Prior to the modern age, when war was engaged in, combatants, for the most part, acted by a code of conduct which attempted to minimize civilian deaths and the destruction of non-participants’ property. With the onset of the democratic age and the idea of “total war” such modes of conduct have tragically fallen by the wayside, the consequence of which has made warfare far more bloody and destructive.
The ultimate violation of “just warfare” has been the possession and use of nuclear weapons which by their very nature cannot be reconciled with any notion of a civilized society. Of all the hysteria over “terrorism,” nuclear weapons are rarely discussed anymore, but are the ultimate form of terror.
Despite the obvious fact that nuclear weapons cannot be reconciled with any moral code of warfare, Western nation-states continue to possess them and the US has actually used them in the final stages of WWII as it mercilessly bombed the Japanese civilian centers of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
While most modern scholarship has abandoned the older idea of moral conduct in warfare, the great libertarian theorist, Murray Rothbard, continued the venerable tradition in his thought and applied it not only to nuclear weapons, but bombing as well:
Not only should there be joint disarmament
of nuclear weapons, but also of all weapons
capable of being fired massively across national
borders; in particular bombers. It is precisely
such weapons of mass destruction as the missile
and the bomber which can never be pinpoint-
targeted to avoid their use against innocent
. . . since modern air and missile weapons
cannot be pinpoint-targeted to avoid harming
civilians, their very existence must be condemned.
It is beyond hypocritical, therefore, that the US has repeatedly accused Iran of seeking to build nuclear weapons despite the fact that the nation’s leadership has consistently declared that it will not do so because of its religious beliefs. In June, President Trump called off retaliatory raids on Iranian targets after it downed a US drone (which had flown into Iranian airspace), citing that it would cost the lives of some 150 people. In response, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif exposed the hypocrisy of the US’s position on nuclear weapons:
You were really worried about 150 people?
How many people have you killed with a
nuclear weapon? How many generations have
you wiped out with these weapons?**
It is us who, because of our religious views,
will never pursue a nuclear weapon.
Not only has Iran’s leadership consistently declared that it would not use or build nuclear weapons, but it has stood by its words. During the Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), Iraq (with US knowledge) repeatedly used chemical weapons. Despite Iran’s protests to the U.N., it refused to take action – mainly because the US through its position on the Security Council tabled any attempt to curtail Iraq’s nefarious actions.***
Despite the flagrant violation of international law, Iran refused to retaliate, although it had the capacity and certain justification in doing so. The Ayatollah, in a religious ruling – fatwa – at the time of the war, asserted that such an act (the use of chemical/nuclear weapons) was “forbidden by god.”
This has been the position of the Ayatollahs since the formation of the Islamic Republic. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stated that “from an ideological and fighi [Islamic jurisprudence] perspective, we consider developing nuclear weapons as unlawful. We consider using such weapons as a big sin.” A top-ranking cleric, Grand Ayatollah Yusef Saanei, confirmed that this is part of Islamic doctrine:
There is complete consensus on this issue. It is
self-evident in Islam that it is prohibited to have
nuclear bombs. It is eternal law, because the
basic function of these weapons is to kill innocent
people. This cannot be reversed.
Despite Iranian claims to the contrary, the US and the controlled press continue to mischaracterize Iran’s position on nuclear weapons. Not only has it lied, but it continues to enact crippling sanctions on the beleaguered nation causing untold suffering which itself is an act of war.
The fact that Iran follows a moral principle which was once part of Western thought shows how far the Western world, especially the US, has declined in civility. A return to a saner, more just position on nuclear weapons will only take place when there is a change in ideology. Under current intellectual conditions, such a change appears unlikely. A rethinking will only take place of necessity when America has exhausted itself through debt and money printing and can no longer sustain its Empire and nuclear capabilities.
*See, Murray N. Rothbard, For A New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto, 293.
**Reuters, “Iran Will Never Pursue a Nuclear Weapon, Says Foreign Minister.” 24 April 2019.
***Ted Snider, “Iran, Islam, and Banning the Bomb.” Antiwar.com 30 September 2019.
With the recent ominous inversion of the 2-10 year yield curve and its near infallible predictive recessionary power, the consequences for the economy are plain to see, however, what has not been spoken of by pundits will be the effect of a recession on US foreign policy. If a recession comes about prior to November 2020, or if economic indicators such as GDP plummet even further, the chances of a Trump re-election is extremely problematic even if the Democrats nominate a socialist nut case such as Bernie Sanders or Pocahontas.
Elizabeth Warren has been the most vocal about coming economic troubles:
Warning lights are flashing. Whether it is
this year or next year, odds of another
economic downturn are high – and growing. . . .
When I look at the economy today, I see
a lot to worry about again. I see a
manufacturing sector in recession. I see
a precarious economy built on debt – both
household debt and corporate debt and that
is vulnerable to shocks. And I see a number
of serious shocks on the horizon that could
cause our economy’s shaky foundation to crumble.*
A “doom and gloomer” Demo?
If the economy cannot be reversed, despite the likelihood of rate cuts in September and a possible resumption of “QE” by the end of the year, President Trump will probably look for some “victory” or success to divert public attention away from deteriorating economic conditions. The most likely targets will be renewal of hostilities toward Iran and/or an escalation of pressure on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to resign.
Of course, the US has been conducting economic warfare on Iran ever since Trump stupidly pulled out of the nuclear agreement and began applying even more crippling sanctions on Iran. In June, armed hostilities were about to take place over the Iranians downing of a US drone over its air space. Reportedly, at the last minute, Trump called off retaliation, enraging, no doubt, the bloodthirsty neocons itching for an excuse to unleash more death and destruction.
Another factor, which has been little spoken of, but may contribute to foreign intervention is that Trump has alienated a number of his political base especially the spokesmen among the Alt Right. While he still commands high poll numbers among Republicans and still attracts impressive rallies of “deplorables,” a number of his prominent backers, who were so crucial for his success in 2016, are, to say the least, disappointed over his inability to stem the tide of illegal immigration. Moreover, these voices feel rightly betrayed since he has done nothing to halt the Internet tech giants from de-platforming many of their social media activity.
Another group which may be quickly added to disillusioned Trump supporters are gun owners and free-speech advocates if the President goes along with the proposed draconian “red flag” legislation. If these totalitarian measures are enacted, 2nd Amendment defenders will probably not vote for Trump’s opponent in 2020, but instead, may stay home in protest.
In electoral politics, voter enthusiasm can sometimes offset money and media control which was certainly the case for Trump both in the Republican primaries and the general election. To win again, he will need to mobilize similar sentiment.
The politically savvy neocons, which the President has insanely surrounded himself with, are certainly aware of this dynamic which will give them considerable leverage to push forward their agenda. A desperate Trump will surely be more malleable if a second term is in jeopardy. Just look at the recent capitulation when there is, as of yet, no recession, yet, he called off the additional Chinese tariffs after the Dow plunged 800 points.
Even if a recession does not rear its ugly head, an armed conflict with Iran is a distinct possibility. The more hard line neocons understand that they would be out of power under a Democratic president who may revert to compromise and negotiations to re-engineer a nuclear deal with Iran. The push for war will intensify if Trump’s poll numbers drop as the election gets nearer due to a moribund economy.
Of course, the US is infamous for provocations and with the huge military build up in the Persian Gulf, any of the many trip wires may spring, leading to a local war which might turn into a general conflagration.
While it is not a certainty that a recession will lead to regime change in Washington, Trump has mistakenly tied his political fortunes to the well being of the economy especially the stock market. He had the chance and the public support at the beginning of his term to level with the country and explain the monumental financial and economic problems which exist and that he had pointed out during the campaign. Unfortunately, for both his and the nation’s future, he chose business as usual putting his own political goals (re-election) over the good of the country.
The cost of that choice is now coming to bear which may end in another war that will certainly seal the President’s fate and likely that of America.
*Sanjana Karanth, “Elizabeth Warren Predicts Another Economic Downturn.” Politics. 22 July 2019.
Review: Christophe Buffin de Chosal, The End of Democracy, Translated by Ryan P. Plummer. Printed in the U.S.A.: Tumblar House, 2017.
One cannot speak too highly of Christophe Buffin de Chosal’s The End of Democracy. In a fast paced, readable, yet scholarly fashion, Professor Buffin de Chosal* demolishes the ideological justification in which modern democracy rests while he describes the disastrous effects that democratic rule has had on Western societies. He explodes the myth of Democracy as a protector of individual liberty, a prerequisite for economic progress, and a promoter of the higher arts. Once Democracy is seen in this light, a far more accurate interpretation of modern history can be undertaken. The book is a very suitable companion to Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s iconoclastic take down of democracy in Democracy: The God That Failed, released at the beginning of this century. Buffin de Chosal has spoken of a follow up which will be eagerly awaited for.
The idea of rule by the people is a scam, one perpetuated by those who, in actuality, are in control of the government. Through the “democratic process” of voting and elections, a small, determined minority can impose its will despite majority opposition:
We often hear it said that ‘in a democracy,
it is the people who rule. . . .’ Rule by the
people is a myth which loses all substance
once confronted with the real practice in
Quoting from a Russian philosopher, Buffin de Chosal continues his criticism:
The best definition [of democracy] was
given by the Russian philosopher Vasily Rozanov.
‘Democracy is the system by which an
organized minority governs an unorganized
majority.’ This ‘unorganized majority’ is the
people, aggregated and individualistic,
incapable of reaction because disjointed. 
He expands upon Rozanov’s theme:
. . . [C]ontrary to what [democracy’s] principles
proclaim: one can say that the majority
almost never wins. Democracy is not the
system of the majority, but that of the most
powerful minority, and it has this power
not simply due to its numbers, but also and
above all due to its organization. 
Power does not reside in “the people” and certainly not in the individual. In democracy, the only way to express one’s preference or protect one’s rights is through the ballot box every so often. “Each voter,” writes Buffin de Chosal, “in a democracy, is the depositary of a tiny particle of sovereignty, in itself unusable. His sole power consists in dropping a ballot into a box, whereby he is immediately dispossessed of his particle of sovereignty at the profit of those who are going to represent him.” [Ibid.]
Popular democracy has always been condemned and feared by most thinkers since the beginning of human societies. It was not until intellectuals saw democracy as a way they could attain power that they began to advocate it as a system of social order. Prior to the democratic age, most of the learned understood that democracy would result in mob rule and the displacement of natural authority with demagogues. In short, the worst would rise to the top as the author describes the characteristics of a contemporary politician:
The ideal politician, on the other hand, is
pliable, convincing, and a liar by instinct. He is
not attached to any platform and has no
ideological objective. The single thing to which
he is truly committed is power. He wants its
prestige and advantages, and seeks above all
to be personally enriched by it. Any politician
who presents this aspect is recognized as fit for
power in a democracy. . . . It is therefore not
surprising that democratically elected assemblies
are almost exclusively comprised of
these kinds of men and women. Elected
heads of state almost always fit this profile,
and international institutions, such as the
European Union, consider it the only
acceptable profile. . . . 
Democracy and the State
Since the advent of modern democracy, the principle benefactor of its rule has been the State and the politically-connected financial elites who are in actuality the true rulers of societies. Instead of putting an end to the supposedly despotic rule of the Ancien Régime, which Democracy’s proponents claim to have existed throughout the monarchial and aristocratic age, governance by the people, has instead witnessed an increase in state power and control of individual lives to an unprecedented level in human history. Few, if any, pope, emperor, king, prince, or duke have ever possessed such suzerainty.
In contrast to what has been taught in classrooms, on university campuses, and espoused throughout the media, individual rights and freedoms were far better guarded in the age prior to Democracy’s ascendancy. Pre-revolutionary Europe had social structures which insulated individuals from State power far more effectively than under modern democracy:
The concept of an organic society was abolished at
the time of the French Revolution. The corps and
orders were suppressed, the privileges were abolished,
and everything which allowed the people to protect
themselves from the power of the state was banished
in the name of liberty. 
And in return for giving up the order that protected them from state depredations, the people received “sovereignty:”
They were given the false promise that they
would no longer need to defend themselves
from the state since they themselves were the
state. But if a people organized into corps and
orders are incapable of exercising sovereignty,
how much more so a people comprising a formless
mass of individuals! [Ibid.]
Historically, all of the democratic movements which supposedly stemmed from the people were, in fact, a falsehood, perpetuated largely by revolutionaries who sought to replace the established order with themselves. While legislatures, congresses, and democratic bodies of all sorts have been interpreted as the fruition of the masses’ desire for representation, the reality was quite different:
Democracy is not, in its origin, a system of
the people. In England with the advent of the
parliamentary system just as in France during the
Revolution, it was not the people who were seen
at work. Even the Russian Revolution was not a
phenomenon of the people. To regard the people
or what the communist elegantly call the ‘masses’
as the agent of change or political upheaval is purely
a theoretical view, a historical myth, of which
one sees no trace in reality. The ‘people’ were
the pretext, the dupes, and almost always the
victims of the revolutions, not the engines. 
Not only was propagation of the myth of popular support for democratic ideals propounded for the survival of the new social order, but putting these tenets into practice was accomplished, in large part, by the role of the “intellectual” an often neglected feature of standard historical analysis and the reason behind much social transformation:
The ‘nation’ met the desires of the philosophers
who wanted to transfer power from the monarch
to an enlightened, philosophical, and philanthropic
class who, moreover, ought to be financially
comfortable. The educated bourgeoisie of the
time were the protagonists of this idea, and a
portion of the nobility formed their audience. [13-14]
The intellectuals promoted Democracy because it would open up for them considerable opportunities for position and income in the nation state. It must be remembered that it was the intellectuals who justified the idea of Absolutism. Later, the intellectuals turned on the monarchies and sided with the emerging republican classes rightly believing that democratic governance would give them greater opportunities for power in the emerging nation states.
Democracy and Modern History
While most historians see the advancement of democracy and the development of legislative bodies over the course of the last centuries as an advancement in the human condition and one that has emanated from the people’s desire for greater political representation, Buffin de Chosal presents a far different and more accurate interpretation. “Democracy,” he asserts, “is not, in its origin a system of the people.”  All of the social movements which eventually led to the destruction of Christendom did not come from the people seeking a greater “voice” in their governance.
“The ‘people,’” he argues, “were the pretext, the dupes, and almost always the victims of the revolutions, not the engines.” [Ibid.] Liberty, Equality and Fraternity was not a popular cry, but one coined and used by the “enlightened” classes to mobilize and justify their overthrow of the French monarchy and with it the destruction of the Church.
The French Revolution was built on the
idea of the ‘nation,’ which claimed to bring
together the intellectual, social, and financial
elite of the country. It was on this foundation
that democracy was established and that it
functioned during almost all of the nineteenth
A similar historical narrative can be seen in England.
The rise and eventual triumph of representative democracy in England was not one that percolated from the masses itching for more freedom. “The appearance of the parliamentary system in England,” Buffin de Chosal contends, “was tied to the great movement of Church property confiscation begun under Henry VIII and continuing until the coming of the Stuarts.” 
After Henry gorged himself on the Church’s wealth, he sought to bribe as much of the nobility as possible with his ill-gotten gains to insure his power. An envious Parliament, however, wanted its cut of the loot which led to the great internecine struggle between Crown and Parliament which eventually ended in the suzerainty of the latter with the Glorious Revolution of 1688. The real power from then on rested with an oligarchical legislative branch:
The families who had thus helped themselves
to the Church’s goods, morally justified by
Protestant ethics, formed the gentry, the class
of landowners who sat in Parliament. Parliament
was not then, as one might believe today, an organ
of poplar representation. It was an instrument
in the hands of the gentry to defend its own class
That Parliament and the monarchy would become the two dominant ruling structures was the result of the breakdown of the feudal structure which was taking place not only in England, but across Europe. European monarchs continued to gain more and more power at the expense of the feudal landed elite. The gentry’s power and wealth was also on the wane with the rise of commercial centers which most of the time aligned themselves first with the kings and then later with Parliament. The eventual triumph of Parliament, however, did not mean greater democracy for the people:
The financial incentives for England’s adoption
of the Protestant Reformation are therefore
intimately connected with the bolstering of
Parliamentary power. The Parliament in England
was used to put the monarchy in check and to
replace it with an oligarchic class of wealthy
Protestants to whom the kings were required to
submit. This is why the overthrow of James II
in 1688 was a true revolution. It was not a
popular revolution or the overthrowing of a
tyranny, but it was the rebellion of a class
implementing the transfer of sovereign power
for its own profit. 
The Market Economy
The author takes a refreshing look at the market economy that sets straight the inaccurate and often times hostile analysis of it that frequently comes from conservative circles. He distinguishes and rightly points out that “pure capitalism” or the “unhampered market” is an “excellent thing” . The free market is intimately tied with private property which is a prerequisite for a just society:
[Capitalism] proceeds from respect for private property.
As capitalism is the reinvestment or saved money for the
purpose of making new profits, it presupposes respect for
property rights and free enterprise. It has existed in Europe
since the Middle Ages and has contributed significantly to
the development of Western society. [Ibid.]
He insightfully notes that “bad capitalism” often gets lumped in with its “good form” while the latter gets the blame for the baneful excesses of the former. “Monopoly capitalism,” “corporatism,” “the mixed economy,” and “crony capitalism” are not the result of the market process, but stem from “intervention” brought about by the State in favor of its business favorites through participatory democracy. In a truly free market, entrenched wealth is rarely maintained but is constantly subjected to challenges by competitors:
But what one ought to designate as bad
capitalism is the concentration of wealth and
power this wealth procures. This danger does
not stem from capitalism itself but rather from
parliamentary democracy, for it is democracy
that enables money powers to dominate the
political realm. [Ibid.]
The “monied interest” did not exist under “traditional monarchy,” but was a product of Democracy and the protection and extension of the “bad capitalistic” paradigm that came into being and was expanded by the rise of popular representative bodies. Assemblies, legislatures, and congresses, which emerged, became aligned with the banking and financial interests to bring about the downfall of the monarchies.
The concentration of political power could only be attained after the control of money and credit were centralized in the form of central banking and the gold standard was eliminated. Central banks have been an instrumental part of the democratic age, funding the nation state’s initiatives and enriching the politically- tied financial elites at the expense of everyone else.
Wealth concentration is not a by-product of the free market. Rarely are firms able to maintain their dominance for long periods of time. Many turn to the State to get protection and monopoly grants to ensure their position in the economy:
. . . capitalism only becomes harmful when
it grants political power to the money powers.
This was only made possible thanks to the advent
of parliamentary democracy, which was an
invention of liberalism. It is therefore the
foundational principles of political liberalism
(equality before the law, suppression of privileges,
centralization of political power, censitary suffrage,
and the accountability of ministers to the legislative
houses) which have enabled the rise of a wealthy class
and its power over society. 
Such sound economic analysis abounds throughout his tome.
The author rightly sees that because of its nature and the type of personalities that it attracts, modern democracy cannot reform itself, but will eventually collapse from financial stress, war, and/or civil strife:
Parliamentary democracy rarely produces true
statesmen, as its party system more often
promotes ambitious and self-interested persons,
demagogues, and even communication experts.
These are generally superficial and egocentric
individuals with a very limited understanding
of society and man. These politicians do not
have the makings of statesmen. They are
adventurers who use the state to satiate their
hunger for power and money or to benefit
their party. 
Efforts to reform it, however, should not be totally dismissed since they could lead to more fundamental change and ultimately the creation of a new political paradigm for Western governance. Populism and the various movements around the globe which fall into that category should be encouraged. Populism, because of is lack of definite ideological underpinnings, has meant different things at different times to different people. Most populists, however, do not want to get rid of democratic forms of government, but want the system to be more “responsive” of its constituents instead of favoring entrenched political elites. Populism is a symptom of the growing failure of modern democracy’s inability to “deliver the goods” that it promises to a now growing dependency class.
As a means of getting rid of totalitarian democracy, populist movements and themes should always be encouraged:
In Europe, the only political forces today
which could, in the more extreme of circumstances
assume this rescue role are found on the side of
populism. Conservative in its values, sometimes
classically liberal when it is a matter of opposing
the stifling interventionism of the state, and yet ready
to defend social gains . . . populism is the only
political current which comes to the defense of
those interests of the population denied or ignored
by the parties in power. 
Populist parties, from the simple fact that they
can bring together voters from both the left
and the right, have a chance of coming to power
in the near enough future. The deterioration of
security conditions in Europe due to mass
immigration plays in their favor. [148-49]
While he does not explicitly discuss it, a more concrete and ideological coherent idea and one of historical precedent, is that of secession. For all those who oppose the democratic order, secession is the most justifiable, logical, and practical strategy for the dissolution of the nation state. Secession movements, therefore, whether they do not outwardly condemn parliamentary democracy and only seek to establish a “better run” system, should always be supported.
The most likely scenario if there is to be a change in Western democratic life will be from a world-wide economic crisis and collapse of the financial system which will render the nation states unable to meet their financial obligations to their citizens. All economies are hopelessly indebted from their welfare state excesses and can never hope to meet their promises which now runs in the trillions. What will emerge in the aftermath of a collapse is hard to predict, but some form of authoritarianism is likely which will be centered on a one-world state with a single, irredeemable currency.
While the financial demise of Western-styled democracy will be evident for all to see, its ideological underpinnings which have justified its existence needs to be extirpated. Any hope of it being reconstituted to better serve “the people” needs to be shot down. There is no better place to start the de-mystification of Democracy than with Christophe Buffin de Chosal’s magnificent, The End of Democracy.
*Professor Christophe Buffin de Chosal teaches economic history at the United Business Institutes.
As modern man continues to wantonly deviate, flaunt, and reject the natural law and the Divinely-created order from which it derives, it is not surprising that illusions like Bitcoin and other crypto currencies have captured the imagination of many and have provided a vehicle for scammers to rip off their fellow man.
Crypto currencies are a more complex, yet still devious derivative of the immoral, economic destructive, and social debilitating system of central banking. In response, Bitcoin pumpers have craftily tried to portray digital currencies as a “decentralized” alternative to the present fiat, paper-money standard.
While this has attracted many libertines and “fast buck” speculators, Bitcoin is more similar to the present fractional-reserve monetary order than a real honest-to-goodness money and banking system based on 100% redeemable currency. Moreover, crypto currencies’ initial allure was that they could be used as a general medium of exchange, but as time has gone on, their sycophants have had to concede that none of these Ponzi schemes can act as money.
Unlike a metallic monetary order where gold and silver have to be mined and brought into use through land, labor and capital, Bitcoin, like paper money, is created out of thin air. In this sense, however, paper money is superior to Bitcoin because it can be used for other purposes albeit severely limited – wall paper. Bitcoin, instead, has NO intrinsic, or “use” value, as precious metals did prior to their use as general medium of exchanges.
Crypto currencies also fit nicely in the on-going efforts by the Establishment and monetary authorities to eliminate cash in transactions. Despite the talk of “decentralization” and privacy that crypto currencies’ supposedly provide, all transactions on the computer and across the Internet can be recorded and traced which governments will use to spy on their tax slaves. In direct contrast, gold and silver carried on one’s person or stored for safe keeping is the most private and secure means of wealth preservation ever known.
The banksters have been pushing a cashless world to reduce their operating costs as Bank of America’s CEO Brian Moynihan recently called for:
We want a cashless society. We have more to gain than anybody from a pure operating cost (perspective).*
If anyone believes that the only reason banksters like Moynihan want a cashless society is to reduce costs, they are incredibly näive. Banks and other credit institutions have, from orders of the surveillance arms of the national security states across the globe, de-platformed and tried to silence all sorts of alternative and politically incorrect websites and groups by shutting down their bank and credit card accounts. If cash is outlawed, it will have a devastating effect on dissonant outlets and true free speech in general.
The efforts to get rid of cash has been a long held goal by the ruling class that began with the introduction of paper notes which were granted legal tender status. Irredeemable notes for specie followed and outright confiscation and prohibition of gold ownership took place in America and other jurisdictions in the 20th century. Internationally, gold was finally severed from monetary use with President Nixon’s insane decision to no longer redeem US dollars for gold in 1971.
More importantly, and what infuriates Left-Libertarians of the crypto movement is that the precious metals were created by Divine Providence to be used by His creatures to augment their lives and eventually create sophisticated societies. The qualities and quantity of gold and silver were designed in their optimal amounts to serve as a medium of exchange. There are ample historical episodes of the social and economic disasters which have occurred when “natural money” was replaced by a man-made substitute. The powers-that-be are certainly aware of this historical “law” and have long understood that to maintain their hegemony gold and silver must not be a part of a monetary order.
The contemporary world is in a state of perpetual crisis because it has persistently violated the natural law. The creation of more illusions such as Bitcoin and other crypto currencies is not a solution, but are diversions which prevent mankind from returning to a natural monetary order.
*Rey Mashayelchi, “Bank of America CEO: ‘We Want a Cashless Society.'” MSN.com, 19 June 2019.
Despite being probably robbed of the Democratic Party’s nomination by the Clinton political machine, the success of the Bernie Sanders’ 2016 campaign with his advocacy of “democratic socialism” was an ominous sign of things to come and, in some sense, more telling of the political climate than Donald Trump’s improbable victory in November, 2016. The millions of votes garnered by Sanders in the Democratic primaries has emboldened other socialists to seek political office while socialist ideas are openly spoken of with little fear of political recriminations.
Sanders has doubled down on his advocacy of democratic socialism in a recent speech at George Washington University, calling for the completion of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal of the 1930s:
Today I am proposing we complete
the unfinished work of Franklin Roosevelt
and the Democratic Party by putting
forth a 21st century economic bill of rights.*
Even supposedly “moderate” Democrats are trying to tout their “progressive” credentials, such as creepy Joe Biden who recently said:
I’m told I get criticized by the
New Left. I have the most
progressive record of anybody
running for . . . anybody who would run.**
While Sanders’ chance of becoming the Democratic nominee in 2020 is still uncertain, President Trump has already indicated what is going to be a centerpiece of his election strategy: oppose socialism. The first hint of the strategy came at this year’s State of the Union address when the President declared:
America will never by a socialist country.***
While President Trump will espouse his supposed accomplishments (tax cuts, deregulation, trade) as a contrast to democratic socialism, his emphasis will also deflect attention away from his most solemn campaign pledge which has not been achieved – a border wall and a crack down and deportation of illegal immigrants.
Whether this is a winning formula remains to be seen. If the Democrats are led by Bernie Sanders in 2020, they will probably lose, unless the economy falls off a cliff (very possible) or the Donald follows the suicidal advice of the war- mongering team of Messrs Bolton and Pompeo and start a war with Iran.
While the Trump campaign narrative for 2020 may convince the masses who may still not be ready to vote for outright socialism, the country, like most of the Western world, has long ago imbibed and adopted many of the philosophy’s tenets.
Frank Chodorov, one of the most perceptive and courageous writers of what was affectionately known as the “Old Right,” pointed out over a half century ago that America had enacted many of the ideas which were enumerated in Marx and Engels’ Communist Manifesto. Chodorov constantly chided the Cold War warriors of his time, such as William Buckley, that communism had come to America without one shot being fired by the Soviets.
In one of his most penetrating essays, “How Communism Came to America,”* Chodorov incisively pointed out the “long-term objectives of communism:”
Among them are government ownership of land, a heavy progressive income tax,
abolition of inheritance rights, a national bank, government ownership or control of
communication and transportation facilities, state-owned factories, a government
program for soil conservation, government schools, free education.
He trenchantly asked: “How many of these planks of the Communist Manifesto do you support? Federal Reserve Bank? Interstate Commerce Commission? Federal Communications Commission? Tennessee Valley Authority? The Sixteenth (income tax) Amendment? The inheritance tax? Government schools with compulsory attendance and support?”
Further in his piece, Chodorov describes how the American economy, even at the time, had taken on many features of state capitalism: deficit financing, insurance of bank deposits, guaranteed mortgages, control of bank credits, regulation of installment buying, price controls, farm price supports, agricultural credits, RFC loans to business, social security, government housing, public works, tariffs, foreign loans.
He again asked: “How many of these measures . . . do you oppose?”
The next financial downturn, which is starring America in the face, will be far more devastating than the last since nothing has been resolved financially while the cause of the Great Recession – the Federal Reserve – continues to operate with impunity. As things continue to deteriorate, there will be even greater calls and support for more socialism. The free market will be blamed.
Despite the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and the present day economic basket cases of North Korea and Cuba, socialism continues to be espoused throughout the West. Despite its historic and current failures, socialism survives because it was never debunked philosophically within Western academia. The main reason for this is that the intelligentsia derives much of their influence, power, and position from a socialistic society.
Until the ideology of socialism is shown to be the morally corrupt, economic destructive, and de-civilizing social system that it has always been, the likes of Bernie Sanders will continue to be a nuisance and quite possibly the new rulers of America.
*Stephen Dinan, “Sanders Proclaims Democratic
Socialism as Answer for America.” The
Washington Times. 13 June 2019, A1.
**David Krayden, “Biden Says He’s The ‘Most
Progressive’ Democrat as He Almost Announces His 2020 Candidacy,” The
Daily Caller, 17 March 2019.
One reason for the failure of the modern conservative and libertarian movements to scale back, in even a miniscule way, the now gargantuan US welfare/warfare state has been the misinterpretation of the US Constitution. Many conservatives have a slavish devotion to the document, placing it on a par with the Ten Commandments and New Testament.
A typical misunderstanding of the Constitution’s history and content appeared in this recent op-ed:
The Constitution was intended to limit 1) the power
of government over the citizenry 2) the power of each branch of
government and 3) the power of political/financial elites over the
government and the citizenry, as the Founders recognized the intrinsic risks
of an all-powerful state, an all-powerful state dominated by one branch of
government and the risks of a financial elite corrupting the state to serve
the interests above those of the citizenry.*
The author, like so many “Constitution enthusiasts” has also been hostile to the Medieval era, denigrating its institutions and social constructs – feudalism, aristocracy, crusading – when, in fact, the Middle Ages, in many respects, were far freer with less government than the present epoch. **
When the founding fathers decided to meet in Philadelphia in 1787, they did so at first to “amend” the Articles of Confederation which had guided the young country through some perilous times. While the Articles had some defects (some libertarians even contend that they were too statist***), the delegates, at first, did not want it scrapped, however, it was the “leading lights” of the convention which connived to completely do away with it.
By superior political maneuvering, the pro-Constitution forces were able to ramrod their plan through despite being in the minority. Not only were the majority of the delegates initially against scrapping the Articles, but most Americans were opposed to the creation of a new central government.
Despite this, the Constitution was ruthlessly pushed through and, as its opponents feared, America would be saddled with a highly centralized national government, the loss of considerable state sovereignty, and the eventual erosion of individual liberties even with the inclusion of a Bill of Rights.
A brief examination of the document reveals that its implicit and explicit language grants wide latitude for the expansion of state power. In its Preamble, the ambiguous clause to “promote the general welfare” can and has led to all sorts of destructive social engineering schemes. More ominously, for anyone that is under the illusion that America is governed by a “federal” system, they should reread Article VI which in part says
This Constitution, and the Laws of the United his Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land. [emphasis added]
An all-powerful central state went against much of Western history after the fall of the Roman Empire and the idea was always feared by philosophers. Basic political theory and practical experience showed that a multitude of sovereign states were preferable not only for the protection of personal liberty, but for economic growth. Numerous states and jurisdictions were a far greater check on government than the much celebrated “separation of powers” concept of constitutional government.
Under the Articles of Confederation, each individual state was autonomous while the national government had to rely on the states for most of its support. Unfortunately, it will never be known what would have happened if the country remained as a confederacy of states, it is likely however, that there would have been less bloodshed, greater economic growth, and more personal freedom under a decentralized regime.
It is curious, therefore, why so many on the Right continue to revere the Constitution as some great bulwark against state power. Much of it probably stems from ignorance or personal bias against the political conditions which existed prior to the late 18th century.
Much of European history was under the sway of monarchial and aristocratic rule and the integral presence of the Catholic Church in society with a diffusion of power among kings, princes, dukes and Churchmen. While far from perfect, the social order which existed under Christendom may not have been as materially or technologically advanced as contemporary times, but in regard to morality, justice, and individual freedom, there is no comparison. The Christian age saw nothing of the social depravity, war making with its mass murder, the trampling of individual rights, and the existence of totalitarian government as witnessed in the supposedly “enlightened” modern age.
Decentralized Europe of 1300
Until it is realized that the Constitution is an impediment to rolling back the American Leviathan, there will be little progress in the fight for individual liberty and economic progress.
*Charles Hugh Smith, “Let’s Face It: The U.S.
Constitution Has Failed.” Zero Hedge. 20 February 2019.
**One example, Charles Hugh Smith, “America’s
‘Neo-Feudal’ System is ‘Both False & Precarious.” Zero
Hedge 19 December 2018.
***David Gordon, ed., Strictly Confidential: The Private Volker Fund Memos of Murray N. Rothbard, Auburn, AL.: The Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2015, pp. 96-98.
In a talk which garnered little attention, one of the Deep State’s prime operatives, National Security Advisor John Bolton, cautioned of the enormous and escalating US debt. Speaking before the Alexander Hamilton Society, Bolton warned that current US debt levels and public obligations posed an “economic threat” to the nation’s security:
It is a fact that when your national debt gets to the level ours is, that it constitutes an economic threat to the society. And that kind of threat ultimately has a national security consequence for it.*
What was most surprising about Bolton’s talk was that there has been little reaction to it from the financial press, the markets themselves, or political commentators. While the equity markets have been in the midst of a sell off, it has not been due (as of yet) to US deficits, currently in excess of $1trillion annually. Instead, the slide has been the result of fears over increase in interest rates and the continued trade tensions with China.
While Bolton’s warning about the debt is self-serving, it is accurate in the sense that the US Empire which, in part, he directs is ultimately dependent on the strength of the economy. “National security” is not threatened by a debt crisis which would mean a compromised dollar, but such an event would limit what the US could do globally. Real national security is defense of the homeland and border control – non intervention abroad.
War mongers like Bolton are fearful that a debt crisis would necessitate a decline in US power overseas. America is fast approaching what took place with the British Empire after its insane involvement in the two World Wars and its own creation of a domestic welfare state which exhausted the nation and led to the displacement of the British pound as the “world’s reserve currency.”
The US-led wars in the Middle East have been estimated by a recent Brown University study to have cost in the neighborhood of $4 trillion.** Despite this squandering of national treasure and candidate Trump calling the Iraq War a “disaster,” as president, Trump increased “defense” spending for FY 2019 to $716 billion.***
Profligate US spending and debt creation has, no doubt, been noticed by those outside of the Empire. It is probably why Russian President Vladimir Putin has been so hesitant to take any serious action against the numerous provocations that the US has taken around the globe and against Russian interests directly. The wily Putin probably figures that an implosion of US financial markets would eventually limit America’s ability to foment mayhem and havoc internationally.
The Trump Administration’s latest bellicose act, engineered by – you guessed it – John Bolton, has been the withdrawal from the intermediate-range nuclear forces treaty (INF). The treaty, signed in 1987, was a landmark achievement of the Reagan Administration which de-escalated tensions between the two super powers and kept a lid on a costly arms buildup that neither can afford.
The next financial downturn will certainly dwarf the 2008 crisis, the latter of which nearly brought down the entire financial system. The next one will be far worse and will last considerably longer since nothing has been resolved from the first crisis. The only thing that has occurred has been the creation of more debt, not only in the US, but by all Western nation states.
Under current ideological conditions, a change in US foreign policy to non-intervention is unlikely. Public opinion is decidedly pro-military after years of indoctrination and propaganda by the press, government, academia, and the media. It will take a fall in America’s economic power, specifically the loss of the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, which will ultimately bring down the empire that has neocons like John Bolton concerned.
Unfortunately, until that time, the US will continue its rampaging ways. The day of reckoning, however, appears to be fast approaching and instead of a defeat on the field of battle, the US Empire will collapse under a mountain of debt. It would be more than fitting that such a scenario should play itself out which would thus begin the very necessary retribution process that may, at least in a small sense, compensate those who have suffered and died from America’s murderous foreign policy.
*Tyler Durden, “John Bolton Warns National Debt Is
An ‘Economic Threat’ To The US Security.”
Zero Hedge. 01 November 2018.
**Jason Ditz, “Study: US Wars Cost $4 Trillion,
Killed 259,000.” Antiwar. 29 June 2019.
Military Benefits, “2019 Defense Budget Signed byTrump.” Military Benefits. September, 2018.
With the welcome departure of war mongering UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, the Trump Administration’s neocon tag team of death and destruction – Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor (NSA), John Bolton – have enthusiastically taken up where the repellent Haley has left off. It is highly doubtful that the former Ambassador will meekly return from under the rock in which she crawled, but will reappear possibly as a primary challenger to her former boss in 2020, and, most certainly, as a Presidential contender in 2024.
Last week, Messrs Pompeo and Bolton were dutifully carrying forth Haley’s promises of mayhem to anyone opposed to US hegemony even if those “enemies” have never taken hostile action against the US mainland. Of course, threats and attacks against nations which have done nothing to America have never much mattered to the foreign policy establishment!
In one of the most provocative comments ever made by a US diplomat, maniacal Mike threatened Iran with mass starvation of its population (via US sanctions) if it does not submit to Uncle Sam’s outrageous and humiliating demands. In a BBC interview, the Secretary of State warned that:
[Iran’s] leadership has to make a decision that they want their people to eat.*
Following up on his genocidal warning, the Secretary of State (with a supposedly straight face) said that Iran was a “destabilizing influence” in the Mideast and was a state sponsor of terrorism.
Incredibly, the sociopathic Pompeo actually believes that Iran has been the greatest disrupter of peace in the Middle East when, in fact, it has been the nation in which he represents (along with Israel) that has been the real culprit of state sponsored terrorism with its destruction of Iraq, the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi in Libya, and the attempted regime change in Syria to name just a few of America’s nefarious activities in the region.
A Brown University study shows the absurdity of Pompeo’s claims. The study estimates that between 480,000 to 507,000 people were killed in America’s post-9/11 wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. For the US, some 60,000 troops have lost their lives or been wounded.***
US Destruction of Iraq
After threatening genocide of the Iranian people, Pompeo told an outright lie as he accused Iran for the catastrophe that is taking place in Yemen:
[The] Iranians are responsible for the starvation of Yemen civilians.****
No one outside of the Western controlled press or among the clueless American populace believes such a claim and knows that the starvation which is taking place in Yemen has been caused by the US’s ally, Saudi Arabia, which America has armed for decades. It is not the Iranians, but the US which is guilty as an accomplice for the genocide taking place in that misbegotten land.
Yemen Drone Strike
Not to be outdone by his fellow merchant of death, John Bolton focused his most recent bellicose talk on Latin American regimes that have not fallen in line with the US Empire’s wishes. He labeled three countries as “the troika of tyranny in this hemisphere – Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua.”** Big Bad John boasted that the three had “finally met [their] match” in the Trump Administration.
Wow, John, you are so tough, but saying that these three hellholes are a “match” for the US is a bit much when it is unlikely that the three combined could even defeat Rhode Island’s National Guard in a pitched battle!
While Bolton ruled out (for now) military intervention, he did say that sanctions would soon be placed on the “troika of tyranny.” Bolton proclaimed that “Under this administration, we will no longer appease dictators and despots near our shores.”
Yes, by all means, a possible invasion by a Cuban/Venezuelan/Nicaraguan juggernaut rolling up to the shores of south Florida should be a concern for all Americans. No telling how much damage inflicted and territory conquered the “Latin American Axis” could accomplish! It is good that perceptive and ever vigilant foreign policy experts like John Bolton keep a watchful eye out for such threats!
These are dangerous and evil men who think nothing of inflicting pain and suffering upon innocent people who have little control over what their nation’s leadership does, just as Americans have little say in the policies and actions of their government.
A global empire attracts personality types like Haley, Pompeo and Bolton. It needs such sociopaths to provoke others and stir up troubles where there is none to justify its existence. A more peaceful world will only come about with the demise of the American Empire, not changing the personalities who guide it.
Sadly, for Americans who have to fund it and the peoples of the world who are in its path, until there is an economic collapse and/or a dollar crisis, the American Empire will continue to threaten and, in some instances, carry out those threats led by the likes of Michael Pompeo and John Bolton.
*Tyler Durden, “Iran’s Leadership Must Decide ‘If They Want Their People to Eat’ – Pompeo.” Zero Hedge. 9 November 2018.
**Alex Gorka, “US Declares War on ‘Troika of Tyranny’ Pushing Them Closer to Russia.” Strategic Culture Foundation. 7 November 2018.
*** Jason Ditz, “US Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan Killed 500,000 People.” Antiwar.com 8 November 2018.
While the farcical Kavanaugh confirmation hearings dominated the news cycle for the past couple of weeks, little mention was made of a disturbing economic headline – the August US trade deficit. Despite all the bluster from the Trump Administration about “winning trade wars” and “trade wars are easy,” America’s trade imbalances for August were the highest ever and its deficit with its most contentious partner – China – reached an all-time high.
Some highlights or low lights for the Trump Administration and the clueless economic nationalists were:
August imports of industrial supplies and materials ($49.7 billion) were the highest since December 2014 ($51.8 billion).
August imports of automobile vehicles, parts, and engines ($31.7 billion) were the highest on record.
August imports of other goods ($9.1 billion) were the highest on record.
August petroleum imports ($20.5 billion) were the highest since December 2014 ($23.6 billion).*
These numbers will probably mean that the Trump Administration will push for more and stiffer tariffs, although the President is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next month. Yet, if anything comes out of the meeting, it will have little impact on US trade imbalances or the economy overall.
President Trump does not have to meet with the Chinese President or, for that matter, any other head of state, for the cause of US trade problems emanate right where he currently resides – Washington, D.C. The US trade deficit is the culmination of years of ruinous Congressional and Presidential polices of high taxes, onerous regulations, and deficit spending which have gutted the nation’s manufacturing base. The US simply does not produce goods like it used to and has been kept afloat by its status as the world’s reserve currency. “King Dollar” has allowed America to consume without having to produce.
Instead of trying to strong-arm trading partners into better “deals,” the Trump Administration should be creating an environment for the re-industrialization of the American economy. The first step in such a policy must start with savings which is the key to economic growth.
Before production takes place, savings must be accumulated. The creation of goods takes place over time and savings provide the means for production – land, labor, capital – to be implemented. The more sophisticated goods require greater amounts of savings since they take longer to produce. Production, and thus, economic growth are intimately linked to savings.
Since savings are fundamental for economic growth, policies which encourage it should be advanced. Since the act of saving involves sacrifice, compensation for such behavior – “interest” – should not be tampered with or suppressed which will discourage saving.
The Federal Reserve’s policy since the financial crisis has been to artificially lower interest rates as it has tried to revive the economy by money printing and bank-credit expansion. The result has been the creation of massive asset bubbles, exploding federal deficits, and a debt–ridden economy.
While President Trump may prefer low interest rates, the exact opposite should be advocated. A free-market rate of interest (higher than current levels) would encourage savings,and while higher rates would pop asset bubbles, they are the necessary, albeit, painful fix to readjust the economy.
Once the bubbles are deflated, real economic growth can take place based on actual savings which will lead to capital formation and the creation of goods. America could start againto become productive and create goods to exchange with its trading partners. Such a transition, however, will not take place over night, nor will it be pleasant.
Below market interest rates has enabled the federal government to engage in its profligate spending, much of which is done through borrowing. Instead of badgering the Chinese and others, President Trump should be attacking Congress to rein in spending. Of course, he is a major culprit in this area, having signed off on the latest massive budget which included insane increases to unproductive and destructive “defense” spending of some $700 billion which he lobbied for!
Trade deficits are a symptom of a bigger problem with the economy and are an excuse to deflect from dealing with real issues. Until the current “bubble economy” is deflated and savings and investment become the foundation of American economic life, trade deficits will continue and the ensuing trade wars may then escalate into actual shooting ones.
*Tyler Durden, “US Trade Deficit With China Hits New All Time High,” Zero Hedge. 05 October 2018.
The idea of a constitution and/or written legislation to secure individual rights so beloved by conservatives and among many libertarians has proven to be a myth. The US Constitution and all those that have been written and ratified in its wake throughout the world have done little to protect individual liberties or keep a check on State largesse. Instead, in the American case, the Constitution created a powerful central government which eliminated much of the sovereignty and independence that the individual states possessed under the Articles of Confederation.
While the US Constitution contains a “Bill of Rights,” the interpreter of those rights and protections thereof is the very entity which has enumerated them. It is only natural that decisions on whether, or if such rights have been violated will be in favor of the state. Moreover, nearly every amendment which has come in the wake of the Bill of Rights, has augmented federal power at the expense of the individual states and that of property owners.
History has shown the steady erosion of individual rights and the creation of “new rights” and entitlements (education, health care, employment, etc.) which have occurred under constitutional rule. Instead of limitation on government power, constitutions have given cover for the vast expansion of taxation, regulation, debt, and money creation.
While taxation has always been a facet of constitutional governments, it has been the advent of central banking and with it the elimination of the gold standard which has provided the means for the state to become such an omnipresent force in everyday life. Irredeemable fiat paper money issued by central banks has also led to the entrenchment of political parties which has allowed these elites to create and subsidize dependency groups which, in turn, repeatedly vote to keep the political class in office.
Without the ability to create money and credit, the many bureaucracies, regulations, and laws could neither be created or enforced. This would mean that the vast and powerful security and surveillance agencies could not exist or would be far less intrusive than they currently are. With commodity money, debt creation would have to be repaid in gold, not monetized as it is currently done through the issuance of paper currency.
Just as important, it would have been next to impossible for the two world wars to have been fought and carried to their unimaginable destructive ends. None of the populations involved would have put up with the level of taxation necessary to wage such costly undertakings. Few of the wars which followed (most of which have been instigated by the US) could have taken place without central banking. Nor could the level of “defense” spending – currently at a whopping $717 billion for fiscal year 2018 – be financed if the US was on a commodity standard.*
Under a gold standard, governments would have to rely on taxation alone. Since citizens directly feel the effects of taxation, there is a “natural level” that it can be raised. Punitive tax rates usually lead to a backlash and potential social insurrection which strike fear in the hearts of political elites.
Recent projections by the Congressional Budget Office again demonstrate that constitutional government provides little restraint on spending.
If present trends continue, the federal government will spend more on its interest serving its debt than it spends on the military, Medicare, or children’s programs. It is also expected that next year’s interest on the debt will be some $390 billion, up an astonishing 50 percent from 2017.** And, for the entire fiscal year of 2018, the gross national debt surged by $1.271 trillion, to a mind-boggling $21.52 trillion.***
At one time, economists used to speak of the pernicious effects that “crowding out” had on an economy. Since the onset of the “bubble era,” talk about deficits has almost dropped out of financial discussions. Yet, the reality remains the same: public spending and borrowing divert scarce resources away from private capital markets to unproductive wasteful government projects and endeavors.
For those who seek a reduction in State power, defense of individual rights, and economic prosperity, the re-establishment of a monetary order based on the precious metals is the most efficacious path to take. Such a social system would not require elaborate legislation or fancy proclamations of man’s inalienable rights, but simply a return to honest money – gold!