“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”
— Ernest Hemingway, “Notes on the Next War: A Serious Topical Letter” (1935)
My name is Edgar J. Steele.
The ongoing tension between tyranny and freedom is a recurring theme in my writing. More, perhaps, than any other. “The Circle of Strife” is what I have dubbed the never-ending stampeding of a populace from freedom to tyranny, and back again, in all nations down through history.
Today, we see America sliding ever more deeply into a morass of excessive institutional control of its citizens – as clear a case of mounting tyranny as ever has been seen.
Individualism vs. Collectivism
To argue about differing economic models or alternate political systems is to engage in the wrong argument altogether. What I have noticed that really counts, regardless of the form of societal organization under discussion, is the degree of individualism versus collectivism.
Individualism is freedom, pure and simple. Collectivism is lack of freedom – the control of individuals by groups, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. Even so, voluntary control of the individual inevitably becomes involuntary, I have noticed, the greater it expands.
Many in America today view our subjugation to the “greater good” of society to be a voluntary yielding up of individual liberty. A growing segment of the population, however, views the galloping expansion of institutional control with alarm.
The lack of understanding of the difference between individualism and collectivism was brought home to me last week by a caller to my radio show to whom, by prearrangement, I had agreed to give greater time and sway – almost a guest interview, in fact. At one point, he identified himself as a National Socialist, then went on to sing the praises of Adolf Hitler and the economic miracle wrought in pre-WWII Germany. All well and good, I noted, but Hitler did end up being responsible for wrecking Germany and there can be no dispute that he LOST, after all. And, had he won, Hitler scarcely would have given up the reins of power he had gathered into his hands.
Hitler was a collectivist of the first order. Perhaps that is why he held such contempt for Marxism: a competing collectivist, after all.
My caller/guest then suddenly claimed an admiration for Thomas Jefferson, one of my personal heroes and the very model for individualism. Jefferson advocated regular revolution, just to keep things fresh and control out of the hands of despots. Jefferson despised central government advocates like Madison.
I noted the disparity between my caller/guest’s two claimed positions and received little by way of explanation. He was confused, you see. Most are. As it turned out, he really was more of an individualist claiming the National Socialist label by way of pandering to a group that he perceived to be his target audience. Many National Socialists similarly are confused. When forced to choose, they will come down on the side of personal liberty and individual freedom.
Fascism vs. Communism
Unlike many, I see fascism and communism as differing only in who nominally holds title to the assets of a nation. Communism actually is a bit more honest by claiming direct ownership, whereas fascism deals in the fiction of individual ownership, much like America today, all the while reserving the right to control anything and everything.
Think you own your house? Try not paying your property taxes and just see what happens.
I view political philosophies as lying on a circle: to the right are conservatives and to the left are liberals. Follow the conservatives far enough and you encounter fascism. Follow the liberals far enough and you encounter communism. Follow fascism and communism to their roots and you find yourself on the opposite side of the circle, at precisely the same place. You begin with individualism and personal freedom and end up with total collectivist lockdown, regardless of whether you follow the liberal or conservative path.
Collectivism = Control
Collectivism of every stripe has as its gravamen the control of a nation’s citizenry. Increased organization leads to greater control. Organization is necessary for control. From control springs the personal benefit to a nation’s rulers, of course.
Benevolent dictators are well and good, but always there comes the day when such leaders die, only to be replaced by not-so-benevolent dictators. Both tend to line their pockets as their ultimate power leads to their own ultimate corruption.
It does not take one long in a privileged position before one begins to perceive him or herself as different, somehow – as deserving that position and its perquisites more than others. That is the path to despotism and, ultimately, personal destruction for the self-deluded and privileged few.
Evil Incarnate: The Federal Reserve Bank and the Rothschilds
Hundreds of years ago, the Rothschild family set itself up in banking and from that decision sprang an empire, nay, empires aplenty, with the same people running things at every turn. The Federal Reserve System merely is today’s manifestation of that control in America. It is called something different in other countries. Here is how these people work their scheme:
Cash gets siphoned continually as it works its way through any economic system, from consumer to producer and back down again. The siphoning is done via overcharging, fraud, profits, employee stock options, bonuses, taxes and theft. The fraud, overcharging and theft occur at all points in the system. Call it what you like: graft, juice, grease, etc.
Taxes are a peculiar form of theft, thus deserving of their own classification, since some of those taxes actually end up as benefits to the consumer, unlike the outright theft that occurs at all other places (including “profits,” which go into the pockets of a select few). That is why corporate taxes can be beneficial to society: they prevent the downstream theft that otherwise would occur and inure only to the benefit of a few.
Don’t blame me. That’s how the world works.
As the corruption becomes more apparent to the population being fleeced, calls for greater control ring out. Music to the ears of the collectivists in charge because such calls present the opportunity for even more control and, thus, even more profits.
Why Controlled Citizens Call for More Control
Oddly enough, there comes a point in national corruption when a little more control actually results in a fairer distribution of the bounty of that nation’s economic system, as in America’s health system today, which is grossly unfair to the multitudes of uninsured and underinsured middle-class Americans.
As things now stand, medicine in America should be completely socialized if we are not going to throw out the entire system and replace it with something just slightly this side of anarchy. Call it real-world economics, if you like, as I do not believe that this recognition of reality that goes well beyond the hard-knocks school of Austrian Economics actually has a name. Edgarnomics, if you will. Yes, you just heard me construct an argument for Obama’s health-care plan, believe it or not.
Very few of us end up among the insiders who ultimately benefit from the corruption endemic to any economic or political system. We are on the outside, looking in and only occasionally scrabbling for crumbs that fall from the table. Everything goes to one of those thieves. Everything. There is no “marketplace,” as argued by Libertarians, because none of us truly are equals.
Now and again, some of us stumble upon a rich vein of plunder (e.g., a government contract, a Yale law degree, a Ponzi scheme, a corporate officership, political office, etc), thus becoming one of the insiders for a time.
Normally, though, what we subsist upon are mere crumbs plus whatever portion of the loot to which we lay claim in the form of wages, commissions, social security, highway usage or whatever.
The Myth of Differing Economic Systems
Capitalism as an economic system is a myth. Communism as an economic system is a myth. There are no different “economic systems.” There is only one system and it works as I have described, regardless of the political clothing in which one dresses it. Anarchy, too, merely is a political set of clothing for this system.
This is why Zionists such as the Rothschilds so effortlessly seem to switch from one political or economic philosophy to another and still prosper – they epitomize the ultimate game players and are genetically equipped to come out on top, time and again, because they ruthlessly and continually operate for their own self interest. Idealists like us are mere cattle to be farmed by them.
Only ruthless self-dealing can neutralize ruthless self-dealing, else one resembles the fool who brings a knife to a gun fight.
Austrian economics merely comes closer than Keynesianism to describing reality. Even so, it is woefully short of the mark.
Call it greed and self interest, perhaps. That is the only enduring reality. Edgarnomics. You heard it here first.
Graft and corruption trump all economic and social models, always have and almost always will, simply because they are the natural byproduct of civilization and organization.
A bright and shiny line can be drawn between the majority (us) and the corrupt “in crowd” (them) – the collectivists. Not a perfect overlay, but close enough to my perception of the two sides in all societies: the haves and the have-nots.
The haves have because they take from the have-nots in unfair measure. Always, the haves must be in the minority for this to provide for them in the manner they demand. Haves require organization in order to cut a slice from every transaction. The slice-taking in unfair measure represents the graft, corruption and untoward profit-taking to which I referred.
Anarchy as a System Overlay
Disorder, or anarchy, is anathema to the haves and to collectivism of every stripe.
As I said: to argue about differing economic models or alternate political systems is to engage in the wrong argument altogether. The real nub: individualism vs. collectivism. Without collectivism one cannot have true order and organization, from which one exacts an unfair and often-unseen advantage over others.
Anarchy is a vacuum, a lack of order, and collectivism is the pressure that relentlessly fills the vacuum. Humans yearn for order and organization and belonging and being told what to do and being free from having to make decisions. Humans yearn for the yoke, not individual freedom. This is like leaving the keys in the ignition and your car door unlocked in South-Central LA, because the collectivists are only too happy to oblige us by breaking the law, taking advantage of our naiveté and stealing the car.
Anarchy with Honor
Some argue for anarchy. They think they are true anarchists, but they are not. In reality, they argue for what I have dubbed “anarchy with honor.” That honor is a set of rules that organizes anarchy, albeit in a minimal fashion. That minimal organization is the very minimum societal organization that I argue must be in place to hold the collectivists at bay. The American Constitution of 225 years ago accomplished that in grand fashion, but now has been displaced completely.
There comes a point in over-organizing that the only way to decrease the massive corruption is to organize even further, tightening down the screws – thus, my argument above for socialized medicine being more fair than what we have in America today. Yet, the real solution is found in scrapping everything and starting over – pressing the national or global Reset button.
Corruption traverses something of a bell-shaped curve versus societal freedom, which decreases linearly through time in all society forms. Theoretically, total lockdown squeezes out corruption. That is the misguided notion that Castro employed in implementing communism in Cuba. That was Orwell’s vision in 1984. Ultimately, however, total lockdown leads to total corruption and total slavery of the masses.
The real solution, of course, is to throw out the baby with the bathwater and reset the system to the start of that bell-shaped curve. That is why Jefferson proposed revolution on a regular basis.
Collectivists will not go without a fight. Yes, a civil war, dead babies in ditches and all, is inevitable, I believe.
New America – an idea whose time has come.
My name is Edgar J. Steele. Thanks for listening. Please visit my web site, www.NickelRant.com, for other messages just like this one.
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