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Friday, August 15, 2014

The Triumph of Socialism

I am a free marketeer. Who isn't anymore? Having said that, that does not imply that every possible description of a "free market" is by definition "a good thing":  asset bubbles are notoriously toxic. Nor does it mean that one sits back on one's laurels and enjoy the sunset of the Age of Uncertainty and await the Dawn of Certainty; nothing stands still.

I shall have to repeat part of a post: Steve Zissou and the Life Interior at

A generation of young Germans had become accustomed to having the entire content of their lives delivered gratis, so to speak, by the public sphere, all the raw material for their deeper emotions, for love and hate, joy and sorrow, but also all their sensations and thrills -- accompanied though they might be by poverty, hunger, death, chaos, and peril. Now that these deliveries suddenly ceased, people were left helpless, impoverished, robbed, and disappointed. They had never learned to live from within themselves, how to make an ordinary private life great, beautiful, and worthwhile, how to enjoy it and make it interesting. So they regarded the end of the political tension and the return of private liberty not as a gift, but as a deprivation.

What is the state of Americans' interior lives right now? The past fifteen years have featured the following in rapid succession: a stock market bubble and crash, a bitterly contested presidential election, 9/11, anthrax attacks, the invasion of Afghanistan, war in Iraq, a housing bubble and national binge followed by economic collapse, and a historic presidential election. For a decade and a half there's been a series of national obsessions, an unprecedented, formative, near-constant stream of "raw material" from the "public sphere."

With the frenzy over the financial market collapse now fading, those deliveries, as Haffner put it, have suddenly ceased. Throw in a materialist culture and a consumer who can't afford toys anymore, and you've got a lot of people without an interior life to fall back on. Giddy chatter about revolution and fond memories of war and torture beat sitting quietly in a room wondering who you are.

When governments and ruling elites realize that, left to our own devices, we are insurgent and revolutionaries, they will extend and re-inforce the present ad hoc system of delivering us our "bread and circuses".

The War on Drugs will come to an inglorious end, and provide a rational system of drug use and health care for drug related issues and take the profit out of drugs, except for new designer type drugs which Big Pharma will immediately begin to invest massive amounts of Research and Development into. The poor - and potentially violent and disruptive - will remain docile in the USA and no longer be drug lords south of the border.

Wars of Choice will continue, mainly because they provide diversion and no one can really bring themselves to end such a war, for the risk is too great. If one pulls out of one Whatever-istan and the insurgents pull off some sort of coup, well, the political consequences would be terrible back home. So I don't think we're ever going to really pull all the way out of any of the wars. Of course, we will absolutely pull out in the case of a major catastrophic

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