Sunday, December 19, 2004

Am I Wrong?

Okay - so here's the thing - I might be mistaken about all this "US is gonna Fail" crap.

Maybe the United States is going to be okay after all. US stocks may not be overvalued - but indeed undervalued a tad.

The United States is a hard country to bet against. It's got an Army larger than God himself. It can seemingly rain down massive firepower anywhere in the globe within 72 hours - and within an hour or two if it's nuclear.

What other country on the face of this planet can do that?

None.

Finances are kind of misleading - they lead us to believe things that arent really true in the realest sense of the word.

The world is made up of real people doing real things. Real things flying, real things being built, real things being used.

Finance is just a supplant on top of that. It's an artificial creation. Money isnt an illusion - but it's just something that everyone has faith in, nothing that's actually real. Gold is the same. Stocks, bonds - all worthy things - are really just pieces of paper with whatever language written on them. Gold is just something that we dug up from the ground and have given value to.

The only value from these come when we can force others to believe in their value - when we can enforce our artificial claims on other people.

Debt is only debt because we can forcebly collect. Shares are only shares because the next guy believes that shares mean something.

Ultimately God was right - all we're doing is renting the earth - he is the creator and he will redeem it all someday.

Until that day comes - and I think the day is forever and a day away - we make do with the artificial creations of property. Artificiality is the essential core of "Western" society. It is the ability to make someone do dirty work that they would never do themselves if things werent artificial.

Who in their right mind would go to Iraq? No one.

Except we have created a "military" that is "bound" by "obligation" and "duty" (all quotes are artificial) to do our bidding - and we now have 150k troops there fighting and deing. The "rich" are at home watching their "stocks" and "bonds" appreciate or depreciate in value. We "pay" other people to go to Iraq - and they do, because they're artificial creatures.

This artificiality is both bad and good. It's good when you're the benefactor of such artificiality. That's why we have the courts, the police, the military. Laws.

It's all there to benefit those that have power currently (the powerless have never written laws). Good governance increases the number of people benefiting from law and order - more people with vested interest in the artificial property rights system working leads (logically at least) to fewer people trying to change the system. Fewer people will try to violently change the system.

Bad governance is when the opposite happens - when law and order only benefits the ultrapowerful. Repression and oppression becomes the norm.

The difference is the difference between Sweden and Haiti. A bit of a difference I would say.

Now - here's the kicker - Britain (and it's intellectual heir, the US) created a THIRD way. Bad governance without too much repression. The key in this system is to do the impossible - for poor people to blindly support a system that doesnt obviously benefit them. But it HAS been done through the use of religion, repressive tendencies towards outsiders and self righteous opressors.

Russia's mistake (as was China's during Mao) was the active repression of people within their own nations - this eventually leads to the realization of those doing the oppressing (the police, soldiers) that they're in the same boat as those they are (by that point) being asked to kill. At this point the system broke down. Good for China to realize this fault (Deng Xioping was himself a victim of Mao) before it overtook them.

No - the British way was smarter - imperialism meant that those oppressed looked different from them. It's pretty easy to create artificial barriers when they look different from you.

It's even better when you suggest that those telling you to do the terrible things are working on behalf of God. And that those who dont go along with the plan are unGodly, pagans and all that.

Domestically this worked because the "UnGodly" locals were different from the the "Godly" locals - and one could press the other side without much fight because God is just that powerful.
Marx was sort of right and sort of wrong - religion isnt the opiate of the masses, it is the opiate of those who believe. It allows them to do things that they wouldnt otherwise do.

Anyhow - long story short. How this relates to today's America.

We've taken the dubious best from British history. We've gone from locking up locals (a kind of internal imperialism, aka black people in prison) to invading others - Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. (Replace the word "Democracy" with "Christianity" and you'll see what I'm talking about).

What does this say?

This to me says that the artificial nature is getting more extreme - and that we've become an oppressive nation. Dissent is just a dessent from God - so no more of that.

This will benefit those with. And those without will be materially hurt.

In the longer run - better to be a guy benefiting from all that artificality than the guy having to pay for it.

Short term - market's will do what they've always done.

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