Sunday, August 23, 2015

Frivolidad

La frivolidad ha sido una característica de la decadencia, las naciones se tornan superficiales en su declinación. Un país en ascenso es serio, es austero y trascendental, el circo surge con la decadencia.  Colombia es un país especial, se ha transitado del  parroquialismo a la frivolidad. Algo asícomo un individuo que usa sacoleva pero no sabe calzarse unos zapatos.
Durante la primera mitad del siglo XX una Bogotá provinciana y aislada con pésimos servicios públicos, pobre y cundida de analfabetos empezó a lucir presuntuosos y exclusivos clubes sociales, en una absurda imitación del Londres imperial. 
Con el transcurrir del tiempo, surgieron nuevos signos de frivolidad, en el segundo período del Siglo XX a imitación de los achaques de sociedades afluentes y satisfechas, empezaron una serie de campañas  acerca de problemas ajenos, la obsesión por la contaminación ambiental, las chimeneas industriales pasaron a ser un peligro para los seres humanos, en un país donde brillan por su ausencia. Un enorme barullo por la escasez de agua, en una tierra donde las inundaciones son mucho más frecuentes que las sequias. La tala inmisericorde de árboles se volvió un tema iterativo en los medios de comunicación, según el último censo agropecuario más del 50% del territorio de Colombia está cubierto de selvas. Los informes de prensa indican que este país importa más madera de la que exporta.
Según medios oficiales, Colombia presenta la mayor biodiversidad del Mundo, aunque no hay investigaciones taxonómicas que lo prueben, todo es un cúmulo de mentiras de autocomplacencia.
Los verdaderos problemas nacionales tales como la crisis económica que se avecina, la decadencia de la industria, el atraso de la agricultura, el pésimo sistema educativo, el completo caos en los servicios de salud  y la proliferación de mafias, son asuntos secundarios ante temas tan importantes como la aprobación de la dosis personal de drogas psicoactivas, el matrimonio gay, la adopción de niños por parejas homosexuales, la eutanasia y la persecución de los fumadores. En el tema de salud son importantes el papiloma humano, el colesterol, la celulitis, los triclicéridos, la bulimia, el estrés, el surmenage y otros achaques por el estilo. No merecen la atención del gobierno enfermedades que carecen de glamour tales como la amebiasis, la uncinariasis, el paludismo, el cólera, el chagas, el dengue y otras. Además  estas son  endemias de tierra caliente.
A semejanza de los países desarrollados, Colombia debe dedicarse a combatir el calentamiento global, proteger la capa de ozono de la atmósfera, crear una extensión desmesurada de parques nacionales y reservas étnicas y además ingresar a la OCDE.
No importa que el País carezca de vías de comunicación, que haya zonas como el Pacífico de una pobreza aberrante, el Congreso se dedica a banalidades tales como decretar honores a los cientos de “próceres de nuestra historia” a celebrar efemérides de todo lo imaginable.
El poder judicial es otro foco de banalidad, ha creado un increíble enredo de entelequias jurídicas que no tienen relación con la situación del país,para obstaculizar toda iniciativa, en Colombia las cosas no pueden ser necesarias, indispensables o urgentes, lo único importante es que sean exequibles. Para la infinita vanidad de los magistrados las necesidades de la ciudadanía carecen totalmente de importancia. Ante un Mundo que avanza muy rápidamente Colombia permanece anclado en la frivolidad y la ineptitud.
Jaime Galvis Vergara

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Freno al Progreso

por Jaime Galvis V.

Bogotá como ciudad capital de Colombia ha sido un óbice para el desarrollo nacional. La Gran Colombia, que hubiera sido el segundo país en importancia en Iberoamérica, terminó convertida en un país mediano, con más problemas que proyecciones hacia el futuro. Una aldea intermontana como la Santafé colonial, sin actividades económicas dignas de mención, entregada a las intrigas burocráticas de la administración colonial, con una mentalidad absolutamente parroquial no tenía las capacidades para administrar un gran país.

Luego de la disolución de la Gran Colombia, la Nueva Granada se constituyó como República de Colombia. La situación geográfica de la capital provocó un poblamiento al revés de lo habitual en muchos países, las grandes planicies bajas, los litorales y deltas permanecieron muy poco pobladas y la gran afluencia demográfica se localizó en las cordilleras, principalmente en el Altiplano Cundiboyacense y zonas montañosas de los Santanderes, Antioquia y en vertientes de la Cordillera Central.

Un aspecto importante es observar que Bogotá siempre estuvo distante de las principales actividades agrícolas y mineras del País. La producción de azúcar y café tuvo asiento en el Occidente de Colombia, el tabaco en Santander y el algodón en la Costa Atlántica, el cultivo de palma africana se encuentra en el Valle medio del Magdalena y la Costa Atlántica. La minería de oro se halla en el Noroccidente y Sur del País. Los carbones de exportación se extraen en la Costa Atlántica. 

La ineptitud de la dirigencia capitalina se ha manifestado en muchos aspectos; el manejo de los puertos desde Bogotá cuando existió Colpuertos fue un absoluto desastre. Las ciudades costeras han sabido administrar mucho mejor las actividades portuarias. El sector eléctrico ha tenido un buen desempeño, ya que la mayor parte de las obras han sido dirigidas y administradas desde Antioquia. La industria azucarera es administrada en el Valle del Cauca, con eficiencia, se han librado de la creación de una federación de azucareros en la Capital para desviar recursos y crear privilegios. La industria ha sido una actividad muy perjudicada por la obsesión centralista, en gobiernos del Frente Nacional quisieron centralizar los proyectos de industria pesada en el Altiplano Cundiboyacense, con resultados desastrosos, fue algo tan absurdo como pretender crear un Ruhr en la cumbre de los Andes. La industria del cemento se inició en proximidades de la Capital y su administración fue calamitosa, los dos grandes emporios terminaron sin pena ni gloria. La actividad cementera se consolidó en otros lares.

El manejo de la industria petrolera ha sido francamente decepcionante, desde una sede central opera una frondosa burocracia incapaz de entender la geología de Colombia, por lo cual las realizaciones exploratorias son risibles. Además el manejo económico de todo lo referente a la industria petroquímica es deplorable. No permitieron la instalación de una refinería en Tumaco, lo cual hubiera estimulado la exploración privada en una zona muy promisoria de Colombia, la esquina suroccidental de la Amazonia. El ensanche de la refinería de Cartagena se tornó un cuento de nunca acabar. Se vendió la participación en Monómeros Colombo-Venezolanos perdiendo el control de la mayor planta petroquímica del País. 

Otro aspecto de pésimo conocimiento del País se presenta en lo referente a carreteras, es increíble el abandono del Litoral Pacífico, las vías en la Orinoquia y Amazonia brillan por su ausencia. Es tan miope la visión capitalina del territorio nacional, que hace unos cuantos años un connotado periodista capitalino decía que no se justificaba un puente sobre el rio Magdalena en Barranquilla, porque eran más urgente concluir los puentes dela calle 26 en Bogotá. 

Jaime Galvis Vergara    

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

VOLUNTAD POPULAR

Por Jaime Galvis V.


En Latinoamérica la deformación del proceso democrático ha llegado a extremos verdaderamente pintorescos, con demasiada frecuencia la voluntad popular es burlada en forma descarada por fraudes electorales. Además el costo de las campañas para Presidencia y Congreso es absolutamente exagerado, es una verdadera danza de los millones para la cual se consigue el dinero fraudulentamente del presupuesto o se apela a fuentes extrañas tales como empresas interesadas en contratos o peor aún a la delincuencia. 


La propaganda electoral es un verdadero carnaval mediático con los mismos sistemas publicitarios usados para promover ropa, jabones, chocolatinas o bebidas alcohólicas. Todo esto lleva a la elección de personajes de dudosa moral, mañosos, ineptos y muy frecuentemente corruptos. En México, en la sucesión de gobiernos del PRI, el presidente de turno descaradamente nombraba su sucesor (“el dedazo”) por el cual votaba mansamente el electorado. En otros países tales como Venezuela, Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, etc., el presidente de turno ha usado descaradamente el presupuesto para su reelección o para lograr imponer el sucesor. 


Generalmente esto lleva a regímenes cuyos mandatarios son repudiados por la voluntad popular pero son inamovibles porque fueron elegidos “democráticamente”. Hay casos realmente patéticos como los de Venezuela, Colombia, Brasil, Argentina, cuyos gobiernos no alcanzan a tener un treinta por ciento de la opinión popular, pero continúan atornillados al poder, arruinando económicamente a los respectivos países y atropellando a la oposición. 


En democracias parlamentarias como buena parte de las europeas estos mandatarios hubieran sido destituídos. Aún en Norteamérica, a pesar del  sólido presidencialismo se presentó un caso. Pero en Latinoamérica existe el derecho divino de los presidentes. No importa el prontuario de abusos e indelicadezas los jefes de estado permanecen incólumes. 


En esto Venezuela es un ejemplo patético, un demagogo enloquecido se decidió a regalar ingentes sumas de dinero por todo el Mundo, contra la voluntad de los venezolanos, luego, moribundo designó a su sucesor, un extraño personaje, torpe y atrabiliario, el cual por medio de unos comicios fraudulentos se mantiene en el poder contra la voluntad de la ciudadanía, persiguiendo y encarcelando a los principales opositores con acusaciones falsas. 


En Brasil, un régimen populista corrupto detenta el poder a pesar de la oposición de la inmensa mayoría de la población. Se han presentado manifestaciones de cientos de miles de ciudadanos exigiendo la renuncia de lajefe de estado, esta permanece aferrada a un cargo que claramente le queda grande. ¿Dónde está el respeto a la voluntad popular?


En Colombia, la situación no es muy diferente, un mandatario absolutamente impopular se hizo reelegir en un proceso electoral en extremo dudoso, contra la voluntad popular, insiste en unas negociaciones de paz con el grupo mafioso más numerosos del País, a las cuales se opone más del 80% de la ciudadanía. Usa una maquinaria judicial corrupta para perseguir a los opositores políticos, cabe agregar que el poder judicial es rechazado en todas las encuestas que hacen los medios de comunicación áulicos del Presidente. ¿La voluntad popular dónde queda? 


En México un representante del resucitado PRI se está ahogando en sus propias torpezas, pero contra la opinión de la mayoría del electorado continua aferrado al poder. 


En Argentina el triste espectáculo de corrupción y nepotismo parece estar llegando a su fin, luego que llevó al país a la ruina económica. 


Esta triste historia se repite en casi toda Latinoamérica, la democracia solamente es un barniz para ocultar dictaduras de personajes ineptos.



Sunday, July 05, 2015

Co-gobierno de las ONG

Por Jaime Galvis

En algunos medios de Norteamérica han criticado la resolución del Gobierno de La India de vedar el acceso a dicho país de las ONG. Esto nos lleva a analizar las actividades de dichas “instituciones” en Colombia.

Las ONG surgieron en el Mundo con el propósito de remediar falencias de los gobiernos y atender necesidades y problemas de toda clase. Sin embargo estas organizaciones proliferaron en tal forma que han llegado a convertirse en una verdadera plaga, como se evidenció en el terremoto de Haití. A raíz del desastre afluyeron a dicho país más de 5.000 ONG. Fue tal el caos que generaron, que los damnificados pedían que los libraran de sus “salvadores”. Gran parte de la ayuda internacional fue a parar a los bolsillos de miembros de las ONG, algunas de ellas llegaron a establecer verdaderos campos de concentración con las víctimas del desastre, en Puerto Príncipe, tres años despues del sismo era aberrante observar el contraste entre las casuchas improvisadas de los damnificados y los relucientes vehículos de los miembros de las ONG. Más de 5.000 millones de euros de la ayuda no se notaban. ¿Quién controló el manejo de esos dineros? Hay miles de estas organizaciones (solamente en Brasil hay más de 300.000) que se han convertido en negocios de la caridad sin dar cuentas a nadie de las donaciones que reciben. Viven del usufructo de las calamidades y de la ingenuidad de los donantes.

Además de las miserias humanas otras ONG se dedican a proteger el medioambiente, los derechos humanos, las minorías étnicas y mil cosas más. En estos aspectos se han creado unas poderosas ONG con financiaciones de grandes empresas o de gobiernos de determinados países, son verdaderas transnacionales que pretenden cogobernar los países subdesarrollados. Un verdadero neocolonialismo. Organizaciones tales como Human Rights Watch, Amnistía Internacional, Greenpeace, WWF, Ceres, Common Ground, Habitat for Humanity, Global Footprint Network, Rain Forest Alliance y muchísimas más. La arrogancia de fundaciones tales como Human Rights Watch o Amnistia Internacional es proverbial, pretenden darle órdenes a los gobiernos (aquellos que lo toleran), se inmiscuyen en aspectos de las fuerzas armadas, de policía, de minorías étnicas y otros aspectos generalmente con un sesgo político.       
  
Entre las ONG de asuntos ambientales también hay algunas muy poderosas y generalmente pretenden infiltrarse en los entresijos de las agencias gubernamentales. Vetan proyectos de desarrollo con pretextos ecológicos. Desatan escándalos mediáticos contra actividades mineras y petroleras. Se ha llegado a extremos tales como el arribo de un barco de Greenpeace a protestar por una mina de carbón en un páramo de Boyacá. Son intervenciones odiosas y abusivas. EL sabotaje de las ONG logró la cancelación de los proyectos de la carretera Animas-Nuquí y del puerto de Tribugá en el Litoral Pacífico. El proyecto hidroeléctrico del río Micay también fue cancelado por acción de fundaciones ambientales. Carreteras fundamentales tales como la que conduce de Mocoa a Pasto o la que comunica a San Vicente del Caguán con Villavicencio han tenido aplazamientos continuos por las actividades de las ONG. Estas entidades no solamente obstaculizan los proyectos, además con intensas campañas mediáticas generan rechazo de las comunidades hacia cualquier obra de progreso.

Las ONG han influido en la creación de un área exagerada de parques nacionales y sistemáticamente se oponen a los proyectos de desarrollo de la Vertiente Pacífica, para esas fundaciones son más importantes las ballenas que esos seres humanos paupérrimos que allí habitan. 

Países con un sentido de dignidad nacional, no admiten ese neocolonialismo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

NEGLIGENCIA DE LESA PATRIA

por Jaime Galvis V.  

Las relaciones entre Colombia y Venezuela desde hace unos cuantos años han sido más tirantes que amistosas; con demasiada frecuencia el vecino ha mostrado los dientes. La región del Catatumbo lleva años dominada por la delincuencia con disfraces ideológicos, atizada desde el otro lado de la frontera. Solamente al Gobierno de Colombia se le ocurre crear una zona de “reserva campesina” desmilitarizada, en los límites con un país cuyo gobierno es cada día más hostil y está armado hasta los dientes. Más aun Venezuela le ha dado refugio durante años a las Farc, cuyos campamentos se hallan próximos a la línea fronteriza.  En vecindades de la línea limítrofe, al Oriente del caserío de La Gabarra cruza una carretera troncal pavimentada, la cual comunica a San Cristóbal con Maracaibo, del lado de Colombia solamente hay una trocha espantosa que conduce de Tibú a la Gabarra.

Naturalmente la zona de “reserva campesina” es un emporio de cultivos de coca la cual sale a través de territorio venezolano, más aun cabe pensar que de allí se abastece el “cartel de los soles” del país vecino. Dicho cartel, según anotan casi unánimemente los medios de comunicación es manejado por altos oficiales del Ejército Venezolano. Por tanto es lógico pensar que hay un interés geopolítico-mafioso en dominar el Catatumbo. Ante todo esto, la Cancillería de Colombia se limita a enviar comunicados babosos, cuando el peligro de una agresión puede ser inminente.  

Además del absoluto disparate de designar al Gobierno de Venezuela garante de un absurdo proceso de paz, se está desguarneciendo la frontera en forma realmente preocupante, en  el caso de un posible conflicto, las Farc, pueden ser una peligrosa quinta columna. El patriotismo de dicha guerrilla no existe, tanto es así que cuando salió el laudo del diferendo con Nicaragua, enviaron públicas felicitaciones a dicho país.

 La  protección que le ha brindado el Gobierno de Venezuela a las Farc mantiene en continuo estado de zozobra a los habitantes de zonas fronterizas tales como Arauca, en este departamento, los guerrilleros cometen los crímenes y automáticamente se refugian en el vecino país. Ese departamento que presenta algunos de los mejores suelos de Los Llanos permanece estancado ante el abandono del Gobierno Nacional y la continua agresión orquestada desde Venezuela. Puerto Carreño, un punto estratégico fundamental se halla casi incomunicado. En la Alta Guajira la dependencia casi total del contrabando de Venezuela, hace muy dudoso el sentido patriótico de sus habitantes, el hambre y el desamparo son totales, en una región muy próxima a la segunda ciudad de Venezuela.

El letargo mental del Gobierno de Colombia es patético, la zona fronteriza debe integrarse, es necesaria una carretera decente entre Arauca y los Santanderes, la denominada carretera de “La  Soberanía” es una trocha. Es indispensable una vía entre el Catatumbo y la Costa Atlántica, la reserva indígena de Los Motilones  no es un país aparte sin ley ni control. El derribo del helicóptero Black Hawk evidencia la vulnerabilidad de la región del Catatumbo. Esa historia de la voladura por una mina “quiebrapatas” es ridícula, eso es tan bobo como pretender que un camión se puede volar con triquitraques. Allí hubo armamento sofisticado. En la Guajira se necesitan plantas desalinizadoras, una completa carretera perimetral, instalar salinas marinas y otras fuentes de trabajo, además terminar las obras de la presa del Cercado. Una población en la miseria no se puede sentir colombiana.

¡La mediación de Venezuela en el “Proceso de Paz” puede parangonarse con una disputa matrimonial en la cual sirva de mediador el amante de la esposa!

Monday, June 08, 2015

Paul Rosenberg - Production versus Plunder (Ch 8 - 10)

Production Versus Plunder - Part 8
By Paul Rosenberg - May 23, 2015
The cynical dictum, one sows, another reaps, is sometimes true in real life, but it has been burned into our history books. In some primary instances, usurpers have, famously, been given credit for what they did not create, but rather destroyed.
Continued from last week ...
LANGUAGE
One final issue of importance was the language that the Greeks spoke. Their Indo-European grammar, with its categories of gender, its sharp distinction of person and number, and its great emphasis on chronological tense, instilled in them (as it does in most every Indo-European speaker) a certain level of logical attitude toward life.
This is not a minor point, and the Indo-European languages differ in this way from others, such as the languages of the Far East, which emphasize relative class levels. What people assume1 in their speech has a powerful effect upon them.
HAVING THIS MIND IN THEM...
Because of the mountainous and irregular geography of Greece, stringing city-states together into an empire was a difficult thing to do. Certainly it was tried, but the obstacles were significant and a single organization was never able to dominate the civilization. Because of this they never developed a strong nationalistic priesthood that served the state. Their mythology became more a set of moralistic fables than a theology. Then, with an intellectual life fully separate from rulership or a priesthood, these men and women examined human grouping and military defense in the light of reason, more or less independent from mythology. Their practical organizational methods of democratic city-states and temporary defense alliances were developed from this base.
Greek applications of democracy included such practical measures as random drawings for public duties and a mandate that an attempt was made at a private settlement before almost any case could be brought to court.
The basic unit of politics in Ancient Greece was the polis, or city-state. Each city was essentially independent. Some cities might be subordinate to others (a colony traditionally deferred to its mother city), some might have governments dependent upon others, but the supreme power of each city was located within that city. This meant that when Greece went to war, it took the form of an alliance going to war. It also allowed for wars within Greece, between different cities.
The Greeks exhibited a vigorous, healthy intellectual life. Those wealthy enough to enjoy leisure went to the gumnasion, which was a place to exercise both mind and body. They flocked to watch Greek tragedy, a subtle and sophisticated medium. And, as evinced by their public art, they had a keen eye for technical as well as artistic excellence.
At the same time, the early Greeks exhibited considerable control over base appetites and grasping desires. The freemen of the Assembly (their legislative body) could have voted themselves whatever they liked, such as generous pensions for life, but they did not.
The well-rounded natures of the early Greeks were admirable, and their general situation lasted for a few hundred years, until Athens found itself in a position to lord it over the other cities... and did.
ATHENS LEADS GREECE INTO THE WAY OF ALL EMPIRES
In the wake of the Persian Wars (491–479 B.C.), Greek city-states formed a voluntary alliance, "to exact vengeance by ravaging the Persian king's lands." And, as vengeance so often does, it led them all to their eventual downfall, as the alliance was converted into an Athenian empire2.
The alliance – called the Delian League because its treasury was on the island of Delos – was formed in 478 B.C. and led by Athens. Policy decisions were made at meetings on Delos, where all members had one vote. Athens calculated the states' annual contributions, which were made in either warships or in cash. The League was especially popular among Greek states most open to Persian attack, located on the western coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and the islands offshore.
At first things went well and membership of the League reached nearly 200 states. But signs of dissatisfaction with Athens began to appear. The islands of Naxos and Thasos tried to secede, the latter in a dispute with Athens over mining and trading rights. Athens forced them back. Around 454 B.C., the League treasury was moved from Delos to Athens. At about the same time, Athens started planting settlements of Athenians on 'allied' territory. When cities began attempting secession later, Athenian 'overseers' and 'garrison commanders' took control.
Around 450 B.C. a final peace was made with Persia, but Athens saw to it that the League kept going. By this time, only three states contributed ships, and all the rest money. Athenian inscriptions relating to the League began to read: The cities which the Athenians control. Pericles (the renowned wise man of Athens) admitted that Athens had become, "like a tyranny."
What had started as a free union of states pursuing mutual interests slowly turned into an empire run by the Athenians pursuing their own interests. It would still be some time before Greece would reap the rewards of this moral devolution, but this was the turning point and no one went about to reverse it. Even Pericles acquiesced, saying that if it was dangerous to start it, "it would be worse to let it go."
In 405 B.C., the Spartan general Lysander virtually destroyed the Athenian fleet. Athens surrendered one year later, to end the Peloponnesian War. The war had left devastation in its wake. Many of the cities were unhappy with the Spartan dominance that followed, and this induced the Thebans to attack. They defeated Sparta at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 B.C., inaugurating a period of Theban dominance in Greece.
In 346 B.C., unable to prevail in its ten-year war with Phocis, Thebes called upon Philip II of Macedon for aid, and he quickly conquered the exhausted cites of Greece. The basic unit of politics from that point on was the empire, and the golden age of Greece had fully ended. The conquests of Alexander did follow, but they were very short-lived and contrary to almost all that had once been considered Greek. Within 150 years, Greece became an unremarkable province of Rome, and nothing more.
REPRISE: THE WRONG GUYS GET THE CREDIT
In this case, again, it can be seen that the wrong people have been given the credit for human advancement. The Athenians, who fell heir to the creations of earlier Greeks, have generally been heralded as the great developers and examples, when it was, in actual fact, they who ruined the operation.
This is almost identical to the situation we explained in the previous chapter, where the people who have been given the credit for creating the first civilization, inventing the wheel, and so on, were not the ones who actually did it, but were rather the usurpers and destroyers of human progress. As we explained, the Sumerians were a much later group of people than the early creators, and they presided over the final decline and destruction of that civilization.
A few lines are in order to explain why this is3. The key reasons are the following:
  • The things that are easiest to repeat tend to be those that are most repeated. Instead of explaining the (complex) actual events, it is easier to say, "Sumeria and Athens." This is what is incessantly repeated to schoolchildren and it is what tends to stick.
  • In both of these cases, creation was fairly quickly overrun by ruling structures and absorbed. Not only are those who take over diligent to claim credit, but the true creators almost never do. So, the only story passed down is that of the usurper.
  • The proliferation of goods does not take place at the moment of creation, but only after a significant period of time. New creations are almost always opposed at the beginning, are finally accepted, and only then begin to spread far and wide. (The idea, after all, survives the death of its creator.) As a practical matter, it took centuries for the discoveries of the Armenian farmers and the early Greeks to spread and to produce mass results. Commentators are frequently unaware of this fact and give credit to the people who were in charge when the goods proliferated.
  • Museums and archaeologists have long been closely aligned with large institutions and have shared a 20th Century over-respect for things large; also, the 20th Century's over-regard for things centralized and hierarchical. In both of these cases, largeness and centralization came at the end of the development cycle.
But, for whatever reasons, credit has gone to the usurpers and the wasters of human progress. One sows, another reaps. Productivity is overrun by plunder.
The following graph shows this process in a highly generalized form.
Description: http://www1.thedailybell.com/images/library/prod1.jpg
The General Cycle of Production and Plunder
This production/plunder cycle plays itself out in the following way4:
  • Virtues form after cycles have bottomed out.
  • Production follows virtue.
  • Centralization feeds upon production.
  • A Golden Age occurs when plunder is at a peak, and is characterized by monuments, public works and self-glorification.
  • Virtues are overrun by the forces of centralization. This leads to a loss of production, but not immediately. The lag period may be a century or more.
  • Centralization fails some years (possibly centuries) after production fails.
  • After a long period of decentralization and psychological reset, virtues again form, beginning a new cycle.
NOTES:
1The important thing is that these things are learned in early childhood, when we have very little analytical ability. After that, they are assumed and rarely analyzed.
2It is highly ironic, but this story line would make an excellent Greek Tragedy.
3We are straying a bit from our subject matter here (and into popular culture), but I think it is warranted, since almost all of my readers will have had similar experiences to my own – wherein the Sumerians and the Athenians were given credit for the advances of mankind and our true benefactors were never mentioned.
4Note that this graph shows the same set of relationships as those between host and parasite and those of prey and predator.
·         48 Comments
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Great series of articles. I love them.
I am in the middle of a book by Nelson Hultberg. "The Golden Mean". It goes along with this line of thinking.
I was cleaning out some old papers today and ran across an article by Hultberg from 2010. I hadn't remembered it. It's a good read too.
Check out his website; 
afr.org
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Paul is reminding us that history could teach us if we study it and learn from past mistakes. What are the virtues that give rise to production? What are the vices that result in plunder? How do we avoid the latter? How do we break the cycle, before it's too late, i.e., we become extinct?
Could it be that our moral code is flawed? Could Ayn Rand be correct when she criticized it as anti-life, anti-man, anti-mind? Could we need new intellectual guidance? Could it be that philosophers have let humanity down with past moral theories? Were they all flawed? Is this the cause of our destructive political systems?
I believe so. I submit voluntarism would avoid the boom/bust cycle. But it needs to be developed. It needs mechanisms for dispute resolution which have worked, to be more widely adopted. But first, a new moral code for public life needs to be applied. The private moral code used by most is nonviolence. Basing our public code on the worst behavior of a minority is not rational. Private bad behavior does not justify the initiation of force on everyone. It only makes society less safe, less civilized.
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Horace Greeley said "The darkest hour of any man's is when he sits down to plan how to make money without earning it." As long as men live who have no problem with stealing, no matter how sophisticated the schema, there will always exist the need for some force to stop them. But, when the force empowered to restrain thieves are themselves the thieves, what can be done? I doubt voluntarism is up to the task - as pastoral an idea as it may be.
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As you asked: "what can be done?" It is clear. Nothing, once you have accepted "initiation of force" you have created evil to combat evil. You have accepted the moral code of the behavior you abhor. You have contradicted yourself.
You doubt voluntarism will work? Either we interact voluntarily or involuntarily. There is no third way. Thieves chose involuntary interaction. Using force to restrain them enforces voluntary interactions. Force in retaliation to force is justified.
Do you make no distinction between force initiated, and force in defense? If you see the moral difference, where is your objection?
People who claim no distinction exists are advocates of the initiation of violence, even if they claim to be pacifists. Pacifists do not defend against initiation of force, thereby encouraging it. Actions have consequences. By allowing initiation of force, pacifists are exempting the action from negative consequences. Their nonresistance contradicts their moral condemnation. I judge them by their actions, not their words, when I see a contradiction.
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I certainly do see the distinction between forces initiated and force defensive. No matter how one cuts it force will be applied. Stalin was justified in his dialectical mind for the force he initiated. He was of course wrong. But my main premise was that when two diametrically apposed ideals vy for the same power found in public policy, and one or the other will not lay down, what other choice is there but force? One force wished to use public policy to steal and the other to prevent stealing. Maybe that force is a voting booth or maybe that force is a gun. But force in inevitable.
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And my main premise is that the choice to use force to repel force (defense) is moral/practical. Public policy is institutionalized violence, without regard for whether it is used for offense or defense. That makes it wrong. Voting for who gets to push everybody around does not make an immoral act moral. Behind every election is the premise that voting makes what would be immoral privately, moral publicly. And that is indefensible. Mob rule is still rule.
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Agreed. The founders were as concerned about a democracy as they were a tyrant king.
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"REPRISE: THE WRONG GUYS GET THE CREDIT"
Just struck me:
Politicians are quick to steal credit and, the time (>lifetime) has not yet elapsed for accepting responsibility. Are these the ONLY terms to which they can tolerate or be tolerated?
And, should we have adapted to a minority, as opposed to the converse?
just wonderin...
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For contrast and comparison--- within the time frame of the chapter presented--this discussion fails to take and to keep Homer in focus;
otherwise it’d not be lost in dimensions too ABSTRACT.
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It's all relevant. Nothing in this discussion is lost...imho :) You got something to add about Homer? He wrote an intriguing story, but c'mon...there is only so much to invest in folklore.
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What we think of as entertainment began in Greece, and it was one of the primary ways in which the Greeks revived themselves and came out of their dark age. It is very important to understand that the Greek myths were a radical departure from those of previous civilizations; they were written so that people could find meaning in them. The holy writings of the previous state/church systems were primarily rules of behavior. Do this, and things will go well. The Greeks had stories that were meant to address the reader's inner life. The theologies of the empires addressed men's actions; the Greeks had stories that addressed men's souls. And there was something else: in the Greek myths, men were not small, insignificant, and powerless before the gods. In the Greek myths, man challenged the gods, and sometimes won! They beat the gods through superior thinking. This was a radically new intellectual development. -THE RISE OF THE INDEPENDENT MYTH-MAKER Part 7
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Well, the question begs to be asked, will, "the general cycle of production and plunder" continue this time around. with the capacity to turn the planet into a ash heap, where the lives of the plunders are in question, are the plunders thinking they can dig a deeper hole to survive the final solution or will they realize (finally) they are just one of us and no reason to dominate all life on earth. These usurpers at this moment in history, can decide, we can live together or die together. I ask myself, if King Tut was so powerful and thought of himself as a god, where is he.
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ancient knowledge...
"Do not hold the delusion that your advancement is accomplished by crushing others.": Marcus Tullius Cicero - (106-43 B.C.) Roman 
Statesman, Philosopher and Orator.
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Exactly! Will technology be used to create or destroy? Will humanity commit suicide? We need philosophy to keep up with science. We need intellectuals to give us a new, efficient ethical code before the old one based on institutionalized violence results in annihilation. I know respect for the mind is only expressed by voluntary interactions. Putting brute force first does not do that. Elevating force first, as a moral/practical system is inhuman, uncivilized. But that is the unspoken worldwide system as expressed in the institution of government. This needs to be identified as responsible for the cycle of boom/bust, production/plunder.
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What stands out to me most in this piece are the durations of time involved in the cycles. From an individual stand point at an given "moment" change is almost literally imperceptible. Maybe with the knowledge of one's cultural history one can deduce a trend but there seems to be very little one can do about it. In a way, you could say that in the course of a cycle all types of "personalities" have their "golden age" - artists, inventors and creators; politicians and businessmen; warriors; dictators, etc. The possible problem is that it may "suck" to be a creator, say, within a dictatorship, but I don't think it actually works that way. People choose the environment in which they are born for their own reasons, so maybe this creator-plunderer model may not be as unjust as it may seem.
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"maybe this creator-plunderer model may not be as unjust as it may seem."
you on drugs today?
To a plunderer, it subjectively "feels" fair UNTIL your cumulative predations destroy peace and civilization. Addictive behavior, now at expense of future.
To a creator, its all sticks, no carrots. All environmental forces state: DO NOT BE A CREATOR (attracts predators), be a plunderer
and: "People choose the environment in which they are born":(
don't recall being "allowed" choice in this or any other significant matter. Or, are you speaking eastern mythology where past life feeds to choices of next life? There are ZERO facts to support this allegation.
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Come on Bill, you where thinking about being Bill before you where Bill. (You didn't know that), and you chose to be a Ross. And then, you created Bill Ross. :)
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Admit: I am a self made man. It is not to anyone else's survival advantage to create such as me.
Dunno much about the "nature" of how "I" came to exist. Know alot about the "nurture" (adaptation) that resulted in me, creating me, with much kicking and screaming regarding "unwelcome" environmental "influences".
and yep, as a Ross (Scottish), my ancestors have a rich history of kicking tyrannical British butt.
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The old question, chicken or the egg. I came from the fertilizer, and it was Irish fertilizer, and injected into a German egg. LOL.:)
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Yep, the chicken or the egg. The old adage of arguing for the extreme (like Ross and Bruce did today). When logic dictates that the answer lay somewhere in between...or so it seems. Maybe, for example, there never was any egg barren chickens. Even atheists could buy into that evolutionary idea. Now they can only argue with their intelligent design/evolutionary creationist opponents.
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making you sour kraut?:)
there must be "some" derogatory term for Scottish you can banter back...
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I think the Scott's created Golf, where guys make millions smacking a little white ball around. More I think about it, not a bad idea.
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gotta smack "something", else go insane with frustration:)
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Yep, our problem, we be mortal, and live with time, and the reason for frustration. The slow ponderous movement of time. Ah, to live forever and see it unfold, 'to our satisfaction', that would be grand!
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I knew you were going to go ballistic.
Look, I know it sounds crazy to you and I may be wrong, but I think I'm more right than wrong about this.
If you start with the premise that you form your own reality then they're can't be any such thing as accidents or victimization, meaning experiential events that aren't chosen.
I get it that people/you don't think you choose everything but I think you do. Consciousness (call it the essential you) exists independent of form (your body, environment, "the physical world/universe") and you always exist and you choose "lives" just as much as what you eat for breakfast.
If you think that's bunk then you're left with a pretty limited and arbitrary model of reality. Basically, you'll grant some degree of freedom to people's choices but relatively little. I say much more is chosen than you claim.
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...Bruce is opening up views along the lines of Jon Rappoport's reality discussions. I think we really do choose our realities....there really is no such thing as accidents or victimization.
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And that predators do take advantage of those who 'choose' unwisely. But you can't deny that predators do work to limit your choices (block the exits) and therefore do create influences in this existence.
.
I tend to agree with you in that this may all be natural. This is how I have come to reconcile with my creator. The rise and fall of civilizations depict the familiar bell shaped curve, much like the rise and fall of any population. It could be due to a depletion of a life essential resource or the eternal predator/prey struggle. Some say man has no natural predator. I say bunk, look around, I'm sure everyone knows many on a personal basis. Empire, war, disease, starvation and a dog eat dog mentality of some, may be necessary in balancing life on earth. Who knows? But you are right. We don't need to wallow in it or fail to rise above it or avoid the consequences of accepting predatory advice or a station designed/assigned by them.
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"Each man, too, is a tyrant in tendency, because he would impose his idea on others." Ralph Waldo Emerson.
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So true, and to what degree? The waters can always be muddier than one can tolerate.
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"Basically, you'll grant some degree of freedom to people's choices but relatively little."
Therein your "argument" falls flat.
Sure, we have choices (to do action) which is the method that the intelligent use to develop the future (consequences) in our action precedes consequence physical reality.
Problem is that OUR guns of state are pointed at us altering the OWNERSHIP of actions / consequences to whoever arbitrary power decrees.
If you make good / productive choices, the consequences (your property / accomplishments) are decreed by "rule of some men, over others" to NOT belong to you. So, from your POV, these choices were "not good" because they attracted predators and wasted your LIFE producing what was stolen.
When others make bad choices (such as public debt, go on welfare), the consequences (their property) is alleged to NOT belong to them, but to OTHERS, such as you who had NO CHOICE (in the behavior of others). To refuse to accept the consequences of this irresponsibility (refuse to pay taxes) is possibly the most major "hot button" of states, since this is their "business case".
You started out with "justice" (everyone faces the consequences, good, or bad of their OWN CHOICES).
So, which is "more just"?
1 - Benefiting or losing and learning / adapting from your OWN choices, master of your OWN destiny, charting your own course, defining your own life?
OR
2 - Facing and paying for the consequences of the choices of unaccountable others who point guns at you should you dissent?
You are correct, "we do have choice". Whether we can benefit from our choices and avoid dealing with the consequences of the choices of others is a completely separate matter, currently "decided" by "rule of man" and "might is right" as opposed to "rule of law" (former definition of western civilization):
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I don't disagree with most of what you say but our frameworks differ.
Think about this: Ironically, your "model" of reality can and is used against your own arguments by the "predators"/"liberals"/statists.
By you claiming that your choices are limited by "them" gives them the excuse (logically convoluted though it may be) to take "governmental"/statist actions to "level the playing field."
Also, by claiming that one is basically at the mercy of one's own wit then "life is unfair" (they say) because not everyone is equally intelligent/resourceful, etc.
Thirdly, by denying that all experiences are not chosen, specifically circumstances at birth (location, wealth or poverty, intelligence, life challenges, etc.) - again - "justifies" (so they say) interventions, foreign and domestic aid, etc.
Basically, everything you claim that is not chosen provides a "logical" basis for "helping" others in that area.
That may seem cruel, and I don't want this to be confused with the Middle Ages ideas that "God" runs the show and so no one should intervene. (E.g., poverty or illness is God's punishment.)
P.S. Got to go to a meeting.... Later.
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All I can say is I am NOT responsible for their CHOICES regarding how rational arguments are "twisted" to subjective alternate realities to meet THEIR ends, for the same reason that those who create tools such as guns are NOT RESPONSIBLE for the choices of OTHERS regarding how to use them.
The "best lies are mostly truth". And, your foot is getting deeper in your mouth. Are you seriously suggesting the "search for truth" should be mitigated by concerns regarding how fools may misrepresent and use truth to achieve evil (harmful) ends? To concede this point is to let the fools win and we should all be Luddites and, the RC church was correct in imprisoning Galileo lest he upset the status quo.
You sound like my late, tyrannical stepmother (who was correct): "you're too smart for your own good" (age 6).
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No, what I'm saying is the truth is more profound and expansive than your idea of Natural Law as I understand it, and the "greater truth" undermines and renders irrelevant all statist claims and beliefs.
Again, as I understand you position, it's not unlike Ayn Rand's Objectivism and her appeal to egoism. She was heavily criticized for that, and still is. In fact, her ideas might even be considered irrelevant these days. I say the reason for that is she didn't go far enough. She was a materialist (as you seem to be) and that framework is not sufficient to support the lofty ideals of her "man qua man" concept. Her Objectivist Aesthetics, for example, was pretty lame, and that's pretty telling. Her Objectivist Epistemology was also highly limited. It codified the "main myth" that all information and "data" can come only through one or more of the five physical senses. That's brutal, and untrue, and everyone knows it at some level. Framework too small.
The answers to her critics were not convincing, let alone inspiring and persuasive. Consequently, the statist mentally has marched on without much philosophical objection. Religious maybe, but that's not much of a consolation.
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I disagree with all your opinions on A.R. Thanks to Objectivism, statism is not going unchallenged. She gave rise to the libertarian movement, or more aptly, she grounded it ethically. Her grounding came from Objectivist Epistemology which expanded on Aristotle's epistemology. See: David Harriman's "The Logical Leap". You will find your skepticism refuted, step by step, in detail. This is how intellectual progress is made: Building on the work of past thinkers, he shows how we can know the truth of inductive generalizations. 
This is how "greater truth" is found; mental work. Do some and you might be inspired, or at least persuaded.
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I don't mean to dump on A.R. I actually thought she was right about a lot of things, but she didn't go far enough.
Her epistemology is a good example. Clearly Aristotle didn't go far enough, but neither did she. I haven't read Harriman's work but I can tell right off that if he didn't expand Objectivist Metaphysics then her Epistemology is too limited. She rejects the "primacy of consciousness" based upon her understanding of consciousness, which is wrong, but makes sense given her understanding. For example, she asserts as "self evident" that reality exists independent of consciousness but that's illogical right there, even using her "definition".
The current state of philosophy is analogous to 19th century physics, at best, compared to today's. There was about a 30 year period during the late 1800s in which most physicist were very confident they had the basic laws of the universe figured out and it was only a matter of time to work out all of the details to show mathematically that all phenomena could be explained in those terms (i.e., Newtonian mechanics and Maxwellian electromagnetism).
What happened though is they found that wasn't true, they couldn't explain a myriad of experimental findings using those models when they actually tried. The photoelectric effect, back body radiation, no evidence of an ether, atomic structure, atomic spectra, etc.
The same thing is happening these days in the realms of human experience - sort of. Actually what is happening is that people are retreating intellectually and emotionally so the same intellectual rigor and honesty is not being applied. There are many human experiences both "positive" and "negative" that are inexplicable using the official models of reality, but their explanations are being ignored.
The irony to all of this is that even though Libertarianism and Objectivism are a whole lot more life affirming than most other "philosophies" many if not most people still reject them. So here I am trying to say the true nature of the Self and reality is even greater than those systems claim, so I shouldn't be surprised if what I'm saying is doubted to.
There is a bit of nihilism in the air and very much so because philosophy "hasn't kept up with science", as you say above.
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God doesn't play dice...
A.E., in temporary denial of the undeniable statistical, Pauli Exclusion Principles of Quantum Mechanics
This is where to look to get an epiphany for those who believe self-volitional intelligences can ever be individually deterministic, but are group deterministic within strict limits, analogous to gas laws.
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This is a super interesting subject (at least to me) and there are a lot of aspects to it. It's inherently complicated to understand especially if everything has to be described in terms of our usual perspective (i.e., time, space, and appeals to simplicity versus complexity, etc.)
For example, Pauli and Einstein were talking about two different "frameworks" - both which are valid - and yet I don't think either one appreciated that. (You can't blame them, QM is so "unintuitive".) An experiment that demonstrates what I mean is the diffraction pattern formed from a "beam" of monochromatic light. The current explanation for that phenomenon requires that light itself be considered both discrete and particulate (i.e., composed of photons) and also continuous (in both time and space) and diffuse (wave-like), but also "probabilistic" (i.e., random and uncertain). If a beam of monochromatic light is directed towards an impenetrable barrier that has a sufficiently "small" slit (i.e., comparable in width to the "wavelength" of the light-beam/photon itself) then it will "diffract" and be perceived/sensed as a Gaussian distribution pattern OVER A "LONG" PERIOD OF TIME. That pattern is completely predictable by applying a wave analysis to the experiment, assuming superpositioning, etc. However, over a very short time - or, alternatively, under very low light beam intensity - the pattern is not perceived as Gaussian, but completely random. This is because individual photons are being sensed that arrive at SEEMINGLY random times and locations. It is only over a sufficiently long period of time does the seemingly random photon impacts begin to form a recognizable Gaussian distribution. Thus wave analysis is one "macro" deterministic framework (Einstein's: no chance, it's Gaussian every time) and the quantum analysis is another "micro" statistical framework (Dirac's: photons emitted at random and arriving at random locations, and every experiment is unique - won't happen exactly that way again.)
(Come to think of it, another analogy that you might appreciate more is the difference between the analysis of electrical signal processing in the time domain versus the frequency domain, via the Fourier Transforms. Two different frameworks of the same underlying phenomenon that "appear" differently within each framework.)
Now, I can understand that you have been thinking that when I claim that each person forms his/her own reality that that cannot possibly be IF THERE IS ONLY ONE OBJECTIVE REALITY. I would agree with you, but there's not just "one".
Look at it this way, using your own gas law example: I think you'll agree that by "gas" we mean a collection of gas "molecules" that are contained within a certain physical boundary. Okay, the classical (macro) analysis of a gas uses statistics and Newton's laws of motion to determine the macroscopic properties of the gas (PV = nRT). That's fine, but now consider each individual molecule. Each molecule, at the "individual" microscopic level (another framework), are anything but "hard, inert billiard balls" assumed by classical analysis. They in fact have infinite "size" because their electron distribution pattern is statistical in space (and time), and the fact that all such molecules have interspersed electrons a kind of gaseous covalent bond is formed among all the molecules. Therefore, the "experiences" of each molecule is not only unique but capable of being significantly different than others. However, the appearance of all of the other molecules from the POV of any one molecule is nearly the same (the Law of Large Numbers), hence the appearance of "one objective reality."
I know this doesn't do this subject justice and I've tried to avoid it because - believe it or not (well, maybe by now you do) there are other aspects to this that get pretty mind blowing and I don't claim to have all the answers.
My main point all along has been that people do choose and form their own realities. If you take that in the spirit of what I mean it's that beliefs literally matter and are highly creative. By that I mean that they affect more than just behavior. They actually help form events around "you" that conform to "your" beliefs, "good" or "bad" (but there is actually a bias towards "good"). Understanding and accepting this changes "the game" considerably.
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Good spiel, above, well thought out, thanks...
"people do choose and form their own realities."
Our two perspectives (terminology differences) can be easily reconciled.
People choose their own environments (work, play, associations, spouse, children / not, aggress / not...) and react / proact with environmental influences to "choose and form their own realities".
It when you go all mystical on me that I "go ballistic"
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Thanks. Understood.
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Of course, Natural Law is profound and expansive, the question we all ask ourselves, has natural law always been or is it an idea created. That leads you to the big bang, was it spontaneous combustion or ignited by an outside force, if ignited, natural law was created to rule man's life on earth, if spontaneous combustion was the cause, natural law has evolved to it present state and will continue to evolve, and to answer those questions, it becomes an individuals own belief system within themselves, to answer, and in that is where acceptance becomes a factor, to live and let live!!! Believe what you want and I accept, that.
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Praetor,
Natural Law was created. It is this point that is the reason why I am no longer and atheist or even and agnostic. If natural law always existed it could explain itself in the whole. But it cannot. The fact that we must use foundational presuppositions, or axioms as Bruce puts it, in order to begin a discussion about metaphysical issues, and even physical issue at some levels of quantum physics, proves this to me. In a micro sense natural law can explain how an idea for say an internal combustion engine can become an internal combustion engine. But, natural law cannot explain the macro sense of how a man self actualizes himself from dead matter to an idea toting individual. The reality of the existence of absolutes drove me to conclude their must be an intelligence outside of this universe that created the universe and does not depend on this universe for existence. That is where our foundational presuppositions are answered. I am now a solid believer in God and grateful desciple of Jesus the Crhist.
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Perhaps we are just a plaything, an erector set, a petri dish experiment for some extra dimensional child?
and, where did the child, or, for than matter, extra dimensional "reality" come from?
Or, for that matter, God?
To conclude, by non-existent evidence and faulty reasoning that "God" is the only "answer", is, as I have preciously stated:
The fallacy of concluding without evidence
AND
To state the converse: God does not exist is:
The logical fallacy of proving a negative.
The smartest people do not hesitate to say "I don't know", when they don't. AND, if also blessed with curiosity, LOOK FOR THE EVIDENCE which can provide proof.
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Well then, my friend Bill, I guess I do not rank in your smartest category. Don't think I'll loose any sleep over that. But I know God is real, really real. And proof comes in many colors. We must keep an open mind to all. What may be known of God is manifest in them. For God has shown it to them. His attributes are clearly seen being understood by things that are made. Things that are made. If we do not see God in our study of things made, then our science has failed us. The smartest people know this. I know science though, obviously not master of all disciplines, I understand it completely. Science is God's creation and it shows at at every corner. The smartest people know this too.
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Investor  Kevin Tebedo  2 days ago
Boy Kevin Tebedo are you a nuissance. Please tell me
1. Why does the question of God's existence need to be discussed publicly? Isn't this a subjective matter a journey onw has to travel for himself? 
2. What is your benefit of the discussion? Are you a prponent of God or of organized religion which is a mechanism of opression and control?
3. If you believe in God, what gives you the conviction to call him Christ and not Allah or Buddha or...?
4. If you are Christian why do you call God Jesus and not YHWH? Why do you even mention His name?
So to me you sound like a biased person, an unenlightened self-interested person probably peddling membership of some sect.
I personally believe that there is a force that is currently not fully describable by our scientific methods (e.g. see the movie The Secret), but this may be just a form of Natural Law that we cannot comprehend or describe yet.
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"She was a materialist (as you seem to be)"
I'm a first thing first kinda guy. Until the REQUIREMENTS of material existence (predator control) are taken care of, we are and will remain wallowing in the mud of ignorance and conflict, unable to manifest the material and spiritual excellence those who so choose are capable of, to reach for the stars and explore the near infinite dimensions of material and spiritual existence.
I can tell you for a fact: EVERYTHING and EVERYONE is interconnected in a "no contradictions" reality.
And, when I "push back" regarding your "spiritual" opinions, it is for ONE reason: in conflict with established material knowledge and, if there is "spiritual" truth, it must be in harmony with all other established truth, otherwise, incorrect.
...and, I will NEVER apologize for having a practical (get it done, as efficiently as possible) engineering perspective.
Those who say: limited by five senses and measurable reality is STUPID and blind (not that you did, extrapolating), well "water off a ducks back".
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We should all be more stupid, we all would be much happier. Life, liberty and the pursuit of stupid. And we all can walk around with that, silly stupid grin on our faces, that has no happiness behind it, just misery and pain.
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P.R: "What had started as a free union of states pursuing mutual interests slowly turned into an empire run by the Athenians pursuing their own interests."
Well, those "who do not know history are doomed to repeat it". Swap American / British / Japanese ... for Athenians and you have an absolute fact of social / economic organization: Central control DOOMS civilizations. Who woulda thunk that, when "mutual interests" are dishonestly represented by politicians pursuing THEIR self-interests is inevitably subverted to be what the politicians want: THEM in control under false pretexts of being "representatives of the people" and, the people are too busy working and surviving to do anything about it. Until there are no jobs nor economy left, starting the cycle again, after a brief market boon in "pitchforks and torches".
P.R: "But, for whatever reasons, credit has gone to the usurpers and the wasters of human progress. One sows, another reaps. Productivity is overrun by plunder."
Obummer / 2012: "If you've got a business—you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."
Re the graph stages:
Virtue Forms: life is nasty, brutal and short. No productivity, scarce survival needs. Virtues of peace and property rights necessary to have any hope of survival.
Left Rise: Innovation and productivity resonate, quality of life improves for all who contribute. The lazy and envious watch, plot, fume and foment.
Centralization: Quality of life improved enough that a large segment of society can choose not to do anything productive and, the centralizers (lazy, envious control freaks) sell this as fair and desirable.
The Fall: The "what's in it for me, personally" question has no acceptable answer (no property rights for fruits of labor) for the productive, They drop their tools in frustration and disgust and melt into the woodwork, placing civilization on a path that the plunderers will have no option but to develop virtue, or perish. This is fair, because, it is THEIR choice:
Note 4 needs to be strongly highlighted since it ties the evolution / devolution of social / economic organizations to natural law, anthropology and relative population densities as predator / prey wage the eternal battle for life:

And, central control is nothing more than "predators in control". Free people understand that external control is highly undesirable because it restricts choice and thus reduces diversity, innovation and survival.

'Production Versus Plunder' ~ Part 9
By Paul Rosenberg - May 30, 2015
As many have pointed out, a democracy and a republic are very different things. Today we'll explain the beginnings of the great republic of history, Rome. You should bear in mind, however, that Rome's Republic and Rome's Empire were two very different things, comprising two separate eras.
Continued from last week...
COMETH ROME
Rome deviates from the cultural pattern we have been examining in that their creativity was not home grown and they did not simply overrun nearby creative peoples. Instead, they gathered to themselves the good ideas of distant peoples and made use of them, without trying to subjugate the creators. This may sound contrary, since Rome is known as a conquering state, but it should be stated, on Rome's behalf, that they didn't originally go about to conquer everything in sight, as Alexander had when he ruled Greece. There were simply competitors who would have gladly conquered Rome if they could. So, Rome conquered them first. Naked acquisition was an issue late, but not early.
Rome began, as best archaeologists can determine, in the 8th century B.C., comprised of people in two fortified settlements and another in the nearby woods. One settlement was on Palatine Hill (called Rumi) and the other on Quirinal Hill (called Titientes). The people in the woods were called the Luceres. These were three of numerous Italic-speaking communities that had formed in Latium, a plain on the Italian peninsula, by the 1st millennium B.C. The origins of these people is not known, but their Indo-European languages migrated from the east in the years between 1500 B.C. and 1000 B.C.1
The group that most affected the early Romans was the Etruscans, who lived north of Rome in Etruria (modern Tuscany and northern Lazio). Their influence is shown by the Roman list of kings (largely mythical), in which some names were Etruscan. The gladiatorial displays that we think of as Roman actually evolved out of Etruscan funeral customs. The Romans learned to build temples from the Etruscans, and they may also have introduced the worship of a triad of gods, Juno, Minerva and Jupiter, taken from the Etruscan gods, Uni, Menerva and Tinia. Religion was a form of cult, hallowed by tradition, centered on rituals carried out in the right way at the right time. At its heart was sacrifice (which meant, literally, "making sacred"). With luck, the god you honored with valuable goods (your sacrifices) would then answer your prayers, the most common of which were to be safe, prosperous, fertile and healthy.
When Romans found new gods in new cultures, they assimilated them, if at all possible, into their pantheon. Minucius Felix, in the 3rd century A.D. says, All nations have their own gods, but Rome welcomes the lot. Felix attributed Rome's success to this. Again, Rome would rather absorb than conquer.
The question of where the Etruscans came from has intrigued archaeologists for some time. The Greek historian Herodotus says that the Etruscans emigrated from Lydia, a region in western Turkey. Recent genetic studies2 point to the conclusion that Etruscan culture was imported to Italy from somewhere in the Near East. Etruscan settlements were frequently built on a very steep hill and surrounded by thick walls, arguing for organizing principles that were informed by the great Catastrophe of 1200 B.C., which, presumably, they fled.
After about 650 B.C., the Etruscans expanded into north-central Italy. Expanding also to the south, the Etruscans came into direct contact with the Greeks. After initial success in conflicts with Greek colonists in southern Italy, Etruria went into a decline. Taking advantage of this, Rome rebelled and gained independence from the Etruscans in approximately 500 B.C. It also abandoned its monarchy and replaced it with a republican system.
The republic was a scalable form of democracy that had been tried in a few Greek cities previously. A democracy worked well for a single city where the participants (which included only a fraction of the entire populace) were all conscious of the effects of their actions and would expect to feel them. A republic, however, added a layer of representatives, moving the citizens one step further away from the actual use of power. This was the birth of the politician. Under city-state democracy, those who could vote did so directly; they decided and the decision was implemented. The republic, however, required a new layer of professional decision-makers. Those who could vote now elected a politician to do their bidding; they, themselves, were removed from the process.
A republican structure allowed a democratic style of government to expand beyond the level of a single city. In other words, democracy worked well enough for a city-state, but beyond that point, another layer was required. This form is called a republic, and this was the form of governance that Rome chose.
The Roman Republic, though highly complex, was based on a Senate, composed of the nobles of the city, along with popular assemblies which ensured political participation for most of the freeborn men and elected magistrates annually. The structure of the operation is shown below.
Description: http://www1.thedailybell.com/images/library/romanconstitution.jpg
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Click on image for larger view
After 500 BC, Rome joined with other Latin cities to defend themselves from the nearby Sabines. Then, over the next hundred years (by 394 B.C.), Rome incrementally expanded over the entire area of Latium.
In 387 B.C., however, Rome was suddenly sacked and burned by a group from eastern Italy, called the Senones. The Senones had also successfully invaded Etruria. After this, Rome hastily rebuilt and went on the offensive, conquering the Etruscans and seizing territory from the Gauls in the north. By 290 BC, Rome controlled over half of the Italian peninsula and soon brought the Greek colonies in the south under its control as well.
At this time, the core ideals of Rome had been in place for some time, but there were as yet none of the impressive buildings and monuments that we usually associate with Rome. The great monuments were produced later, under the Empire, and only once they could be financed by the movements of the people's surplus to the Emperor's storehouses.
By the 1st century B.C. (beginning 100 B.C.) serious internal problems threatened the existence of the Republic. The Social War (between Rome and its allies) and the Servile Wars (slave uprisings), were very expensive conflicts, all within Italy, and forced the Romans to change their policy with regard to their allies and subjects. By then Rome had become an extensive power, with great wealth taken from conquered peoples (as tribute, food or slaves). But, Rome's allies were unhappy. After all, they had fought side by side with the Romans, yet they were not citizens and shared little in the rewards. So, to keep peace, by the beginning of the first century A.D. practically all of the free inhabitants of Italy were made Roman citizens.
Between the massive expansion of Roman power and a massive increase in the numbers and types of people who could now vote, multiple new problems shook the old political system of the Republic. In January of 49 B.C., following numerous crises, Julius Caesar marched his legions against Rome. Within a few years he had defeated all his opponents, and then ruled Rome for four years. After his subsequent assassination in 44 B.C., the Senate tried to reestablish the Republic, but its champions, Marcus Junius Brutus and Gaius Cassius Longinus, were defeated by Caesar's lieutenant Mark Antony and Caesar's nephew, Octavian. After a long struggle, a final naval battle took place on September 2nd, 31 B.C. Octavian (soon to be called Augustus) was victorious, and became the sole ruler of Rome and its empire. On that day, the Republic ended and the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire, began.
NOTES:
1Languages can be very effectively traced by specialists, and provide an excellent tool for tracking the movements of peoples. Since the people who became Romans came from the east in the time-frame of 1500-1000 B.C., it is quite likely that they fled the Catastrophe of 1200 B.C., then settled in Latium.
2See the New York Times, April 3, 2007.
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Hey DB, are there any plans for an interview with Patrick Wood and technocracy? Waiting patiently. Thanks for all you do.
https://vimeo.com/128960699
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Sorry about being off topic. However the Sunday interview is blank and I'm only offering a suggestion. Mr. Wood has expressed a willingness to interview again with the DB and apparently there are voids available. Christiana Fugueres of the UN Framework on Climate Change is the latest p.o.s. shoving lies down my throat. This and carbon credits, a virtual tax on life, will not stand critical scrutiny, if there is any. Please help.
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Thanks for the suggestion, Dave. We have a number of interviews in the works but, unfortunately, nothing today. We'll try to get in touch with Mr. Wood soon!
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well, i'll second Sunday void blues and, and off topic that may blow some minds (I'm undecided, too many plausible implausibles...)
if true, Goebbels had some very avid students with VERY long noses
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What are you undecided about? I'd suppose that Hitler was a puppet of the technocrats of those days. Apparently the ideology lives on in the minds of many inhabiting big gov and the UN. If there are questions about my loyalty, it doesn't need to be drawn out...just ask.
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TTT  11 hours ago
"When Romans found new gods in new cultures, they assimilated them, if at
all possible, into their pantheon. Minucius Felix, in the 3rd century 
A.D. says, All nations have their own gods, but Rome welcomes the lot. Felix attributed Rome's success to this. Again, Rome would rather absorb than conquer."
That is called stealing, no matter how you name it (assimilation, apsorption or any other term). As the saying goes, no matter how much lipstick you put on a pig, it's still going to be a pig. Romans were great plunderers.
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Should we all laugh or cry, be proud or ashamed, that Western civilization - and the US in particular - is basically an extension of the Roman empire?
Rome seems to be an enigma. I don't know that much about it. It has never interested me much, but it's obvious that it is heavily influential. To me, one of the most memorable - but also the most disturbing and disappointing - things in Washington DC are the overwhelming and numerous Roman (and Greek?) architectural styles and symbols and monuments everywhere you look.
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Peni$ envy...

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Rome invaded England in 49 AD and formed "alliances" with some powerful tribes to help subjugate most of the island. The Romans then built walls for the cites and temples for Roman Gods, charging the locals TAX for these "improvements". When the Roman ally, Saxon King died in 60 AD his daughter, Queen Boudicca took the throne, but Rome refused to honor rule by women and took over control of east England. Boudicca's army attacked and destroyed the Ninth Legion near Colchester, marched to Londonium, then west to Wales where they were massacred near Wattling. Estimated 80,000 Brits were killed to 400 Romans, as the Romans had superior weapons and tactics. Never again did England rise against this master. Every English woman was a rape offering, every English man dead on any Roman whim, and all property subject to Roman seizure. Using this system, one Roman citizen was master over thousands of Brits for nearly 400 years. This slave based "republic" system was in place in ALL Roman occupied territory. Do not rewrite the benevolant dictator history of the West.
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Reread the article. It only discusses the time period leading up to the establishment of the Roman Empire, in 49 BC. The Empire invaded Britain in 49 AD, a century later. This would be akin to blaming the Americans of 1903 for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
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Sorry....the Punic Wars, Rome v Carthage were from 264 BC to 146 BC and employed similar tactics. You will have to read more history than is presented in this whitewash to understand the extend of Roman brutality. The Roman totalitarian model served as the model for all future monarchs, with limited citizen control anywhere outside of America, and then only briefly. We are ruled today by financial feudalism and a puppet government, serving the Demonic Warlord masters. End feudalism.

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Find the old men, who sit around in their palaces and make these arrogant decisions to rule the world, and sacrifice them to their gods of fantasy. As always centralized planning means centralized control, 'freaks'. As Rome was, and as we are now, so, we know our future. I thought they where dumbing down the populace, but it seems they made themselves even dumber, forgot to learn from history. Lets just do it all over again, but this time it will even be more bloody!!! The 'so called' elites we simply call them 'DUMB A$$ES'.
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"The great monuments were produced later, under the Empire, and only once they could be financed by the movements of the people's surplus to the Emperor's storehouses."
look no further when you tremble before the "might" and "power" of the empire to KNOW it is the stolen productivity of the people, redirected as a weapon against them.
The beginning of central control IS the end of civilization (peaceful, mutually agreed trade) and the innovation / progress it spawns:
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Their end is near, history tells us so.
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Yep;
Growing my beard, making a big sign "The End is Nigh", preparing to take to the streets to be ignored as just another kook:)
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We wait patiently while nothing appears to change; however, things are changing although seemingly never fast enough creating a dilemma around 'to do or not to do' and amongst believers 'when and how to do.' In short, it is hard to get people to act when they do not yet experience the pain.
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The town square is usually the best place to draw a crowd, bigger things have started from smaller things. Problem, people walking around with their heads down and things plugged into their ears. An EMP at the right moment probably wouldn't be a bad thing. after all.

  

Production Versus Plunder - Part 10
By Paul Rosenberg - June 06, 2015

If you want to analyze a large economic system, the best way to start is by tracking its surplus. Who gathers the surplus? Where does it go? Who decides? And that applies to our modern systems just as well as it does historical systems.

Continued from last week...

THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF PLUNDER

In the empires of the ancient world, plunder was reserved to the kings and to the emperors (the kings of kings). These rulers had the right to plunder and would use violence to assure that they had no competitors. Each city was a separate unit, and its surplus production went directly up the hierarchy to a local ruler, with a portion of it continuing to a ruler above that one. This surplus allowed the rulers to live lush lives and to build the great monuments of the old world: Pyramids, hanging gardens, ziggurats, colossal statues, and the like. It was this hierarchical movement of surplus production that made monuments proliferate during this time.

The Greeks and early Romans, however, changed this arrangement and democratized the plunder. This model involved each property holder owning a number of slaves, whose work in the field he carefully supervised and very often assisted personally. The surplus production of this small group of slaves became the property of the landowner, which allowed capital to be used in productive endeavors, and very effectively so.

But the improved use of surplus capital was not the only attribute to this new arrangement. It also turned thousands of people into small-scale plunderers. This had a range of effects, which are difficult to properly weigh at our current distance of over two thousand years. However, some of the major effects seem to have been these:

  • A reduction in the respect for hierarchy and fear of the ruler. The individual landholder was not awed by the power of the ruler, who was much less powerful than the rulers of the ancient era, and may not have been much of a ruler at all. In fact, during the earlier parts of the classical age, the ruler was chosen from among the landholders and would likely return to them. He was not separate from the others in class, only in temporary function.
  • Coarsening of the land-owners, stratification of humanity, fate and myth. Holding slaves, even when treating them "well," causes humans to devalue and disregard those who they own. Unless, of course, the slaves are seen as victims of chance. So, to accommodate the "necessity" of slavery, the earlier Greeks and Romans developed the idea that slaves were slaves simply because of the acts of the gods, or by fate, or by cruel chance – not by the slaveholder's actions. In some cases, this was almost true. There were then – as there are now – many humans who would gladly trade their freedom for a position of entitlement. If they feel they will be guaranteed a basic sustenance, be treated with a modicum of compassion, and have some promise of protection from abuse, they accept. Freedom has always been far more of an attractive slogan than a way of life that all people pursued.
  • Citizen armies. When power is distributed, military defense cannot be assigned to a class of experts, simply because such a class does not exist. So, an army of citizens is required. Since the workforce could be relied upon to function fairly well in the landowner's absence, this was not an insurmountable obstacle. And, it must be said that the Greeks and early Romans acquitted themselves quite well in military endeavors.

ANCIENT ECONOMICS

It is important to understand the ways in which the economics of the classical world differed from the economics we are familiar with.

First of all, the mechanism of economic growth was the social organization of slavery. This was not, during the centuries of the Republic, anything like 18th century slave gangs on plantations: The slaveowners worked closely with their slaves and were very often in the fields with them. But, since the slaves could not be holders of property, the surplus that they produced was taken over by the slaveowner and became investment capital. This was then applied to further productive uses. And, since the owner understood the agricultural process, he was usually an excellent judge of where investment was best applied.

This system worked quite well during the Republic. The slaves were certainly shortchanged in the bargain, but the slavery of those days was not equivalent to the brutal slavery that appeared at other places and times. Slaves were valued, commonly freed or adopted, and could engage in independent activities. Nonetheless, their surplus production belonged to their owner. A Roman (or Greek) of the time would justify this as the only conceivable social organization that could produce progress. The map below shows the expansion of Rome under the Republic.


Courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Another great difference between the modern and classical world was the currency. Minted coin was the sole monetary instrument, and there was no machinery for creating credit. There were no banks in our sense, and only two sources of wealth: agricultural and mineral, with the former being more important. This had multiple consequences.

One consequence was that funding military expeditions was difficult. This restrained unnecessary military campaigns. (Whereas today, with our fiat currency system, money can simply be created on demand.) For example, in 483 B.C. the Athenians had strained relations with the Persians, but had not done much about it. Then, the lead mines at Sounion suddenly revealed a fabulous seam of silver. Immediately, the leaders of Athens built a fleet and defeated the Persians at Salamis.

So, excess wealth could be gathered from the earth, erratically though dramatically, in the form of precious metals. Or, it could be produced regularly and predictably from the farming-slavery culture in the form of foodstuffs.

There was much concern in the ancient world over the storage and retention of gold and silver. One of the ancient laws of Rome (contained in their Twelve Tables of Roman Law) stated that: Gold, no matter in what form it may be present, shall, by all means, be removed from the corpse at the time of the funeral. They did not allow gold to be wasted. (They did make exceptions for the dead person's gold dentistry.)

At the same time, many problems we encounter, such as currency exchange rates and volatile currency values, were complete non-issues. Gold was gold, no matter whose name was slapped on the coin, and all forms of gold or silver were of equal value per ounce. This greatly aided commerce and trade.

Another important factor to include was the attitude toward wealth. Members of the classical civilizations tended to be moderate in their attitudes toward money. They refused to regard either profit or power as goals of life, but rather tended to regard honor and the esteem of one's equals as goals that were at least as important as simple accumulation. The early Romans, being instructed by Greek mythology directed toward the inner man, were imbued with an appreciation for self-development. They valued this more highly than mere external things such as coins. In this way at least, it was a more elegant time.

At a personal level, credit was provided in the form of transactions between friends, neighbors and relations. There were no securities, interest or even written agreements, which implied distrust. Aristocrats, for example, felt an obligation to take on the debts of friends. Cicero, the great jurist, distinguishes two categories of givers: those who squander their money on public banquets, food doles, gladiatorial shows and wild beast fights (to gain political credit), and those who take over friends' debts, help in providing dowries for their daughters or assisting them in acquiring property. Each man was, in effect, his own bank.

* * * * *

To be continued...

- See more at: http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/36338/Paul-Rosenberg-Production-Versus-Plunder--Part-10/#.dpuf

  • You make some very good points, however this model relies on ownership, upholds the 'notion' that certain metals are "precious" whereas [logically] others are not. Indeed, though it is not explored, it was a clash of (Eastern) silver system and gold systems that saw the modern banker's order evolve. Highest bidder pricing mechanisms have ultimately determined the collapse of fiscal standards underpinned by weights and measures and other accountability mechanisms. Surplus is not the issue. Asset values and relative accountability is the issue.

    If I need to pay someone to move a gold bar 1000 times, how is the "moving charge" offset (ultimately)? If that is determined a "share" of the unit's value, then by only moving it 10 times, I have increased its value (which is determined by "highest bidder" and not some arbitrary body).

    I cannot find my post [specifically] on this topic, so here is another that touches on it:

    https://ozziethinker.wordpress...

    Best
    OT

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        I never thought I would see the day when so-called "libertarians" would apologize for a thoroughly militarized society based on external warfare and slavery. The Romans were almost impossibly cruel. The depiction of the Romans in this article is not historical.

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          "Freedom has always been far more of an attractive slogan than a way of life that all people pursued." This is a profound statement and most true in today's culture and economy. I own two businesses and one excellent wealth creation asset - spoken of by Robery Kiyosaki (https://www.youtube.com/watch?... It is much easier to find people willing to be my empoyees (statutory slaves) whoes surplus production is my property to build my dreams, than it is to find people who are willing to think outside the box, take risks, and build personal wealth and freedom for themselves. At least once a year I sit down with all of my empolyees individually and show them how I make money off of their work. I reveal to them the dollar for dollar exchange and how I own their surplus production. They are all amazed. Then I show them how they could unhook from employee mentality and build their own dreams. 95% of them thank me for bieng honest and forthright with them. They trust me more than ever and become even better producers. A small percentage get pissed and demand a raise -accusing me of taking advantage of them (workers of the work unite). To them I say "go start you own bunsiness then, quit bitchng." Shortly there after they exit my employee and, usually, I couldn't be happier. But, even a smaller percentage engage with me to create something different for themselves and their family. To them I allow special liberties during what would otherwise be their employment time, to build a dynamic future for themsevles while still earning an income from me. When they reach personal financial and time freedom I throw them a party and show them to the door. They are friends for life. So it is true "Freedom has always been far more of an attractive slogan than a way of life that all people pursued." People are what they choose to be for the most part - notwithstanding notable exceptions.

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              The link you posted is a plug for a network marketing scheme. It is the furthest thing from "free market" that wasn't created by the government. These organizations prey on people by exploiting their personal relationships, locking them into buying "only company products" and price fixing. If you can't recruit enough distributors you never make any real money. It's predatory and false. Real producers actually produce something; like my in law who produces injection molded shampoo bottle caps and makes good money. Network marketing and MLM schemes are bogus.

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                  On the contrary, network marketing is the fastest growing segment of entrepreneurship in the world. I don't know where you get your information!ation but it couldn't be more wrong in the general. Certainly there are good and bad, just like lawyers and doctors, Judging by the amount of emotion you promulgate I'm guessing you've tried and failed the concep. That happens a lot. Just like any other business. The site I posted was from Robert Kiyosaki's book The Business of the 21st century. You will of course excuse me if I chose to listen to him rather than you Jess. Thanks for your opinion though.

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                  Interesting...So in the halcyon days of the Republic, when everybody but the Aristocrats were slaves, all surpluses went to the slave owners. The slaves received only what they "needed" according to their masters.

                  But now, in modern times, it's the reverse: Only the producers are slaves and they get to keep any surpluses after paying for the "needs" of the non-producers, according to the non-producers.

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                      huh?

                      Slaves were not producers and slave owners / Aristocrats were not "entitled"?

                      Nothing, apart from terminology has changed.

                      Just "try" to "keep" any of your surplus should predators with guns of state take an interest.

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                          No truer words were ever spoken. Just try and keep your surplus should predators with guns of the state take an interest. Satan lives at the IRS.

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                              That was tongue-in-cheek using the terminology of the essay.

                              But still, when slaves were called slaves they did produce (who else did, besides supposedly their owners alongside?, according to Rosenberg) and they were "paid" in terms of basic needs and freedoms but not money.

                              Those who produce today aren't called slaves any more but the same rationals apply to serving that role as slaves must have thought back then. ("Well it's better than starving," "the best things in life are free," "even if I'm getting a raw deal it's better than nothing," "what choice do I have?". etc.) The difference is that today's slaves/producers get paid their surplus in money (Gross income minus taxes) whereas the non-producers get mostly non-monetary benefits (power to direct plunder - politicians), specific entitlements (welfare recipients), etc.

                              It's not a perfect analogy, and yes only the terminology has changed, but I do think the modern version is better because there is more wiggle room.

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                            I might presume in the next installment we will get a run down on how imperial Rome mixed alloys into currency to create junk-gold and silver by "fiat" creating an inflationary cycle that eventually tore the empire apart? Sorry for the run on sentence.

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                                Off Topic: How 'bout helping keep Dmitry Orlov's ship afloat, so he can continue assisting in sinking the ship of state?:

                                https://life.indiegogo.com/fun...

                                Full disclosure: yep, I donated

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                                    Bill, I am unfamiliar with Dmitry Orlov's work. Where may I learn more about him? I'll donate just to keep them living on a boat - that's just too cool.

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                                        Search "dmitry orlov stages of collapse"

                                        Dmitry has experiences with living is former USSR and, the west. And has much insight regarding the collapse of the two civilizations, from which Russia at least has accepted the epiphany, sorta, while west remains in "strategic denial":)

                                        Bottom line, IMHO: Dmitry is much more valuable writing for us, than toiling to save his boat.

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                                        PR: "There were then – as there are now – many humans who would gladly trade their freedom for a position of entitlement. If they feel they will be guaranteed a basic sustenance, be treated with a modicum of compassion, and have some promise of protection from abuse, they accept. Freedom has always been far more of an attractive slogan than a way of life that all people pursued."

                                        So, the "entitled" commission plunderers to provide entitlements from "excessive production" of the productive (not entitled)?

                                        Sounds like a "plan", at least until the seed corn and wealth of civilization is frittered away and the productive conclude: pointless to produce more than you can defend:

                                        http://www.nazisociopaths.org/...

                                        What next? Don't worry, not long to wait, or, read some history to find the inevitable result of "rule of law" being rationalized away and forcefully violated by "predators on the bench":

                                        http://www.nazisociopaths.org/...