Archive for October, 2011

Krugman Watch: Austerity Class? Or is it a Starve-The-Beast Class?

Friday, October 21st, 2011

Paul Krugman Quotes Ari Berman today:

The central paradox in American politics over the past two years: how, in the midst of a massive unemployment crisis—when it’s painfully obvious that not enough jobs are being created and the public overwhelmingly wants policy-makers to focus on creating them—did the deficit emerge as the most pressing issue in the country? And why, when the global evidence clearly indicates that austerity measures will raise unemployment and hinder, not accelerate, growth, do advocates of austerity retain such distinction today?

An explanation can be found in the prominence of an influential and aggressive austerity class—an allegedly centrist coalition of politicians, wonks and pundits who are considered indisputably wise custodians of US economic policy.

This is part of Paul Krugman’s attempt to position the right as illogical or stupid rather than entirely rational, but nationalistic.

So which name applies? You can name the group by it’s tactic or it’s strategy. Strategically, It’s a ‘Starve The Beast’ class, and tactically it’s an ‘Austerity class’. Of course, engaging in framing is certainly helpful for your side of the fence. But what they are doing is not irrational. It’s entirely rational. It’s entirely logical. And to a large degree it’s working.

Nationalism always rules. People are tribal. Even in the aggregate, they’re tribal.

It would be helpful if more economists studied history, philosophy and politics – just so they’d know what they’re measuring. But then those on the left would become conservatives. :) And that would just be to much for them. :)

The same is true of Freedom vs Equality. These things are polar opposites. The left wants equality (redistribution) and the right wants freedom (concentration) and the classical liberal (like me) simply wants to create a set of institutions that facilitate this difference in wants into a game of exchanges that are mutually beneficial.

The west’s uniqueness is it’s subconscious desire for freedom by creating institutional games that create a balance of power where everyone wins – even though as individuals, we sometimes win or lose.

Krugman and the left want to create a new Confucian bureaucracy. They have’t given up on totalitarianism. And they openly despise the philosophy of ‘The Game’.

Religions Establish The Terms By Which The Population Consents To Be Ruled

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

In practical terms, Religions establish the terms by which the population consents to be ruled.

Religions differ from systems of ethics, in that they are far harder to alter in response to fashion – ethical systems have a predictable and known life cycle that ends in skepticism and abandonment of the necessary self sacrifice that allows societies to exist as economic entities.

Religions seem to persist on a much longer life cycle. THey can be altered, such as the Germanicization, or the enlightenment of christianity.

I’ll write more on this topic over the next few years. It’s a core theme of my work.

Religions do not need a magical component. Nor do they need a divinity. THey can be constructed without either.

But I have come to believe that religions, as political constructs, are a necessary property of any civilization – of any people, of any government.

I had previously thought that they were simply exceptional pedagogical tools, given the limitations of human youth and the diversity of human age and ability.

But I’m convinced otherwise.

We need a new religion. Because we need a new means of persisting the terms by which we consent to be ruled — governed.

The west is unique and it was superior, because of ONE BELIEF: THat in all things, we should maintain the balance of power.

Christianity can only evaluated as one element of the balance of power. It provided a means by which the collapsing mercantile and bureaucratic south to maintain it’s influence over the militaristic and tribal north. It functioned as a judiciary among the competing european monarchical states. It provided a balance between the state and the individual by establishing the terms by which they would consent to be ruled. It provided a political and military means of balancing the poorer and fragmented west against the wealthier and totalitarian east.

We have all but abandoned christendom in our quest for world dominance – we have done this consciously as cross-civilization traders and conquerors who establish a new ethics based upon the necessities of economics — the ethics of trade and trade alone.

We have all but abandoned christianity as our pseudo-rational basis of ethics, and the underlying system of ethical pedagogy in an effort to build an international empire, and a domestic multi-cultural society, based upon the economics of trade and trade alone.

But we are abandoning the one thing that made the west successful despite it’s weakness, despite it’s poverty, despite it’s small size: the balance of powers.

And a balance of powers is only possible among people with a similar framework of ethics.

To the rest of the world, a balance of power is antithetical.

And a balance of power cannot be enshrined purely in a constitution. The destruction of our constitution by way of the commerce clause, and the conversion of our supreme court from protestant ethical judgements to jewish and catholic judgements is proof enough.

The proletarianization of the political mythology into totalitarian democracy and away from noble or upper-class balance-of-powers, and in particular, the balance of powers between social classes is the cause of our loss of western identity.

We need a reformation.

That reformation needs to specifically state the underlying ethics of the balance of power – where private property for the individual, and the separation of powers, which requires consent of the social classes, is our ethic.

Everything else isn’t progressive. It’s regressive. Regressive into those systems which are used elsewhere but led nowhere.

The industrial revolution happened twice. Once in greece. Once in England. Both times under rule by the middle class under a balance of power.