Newest Interview With Robert Stark

Check out my latest interview on The Stark Truth, where I spoke with Robert Stark, Rabbit, and Alex von Goldstein; basically the first time with the entire crew! We mainly discussed the FIRE economy, especially real estate and the Bay Area’s housing quagmire. As usual, it was a great discussion, and I definitely recommend listening – especially if you’re primarily interested in economics.

Posted in American Pathologies, Economics, Immigration, Politics | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Immigration and Incompatible Interests

Thanks to Politico, I read an interesting article by economist George J. Borjas that states the blindingly obvious truth about immigration: it has adverse effects on many peoples’ economic prospects. Unfortunately, many Americans haven’t gotten the memo, at least if this column is any indication. Many still have a hard time coming to grips with this radical notion that more workers means lower wages. For an anti-intellectual people who pride themselves on simple common sense, Americans jettison this common sense when it comes to immigration.

Putting that aside, what makes this article different from most other critiques of immigration is how Borjas clearly highlights the various winners and losers of lax immigration controls. As he notes, immigrants themselves clearly benefit from moving to more affluent Western countries. More importantly, however, it’s the employers of immigrants who reap the greatest rewards. In fact, Borjas argues that mass immigration amounts to an upward redistribution of wealth from employees to their bosses (emphasis mine):

Somebody’s lower wage is always somebody else’s higher profit. In this case, immigration redistributes wealth from those who compete with immigrants to those who use immigrants—from the employee to the employer. And the additional profits are so large that the economic pie accruing to all natives actually grows. I estimate the current ‘immigration surplus’—the net increase in the total wealth of the native population—to be about $50 billion annually. But behind that calculation is a much larger shift from one group of Americans to another: The total wealth redistribution from the native losers to the native winners is enormous, roughly a half-trillion dollars a year.”

In many ways, brown immigrants are a godsend for the native winners. Not only can these winners bring in Pedro and Panjeet to drive down labor costs and increase their profits, they can even get a moral stamp of approval from liberals – who see non-Muslim brown people as above reproach – for their efforts. The native losers, by contrast, are not fortunate enough to have economic and cultural elites champion their cause.

This clash between immigration’s winners and losers demonstrates that there are no real “right” or “wrong” stances on the matter. Like so many other contentious issues, the immigration controversy reflects incompatible interests; and we all know whose interests are currently prevailing. If we started thinking about immigration from this perspective, it would cut through a lot of moralistic rhetoric and get to the heart of the matter.

Such a perspective would also help pro-white types refrain from indulging in blatant bigotry and unfairly demonizing immigrants. Based on personal experiences, most immigrants are decent people, and one can’t blame them for wanting to better their lives by moving to rich countries. They’re just doing what’s in their best interests. However, their interests are not compatible with my interest in ensuring that whites remain a majority, or at least a plurality (I’m somewhat resigned to whites becoming a minority at this point). Their aspirations are also not compatible with my desire to limit the labor pool and ensure better wages for American-born workers.

At the end of the day, we live in a ruthless, neoliberal society with increasingly dwindling opportunities; the last thing we need is yet more people putting a strain on scarce resources. But again, we should not despise newcomers. Instead, let’s “punch up” at the native winners who import immigrants for their own personal enrichment. From a practical and moral standpoint, that’s the best way to resolve our immigration quagmire.

Posted in American Pathologies, Cultural Marxism, Economics, Hispanics, Immigration, Subversion, White nationalism | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bay Area and the FIRE Economy

At the recommendation of Robert Stark, I checked out his interview of Bay Area housing activist Laura Foote Clark. Listen to it here. Needless to say, the lack of affordable accommodations in the Bay is a blatantly obvious problem, one that has a full third of Bay Area residents contemplating moving. I myself know people who have departed the Bay for greener (or should I say cheaper?) pastures.

Clearly, we know that there are problems, but what are the solutions? While I don’t entirely agree with Laura Foote Clark’s vision, I think she does raise several good points.

For starters, I endorse her proposal of having Silicon Valley become more urbanized. I confess, this is partly selfish since I live in the Peninsula region near SF. Therefore, I welcome most solutions that relive congestion in my part of the Bay – and get these conceited techies out of my vicinity!

I also concur that a lot of political resistance to development stems from NIMBYism, and I acknowledge that I’m one of the “lookists” that she criticizes. Having attended college in Southern California for four years, I feel absolutely no shame in admitting that the last thing I want is for the Bay to become like SoCal: an environmental eyesore characterized by track housing and strip malls.

Overall, I enjoyed listening to Laura discuss the politics of Bay Area housing. However, I’m primarily going to focus on Laura’s analysis of Prop 13 and the business community’s stance on housing development.

Before I proceed, I highly recommend checking out my review of Michael Hudson’s book Killing the Host. The reason is because what I write from here on out will presume that people are familiar with concepts such as the FIRE economy, asset inflation, debt deflation, and other key points from the book.

Anyway, regarding Prop 13, I wholeheartedly agree with Laura’s argument that this regressive proposition has eroded California’s tax base, along with amounting to a huge subsidy for old homeowners. This means that newcomers who aren’t loaded have to assume large debts to buy a home. Since property values rise due to new bank loans against real estate, this only makes housing even more expensive. As Michael Hudson has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt, the end result is not pretty. One could even go so far as to say that by shifting the tax burden from established property owners onto new businesses and workers, Prop 13 has created California’s – and by extension the Bay Area’s – version of the “Spanish Syndrome” (albeit far less extreme).

As Laura notes, this syndrome results in Bay Area employers – particularly in tech – having to pay their workers more money just to ensure that they can meet rent (although wages for STEM workers have been stagnant, so I’m not sure about employers paying more). In turn, these workers paying large rents to the FIRE sector have less money to buy goods produced by tech companies, which hurts demand and shrinks markets. If you want to see how asset inflation and debt deflation play out in real life, look no further than the Bay Area’s housing crisis.

Therefore, it’s not entirely surprising that the business community is lobbying for more affordable housing. While I am generally skeptical of American business, I do believe that freeing employers and employees alike from having to pay large rents to the FIRE sector will restore what Hudson calls the “circular flow” between producers and consumers. For that reason alone, I would support a moderate degree of development.

Besides building more housing, another way to restore equilibrium is to restrict immigration, which didn’t come up at all during the show. While I understand that closing the borders in a place like the Bay is politically unfeasible, basic common sense dictates that the last thing we need right now is yet more people putting a strain on housing and other living spaces. That’s why I disagree with Laura’s liberal attitude towards population growth; frankly, the Bay just has way too many damn people. One of the best things that could happen is if the third of Bay Area residents who are thinking of leaving actually followed through on their plans.

Unfortunately, since we can’t count on that happening anytime soon, we might just be stuck with an intractable housing situation for years to come. The good news is these problems are mostly political in nature, which means the right combination of organization and energy can help resolve these issues.

In conclusion, if you’re a concerned Bay Area resident, or simply interested in learning a thing or two about the pathologies of an asset-based economy, I strongly recommend checking out the interview.

Posted in Economics, Immigration, Politics | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Yay for Abe

Courtesy of Dean Baker, one of my favorite economists, I read this interesting article about Shinzo Abe’s stimulus plan in Japan. It turns out that, contrary to the assertion of venal hacks like Fareed Zakaria, the Abe government’s intervention in the economy has done a lot of good. What makes the success of Abenomics so critical is that it serves as a rebuttal to the junk economics pervading the financialized West. Be sure to throw Abe in the face of the next neoliberal/libertarian who waxes eloquent about “balanced budgets.”

Speaking of balance, this article got me thinking once again about the differences between the liberal West and the rest. In most countries, mild economic populism and mixed private/public economies coexist with a strong sense of nationalism. Indeed, Shinzo Abe has been branded an “arch-nationalist” by mainstream outlets such as the Economist. As Abe shows, sane nations look after their people while simultaneously erecting walls against mass immigration and cultural leftism.

By contrast, the United States eschews this normal balance in favor of a bizarre combination of cutthroat neoliberal economics and SJW lunacy. Under this wonderful system, big corporations prove how enlightened they are by standing up for gays and transsexuals – all while paying their CEOs 300 times as much as their regular workers (Japanese CEOs earn far less). The United States is a land where we celebrate the diversity of our people, most of whom devote large chunks of their income to paying a diverse range of parasitic rentiers. We may be atomized, alienated, and economically insecure, but at least we can eat out at “ethnic” restaurants; well, when we can occasionally afford to.

What makes this arrangement so untenable is that it’s hard to maintain harmony when resources are increasingly scarce. It’s difficult to see the Other as a brother when he could potentially take your job. At some point, the U.S. will either have to work towards genuine economic justice (unlikely) or find a way to maintain a white majority and reject cultural liberalism (even more unlikely). Otherwise, expect turbulence in the years ahead.

While many might rightly contend that you cannot compare the United States to Japan, the leadership of Shinzo Abe nevertheless shows that there are alternatives to our current economic and cultural rot.

Posted in Asia, Cultural Marxism, Economics, Immigration, Subversion, Tribalism, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Responding To Comments Regarding My White Majority Post

I got a lot of flack for my last post, and I feel that it is time to clear the air of certain misconceptions that have been flying around since the post was published.

Tulio writes:

I tend to agree with you. Many Indians do have an inferiority complex, at the Indians that live in the West. I’ve seen it many times.

Misconception 1: I have an inferiority complex

I’ve gotten this hurled at me so many times that it’s time to address this once and for all. I do not have an inferiority complex with regards to whites. I am their equal, morally and intellectually. I firmly reject racism because I sincerely believe in the equality of all men. This is a composite belief that is comprised of several fundamental beliefs, chief amoung which is the existence of God (The Abrahamic God, ie the only true God). We are all equal in His eyes. Genuine racists believe that certain groups are inherently superior or inferior depending on the group’s contribution to civilization over time. I do not share this belief. I believe all people are inherently equal in worth regardless of how much or how little their respective groups have contributed to the pool of human knowledge. This is my personal belief .

Having said this, I don’t believe that all cultures are equal. God created man, but not culture. Culture is man-made and synthetic works vary in quality. Just because we are all equal doesn’t mean that racially diverse groups can live together in some sort of leftist utopia. Racially diverse societies will only endure within the cultural hegemony of one dominant group. Certain cultural values are so alien to others such that forcing diverse groups who practice these cultures to reside in close proximity constitutes an act of cruelty. Respecting borders is about respecting culture. The act of erecting a border sends a clear message to one’s neighbours that they are free to practice their way of life in their corner of the world, free from persecution and judgement, just as one is entitled to the same prerogatives within one’s own borders.

Misconception 2: Whites are inherently special

I don’t think there is anything in white people’s nature that is also not present in other groups.

I never said that whites were somehow special on account of their genetics or nature. I’ve always stated that Western culture is unique and ought to be preserved. The only way this can be done is to ensure that they remain a majority in their own nations. If you wish for America and Canada to continue being great, then it is logical to ensure that the people who created these nations continue running them. Why is this view so outlandish? If China is to remain Chinese, then shouldn’t the Chinese be the majority there? So why can’t whites be a majority in the US and Canada?

Misconception 3: Non-whites are incapable of altruism

All groups are capable of both hospitality and savagery if the conditions are right. I think Dota is really overgeneralizing. There are many parts of the third world where one will be treated with the utmost hospitality and some will will give you the shirt off their back.

I never said that non-whites were completely devoid of altruistic instincts. I have seen individual acts of kindness in South and South East Asia, and even the Middle East. The point I was trying to make is that Western society is humane. The compassion one encounters in the West is collectively organized. You won’t see things like homeless shelters and soup kitchens in non western countries. You’ll never see an Indian or Chinese equivalent of the YMCA and other organizations that exist solely to improve quality of life. This is insaniyat on a scale that is unimaginable in the non-western world.

The second point I wish to make is that while while many non-westerners are kind and hospitable to tourists, how hospitable would they be if those tourists remained and became citizens? I’ve read numerous accounts by Black tourists who have spoken glowingly about Korean courtesy. How courteous would these Koreans be if blacks were 20% of their population? How would they react when Blacks made a move on their women?

Bay Area Guy is essentially correct when he says that kindness to tourists comes easily since they are merely passing through. The US and Canada allow non-whites to settle in their nations and even grant them access to their highest institutions. Yet despite these gestures, they get nothing but grievance mongering and endless whining from minorities.

Misconception 4: White values will survive white extinction

Also many non-whites born and raised in America have the same sort of outlook on hospitality and civility that whites do.

What Tulio writes is true, but he underestimates the power of tribalism on non-whites and I don’t blame him. Liberalism provides a most effective cover for tribalism as the Jews have demonstrated and as non-whites have themselves discovered. It allows them to cloak their group interests under universalist terms like “egalitarianism” and “tolerance” knowing fully well the effect that moral universalism has on whites. The true test of a group’s liberalism lies in how they behave not when they are a minority, but when they are a majority. So while the Jew and Indian eloquently argue for tolerance and inclusion in North America, they seldom practice those virtues in India and Israel where they are in charge.

Tulio also fails to realize that democracy and and tribalism are incompatible on the most fundamental level. That tribal interests reduce democracy to nothing but vote bank politics. It is completely ludicrous to think that Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Blacks, and Hispanics will somehow see beyond their racial identities and embrace each other as fellow Americans. Hell, every university in North America has a plethora of ethnic and religious associations that that reflect the demographic composition of their student body.

Would Indians, who so fiercely resist affirmative action favouring Dalits back home, somehow show blacks more compassion? Would Hispanics overlook racial identity when fiercely competing with blacks for blue collar jobs? A racially diverse America where groups compete fiercely for scarce resources (thanks to a declining economy) will not produce a very humane society. This has been said before but it needs to be said again: A first world nation cannot be sustained by a third world population.




Posted in Asia, Blacks, Caste, China, Immigration, Israel, Jewry, Racism, Tribalism, Uncategorized, Western Values | 8 Comments

Review: Killing the Host by Michael Hudson


Buy the book here.

Michael Hudson is easily one of the best economists in the world; too bad few Americans besides those who read fringe sites such as Unz Review and Counterpunch know of him. Aside from his wealth of knowledge, what makes Hudson’s voice so refreshing is that he is a radical in the truest sense of the word: he gets to the root of economics.

In his book Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroy the Global Economy, he certainly leaves no stone unturned when exploring the roots of the chaos, avarice, hypocrisy, and overall bullshit that characterize today’s globalized world. What makes Killing the Host such an edifying book is Hudson’s main contention that the FIRE economy – finance, insurance, and real estate – cripples the “real” economy and is slowly reducing most of us to debt bondage.

While most leftist economists and other economic populists know that something is rotten with the state of the American (and global) economy, many tend to reduce today’s malaise to a few bad trends and practices: obscene CEO to worker pay disparities, the decline of unions, no progressive taxation, a low minimum wage, and the bailout of Wall Street over Main Street. A common lament is that wages have lagged behind an unprecedented level of productivity. But otherwise, the economy is fundamentally prosperous and innovative; we just need more fairness.

The problem with that line of thinking is that it doesn’t address the existential issue plaguing the economy: the fact that a lot of so-called “productivity” is completely fictitious. The old system of Industrial Capitalism – hiring labor, investing in plants and equipment, and creating real wealth backed by tangible goods and services – has been eclipsed by the re-emerging dominance of a parasitic neofeudal class. In fact, Hudson’s book makes it crystal clear that these new elites are the foundation of most of our economic woes, and that the 2008 crisis was not a typical boom and bust crash. Instead, the collapse of the housing bubble was the logical conclusion of financial parasites slowly bleeding most of us dry.

So who exactly are these parasites, in what manner do they obtain their income, and how are they crippling the economy? In 440 pages of text, Michael Hudson marshals his knowledge of history, finance – he’s a former Wall Street analyst – and classical political economy to answer these questions in ways that will simultaneously delight and infuriate anyone of conscience. Killing the Host has so many relevant points that I’m going to do something unprecedented and divide this post into various bolded sections. Without further ado, here’s another one of my book reviews. I’ll start with why Hudson brands the new one percent parasites.

Unearned Income by Another Name

When most Americans conceive of unearned income, they think of either welfare cheats or trust fund brats living off of daddy’s money. However, the kind of unearned income Michael Hudson describes takes the form of “economic rent.” In simple terms, it’s income that is either “earned” unproductively or far exceeds the actual value of services one renders. To give you a few examples, I’ll briefly analyze land rent, monopoly price gouging, and usury.

With property ownership, the income a property owner collects from rising land values has little to do with his own efforts. More often than not, property values rise on account of public investment in infrastructure, or banks lending money against property and bidding up real estate value (as I’ll discuss more in the next section). Regardless, such income is seldom earned productively.

Monopolists are a perfect illustration of those who charge prices in excess of actual costs of production. American WIFI is a perfect example of such price gouging, with Americans paying an arm and leg for crappy internet service. All of that extra cash that cable behemoths such as Comcast pocket is rentier income. The high prices of patented prescription drugs are another good example.

Last but not least, much of the income reaped by banks is pure rent seeking. While one can argue for or against the merits of usury, few can assert that lending money and charging interest in any way requires genuine hard work or industriousness. Debtors, not banks, are the ones actually doing the work and filling banks’ coffers. Hudson also points out that the fees banks charge for their services are overpriced, and have more to do with exorbitant management pay and other shenanigans than any actual value provided by financial institutions.

Keeping this in mind, remember how I said that much of today’s productivity is an illusion? Well, as Hudson notes, this illusion is conjured up by lumping in economic rent with more productive forms of income. The National Income and Product Accounts (NIPA) and other measures of economic output help promote this fantasy that rentier income is somehow productive:

“Instead of treating rentier overhead as a charge against production and consumption, today’s NIPA depict rent extracting activities as producing a ‘product.’ FIRE sector revenue appears as a cost of producing an equivalent amount to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), not as unearned income or ’empty’ pricing. And neither the NIPA nor the Federal Reserve’s flow-of-funds statistics recognize how the economy’s wealthiest financial layer makes its fortunes by land-price gains and other ‘capital’ gains. A cloak of invisibility thus is drawn around how FIRE sector fortunes are amassed.”

Such lax accounting reflects the triumph of neoliberalism and its insistence that everyone earns what they’re worth. As Libertarian deity Milton Friedman once put it, there’s “no such thing as a free lunch.” But of course, that’s nonsense, and it’s not how classical economists viewed such matters. Old-school economists and intellectuals such as Adam Smith, Francois Quesnay, and many others took great pains to separate earned from unearned income, and productive labor from unproductive rent seeking. As Hudson explains, their notion of a “free market” was far different from the one embraced by today’s online Randroids:

“The classical reform program of Adam Smith and his followers was to tax the income deriving from privileges that were the legacy of feudal Europe and its military conquests, and to make land, banking and monopolies publicly regulated functions. Today’s neoliberalism turns the [free market’s] original meaning on its head. Neoliberals have redefined ‘free markets’ to mean an economy free for rent-seekers, that is, ‘free’ of government regulation or taxation of unearned rentier income (rents and financial returns)…This original critique of landlords, bankers, and monopolists has been stripped out of the current political debate in favor of what is best characterized as trickle-down junk economics.”

Junk economists like to justify their slash-and-burn policies by citing higher “growth.” But as the classical reformers envisioned, regulating rentiers and publicly subsidizing key infrastructure would foster a healthier business climate, allowing for genuine growth. Otherwise, failure to bring the rentier class to heel would result in labor bearing the tax burden, which retards industry. That was exactly what happened to 16th century Spain, which decayed in spite of its massive influx of precious metals (emphasis mine):

“Spain might have used the vast inflows of silver and gold from its New World conquests to become Europe’s leading industrial power. Instead, the bullion it looted from the New World flowed right through its economy like water through a sieve. Spain’s aristocracy of post-feudal landowners monopolized the inflow, dissipating it on luxury, more land acquisition, money lending, and more wars of conquest. The nobility squeezed rent out of the rural population, taxed the urban population so steeply as to impose poverty everywhere, and provided little of the education, science and technology that was flowering in northern European realms more democratic and less stifled by their landed aristocracy. The ‘Spanish Syndrome’ became an object lesson for what to avoid. It inspired economists to define the various ways in which rentier wealth – and the tax and war policies it supported – blocked progress and led to the decline and fall of nations.”

Various rentier apologists contend that regardless of how passive fortunes are made, the unproductive rich nevertheless spend their money back into the economy, which fuels productivity. No less than Thomas Malthus defended landlords by insisting that landlord spending was necessary to forestall unemployment. After all, without landlords, who would hire butlers and servants? As Hudson sarcastically notes, they were basically the “job creators” of their day. However, as the bolded part in the quote above demonstrates, the idle rich mainly used their money to acquire even more rentier income through lending and more land purchases. Even today, Hudson remarks that the wealthy either lend money at interest, or spend a significant amount on foreign fashion and luxury apartments already built. In other words, they don’t actually stimulate demand in the “real” economy. Instead, their main creation is asset-price inflation.

Banks and the other kind of inflation

We all know that any kind of inflation is bad – or so financial elites tell us. However, they don’t have any principled objections to inflation; they simply hate inflation when it’s the result of increased wages for workers. They also fear inflation since it would reduce the value of their assets. Speaking of assets, our elites most certainly do not object to asset-price inflation. In fact, the business model of most banks depends on this specific form of inflation.

Since we’re talking about banks, another common one percent lie is that big banks are necessary to stimulate growth, and that without bailouts and other pro-banker measures, the economy would have collapsed. Banks are depicted as allocating necessary credit to fuel economic output. But as Hudson convincingly argues, most major banks do not issue loans to stimulate real growth. Rather, their goal is to bid up asset prices and collect the rent:

“Most bank loans are not to create new means of production but are made against real estate, financial securities or other assets already in place. The main source of gain for borrowers since the 1980s has not derived from earnings but seeing the real estate, stocks or bonds they have bought on credit rise as a result of asset-price inflation – that is, to get rich from the debt-leveraged Bubble Economy…The objective of most lending is to extract interest charges by attaching debt to real estate rent, corporate profits and personal income streams, turning them into a flow of interest charges.”

On account of this dynamic, a vicious cycle emerged in the years leading up to the housing crisis. Due to stagnant wages and years of financial elites aggressively touting the benefits of homeownership, Americans took out mortgage loans with the hope that they could live off of their rising property values; in other words, they indebted themselves in order to enjoy rentier income. Since assets are worth whatever banks will lend against them, more mortgage loans increased property values – obliging newcomers to borrow greater sums of money (and assume even more debt) just to enter the housing market. On and on it went, until a break in the chain of payments inevitably burst the bubble.

Outside of housing, banks issue loans for another dubious purpose: corporate raiding. One of the more infamous corporate raiders, Carl Icahn (who’s now euphemistically called an “activist shareholder”), made much of his fortune from debt-leveraged buyouts. In layman’s terms, Icahn would temporarily assume debt by borrowing large amounts of money from banks – all at the low interest rate of 3%. He then used his new funds to purchase large numbers of corporate shares. With his new status as a major shareholder, he bullied companies into temporarily inflating share prices through stock buybacks and other forms of financial engineering. With his newfound stock wealth, Icahn always emerged from his raiding endeavors a winner. Companies that had to cut funding for hiring, production, and research – ultimately leading to their dissolution or at best stagnation – were not so lucky.

Since a significant bulk of banking serves predatory functions and seeks rentier income, Hudson asserts that rather than being an integral part of the economy, modern finance makes claims on the economy. Instead of helping industry grow strong, they demand pounds of flesh. That’s why, contrary to It’s a Wonderful Life, Harry Bailey does not represent the average banker. Unfortunately, housing bubbles and corporate raiding are the least problematic aspects of finance. Finance’s primary negative function is to leave less money in the pockets of people who actually buy goods and services.

Debt Deflation

It’s no great revelation that the US is a consumer based economy; it needs people to spend money on crap. There’s only one problem: most people have less and less money to spend! As Hudson explains, the tribute exacted by the FIRE sector is sucking most of us dry:

“Labor (‘consumers’) and industry are obliged to pay a rising proportion of their income in the form of rent and interest to the Financial and Property sector for access to property rights, savings and credit. This leaves insufficient wages and profits to sustain market demand for consumer goods and investment in the new means of production (capital goods). The main causes of economic austerity and polarization are rent deflation (payments to landlords and monopolists) and debt deflation (payments to banks, bondholders and other creditors).”

That quote above is the essence of Killing the Host. The primary argument of Hudson’s book is that Americans are so weighed down by debt that the US economy is suffering from a chronic lack of demand. Young millennials in particular are plagued by debt deflation, and most are in no position to make major consumer purchases. This lack of demand gives businesses fewer incentives to invest in production and hire labor; in turn, people enjoy even less economic opportunity and have even less money to spend. This cycle is one of debt deflation following asset inflation, which always crashes in the end.

Since much ink has been spilled about Wall Street malfeasance and the 2008 crash, I won’t delve too much into it here. However, the most important takeaway from the book regarding the recession is that all of the debt accumulated prior to the collapse remained on the books; that alone doomed any real recovery. Worse, the massive bailout money afforded to banks was not used to revive businesses and consumer spending. Rather, that money was lent out once again for the purpose of bidding up asset prices. Rinse and repeat.

Some might assert that in a capitalist market economy, shit happens and that our current debt deflation will end once the economy recovers. However, as Hudson documents, debt deflation has endured for decades and rears its ugly head even during supposedly good times – the Clinton years being exhibit A. Putting aside the fact that the late 90s prosperity was a mirage sustained by a stock bubble, that era featured one of the most curious phenomena in history: what the odious Alan Greenspan called “traumatized worker” effect. Despite low unemployment and a relatively solid job market, wages remained stagnant, inequality soared, outsourcing became a fad, and most workers accepted it with a sullen smile.

While progressives such as Mark Ames of Going Postal fame contend that the cultural legacy of the Reagan Revolution – specifically the dramatic change in employer/worker relations – played a key role in engendering worker helplessness, the role of debt can’t be discounted. Quoting Greenspan, Hudson explains why workers failed to share in the fruits (however temporary) of the 90s:

“A major reason, Chairman Greenspan pointed out, was that workers were afraid to go on strike or even to complain about working conditions for fear of losing their paychecks, defaulting on their mortgage and falling behind on their monthly credit card bills and seeing their interest rates explode as their credit ratings declined.”

Since so many Americans have to spend a large chunk of money on mortgages and interest payments, they’re just one bad break away from being swamped by debt – and their bosses know it. This is why no “recovery” (real or imagined) will create a healthy economy so long as debt deflation continues to foster a general sense of insecurity.

Fortunately, from a global perspective, Americans are some of the luckier ones. Weaker countries such as Ireland, Latvia, Greece, and Argentina have not been so fortunate. For these benighted lands, debt has reduced them to traumatized nations.

Privatizing Nations

While conflating personal and government debt is fatuous, the effects of debt deflation are no less inimical to sovereign states. The treatment meted out to debtor nations by the financialized bureaucracy known as the European Union should serve as a cautionary tale about the perils of debt deflation, austerity, and dependence on private creditors.

The harrowing ordeals of Ireland, Latvia, and Greece, demonstrate that there’s no “union” in European Union. Without getting into the gory details of the aforementioned nations’ predicaments, the short story is that each accumulated large debts. Unfortunately for them, the European Central Bank (ECB) and European Commission (EC) refused to help them in earnest, insisting on the EU rule that no member nation’s taxpayers should subsidize another member. As Hudson notes, such callousness “makes the European Union different from a true political union such as the United States. It is ‘every country for itself.’ It is as if each state in the United States had to be self-sustaining, with no tax revenue raised in any given state (say, New York) to be spent in other states.”

Unfortunately, EU states cannot be truly self-sufficient since they are deprived of one of the most fundamental prerogatives of nations: creating their own money supply. Therefore, when times get tough, Eurozone countries cannot monetize deficits, but must instead rely on loans from distant financial bureaucrats in the ECB. The only problem is, these technocratic loan sharks don’t mess around; failure to pay unrealistic debts prompts demands for austerity. Austerity, with its public spending cuts and a steeper tax burden on the majority, only exacerbates debt deflation – rendering debtor nations even poorer and less able to service debt!

When austerity predictably fails to resolve the matter, creditors insist on privatization selloffs. Greece in particular risks having its public domain transferred to private foreign bondholders. Myriad state-owned enterprises and infrastructure, ranging from public gas to even islands, are up for sale. As Hudson explains, the ultimate goal of financial rentiers is to create a tollbooth economy and enjoy a free lunch. Sensing that they’re about to be eaten, around 10% of each debtor nation’s population has opted to emigrate; to compound the matter, young and well educated people disproportionately comprise that 10%. Needless to say, such human losses will only further weaken those economies.

Still, regardless of the damage wrought by debt (personal or nationwide), there remains this notion that all debts must be repaid in full. If debtors suffer, it serves them right for behaving irresponsibly. However, as Hudson reveals, such harsh moral standards are seldom applied to wayward creditors and bondholders.

Risk Without Repercussions

Despite the consistent focus on debtor responsibility, it takes two to tango. By that, I mean that creditors have an obligation to issue loans in a responsible manner. After all, why do we pay bankers for their services? Presumably, bankers are compensated because they know how to assess a prospective borrower’s creditworthiness – enabling them to allocate credit to those who use it most efficiently. But of course, in practice, banks (and other financiers) frequently make bad loans or purchase junk bonds. When their risky bets fail, they then demand that governments and international agencies act as their personal debt collectors. Few people tell financiers to suck it up and accept their losses. One particularly recalcitrant and irresponsible financier, hedge fund manager Paul Singer, embodies this form of reckless finance.

Years before the Eurozone crisis, Argentina was the delinquent debtor nation, having accumulated large debts during its military dictatorship of 1976-1983. One of the recurring arguments of Killing the Host is that debts that cannot be paid will not be paid – Argentina being no exception. In 2001, Argentina was on the verge of defaulting, which prompted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to refinance Argentina’s debts – a classic case of robbing Peter to pay Paul. Unsurprisingly, the IMF’s refinancing was a spectacular failure. However, a few glorified gamblers hedge fund managers such as Paul Singer saw a golden opportunity. Taking advantage of Argentina’s debt crisis, Singer started buying discounted Argentine bonds. His aim was to be compensated for the full face value of his purchased bonds, which was $250 million dollars (he had only spent $49 million).

I confess I’m no math expert, but the difference is rather significant. Naturally, Singer sued Argentina in a New York federal court, demanding full face value repayment (along with interest, legal fees, other damages, etc). The U.S. held jurisdiction on account of most international bonds being issued in American dollars, as well as Argentina’s military dictatorship agreeing to settle payment disputes under New York’s laws.

Despite 92 percent of Argentina’s bondholders having already agreed to a debt writedown, Thomas Griesa (the presiding judge) ruled in 2014-15 that all other bondholders would have to wait their turns until Singer’s hedge fund was fully repaid. Putting aside the ominous geopolitical implications of the ruling – legalizing financial plunder of sovereign nations, undermining negotiations and agreements between debtor nations and the majority of its bondholders, and the loss of American credibility – Judge Griesa’s decision was essentially a reward for Paul Singer’s risky behavior.

Even though the discounted prices of Argentina’s bonds reflected a high risk of default, Singer refused to accept any losses. He basically wanted to have his cake and eat it too, which wasn’t lost on Argentina’s central bank governor, Mario Blejer. Hudson quotes Blejer, who rightly argues that the likes of Singer want to profit from risk without, well, the risk (emphasis mine):

“They cannot renege on the potential cost when the risk of default becomes a reality. Default, in this context, is…a legitimate, if unfortunate, part of the game. It is not consistent to benefit from a risk-taking premium and insist on full payment in all circumstances. The legal protection extended to bondholders by Judge Griesa goes against the very nature of risk-taking. If all holdouts are eventually paid in full, the entire price-setting mechanism in sovereign bond markets is rendered inconsistent.”

Basically, Blejer is saying that creditors and bondholders must also assume responsibility for their actions. Otherwise, any of us could be financiers if we could simply lend money at will, make risky purchases, and then have Uncle Sam strong-arm debtors into paying us back. That’s why Hudson persuasively opines that any lending made without a realistic expectation of repayment is by definition predatory. As radical as this may sound, creditors are also at fault for excessive debts. Therefore, their claims should not come at the expense of societies, as they too often do. Fortunately, there are ways to rein in predatory finance.

A Way Forward

Lest one think that Killing the Host is purely pessimistic, Hudson offers several remedies for our current malaise. For starters, Hudson recommends annulling unpayable debts. That may sound like crazy talk, but history is replete with examples of debt forgiveness. While more primitive in other respects, the ancients in many ways had a more realistic and humane approach towards debt than today’s liberal Western nations. Hudson writes:

“The problem of debts growing faster than the economy has been acknowledged by practically every society…That is why early Christianity and Islam took the radical step of banning the charging of interest altogether, even for commercial loans. It is why Judaism placed the Jubilee Year’s debt cancellation at the core of Mosaic Law, based on a Babylonian practice extending back to 2000 BC, and to the Sumerian tradition in the millennium before that.”

Despite not having fancy econometrics charts at their disposal, the ancients instinctively grasped that untrammeled finance destroys economies. There’s no reason why we can’t revive this simple wisdom and keep bankers in line.

There’s also no reason why we can’t redirect banking activities into more productive endeavors. Post-unification Germany’s industrial banking experiment is a good example. Under their system, rather than lending money at interest (ie. creating debt), banks would fund businesses and in turn be issued a company’s stock; that way, finance and industry would rise or fall together, which gave banks an incentive to foster economic growth and refrain from predatory rent seeking. Despite being short-lived – German industrial banking died off after WWI – nothing is stopping us from emulating Germany’s example.

Of course, I understand that banking can’t be confined to aiding business. People still need loans to buy homes, cars, and other goods. To serve these ends, Hudson recommends a nationalized banking system that provides basic credit. Not only would public banking significantly reduce the obscene bonuses and fees of a Goldman Sachs, but public banks would also have the power to annul unpayable debts – as palaces and temples did back in ancient Mesopotamia.

Nations are capable of reforming banking without throwing the baby out with the bathwater. As of now, we simply lack the political will and courage to do what is necessary. We have also lost the knowledge and insight of our forebears, making it difficult for people to know what exactly they’re resisting. But thanks to the visionary work of Michael Hudson, we now have a way.


Killing the Host is easily one of the best books on economics of our time, although Michael Hudson will never enjoy the approbation he deserves. Then again, as the book lays bare, few people in our neoliberal age actually get what they “deserve.” Predatory financial parasites such as Carl Icahn and Paul Singer sure as hell don’t deserve their unproductive (or should I say destructive?) fortunes. Likewise, property owners don’t deserve the rentier income that they reap solely on account of possessing land. Monopolists such as Carlos Slim – who “earned” much of his fortune by charging Mexicans excessive prices for telephone services – are also undeserving of wealth that owes more to price gouging than meaningful contributions to society.

Indeed, as should be abundantly clear by now, there is no such thing as a “free market,” and people are not paid what they’re naturally “worth.” What people are paid and what activities are deemed valuable are politically determined. So too are our notions of debt and responsibility. There is no iron historical law that all debts must be paid in full; even the ancient Mesopotamians saw the wisdom of annulling debts for the sake of societal harmony. We would do well to heed this ancient wisdom, lest the American economy continue to be weighed down by debt deflation – dying a slow but steady death. Small wonder that financial parasites have done everything in their power to remove this historical knowledge from public consciousness.

Speaking of history, what makes this book especially gratifying is the way Hudson uses the arguments of traditional capitalists to demolish neoliberal nonsense. Reviving old theories of price and labor value, as well as the distinction between earned income and rents, will do far more to discredit our amoral and inefficient economic order than any liberal appeals to fairness. Rather than demanding progressive taxation and modest redistribution after the fact, a far better pursuit is to ensure that the rich don’t become so rich to begin with by nipping rentier income in the bud.

Just to be clear, ridding ourselves of financial and rentier parasites will not usher in an economic utopia. Even under a purely industrial system, economic problems will abound. Giants such as Apple will continue to offshore profits, companies like Chipotle will keep stealing their workers’ wages, and other big businesses will still gobble up subsidies while fulminating against any kind of government regulation. Class divisions will remain a serious issue.

However, for all of its injustices and flaws, Industrial Capitalism creates real wealth, and economic rightists are somewhat correct when they insist that one cannot speak of redistribution without actually having something to distribute. That’s why railing against “the rich” without recognizing the differences between a Paul Singer and a Steve Jobs will only compound our current problems, and further legitimize neoliberal junk economics. As sociopathic as the late Steve Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook may be, Apple creates a product that adds value to peoples’ lives. Heck, I’m writing this post with a Macbook Air.


The right kind of capitalism.

Today’s Finance Capitalism, by contrast, is utterly hollow and produces no real wealth. No amount of financial engineering and asset-price manipulation, no matter how cleverly done, can substitute for productive activities that raise peoples’ standard of living. Not to mention that until we remove this financial rot, tackling the aforementioned problems of Industrial Capitalism will become all the more difficult.

Unless we take action soon, our parasites’ newest drinking party will eventually force the host (ie. people like you and me) to clean up the mess.

Posted in American Pathologies, Economics, History, Politics, Western Values | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why It’s Imperative For Whites To Remain A Majority In The West

I recently left a few comments on Abagond’s blog recently, and unsurprisingly, some of the commenters there accused me of being a white man pretending to be an Indian. For those that have followed me since my days on Robert Lindsay’s blog this is indeed a laughably absurd accusation. One commenter wondered why an Indian would support the Alternative-Right in the first place. His comment was:

Why as an Indian Muslim would you wholeheartedly support this aim, whether in the US or Canada? And no. I’m not suggesting you’d want to implement sharia law, so don’t even go there. But wouldn’t you, as a Canadian Muslim, like to see the institutions of your society be more accepting and understanding of your faith?

For example, assuming you are observant, wouldn’t you prefer more designated prayer spaces, the ability to pray at the proper times without risking disapproval from bosses or teachers or even passers-by, more accomodation and understanding during Ramadan, recognition of your religious holdiays and more ease in being granted time off to observe those sacred days?

I get this a lot, even offline. I’ve previously written about why Paleo-conservatism matters to me and why it ought to be embraced by non whites as well. However the true reason why the Alt-right matters is because white people matter. Whites are the common denominator in the anglosohere and they are the reason why these societies are so livable in the first place. There is simply no getting around this.

Western societies possess insaniyat (इंसानियत) which is lacking in the non western world. What is insaniyat? It isn’t technically a pure (शुध/shudh) Hindi word since it is derived from the Arabic word insaan ( Human :إنسان). Therefore the literal meaning of the word is ‘humanity’, however the commonly understood meaning is closer to the word “compassion.” It is this insaniyat that makes the West better than the rest. During the American depression it was society (philanthropists and Churches) that stepped forward to fund breadlines. These breadlines became the prototype of what we know as soup kitchens today. How do Indians assist those in need? Quite simply, they don’t. When Indians are struck with famine, they merely starve to death while the wealthy deposit their wealth in temples hoping to procure divine favour.

The 2013 Alberta floods brought out the best in Canadians. Churches and regular people provided food and shelter to the displaced. Some people from neighbouring Saskatchewan made a 7 hour road trip to assist the people of Alberta. There are thousands of such reports only a google search away. How did Indians respond to the flooding of Uttarakhand in 2013? Like this:

Harmanpreet, along with his two brothers and grandfather, “starved for a marathon 43 hours and resisted their hunger pangs until his grandfather spotted Harmanpreet scavenging on garbage picker’s collected food. On Friday, upon his return aboard Punjab government bus, the teenager and his family broke into tears, while narrating harrowing tales of trauma of spending five days with little or no food.
“Locals refused to waste their own food on us. They started screaming at us, asking us to run away from their neighbourhood as water reached their terraces.” When they managed to secure transport, they were asked to pay Rs.15,000 for a 200km journey for four people, according to the boy’s grandfather Balwant Singh.

Some may point out that perhaps Indians respond this way because they live in an environment where resources are extremely scarce. Perhaps this is true, however, what then accounts for American generosity during the great depression when resources were equally scarce? Moving on, how do the Chinese fare in insaniyat? Not much better than the Indians it seems. The philanthropic culture in China is still in its infancy. I admit that it is growing, but if China’s culture were truly advanced, why wait for the West to nudge them? What about the middle east? The cruel treatment of Indian labourers in Dubai is now legendary:

The Indian consulate in Dubai has since revealed that at least two Indian expats commit suicide each week. The consul-general stated that most are blue-collar workers who are either semi-skilled or skilled.

Dubai’s per-capita income is one of the highest in the world so I don’t buy the bunk theory that poverty breeds amorality. I needn’t bother with Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians since those reports are just as abundant as Dubai’s mistreatment of foreign labour. The point I’m trying to make is that if whites continue to decline, their culture of compassion will die with them. It’s not that Asians and Arabs are incapable of learning this advanced behaviour, but they can only do so under the cultural hegemony of the white man. If they were capable of such behaviour without the civilizing hand of the west, their own nations would be quite livable and there would be no need to flee. There would be no tribal conflicts or honour killings. I’ve had business dealings with South Asians and East Asians over the last couple of years and those encounters have made me cherish my Western clients so much more. Their transparency and integrity are completely absent from the non-western clients I’ve had the misfortune of dealing with.  It is foolish to think that these people are culturally interchangeable with the European peoples that built North America.

A few years ago while visiting my parents in Mumbai I experienced a fascinating incident which I vividly recall even today. As I was entering a building I instinctively held the door open for the person behind me. This is a habit I’d picked up in Toronto where everybody did it. The man behind me was a low caste labourer who looked at me as if I had handed him a million dollars. Clearly nobody had bothered to hold the door open for him before and he was profoundly touched by my gesture. That, my friends, is insaniyat.

Posted in Asia, Caste, China, Europe, India, Islam, Israel, Western Values | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

The Alt Right, Curt Schilling, and the Collective Freakout of White Liberals


So it looks like the Alternative Right has finally achieved the mainstream presence it has sought for so many years, with Hillary Clinton singling out the inchoate movement during her most recent speech. Putting aside her asinine assertion that Vladimir Putin is the godfather of global white nationalism, along with her disingenuous praise of Conservatism Inc standard-bearers such as Paul Ryan – last time I checked, Democrats/liberals have spent years bashing these supposedly moral Republicans as wicked racists – the speech conveyed a sense of alarmism about the alt right’s vile fascist sentiments. Journalists and pundits, good little sycophants that they are, closed ranks and heaped scorn on the alt right’s transgressive views.

But it’s not just the Alternative Right that has drawn the ire of this nation’s leftist chattering classes. Take Matt Taibbi’s recent takedown of former baseball star and aspiring politician Curt Schilling – whom Taibbi claims will preserve Trump’s toxic legacy of whiny white guy resentment. I’m going to go through this post bit by bit, since it serves as a perfect example of that unique white pathology known as ethnomasochism. Unsurprisingly, Taibbi’s endorsement of white male self-flagellation includes that classic Louis C.K. quote:

Can’t-shut-up types like Schill are the reason white men will probably eventually have to be rounded up, at which point, as a shrugging Louis C.K. once pointed out, “they’re going to hold us down and fuck us in the ass forever. And we totally deserve it.”

As I’ve said before, when future Chinese historians look back at the fall of the West, white men like Louis C.K. will warrant a mention. Can you imagine Hindu men in India saying that they “deserve” to be fucked over by Muslims? Can you imagine Han Chinese enthusiastically declaring that they deserve to be brutalized by Uighurs and Tibetans? Can you imagine Israeli Jews, Turks, Gulf Arabs, Japanese, Koreans, Malays, Mexicans, or anyone not white saying that? Of course you can’t, because only whites are afflicted with this condition. Taibbi’s description of the aggrieved white male brain is also worth scrutinizing (emphasis mine):

This brain type sees outrages everywhere. Colleges offer degrees in Black Studies, but unless it’s the Martin Mull version, you can’t proudly lug around a History of White People without being put on an FBI watch list. Unfair! As someone actually asked me on Twitter once, “How come only minorities get to have identity politics?”

If you really have to ask questions like this – if you can’t, for instance, see that the whole curriculum of most colleges is “white studies” – then there are probably a lot of other things you’re not ever going to grasp. So no offense, but when it comes to stuff like this, it’s no use arguing, and, well, shut up, is what the rest of humanity is mostly saying to us white guys.

If anything, the rest of humanity laughs at the ethnomasochism displayed by Taibbi. In fact, in most of the world, only the majority is permitted to openly indulge in identity politics. In one of our recent conversations, Dota told me about the case of Indian Bollywood actress Jaya Bachchan, who incurred the wrath of the Marathi nationalist Shiv Sena organization. Her crime? Expressing pride in her native Hindi language. That her peccadillo could arouse such aggressive passions just goes to show that disrespect of the majority (and their culture) is not tolerated, no matter how innocuous the offense. Even in Malaysia, one of the more prosperous and socially moderate Muslim countries in the world, uppity minority behavior is not countenanced; one only has to observe the furor caused by Christians using the word “Allah.”

However, it’s this passage from Matt Taibbi that exhibits the strange combination of self-loathing and quixotic idealism so common among his ilk:

They’re probably not saying shut up forever, or about everything, but just for once and about some things, after thousands of years of unrestrained yammering.

This shouldn’t be too big an ask, since (as the likes of Trump and Schilling regularly prove) American white men still mostly run the world and live highly failure-resistant existences. Just take yes for an answer, enjoy the ride, and try to have the decency to not act like a victim; that’s all anyone asks.

I’ll give Taibbi the benefit of the doubt and assume that “thousands of years” is just a figure of speech (after all, according to leftists, “whiteness” is a relatively recent construct). I do find strange his insistence that “white men” as a whole live failure-resistant existences. That certainly doesn’t jibe with my experience – or the experiences of many other white guys I’ve known. It also doesn’t jibe with my observations of incompetent non-whites who enjoy happy and successful lives. But who cares what I think? I’m just a deluded white man blinded by his privilege.

It’s Taibbi’s contention that us white guys “listening” is all “anyone asks” for that really takes the cake. I can say with the utmost confidence that they are asking for far more than just a little humility and privilege checking; they are asking for whites (white men in particular) to enthusiastically swing an axe at their own feet, which is unprecedented in all of world history. They obviously enjoy some measure of success, seeing as how they’ve gotten certain elite white men – who always seem to project their own experiences onto other white men – to enthusiastically “listen.”

The best way to interpret the antics of Matt Taibbi and other left leaning pundits is that with Donald Trump’s presidential prospects waning by the day, leftists now want to extirpate any enduring white nationalist sentiment. The left’s collective freakout over the Alternative Right’s (and Curt Schilling’s) growing political prominence says a lot more about them than it does about the views we espouse (even though I don’t agree with a lot of what Schilling says). Leftists are either shockingly ignorant about the role nationalism plays in most of the world, or they subscribe to this notion that white people – and only white people – are expected to excitedly cheer on their own demise. I’m leaning more towards the latter interpretation, seeing as how “respectable” mainstream Americans aggressively condemn the alt right’s relatively mild nationalism while giving a pass to much more virulent forms of global nationalism. Just observe noted Hillary Hag Neera Tanden saying how honored she was to meet actual fascist and mass murderer Narendra Modi. Ditto for certain members of our esteemed business community.

Embracing Real Fascism

Certain nationalists are okay, I guess.

In conclusion, liberals and leftists need to get a grip. If they think that the Alternative Right is too extreme, then I don’t want to know how they would realistically assess normal global nationalism without having heart attacks. But putting that aside, there is nothing extreme about not wanting to be held down and fucked in the ass for eternity. I’m sure the “rest of humanity” agrees.

Posted in Asia, Cultural Marxism, India, Politics, Race, Racism, Subversion, Tribalism, Wimpy Whites | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Good Video From Ramzpaul

I just finished watching the latest video from Ramzpaul, one of the more prominent alt right vloggers and personalities. Check it out below:

I don’t agree with all of his points. For one, while the average BLM adherent probably doesn’t think twice about whites who get killed by the police, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that blacks are secretly “happy” whenever whites die in such a manner (exceptions notwithstanding). I also don’t think that advocating immigration in and of itself is an “evil” act. While most people who promote open borders do so in bad faith – mainly business lobbyists, their shills in the media, affluent people who seek cheap servants, and non-white tribalists who want to augment their numbers and political power – one can embrace immigration in good faith. That person would be wrong, but that doesn’t necessarily make him “evil.”

Putting that aside, I agree with Ramzpaul’s main argument: Caring about your own people more than others is perfectly natural. I have likewise asserted that expecting other people to value outsiders’ as much as their own group is sheer folly. This doesn’t mean that we hate other groups and bear them ill will; it doesn’t mean that we enjoy watching them suffer. It does mean, however, that should the interests of another group clash with the interests of my group, I’m going to side with my group. Nothing personal, just business.

If only more people heeded Ramzpaul’s simple common sense.

Posted in Blacks, Cultural Marxism, Economics, Immigration, Race, Racism, Tribalism, White nationalism, Wimpy Whites | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

2016 Wackiness and Analysis Paralysis

Hey there, faithful readers! I know that I’ve been rather neglectful of the blog lately, for which I apologize. There’s just been so many crazy stories, imbroglios, upheavals, and brutal (but sadly not surprising) acts of violence that I’ve been plagued by analysis paralysis.

Suffice it to say, it’s becoming more arduous to keep up with all the wackiness and turmoil – for better and worse – that’s increasingly characterizing 2016. To start off on a lighter note, I’m going to talk about sports, one of my less discussed passions. Those who share my passion already know that just over a month ago, the NBA concluded one of its most exciting seasons in recent memory. The 1996 regular season record of 72-10 set by the legendary Michael Jordan and his Chicago Bulls was eclipsed – by the Bay Area based Golden State Warriors, no less. The Warriors set additional records for the best start (24-0) and road wins (34-7).

But unfortunately, ignominious postseason endings tend to overshadow regular season glories; blowing a 3-1 NBA finals series lead to the Cleveland Cavaliers earned the Warriors a more dubious distinction as the first team to squander that kind of advantage. On the flip side, the Cavaliers made history in their own right by bringing the long-suffering city of Cleveland their first sports championship since the year of the Civil Rights Act. That burning river must now seem like ancient history.

Speaking of Cleveland, Donald Trump was recently anointed the Republican nominee at the Republican National Convention; and despite all the handwringing about the fascist hatred engendered by Trump’s speech, the Donald has only improved his chances of winning the White House.

If you had predicted just one year ago that Cleveland would bring home a championship and hand Donald Trump the Republican nomination in 2016, most people would have thought you were nuts. Yet here we are.

Of course, the world doesn’t revolve around Cleveland. This article from Der Spiegel does a pretty good job (even though I don’t agree with their ideological spin) of summing up the general sense of global instability and unpredictability that has characterized the past couple of years:

The biggest geopolitical stories of our time are the destabilization in the Middle East, the European security order and the European Union. In addition, there has been a societal shift in many Western countries: Many citizens are angry at the elites, because they see themselves as victims of globalization, free trade and migration. This anger has enabled the rise of political movements from the fringe to the mainstream in only a few years: Donald Trump, the Brexit movement, Front National and the Alternative for Germany, or AfD. The classic political camps are dissolving as the battle between the political left and the right is replaced by one between Isolationists and Internationalists.

In so many words, the force is out of balance. As much as liberals and conservatives might have disdained one another in the past, their bickering over pet causes like abortion and gay marriage has given way to something much more serious: the intractable divide between multicultural globalists and populist nationalists. Like Harry Potter and Voldemort, neither can live while the other survives, rendering compromise close to impossible.

Here’s my response to this great unraveling: bring it on! The reason why I continue to harbor some measure of optimism is because I know that the rotten status quo is coming undone. Even if the ice queen Hillary Clinton ultimately gets her crown – due to a high turnout of non-whites and progressives biting the bullet and voting for her out of fear of Trump – there will be few illusions about who or what she is. The Democrats won’t continue to get away with peddling identity politics while kissing Wall Street’s ass.

On the flip side, even if Donald Trump loses, Trumpism will not be repudiated; the GOP won’t get away with reverting to the usual hackneyed platitudes about the “Constitution,” “limited government,” and freeing the “job creators.” Republican elites will have to contend with an incipient white nationalism, even if they kick and scream all the while.

And of course, on an international level, fewer people are buying what the globalists are selling. Our globalized elites still wield incredible power, and their predatory influence won’t abate anytime soon. Nevertheless, they can no longer hide; more people are now onto them. Consequently, this bizarre zeitgeist that combines cultural leftism, neocon imperialism, and pro-1% economics increasingly lacks legitimacy

We can only hope that the turbulence of 2016 further chips away at our untenable system. After all, if Cleveland can win an improbable sports championship, then there’s no reason other interesting things can’t also happen. Stay tuned.

Posted in American Pathologies, Europe, Immigration, Middle East, Politics, Sports, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments