domingo, 19 de noviembre de 2017
The New York Times and the “Lost Cause” of Bolshevism
By William L. Anderson
A century ago this week, the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia ushered in a century of mass murder, starvation, summary execution of millions of people, destruction of ancient social institutions, wars, a vast network of death camps, and the evisceration of liberty, at one time, of a third of the planet.
According to the New York Times, we should be mourning the passage of this era and all of its promises of a better life for all.
You read that correctly.
For the past few months, leading up to the centennial of when the followers of Lenin and Trotsky overthrew the Provision Government of Russia and established “all power to the Soviets,” the Times has run a series of op-ed articles by people mostly mourning the “Lost Cause” of communism and all of its promise. We have learned that Bolsheviks were wonderful parents, that women under communism had great sex, Mao liberated women(when he wasn’t murdering them), that Bolshevism promoted a pristine, clean environment and we should all be communists if we want environmental purity (except that the communist bloc had much worse pollution problems than the so-called polluted capitalist West), and that the revolutionary fervor of communism can lead to a glorious socialist future.
Time to buy old US gold coins
As one reads these articles, it becomes clear that to the NYT, the end of communism as we knew it – except for a few backwaters like North Korea and Cuba – really was the end of hope for a better life, the end of hope of liberation from the slavery of capitalism, and the end of hope that the state could forcibly destroy human institutions from marriage to religion and replace them with peace, love, and brotherhood. If only.
Should there be a common theme in these odes to the glories of Bolshevism, one senses that the world missed the opportunity to install paradise because those great Keepers of the Secret continued to die before they could share their great knowledge with the rest of humanity. Oh, if only reactionary Germans had not killed Rosa Luxemborg in 1919, for sheknew how to make socialism work. If only Trotsky had triumphed instead of Stalin in the 1920s. If only Lenin hadn’t died prematurely from complications from a stroke. If only Mao had not contracted ALS and died. And so on.
Given the near-uncritical support that the NYT historically has given communist dictators, from its deliberate cover-up of the infamous Ukraine famine in the 1930s, its whitewashing of the Moscow Show Trials of that same decade, and its near-worship of Mao in China and Castro in Cuba, one comes to understand that the editors of that paper now regard communism as a great “lost cause,” a chance for humanity to better its sorry condition that disappeared all because the Great Unwashed wanted cellphones, fast cars, good food, and, yes, liberty instead of embracing the intellectual and spiritual liberation that communism offered.
American journalists are not afraid to attack the “lost cause” interpretation of the American Civil War and Southern secession. The South depended heavily upon black chattel slavery, it sought secession in order to continue that doomed institution, and all of its fighters were traitors, or at least that is how modern journalists interpret that war. That the horrors of Jim Crow and its accompanying violence came about only after Southern politicians embraced the Northern secular religion known as Progressivism is stuffed down the same Orwellian Memory Hole into which the NYT and its supporters in academe and the media have deposited the unprecedented orgy of murder and slavery that was Bolshevism and its aftermath.
We should not forget that the NYT has endorsed nearly every totalitarian movement save Nazism, and no respectable person wants to endorse Adolph Hitler, anyway. As for socialism, what socialistic or communist regime has the NYT and its gaggle of academic and journalistic allies not endorsed, at least at the beginning? It stood with Hugo Chavez in Venezuela, Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua, and, for a while, even Pol Pot in Cambodia. As always, they declared the very idea of socialism to be rooted in justice, so even if the actual communist experiment failed, nonetheless, the love of justice required that right-minded people support it, anyway.
In comparing the nostalgia the NYT has toward fallen communist regimes with the old “lost cause” view of the Civil War, there is a huge difference between the two. Regarding the former, the NYT and its like-minded allies would not hesitate to claim that at least some violence is necessary in order to achieve Utopia, or, to quote the NYT’s correspondent in Moscow during the Stalin years, Walter Duranty, “One cannot make an omelet without breaking eggs.”
For that matter, the political allies of the NYT in Great Britain, the Labour Party, not only refuses to condemn the century of violence and bloodshed that was communism, but has leaders that openly celebrate the Bolshevik Revolution in all its gore and mayhem. But for all of the “lost cause” talk regarding secession and the South, no one today that defends the South also defends slavery. To the contrary, most people who would defend secession also would say that slavery not only was immoral, but also was not a viable economic system and would have ended soon enough.
One cannot say that about today’s defenders of socialism. At best, they can claim that the violence that has accompanied the implementation of revolutionary socialism simply is an unnecessary mistake, as though a regime can seize property, shut down churches, confiscate one’s goods, and do it all non-violently with a happy face. However, as the late Tibor Machan noted more than three decades ago, implementing Marx requires a Stalin.
Today, we see the Smiley-Faced Socialism in the persona of Bernie Sanders, who claims to simply want a nice socialism in which there is no poverty – and no police state. Sanders, however, has spent most of his formative political years as a self-described Trotskyite, and if one identifies with Leon Trotsky, one must also identify with the methods the man implemented.
Likewise, the editorial writers for the New York Times do not have the luxury of pining for the supposed pure ideals of communism, but then turning up its nose at the bodies of the millions of the dead communist leaders left behind. If implementation of an organizing principle results in mass starvation, vast prison camps, and death and destruction, it probably is safe to say that the original organizing principle itself is morally bankrupt. That is something I doubt the NYT and its groupies ever will understand.
The Best of William L. Anderson
William L. Anderson, Ph.D. [send him mail], teaches economics at Frostburg State University in Maryland, and is an associated scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute. He also is a consultant with American Economic Services. Visit his blog.
Massive capital consumption is taking place. Capital does not automatically grow or perpetuate itself.
We're Living in the Age of Capital Consumption
by Ronald-Peter Stöferle
When capital is mentioned in the present-day political debate, the term is usually subject to a rather one-dimensional interpretation: Whether capital saved by citizens, the question of capital reserves held by pension funds, the start-up capital of young entrepreneurs or capital gains taxes on investments are discussed – in all these cases capital is equivalent to “money.” Yet capital is distinct from money, it is a largely irreversible, definite structure, composed of heterogeneous elements which can be (loosely) described as goods, knowledge, context, human beings, talents and experience. Money is “only” the simplifying aid that enables us to record the incredibly complex heterogeneous capital structure in a uniform manner. It serves as a basis for assessing the value of these diverse forms of capital.
Modern economics textbooks usually refer to capital with the letter “C”. This conceptual approach blurs the important fact that capital is not merely a single magnitude, an economic variable representing a magically self-replicating homogenous blob but a heterogeneous structure. Among the various economic schools of thought it is first and foremost the Austrian School of Economics, which stresses the heterogeneity of capital. Furthermore, Austrians have correctly recognized, that capital does not automatically grow or perpetuate itself. Capital must be actively created and maintained, through production, saving, and sensible investment.
Moreover, Austrians emphasize that one has to differentiate between two types of goods in the production process: consumer goods and capital goods. Consumer goods are used in immediate consumption – such as food. Consumer goods are a means to achieve an end directly. Thus, food helps to directly achieve the end of satisfying the basic need for nutrition. Capital goods differ from consumer goods in that they are way-stations toward the production of consumer goods which can be used to achieve ultimate ends. Capital goods therefore are means to achieve ends indirectly. A commercial oven (used for commercial purposes) is a capital good, which enables the baker to produce bread for consumers.
Through capital formation, one creates the potential means to boost productivity. The logical precondition for this is that the production of consumer goods must be temporarily decreased or even stopped, as scarce resources are redeployed toward the production of capital goods. If current production processes generate only fewer or no consumer goods, it follows that consumption will have to be reduced by the quantity of consumer goods no longer produced. Every deepening of the production structure therefore involves taking detours.
Capital formation is therefore always an attempt to generate larger returns in the long term by adopting more roundabout methods of production. Such higher returns are by no means guaranteed though, as the roundabout methods chosen may turn out to be misguided. In the best case only those roundabout methods will ultimately be continued, which do result in greater productivity. It is therefore fair to assume that a more capital-intensive production structure will generate more output than a less capital-intensive one. The more prosperous an economic region, the more capital-intensive its production structure is. The fact that the generations currently living in our society are able to enjoy such a high standard of living is the result of decades or even centuries of both cultural and economic capital accumulation by our forebears.
Once a stock of capital has been accumulated, it is not destined to be eternal. Capital is thoroughly transitory, it wears out, it is used up in the production process, or becomes entirely obsolete. Existing capital requires regularly recurring reinvestment, which can usually be funded directly out of the return capital generates. If reinvestment is neglected because the entire output or more is consumed, the result is capital consumption.
It is not only the dwindling understanding of the nature of capital that leads us to consume it without being aware of it. It is also the framework of the real economy which unwittingly drives us to do so. In 1971 money was finally cut loose entirely from the gold anchor and we entered the “paper money era.” In retrospect, it has to be stated that cutting the last tie to gold was a fatal mistake. Among other things, it has triggered unprecedented instability in interest rates. While interest rates displayed relatively little volatility as long as money was still tied to gold, they surged dramatically after 1971, reaching a peak of approximately 16 percent in 1981 (10-year treasury yield), before beginning a nosedive that continues until today. This massive decline in interest rates over the past 35 years has gradually eroded the capital stock.
An immediately obvious effect is the decline in so-called “yield purchasing power”. The concept describes what the income from savings, or more precisely the interest return on savings, will purchase in terms of goods. The opportunity to generate interest income from savings has of course decreased quite drastically. Once zero or even negative interest rate territory is reached, the return on saved capital is obviously no longer large enough to enable one to live from it, let alone finance a reasonable standard of living. Consequently, saved capital has to be consumed in order to secure one's survival. Capital consumption is glaringly obvious in this case.
It is beyond question that massive capital consumption is taking place nowadays, yet not all people are affected by it to the same extent. On the one hand, the policy of artificially reducing the interest as orchestrated by the central banks does negatively influence the entrepreneurs’ tasks. Investments, especially capital-intensive investments seem to be more profitable as compared to a realistic, i. e. non-interventionist level, profits are thus higher and reserves lower. These and other inflation-induced errors promote capital consumption.
On the other hand, counteracting capital consumption are technological progress and the rapid expansion of our areas of economic activity into Eastern Europe and Asia in recent decades, due to the collapse of communism and the fact that many countries belatedly caught up with the monetary and industrial revolution in its wake. Without this catching-up process it would have been necessary to restrict consumption in Western countries a long time ago already.
At the same time, the all-encompassing redistributive welfare state, which either directly through taxes or indirectly through the monetary system continually shifts and reallocates large amounts of capital, manages to paper over the effects of capital consumption to some extent. It remains to be seen how much longer this can continue. Once the stock of capital is depleted, the awakening will be rude. We are certain, that gold is an essential part of any portfolio in this stage of the economic cycle.
Ronald-Peter Stöferle is managing partner and fund manager at Incrementum AG, Liechtenstein. He invests using the principles of the Austrian school of economics.
Read more: mises.org
sábado, 18 de noviembre de 2017
Gramsci e il movimento LGBT
Dall’8 al 20 ottobre si è svolto a Bologna un “Festival delle biblioteche” che ha avuto come tema «Il cammino dei diritti». L’incontro tenutosi il 13 ottobre presso la sede del “Cassero – LGBT center” rivela in modo chiaro di quali diritti si stia parlando: «Affetti e diritti: il cammino verso la piena cittadinanza per le persone LGBT».
Lo scopo delle iniziative sembra essere quello di preparare il terreno ad una legge regionale contro l’omo-trans-fobia – voluta congiuntamente dal Partito Democratico e dell’Arcigay – sul modello di quelle già approvate in Piemonte e Umbria. Questo spiegherebbe i consueti patrocini della Regione Emilia-Romagna, dell’Università di Bologna e della Fondazione del Monte (gruppo Unicredit).
Tuttavia, la presenza di uno sponsor particolare – la Fondazione Gramsci – merita una riflessione e un approfondimento.
- Cosa c’entra Gramsci, quando i mass-media ci dicono che la diffusione dell’ideologia gender è frutto di una cultura liberal-libertaria?
- Non ci viene detto anche da autorevoli ecclesiastici che la responsabile dell’attuale deriva etica dell’Occidente è «l’ideologia dell’individualismo liberale»?
- e il Pontefice non mette spesso in guardia dalle «colonizzazioni ideologiche, sostenute anche da Paesi molto influenti»?
Per rispondere a queste domande occorre riprendere la teoria dell’azione suggerita da Gramsci per i paesi di antica cultura cristiana, nei quali: «ci può e ci deve essere una attività egemonica anche prima dell’andata al potere» (Q. 19, 68), in particolare nei confronti della religione che «è rimasta allo stato di superstizione, ma non è stata sostituita da una nuova moralità laica e umanistica» (Q. 21, 21).
È questa la ragione per cui, dall’immediato dopoguerra ad oggi, il PCI prima e le sue trasformazioni poi, hanno progressivamente permeato di cultura socialista e laica tutti i centri che creano il consenso – televisioni e radio, giornali e case editrici, cinema e moda, scuola e università, musica e magistratura, ecc. – compresa la «lotta per subordinare il clero, come tipica categoria di intellettuali, alle direttive dello Stato» (Q. 7, 50).
#Gramsci e il movimento #LGBT #osservatoriogender #genderdiktatTwitta la notizia !
In questa prospettiva si può capire perché tutti i partiti europei di impostazione socialista cooperano con quelli laicisti e libertari per la diffusione del gender e delle varie ideologie LGBT, dell’aborto e dell’eutanasia, della droga e della fecondazione artificiale. Infatti, questi ed altri mezzi sono presenti anche nell’impressionante Documento politico del Bologna pride 2017 che, nell’ottica della “nuova moralità laica e umanistica”, appare perfettamente in linea con il gramscismo e le attività della Fondazione Gramsci.
Il risultato di tale dissoluzione etica è una “società liquida” (Bauman), forse prodotta dall’individualismo sfrenato, ma nella quale lo Stato sicuramente controlla e dirige tutto, prendendosi cura sia delle grandi imprese super capitalistiche che dei suoi sudditi, dalla culla alla bara. E salendo di dimensioni, attraverso gli orgasmi comunitari e internazionali, riunisce tutti in una specie di Stato di un nuovo socialismo planetario.
Non sappiamo se la situazione attuale fosse nei sogni di Gramsci o dei fondatori del movimento LGBT, ma solo un cieco può negare che in tutti gli Stati europei praticamente ogni attività – politica, economica, culturale – è sotto il controllo dello Stato: l’individualismo liberale c’entra con la distruzione della famiglia, della proprietà privata e della religione (Engels), ma è solo un mezzo, non il fine.
ULTIME NOTIZIE - Bollettino n. 91 del 18 novembre 2017
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