FORWARD BASE B

"Pay my troops no mind; they're just on a fact-finding mission."

Tag Archives: america

On A Post Labor Scarcity Economy

Traditional economies assume that everyone always has a job they could and should be doing and if that’s ever not the case, you have the government tweak a dial here or there.
However, the industrial revolution has made production so efficient that it’s no longer necessary or desirable to try to mobilize all available labor at once.  This is a good thing.

An economic system with no way to preserve surplus labor is like a worker living paycheck-to-paycheck.
It’s like a plant that gets only just enough sunlight through a thick forest canopy.
Or a bear that is still lean in the autumn months when the demands of hibernation are nigh.
Surplus is a key part of strategy throughout the natural world so a model that assumes surplus must not exist is incomplete.

We can see the silliness of total employment even in the present scope of human societies by looking at militaries. Armies go decades at a time without anyone to shoot at.  They mostly deter conflict, like nukes, by simply existing.  There’s no demand in peacetime for skilled soldiers yet every year thousands of troops are trained to fight and kill in combat they may never experience.
Surely free-market advocates have never dreamed of a greater and dumber display of waste.  If the all-knowing and all-wise market had its way, there would be no soldiers, tanks, nukes, or jet fighters in peace time because there would be no demand for them. 

We can also consider how “free-market” states like the USA have generous agricultural subsidies.  Without a state safety net, farms might start to go out of business after a few bad harvests, leaving good ground fallow, spiralling needlessly into famine.  

A die-hard laissez faire capitalist might disapprove, but no matter a state’s rhetoric, security and food supply are two things rulers can’t screw up.  Mesopotamian kings in charge of the very first states thousands of years ago still had to successfully manage the army and the granary.  Even the Soviet Union had to swallow its pride and quietly privatize just enough of its farms to get by when ideology didn’t work in the real world. 

By reducing to basics we see the obvious place of a state as the brain that dictates the survival strategy of the group.  Without a central nervous system, the group is driven abruptly extinct by the first shock it encounters.  A population of millions left to its own devices behaves like bacteria in a petri dish.  
Enlightenment thought, obsessed with the individual, forgets how the society itself loses consciousness and individual agency if no one can agree to work towards common goals. 

Election 2016: The War In Heaven

Every culture has its leaders and heroes that establish the legitimacy of the social order.  In a society of millions, those at the top of the prestige pyramids are effectively Olympian or Norse Gods of myth.  The human mind is only well designed to handle about 150 relationships at a time, the Dunbar limit.  To conceptualize someone at the top of a pyramid of millions, we need to conceive of a god-like figure with super-human qualities who is the very essence of what they symbolize.  The best person of a thousand is a very unusual person.  Even the lifestyle of the richest person out of every hundred strains our imaginations to the limit.  The highest ranked among millions is as distant from us as a star is from the Earth.  Sure enough, these deities are known as “stars.”

I have pointed out that Hillary Clinton is a high Goddess in the pantheon symbolizing the values of the 60s Cultural Revolution, 3rd wave feminism, civil rights, globalism, equalism, that whole generation of royalty—the boomers.  These values are at the core of everything we are taught to believe in polite homes, at school, in college, and wherever people are paid by salary in the workplace, aka. “real jobs”.  That makes Hillary goddess of our social reality, of the water in which we swim, of the air which we breathe.  Every corporate pamphlet, ad, and webpage with the clean white background, a smug, beaming, plain white woman in her early 30s surrounded by portly brown women in the front row, the non-threatening simpering Asian man to one side.  The middle aged friendly black man with the modest paunch on the other side.  And as always, back in the back row, overlapped by everyone else is one sad looking white man with a weak chin and a watery smile—every one of these images a shrine to the Goddess.  The brochure might as well be one of those portable pocket triptychs from medieval days.

Hillary in her time of need has summoned the lesser Gods to her aid.  Athletes, TV Actors, Movie Actors, Comedians, former officials, ex-presidents, newspapers, TV channels, every person of note in our culture.  They join her in the fight as we’d expect Ares to help out Zeus against the Titans or Thor to battle alongside Odin against the trolls.  Because they are from the same pantheon, they band up without hesitation against forces that challenge the social reality from which they derive their divinity.  We can imagine that even arch-enemies Horus and Set would ally against the Greek or Norse Gods.  Their existence, world view, and vision is intertwined and if they were to be defeated they would together see their power extinguished forever.   What we are witnessing in 2016 is a great war in heaven.  God and all his angels against the usurpers and their teeming legions of demons from the rift.
Against every expectation the fight has reached the gates of the Holy Kingdom itself and laid siege to the battlements of purity.  The chanting demonic legions hold aloft torches smoldering with unholy incense as a burning battering ram, a great steel wolf’s head with flaming nostrils, crashes against the gates.  As every angel, archangel, and saint has thrown themselves into the fray, so every one of them may perish and fade from the starry heavens if they fall.  It is all at stake, tonight and tomorrow.

Some of us speak of policies, the candidates themselves, the political parties, but all of that is secondary to the war that now rages like a Boschian nightmare across the jagged dream terrain of the collective subconscious.
No matter who wins, the damage is done, they will never again rule the heavens unopposed. There has been a great schism across the entire length of the culture.
The NFL, LeBron James, Beyonce, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, West Wing, the Avengers, Saturday Night Live, The Colbert Report, Jay Z, all Hollywood, the pollsters, the authors, the magazines, the newspapers…everything.  For many millions already, these cultural icons are fallen from grace, now merely the chieftains of hostile tribes screaming for war, for eradication of the Other that is us.

See Also:  The Ritual of Unity

Pic Related:

grond_breaks_through_minas_tirith

Neo-Tribal Mercantilism

Territory on a map, while important, always has been an incomplete indication of actual power.  Many a sprawling country is composed of mostly mountains and desert.  Land is in the crudest sense just a box of earth and air to contain the real source of a group’s power and identity—its people.  After the emergence of rapid transportation and mass communications during the 20th century, geography no longer means what it used to. We no longer spend our whole lives in a single farming village, immersed in a strong communal culture by default.  No one place is inhabited by just one group.  Even Utah, the holy land of a world religion isn’t even composed of 2/3rds of the faithful it is meant for.  Representatives of every people are found nearly everywhere. We might live in several different cities in a single decade going wherever there are jobs.  The capability of movement invites us to play a lifelong game of arbitrage, going wherever we can get the best deal.  As such, political secession based on geographical affiliation is an obsolete idea.  Lines on maps matter less than the invisible lines between class and breed.  The nebulous things we now call “subcultures” begin to coalesce into something more concrete.  The future leads to neo-tribes that rely on no particular place for identity.  The idea of secession will come to mean cultural and economic separation rather than political and geographical.

In less than a century we have transitioned from being farmers to semi-nomads who drift from place to place with no ties to physical territory or traditional cultures that come from peoples who spent centuries in one place.
Scattered nomads must compete for scarce resources but we aren’t yet allowed to fight directly. There’s still a strong state that maintains a strict monopoly on violence, its functionaries oblivious to fundamental changes.  Under a seemingly placid surface of law and order, emerging factions endlessly trade passive aggressive barbs.
When neither war, nor control of land, or even elections decides conflict between groups, conquest and pillage is wrought through the quieter means of economics.  Commerce becomes war by other means.  Instead of launching invasions, colonies are established by dominating real estate and desirable job markets.  From this struggle to control wealth we see the rise of neo-tribal societies from the ruins of monolithic 19th century nationalism.  Everyone who captures wealth is no longer just a free agent, they become steadily more aware that they are soldiers on the battlefield and every gain they make is also a gain for those most like them.
When we pick up a penny on the sidewalk, we capture a unit of wealth.  If we imagine wealth as territory, the Empire of You has expanded by an amount of value worth 1 cent.  Money can be created any time, out of almost anything, and is just a means of exchange, but whether tender is backed or fiat it represents control over forms of wealth constrained by scarcity.  You have that much more force to bring to bear in pushing the world towards your vision.  Whatever group or culture you are part of also gains by that same amount. This increase in strength represents a loss for your enemies.   For you and your tribe every penny is a tiny piece of ground captured after a charge across noman’s land under machine gun fire and artillery.  Wealth is dear because every scrap of it represents victory against all the opposition in the universe—the pitiless impersonal forces of nature and one’s fellow man.

Sorting Out the Castes: Easy Disqualifiers

Within 30 seconds of looking at someone’s facebook, their room, a list of their favorite hobbies, what they’ve bought lately we get a rough sense of what type of person they are.  It’s possible we could be mistaken but generally quick judgments work.  In modern society we’re told we can’t accurately judge and categorize people but in reality it’s not only doable, it’s pretty easy.
In real life, it’s generally safe to assume that a passing frat bro is more into jack and coke and fireball whiskey than single malt scotch or that a black dude with baggy pants and expensive shoes isn’t a Babylon 5 fan.  That hipster sitting nearby at the coffee shop probably isn’t into nascar(unless he’s being “ironic”), the rugged looking man with the big pickup truck probably doesn’t listen to NPR.  There’s exceptions of course, but even very crude anecdotal stereotypes work most of the time in real life.  So it’s not that extraordinary to expect that we could sort people correctly at least 90% of the time with a very low amount of effort.  If it was broken down to more of a science, I figure people could be put in the right place almost all the time.
If all a system needs to do is sort people out better than the present system, that’s a pretty low bar.

Perhaps we start with easy disqualifiers:

-Regularly buys lottery tickets, gambles against the house.
-Regularly uses payday loans and maxes out credit cards without compelling emergency reasons.
-Buys products from infomercials, web ads, spam emails.
-Doesn’t understand basics of how government works.
-Doesn’t have a basic idea of or curiosity about nation or world outside of their area.
-Buys all junk food at the grocery store and over-indulges in it.
-Doesn’t read, watch, or listen to anything that isn’t light entertainment.
-Buys flashy cars and clothes they can’t afford.
-Hopelessly, non-functionally addicted to any drug they come into contact with.

People that meet these criteria demonstrate they lack critical thinking and judgment. They lack the brain power to understand how probability or compound interest works. They don’t have the impulse control to manage complex choices or delayed gratification. In our present system they are mercilessly parasitized and exploited and they’re fair game because we’re all “equal.” Sorted into their proper caste, kept away from all positions of responsibility, it would be understood they are inherently vulnerable to the clever and must be protected as an adult would protect children or animals.
A pretty simple computer algorithm could probably instantly remove at least the bottom 10-20% or so without having to give evaluations or examinations to millions of people. Just data mining people’s real life behavior could probably make the initial rough cuts.

Imagine just taking away the vote from the dumbest and most impulsive 10% or so of the US population. There would probably be massive systemic improvements and an upgrade in political discourse overnight as if by magic. Just ponder a moment the magnitude of this lowest-hanging fruit alone.
Just weeding out those obviously unfit for civic life and placing them in an undercaste alone opens up huge possibilities before we even get started.

Competition Between Societies: Desert Plants vs. Garden Plants

Every living thing strives to make the best of available resources. Trees grow in fractal patterns to maximize the amount of sunlight they can capture. Competing groups of humans are no different. The society that can arrange its branches to best capture energy and use that energy the most efficiently will tend to displace its neighbors. The superior structure triumphs without even trying.

When we look at societies all over the world there’s nearly only one question that matters: how well can they preserve wealth? Those that are effective at it thrive and tend to dominate weaker groups. Those that cannot preserve wealth wallow in such vicious poverty that even conquest by a richer group can be a mercy.
The ability to preserve wealth decides a group’s rank in virtually every form of achievement, from literary excellence to scientific discoveries.
Some groups just have it and others don’t.
Drive out some Jews, Armenians, Maronites, or Alawis in fiery pogroms, kill them off in droves, it doesn’t matter. They successfully preserve wealth wherever they go and quickly make up any damage they suffer. Keeping them down is like trying to keep an inflated balloon underwater.
But wherever subsaharan Africans are found, without exception they are unable to preserve wealth. Even in the best of times, all the wealth of the world slips through their grasping fingers. The justifications and reasons are many, there are among them many good individuals, but in aggregate the same pattern always emerges.

We’re faced with a riddle when Mexicans who are far less effective at controlling wealth than full-blooded Europeans seem to have the superior group structure. Mexicans make less money on paper but they use wealth far more effectively. So we see a Mexican man who works as a roofer and his wife who works as a maid manage to support 3 kids while a white family that’s twice as wealthy struggles to support even one child.
The Mexicans are a more efficient and effective organism. As an invasive species they easily outcompete and replace a slow and weak native strain. So while whites are far better at getting wealth, they’re unable to preserve wealth.

The problem with rich European majority countries is despite all their wealth, it just raises the bar people have to reach to be considered members of society. Social expectations cancel out many of the benefits of wealth. It’s an example of what I’ve called ‘collective checkmate‘, a situation where popular pressure forces competition that hurts everyone.
I’ve also written about what I call social participation tax. In a wealthy country, it’s not socially acceptable to wear clothes you’ve made at home or to patch up worn out clothes. You’re ostracized unless you buy them at JC Penney. You can’t just build a log cabin or live in a yurt. To be a member of society, you have to buy a house or rent an apartment.
Add in the loss of social cohesion and family, atomized whites can save up hundreds of thousands of dollars and not be able to accomplish what Latinos with real extended families can get done with 10k dollars. There’s no contest.
It’s a case of lean and efficient desert plants used to making do with the bare minimum outcompeting garden plants that require rich fertilizer and daily watering just to survive.

Mexicans can preserve wealth, but can’t get that much of it.
Whites can get wealth, but can’t preserve much of it.
Then there are the elite groups like Jews, Parsees, Brahmins, Armenians, and Maronites that can both get substantial wealth and preserve it.
We end up with a rough hierarchy of the peoples according to their effectiveness.
The ideal to strive for then is a group organism with the commanding robustness and complexity of a tree with the efficiency of a desert cactus.

The Fundamental Problem with The American Cult of Individual Success

Someone who makes it without your help doesn’t owe you anything.

From infancy Americans are told they have to be “self-made” and “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” but why should a man who is self made care about anyone else?  They all told him success was entirely up to him, so when he succeeds he has no reason to feel any allegiance to others.
Society does not help young men find a trade, a woman, to found a family, or find a purpose.  In fact it hinders and obstructs at every turn feeding him misinformation.  Then when he succeeds in spite of these obstacles, the social order expects allegiance.  It asks him to care about a nation, to pass down a culture, to support a people that has been more enemy than friend.  Why should he care?  Actually, why shouldn’t he actively oppose those who tried to stop him and cheat him whenever they could—to join friendlier factions or begin a faction of his own?

Societies are all about shared burdens, even the strongest man is easily overwhelmed by 2 or 3 men working together let alone a thousand or a million.  Interdependence is the foundation of successful societies.  Even dickheads and narcissists will help to defend a system that benefits them.  Even the apathetic and lazy will rise up when their lives of easy repose are endangered.
The success of peoples requires cohesion, especially when things are at their worst.
At the battle of Cannae the Romans lost an entire army of 40,000 men nearly to the last man but they went on fighting anyway until they won the war and eventually razed the enemy’s capital city into the ground and salted their fields.  Proportionally speaking, I’m sure the United States would have to lose millions in a single battle to equal the disaster of Cannae.  Can we imagine America holding together after a similar defeat and not succumbing to panic and bitter internal rivalries?
It’s easy to have a minimum level of cohesion in the good times, diversity is easy in times of plenty.  But when the bad times come, a system is tested.  And how a people handles the terrible shocks and earthquakes decides if they will still be there in a hundred years’ time.

Political Democracy is Just One Type of Democracy

We’ve concluded that the state cannot be changed just by shuffling around governments, since the quality of rulership is decided by the nature of the population.
Russians, for instance have always had autocratic, brutal, corrupt governments no matter if it’s a monarchy, communist dictatorship, or a democracy.  The English on the other hand had strong councils of representatives whether there was a monarch, a theocratic dictator, constitutional monarch, or a democracy.  The French defaulted to an order of centralized semi-autocracy, never quite leaving behind the authoritarian ways of their old monarchy, whether under Robespierre, Napoleon, Napoleon III, or DeGaulle.  How important then is the label?

Since government merely reflects the nature of its people, it becomes clear if we want to change a state, first we have to produce a change in its people.
But it’s impossible to produce any rapid change in the nature of a population.  We should sooner try to cool down the ocean by throwing in ice cubes.  This is the hard truth that every victorious revolutionary, political reformer, or activist soon discovers.

The most obvious way we might control the expression of a population is not to change it, but to distort its expression.  To accomplish this, we decide who to enfranchise the most to bring about the best results a people is capable of supplying.  In the process of politics then, we make sure those most inimical to an effective state have no vote at all, those of middling character get one vote, and the best of the race, a single vote that outweighs many lesser votes.
This after all, is the proposition made by a classical republic.  In the Roman Republic, the groups of people voted in “tribes” not at all equal in representation.  Plebeians despite their greater number were outweighed by the clout of the patrician classes in a vote.
In the early American republic, only those who owned sufficient property, giving them a real stake in the system of governance, were allowed to cast votes concerning the government.
Only by the 1820s was America well along the path to its transformation into a popular democracy.
However, no truly pure democracy has ever existed.
In Ancient Athens only an elite class granted the title of ‘citizen’ had the vote.
In America, several methods of strategic distortion of the popular will persist to this day.  The bicameral system that distorts the clout of representatives numbered according to population by the addition of senators who are equal in number and power, even if they are sent to the capital from sparsely populated mountains, desert, or tundra.  And of course, the electoral college that simplifies the popular vote into a winner-takes-all system.  Not to mention a great many who are only appointed by elected officials, elected by proxy, such as the entire judicial branch.
Even the American popular democracy is imbued with an inherent distrust of the unalloyed popular will built into it by its founders and reinforced by three centuries of their successors.
So the question is not whether to distort the popular will, but how it should best be done.

But…I began this entry commenting that governments alone cannot achieve the greater purpose.

Our first step is to observe that government is just one sort of democracy decided by the people in aggregate.  We can think of several great democracies, of which government is by far the least significant.

Political democracy – Every vote elects a representative.

Economic democracy – Every purchase is a vote that elects a product.

Social democracy – Every value someone holds is a vote that elects a society.

Biological democracy – Every child conceived is a vote that elects a people.

I will hope to discuss each in turn.

Only Young Societies Are Egalitarian

A quick glance at the USA tells me it takes about 3-400 years for a brand new society of frontiersmen and settlers to settle down into a civilization at equilibrium.

Every mass society that’s been around for any length of time has set traditions and customs, stratified social classes, and the vast majority living close to subsistence with a ruling class and its functionaries controlling most wealth.

This truth began to dawn on me when I first moved from the American West where “everyone is middle class” to the East Coast.
To my amazement I soon encountered a highly structured caste system.  Each stratum of society lived entirely separate from the others even if they existed in close proximity.  For each caste there were clear codes of dress, of speech, of behavior.
Working low status jobs that required uniforms or heavy duty work clothes, I quickly came to understand that white collar types, the perpetually harried and anxious middle classers, would refuse to acknowledge my existence, even trying to walk right through me as if I weren’t there.  Talking to them was out of the question.
Sure enough, when I went out in nicer clothing, I had no trouble getting their attention and talking to them.  I was amazed.

Lower proles often wore black shoes and gray baggy clothes that allowed them to blend into walls and not be seen as they hauled dollies loaded with goods in and out of shops or cleaned up the streets.   These people I saw were the local class of untouchables, ashamed even to be noticed.

There were aristocrats who walked about in elegant earth tones with a satisfied smug expression on their faces.  Just beneath them were their upper middle class followers, whose attempt to imitate their masters’ smile looked more like a petulant sneer.

In the West where I had been raised, athleticism, fitness, and outdoor activity had been counted as virtues.
In the East, the physical was clearly seen as a vice, fit only for proles.
Men prided themselves on being stick thin, emphasizing their gaunt figures with tight clothes.  For women, gentle Yoga in indoor studios, well away from the sun, was the most vigorous activity they permitted themselves.  They seemed to me very like Chinese mandarins who grew their nails long to show beyond all doubt that they never had to perform lowly physical labor.

It was not just the social systems of the East that made me think at once of China and India, but also the sheer density of people.
For the first time in my life, there were endless crowds everywhere I went.  Public restrooms were scarce, the few available, mobbed by hundreds of people and filthy.  Any public resource at all in such an environment was sure to be quickly exhausted in a true tragedy of the commons.  There were few places to sit, even fountains were designed to make it difficult for people to snatch up the coins dropped in them.    The spaces shown as “parks” on the maps were just islands in the middle of intersections, a ring of benches around a statue, most of them occupied by sleeping homeless people.

On reflection, I understood the East coast of the US, unlike the West, had existed for awhile under the rule of England and inherited its customs and institutions.  But mainly, it has simply been there longer.
All available resources and social positions are taken, everyone is caught in competition for an unchanging quantity of scarce resources.

I realized that the Western USA with its relatively informal egalitarian culture is an aberration.  It’s simply too new to have settled into a more normal system.  The West is still a frontier.
Once there’s no more frontier, people have to live together in the same society.
Within a few generations, people assort roughly into classes based on their ability to control wealth and exert power.  Then each class largely breeds with its own until each caste is practically a distinct genetic breed.
Once the process is complete, you have the classic mature social structure that’s indistinguishable from Ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia.

It is important to make this observation because many of humanity’s best accomplishments come from exuberant new cultures over short periods of time, while ancient empires more often plod on for milennia in a senile daze, living on borrowed inertia, unable to adapt or change, with millions of striving laborers, not one of them producing a new idea.

A US Collapse Vs. SU Collapse

The US and SU had many things in common as massive highly nationalistic, highly idealistic, highly militarized nation states founded on pioneering territorial expansion across their continents.

In fact, it was their very alikeness that made them competitors for the same niche!

The author of this piece argues that for all its flaws, the cooperative, state run nature of the Soviet Union made it easier to weather governmental collapse than we’d see in a zero-sum super competitive ultra privatized US that barely 20 years after the SU’s is certainly in sharp decline and possibly on its last legs.

LINK

Does the Decline Make Statistical Sense? Does the American Way Make Financial Sense?

The American economy is worth 15 trillion, still over twice as big in absolute terms as a distant 2nd place, China a desperately poor nation with a huge population…
But is that wealth proportionally useful compared to other places?
If we consider GDP by purchasing power parity, China with many times more people still has only 75% as much relative wealth as the US.

The US national debt has passed 100% of GDP but the US remains one of the worlds most reliable debtors: 2% of GDP, 7-8% of Federal Revenue more than pays off all the
interest each year.  The federal government spends 4x as much each on social programs and the military!
The American debt burden would not impress struggling European powers during the Napoleonic wars.
Nations like Japan are far worse off with close to 150% GNP in national debt or Greece at 200%. Germany isn’t that much better off at 85%

The net US trade deficit is by far the largest in the world at about 450 billion, but another 30-40 billion a year of exports could plug the gap and the difference still pales in comparison next to the massive size of the US economy.

The numbers tell us that the US is a monster, yet those of us who live there are experiencing relentless and accelerating decline.  How do we explain this against awe inspiring numbers?
After all even a US in relative decline is still surpassed only by the entire EU.

Here’s some reflections on reconciling the reality on the ground with the statistics?

Virgin Bride: Unbuyable

Wife: Average income just an entry ticket to the arena

Girlfriend: Average income just an entry ticket.

Job Security: Unbuyable

House: At least $200,000 (realistically far more paid after interest, no one can afford that out of pocket)

Car: At least $10,000 if new. (realistically far more paid after interest, no one can afford that out of pocket)

Rent: At least $600/month, $7200/year even in cheap areas after utilities and fees.

Education: 16 years to satisfy basic prerequisites, consuming at least 6 years from age able to enter workforce. Possibly more than a decade with higher degrees. A doctor or successful lawyer may earn a lot but has to compensate for 10+ years of working part time or not at all. Filling a big black hole of years of tuition + living expenses.

Children, Family Before Age 30: The price is a life of grinding poverty.

How much just to break even?  A couple million dollars earned over a couple of decades? Even if everything goes as planned, break even by middle age?

The simple truth that stares us in the face: The “normal” lifestyle with house/apartment, car, job doesn’t make financial sense.
It entails a huge expenditures of time and energy in a desperate bid to break even.
In the past, people may have had prospect of having a family and securing their genetic futures, but now even this basic reward(readily available to many poor peoples all over the world) is elusive.

Just a glimpse at these basic expenses shows us that rent seeking, fees, tuition, royalties, interest on assets and payments is where wealth can actually be made.

Right now what keeps people going? Fear that the only alternative to the “break even track” is to live in true uncertainty of survival.

The United States remains fantastically wealthy on paper yet is the average person’s life essentially any different than the average across time and place?

Is someone in a poorer country who can hope for a genetic future in their reproductive prime, surrounded by supportive family, with an ancestral home to live in, a family trade to aspire to, in fact, better off?

Are Americans as atomized individuals a whole that’s less than the sum of its parts?
Are Americans despite their unprecedented wealth undermined by backwards and wasteful social institutions and culture?

Or is the present trend of declinism as the numbers suggest, a misguided fad?

Insights on this matter?

The Fundamental Problem of Middle Classness

“The middle class man is scared.

As C. Wright Mills notes, ‘He is always somebody’s man, the corporation’s, the government’s, the army’s…’

One can’t be too careful.

One management advisor told Studs Terkel: ‘Your wife, your children have to behave properly. You’ve got to fit the mold. You’ve got to be on guard.’

In Coming Up for Air (1939) George Orwell, speaking for his middle-class hero, gets it right:

‘There’s a lot of rot talked about the sufferings of the working class. I’m not so sorry for the proles myself…The prole suffers physically, but he’s a free man when he isn’t working. But in every one of those stucco boxes there’s some poor bastard who’s never free except when he’s fast asleep.’ ”

Class, Paul Fussell, 1983. p.36-37

America’s Fat Asses – Turning Our Greatest Weakness Into A Glorious Triumphant Strength

It’s no secret we’re the fattest nation in the world.

If you want to take a gander at how much damage this is doing both in terms of actual costs and opportunity costs, turn to the Jihad:

http://www.fatgirljihad.com/267/fatties-are-destroying-society

The medical costs were estimated to be as high as $117.2 billion, and that was in 2000. The fat lobby prevents further estimations to be made. A more recent estimate says it’s $147 billion a year, which is 9 percent of all medical spending. Everyone wants to blame the infidel insurance companies for rising health care but a lot of that blame should go on the fatties, the biggest public burden on American citizens.

While the nuclear family and competitive capitalism has increased the cost of childbirth making it less attractive for the middle class, it also true that fat women lose their fertility much faster than normal ones. Their children also suffer more complications than normal weight women, further increasing the expense and depriving society of valuable human capital:

“Consuming a diet high in fat causes damage to eggs stored in female ovaries. As a result, when fertilised these eggs are not able to undergo normal, healthy development into embryos,” Ms Minge says. Source

Obesity is a known risk factor for ovulation problems, but it also contributes to infertility in women who ovulate normally, new research shows Women in the study who were severely obese were 43% less likely to achieve pregnancy than normal-weight women or women who were considered overweight but not obese during the yearlong study. Source

Studies indicate obesity doubles a woman’s chances of having a baby with neural tube defects, and even adequate folic acid intake does not fully protect against the increase in risk. Compared with normal-weight women, obese women have a greater risk of developing complications during pregnancy. Their babies are also more likely to be admitted to neonatal intensive care units. In a report published today, the public affairs committee of the Teratology Society officially declared obesity a pregnancy risk factor, adding that women should be told about the risk in the same way that they are warned about the dangers of smoking and drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The Teratology Society studies the causes and processes of birth defects to improve diagnosis and prevention. Source

 Imagine being so fat that you poison your own child in your womb.

I propose we apply the can-do American attitude to obesity, and turn one of our greatest weaknesses into a great strength. Until pre-commitment devices can force people to stop shoveling crap down their throats, we’re stuck with less techno-utopian methods, like plastic surgery.

Enter the Brazilian Buttlift & Breast Fat Transfer:

About six months ago, and because of the reabsorption dilemma, the Viel brothers – who have been carrying out forms of fat transfer surgery for 18 years – decided to offer the recently developed PIFT, which had been proving successful in America.

During the two-hour procedure, liposuction is used to remove fat from the patient’s stomach or thigh area.

‘Traditional liposuction involves the surgeon manually breaking up the fat with a cannula – a tube that removes fluid – often rupturing blood vessels within the fat, causing bruising, bleeding and possibly nerve damage,’ says Dr Roberto Viel.

‘So we use Vaser Lipo, a machine that uses ultrasound waves to liquidise the fat, allowing us to remove fat cells while causing minimal damage.’

Dr Roberto Viel says: ‘We believe the platelets slow the reabsorption process. Traditional fat transfers last approximately six months in total and require top-ups once a month. The PIFT enhancement should last for up to two years.

‘Fat can be refrigerated safely for up to two years before it starts to decompose, so we take a little more than is needed. We expect patients to have a first top-up at eight weeks and then one every six months, or until the supply runs out. After that, we would need to repeat the whole procedure. Link

 See, they have an excuse for getting fat now. The spare parts are actually useful, not just for making soap like in Fight Club.

This process is not without complications from the ultrasonic lipo, however there is no better place to test it than on women who have virtually no sexual market value:

Fat injection consists of mainly dead cells, with a disputed amount of living cells (Our research showed 20-25% alive, other studies have shown as low as 3% if you look at the ability of the cells to “breathe” (metabolize).

Those dead cells, when injected into the breasts, either are dissolved away by the body’s white blood cells, or form chronic inflammatory reacitons and are walled off (granulomatous reactions) or form fatty cysts. Lumpiness can also occur with the above problems as well.

It is the walling off process that causes the most worry. Calcium formation is common in granulomatous reactions. Calcium is what clues off mammographers to the presence of cancer. So will there be false positive mammograms for cancer in patients who have this technique? We’ll have to wait and see.

In five years’ time, we will have our answers. Until then, patients receiving this technique will take a certain risk. We won’t be using this technique in our practice until more data are available.

UAL, by the way, (and also the laser) melts and destroys fat cells with ultrasound waves (or laser heat). This technique would guarantee only dead cells are introduced. Lintk

As for the classic hip-to-waist ratio and fat-but-flat ass syndrome, the brazilian butt lift provides solutions. Behold an entire gallery of sort of safe for work images:

http://www.realself.com/brazilian-butt-lift/before-and-after-photos

It not only lifts but provides an eye pleasing hip to waist ratio, for the appearance of a coke bottle figure.

We must learn from Korea, and begin augmenting our own not so passable women.

One way or another, the sexual marketplace is going to be completely overturned in the coming decade.

P.S. The sexbots are coming: http://www.projectaiko.com/faq.html

Iran Won’t Crack

US Leaning Towards Third World: No Electricity In the Capital

The air was heavy and oppressive with searing humidity as a cloud-swollen night sky boiled with lightning. It was about 11 PM, Friday June 29th, 2012.

As I prepared to leave for my job on the night shift, a massive wall of wind smashed into the neighborhood. The ponderous tree tops instantly accelerated into a frenzy; lights flickered and then died. Oh well. I shrugged. The same exact thing had happened again just a few days before. At work a generator had activated in response to the outage. The lights had been dim, an emergency light flashed on the ceiling, an alarm buzzed endlessly. Employees putting in hours of overtime far into the night had been frantically rushing back and forth hauling hundreds of pounds of meat and seafood off to the large freezers. As I performed my typical menial labor, I couldn’t shake the feeling I was a heroic protagonist trying to aid Soviet defectors aboard the Red October or busy fighting my way out of a research facility after an experiment gone horribly wrong.

This time was worse.
Even as I approached the door the streets were flooded within seconds. I grabbed a rain coat before wading out into the deluge but it provided little real protection.
This wasn’t rain as you would usually think of it. It did not fall. Rather, it was flung to the earth. It foamed and roiled as it struck. As I made my way to the metro station, I was actually thankful that the power was out. Swaying power cables were all around me and so was lots of water.
As I made the short walk, I was nearly forced to my hands and knees by the sheer force of the gusts. By the time I arrived, I was soaked through and had to wring out my socks…

Some geniuses who must have known hurricane force winds are not uncommon in the mid-Atlantic summer had decided on a brilliant way to implement an electrical grid: A random spaghetti of power cables running sloppily from house to house, many going right through the tree tops. Whenever a high wind arose, fast moving tree branches were sure to send broken power cables flying everywhere.
As it was, extensive localized damage was to be expected but this was somehow the least of it. Somehow stations and substations went down all at once. There was no backup plan nor any kind of temporary generator. Of the local power company’s 700,000 customers, over 400,000 were suddenly without electricity.
3 million people across the entire East coast and Midwest were without power.
The storm, while violent, had barely lasted half an hour as it passed through.

All this had happened in the midst of one of the worst heat waves ever recorded in the area. Temperatures soared into the triple digits.
I lived a full 3 days without access to electricity in these conditions. All of my perishable food spoiled and of course I couldn’t cook anything. In the worst of the heat, I had to sleep on a small stretch of cool concrete floor in the basement by the washing machine.

As I write this, there are still more than a million without power.
Perhaps a million people will be facing Independence Day without any electricity at home. In some places, 4th of July celebrations have already been canceled.

There’s no reason any of this needed to happen.
Things go wrong from time to time. Storms arise. But a massive breakdown of critically important infrastructure at the first sign of trouble tells us important things:

-The socially adept but incompetent have triumphed.

-If you’re just one of the peasantry you aren’t nearly important enough to be supplied with reliable utilities. Too expensive to plan a reliable system and maintain it properly? How much do you suppose it collectively cost ordinary people for all the inconvenience and spoiled food? The whole thing could be seen as a big ‘fuck you’ from the rich.

-Social atomization has progressed so far that the ability to work together to create functional public resources has vanished.

-The one thing a country like the US has long had in its favor: It’s been a decent place to settle for awhile and make some money. Reliable infrastructure is one of the key lubricants of commerce. If these basic services become unreliable, everyone has to spend their time and resources planning around it. The whole society becomes poorer. We have a phrase that’s often used to describe a society like this: ‘third world.’

-Loss of face and legitimacy. It is an embarrassment when a ‘developed’ country can’t even sustain an electrical grid in its Capital City.
The present system’s Mandate of Heaven is eroded that much more.

Will Hyperinflationary Depression Hit the USA before 2015?

Many economists predict that the US dollar will lose its current reserve currency status.  Some economists believe this will happen around 2030;  John Williams of Shadowstats believes it will happen no later than 2014.

[A] hyperinflationary great depression…  will encompass a complete loss in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar; a collapse in the normal stream of U.S. commercial and economic activity; a collapse in the U.S. financial system, as we know it; and a likely realignment of the U.S. political environment. Outside timing on the hyperinflation remains 2014, but events of the last year have accelerated the movement towards this ultimate dollar catastrophe. …

[B]efore the systemic-solvency crisis began to unfold in 2007, the U.S. government already had condemned the U.S. dollar to a hyperinflationary grave by taking on debt and obligations that never could be covered …

Bankrupt sovereign states most commonly use the currency printing press as a solution to not having enough money to cover obligations. The alternative here would be for the U.S. eventually to renege on its existing debt and obligations …
a solution with no happier ending than simply printing the needed money.


Where both private and official demand for U.S. Treasuries had been increasingly unenthusiastic, the Fed—the U.S. central bank—effectively has been fully funded Treasury needs for most of 2011, with its “quantitative easing II” becoming a euphemism for Fed monetization of U.S. Treasury debt.

Further easing by the Fed is likely in the months ahead, as the ongoing economic turmoil triggers significant further fiscal deterioration. Those actions should pummel heavily the U.S. dollar‘s exchange rate against other major currencies. Looming with uncertain timing is a panicked dollar dumping and dumping of dollar-denominated paper assets, which remains the most likely event as proximal trigger for the onset of hyperinflation in the near-term.

The early stages of the hyperinflation would be marked simply by an accelerating upturn in consumer prices, a pattern that already was initially in response to QE2. Also, money supply velocity … will spike, as the U.S. dollar, again, comes under heavy and even disorderly selling pressure, with both domestic and foreign holders getting rid of their dollar holdings as quickly as possible. One factor that can contribute to rising velocity is the current circumstance where U.S. investors cannot get a safe return that beats inflation, as reported by the government. Investors can do better by buying a store of products that are rising price, rather than by holding cash or a Treasury bill.

Given the current lack of political will by those controlling the U.S. Government to address the fiscal solvency issues, the U.S. has no way of avoiding a financial Armageddon. Various government intervention tactics might slow the process for brief periods, and the system always is vulnerable to external shocks, such as wars and natural disasters. Government actions could include supportive dollar intervention, restrictions on international capital flows, wage and price controls, etc. Effects of any such moves in delaying the onset of full hyperinflation, though, would be limited and short-lived. There is no obvious course of action or external force at this point of the process that meaningfully would put off the nearing day of reckoning.

[F]oreign holders of U.S. assets have something in excess of $12 trillion in liquid, dollar-denominated assets that could be dumped at will into the global and U.S. markets.

As excess dollars get dumped into the global markets, a shift in the tide against the U.S. dollar gets reflected in a weakening exchange rate, which in turn spikes dollar-denominated commodity prices, such as oil. Increasingly, that effect has been in response to intensifying dollar-debasement efforts by the Fed. The result is that U.S. consumer inflation has been increasing during the last year, once again, not from strong economic demand and a surging domestic money supply, but from distended monetary policies and a global glut of dollars that has been encouraged by the U.S. central bank.

Demand and supply affect the U.S. dollar. Supply soars and demand shrinks with the increasing unwillingness of major dollar holders to continue holding the existing volume of U.S. currency and dollar-denominated assets, let alone to absorb new exposure.

Therein lies a significant threat to near-term U.S. inflation. Heavy dumping of the U.S. dollar and dollar-denominated assets would be highly inflationary to U.S. consumer prices. It also likely would activate heavy Fed intervention in buying unwanted U.S. Treasuries.

How long would a hyperinflation last before the government brought its fiscal house into order and established a sound currency? I would be surprised if the hyperinflation crisis lasted beyond a year or two, since the system is not positioned to handle the crisis well and pressures for rapid resolution would be extremely strong. All that depends, however, on what evolves out of what otherwise would be highly unstable political, economic, financial and social environments.

-Taken from
HYPERINFLATION 2012 SPECIAL COMMENTARY NUMBER 414 January 25, 2012
http://www.shadowstats.com

Scenarios:

Scenario 1 – Moderates Rule:
Panic begins in 2013; hyperinflation runs wild in 2014 and radical political changes occur in 2015. Congress retains legitimacy but puts many bankers in prison for their white-collar crimes.  The Supreme Court issues many multi-page documents that no one can afford to print out. Electricity is for the ultra-rich and the police. Meanwhile, the former middle class learns how to dumpster-dive for food.  Jeb Bush is elected President in 2016, with Henry Kissinger serving as his chief advisor.  Despite grave health problems and widespread hunger, the majority of Americans believe that obedience to government is the best of all possible lifestyles.

Scenario 2 – Unpopular Election Leads to Stable Martial Law:
Panic begins in 2012 with widespread allegations of vote fraud; hyperinflation runs wild in 2013, leading to a breakdown of food distribution, martial law, and civil war.  Following a violent dispute between armed agents of the DHS and FBI, Lon Horiuchi is sworn in as President-for-Life.  Alex Jones is heard to shout “I told you so” as he is dragged onto a cattle car headed for a FEMA camp. Meanwhile, mandatory military service ensures that the enduring encampments will be heavily manned, everywhere from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.  Monsanto takes over the Department of Agriculture and summarily executes all organic farmers.  Social Security and Medicare are re-negotiated to stipulate that Inner Party members have first claim on all benefits and services, but all classes are required to pay on penalty of death.  Hollywood puts out a record number of movies, webcasts, and TV shows, all of which glorify obedience to the Totalitarian State.  Robot drones fly everywhere; every room has a surveillance camera; every action a citizen takes is a potential ground for disciplinary action by the all-encompassing State.

Scenario 3 – Total Disintegration:
Excellent propaganda efforts allow complacency to prevail until December 2014.  By January 2015, every country outside the USA is dumping dollars.  A few canny merchants manage to sell off prestigious US weapons systems to ambitious upstarts.  Military desertions are frequent; morale is at its lowest ebb. The ultra-rich flee to distant locations such as the Cayman Islands, Hong Kong, Israel, and Tahiti. Beverly Hills is sold off to nouveau-riches; all Hollywood movie studios shift operations overseas.  Canada is swamped with American refugees pleading for political asylum. The United Nations shifts its meetings from New York City to Sao Paulo for safety reasons.

Numerous factions within the military and government vie for supremacy;  CNN celebrates prominent generals as war heroes on Monday, but the same generals are hanged as traitors by Friday.  Popular discontent grows as commercial food stores go out of business and government hand-outs of food are often moldy and unfit for human consumption.  There are wild contrasts in standard of living; the rich walk warily on the same streets as the poor and hungry. Free speech zones are reserved for rich young students who can be relied on to protest only what the government already dislikes.  Pain rays, attack dogs, and tear gas silence unarmed protestors, but fail to impress street gangs funded by illegal drugs and armed with illegal guns.

Some Black and Hispanic street gangs  end up fighting each other to extinction, but most of them concentrate their efforts on terrorizing whites and Asians in an effort to extract tribute.   Armed robbers who had previously conducted home invasions in the cities begin raiding farms.  Farmers use modern technology such as cheap surveillance cameras and wireless networks to coordinate violent vigilante actions.

The prison-industrial complex is attacked by homegrown terrorists, leading to a massive expansion of military security outside prisons.  20% of the USA population is either incarcerated or branded as a felons.  Felons paroled from the prison system are given the choice between summary execution and indefinite detention in a FEMA-run labor community.  Prisoners provide ultra-cheap labor and the prison system is a pillar of the economy.

About 5% of the USA population holds a secret or top-secret security clearance.  Such clearances are required to work in the armaments industry and to hold public office.  Many young people strive to obtain such clearance, but rapidly become disaffected; many security clearance holders are subjected to “stop-loss” regulations that prevent them from leaving their jobs.  Censorship becomes the prevalent consideration in all USA media; clearance holders live in constant fear of blackmail, formal charges of treason, or brutal-but-unofficial disciplinary action.

Internet infrastructure degrades because copper telecom cables are stolen and sold to unscrupulous profiteers.  White radicals find receptive audiences.  Civilian combat shooting becomes widely reported, but police and prosecutors are not able to investigate most incidents to determine whether they were self-defense.

The USA government retreats to its Deep Underground Military Bases, and is able to retain control of its satellite network in order to continue issuing orders to troops overseas.  However, the military is hollowed out by desertion.  The USA retains many military capabilities but loses its diplomatic prestige.  The IRS escalates its levels of violence and shoots many tax protesters dead.  The Department of the Treasury proposes a cashless currency system but lacks the resources to implement it. Meanwhile,  the Federal Reserve Note only has value on military bases; barter reigns everywhere else.

California is taken over by narcoterrorists; the USA promptly bombs California’s cities with daisy-cutters and depleted uranium.  Plagues and packs of wild dogs become prevalent because there are too many dead bodies and no one is willing to bury them.  Cults and drug use become prevalent (in areas outside USA military control) because many Americans have no Internet access and are desperate for escapism.  However, drug-centered tribes and religious cults fail to accumulate any political power, because the prominent ones are soon exterminated by raids from the DHS.

Washington and Oregon, overwhelmed with Californian refugees, lapse into chaos.  United Nations peacekeepers attempt to suppress gang war.   Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, and South Dakota form the Northern Conference, maintain good relations with the remnants of the USA military, and refuse to admit United Nations peacekeepers.  The Northern Conference grudgingly does business with China over the Canadian border. Southern Texas is a warzone; Northern Texas pleads for international food aid but refuses United Nations involvement. The United Kingdom attempts to send SAS units to rescue a British diplomat captured in Florida, but the entire mission is foiled by heavily armed Hispanic gangs.

By 2025, the USA closes its bases in Japan, Korea, Germany, Iraq, and Afghanistan.  Other bases, such as Guam and Saudi Arabia, remain open.  At the United Nations Building in Sao Paulo, Russia, China, India, and Brazil announce their commitment to BATO, the Benevolent Alliance Treaty Organization, which will absorb the United Nations Security Council in order to send peacekeepers to protect the starving civilians in war-torn places such as Louisiana, Oregon, and Texas.

Scenario 4 – Military Mutinies:

By 2015, USA warfighters (including sailors, marines, airmen, and soldiers) are widely aware that their pay is nearly worthless.  Rather than obeying orders and upholding standard military decorum, warfighters engage in mass disobedience.  They make public political statements in uniform.  They denounce their superior officers as traitors.  They clog the military justice system with legal protests.  They circulate underground “newspapers” of radical dissent.  Those who can take early retirement re-enter civilian life as anti-statist radicals.  Smedley Butler’s “War is a Racket” becomes the most-quoted essay of 2015.

At home, some DHS and police personnel are inspired by these mutineers, but others are indignant.  Following many nonlethal shows of force and many riots, the police recognize that the general citizenry loves warfighters much more than they love cops.  A few police resign in disgrace.  Many warfighters run for local political office on an anti-statist campaign.

Ron Paul is too old to run for office, but becomes a major influence on many young office-holders.  The USA undertakes peaceful means to alter its own government and to abolish many of its government agencies.

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