Archive for April, 2012

From interfluidity: Depression is a choice (Yes, it’s a lower cost for freedom than the alternatives.)

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

On interfuidity, Steve Randy Waldman writes:

We are in a depression, but not because we don’t know how to remedy the problem. We are in a depression because it is our revealed preference, as a polity, not to remedy the problem. We are choosing continued depression because we prefer it to the alternatives.

via interfluidity » Depression is a choice.

That’s true. We are in a depression because further empowering the state to interfere in our lives is a higher cost than weathering the depression. And it is CHEAPER to disempower the state now, than it would be by alternative, more physical means.

A depression that deprives the state of power, is a cheap way of buying freedom.

Usually we have to risk our lives, not our pocketbooks.

The Black Swan Simplified? It’s Conservatism In A Nutshell Silly.

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Mark Crovelli writes on Brazil, that the central message of the Black Swan is “PROBABILITY IS SUBJECTIVE AND SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN TOO SERIOUSLY”. Then on his Facebook page asks for thoughts.

Well, it is always dangerous to ask for opinion after you publish something rather than before. :)

The central message of The Black Swan is that we should not fool ourselves into thinking our models are predictive, because we cannot forecast severe events, and if we use forecasts to create policy that does not tolerate severe events, then we will of necessity create fragility.

The Black Swan is a warning about fragility. It is a restatement of conservatism’s core tenet: a warning against innate human hubris — in practical terms, with modern examples.

And he doesn’t just mean economic corrections. He means, depressions, civil war, and poliitcal dissolution or conquest.

His narrative starts with the belief among the diverse Levantine peoples that they were ‘special’. That the rest of the world was foolish. That they had solved the problem of diversity.

And they learned that they were wrong. Their society was conquered and died because of it. And now, instead of being a exception in that world, it is just another poor part of it.

It’s this kind of severity he’s warning us about in the black swan. He’s just using his experience with the financial markets to illustrate in clear terms how a financialized society and a financialized government, can produce policy that results in fragility.

The black swan is a warning about fragility. It is a restatement of conservatism’s core tenet: a warning against innate human hubris — in practical terms, with modern examples.

So, while you might believe you’ve simplified his statements, I think that you have laundered, by the use of aggregates, what is valuable in them — just as we Austrians argue that Keynesian aggregates eliminate all meaningful information from economic data, and thereby ignore the inter-temporal settlement that is a mandatory component of the process of production, and the human calculation and incentives that follow.

This is not a mistake our side of the fence is supposed to make. :)

Anyway, cheers for taking on a hard subject. :)

Putting The American Failure To Support Britain Over Argentina In Strategic Context

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

Nile Gardner recently wrote about the lack of American political support for the UK’s problems with Argentina. He asks, what thanks does Britan get for fighting alongside the US in Afghanistan? Of course, it may be not obvious that Gardner’s article is an attack on the Obama administration. And that might be forgiven. But the comments by readers are troubling, because they see this as an american problem, not a problem of the Obama Presidency. And I see it as a problem of anglo civilization. So maybe this is a topic worthy of discussion.

The Obama Administration Is Not The Country
The Obama administration hates the west. But the administration isn’t the population. The USA is a big place with many coalitions. The administration never represents the people, just some accidental alliance of coalitions necessary to obtain power at that point in time. So if you want open political support just help us get rid of him.

US Material Support Of The UK Is Unwavering
Verbal support just feeds the Argentinian domestic cause. It’s better to stay quiet and carry a big stick. Public discourse just feeds the populations nationalistic support for the government. It’s all talk anyway. Material military support of the UK is unquestioning. If there is any action anywhere in the world against British interests, the USA will defend it like it’s our own. Perhaps more so because its without political taint if we exercise our military for someone else’s good. The sanctity with which Americans treat the UK is a product of our American religiosity for heritage. Just look at the Royal Family’s approval ratings. The Queen hovers around 80%, and Charles at something just below 70%. If they could run for office in the states

UK Military Support Of the USA Is Political Not Material
As insulting as it may be, UK support in Afghanistan is political not material. That is not to disrespect those solders who fight or dishonor those who have died. It is to state the simple truth that their presence is not material to the outcome, and their absence would not affect the outcome. The value for the UK in military participation is entirely self serving. It helps the UK to maintain its capability as the only remaining military force in Europe, and it further exercises its military supply chain. This is a valuable investment for the UK’s future. An un-exercised military is a weak one. And the UK, while in comparison to the US is weak, in comparison to Europe, South America, Russia, the middle east and Asia it is strong. This matters because the UK is a financial nation with highly distributed international interests, as well as a partly diasporic population.

The UK has had to ASK to participate in military maneuvers despite the fact that the US command structure believes that UK military support is no longer viable enough to warrant the additional costs of cooperation on anything other than intelligence. In the most recent example, the UK literally begged to be involved in middle east naval patrols after the USA stated that it would not be useful. The problem the UK has long term, is that it’s a financial economy (the UK is the world’s Switzerland) and that economy is dependent upon the anglo alliance with the states. The US alliance guarantees UK financial independence from appropriation of UK wealth via European regulation, and provides security to the rest of the world’s investors precisely because the UK has the power of the USA behind it, but is separate from the USA and therefore third parties cannot be manipulated by the USA through the UK financial or diplomatic system.

US Is Following A Long Term Grand Strategy
The Afghan war was conducted for the purpose of punishing that state, and for threatening other states, for failing to control their jihadists. The Iraq war was in response to daily antagonism and the economic and geopolitical impact of that antagonism. Because of these actions, the world no longer has the perception that Americans will not apply violence. The inverse is now true. But there was a belief in the past that the USA would not spend blood and treasure to defend strategic interests. That belief has been eradicated. The world is now concerned that the USA is all too willing to act. And that reputation has tremendous value.

The objective in war is not to win the battles or even surrender, it is to win the strategic objective. The strategic objective is simple: the Ottomans were militaristic agrarians who could not modernize. They were a dying but antagonistic civilization and were conquered. And unlike India where a state emerged along with rationalism and law, colonialism was a failure in the Ottoman empire in every respect.

During the communist era, the USA was simply trying to prevent adoption of communism and an alliance between the oil states and the communist states. Radical islam is just the new instantiation of communism under a different flag, but it is still just anti modernism. So the strategy is the same: Islamic civilization has not matured such that it can adopt consumer capitalism. (Assuming it is possible may be the underlying problem with the strategy.) The usa is trying to prevent the accumulation of power by any state capable of becoming a core state for Islamic civilization, when that core state could both concentrate capital, control oil prices, and adopt Islamic and Ottoman military expansionism, or any other form of organization other than consumer capitalism.

The process of conversion has succeeded in the German, Japanese, Sinic and Byzantium regions. We seem to be having a very hard time in African and Islamic civilizations. The arguments to why vary, and will have to be addressed elsewhere. But the strategic objective is to prevent concentration of power in the middle east until middle classes develop in those countries, so that those middle classes may hold power, develop consumer capitalism, and their governments can demonstrate the Smithian international responsibility that comes from consumer capitalism.

This strategy illustrates why the USA will conduct an Iranian war. It will use the threat to israel as an opportunity to pursue the primary objective which is to protect the reserve status of the dollar, without which the USA cannot pay for its military complex, and its ability to police world trade. UK support in these wars is political not material. The entire armed forces of Europe are militarily incapable of material action — as we saw in Libya. And the reason are incapable is that the USA has been paying for european military defense as a postwar necessity we have yet to correct.

Interestingly enough, the world pays for US military policing of trade through the purchase of US debt instruments, the dollars from which are used to purchase oil, whereupon the USA then inflates its currency destroying the debt. This is just a very complex politically tolerable means of progressively taxing the world for US police services in defense of the international financial, trade, and energy systems. Looking at the system in this light, helps understand, global activity in something other than the absurd moralistic terms used by average people, as if nation states are family members were arguing over trivialities of home administration.

The Global Problem Of The English Speaking Peoples In Context
A longer term context might be valuable to UK citizens who do not have the experience of living in the states: The Irish experience, the Scottish secessionist movement, the emergence of the BNP and similar movements, and the evidence of the failure of the Euro, and perhaps the entire European project, is visible to most UK citizens. But it may not be as visible that the USA is beginning a process of similar balkanization along regional, cultural, racial, and tribal lines which is currently most visible in the highly polarized electorate. (See The Nine Nations Of North America.)

The USA is dividing into a version of Europe. Europe will not become a version of the states. It isn’t possible for the reasons the Euro project is failing. Norther and southern european civilizations are substantially different. And we value our differences. For western people, if not all people, smaller states are better states. Getting to ‘Denmark’ — meaning creating the egalitarian state, which is the stated goal of political science — requires getting to small and homogenous states. Large states are empires. Small states can federate. But large states are empires. And members of empires are subjects not citizens.

In this context, the future of the Anglo peoples as a civilization, a culture, a system of government, — and if you consider us a ‘race’, a race too — will be dramatically affected by this century. Maybe anglo nihilism is in full maturity and it doesn’t matter to enough of us any longer whether our civilization continues. But the minority status of anglos in the states, the economic alliance of Australia with Asia, and the conflict between London and the rest of the country is large enough that we must choose some explicit unity, or simply devolve into factions and disappear like the Hellenes before us — The only people in history to which Britain adequately compares.

Personally, as an Anglo American, I’m pretty frustrated with seemingly high-minded criticism of us over here. Especially if we go back and look in the Times, Guardian and Telegraph to 2008, where we were ridiculed on-end for our financial folly in both editorial and commentary … until it turned out that the UK was in even worse shape, and Europe catastrophically so. But you don’t see us ridiculing you over here on your character. (Ok. Maybe the French. Sure.) We understand the north-south divide in Europe and we don’t think it’s solvable. We don’t, because we have the same problem over here.

In Closing
It’s Obama that doesn’t support Britain. And Obama is observably naive, arguably a racist, and inarguably an anti-westerner. He hates everything that the anglo civilization has achieved in the five hundred years that we have spent dragging humanity out of mystical ignorance and destitute poverty. Albeit, we did an imperfect job, using the crude tools and concepts at our disposal. And we even destroyed Europe by trying, possibly wrongly — probably wrongly — to contain our cousins in Germany, who keep proving their cultural model is superior to ours at producing a productive economy. But, it’s not like there was any manual for raising humanity out of ignorance and poverty. We did our best. And the results for humanity speak for themselves.

But no man is a hero to his debtors. And I think it’s about time our complaining UK relatives looked in the mirror to see if they’re just whining debtors too. Or whether the world is full of a lot of nonsense talk, and having succeeded in transforming that world, we should once again focus on some form of unity amongst ourselves, and look to the future we want to create together.

Curt Doolittle

Four Levers Of Policy Create An Opportunity For Exchange

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

It is clear why you could not get economic growth without innovation but the vast majority of business activity over the course of human history have been in economies that were not growing.

Indeed, the vast majority of business activity that occurs from now until the end time will almost certainly be in economies that are not growing. Sustained per capita growth is an odd thing that just started recently and will likely end in fairly short span of time.

That’s false. It’s not ‘clear’ at all. The argument is not settled.

We INTUIT that spending may in some ways create innovation. But we can’t prove it. There isn’t much evidence of it. And there is so much noise created by the boom bust cycle that it’s pretty hard to make out anything at all.

We know that spending and loose money creates demand, decreases employment AND misallocates capital. Capital follows the easiest opportunity. It exacerbates booms and busts. You just choose to write off the damage done whenever you’re questioned about it. I don’t think you understand the tragedy of the commons behavior this process creates — exploit what you can before it falls apart. It’s not like this nonsense takes place entirely in the market. It moves from the market into politics, and further polarizes the entire process.

We SUSPECT that periods of ‘contraction’ do the opposite, which is to expand innovation of all types, everywhere. It certainly looks to be the case. It makes logical sense that opportunity constraint makes people seek opportunity in ‘harder’ places.

But the jury is out. The argument is not settled. Other than perhaps the confirmation provided by the Germans, who pursue this strategy on cultural and moral grounds rather than rational grounds, and they have less coalition building to do in their party system, so it’s not necessary to express the problem in rational terms.

We can’t achieve the same thing here in the states because of ideological factions, most of which are antagonized by your hero. You “SPENDERS” don’t look at all four policy levers as a set that must be moved IN CONCERT so that misallocation of capital does not occur. The side-effect of moving all four levers in concert is that everyone across the political spectrum also buys into the solution:
a) spending (liberals and progressives)
b) credit (moderates)
c) industrial policy (classical liberals and conservatives)
d) human capital (austrians and conservatives)

Why do they ‘buy in’? Because a four-lever ‘transaction’ is an inter-temporal exchange from which everyone in every class benefits, not an inter-temporal redistribution which benefits some at the cost of others. Even if none of the participants can articulate their idea in such clear language.

This is why the progressive alliance fails. It fails because it seeks redistribution rather than exchange. This is why you and Krugman are frustrated. You because you beliefe “Sh__t happens”. Krugman because he’s a racist and an ideologue. He’s well aware of what he’s doing. He’s just the Limbaugh of the Left. Limbaugh works with the economy of norms, Krugman with the monetary economy. But they’re identical in practice.

You on the other hand simply err: “Sh__” doesn’t “happen”. It’s caused. It’s caused by distortion of the inter-temporal information system that allows us to coordinate our activities in such a way that we ensure we are following productive ends.

Politics is either voluntary exchange or involuntary theft. Exchanges are self-justifying. Thefts are unjustifiable. Period. Politics is coalition forming, or it’s just dictatorship. And however you choose to justify your preference for dictatorship, it’s dictatorship and nothing more. And the moment you justify your preference with dictatorship, you put back on the table the opposition’s right to press for dictatorship. And in this case, the other side is more capable of putting it into place and maintaining it. They have a more accurate view of human nature. They’re just less willing and interested in doing so.

So let’s all stay with seeking exchanges, OK? There are at least four specialties in political economy if we don’t count the MMT group. Together those four groups force an inter-temporal exchange that limites the distortionary effects of credit and spending by matching them with future increases in production.

Statesmen lead their states. Ideologues lead their ideology. Hacks are just hacks.

A Not So Funny, All Too True. Anti Immigration Cartoon

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

A humorous anti-immigration cartoon.

My significant other, who is Meti (mixed native-american and white) has a pretty strong anti-white streak for this reason. And listening to her, I don’t suppose that white people will feel any differently about the minorities that outnumber them in the future.

Teasing Karl Smith: The Futility Of Teaching Pigs To Sing

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Just because Karl Smith is the best progressive economics blogger, and a decent and honest man, doesn’t mean he isn’t a poster child for the errors in progressive thought. It’s precisely WHY hes the best poster child for progressive thought: because he’s a decent and honest and intelligent man, yet he STILL simply bathes himself in the error of progressive sentiments, as if its a serotonin soaking-tub for his neurons.

In response to yet another of the Krugman/Smith/Thoma/DeLong fits of exasperation over the systemic failure of federalism, I try to encourage Karl to become enlightened — which I realize is as futile as his fantasy that people will become out-group egalitarians. But I still have hope. :)


1) Conservatives have a more accurate view of human nature. They have a more complex view of human nature. That view results in a more skeptical view of human nature.

All ‘liberal’ progress has been the result of adding women to the voting pool, the decline in male participation in all facets of society due to legislation, immigration, and migration, and the south’s re-embracing of the republican party causing two-party polarity. It has not been due to a change in preference. And the behavior of new generations is cyclical, not directional.  No one is every convinced of anything.  We fuss and fume to maintain our constituencies and the undecided moderates determine all the outcomes.

We must govern with the humans that we have, not the humans we wish we had.I know you find it antithetical, but the conservative case is playing out.

This is why conservatism is anti-ideological: all ideologies are progressive.

2) Conservative forecasts are playing out, not because they win arguments but because their understanding of human nature is true:

  • a) Differences in preferences are genetically determined. Differences in strategy have costs to individuals. Individuals resent those that do not pay such costs. Evolution has guaranteed this resentment is necessary and unavoidable. Without it cooperation is not possible, because cheating is more advantageous in the short run.
  • b) Group differences in signaling are biological and inescapable. Differences in signal costs mean groups biologically aggregate, and vote in support of aggregate signals. The signaling economy is of higher value to individuals in groups than is the monetary economy. (This is one reason why Islam is poor and Christendom is wealthy, and why christianity is an outlier: the church — the federal government — managed to break familial and tribal bonds. islam could not create a high trust society, and without it, an adaptable bureaucracy, or modern commercial capitalism.)
  • c) There is a point of minimum homogeneity, beyond which people will cease pursuing redistributive ends. The only countries that can avoid those issues are ‘privileged’ countries like canada and the north of europe, which are small, homogenous, and surrounded by a lack of competitive pressures. The states can never get there.

3) You can have the world you want in a homogenous nation state. But you cannot have it outside of “Denmark”. Participatory government is for small states. In those states the size also limites the distortive ability of the state, so that civilization-ending, or revolution inducing bubbles are more quickly visible.

Your counter argument, which you’ve stated here many times, is that authoritarian governments can achieve these ends. And that is true. And I know that’s what you prefer. But they can also achieve many other ends. And the people in them drop adherence to the high trust society as a way of creating a black market, and a means of rebellion against their ability to enact those ends.

You will either have an unequal society because of market meritocracy, or an unequal society because of rebellion against state manipulation of societies’ tendency toward meritocracy. That is, unless you produce societies of people who are homogenous equals in practice. Whether by Harrison-Bergeron dysgenics, or natural and or technical eugenics.

Now that’s a comforting thought. :/

You are a wonderful human being. But trying to teach a pig to sing wastes your time and annoys the pig. (I know, I know, it doesn’t stop me either.)

Perhaps you were too selective in your reading of Smith, without spending equal time on his Moral Sentiments? :) Or its modern equivalent by Jonathan Haidt? Or its earlier equivalents in Weber, Pareto and Machiavelli? Or Michel’s iron law of oligarchy? I know. I know. I know… The austrians have been silly in their belief in the rational individual. But they’re no sillier than the Keynesian belief in the egalitarian individual. We are attracted to the methods that support our cognitive biases.


An Argument In Support Of Faith As A Limit On The State

Monday, April 16th, 2012

My question is whether the criticism of faith are purely political: whether faith is a means of limiting political influence – coercion. As much as it WAS an instrument of coercion in the past. It’s content has changed since the darwinian revolution. Other than one remaining dogmatic super-cult, most are a personal religion now that defines a natural law that limits the state, by defining a communal preference over the demands of the state. If economic secularism is wrong. Faith is ‘right’.

In other words, reason is insufficient to test the the content of faith or secular statism. The only scientific answer is which religion: the democratic secular economic religion of the state, or the christian/buddhist/hindu religion of the community is ‘true’, rather than a tautology. Reason is the language of the state, of commerce and of science. All of which dissolve community, family, and tribe. From which we gain our comfort. Our ‘gravity’. A force of nature which is present in our genes.

To the broader question that separates religion from ‘faith’. To the argument as to whether faith is rational, the only reason to have this discussion is to persuade someone for some material reason. Otherwise we are arguing taste. And taste is not material. It is purely subjective. So the only reason to argue about faith is either political or commercial gain. Faith is an insulation against the political trevails of the overactive, and self interested. Political claims via reason, are claims on the actions and property of others. They must be. That is all it is possible for them to be. Reason by definition cannot a ‘subjective taste’.

An honest discourse would not be conducted over a person’s faith, but over the property of individuals, and what must be exchanged for it. Rather, than over how individuals believe something, so that they will transfer their time, effort, or property at no cost, or lower cost. Political pundits are most often beggars in fine robes of reason.

Faith then, is a means of saying “I’m not interested”.

I am not sure that given the durability of the religions and the temporal nature of states, and the current understanding that we have of the limits of collective decision making, that ‘faith’ isn’t demonstrably ‘right’ and much of our political and economic theory ‘wrong’. Even if secularism is constructed of rational argument, and faith is constructed of myth and analogy, those constructs are not material — only the result of their application is.

This has been said simply two millennia: the state is responsible for temporal affairs (commerce and war) and the church (faith) is responsible for limiting the state from expanding beyond commerce and war into the preferred state of man. And the preferred state of man is demonstrably that state of community that is found in the commonality of values, and the rituals that insulate us from the alienation of commerce and violence, and connect us to the security of our family and tribe. Faith has no place in State, commerce and science and vice versa.

I mean, I don’t know really, why gravity works either. I don’t have to. But I would be uncomfortable in a world without gravity — genetic evolution has guaranteed I depend upon it. Likewise, I don’t know really why the different faiths ‘work’. I just know that I do not want to live in a world where there is no equivalent. I might prefer the Germans had succeeded in abandoning christianity in favor of return to their pagan roots. I might prefer my bible was of history, and gods, our heroes. But that is a question of taste. Whether the outcome of a more mystical christianity, or a more heroic history is superior, I am not sure I can forecast.

WORD BUDGETS: Writing vs Speaking, and the Male vs Female myth.

Monday, April 16th, 2012

I can’t quite tell if there is any data to support the commonly quoted difference between men and women’s speaking budgets. It’s one of those things that’s so commonly bandied about that you’d think you could easily find data on it. But you can’t. And what you can, is pretty specious. In fact, it looks pretty much ‘just plain wrong’ when I read it.

But there is another explanation; it certainly does appear that men and women speak more in different **contexts**.

One thing we know that helps us understand those contexts, is that men have more friends than women, but women have closer relationships than do men. Men tolerate greater diversity of value judgements in their friends. Women tolerate less diversity of value judgments in their friends. Or perhaps better stated, men and women view the source of loyalty that defines friendship as coming from different behaviors: cooperation in pursuit of opportunities for shared gain, versus care-taking which requires bearing costs on behalf of the other.

For this reason fear of ostracization is lower in men, and higher in women. Add onto that the men not only feel more comfortable taking risks, but enjoy and seek taking them — albiet the level of risk varies substantially. But conversational risk is very low among men. We think it’s better to hear a bad idea than fail to hear all the ideas. Women are more cautious because they are more sensitive to variation in opinion.

In my anecdotal experience, in business meetings and debates, men speak far more words than women. In social settings, and in personal conversations, women speak more words than men. Men seem to enjoy participating in competitive conversations. They even artificially create nonsense-conflicts just to have something to debate: they talk about sports teams, companies, politics, technologies, cars and tools etc. Each as a vehicle for debate. They prefer the abstract to the experiential, and a limited number of contextual changes. Women seem to prefer gradual subtle conversations across multiple contexts where they can build consensus and thoroughly understand one another’s viewpoints in the process.

The result of these different preferences is more of a difference in velocity than anything else. Women tend to ‘get there’ using their conversational style just like men do, but more slowly. Like everything else, men are built for speed. The extraneous is removed by evolution.

It certainly seems like most woman I’ve been in a relationship with has greater capacity for speech than I do — and I’m pretty talkative. But I suspect that it’s a difference in the content and circumstance not the number of words. I”m not the only man who thinks it’s odd that his mate must revisit her dreams in the morning, and her daily conversations at night. It’s common knowledge among men that we must learn that skill.

But it’s good for a relationship when men learn how to feign interest in these things that we lack the emotional bandwidth to appreciate and comprehend. Listening is an exercise in providing what the other person needs, and what she needs is not comprehension and problem solving – it’s to ensure we’re committed to one another, and for her to organize her emotions by way of speaking them in the same way that men organize our ideas by visualizing them. Chatter after all, is negatively correlated with successful hunting. Communication during hunts and war is visual, not verbal. Besides, that female revisitation of emotions is why women help us with our emotional problems when we have them: they’re more experienced at dealing with them. Our compensation for lacking those tools, is that mechanical devices, consumer electronics, and politics are not opaque to our comprehension. But I’m not sure which gender gets the better deal.

We forget that we all start out female, and that the template for human beings is female, and that males are highly specialized versions of females. Testosterone shuts all that ‘unnecessary’ emotional processing off for males in the womb so that we can worry about doing dangerous things and making tools, and inventing pretty much everything, without worrying about the needs of children or the danger that other women might ostracize us in a time of weakness, when we and our children need communal support to survive.

Applying that word budget to writing: I”m writing about 8K words a day on average now, with an average low of 5K, an average high of 10K, and a max of 25K on rare occasions. I’m not sure what that means. I know that if I dont talk to people all day, I write more, and vice versa. I also know that if I am writing for a competitive argument I write more than if I write in the explanatory neutral voice. But I also need to chat more than does my spouse.

We are the product of our genes. The universe is fascinating. Life is a miraculous luxury. And every breath of it is worth savoring.

Why Are Conservatives Happier?

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Because the reality of imperfect human nature doesn’t trouble them. They don’t want to change the impossible. The universe is not something they struggle with. It’s something to appreciate. They celebrate present goods over future fantasies. They struggle to improve their their family and career, not the lives of others. They break the problem of life into small pieces. Each family doing the yeoman’s labor of creating the smallest tribe possible:the family. And by creating a multitude of those successful small tribes, the greater tribe emerges from the sum of its parts, not the pursuit of an idealistic folly: an attempt to obtain universal homogenous belief in the pursuit of shared feelings, ideas, and goals. The progressive instead, runs on a squirrel cage, attempting to gain consensus from the multitude, never getting there, and feeling frustrated for having failed. Human nature is all but immutable. Our preferences are genetic. They are determined by the difference in mating strategy between the genders and the imprecision of the gender creation process caused by the difference in in-utero concentrations of hormones that enhance or diminish those gender-based emotional biases.

Conservatives are happier because they are more successful at life itself. No human can be happy when he struggles against the universe. It is an exercise in perpetual frustration.

Stratfor On Iran’s Strategy

Saturday, April 14th, 2012

Depending upon your concept of the world: universalist democratic socialist, or hierarchical tribalist, or utilitarian economist, you might see US policy toward Iran in a different light.

One thing is for sure: we are accomplishing for militant islam, on behalf of Iran, precisely what the Persians and the radicals have always desired — a restoration of the empire from the mediterranean to the Sino-Hindu border, and a vehicle for concentrating wealth via oil revenues that will surpass both the classical era’s means of concentrating wealth via agriculture, the renaissance era’s means of concentrating wealth through shipping, or the industrial era’s means of concentrating wealth through institutional capitalism and industrial production.

We will have an expansionist, anti-rational, totalitarian civilization, operating on non-market principles, with which much of the developed world cannot compete.

We will lose the dollar as a reserve currency, and as a Petro-currency, and finish the cycle of credit expansion, finish the Keyenesian economic era, and eradicate the ability of the west to pursue debt-dependent social programs. We will see europe need to remilitarize just when it cannot afford to. We will see the USA split between a hostile and patient china and a hostile and impatient islam, just when the USA is itself split by political, regional and racial discord.

You cannot ‘spread democracy’. You can only spread capitalism and consumerism. Democracy is a unique property of the west, because the west is the only civilization to have broken familial and tribal bonds — having forbidden intermarriage for centuries. Democracy will never succeed except among families, tribes, villages and small cities. It is antithetical to human nature. Even capitalism is ‘democratic’. Nations adopt democratic republicanism when the middle class requires access to politics, and when the antiquarian political systems can no longer accomodate the increased number of people with economic interests. Republican democracy is not ideological, it is simply a necessity born of increases in the numbers of economic interests.

For these reasons I did, and do, favor war in the middle east on an entirely humanistic, as well as economic, as well as cultural basis: We have spent five hundred years raising humanity out of agrarian ignorance and poverty, through the spread of rationalism, science, technology and the capitalist institutions that make industrial production possible. We must treat Islam as we did the Soviets and the Chinese communists: a militaristic, expansionist form of anti-market regressiveism. A threat to our existing way of life, by a mystical, tribal and familial empire, its culture and religion.

Until the last, most primitive civilization has joined the movement, they are a regressive threat to all of humanity. They are the latest luddite movement — yet another variation on Marxism, and nothing more. An attempt by existing power structures, and existing cultural investments, to hold onto antiquity despite the obvious failure of their culture in the contrast to others.

And while my libertarian friends do not like battle drums, they too often ignore the fact, that one must defend one’s market from non-market forces. Markets of the peculiar composition in the west, were made by man, by intent, not by accident.

The institution of property itself requires defense of not only the property itself, but the institutions of property, and the market itself. Our libertarianism evolved within that set of institutions. And within that set of Institutions it is viable. That does not mean the same principles apply without. Those broader threats pose to high a risk.

Ideology is for children living under the convenience of those institutions.

Although I would argue that the attempt to contain Germany actually caused the suicide of the west, our attempts to contain the Russians, Chinese and now islam has not been so.

For centuries, the dilemma facing Iran (and before it, Persia) has been guaranteeing national survival and autonomy in the face of stronger regional powers like Ottoman Turkey and the Russian Empire. Though always weaker than these larger empires, Iran survived for three reasons: geography, resource…