Anarchy Bang: Episode Four – Capitalism 2

Aragorn Bang’s podcast. Also, check out Little Black Cart.

A great program discussing many pertinent issues.

Listen here.

Anarchists have largely agreed on the big two. Central to our politics is opposition to the State, or as we discussed last week the monopoly on violence (or corrected by some as the monopoly on the legitament use of violece) and opposition to Capitalism. This week let’s discuss what that means. Unlike the State, that we can largely ignore outside of paying taxes, being corraled at protests, and a brief hesitation prior to committing murder and the like, capitalism is largely something we “do” or at least experience every single day. So we both despise and participate in this system of organizing exchange relationships.

What does this mean for anarchists? Largely it means that we sound crazy when we discuss alternatives to the existing order. Being in this world and of another means that we discuss moral, ethical, and philosophical topics rather than practical or “reasonable” ones. We have very little to say, and less to offer, poor people. We argue the destiny that we are sure of like lunatics and mostly argue these points with some of the only other people who identify as anarchists who we insist are not.

And our natural allies are among the largest mass murderers of the twentieth century in Russia, China, and Vietnam. For some reason that has something to do with marketing and the way that the Internet makes people either lose their mind or forget the past Old Fashion Red Communism has come back into some sort of vogue. And closer to home one of the largest leaks in this little rowboat we call Anarchism is the even more obscure communisms of Pannekok, Luxemburg, and Theory Communiste from Holland, Germany, and France respectively. Europe is back baby as if it every went away.

This week our challenge is to stake our position on Capitalism. Great oppositional system against human self-expression and self-worth or greatest system? Call in and let us discuss capitalism, it’s strength’s, which are many, and its weaknesses.

West Virginia Legislator Proposes Eliminating ALL Taxation on Gold and Silver Reply

By J P Cortez

Charleston, West Virginia (January 29, 2019) — West Virginia legislator Delegate Pat McGeehan (R-01) has introduced the West Virginia Sound Money Act, House Bill 2684, to eliminate all tax liability on gold and silver in the state.

Following in the footsteps of the Wyoming Legal Tender Act, which passed in Wyoming overwhelmingly last year, the West Virginia Sound Money Act is a similar measure that will remove all taxation against gold and silver, including sales and use tax, property tax, individual income tax, and corporate income tax.

Under current law, West Virginia citizens are discouraged from insulating their savings against the devaluation of the dollar because they are penalized with taxation for doing so. House Bill 2684 removes the disincentives to using gold and silver for this purpose.

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Salon Interview: Tucker Carlson bashes capitalism, says he might vote for Elizabeth Warren Reply

Not exactly the kind of left/right coalition I would envision, but you’ve got to crawl before you can run, I guess.

By Matthew Rozsa

Salon.Com

In my recent interview with Tucker Carlson, he waited until nearly the end of a long conversation to drop a bomb: He might vote for Sen. Elizabeth Warren in 2020. OK, there’s a “but” and an “if.” Carlson actually said that if Warren focuses on the economic populism ideas articulated in her 2004 book “The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Parents are Going Broke,” he would consider supporting her. It wasn’t a promise. From the point of view of Donald Trump and the Republican Party, it might be more like a threat.

We have to put Salon’s interview with Carlson, a top-rated prime-time host and commentator on Fox News, in the proper context. That context would be the Overton window, a concept developed at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy by Joseph P. Overton:

Imagine, if you will, a yardstick standing on end. On either end are the extreme policy actions for any political issue. Between the ends lie all gradations of policy from one extreme to the other. The yardstick represents the full political spectrum for a particular issue. The essence of the Overton window is that only a portion of this policy spectrum is within the realm of the politically possible at any time. Regardless of how vigorously a think tank or other group may campaign, only policy initiatives within this window of the politically possible will meet with success.

That doesn’t exactly describe my conversation with Carlson, but it provides a useful frame. In any society at a given time, certain political ideas are deemed to fall outside the realm of the acceptable. Sometimes that’s healthy, if it drives totalitarian ideologies to the margins, but it can be harmful when it stifles meaningful dialogue.

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Arizona Legislator Proposes Securing State Reserves with Gold and Silver Reply

By J P Cortez

Phoenix, Arizona (January 22, 2019) – An Arizona legislator has put forward a bill to de-risk the state’s financial holdings with a modest allocation to physical gold and silver in the state’s reserve fund.

Introduced by Representative Mark Finchem (R-Tucson), the Arizona Sound Money Stabilization Act (HB 2500) requires that at least 10% of Arizona’s Budget Stabilization Fund be held in the monetary metals in a secure depository.

Arizona’s Budget Stabilization Fund has almost $500 million in assets but is currently invested in debt instruments and the stock market. The state owns no gold or silver.

Finchem’s past sound money initiatives have been successful. In 2017, Rep. Finchem passed the ground-breaking House Bill 2014, a measure which removed all income taxation of gold and silver at the state level.

Gold and silver do not have the default or inflation risks that bonds and other “fixed income” investments carry. Most importantly, physical gold and silver held in a depository carry no counterparty risk – or risk of failure or default – unlike stocks, bonds, and other financial assets.

In support of the measure, Rep. Finchem said, “it’s high time to safeguard the state’s assets and taxpayers against the volatile dollar.”

Furthermore, an allocation to precious metals is proven to increase overall returns over time, reduce volatility, and reduce drawdowns.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League, this measure protects Arizona’s rainy day fund by including the only money proven to protect against the Federal Reserve Note’s ongoing devaluation.

Arizona’s Sound Money Stabilization Act comes on the heels of three sound money bills introduced in Wyoming last week.

Concerned that state investments have no protection against a stock market crash, credit crisis, or other existential financial risks, Wyoming legislators want a small portion of Wyoming’s pension fund, reserve fund, and mineral trust fund allocated to physical gold and silver held in a depository within (or near) the Cowboy State.

The Sound Money Defense League is a public policy group working nationally to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money and publisher of the Sound Money Index. For comment or more information, call 1-208-577-2225 or email jp.cortez@soundmoneydefense.org.

 

Robert Stark talks to Guillaume Durocher about the Yellow Vests & National Economics Reply

The Stark Truth. Listen here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robert Stark and Anatoly Karlin talk to Alt-French Unz Review blogger  about the Yellow Vest Protests, political situation in France, and National Economics.

Topics:

The gas tax as largely symbolic for overall populist discontent
Macron’s Neoliberal economic polices
Decentralized nature of the movement
The culture of protest in France
The role of the police(update: Police Deploy Rifles with Live Ammunition to Yellow Vest Protests)
The White Working Class demographic
Fusion of Left and Right Populism and support from both nationalist Le Pen and leftist Mélenchon supporters
How the outcome of the Yellow Vest protests will impact the next election
Why movements need a segment of the elite to succeed
Russian and American(ex. Steve Bannon) conspiracy theories
Orbánomics, or the Return of National Economics
National Economic policies such as state control of banks, national banks, and local production
The Economics of Globalism and High vs. Low Globalism
Left Wing French Social Nationalist Alain Soral
France Is Becoming More Violent

Wyoming Legislators Want State to De-Risk Investments by Holding Gold and Silver 1

By J.P. Cortez

Cheyenne, Wyoming (January 17, 2019) – A group of Wyoming legislators have introduced three bills this week to de-risk the state’s financial holdings with modest allocations to physical gold and silver in the state’s pension fund, reserve fund, and mineral trust fund.

Introduced by Representative Roy Edwards (R-Gillette) and co-sponsored by 15 others, the Wyoming Sound Money Trust Act (HB 174) empowers the State Treasurer to hold at least 10% of the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund in the monetary metals in a depository in or near the state of Wyoming.

The Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund is the state’s oldest and most well-funded permanent fund with over $8 billion in assets.

Last year, Rep. Edwards successfully passed the ground-breaking Wyoming Legal Tender Act, a measure which reaffirmed that gold and silver are constitutional money and removed all state taxation of them.

Meanwhile, the Wyoming Sound Money Pension Act (HB 156), introduced by Representative Mark Jennings (R-Sheridan), aims to reduce financial risk and better secure state-managed pension funds by allocating a modest 10% of Wyoming Pension System assets to the monetary metals.

And Representative Scott Clem (R-Campbell) introduced the third bill, the Wyoming Sound Money Reserve Act (HB 190). This measure requires that at least 10% of Wyoming’s Legislative Stabilization Reserve Account be held in gold and silver.

All of these measures would help the state hedge its risks of holding stocks, bonds, and short-term debt instrument with an allocation to a bedrock asset carrying no counterparty risk and proven to maintain purchasing power. The state has suffered significant investment losses in recent months, including a $220 million unrealized loss on investments in Third World debt.

Backed by the Sound Money Defense League and Campaign for Liberty, these measures protect Wyoming’s accounts by insulating them with the only money proven to protect against the Federal Reserve Note’s ongoing devaluation. Furthermore, an allocation to precious metals is proven to increase overall returns over time, reduce volatility, and reduce drawdowns.

The Sound Money Defense League is a public policy group working nationally to bring back gold and silver as America’s constitutional money and publisher of the Sound Money Index. For comment or more information, call 1-208-577-2225 or email jp.cortez@soundmoneydefense.org.

Humanity against People Reply

Some very good class analysis from Denis Rancourt.

By Denis Rancourt

Dissident Voice

Thanks to the Gilets jaunes in France, a few astute social theorists are finally being heard on YouTube, despite mainstream resistance and diversion. They are finding words more lucidly than could be achieved in the absence of such revolutionary upheaval.

I’m referring to the renowned French economic analyst and essayist Charles Gave who, in his near-twilight years, has broken rank with his class in order to impart a penetrating and devastating analysis of the current French melt-down, based on the original work of French social geographer and author Christophe Guilluy.1

Guilluy has been describing an emerging Gilets jaunes backlash for some fifteen years, through his analysis of the class structure, and its geographical, demographic and ideological basis, in France; which is virtually identical in most Western nations, certainly the UK, Canada, the USA and many more.2

Basically, what was a relatively stable, balanced and integrated post-second-world-war working-class / middle-class / professional-class / managerial-class societal structure, has, over the course of several decades, and accelerated by the fall of the Soviet Union, devolved into three classes separated by large geographical, wage, ideological and mobility gaps.

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Richard Cantillon, the Most Important Economist You’ve Never Heard Of 1

Richard Cantillon, the Most Important Economist You’ve Never Heard Of

Jp Cortez

Richard Cantillon is the most important economist you’ve never heard of.

Born in Ireland sometime in the mid- to late-1600s, Richard Cantillon’s contributions to economics are found in his major work, Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en General (Essay on the Nature of Commerce in General).

In 1734, Cantillon was mysteriously murdered by a disgruntled former employee, and his home was set ablaze. Essai, which survived the fire, was published in 1755.

Cantillon’s work went on to influence Adam Smith and other well-known economists. Essai included his observations on production and consumption, money and interest, international trade and business cycles, and inflation.

We have a basic understanding of inflation and its effects. Put simply, inflation is an increase in the money supply.

An increase in the supply of money that isn’t met with an increase in the demand for money necessarily leads to price inflation, ceteris paribus. Said another way, prices rise as new money is introduced, all other things being equal.

However, this cursory understanding of inflation only paints half the picture. A less discussed aspect of this process is not only that the monetary supply has increased, but how. The entry point of new money into the economy has profound implications.

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2019 Outlook: The State of Sound Money in the United States Reply

By JP Cortez

The Great Recession, coupled with the “Ron Paul Revolution,” prompted a renaissance of the sound money movement in the United States.

As Germany, Russia, and China — to name a few — continue to increase their gold holdings, the hegemonic power of Federal Reserve Notes (referred to today as the dollar) is slowly slipping away.

Simultaneously, whispers—once relegated to fringe corners—of restoring sound money have become passionate, concerned, and loud.

The destruction of sound money over the past century stems from actions at the federal level, but there are steps which states can take —and even have already taken —to move toward real, sound, constitutional money.

As state legislatures reconvene in the next few weeks, let’s take a look at the current state of play…

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Thomas Sowell on the Myths of Economic Inequality Reply

Thomas Sowell is much, much further to the Right on most issues than I am, e.g. endorsing neocon foreign policy views, uncritical of the police state, practically ignoring “crony capitalism,” etc. But he’s pretty good at debunking reductionist theories coming from the Left on the causes of a range of disparities, which is his area of specialization.

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Anti-White Politics is anti-Revolutionary Nonsense Reply

An interesting M-L-M critique of the critical theory oriented “Left.” I don’t agree with his general ideology but I agree with his assessment of “identity politics” as having no real value other than to create divisiveness that will have the effect of undermining the system (“destabilizing the imperialist core”), thereby making anti-imperialist victory more likely. That’s why I have spent so much time promoting all kinds of fringe, freakazoid movements and ideologies, and favor the most extreme, ridiculous or insane political candidates. Weaken the system at its core. Another thing I like about Jason is that he recognizes that the “revolutionary potential” of the First World is minimal to non-existent. I agree with his assessment of the Third World at the focus of anti-imperialist revolution, even if I don’t share his Marxism.

 

 

Showdown Looms on Federal Spending, Border Wall Reply

By Stefan Gleason, Money Metals Exchange

U.S. government agencies could run out of operating funds starting on midnight this Friday, December 7th. At issue: President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall. He wants Congress to commit $5 billion for construction of a wall along portions of the U.S.-Mexico border. The migrant caravan that recently attempted to crash the border near Tijuana has helped rally Republicans to support his request. It may be now or never for Trump’s wall. In the next Congress, presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will be able to kill any of Trump’s legislative priorities. At present, Trump faces obstacles in the Senate, where Democrats seem intent on blocking wall funding. If both sides can’t agree to a spending bill by Friday, then a partial government shutdown could ensue.

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U.S. life expectancy declines again, a dismal trend not seen since World War I 1

Life expectancy is one of the leading indicators of the quality of life that is experienced by any society. This is the effect of reproletarianization taking place.

By Lenny Bernstein

Washington Post

Life expectancy in the United States declined again in 2017, the government said Thursday in a bleak series of reports that showed a nation still in the grip of escalating drug and suicide crises.

The data continued the longest sustained decline in expected life span at birth in a century, an appalling performance not seen in the United States since 1915 through 1918. That four-year period included World War I and a flu pandemic that killed 675,000 people in the United States and perhaps 50 million worldwide.

Public health and demographic experts reacted with alarm to the release of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual statistics, which are considered a reliable barometer of a society’s health. In most developed nations, life expectancy has marched steadily upward for decades.

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The Left Case against Open Borders Reply

A leftist writer discusses the history of leftist opposition to open borders.

By Angela Nagle

American Affairs Journal

efore “Build the wall!” there was “Tear down this wall!” In his famous 1987 speech, Ronald Reagan demanded that the “scar” of the Berlin Wall be removed and insisted that the offending restriction of movement it represented amounted to nothing less than a “question of freedom for all mankind.” He went on to say that those who “refuse to join the community of freedom” would “become obsolete” as a result of the irresistible force of the global market. And so they did. In celebration, Leonard Bernstein directed a performance of “Ode to Joy” and Roger Waters performed “The Wall.” Barriers to labor and capital came down all over the world; the end of history was declared; and decades of U.S.-dominated globalization followed.

In its twenty-nine-year existence, around 140 people died attempting to cross the Berlin Wall. In the promised world of global economic freedom and prosperity, 412 people died crossing the U.S.-Mexican border last year alone, and more than three thousand died the previous year in the Mediterranean. The pop songs and Hollywood movies about freedom are nowhere to be found. What went wrong?

Of course, the Reaganite project did not end with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Reagan—and his successors from both parties—used the same triumphalist rhetoric to sell the hollowing out of trade unions, the deregulation of banks, the expansion of outsourcing, and the globalization of markets away from the deadweight of national economic interests. Central to this project was a neoliberal attack on national barriers to the flow of labor and capital. At home, Reagan also oversaw one of the most significant pro-migration reforms in American history, the 1986 “Reagan Amnesty” that expanded the labor market by allowing millions of illegal migrants to gain legal status.

Popular movements against different elements of this post–Cold War vision came initially from the Left in the form of the anti-globalization movements and later Occupy Wall Street. But, lacking the bargaining power to challenge international capital, protest movements went nowhere. The globalized and financialized economic system held firm despite all the devastation it wreaked, even through the 2008 financial crisis.

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How Would a Billion Immigrants Change the American Polity? 3

This article by Nathan Smith is the best analysis of the immigration issue that I have seen to date in terms of nuance, honesty, and depth. He argues that there would be both tremendous benefits and tremendous costs if the borders of the United States were to be opened completely (where moving to the USA from another country would be no different than moving from California to Texas or from Virginia to Maryland). Smith summarizes his analysis as follows:

In short, I think the most wild-eyed predictions of the open borders optimists will come true, and to spare, but I think a lot of the forebodings of the grimmest open border pessimists will also prove more than justified.

He ultimately comes down on the side of open borders, primarily on the grounds that the Global South would be the net winners on the economic level. See a critique of Smith’s position by Robert Montenegro here.

By Nathan Smith

OpenBorders.Info

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post called “The American Polity Can Endure and Flourish Under Open Borders.” I would not write that post today. The American polity might endure and flourish under open borders, but I wouldn’t claim that confidently. What changed my mind? A greater familiarity with the theoretical models that are the basis for “double world GDP” as a claim about the global economic impact of open borders, especially my own. It turns out that these estimates depend on billions of people migrating internationally under open borders. Previously, my vague and tentative expectations about how much migration would occur under open borders were akin to Gallup poll estimates suggesting that 150 million or so would like to migrate to the USA. Others may disagree, but I was fairly confident at the time that the US polity was robust enough to absorb 150-200 million immigrants (over, say, a couple of decades) and retain its basic political character and structure. I do not think the US polity is robust enough to absorb 1 billion immigrants (even, say, over the course of fifty years) and retain its basic political character and structure.

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