Sunday, April 5, 2009

Is America Going Red?

This is an idea that has been circling in my head for awhile: was Marx on to something? Does capitalism naturally collapse into communism?

I'm starting to think so. I do not want to live under communism. If true Marxist communism (where the proletariat actually overthrows the bourgeoisie) ever happens, I'd be curious to visit. Every communist society that has existed in the world has always been run by some oligarchy.

Slavery is freedom I guess.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Is This Really Radical?

"The idea that we should be free to choose our own governance is a radical idea, the most radical idea in political history." - Michael Rozeff from Why Ron Paul Didn't Win

Is it really? The idea that we should able to choose our own government just seems so common sense to me. One of the things that I despise about globalization is that we're losing different types of governments. If I want to live in an egalitarian society I have that right. If I want to live in a monarchy, I can. If I want to live in a fascist dictatorship (don't know why I would, but for whatever reason), I honestly think that I should have every right to be able to do so.

I don't get the converse of the idea. Why shouldn't we have the right to choose our own governance?

According to Rozeff this is a radical idea. Well, if I think it's intuitive then what does that say about me?

Friday, April 3, 2009

A Clue?

Many of the founding fathers hated central banks and were vocal critics of them, Ben Franklin, Jefferson, Madison, as well as the later presidents, such as Andrew Jackson. Anyone today who writes against central banks in general, and specifically the Federal Reserve, always quote these men. Well, lately I've been wondering how the hell did they know it was such a bad idea? They lived over 200 years ago. How did they have such wisdom? No one really ever writes about that and googling it didn't prove too successful. Some videos I have seen do talk about the Revolutionary war instead of being about the tea tax was against the money makers (a common term applied to the people who own and run the private, central banks). Those docutmenaries often quote Benjamin Franklin saying that the colonies were so propesrous because they printed a Continental currency and only printed enough as a means to facilitate trade. [This paragraph is the very, very short verison of the story.]

The documentaries do explain why the Federal Reserve is bad, etc. But still no one evers trully examines how the hell people like Franklin, Jefferson, Madison and Jackson knew. I've heard the founding fathers were well versed in philosophy, as it is supposedly apparent in their writings. Well, I'm a philosophy student, although still only an undergrad, and I have never read any philosophical text that talked about banking. So I was still confused.

Today, however while trying to find a link to the six part video Credit as a Public Utility, I found this quote:
"The most hated sort [of wealth getting], and with the greatest reason, is usury, which makes a gain out of money itself and not from the natural object of it. For money was intended to be used in exchange but not to increase at interest. And this term interest [tokos], which means the birth of money from money, is applied to the breeding of money because the offspring resembles the parent. Whereof of all modes of getting wealth, this is the most unnatural.” - Aristotle
Alas, an explanation! Well, at least a clue anyway. Apparently, one I have to go back very far and two into obscure and little known texts. (I have at least two works of Aristotle on my bookshelf.) Of course, I being everso curious am now wondering, "Well, how did he know?" I do enjoy trips down the rabbit hole, but apparently I have a very long way to go.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

An Unlikely Faith

Ever since haven awoke, politically speaking, after watching Zeitgeist: Addendum (which I still find to be a very odd motivator), I have been relentless in emailing my state senators and district representative (the latter has been completely unresponsive), while I have sense lost track of all of them one urged legal action against Bush Administration officials for war crimes (this was also sent to the Attorney General), the last 30 billion to AIG bringing to total to 170 billion in funds in early March (pre-bonus scandal), and the surge in troops and aggressive military action in Afghanistan.

I am somewhat hostile towards the Republican party, which I acknowledge to be in err. Bush and Cheney certainly make it easy, but my hostility does not extend from them but rather their strong anti-abortion stance. I dislike their fiscal policies (they spend too much and at the same time give tax breaks). They argue for limited government, but at least since the Reagen era having been increasing it. I seem to be teetering somewhere between limited government (read: libertarian; I think the GOP and I differ in distinction) and anarchy. (I rather resent the assertion, but I do hate the federal government so perhaps it was a fair assessment.) Murray Rothbard wrote a very interesting article available on about libertarian anarchism that dispels many misconceptions about anarchy and argues what it actually is; definitely an interesting read.

Now that I have gotten substantially off-topic, I seem to have found an unlikely "ally." David Vitter (R) is one of the US senators for LA. He was also very quick to reply to my emails much to my surprise. (I didn't really expect a reply from any since I assume them to be quite busy, but he was definitely the last.) He actually wrote me a personal reply in response to my email protesting the further bailout of AIG. Since then I have gotten updates about what's going on in Congress and actions he's taking, etc. The most recent headlines were:


Quite honestly, I'm impressed. I have not looked into legislation that I might be for that he's currently opposing, and thus not in the update, but I am genuinely surprised to see someone arguing against automatic pay raises for themselves. It's definitely a measure that I applaud, Vitter's definitely grown on me. I could seriously hug him for voting against the bailouts since square one.

US Senator Landerieu (D), however did take a substantial amount of time to get back with me, especially in comparison. She replied in regards to my opposition to the increase of troops in Afghanistan and continuation of occupation of the Middle East. She had apparently voted for and continues to support the measures; much to my dismay, but at least she was very candid about it I guess. I am not a democrat, but many of my views are in line, at least they used to be anyway, with theirs so I was especially disappointed by this.

I think it was Aaron Russo, former governor (can't remember the state at the moment), and creator of the film America: From Freedom to Fascism, who correctly said in an interview about the film that people tend to get it wrong and play into the system by aligning themselves with one party and vehemently opposing the other instead objecting to the system itself. (While a fan of his works, Russo has criticized Michael Moore for being guilty of playing into the fold.) I was definitely guilty of this as well, but amazingly my agreement with Vitter on the issues (I still find it surprising) and the display of Obama's true colors (he's reneged on every campaign promise he made from single payer to being pro-unions to withdrawal from Iraq) has led to my realization of such.

I'm a Vitter fan? Really? I do not like Obama at all. What? This has definitely been an interesting first 100 days and shift in my political views. I find myself very distracted by all the turmoil, internally and with the global crisis, and scratching my head in disillusioned disbelief. If I had a chance to talk to my more political friends from high school, I would definitely get a resounding, "Say what?"

conspiracy, Conspiracy, CONSPIRACY

The Conspiracy Theory of History by Murray Rothbard. After my last link of the 1969 film, The Capitalist Conspiracy, I would say it seems to be a fair argument to label me another conspiracy nut.

But, I am not wearing a tin foil hat. Rothbard's article is a prudent reminder of the legitimatises of the alternative theory. While I was stirring in self-doubt, I forgot the most notable case of conspiracy, the JFK assassination. Many different independent groups did their own investigations, one in Louisiana that eventually led to the only criminal case on the matter (as a Louisianan a great source of pride for me), that converged to the same conclusions and they didn't agree with the Warren Commission one iota.

Rothbard points out the differences among conspiracy theorists themselves, the bad ones employ logical fallacies and assumptions based on hypothetical beneficial connections but no further research. (Sort of reminds me of yellow journalism for some reason.)

Quite recently I had an argument with a good friend who I consider to be a highly intelligent individual (physics major, 4.0, chancellor's scholarship), who "does not buy into conspiracy theories." (In his exact words.) I asked, "Wait, even with the Warren Commission?" He had no idea what I was talking about. "The congressional group that investigated the Kennedy assassination?" I get an, "Oh, okay." Sadly, the lecture began at that point and I never got to ask if he thought Oswald acted alone. Granted at the end of our brief discussion, and further chats since, I'd bet he's never heard of the Texas School Book Depository.

Maybe I take some of that knowledge for granted, like the fact that the Warren Commission was the congressional body given the task to investigate the Kennedy assassination. Is that unreasonable? If so, maybe reasons like this are why people point and shriek, "Oh noes, they're wearing a tin foil hat!" (Granted, usually in less dramatic rhetoric.)

I have to ask: "When did it become so taboo to challenge the accepted wisdom?"