs to send their children to ?good schools?. But what constitutes a ?good school?? The fact is that how good a school is considered directly corresponds to how white it is. I hate with a passion the whole idea of the suburbs. To me it represents nothing but scared white peeple running. Running because they are too weak, scared, and brainwashed to fight. why should we have to flee the cities we created for the security of the suburbs? why are the suburbs secure in the first place? Because they are white. The pathetic part is that these white pe0ple dont even admit to themselves why they are moving. They tell themselves it is for better schools or simply to live in a nicer neighborhood. But it is honestly just a way to escape niggers and other minorities. But what about the white people that are left behind? what about the white children who, because of school zoning laws, are forced to go to a school that is 90 percent black? Do we really think that that white kid will be able to go one day without being picked on for being white, or called a ?white boy?? And who is fighting for him? who is fighting for these white people forced by economic circumstances to live among negroes? No one, but someone has to. Here I would also like to touch on the idea of a Norhtwest Front.
I think this idea is beyond stupid. Why should I for example, give up the beauty and history of my state to go to the To me the whole idea just parralells the concept of White people running to the suburbs. The whole idea is pathetic and just another way to run from the problem without facing it. Some pe0ple feel as though the South is beyond saving, that we have too many blacks here. To this I say look at history. The South had a higher ratio of blacks when we were holding them as slaves. Look at South Africa, and how such a small minority held the black in apartheid for years and years. Speaking of South Africa, if anyone thinks that think will eventually just change for the better, consider how in South Africa they have affirmative action for the black population that makes up 86 percent of the p0pulation. It is far from being too late for America or Europe. I believe that even if we made up only 30 percent of the population we could take it back completely. But by no means should we wait any longer to take drastic action. Anyone who thinks that white and black people look as different as we do on the outside, but are somehow magically the same on the inside, is delusional. How could our faces, skin, hair, and body structure all be different, but our brains be exactly the same? This is the nonsense we are led to believe.
Negroes have lower Iqs, lower impulse control, and higher testosterone levels in generals. These three things alone are a recipe for violent behavior.If a scientist publishes a paper on the differences between the races in Western Europe or Americans, he can expect to lose his job. There are personality traits within human families, and within different breeds of cats or dogs, so why not within the races? A horse and a donkey can breed and make a mule, but they are still two completely different animals. Just because we can breed with the other races doesnt make us the same.
In a modern history class it is always emphasized that, when talking about ?bad? things Whites have done in history, they were White. But when we learn about the numerous, almost countless wonderful things Whites have done, it is never pointed out that these people were White. Yet when we learn about anything important done by a black person in history, it is always pointed out repeatedly that they were black. For example when we learn about how George Washington carver was the first nigger smart enough to open a peanut. On another subject I want to say this. Many White peeple feel as though they dont have a unique culture. The reason for this is that White culture is world culture. I dont mean that our culture is made up of other cultures, I mean that our culture has been adopted by everyone in the world. This makes us feel as though our culture isnt special or unique. Say for example that every business man in the world wore a kimono, that every was in the shape of a pagoda, that every door was a sliding one, and that everyone ate every meal with chopsticks. This would probably make a Japanese man feel as though he had no unique traditional culture.
I have noticed a great disdain for race mixing White women within the White nationalists community, bordering on insanity it. Unlike many white naitonalists, I am of the opinion that the majority of American and European jews are white. In my opinion the issues with jews is not their blood, but their identity. I think that if we could somehow destroy the jewish identity, then they wouldnt cause much of a problem. The problem is that Jews look White, and in many cases are white, yet they see themselves as minorities. Just like niggers, most jews are always thinking about the fact that they are jewish. The other issue is that they network. If we could somehow turn every jew blue for 24 hours, I think there would be a mass awakening, because peeple would be able to see plainly what is going on. I dont pretend to understand why jews do what they do. They are enigma.
Hispanics are obviously a huge problem for Americans. But there are good hispanics and bad hispanics. I remember while watching hispanic television stations, the shows and even the commercials were more White than our own. They have respect for White beauty, and a good portion of hispanics are White. It is a well known fact that White hispanics make up the elite of most hispanics countries. There is good White blood worth saving in Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and even Brazil. But they are still our enemies.
I have great respent for the East Asian races. Even if we were to go extinct they could carry something on. They are by nature very racist and could be great allies of the White race. I am not opposed at all to allies with the Northeast Asian races.
I hate the sight of the American flag. Modern American patriotism is an absolute joke. People pretending like they have something to be proud while White pe0ple are being murdered daily in the streets. Many veterans believe we owe them something for "protecting our way of life" or "protecting our freedom". But im not sure what way of life they are talking about. How about we protect the White race and step fighting for the jews. I will say this though, I myself would have rather lived in 1946's American than Nazi Germany, and no this is not ignorance speaking,
it is just my Opinion. S0 I dont blame the veterans of any wars up until after Vietnam, because at least they had an American to be proud of and fight for.
To take a saying from a film, see all this stuff going on, and I dont see anyone doing anything about it. And it pisses me off. To take a saying from my favorite film, Even if my life is worth less than a Speck of dirt, I want to use it for the good of society. I have no choice. I am not in the position to, alone, go into the ghetto and fight. I chose Charleston because it is most historic city in my state, and at one time had the highest ratio of blacks to whites in the country. We have no skinheads, no real no one doing anything but talking on the internet. Well, someone has to have the bravery to take it to the real world, and I guess thathas to be me. Unfortunately at the time of writing I am in a great hurry and some of my best thoughts, actually many of them have been to be left out and lost forever. But I believe enough great white minds are out there already.
Empty Half The Earth Of Its Humans. It’s The Only Way To Save The Planet.
By: K.S. ROBINSON
Here I’m referring to the plan EO Wilson has named Half Earth. His book of the same title is provocative in all the best ways, and I think it has been under-discussed because the central idea seems so extreme. But since people are leaving the land anyway and streaming into cities, the Half Earth concept can help us to orient that process, and dodge the sixth great mass extinction event that we are now starting, and which will hammer humans too.
The idea is right there in the name: leave about half the Earth’s surface mostly free of humans, so wild plants and animals can live there unimpeded as they did for so long before humans arrived. Same with the oceans, by the way; about a third of our food comes from the sea, so the seas have to be healthy too.
At a time when there are far more people alive than ever before, this plan might sound strange, even impossible. But it isn’t. With people already leaving countrysides all over the world to move to the cities, big regions are emptier of humans than they were a century ago, and getting emptier still. Many villages now have populations of under a thousand, and continue to shrink as most of the young people leave. If these places were redefined (and repriced) as becoming usefully empty, there would be caretaker work for some, gamekeeper work for others, and the rest could go to the cities and get into the main swing of things.
What I Learned at “Racial Justice” Re-indoctrination Camp
By: Thomas DiLorenzo
Several months ago the president of Loyola University Maryland, Brian Linnane, announced to the faculty that he had been thinking a lot about the Baltimore riots that took place two years earlier. (The riots, you may recall, were a response to the death of a local black drug gangster while in a police van after he had been arrested. All of the police involved, most of whom were black, were eventually acquitted at trial. The rioters looted the CVS pharmacies in town, emptying them of oxycodone and other painkillers, then burned them to the ground along with police cars, private homes, and public buildings. The former mayor of Baltimore publicly referred to the rioters as “our children” and instructed the police to stand down and “give them their space” to loot, vandalize, and burn down parts of her city).
In response to all of this the college president decided that what is needed to reduce the likelihood of such events in the future is to put the affluent, mostly white, Loyola University Maryland faculty through a round of cultural Marxist “racial justice” training. Such language reminded me of Chinese and Vietnamese communist “re-indoctrination camps” where attendees were pressured/coerced into becoming good little obedient communists. So, naturally, I had to attend to see what it was all about.
What I learned is that all the problems of the 65 percent black population in Baltimore city (one of the highest murder rates in the world, poverty, horrible government schools, criminal gangs randomly attacking tourists at the Inner Harbor, street crime run amok, “no-go zones” where even the police won’t go for fear of being shot at, etc.) are caused by “white privilege.” The lowliest, indigent, white redneck who lives in a rusted-out old school bus down by the river in Tennessee is “privileged,” by definition, whereas the children of multimillionaire Barack Obama or multimillionaire Tiger Woods are not privileged. In fact, since they are black they are, by definition, “oppressed” by the white redneck who lives in the rusted-out old school bus down by the river.
A close second in terms of the causes of Baltimore’s problems, I learned, was the bigotry of white men who died fifty years ago or longer. We were shown parts of a video documentary about “the history of racism” up to the 1950s and were told that little or no progress has been made in Baltimore’s black community because of this permanently-debilitating history. This is why “things never seem to change in the city,” I was told by one of the presenters. No mention was made of the fact that, just a few miles down the road in Columbia, Maryland one will find some of the most affluent black professionals in the world who share this same history. What they don’t share is being ruled by the extreme leftist Baltimore city government for the past half century with their corrupt police and courts that refuse to imprison violent criminals, their extortionate taxes, lavish welfare handouts, and a completely dysfunctional school system ruined by teachers’ unions.
I also learned that only white people can be racists or commit racist acts. This is because the cultural Marxists have redefined racism to mean an act of discrimination plus “power,” and only white heterosexual males can wield this “power.” Several of my faculty colleagues sheepishly questioned this obviously bogus idea, based on their life experiences, but got no response from the presenters. I asked the presenters the following hypothetical: If the Congressional Black Caucus got a law passed that funded “minority scholarships” for black students and advertised that white people need not apply (we do have such programs), would that be discriminatory? I did not get a yes or no answer, but another mini lecture about white privilege.
Of course, only a moron would believe that only white people can be racists. All the “racial justice” presenters would have to do to learn this would be to listen to some of the harsh racist language on several of the black-owned radio stations in Maryland. That does not fit with the virtual reality they have invented for themselves, so there is no chance of that happening. Although the supposed purpose of all of this was to address the root causes of the problems of crime, poverty, and lack of education that plague Baltimore, the work ethic-destroying and family-destroying effects of the welfare state were studiously ignored and not mentioned at all as possible problems. Nor was the awful, corrupt, teachers’ union-controlled government school monopoly, the extortionate property taxes that have driven tens of thousands from the city, the squalor and crime in the government housing projects, all the crime caused by the government’s war on drugs, and myriad other government policies and interventions that have been shown by social scientists for decades to be the real causes of “urban decay” (See Losing Ground by Charles Murray).
In fact, the seminar ended with a power point presentation that recommended that what “people of color” really need is “more resources,” which is the usual leftist code language for more welfare, more money down the rat hole of the government school monopoly, more taxes, and more bureaucracy. This is always espoused as though it is a brand new idea that has never been tried before. This of course is the point of white privilege seminars – to censor out all discussion of how “the legacy of liberalism and interventionism” is the real problem with cities like Baltimore, not the legacy of slavery and discrimination.
On the same day as the racial justice seminar the front page of the Baltimore Sun and the chatter on local talk radio included a discussion of how, on Halloween night, a gang of inner-city “youth” armed with baseball bats and wooden planks went around the city bludgeoning people and stealing their wallets and cellphones. This was two weeks after a family of ten tourists from New Jersey was attacked at the Inner Harbor by a gang of “youths” who punched every one of them in the face, including the 80-year-old grandmother, knocked them to the ground, kicked them, robbed them, and then disappeared. Now that I have been re-educated I understand that this was merely the latest manifestation of white privilege in Baltimore.
Why Hierarchies Thrive
By: Harold J. Leavitt
Hardly anyone has a good word to say about hierarchies. Academics, consultants, and management gurus regularly forecast their imminent replacement by new, egalitarian structures. Back in 1989, Peter Drucker predicted that the businesses of the future would be modeled on a symphony like Mahler’s Eighth, where a single conductor leads more than 1,000 musicians and singers without any intermediaries or assistants. A decade later, Gifford Pinchot asserted that hierarchical organizations “based on dominance and submission” would soon be replaced by communities that are more appropriate to our high-tech times and postmodern selves.
Most of us have our own pet horror story about hierarchies. Here’s one from a former domestic-policy unit staffer in President Jimmy Carter’s administration. One Friday afternoon, word came down that the president absolutely had to have a detailed report about a certain problem by Monday morning. What could be more important? The staff worked the entire weekend, assembling and reviewing data; rechecking numbers; organizing, debating, and rewriting conclusions. One staff member even canceled his 10-year-old’s birthday party. They had a deadline to meet—and they met it. Early Monday morning, the bound report was on the president’s desk.
Monday came and went without any acknowledgment from the Oval Office. Nothing on Tuesday, either. By Wednesday, the mood of the staff had shifted from excitement and commitment to anxiety, then to anger and cynicism. It turned out, of course, that President Carter hadn’t actually needed a report on the problem in question. All he had done was remark casually to a few top aides that he would like to see how work on the problem was progressing. That offhand remark had set the telephones ringing down the chain of command. His comment metamorphosed into a suggestion and then into an order, which exploded into a crisis that required everything else to be put on hold.
Now, it is possible to write off that story as just another example of the organizational sloppiness characteristic of governmental bureaucracy. But the truth is that in almost any large organization, the boss’s whim, no matter how absurd, becomes law. In the old days at General Electric, the story went, whenever the CEO asked for a cup of coffee, an employee went out and tried to buy Brazil. There’s also the story about Henry Kaiser’s kitchen garden. Kaiser, the cofounder of Kaiser Permanente, was fond of fresh fruits and vegetables. Once, before leaving on an extended trip, he announced to his staff that he would like to have a vegetable garden waiting for him when he got back. A few days before his return, Kaiser’s staff remembered the comment. A huge team of gardeners quickly was summoned. For two days and nights they planted. When Kaiser returned, so the legend goes, he pulled up a perfect, full-grown carrot—quite unaware that it had been planted there just the night before.
This gratification of a leader’s every fancy is trivial compared with the multitude of other ways that hierarchies—even when populated by considerate and intelligent people—can be cruel and stupid. They routinely transform loyal and motivated employees into disaffected Dilberts. It’s no wonder that we continue to search for more humane and productive alternatives. A veteran senior executive once summed up the problem in very few words. Speaking to one of my MBA classes, he said: “All organizations are prisons. It’s just that the food is better in some than in others.” The students didn’t like that metaphor. They didn’t want to think they might be preparing for a career in the slammer.
Yet the intensity with which we struggle against hierarchies only serves to highlight their durability. Even today, just about every large organization remains hierarchical. The organizations of the knowledge economy—whether loosely coupled, networked, or federalized—seem to be no more than modifications of the same basic design. The new flatter, faster organizations certainly reflect some important changes in the way business is done, but the basic blueprint is unchanged. Subordinates continue to report to superiors, much as they historically have done, at GE and IBM. Department heads report to division managers, who report to group VPs and so on. Hierarchy, it seems, may be intrinsic to our natures.
This article is neither a defense of hierarchies nor another attack on them. It is a reality check, a reminder that hierarchy remains the basic structure of most, if not all, large, ongoing human organizations. It is also an examination of why hierarchies persist and even thrive. One partial explanation is that many of those organizational pyramids—despite their reputations—have proven themselves quite capable of change. Indeed, many of the large organizational “dinosaurs” have demonstrated impressive adaptability. More important, though, hierarchies deliver real practical and psychological value. On a fundamental level, they don’t just enslave us, they also fulfill our deep needs for order and security. And they get big jobs done.
Hierarchies fulfill our deep needs for order and security.
Of course, hierarchies are terribly flawed. They inevitably foster authoritarianism and its destructive offspring: distrust, dishonesty, territoriality, toadying, and fear. Our ability to work effectively in hierarchies depends in large measure on how we deal with those dangers.
The Dinosaur That Wouldn’t Die:
One of the most common indictments of hierarchical organizations is that they are outdated—too slow, too unbending for the turbulence of the modern world. And it is indisputable that a number of familiar business names, such as AT&T, GM, and Kmart, have had trouble trying to adapt to their rapidly changing surroundings. Some have even ceased to exist. On the other hand, many of our biggest companies have prospered, in large part because they have been flexible and responsive to their changing environments. These organizations—GE, Sony, and IBM come to mind—somehow have managed to incorporate into their hierarchies many of the most radical managerial innovations of the past few decades. They are exceptional performers, of course, but they are not alone.
The business world has experienced at least three major managerial innovations in the past 50 years. Despite their hierarchical structures, many large businesses have been in the forefront of experimenting with and adopting the practices those innovations carried with them. The first of the three waves of change, the human relations movement, began shortly after World War II, when a small group of influential academics envisioned a truly new, people-focused approach to management, one that would point organizations toward employee participation and industrial democracy. Some of the largest U.S. companies were quick to adopt this new philosophy of “the human use of human beings.” In the early 1960s, for instance, Standard Oil sent every manager from its Baton Rouge refinery to two full weeks of off-site immersion in that radical new technique, sensitivity training. This was neither a trivial risk nor a trivial investment. In 1956, GE created what it calls the first major corporate business school at Crotonville, New York—three years before the publication of the Ford Foundation’s Gordon-Howell report revolutionized business school education in the United States and around the world.
Paradoxically, the human relations thrust initially helped to strengthen, not weaken, hierarchies. HR, though originally intended for all employees, was, in its early years, applied to management much more than to hourly workers, thereby widening the gap between manager and worker. The new HR ideas became popular just as a horde of knowledge workers, educated with the help of the GI Bill, started to invade the corporate world. Knowledge workers couldn’t easily be managed by traditional command and control methods, but the HR style fitted them very nicely. Eventually, though, the participative idea did make its way down to America’s shop floors, albeit via Japan, which had been an early adopter of the participative ideas advocated by W. Edwards Deming. In the 1970s, big U.S. companies began to react to Japanese manufacturing successes by importing their participative practices, such as teams and quality circles.
The second managerial sea change, analytic management (or management by the numbers), was, if anything, a return to traditional military-style, top-down values. Indeed, a number of influential ex-Pentagon planners were among its leading proponents. The “dinosaurs” adopted this rational, analytic approach even more quickly than they had picked up human relations. One might even say that they led the analytic movement. Its heroes were the unsmiling industrialists of the 1950s and 1960s—Roy Ash of Litton, Harold Geneen of ITT, and, perhaps most of all, Robert McNamara of Ford and the U.S. Department of Defense.
David Halberstam, in his 1973 book The Best and the Brightest, catches the flavor of that analytic ideal in this description of McNamara’s style: “If the body was tense and driven, the mind was mathematical, analytical, bringing order and reason out of chaos. Always reason. And reason supported by facts, by statistics—he could prove his rationality with facts—intimidates others. Once, sitting at CINCPAC for eight hours, watching as hundreds and hundreds of slides flashed across the screen…he finally said…‘Stop the projector. This slide number 869 contradicts slide 11.’ Slide 11 was flashed back, and he was right. They did contradict each other.…Everyone was in awe.”
Predictably, analytic management only served to reinforce the hierarchical structure of the large corporation. Staff people at headquarters could now crunch the numbers and write the plans, then hand them to the foot soldiers to implement. American business schools also quickly internalized this new analytic style, and MBAs of the 1960s and 1970s emerged as avid promoters of what critics later began to deride as “paralysis by analysis.”
The popularity of management by the numbers can be tied to the arrival of computer technology in business. In 1951, Remington Rand’s UNIVAC I became operational. By 1954, there were still probably fewer than ten computers—multivacuum-tubed monsters—in place in the United States, according to the American Federation of Information Processing Societies. In 1957, my colleague Allen Newell tried to explain to my class of middle managers at Carnegie Tech how and why these new machines would soon do much more than add and subtract. His audience was skeptical: “Send that guy back to his cave,” they said. The following year, however, when Allen gave a similar talk, there was standing room only. In just 12 months, it seemed, corporate America had awakened to the potential of this new tool.
The third major management change began in the mid-1970s, with the growing appearance of what Jean Lipman-Blumen and I call hot groups—akin to what others have termed communities of practice. There was, however, nothing new about the idea itself. Dedicated, small, task-focused groups had been around since humans first started collaborating, and Lockheed, for one, had discovered the value of quasi-autonomous skunk works many years ago. However, hot groups weren’t a big feature of the industrial scene until the arrival of the brash high-tech start-ups of Silicon Valley. Those task-dedicated little outfits scorned bureaucratic hierarchies, kept clear of touchy-feely “charm schools,” and treated number-crunching analysts as irrelevant old fogies. In their world, challenge—not corner offices or warm, fuzzy relationships or five-year strategic plans—was king. At first, the corporate giants ignored those pesky small fry; then they trivialized them, scoffing at their unpredictable working hours and diets of pizza and Coke. But the youngsters (by the mid-1980s, the average age of Apple’s people had climbed worrisomely high—to 26!) were fast, daring, ingenious, and totally task oriented. Although old hierarchies decried their undisciplined behavior, they couldn’t afford to disregard the upstarts for very long. After all, they were initiating the whole Information Age. Their “children’s crusade” (an epithet lobbed at them like a hand grenade) forced large hierarchies to put speed and innovation at the top of their wish lists, even above traditional grails like orderliness and productivity. A number of the big players were also quick to catch this new wave, experimenting with their own small, self-isolating groups. IBM, for example, sent a gang off to Florida to develop its first PC. Gradually, others followed suit.
Corporate America has, by and large, successfully adopted most of the features of these three changes, but one cannot conclude that they have integrated them. In giant human hierarchies, the new does not often push out the old, at least not for a long time. The three approaches were simply piled—often not very coherently—onto whatever was already in place. Yet, like many odd combinations, the unlikely mix of organizational practices has proven to be both popular and surprisingly nourishing for the companies concerned. Large hierarchical companies are incorporating little hot groups, while expanding hot groups, like Apple and Yahoo!, have become more hierarchical. The big ones want some of the speed and agility of the little outfits, and the little ones—as they grow—have to capture some of the grownups’ stability and large-project capabilities.
A Benevolent Tyranny
Hierarchy, of course, is not just an organizational construct. It is a phenomenon intrinsic to the complexity of the natural world. Indeed, all biological organisms are made up of systems—circulatory, skeletal, and respiratory—which themselves comprise many subsystems. Our mental processes are also often hierarchical, especially when we perform complicated tasks. Putting together your child’s new bicycle is a hierarchical undertaking. Subassemblies—of pedals, handlebar, seat—must join together into larger assemblies, until, with luck, the whole bike finally emerges.
But hierarchy is more than nature’s way of helping us to process complexity. Powerful psychological forces come into play. Hierarchies provide clear markers that let us know how far and fast we are climbing the ladder of success: Clerks can become department heads, corporals can move up to sergeants, and parish priests can rise to bishops. Often those markers are symbolic, such as corner offices, enriched titles like assistant vice president, or employee of the month. Why do such seemingly trivial measures so often succeed? Perhaps because we want to be evaluated, and hierarchies offer us report cards in the respectable form of performance appraisals, salary increases, promotions, bonuses, and stock options. We may grouse about unfair evaluations and meager raises, but most of us seem to want to see our grades.
Hierarchies show us how fast we are climbing the ladder of success; they give us identity.
Hierarchies give us more than these somewhat questionable measures of our worth; they give us an identity. Just think of how it feels to be out of a job for an extended period. Loss of income is not the only problem. Self-esteem is involved: one’s role in society, one’s very identity. When someone is jobless in an individualistic, high-achieving culture like ours, it takes a strong ego to maintain a sense of self-worth. Only the very young and the very old are permitted the luxury of respectable joblessness. And for the very old, it is still important to have been a division manager at DuPont, or a foreman at the local bakery, or a colonel in the Marine Corps.
Of course, there are many people who thrive outside hierarchical organizations—artists, for instance, entrepreneurs, homemakers, and freelance professionals—but most of us who work inside hierarchies take comfort from them. Like our families, communities, and religions, they help us define ourselves. They provide identity, a flag to fly. Write down—quickly, off the top of your head—three short answers to the question: “Who are you?” At least one of your answers will have something to do with your role in a hierarchy.
Hierarchies add structure and regularity to our lives. They give us routines, duties, and responsibilities. We may not realize that we need such things until we lose them. One friend of mine, after he retired, took to keeping goats. “Why?” I asked him. “Because goats have to be milked regularly,” he replied. “That gives me a reason to wake up every morning.” Without required routines, we might find ourselves afloat in a sea of anomie.
For all these reasons, hierarchies can be very effective at providing some of the psychic nourishment we all need. Of course, many are even more effective at draining that nourishment from our minds and souls. Too often, we come to depend on these structures as a kind of protective parent guarding us against the dangers of the outside world. Snuggled close to Daddy Hierarchy, our personhood is affirmed and our existential angst allayed—as long as we do as Daddy asks. Unfortunately, that sense of safety is illusory. What becomes of us when our seemingly indestructible guardian is destroyed, as on September 11, 2001? Or suppose we had been employed at Enron or Arthur Andersen? When hierarchy fails us, we realize that what we trusted in was often no more than a projection of our own needs.
The Dangers of Authority
In one of his turn-of-the-century colonial tales, “Her Majesty’s Servants,” Rudyard Kipling captures the tension at the heart of any hierarchy. In that story, he describes an enormous pageant staged by the Viceroy of India to impress a visiting Amir from Afghanistan. Thousands of troops, 30 marching bands, and countless draft animals have been assembled to participate in the great spectacle. Kipling recounts an exchange between “an old, grizzled, longhaired Central Asian chief,” one of the Amir’s entourage, and a native officer. “Now,” he said, “in what manner was this wonderful thing done?” And the officer answered, “There was an order, and they obeyed…Mule, horse, elephant, or bullock, he obeys his driver, and the driver his sergeant, and the sergeant his lieutenant, and the lieutenant his captain, and the captain his major, and the major his colonel, and the colonel his brigadier commanding three regiments, and the brigadier the general, who obeys the Viceroy, who is the servant of the Empress. Thus it is done.”
“Would it were so in Afghanistan,” said the chief, “for there we obey only our own wills.” Yet, as Kipling was surely aware, the grizzled old Afghan chief was not being entirely candid. He would not have been willing to sacrifice his autonomy and freedom for all the military discipline in the world. And in that respect, the Afghan’s creed is actually very close to the American creed of individualism—a philosophy, in fact, that presents a perennial organizational challenge for American businesspeople. It’s also worth noting here that although the hierarchical British tried again and again, they never succeeded in controlling nonhierarchical Afghanistan. No one ever has.
Contemporary organizations may not be as regimented as the British Raj, but they are hierarchical, and authority is hierarchy’s inseparable handmaiden. Even the most modern of managers must inevitably exercise some degree of authority some of the time. For deeply individualistic Americans, it’s hard to blend ingrained egalitarian values with constant mindfulness of who the boss is. For leaders, it’s just as hard to maintain their individual authenticity while working inside a hierarchy, no matter how modern and benevolent it may be.
Hierarchies’ authoritarianism shows up in all kinds of ways, perhaps most obviously in communication, as the story about President Carter’s staffers suggests. In multilevel organizations, messages get distorted as they travel up and down the ladder of command. It is not just a matter of noise or random error. Self-interest and self-protection drop in, and relevant information drops out, as messages make stops along that vertical route. Sensitive leaders—aware of how difficult it can be for their people to speak truth to power—take steps to make speaking the truth as painless as possible. I was impressed, some years ago, by a counterintuitive method devised by a manager at Intel. Every quarter, he threw a big dinner—not for the group that had been most successful, but for “the failure of the month.” The celebration honored the group that had made a valiant effort that just didn’t pan out. Failures, that manager wanted his people to know, were an inevitable accompaniment of risk taking. They should be talked about openly, not hidden, papered over, or blamed on others.
The phenomenon of authoritarianism makes it impossible for any manager to be “just one of the guys,” even with his own group, much less with people higher up the hierarchy. Instead, every manager carefully has to deduce from informal signals the “proper” way to behave with this person or that. Where does power lie? Who’s parking next to whom in the parking lot? Who’s the first to speak after the CEO in meetings? An executive can pay a high price for missing such hierarchical cues. It is one of the costs that the denizens of hierarchies must pay for the rewards they receive—and a debilitating cost it can be. Pressure to remain constantly on the qui vive to avoid inadvertently stepping on the wrong toes—rather than focusing on doing good work—has caused more than one manager eventually to ask, “Is this really the way I want to spend my life?”
Consider Mike, a rookie middle manager at a large technical firm. He attended a workshop some colleagues and I were teaching. He had enthusiastically grabbed on to the not-very-hierarchical participative concepts we had presented about empowerment, shared leadership, and teamwork. Some months later, I happened to run into Mike. He was furious. “You guys really screwed me over,” he nearly shouted. “You sold me all this stuff about giving people more responsibility, more elbow room. You told me not to sit on top of every petty detail, not to micromanage, and the whole thing just blew up in my face. The problem wasn’t with my people. They were great. The problem was upstairs, with the executive committee. When I met with them, they quizzed me, like they always do, about every detail in my unit. And this time I didn’t know the damn details! I looked like an idiot! Why didn’t you warn me about that?”
We should have done more than just warn Mike. In our eagerness to teach the human and productive advantages of participative management, we had ignored a basic lesson: Authority clings to the manager’s role as skin clings to the body. Managers in hierarchies have no choice but to stay constantly alert to that reality. Successful executives know almost intuitively how to be both engaging and authoritative. They know that authority is the immutable baseline, the sine qua non of organizational life. They stay alert—automatically and continuously—to the relevant subtexts of their surroundings. Almost unconsciously they ask themselves: “Am I, right now, in the presence of my superiors, my peers, or my subordinates? Have I calibrated my words, posture, and tone of voice accordingly?” Such hierarchy-attuned behavior is probably as unconscious and as nuanced as the countless fine adjustments any of us makes each day—and, for better or worse, just as necessary for survival.• • •
Hierarchical organizations seduce us with psychological rewards like feelings of power and status. What’s more, multilevel hierarchies remain the best available mechanism for doing complex work. It is unrealistic to expect that we will do away with them in the foreseeable future. It seems more sensible to accept the reality that hierarchies are here to stay and work hard to reduce their highly noxious byproducts, while making them more habitable for humans and more productive as well.
The Real World Order Is Chaotic
By: Butler Shaffer
Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is being sought. Chaos always defeats order because it is better organized. ~ Terry Pratchett
My last words on the gallows will be to praise the study of chaos. For the sake of our very survival as a species, the destructive and dysfunctional nature of our highly-structured world may soon force humanity into an outburst of intelligence. Should that occur, an understanding of the creative and orderly processes of chaos may save us from the consequences of our collective hubris.
What can be more insane than mankind’s continuing insistence upon playing out the simple-minded notion that the intricacies and variability of our complex world can be fully comprehended and rendered manageable by wise leaders? In a world caught up in the madness of wars, genocidal campaigns, economic depressions, and the resort — by some — to the despair implicit in suicide bombings, there is no better occasion for us to consider a major paradigm shift in our thinking.
"Desperation" may well be the best word to describe our current responses to the ubiquitous malfunctioning of social systems premised on the necessity for vertically-structured, top-down, command-and-control organizational forms. Western civilization collapses all around us, and yet most of us continue to insist upon a renewed commitment to variations of the Platonic vision of a world made orderly by philosopher-kings.
Perhaps the clearest expression of just how desperate mankind has become in its efforts to restore social order without, in the process, deviating from the premise of centralized authority, was seen in President George W. Bush’s usurpation of personalized decision-making power. Having tested the water to see if there was any significant objection to his stated preference for political dictatorship — of which there was little — Mr. Bush proceeded to turn the direction of American society to whatever whim or vision fascinated him at the moment. If war was an attractive course, he would declare it on his own initiative — constitutional grants of such authority to congress notwithstanding. Nor did it seem to matter to Boobus Americanus, or the media, or the corporate owners of American society, what the pretext or identification of enemies for such wars happened to be.
And as decades of government economic planning, direction, and other interventions began playing themselves out in the dislocations that now threaten to pull the marketplace into the destructive vortex of a black hole, resort is once again had to the premise of centrally-directed political power. Far from even pretending to the status of philosopher-kings trying to rationally manage the present crisis, the president, members of congress, the Federal Reserve Board, and other government officials operate upon no greater insight than the unstated assumption "let’s try this and see what happens!" Having long been accustomed to believing that no problem was too considerable that could not be overcome by the infusion of money, congress and the executive branch began sending trillions of dollars to their corporate sponsors. Contrary to the presumed premises of "economic planning," there were no announced directions as to how such money was to be spent, or what specific consequences were anticipated. It was enough that members of the corporate-state hierarchy were in menacing straits, and that the federal government owned a printing press that could alleviate such difficulties! The ancient saying, "desperate times call for desperate measures," were invoked to rationalize this grand-scale looting. But in so doing, the political system inadvertently confessed to its incapacity to efficaciously plan in a world of complexity.
Boobus — unaccustomed to thinking outside the circle of his institution-serving conditioning in the necessity for centralized authority — has been unable to envision any alternative other than replacing a failed wizard with a new and improved model. Barack Obama became the establishment’s well-hyped candidate, being packaged and sold not as yet another failed philosopher-king, but in the nature of a god-king. Gods, after all, are looked upon as both omniscient and all-powerful, capable of transcending the limited capacities of mere humans to deal with the uncertainties of complexity. Obama promised "change" to a beleaguered public without, in the process, altering any of the fundamental practices or structures that produced the disorder. Indeed, as announcements of his forthcoming cabinet revealed the names of many of the political retreads whose past efforts helped to produce our current problems — including Obama’s retention of President Bush’s present Secretary of Defense! — expectations of "change" eroded to little more than the placing of corn flakes in a more attractive box. When Obama proves as incapable as his predecessors of imposing greatness upon the country; and his presumed godliness evaporates to reveal just another ambitious politician; I wonder if his idolatrous followers will be as inclined to deal with him as fiercely as Daniel Dravot was treated by the denizens of Kafiristan in Kipling’s The Man Who Would Be King?
At no time do I recall such a frequent recitation of the definition of "insanity" as "continuing to repeat the same behavior, expecting a different result." Perhaps this reflects a growing awareness of the need for a major transformation in how we think about the nature of social systems. The Ron Paul phenomenon seems to have tapped into an undercurrent of energy — particularly among people in their twenties, thirties, and forties — that goes far beyond opposition to war, the burdens of taxation, and government regulatory and fiscal policies. I was in Minneapolis for the Ron Paul alternate convention, and was stunned to hear an audience of some twelve thousand people cheer Tom Woods’ reference to the "Austrian theory of the business cycle." The kids know that "the system" just doesn’t work anymore; that it cannot deliver its promised order; that they will simply continue to be ground up in the machinery that serves only a privileged elite, and not themselves.
The foundations of Western civilization are fast crumbling. Like hillside homes caught in a landslide, there is little rational people can do other than distancing themselves from the descent while, at the same time, helping to establish more peaceful, free, and cooperative ways of working with others. In the words of the late Thomas Kuhn, mankind is in need of a fundamental "paradigm shift" in our social thinking. An increased familiarity with the nature of "chaos" may provide the catalyst for such a change.
We humans have long allowed ourselves to be dominated by linear thinking. We have become too attached to structured forms of thinking (e.g., regarding emotional expression as inferior to logic and rational thought; treating the literal as superior to the metaphoric), which has led us to prefer structured organizational forms to the more informal. Linear thinking has also led us to the worship of technology as the principal means by which to improve our quality of life. None of this is to condemn such thinking outright — if I were going in for major surgery, I would want the surgeon to approach the operation in a linear fashion rather than as a "stream of consciousness." It is, however, to suggest a more balanced relationship between linear and non-linear thinking.
The study of chaos makes us more familiar with the non-linear nature of complex systems. From our own bodies to social systems to the rest of the physical universe, our world is far more characterized by spontaneous, informal, and unplanned behavior than our linear thinking chooses to acknowledge. Even giving institutional officials the benefit of the doubt as to their motives, we are fated to play out the "unintended consequences" of our best of intentions. This was the essence of Ron Paul’s debate quarrel with Rudy Giuliani concerning the "blowback" of American foreign policies that led to the events of 9/11. Paul was but applying Newton’s "third law of motion" (i.e., for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction), a proposition that a thoroughly institutionalized and linear Giuliani was unable to grasp.
The forces of chaos will continue to play themselves out, regardless of the self-righteous arrogance with which they are opposed by politicians, public opinion polls, and the babblings of journalism-school-trained news "reporters." The trillions of dollars of "bailout" funds will have unforeseen "trickle-down" consequences long after the checks have cleared the Treasury. Learning how to function within a world whose forces are indifferent to our demands is the opportunity provided by the study of the order that lies hidden within chaotic systems. It is a field of inquiry whose insights will prove discomforting to members of the political class; the philosopher-kings and god-kings who will continue to ignore its teachings to the peril of us all.
The Blessing of Inequality
By: James Waddell
"The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule" ~ H.L. Mencken
For most people, concern about poverty stems from noble ideals. Indeed, for Christians, as well as those of some other faiths, improving the lot of the less fortunate is one of life's highest callings. Unfortunately, this concern leaves people vulnerable to those who would prey upon their good intentions.
Since at least the time of Marx, we have heard demands for income redistribution in the name of reducing "inequality". This philosophy is pervasive in the media and has become a central tenet of public policy today. A recent example is Robert Wade's "Winners and Losers" in The Economist (April 26, 2001). He declares, "The global distribution of wealth is becoming ever more unequal", and warns us that "that should be a matter of greater concern than it is". Few ever challenge this idea, that inequality is inherently bad. Some may protest that government attempts to reduce inequality are ineffective, or that they violate property rights, or that the taxation needed for such policies reduces economic growth. While these protests are all valid, they still implicitly concede that inequality is bad.
Is it, really? In order to properly address the subject, we must do two things: 1) distinguish between poverty and inequality, and 2) distinguish different types of inequality, and their sources. When we do, we will find that, far from being bad, the right type of inequality is good and even necessary to our well-being. The concern over the "distribution" of income indicates a misunderstanding of the nature of wealth. Wealth is not something that exists in nature, with the only need being to distribute it fairly. Wealth must be created. Oil in the ground, without equipment to recover and refine it, and without machines in which to use the end-product, is worthless. Natural resources are only valuable when humans figure out a way to use them to satisfy their wants. In a free society, income accrues to those who are successful at creating wealth, that is, those that satisfy the wants of others. An inequality of income simply indicates that some people are more able than others to satisfy the wants of others.
Poverty, on the other hand, is not the same thing as inequality. To claim that the "gap between the rich and poor" is widening does not mean that poverty is increasing. It may merely mean that the "poor" are becoming better-off at a slower rate than the "rich". But their lot may be improving nonetheless. OK, so poverty is bad, and inequality is not poverty. But how does that make inequality good? Almost 50 years ago, Ludwig von Mises answered this question, in an article for The Freeman. Rather than paraphrase him, I'll quote directly the core of his argument: "The consumers [in a market economy], by their buying or abstention from buying, ultimately determine what should be produced and in what quantity and quality. They render profitable the affairs of those businessmen who best comply with their wishes and unprofitable the affairs of those who do not produce what they are asking for most urgently… It is the consumers who make some people rich and other people penniless."
"Inequality of wealth and incomes is an essential feature of the market economy. It is the implement that makes the consumers supreme in giving them the power to force all those engaged in production to comply with their orders. It forces all those engaged in production to the utmost exertion in the service of the consumers. It makes competition work. He who best serves the consumers profits most and accumulates riches…" "The millionaires are acquiring their fortunes in supplying the many with articles that were previously beyond their reach. If laws had prevented them from getting rich, the average . . . household would have to forgo many of the gadgets and facilities that are today its normal equipment. [Countries like the United States] enjoy the highest standard of living ever known in history because for several generations no attempts were made toward equalisation' and redistribution'. Inequality of wealth and incomes is the cause of the masses' well-being, not the cause of anybody's distress."
Thus, to the extent that inequality is a natural outgrowth of a free market, it is not a problem at all. It is a benefit, the "cause of the masses' well-being". But is the market the only source of inequality? No. Quite clearly, when we compare the incomes of countries around the world, it is governments that cause inequality, by retarding the progress of people in some countries more so than in others. This is why publications like The Economist can look at statistics and sound the alarm that inequality is worsening. Countries where the economy is relatively free (the U.S., Hong Kong, Western Europe, etc.) make economic progress; those where the economy is stifled by the heavy hand of government, don't. For example, in Sub-Saharan Africa, things are so bad that the average income per capita (excluding South Africa), is $315, lower than it was in 1960, even after adjusting for inflation. What has characterized Sub-Saharan Africa? Ruthless dictators (often propped up by foreign aid from guess who), communistic economic policies (such as ujamaa, or "cooperative economics", incidentally one of the seven principles of Kwanzaa), and wars.
As long as some countries remain more free than others, inequality will continue to increase. And this is why there is very little we can do about it. Government aid just worsens the problem by allowing a corrupt government to linger. Military action, even putting aside the brutality, has a pretty poor track record of bringing about prosperity. What we can do is to lead by example, and to spread the philosophy of liberty far and wide, that those in desperate places may come to see the root cause of their problems.
Predictably, Mr. Wade's article closes with a call to "mobilise our governments, the multilateral organizations, and international NGOs to establish as an overarching priority a more equal world income distribution – and not just, as now, fewer people in poverty". In so doing, he reveals his true agenda: increasing government power, not helping the poor. Mencken's words ring truer than ever. To the extent that inequality of income is a problem, it is a problem caused by governments. Free markets, on the other hand, have everywhere shown an ability to dramatically improve living conditions for all. Only when this is widely recognized can we eradicate government-induced poverty, leaving us with only the natural inequality inherent in a free and prosperous society.
Labor Thuggery at the Supreme Court
By Betsy McCaughey
Organized labor took off the gloves Monday, warning the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court that freeing public employees from mandatory union dues would lead to strikes and union violence. It was ugly. The Court heard oral arguments challenging laws in 22 states and the District of Columbia that force public employees to pay unions to represent them, even if they disagree with the union's demands and politics. Mark Janus, a child support specialist and public employee in Illinois, claims his First Amendment free speech rights are being violated when he is forced to pay money to a union -- the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. The union "uses my monthly fees to promote an agenda I don't support," Janus objects.
Lawyers advocating for the union resorted to bullying, threatening labor strife if the longstanding Supreme Court precedent favoring mandatory union fees (Abood, 1977) is overturned. Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, who did most of the talking in support of the mandatory fees, grasped at straws rather than confronting head-on the free speech rights of public employees -- teachers, police officers, firefighters and more.
Justice Anthony Kennedy raised the critical issue in the case, explaining that AFSCME, like all public employee unions, negotiates wages, benefits and work rules that determine how much state and local governments cost taxpayers. Kennedy pointed out that public unions come down "against privatization, against merit promotion ... for massive government, for increasing bonded indebtedness, for increasing taxes." These are key political issues. Supporting the union means supporting big government, big budgets, big workforces, and a big tax bill.
Kagan made a flimsy suggestion that these are not actually "matters of public concern." Huh? Anyone who pays taxes knows they are.
As Janus himself says, "At a time when Illinois is drowning in red ink ... the union is wrangling taxpayers for higher wages and pension benefits for state workers." He adds in disgust, "the union fight is not my fight." So why should Janus be forced to pay fees to support the union? Amazingly, the lawyer for the state of Illinois argued that it's to avoid labor discord. When union membership is voluntary, he said, some members stop paying, and dues go up for the rest. That's when the unions "tend to become more militant, more confrontational."
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration made the same hardball argument in a brief filed with the court. The city's top lawyer argued that mandatory fees are needed to avoid "paralyzing public sector strikes," like those in the 1960s and 1970s, "that wreaked havoc on millions of city residents." Translation: If you don't allow us to keep demanding these involuntary union payments, expect trouble. The de Blasio administration reminded the justices that in the past, strikes in New York meant "garbage piled in the streets, children missed weeks of school, and subways ground to a halt." A not so subtle threat. No wonder the lawyer for Janus labeled the mandatory fees "protection money." He asked, who can defend the "idea that the government needs to force its employees to subsidize unions or otherwise the unions will disrupt the government"? The union threats are disgraceful, and they also ring hollow. After all, we don't have labor wars in states without compulsory public union fees.
Most disappointing, the same four justices who supported mandatory union fees two years ago, when the court split 4-4 in a similar case, sidestepped the core issue -- whether forcing public employees to pay money to an organization is as much a violation of their free speech as forcing them to utter words against their convictions. Instead, Kagan fretted about the disruptive impact of striking down the mandatory fees. "Thousands of municipalities would have contracts invalidated. Those contracts probably cover millions, maybe up to over 10 million workers." Kagan asked, "What would be the justification for doing something like that?" It's unlikely contracts will be invalidated. But to answer Kagan's question, the "justification" is called the United States Constitution.
Corruption Beyond Belief
By: Martin Armstrong
I have written many times about the deep corruption among the political class. The way they have always taken bribes is through their families. I have written how Hillary’s brother magically got the gold mining contract from Haiti when he wasn’t a gold miner. The Clinton Foundation which was supposed to be a real charity shut down after she lost the elections as all the foreign government withdrew because they were simply bribing Hillary to get influence. Obama back in 2013 was forced to sign the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act into law at a celebratory ceremony attended by a bipartisan cast of lawmakers. That was exposed in 2011 on CBS 60 Minutes News Program. Then CNN ran a story on this loophole in 2012, and suddenly there was an Act in 2013.
Now the author of Clinton Cash has come out with a new book exposing all the shenanigans going on in Washington. I previously wrote: The collapse in the rule of law is so vital for sustaining the economy that it is often overlooked. This latest book covers BOTH Republicans and Democrats. In the Secret Empires, Peter Schweizer exposes Joe Biden and John Kerry have the cornerstone of Democrats in the Washington establishment for more than 30 years. The sons of Ketty and Biden formed an investment fund dealing with countries overseas with whom the US was negotiating contracts. This is where Hillary was doing the same thing – selling influence via the Clinton Foundation.
Simply put – career politicians have to come to an end. When I was managing money, I was not allowed to have a personal account and NEITHER were my children or my mother. I could never be charged with insider trading because there simply was no possible way anyone in my family could benefit indirectly. The same standards just DO NOT apply to politicians. I have stated plenty of times, the Democrats preach hating the rich while they load the trunks of their family’s car with all the loot. Then they carve out loopholes for the rich when they pay into their reelection coffers. The corruption is way beyond anything you might imagine.
Why Are The Taxpayer-Funded Salaries Of A Quarter-Million Federal Employees, A State Secret?
by Tyler Durden
Why is the U.S. government withholding salary information on nearly 255,000 employees whose salaries are paid for by American taxpayers? Over the past 11 years, our organization, OpenTheBooks.com, summed up and posted online the salaries and bonus information for nearly every person employed in federal government agencies – a tally that mostly keeps growing and growing. This year, our auditors filed our standard Freedom of Information Act request for the same information in Fiscal Year 2017 – and we got a big surprise.
For the first time, the government’s response involved massive and targeted deletions of salary data. A total of 254,839 federal salaries were removed from the Civil Service payroll. That’s a huge increase from the 3,416 salaries redacted in total in Fiscal Year 2016. Considering that there are 1.35 million people employed by executive agencies, about one out of every five salaries are now hidden from the public. In military terms, that’s the headcount equivalent of 17 Army divisions. It’s about equal to the urban population of Buffalo, New York, or Madison, Wisconsin. Worst of all, it’s an affront to taxpayers who have the right to know who makes how much and in what position in the federal bureaucracy. It’s our money, and we should be able to follow it.
What we can’t follow now is truly a mammoth sum. We calculated – using median salaries for the departmental numbers the government did cough up – that's about $20 billion in total federal payroll costs now lacks transparency. The number could be lower, of course – but it could also be a lot higher. The disappearing people and money came from all over the government: no fewer than 68 federal departments redacted salaries. Even small agencies like the National Transportation Services Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation joined the disappearing act. The biggest numbers, however, came from areas like the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Office of Personnel Management. In the past, the feds produced nearly all the salaries from these agencies.
These redactions didn’t blackout secret positions at the CIA or other intelligence agencies (we didn’t even ask for those) – but rather staffers employed by non-secret agencies. They include 51,000 “compliance inspectors and support staff” who work for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). In other words, many of the employees whose salaries are being kept secret are TSA agents performing airport baggage screenings and pat-downs. Disclosing these salaries – or any of the others – doesn’t trigger national security concerns. Here’s a sample of other positions with hidden salaries: 13,000 Internal Revenue Service agents and officers; 7,500 miscellaneous program administrators, clerks, and assistants; 5,800 lawyers; and 1,500 information technology managers.
The feds redacted salaries even in more innocuous positions: 267 student trainees at assorted agencies, 92 public affairs officers and 62 photographers. We strongly believe that transparency in government is crucial – especially at agencies where performance and hiring priorities have come under scrutiny. This year, more than 6,600 salaries were redacted at the often-stumbling Department of Veterans Affairs. Over the past few years, just one in 10 of newly added VA positions were actually doctors. In Fiscal Year 2017, just 6 percent of the VA’s 8,727 new hires were doctors – according to the data not blacked out. Less transparency means less government accountability. These redactions hinder your ability to examine the salaries of civil servants in your own neighborhood. Over the past two years, we literally mapped the bureaucratic swamp by ZIP code, pinning all federal disclosed bureaucrats by employer location on our interactive map for Fiscal Year 2016.
Not this year. We can’t map what we can’t see. Who made the call to redact these salaries, at a time when President Trump has been calling for a downsized federal workforce and a greater emphasis on performance? It wasn’t a Trump appointee. The president doesn’t yet have an executive nominee in place at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), where the salary numbers reside. Acting OPM Director Kathleen McGettigan, a 25-year staffer, heads up the office because she was next in line – not because the White House appointed her. In their closing letter to our salary request, OPM made no legal argument in passing along the abbreviated information to us. Only after we asked the agency about the missing information did a representative issue a response. In essence, it said the government wouldn’t release the information because it was, well, too local. As the reply put it, in far too many words:
“On an ongoing basis, OPM reviews its methods for creating data files to ensure consistency with its Data Release Policy governing the release of records related to federal employees in positions or agencies that require location information to be redacted. Because the Adjusted Basic Salary field (in those records) contains locality pay, OPM recently began redacting this information for certain classes of employees, hence the drop that your IT department noticed.”
This didn’t make much sense, so we asked again. You can read the agency’s next attempt at a response via its spokesperson here. Last December, we showcased the bureaucracy President Trump inherited: 1.97 million Civil Service employees costing about $137 billion a year (including the U.S. Post Office). That expense worked out to $1.1 million per minute. We also found a 165 percent growth in bureaucrats making $200,000 or more; 30,000 rank-and-file employees out-earning all 50 governors at $190,000; and the average salary at 78 agencies exceeding $100,000. Now, with its newly minted excuses, the bureaucracy itself is trying to fight back against open government. We don’t think taxpayers, legislators or the president should allow them to get away with it.
Fatal Delusions of Western Man
By: Pat Buchanan
"We got China wrong. Now what?" ran the headline over the column in the Washington Post."Remember how American engagement with China was going to make that communist backwater more like the democratic, capitalist West?" asked Charles Lane in his opening sentence. America's elites believed that economic engagement and the opening of U.S. markets would cause the People's Republic to coexist benignly with its neighbors and the West.
We deluded ourselves. It did not happen.
Xi Jinping just changed China's constitution to allow him to be dictator for life. He continues to thieve intellectual property from U.S. companies and to occupy and fortify islets in the South China Sea, which Beijing now claims as entirely its own. Meanwhile, China sustains North Korea as Chinese warplanes and warships circumnavigate Taiwan threatening its independence. We today confront a Chinese Communist dictatorship and superpower that seeks to displace America as first power on earth, and to drive the U.S. military back across the Pacific. Who is responsible for this epochal blunder?
The elites of both parties. Bush Republicans from the 1990s granted China most-favored-nation status and threw open America's market. Result: China has run up $4 trillion in trade surpluses with the United States. Her $375 billion trade surplus with us in 2017 far exceeded the entire Chinese defense budget. We fed the tiger, and created a monster.
Why? What is in the mind of Western man that our leaders continue to adopt policies rooted in hopes unjustified by reality? Recall. Stalin was a murderous tyrant unrivaled in history whose victims in 1939 were 1,000 times those of Adolf Hitler, with whom he eagerly partnered in return for the freedom to rape the Baltic States and bite off half of Poland. When Hitler turned on Stalin, the Bolshevik butcher rushed to the West for aid. Churchill and FDR hailed him in encomiums that would have made Pericles blush. At Yalta, Churchill rose to toast the butcher: "I walk through this world with greater courage and hope when I find myself in a relation of friendship and intimacy with this great man, whose fame has gone out not only over all Russia, but the world. . . . We regard Marshal Stalin's life as most precious to the hopes and hearts of all of us."
Returning home, Churchill assured a skeptical Parliament, "I know of no Government which stands to its obligations, even in its own despite, more solidly than the Russian Soviet Government." George W. Bush, with the U.S. establishment united behind him, invaded Iraq with the goal of creating a Vermont in the Middle East that would be a beacon of democracy to the Arab and Islamic world. Ex-Director of the NSA Gen. William Odom correctly called the U.S. invasion the greatest strategic blunder in American history. But Bush, un-chastened, went on to preach a crusade for democracy with the goal of "ending tyranny in our world." What is the root of these astounding beliefs—that Stalin would be a partner for peace, that if we built up Mao's China she would become benign and benevolent, that we could reshape Islamic nations into replicas of Western democracies, that we could eradicate tyranny? Today, we are replicating these historic follies.
After our victory in the Cold War, we not only plunged into the Middle East to remake it in our image, we issued war guarantees to every ex-member state of the Warsaw Pact, and threatened Russia with war if she ever intervened again in the Baltic Republics. No Cold War president would have dreamed of issuing such an in-your-face challenge to a great nuclear power like Russia. If Putin's Russia does not become the pacifist nation it has never been, these guarantees will one day be called. And America will either back down—or face a nuclear confrontation.
Why would we risk something like this?
Consider this crazed ideology of free trade globalism with its roots in the scribblings of 19th-century idiot savants, not one of whom ever built a great nation. Adhering religiously to free trade dogma, we have run up $12 trillion in trade deficits since Bush I. Our cities have been gutted by the loss of plants and factories. Workers' wages have stagnated. The economic independence Hamilton sought and Republican presidents from Lincoln to McKinley achieved is history. But the greatest risk we are taking, based on utopianism, is the annual importation of well over a million legal and illegal immigrants, many from the failed states of the Third World, in the belief we can create a united, peaceful and harmonious land of 400 million, composed of every race, religion, ethnicity, tribe, creed, culture and language on earth.
Where is the historic evidence for the success of this experiment, the failure of which could mean the end of America as one nation and one people?
The Real World Order Is Chaotic
By: Butler Shaffer
Chaos is found in greatest abundance wherever order is be
The Battle for Digital Supremacy
By: The Economist
“DESIGNED by Apple in California. Assembled in China”. For the past decade the words embossed on the back of iPhones have served as shorthand for the technological bargain between the world’s two biggest economies: America supplies the brains and China the brawn. Not any more. China’s world-class tech giants, Alibaba and Tencent, have market values of around $500bn, rivalling Facebook’s. China has the largest online-payments market. Its equipment is being exported across the world. It has the fastest supercomputer. It is building the world’s most lavish quantum-computing research centre. Its forthcoming satellite-navigation system will compete with America’s GPS by 2020.
America is rattled. An investigation is under way that is expected to conclude that China’s theft of intellectual property has cost American companies around $1trn; stinging tariffs may follow. Earlier this year Congress introduced a bill to stop the government doing business with two Chinese telecoms firms, Huawei and ZTE. Eric Schmidt, the former chairman of Alphabet, Google’s parent, has warned that China will overtake America in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2025. This week President Donald Trump abruptly blocked a $142bn hostile takeover of Qualcomm, an American chipmaker, by Broadcom, a Singapore-domiciled rival, citing national-security fears over Chinese leadership in 5G, a new wireless technology. As so often, Mr Trump has identified a genuine challenge, but is bungling the response. China’s technological rise requires a strategic answer, not a knee-jerk one.
The motherboard of all wars.
To understand what America’s strategy should be, first define the problem. It is entirely natural for a continent-sized, rapidly growing economy with a culture of scientific inquiry to enjoy a technological renaissance. Already, China has one of the biggest clusters of AI scientists. It has over 800m internet users, more than any other country, which means more data on which to hone its new AI. The technological advances this brings will benefit countless people, Americans among them. For the United States to seek to keep China down merely to preserve its place in the pecking order by, say, further balkanising the internet, is a recipe for a poorer, discordant—and possibly warlike—world.
Yet it is one thing for a country to dominate televisions and toys, another the core information technologies. They are the basis for the manufacture, networking and destructive power of advanced weapons systems. More generally, they are often subject to extreme network effects, in which one winner establishes an unassailable position in each market. This means that a country may be squeezed out of vital technologies by foreign rivals pumped up by state support. In the case of China, those rivals answer to an oppressive authoritarian regime that increasingly holds itself up as an alternative to liberal democracy—particularly in its part of Asia. China insists that it wants a win-win world. America has no choice but to see Chinese technology as a means to an unwelcome end.
The question is how to respond. The most important part of the answer is to remember the reasons for America’s success in the 1950s and 1960s. Government programmes, intended to surpass the Soviet Union in space and weapons systems, galvanised investment in education, research and engineering across a broad range of technologies. This ultimately gave rise to Silicon Valley, where it was infused by a spirit of free inquiry, vigorous competition and a healthy capitalist incentive to make money. It was supercharged by an immigration system that welcomed promising minds from every corner of the planet. Sixty years after the Sputnik moment, America needs the same combination of public investment and private enterprise in pursuit of a national project.
Why use a scalpel when a hammer will do?
The other part of the answer is to update national-security safeguards for the realities of China’s potential digital threats. The remit of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS), a multi-agency body charged with screening deals that affect national security, should be expanded so that minority investments in AI, say, can be scrutinised as well as outright acquisitions. Worries about a supplier of critical components do not have to result in outright bans. Britain found a creative way to mitigate some of its China-related security concerns, by using an evaluation centre with the power to dig right down into every detail of the hardware and software of the systems that Huawei supplies for the telephone network.
Set against these standards, Mr Trump falls short on every count. The Broadcom decision suggests that valid suspicion of Chinese technology is blurring into out-and-out protectionism. Broadcom is not even Chinese; the justification for blocking the deal was that it was likely to invest less in R&D than Qualcomm, letting China seize a lead in setting standards. Mr Trump has reportedly already rejected one plan for tariffs on China to compensate for forced technology transfer but only because the amounts were too small. Were America to impose duties on Chinese consumer electronics, for example, it would harm its own prosperity without doing anything for national security. An aggressively anti-China tack has the obvious risk of a trade tit-for-tat that would leave the world’s two largest economies both worse off and also more insecure.
Mr Trump’s approach is defined only by what he can do to stifle China, not by what he can do to improve America’s prospects. His record on that score is abysmal. America’s federal-government spending on R&D was 0.6% of GDP in 2015, a third of what it was in 1964. Yet the president’s budget proposal for 2019 includes a 42.3% cut in non-defence discretionary spending by 2028, which is where funding for scientific research sits. He has made it harder for skilled immigrants to get visas to enter America. He and some of his party treat scientific evidence with contempt—specifically the science which warns of the looming threat of climate change. America is right to worry about Chinese tech. But for America to turn its back on the things that made it great is no answer.
Type your paragraph here.
New Jersey (and Japan) Prepare To Raise Taxes On "Almost Everything" As It Nears Financial Disaster
By Tyler Durden
Last week we noted that in what was a radical U-turn to what other public pension funds have been doing in recent years - most notably Calpers - the struggling New Jersey public pension system decided that instead of lowering its expected rate of return, it would raise it, from 7% to 7.5%. The simple reason behind this odd increase in projected returns was an accounting sleight of hand which would allow the state of New Jersey to save some $238 million in pension contributions as a result of the higher discount rate applied to the fund's liabilities. And with a pension funding level of only 37% for the 2015 fiscal year, the worst of any state in the US, New Jersey would gladly take even the most glaring accounting gimmickry that would delay its inevitable death.
Unfortunately, being the not so proud owner of the most distressed and underfunded public pension fund in the US is just the start of New Jersey's monetary woes, and as Bloomberg reports, New Jersey's fiscal situation is so dire that new Governor Phil Murphy has proposed taxing online-room booking, ride-sharing, marijuana, e-cigarettes and Internet transactions along with raising taxes on millionaires and retail sales to fund a record $37.4 billion budget that would boost spending on schools, pensions and mass transit.
The proposal which is 4.2% higher than the current fiscal year’s, relies on a tax for the wealthiest that is so unpopular it not only has yet to be approved, but also lacks support from key Democrats in the legislature, let alone Republicans. It also reverses pledges from Murphy’s predecessor, Republican Chris Christie, to lower taxes in a state where living costs are already among the nation’s highest. Murphy, a Democrat who replaced term-limited Christie on Jan. 16, said his goal is to give New Jerseyans more value for their tax dollars; instead he plans on bleeding them dry. He has promised additional spending on underfunded schoolsand transportation in a credit-battered state with an estimated $8.7 billion structural deficit for the fiscal year that starts July 1. “If we enact another budget like the one our administration inherited, our middle class will continue to be the ones shouldering the burden, while seeing little in return,” Murphy said Tuesday in his budget address to lawmakers. His solution? Socialist wealth redistribution: "A millionaire’s tax is the right thing to do –- and now is the time to do it."
A better way of putting it, as Bloomberg has done, is that New Jersey's budget "would raise taxes on almost everything." Of course, that is not a politically palatable thing to say, so let's first crush the millionaires; the same millionaires who - like David Tepper in April 2016 - have decided they have had enough and departed for Florida long ago, taking with them hundreds of million in foregone taxes. Because what New Jersey fails to grasp, is that the truly rich can pick up and go at a moment's notice, and transfer to any place in the country (or outside of it) that actually does not endorse daylight robberies.
Meanwhile, the idiocy proposed by Gov. Murphy counts on total revenue growth of 5.7%, an impossible number and the most since at least 2013... when it fell short. Murphy would increase the tax rate applied to income above $1 million to 10.75 percent from 8.97 percent, generating $765 million; and restore the state’s sales tax to 7% from 6.625%, raising $581 million. Guaranteeing that the state's hedge fund residents would promptly flee, the budget would also "gain" $100 million by closing a carried-interest loophole on hedge-fund income. “He must be kidding,” Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr., a Republican from Westfield, said after the speech. “I don’t think anybody could have anticipated this level of tax increases.”
So where would the money go?
Murphy’s proposal would almost triple the direct state subsidy for New Jersey Transit, which has been plagued by safety and financial issues. Including funding for the agency from the state’s Turnpike Authority and an energy fund, he boosts money for New Jersey Transit by about a third. His plan also includes a move to raise the state property-tax deduction to $15,000, which would benefit about one-third of homeowners, according to a budget summary. It also would create a child-care tax credit and increase the earned-income tax credit. The budget also plans for four-year phase-ins of a $15 minimum wage and full school funding as mandated by the state Supreme Court, and a three-year path to make community college tuition-free. Oh, and speaking of the above pension woes, guess who will be on the hook to make the state's public workers whole? Why taxpayers of course as the budget includes a record $3.2 billion pension payment, putting the state on course to resume full funding by 2023, according to budget officials.
And though the short-term effect may be positive, between the taxpayer subsidy and the idiotic hike in return assumptions, it won’t fix a system with a combined unfunded payments and medical-benefits liability that reached $184.3 billion in 2017, according to a March 5 commentary by S&P Global Ratings. The two biggest funds are forecast to be broke in 2024 and 2027. “You kept hearing the same word: investment, investment, investment,” said Assembly Republican Leader Jon Bramnick, from Westfield. “Let me interpret that for you: It’s taxes, taxes, taxes.” Unfortunately for New Jersey, it may be too late: according to Bloomberg, Murphy met with the major ratings agencies in New York earlier this month to outline his financial plan (New Jersey’s credit rating is the second-worst among U.S. states, trailing only Illinois). That however won't stop the local democrats from trying. Senate President Steve Sweeney, a Democrat from West Deptford and the highest-ranking state lawmaker, was a perennial sponsor of a millionaire’s tax during the Christie years, only to see the governor veto it seven times. In the wake of President Donald Trump’s $10,000 limit on state and local property-tax deductions, though, Sweeney says the extra charge would drive more wealth from a state that already has the nation’s highest property taxes.
Yet what is strange, is that the two top wealth redistributors, Sweeney and Murphy, now disagree on how to fatten state coffers. Last week Sweeney outlined a proposal for a 3% surcharge on corporations earning more than $1 million annually, for an estimated $657 million. Murphy said he wouldn’t accept it as an alternative to his plan.
Sweeney, in a joint statement with other Senate Democratic leaders, said Murphy’s budget “includes many ambitious proposals that are appealing, but will require thorough review and consideration to determine if they are achievable. We will maintain an open mind throughout the budget process.”
Meanwhile, Murphy’s plan for the fiscal year starting July 1 counts on $80 million of revenue from a plan to legalize recreational marijuana by January 2019. He also intends to expand access to medical marijuana. However, the governor is receiving push-back on recreational marijuana from Republicans and some members of the Black Legislative Caucus. Though polls show majority public support to make New Jersey the 10th state to allow the drug - and Murphy says its taxation would generate hundreds of millions of dollars - opponents say it would harm youngsters in poor communities and lead to increased use of outlawed substances. Murphy’s plan to raise the sales tax likely also will be a tough sell. The last two New Jersey governors to do so, Democrats Jon Corzine and James Florio, were ousted after one term. In short, New Jersey's democrats can't even agree how to best fleece the rich, meanwhile the state careens ever faster toward financial disaster.
How Government Unions Are Destroying America
by Edward Ring
Not one presidential candidate, apart from Gov. Walker’s last-ditch rhetoric prior to dropping out, has discussed the problems with unionized government as a major issue. That’s too bad, because these problems are bigger than even most critics acknowledge.
When people discuss the need to reform, if not eliminate, public sector unions, the only reason typically cited is that their demands are bankrupting our cities and states. And reformers also usually fail to communicate the fundamental differences between government unions and private sector unions, or emphasize the bipartisan urgency of public sector union reform. Government unions don’t merely drive our cities and counties into service insolvency if not bankruptcy, they are distorting policy decisions of fundamental importance to the future of America.
With a focus on California, and in no particular order, here is an attempt to summarize how this is occurring:
(1) The Economy
California has the highest taxes and fees in the U.S., and is consistently ranked as the worst state in America to do business. California also has the highest paid public employees in the United States, and with state and local debt and unfunded retirement obligations now hovering around $1.0 trillion – nearly half of the state’s entire GDP – virtually all new state and local taxes and fees are to pay for services that have already been performed. The uncontrollable political power of state and local government unions, combined with their insatiable appetite for more pay, more benefits, and more members, has – across all areas of policy – shifted political priorities from the public interest to the interests of public employees. The primary reason for excessive taxes and fees, as well as fewer services and less infrastructure investment, is because California’s unionized state and local government workers receive pay and benefits that are twice what the average private citizen earns.
(2) Cronyism and Financial Special Interests
When government unions control the government, big business either gets out of the way or gets on board. The idea that government unions protect the public interest against big corporate interests is absurd. Government union backed policies create deficits that bond issuers earn billions underwriting. Excessive pension benefits create additional hundreds of billions in pension fund assets invested on Wall Street. Excessive regulations are enforced by additional unionized government employees, to which only the biggest corporations can afford to comply. Government unions enable and enrich the largest corporate and financial interests at the expense of small independent businesses and emerging competitors.
When it comes to cronyism, the “clean-tech” sector has risen to the top of the list. Government unions are partnering with “green” venture capitalists to carve up the proceeds of California’s carbon emission auction proceeds, a tax by any other name that will eventually extract tens of billions each year from California’s consumers to fund investments that wouldn’t make it in a normal market. From high speed rail to side loading washers that tear up fabric, strain backs, and require expensive maintenance, “green” projects and products are being forced on Californians in order to enrich investors and corporations. But it doesn’t end there. A bad fire season isn’t because of normal drought recurrence, no, the cause is “man made climate-change,” so fire crews have a claim on CO2 emissions auction proceeds. A heat wave isn’t a heat wave, it’s global warming – and since crime is statistically known to increase during hot weather, police agencies also have a claim on CO2 emissions auction proceeds. Code inspectors and planners? Climate change mitigation via enforcing “additional” energy efficiency mandates and higher housing density. Transit workers whose conveyances replace cars? Ditto. Teachers who insert climate change indoctrination into curricula? Ditto.
An entire article, or book for that matter, could be written on the synergistic symbiosis between environmental extremists, big business/finance, and government unions. What about the artificial scarcity environmentalism creates by restricting development of land, energy, water, and other natural resources? When this happens, the wealthiest corporations and developers make higher profits while their smaller competitors go out of business. Utilities, whose margins are fixed, raise revenues which increases their absolute profits. Union controlled government pension funds, whose entire solvency depends on asset bubbles, ride investments in these artificially scarce commodities to new heights. Property tax revenues rise because home prices are artificially inflated.
California’s deferred maintenance on existing infrastructure – roads, bridges, rail, port facilities, utility grid, dams and aqueducts – has been assessed in the hundreds of billions. New infrastructure to solve, for example, water scarcity, would include toilet-to-tap sewage reuse, desalination, enhanced runoff capture, and – dare we say it – a few new dams. But none of these projects get off the ground, not only because environmentalists oppose them based on mostly misguided principles, but because artificial scarcity enriches established special interests, and because all the public funds that can possibly be found are instead perpetually needed to pay unionized government workers. More pay. More benefits. More government workers. Infrastructure? It’s environmentally harmful.
No matter where one stands on this sensitive and complex issue, they must recognize that government unions win when immigrants fail to prosper or assimilate. While American culture retains a vitality that is almost irresistible to newcomers and may overcome all attempts to undermine and fragment it, if government unions had their way, that’s exactly what would happen. Because the more difficulties new immigrants encounter, the more government workers are required. If immigrants fail to find jobs, if they become alienated and traumatized, if they turn to crime or even terrorism, then we need more welfare and social workers, we need more multilingual teachers and bureaucrats, we need more police, and we need more prisons. The unpleasant truth is this: If we import millions of destitute immigrants into America – people with marginal skills from cultures that are hostile to American values – it is a meal ticket worth billions of dollars for government unions, and for every crony business who services the programs they administer.
By over-regulating all activity that so much as scratches the earth, whether it’s to develop land, water, energy, minerals; to farm, transport, build, manufacture; to enforce these rules, more government powers are required. Similarly, by upending the cultural fabric that’s nurtured a social contract in America so strong that volumes of law never had to be written, but were instead the stuff of mutually understood courtesies and customs, we invite strife. To manage this, more rules and referees are necessary, enforced by more government. As society loses its cohesion, and as ordinary honest citizens rebel against excessive taxes and regulations, government unions benefit from training their members to mistrust the fractious and rebellious public. After all, unionized government workers are now a special class. As society fragments, they become more cohesive. As the middle class dissolves, they retain their economic privileges. Perhaps more than any other factor, government unions impel the growth of a police state.
To consider education is to save the most important for last. Because everything that is wrong with where our culture is headed can either be magnified or mitigated by how we educate our young students, regardless of their income or gender or culture or faith. As it is, in California’s public schools, students are taught that open space is sacred, that energy development will destroy the planet, that capitalism is innately flawed if not irredeemable, and that the legacy of Western European culture is a primary cause for most problems in the world. Instead of teaching children to develop functional skills in reading and math, they are being indoctrinated to believe that any failure or disappointment they ever encounter is the result of discrimination. Given the demographics of California’s youth, the union fostered educational environment currently imposed on them is nothing short of a catastrophe.
The reader may not agree with all seven of these assessments, but regardless of the scope of anyone’s reform advocacy, they must confront government unions. Because reform in all of these areas is stopped by government unions. Do you want to unleash California’s economic potential? Do you want to reduce the power of the financial special interests and crony capitalists? Do you want to restore balance to environmental policies, and build revenue producing infrastructure that eliminates scarcity and lowers the cost of living for ordinary people? Do you want to stop importing welfare recipients and instead admit highly skilled and highly educated workers who will enliven our economy and our culture with spectacular success? Do you want to avoid living in a police state? Do you want California’s children to be taught lessons that build their character and give them useful skills?
Reformers must recognize that government unions have a natural interest in preventing any of these reforms from ever happening. Addressing any of these issues without also taking on the government unions is futile. Conscientious members of government unions can play a vital role in reforms, by the way, if they are willing to make their personal interests secondary to their duties as a public servant. If California can be rescued from the grip of government unions, eventually everyone will benefit. And as goes California, so goes the nation.
* * *
Ed Ring is the executive director of the California Policy Center.
US must 'prepare' for possible war with China, admiral warns.
Harry Harris says Beijing undertaking 'military modernization, influence operations and predatory economics' By: Alexandra Wilts
The top US admiral in the Pacific has warned America must be "prepared" for a possible future war with China. Harry Harris, who has been nominated to be the next US ambassador to Australia, told Congress to ignore at "our peril" China's "crystal clear" intent to dominate the South China Sea. The 61-year-old offered an ominous assessment of Beijing's increasingly aggressive posture in the region, and of the rapid build up of its military capabilities. Risk of global conflict at highest level since Cold War, says Coats. “Judging by China’s regional behaviour I am concerned that China will now work to undermine the rules-based international order, not just in the Indo-Pacific but on a global scale.” he told the House armed services committee. “If the US does not keep pace [Pacific Command] will struggle to compete with the People’s Liberation Army on future battlefields,” he added.
China, he claimed, is using “military modernization, influence operations and predatory economics to coerce neighbouring countries to reorder the Indo-Pacific to their advantage.” Former defence chief: Russia and China already have capability to hold the UK at military risk. On Wednesday, US intelligence chief Dan Coats told the Senate Intelligence Committee that “malign actors” like Russia and China would continue to use several tactics, such as cyber warfare, to challenge US influence around the globe.
"As far as the idea of deterrence and winning wars, I’m a military guy," Mr Harris told members of the committee. "And I think it’s important you must plan and resource to win a war at the same time you work to prevent it.” Harry Harris, the commander of US Pacific Command, has taken a hard line against Chinese military expansion.
“At the end of the day the ability to wage war is important or you become a paper tiger. I’m hopeful that it won’t come to a conflict with China, but we must all be prepared for that if it should come to that.” Last week, Mr Trump signed a bipartisan budget deal that significantly boosted defence spending. The President on Wednesday, speaking of the budget agreement, said “we’re extremely happy with the bill that was passed,” because “it takes care of our military.” “Our military will be in better shape than ever before,” the President added.
Appointed to lead the Pacific Command by President Barack Obama, Mr Harris has taken a hard line against Chinese military expansion in the region, calling the nation “provocative”. Mr Harris has spent 39 years in the Navy and is expected to be approved as ambassador to Australia by the Senate. The US has been without an ambassador to its ally since 2016.
The Burdens of the Payroll Tax
By: Ryan McMaken
For this article, let's concentrate on the payroll tax. The fact of the matter is, if you're a wage earner in this country, you're probably going to be paying taxes on income via the payroll tax (or self-employment tax). Nearly three-quarters of wage earners pay taxes on their incomes, although, thanks to the magic of Milton Friedman's tax withholding scheme, many people may have no idea how large their tax burden actually is. What's more, the federal government is becoming increasingly reliant on payroll taxes to increase the government's revenue growth. In recent decades, the payroll tax's share has increased from under 10 percent in the 1940s, to a peak of 42 percent during 2009.
Perhaps part of the reason there's so much confusion about the payroll tax's role as a flat income tax is the resilient but laughable fiction that payroll taxes are an "investment" that goes straight to some kind of Medicare and Social Security "trust fund." There is no trust fund, of course, and payroll taxes are — if we're honest with ourselves — just regular taxes on income that go straight to the general fund and are used on every federal program and project under the sun. We're supposed to pretend that they're a government version of a private retirement account, but in practice, they're nothing more than a tax that takes money from taxpayers so those monies can be spent on a variety of government programs. So every dime a current worker pays in payroll taxes is immediately transferred to the federal government where it will go to some pensioner or banker or to federal employees or to line the pockets of members of Congress and their staffs. If you received a legal paycheck lately, you paid this tax, just like 73 percent of Americans.
First of all,the reason for the Income Tax is to control inflation by "soaking up" the massive amounts of fiat currency and credit that is injected into the economy. Is it any wonder that when the Income Tax was voted in that the Federal Reserve fiat money mill was created at the same time. Second, there are hundreds of other taxes, either directly or indirectly, that a productive,or for that matter an unproductive American pays. Property taxes, value added taxes, sales taxes, payroll taxes, corporate taxes that are passed on alcohol and tobacco taxes, tolls, fees, tariffs etc. plus the inflation tax. In fact the average American works probably 7 to 8 months to pay all the taxes in America even if they pay little or no Income Taxes. In the end, its not who or what kind of taxes we pay but the size and scope of the state that has made high taxes necessary. Dismantle the programs, end the wars, establish sound money and the need for the taxes will be greatly diminished.
Yes, income tax is an inflation mop and also a method of enacting social policy, i.e. behavior control. Yes there are numerous taxes and few people escape all taxes. There are so many taxes at so many points, I really do think the dollar is taxed 100% and then some. It is hard to articulate but I can see it, if only abstractly. Subtract all the government spending and subsidy and tell me what is left in the economy? That is the 100% + tax rate I am trying to articulate.
All cultures are not equal.
By Amy Wax
Or at least they are not equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy. The culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-"acting white" rap culture of inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants.
These cultural orientations are not only incompatible with what an advanced free-market economy and a viable democracy require.
They are also destructive of a sense of solidarity and reciprocity among Americans. If the bourgeois cultural script — which the upper-middle class still largely observes but now hesitates to preach — cannot be widely reinstated, things are likely to get worse for us all.
Comment by Ron Liebermann
"These cultural orientations are not only incompatible with what an advanced free-market economy and a viable democracy require."
I don't think that the above statement is true. Let's take a look at how these concepts are grouped. First you've got:
[cultural orientation - incompatible - free market economy]
Cultural orientations have no obligation to be compatible with a free market economy. For example, there are many rules and regulations within the "bourgeois cultural script" which are not free market. The first and foremost being a sense of order and hierarchy, in the forms of paternalism; and aryanism. It's the idea that all men are not created equal; and that the strongest and best men are expected to rise to the top, where they will enforce the type discipline that females are unable to provide. There is the Platonic expectation that quality of life for all citizens and workers will be the highest goal; within reason.
On to the next:
[advanced - free market - economy]
There is no reason to assume that a "free market" economy is more advanced than other types. China, for example, does not have a free market economy, but has grown much faster than the United States. I hate to refer to Hitler, but he was trying to prevent the collapse of blue-collar wages in the face of an over-financialized economy, when he came up with the idea of "National Socialism." There wasn't enough time to see if it would actually work, because it was replaced by Capitalism and Communism. His goal was to protect workers from over-taxation, and the ravages of inflation. He blamed Wall Street and the Federal Government for the whole mess.
On to the next:
[advanced - free market economy - viable democracy - require]
Again, there is no reason to assume that a free market economy is in the best interests of its citizens; and further, there is no reason to assume that a democracy is required for a free market solution to work.
The word "required" is intended to imply that an over-financialized, over-globalized, free market is the ONLY option if a State wishes to provide the highest quality of life to its citizens. But that's not true. Cheap TV's are of no benefit if the workers are impoverished by an enormous class of "democratic" rent seekers.
Finally, the word "advanced" needs to be examined in more detail. In the context of the statement given, it's intended to mean "better." But is it? America's actual experience with an "advanced" global economy would indicate otherwise. There is the social disaster of a thousand cultures trying unsuccessfully to blend. There is the economic disaster of trying to support millions of Blacks, Mexicans, and old people. There is the ecological disaster of farmers destroying the land and water to grow food for export. There is the financial disaster of skyrocketing house prices caused by rich Asians buying-up all the land. There is the family disaster of working men who have been rendered superfluous by the loss of factory work; and the rise of feminism. (Which Hitler rightly recognized as Communism.) And finally, there is the existential disaster of raising a generation of children who don't know who they are, or where they came from.
So as far as I'm concerned, the whole idea of an "advanced" economy is nonsense. A real advanced economy protects its citizens from foreign invasion; be it ideological, financial, or physical. Globalism is nothing but an empty promise. Each country has its own unique culture and people, and must engage the world in its own way.
What is the likelihood that China’s economy will collapse in the near future and why?
By: Zhantu Zhang
China is almost developed, it only need times to make thing better and earn more money to give more welfare to solute their national problems. Because China is a product export economy, so call "world factory". It means his product is competitive in worlds market. The workers get higher salary every years, and makes the low Profit factory move out china to the other places. But not the foreign factory moves makes chinese worser. This logic need to understand. In the past, Chinese product is much cheaper in the same quality, dominate the worlds easy products export markets. Right now, we use the same way to attack the high-tech product markets, with lowest price in the same quality.
The chinese company are creating more and more innovative product like this. And still keep a low price make more normal people can use this high-tech products. Why I feel confident for chinese economy? China has a long history of large scale societal upheaval. Regularly through its 4000 year history everything comes crashing down as each attempt at development unravels at the seams. China’s economic model was constructed to solve a problem that has plagued the nation throughout its history. China as a nation has existed for over 4000 years. Most of Chinese history consists of internal struggles between various dynasties fighting to rule over the nation. Maintaining internal cohesion with a large population has been the nation’s great wall that cannot be traversed. Modern China emerged after WW2 when the Japanese who occupied large parts of China were defeated. The resultant vacuum led to civil war between the Chinese nationalists supported by the West and Chinese communists led by Mao Zedong, who was supported by the Soviet Union.
Mao and his communists defeated the nationalists and then ruled China with Communism for the next 3 decades. The Communists launched two disastrous strategies to develop China, the first of them – the great leap forward in 1953, attempted to collectivize all aspects of life (even cooking pots), this strategy led to a famine and the death of 30 million people. This disaster of epic proportions gave birth to the reform movement in China which has been central to China’s rapid economic development.
The Cultural revolution in in 1966 was even worse.
The death of Mao in 1976 led to the emergence of the reformists and chief architect of China’s current economic development - Deng Xiaoping. Under his leadership an analysis of the nation was undertaken by technocrats from the Chinese Communist Party and concluded: its population, and in particular the growth of its population, could become the nation’s Achilles heel. If China’s population growth was not matched with economic growth and employment then the resulting mass unemployment would cause mass poverty, civil unrest and a revolt against the rule of the Communist Party. China created Special Economic Zones (SEZ) in the coastal Guangdong and Fujian provinces, that were designed to attract foreign investment in low-end manufacturing by offering cheap land, labour and a variety of tax and other incentives. This turned China into an export oriented economy and dependent on foreign countries to continue importing from it. The hope was in the future the coastal cities would lead to the development of China’s interior.
The value of the Yuan, low wages and cheap exports were all controlled by the communist party to placate the Chinese population. To make Chinese goods more attractive than Japanese and German goods, the Chinese government controlled the value of the exchange rate of its currency with the world, rather than let it float freely. The nation’s large savings were funnelled through banks to firms through subsidized rates. In order to qualify for such loans firms were required to maintain high employment (in order to maintain social cohesion), rates of return on capital, building brands, customer service and profit played no part of this process. China’s growth also came from both huge state investment in infrastructure and heavy industry. 159 large State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), provide the key inputs from utilities, heavy industries and energy resources that facilitate the private sector.
So what are China's problems and will it collapse:
China is facing a huge overcapacity problem. This is a direct result of the nation’s economic model which prioritized production over consumption. The coastal regions in China are interlinked with the global economy; it has seen most of China’s rapid development and enriched a new breed of merchants, all at the expense of the rest of China. Most of China today remains largely agrarian, has little infrastructure and lives in poverty. The wealth China has made is in the hands of a few. According to the Institute of Social Science Survey's 2014 China Welfare Development Report, published by a research institute in Peking University, 1% of China’s households owned 33% of the nation’s wealth. The vast majority of Beijing's investment has been financed by debt, whether in the form of loans, bonds or other types of formal and informal lending. Most has come from state-owned banks: In 2015, outstanding bank loans equalled 141% of GDP, while outstanding bonds totalled 63% of GDP. All of this debt, especially the money that found its way into the country's housing sector, created a housing bubble which has now created deeper debt problems.
China exports dried up during the global economic crisis in 2008. What China did to stave off an economic crisis was to produce and build well in excess of what it needs in steel, cement and housing. In the process, it has amassed the largest build up of bad debt in history. Researchers at a Chinese state planning agency said in 2016 that China has "wasted" $6.8 trillion in investment. Overcapacity is so significant in many sectors that it will take years for it to be absorbed by organic demand. Sound loans, by definition, result in commensurate GDP growth. So when private-loan growth outstrips GDP growth, much of that excess will be problem loans. Based on this formula, China today is likely to have an estimated $1.75 trillion to $3.5 trillion in problem loans—a figure well in excess of the $1.5 trillion of total capital in China's banking system.
China's economy faces significant challenges and is a direct result of moving away from the growth model it relied upon for three decades to another model of growth that can sustain the growth needed to maintain social cohesion. Will China’s economy collapse? it possible, this is why Xi Jinping has taken on dictatorial powers and done away with presidential terms, the expectation is there will be painful reforms ahead. But China can navigate through this with polices, which will be painful, but necessary. China is going to the high-tech and high profit area. China economy grows maybe slows down , but it would not be worser than right now. just think of this, China in the past 4700 years are the most develops and richest Empire. He just lose his mind in the past 300 years, and rightnow he is on the right way.
Somebody said chinese product is cheap and low quality. In fact, Low qaulity, medium qaulity, high qaulity product are all make in China. It base on you seller only give chinese a very low price to buy it. The seller knows its cheap and bad qaulity, but that kinds of product can make more profit. Chinese worker just follow the order to manufacture it by your greedy sellers. Just like Apple Iphone and Macbook is make in china, Samsung Galaxy S9 is also make in china, and the cheaper cellphone is also made in china. It only determined by how much you want to pay.
The most funny thing is that, China can almost manufacture almost everything. Just imagine which product that chinese cannot manufacture? Maybe they are not the best or some high-tech product are just stand in the low qaulity market. But it can made everything in the world. In the past, We have this impress like German and Japanese make cars and machine tools. USA good at Planes, Military Weapons, Jet Engines, Levis, movies, food, finance, Micro chips, coke. France and Italy good at fashion, nuclear power station, CNC machine still alright. Swiss is good at Watch and some metal machine. England good at RR jet engine, finance, banks. All this country, the other thing maybe a shit or absolutely relay on import. Korea make cellphone and screens. But this one is different, China manufacture all the industrial product in a very good maket shares. And still growning-up the technique and market shares.
The industrial Monster rising. We can imagine what China will finally done. Just only a superpower in human history? Maybe not that simple. Do you believe a country can manufacture the big air planes, one of the best fighter jet, micro chips, best cellphone, 30% car in the world, 65% ships in the worlds, nuclear power station, engines,Turbo-Fan engine, 70% Refrigerator, 50% bullet trains in 350 KM/H, homemade all the military weapons include tanks and missiles, Aircraft carrier, and 37% Textile……and all this thinks get good markets shares in world market ……that its economy will collapse in several years?
I think he can upgrade to the developed country in maybe 5 or 10 years. and beats USA in GDP that return back to the No.1.
The Crisis of Elite Authority in the West
By: ANDREW A. MICHTA
The indolence of our political class lies at the center of the systemic dysfunctions bedeviling Western democracies.
Over the past two years the increasingly skeptical citizenry of the United States and Europe has been treated to a stream of op-eds and television appearances lamenting the looming collapse of the liberal world order, to be accompanied by a surge of illiberalism, nationalism, and fringe politics. Rarely, however, does such hand-wringing stray beyond shopworn comparisons of the “complex interdependence” of the glorious past and the parochialism and narrow-mindedness of the current era. In truth, we are not witnessing a dramatic systemic change driven by conniving external forces, but a meltdown of political authority in the West caused by the relatively straightforward indolence of its political class. Our troubles are less about liberalism’s decline or the ascendancy of left or right politics. Simply put, the citizenry in the West has been frustrated for decades with its elites’ inability to deliver workable solutions to the problems of slow growth, deindustrialization, immigration, and the overall decline of self-confidence across the West.
The legitimacy, and hence stability, of the international system rests to a degree on the ability of the leading powers to deliver at home—or, simply put, to govern. The increasing volatility of international politics is in part a byproduct of systemic dysfunction across the West at the level of domestic politics. Americans and Europeans alike are running out of patience with the governing class. In Europe, the government’s inability to control mass migration or develop effective solutions to domestic terrorism are two important drivers of the growing public discontent. In the United States the middle and working classes have been frustrated for decades with the government’s inability to remedy de-industrialization, urban decay, and declining economic opportunity.
The U.S. and European publics may vary in their reactions to these phenomena—for instance, by electing the non-establishment Emmanuel Macron in France and the anti-establishment Donald Trump in the United States—but the broader drivers of these choices are similar. After the recent German election, the anti-establishment Alternative für Deutschland, a party that did not exist a few years ago, is now the third largest party in the Bundestag, with the CDU/CSU suffering its largest drop in support since 1949 and the SPD forfeiting its chances to recapture its former glory. In this election there was no greater issue for the German public than the wave of MENA migration into Germany since 2015 and popular discontent with the government’s policy of continuing to accept immigrants. Following the shocks delivered to the political establishment earlier in the in Dutch and French elections, the German election says a lot about the public mood in Europe. One of my European interlocutors put it succinctly: “Nothing of importance gets done.”
To further complicate matters, in addition to the explosion of public discontent, we are witnessing a seeming inability in the West to pass the baton of political leadership to a younger generation. In Germany Angela Merkel is poised to become the longest-serving German Chancellor in the Federal Republic’s history, outstripped only by Otto von Bismarck during the era of empire. Even when generational change does take place (Barack Obama in the United States, Emmanuel Macron in France), the star quality of these young new leaders isn’t matched with the executive experience needed to meet popular expectations. And in the United States over the past quarter century we have seen the progressive “dynastization” of political leadership, with the Bush and Clinton families dominating the political landscape.
The increasingly self-selecting, self-contained nature of the political class has been at the center of the systemic dysfunction bedeviling Western democracies. It has led voters in 2016 to view with suspicion anyone connected to politics. Trump’s election is a case in point, as is Brexit, the rise of the AfD in Germany, and the progressive re-nationalization of European politics overall. At the same time, domestic institutions are increasingly characterized by sclerosis throughout the West. It has manifested itself in tandem with the growing crisis of political leadership at home. If unchecked, it will further undermine faith in state institutions, and could even delegitimize democracy itself.
Because Western elites continue to fail to deliver real solutions to problems like immigration and deindustrialization, an irreversible loss of public support for fundamentals like free trade, liberalism, and multilateralism is no longer just a theoretical possibility.