The Undeserving

In this season of good will to all and general cheer let us talk of “The Undeserving.”

They are an emotive topic. They divide people. Do they exist or are they a political scapegoat? I personally do not feel anyone is born undeserving. But some people achieve it. Some seem to take a cruel and degenerate delight in causing harm. Others become so out of weakness. They are faced with moral decisions in life and they take the easy  path of closing their conscience to the harm they do others. We have all seen them. It may not be politically correct to label them for what they are but I do not like political corectness.

So let us be honest. The feckless and irresponsible exist. They are people who think the state is there to look after them and clean up their mess. Who think nothing of spending other people’s money and then brazenly asking for more. They are people who make other people’s lives, honest and hard working people’s lives, a misery but laugh because they know the police can do little to them and the courts will just give them a slap on the wrist, if that, and then let them go. Free to walk straight back to do again whatever they feel like.

They are a plague. The State, however, not only does little to stop them, it takes money from the pockets of the deserving and the honest in order to give it to these people.

What I find oddest about the Undeserving is how the papers and politicians only ever seem to talk about the undeserving poor and never, ever the undeserving rich. Yet if we are keen to identify the one, then it is pure hypocrisy and worse, to not recognize the other.

If we are happy to talk in generalizations then let us do so equally.  The wealthy are quick to conjure up the feckless and irresponsible poor but what about their moral dopplegangers among the rich? What about the professional bankers who  set up bonus schemes in their banks to ensure that products were sold to people who could not affrord them or did not need them? What about those who complied – who took the morally easy route and sold bad products to people who could not afford them or didn’t need them? Were they feckless, and irresponsible?  And what about all the  traders who sold fraudulent securites and CDOs? They worked for Citi, and Deutsche, and Wells Fargo and RBS and the rest and they knew exactly what they were doing.

What about all the wealthy bankers, accountants, auditors and analysts who all helped the banks they worked for, to take on debts they could not afford and then expected others to clear up their mess and then shouted, “Oi, where’s my bonus. I know my rights!” Are they not loathesome, feckless, irresponsible, anti-social and vile?

If the undeserving poor exist and deserve to be despised, then so do the undeserving rich. If we should loathe and vilify the one group then we should feel free to despise the other. If we feel free to make generalizations about one group then no one should complain if we do the same with the other as well.  It cuts both ways.

I do not like generalizations because they are dangerous. They are a handy tool for bigots and haters. But I also do not like dishonesty. So I have to say I have met the undeserving poor. They are stupid and cruel, violent and full of hate. But I have also met people who looked just like them, who talked like them and acted like them, but who did so out of fear. They were perhaps weak, perhaps just realistic about the direness of their situation.  They were part of the problem but not its real cause. Not like those who had become so twisted that they were beyond my personal compassion.

I also taught their children for a little while. Some of them had already become cruel and hateful. But most had not. Most were frightened and unsure. They saw cruelty and want all around them and looked for guidance, for answers. The answers I saw them getting not only from  those around them but from the wider society who had already labelled them all as the undeserving, feckless underclass, gave them, and me, little hope.

Since then I have met the Undeserving Rich. They too are not born that way. And like their counterparts in the Underclass, there are different shades of undeserving in the Overclass. Some become vile and full of callous disregard very quickly. Others struggle with the moral dissonance of talking about caring while watching their parents not care. I have met many such children of the wealthy and they go in one of two ways. A very few cannot reconcile youthful idealism and their own privilege and refuse to join their parents. They do ‘good works’ and miss the warmth of the family who wil not accept their values. Others crack and become filled with a burning and self righteous anger at the very existence of the poor, who they blame for having caused their moral suffering. In my experience they are the ones who shout loudest about the undeserving poor and how, if anything, the poor deserve their poverty because they do nothing to rise above it. They tell others to get on their bike and rise above adversity when very few of them have had to rise above anything much at all in life.

Of course there are always the self made men who say, “I did it so those who didn’t are lazy.” They are often the most self-righteous. They are rarely willing to entertain the idea that countless circumstances can make one person’s decisions work out while for others something goes wrong. So let me offer another very obvious thought experiment to counter the self made man.

Take a packet of seeds and scatter half on lovingly tended ground, the other half among the stones. In the well tended garden even the weak seed will have a good chance of thriving. Among the stones, every gardener knows the odds are slimmer. Some seeds will still make it but the chances are not good. What kind of gardener would shout at the seeds he had scattered on untended ground as if it were their fault? Of course we are not helpless seeds. But the odds in favour of one group, against the  other remains true. Why do we accept this for seeds in a gardren but not for children in a city?

Everything that is levelled at the Undeserving Poor is true of the Undeserving Rich. The feckless and irresponsible exist in both. Both look to others to bail them out. Neither has any intention of changing. Both prey on the rest of us. But which of the Undeserving are the greater danger? Which causes the greater suffering? Which group laughs most at the burden they expect your children and mine to carry for them?

And most importantly which group has the power to change things but chooses not to? Is it the poor who have the power and wealth to transform their lot and yours, or the wealthy?

I would say this, if we are tempted to talk of the ‘Undeserved’ then let us do so fully. There are people who do not deserve the poverty they were born into. In fact I find it difficult to think how anyone could deserve to be born in to povery. Similarly there are people who do not deserve the wealth they were born into. Is this envy talking? No. I am more or less happy with my lot. We are arguing from first principles here. Neither group earned their lot in life. They inherited it. One group enjoys the fruits of their inherited but unearned and therefore ‘undeserved’ wealth and power, the other enjoys unearned and undeserved poverty.

If the notion that there could be undeserving rich bothers you then why does the idea of undeserving poor not bother you?

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206 Responses to The Undeserving

  1. Elspeth Crawford December 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm #

    Can’t fault you – but wonder if the impetus behind one-sided blaming can be explored? ‘Others crack and become filled with a burning and self righteous anger at the very existence of the poor, who they blame for having caused their moral suffering.’ Exactly! Here you indentify “moral suffering” which is one kind of inner world suffering. And, it is NOT suffered, but projected or avoided in some way. Blame somewhere/anywhere will do and thinking thoughtfully is no longer needed. Poor little rich kids can’t listen? Poor little poor kids can’t be heard? Do you know the work of someone like Paul Hoggett? We need more of this capacity for thought that does not avoid – keep writing. thank you.

  2. bill40 December 16, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Golem,

    I for one am profoundly uncomfortable with the notion of undeserving poor and for exactly the reasons you state, they have no power and they are also staggeringly few. I think IDS managed to come up with 50 big families but he’s probably lying as usual. Now there is a prime example of undeserving of anything including oxygen.

    The undeserving, not necessarily rich, but better off are loud and manifest never once admitting to luck or accident of birth. It is these people who have lost any sense of higher purpose or urge to set example. The blame for this this, it should go without saying, lies squarely with Thatcher.

    So should we harass the feckless poor? Yes but not until those born luckier have been sorted out first. This article is misplaced in such a blog as yours, I honestly wish you had not written it, especially near Christmas.

    • Golem XIV December 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

      Hello Bill40,

      I agree with everything you say. Why is this misplaced in my blog? I admit it is an uncomfortable piece and perhaps not as well written as it should be.

      I just get so sick of people pouring their bile all over the poor and yet one word about the Overclass and its called banker bashing.

      • bill40 December 16, 2013 at 6:45 pm #

        Golem,

        It isn’t for me to tell you how to write your blog I just enjoy interacting with it. For me it is about holding those with power to account. The undeserving poor I suspect are encouraged by the undeserving rich to make the lives of other poor people even more miserable, it adds grist to their mill. Those with power crush them at will if they inconvenience them but it’s fine as long as it’s only other poor people they bother.

        Nadhim Zahawi is an interesting case study. He thinks it’s fine to fleece tax payers yet wants to hit the poorest by restricting child benefit to two children only. This is below natural population replenish rate and then he will be the first to scream SWAMPED!!! when immigration rises, even given his name.

        I just think it’s better if we keep the finger firmly pointing where it belongs, at the true target of the article.

        • Golem XIV December 16, 2013 at 9:25 pm #

          I agree with you as to who are the real villains are. And agree that dividing the aspiring, just-reaching-up-out-of-poverty against those still in it is the best sport the wealthy can devise. Better than fox hunting but done in a similar manner – baying mobs and all.

  3. Just me December 16, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    “Iain Duncan Smith: a credit to the coalition.”

    http://www.septicisle.info/?q=/2013/12/iain-duncan-smith-credit-to-coalition.html#comments

    “Where’s Hell when you need it?”

    http://numero57.net/2013/06/25/wheres-hell-when-you-need-it/

  4. Just me December 16, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

    “Spanish activists looted supermarkets to aid the needy”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kebtviaGMMw

  5. ConfederateH December 16, 2013 at 9:45 pm #

    Is it possible that there could exist a “deserving rich”? You seem to have precluded it in your piece. This closely mirrors Bill40 faux indignation.

    Does the mere fact that one is born into a family of distinction and/or wealth make them undeserving or even despicable as the left continually insist?

    If we are allowed to accept that some of the “rich”, like some of the “poor” may not be undeserving, then perhaps we can discuss their place in society. Are they merely the bottomless pit of wealth that can be stolen from to pay for the “deserving poor”? And what about those truly remarkable talents that add so much to society, what message do we send to them when we so crassly group them with the rest of the “undeserving rich”?

    Getting back to fractal mathematics, the left just can’t deal with wealth when the scale increases in a globalized world. Never mind the fact that most of the mind boggling figures that are solely the product of their own “democratically” imposed financial Keynsianism.

    What seems to be the recurring question at all granularities though, is if any “rich person” is ever allowed the natural right of property and of having sovereignty over the fruit of their labors. The left, the majority of readers of this blog including jesse and golem, certainly don’t think so.

    And what about government employees, belong to the government employee’s unions, where they sell their vote to elected officials that in return grant them perpetual unsustainable pay and pension increases? Are not these people also fall under the title “undeserving”? And the leftist politicians who pander to the unions? And what do these people produce to create their salaries, anyway? NOTHING. And what about the college professors and judges and all apparatchiks of the left? They are nothing but keynsian parasites just like their rent seeking banker cronies.

    So maybe we can agree on who isn’t undeserving. How about someone who produces in abundance far beyond what he takes. Someone who takes care of his family and helps anyone else he knows who is truly in need and truly “deserving”. Some one who thinks and plans not in terms of days, months or years, but in terms of generations. These people are the bedrock of civilization. They are the “social capital base” and the left has been pissing on them with their “progressive” taxes and policies for decades.

    The left have also perverted our language. Take “diversity”. What they should say is “dilution”. as in they want to dilute our social capital with their voting base. But I guess few readers here realize that it is far to late for england. Hope you enjoy you NWO debt slavery.

    • Golem XIV December 16, 2013 at 10:15 pm #

      Oh dear me, ConfederateH

      Something unsavoury is creeping out in your comments. College professors and judges are aparatchiks of the left? Nothing but parasites? I seem to remember some other people who decided that the ‘too clever’ and the law were impediments to be called names and then dealt with.

      What exactly is a ‘family of distinction’?

      And when you talk of producing in abundnace what kind of abundance are you thinking of? You seem fixated on money. You talk of ‘the truely remarkable talents that add so much to society” and then make it clear that in your mind that equals being wealthy and the creation you have in mind is.. wealth.

      There are other kinds of remarkable people who add a great deal to soceity but you seem prone to dismissing them as aparatchik parasites.

      And all the government employee unions who sell their vote to elected officials? How does that work? How can they sell their vote when they don’t know which party will be in power? I think you’ll find even people in a union vote in private and do so like anyone else.

      I think you might need a nice sit down.

      • ConfederateH December 16, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

        This really sums it up:

        http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2013/12/20131215_america.jpg

        If you look at it from the standpoint that all people on the states payroll are guilty of receipt of stolen goods, then yes, they are parasites. What is not given voluntarily is stolen, it matters not how you slice it and divide it in tranches with fresh keynsian money.

        How about a multi-generation farming family from Iowa being a family of distinction? Or is the 4th generation son, who likes to party, but is learning the business “undeserving”.

        Well having lived in a small swiss village for 2 decades, abundance means tangable goods or services valued by your neighbors and traded in a voluntary transaction. Tell me what a diversity officer at a chicago hosptital produces that is worth over $300K per year. I have also read enough about such abuses in England including that ever sought after global-warming-bob-geldoff-private-jet-junket.

        You should read up a little on what is happening to Detroit, Stockton, Fresno, Chicago and on and on. In America the public employees unions BELONG to the democratic party. They have consistanty demanded and received benefit increases exceeding both inflation and pension fund growth, while looting said funds. If you haven’t heard of Meredith Whitney, she has been predicting this for a couple of years now.

        • Phil (Mcr) December 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm #

          Why does that cartoon ‘sum it up’?

          What’s the difference between ordinary people gambling and bankers speculating? And why since there is so much capital invested in gambling and so much lobbying done to make sure government doesn’t regulate it can you only see fit to blame those on the demand side and not the supply? Actually for many low paid people, gambling is a perfectly rational choice. Structurally they are never en masse going to rise up the income distribution scale and so a flutter is both exciting and potentially rewarding.

          ”If you look at it from the standpoint that all people on the states payroll are guilty of receipt of stolen goods, then yes, they are parasites.”

          Really? So my mother who works in elderly care is a ‘parasite’ is she? She brings no value to a society which became so selfish it decided to leave swathes of elderly people in the care of the State?

          ”What is not given voluntarily is stolen”

          According to who? Do you think that would stand up in court? Oh I forgot even the judiciary is a tool of the Left.

          How about my labour? I’ve worked grudgingly for many employers and I never got the full value of my labour. But I didn’t have much choice because it was that or the dole. And we can guess what you’d say about unemployment benefit. The idea that someone is a wage slave purely because of the monetary system and not because they lack the means by which to provide for their sustenance is fanciful in the extreme. It’s part of that wishy-washy Libertarian logic about capitalism’s problems all being to do with just getting the type of money used correct. It’s got more holes in it than an old sock. And I note it’s the exclusive domain of bitter white men.

          We try to keep it civil on here, but I do think you’re a paranoid, illogical wreck.

          • ConfederateH December 17, 2013 at 8:15 am #

            The cartoon sums it up because it illustrates the lack of social capital.

            Yes, IMO your mother is a parasite and worse. She is a willing participant in a system of enslavement (unless she does this voluntarily and does not receive stolen goods). If some person or organization owns the right to the fruits of my labor more than I do, then that person or organization has enslaved me.

            ”What is not given voluntarily is stolen”

            According to who? Do you think that would stand up in court? Oh I forgot even the judiciary is a tool of the Left.

            Why don’t you look up the definition of “steal” or “stolen”. It is quite clear. And as far as the court goes, your asserting that they have the right to tell the state that they can steal the fruit of my labors is just making my point about the essential right to secession.

            I’ve worked grudgingly for many employers and I never got the full value of my labour.

            Well if it was a voluntary transaction, which I imagine it was, then as long as you received what you contracted for than that would be your value of your labour. To whine here ex-post-facto about being underpaid is an indication of a lack of good character.

        • bill40 December 17, 2013 at 12:04 am #

          Confed H,

          I have no idea whether you actually believe what you say but thanks for some good belly laughs, made my day back in miserable blighty as I am.

        • Phil (Mcr) December 17, 2013 at 12:13 am #

          ”You should read up a little on what is happening to Detroit, Stockton, Fresno, Chicago and on and on. In America the public employees unions BELONG to the democratic party.They have consistanty demanded and received benefit increases exceeding both inflation and pension fund growth, while looting said funds.”

          You do realise you’ve just repeated (again) more Republican propaganda? The problems with those cities’ finances go far beyond their government employees’ pension claims. And take in the fall-out caused by the interest rate swaps and other financial products mis-sold by people like Hedge Funder, Meredith Whitney (wife of Fox News contributor John Layfield)

          Here’s a bit of research on Whitney the Sage:

          ”Since the record amount of money lost in one year through municipal bond defaults is $8.2 billion, Ms. Whitney’s comments about hundreds of billions in losses drew a great deal of attention, much of it critical. As of July 2013, “[her] prediction has not materialized”

          • ConfederateH December 17, 2013 at 8:28 am #

            Actually, if you had been paying attention you would realize that stockton, vallejo and detroit have all been forced into bankruptcy just as Whitney predicted. And they are the tip of the ice berg.

            As for as these massively underfunded pensions being the sole reason these cities being bankrupt, I will concede your point. Unfortunately these cities can continue looting their pension systems to pay for their political owners to buy off voters remain in power. It is the same as in the case of insolvent banks looting the depositors to continue the gravy train for their management. That is why bank regulators need to shut down fraudulent, corrupt and insolvent banks early, long before the deposits have fled.

            Unfortunately there is no agency that can shut down a city, so the politicians are allowed to continue the looting until the pensions are dry. This is exactly what we see in Detroit, where the cities pensioners are slated to get about 15 cents on the dollar. If something had been done sooner then a lot more could have been saved.

        • Chaz December 17, 2013 at 3:10 am #

          “What is not given voluntarily is stolen, it matters not how you slice it and divide it in tranches with fresh keynsian money.”

          Ok so if I assent to your principle how exactly is debt collection or obligation exempt from this universal moral maxim? What if I avail myself of goods or services then feel disinclined to offer finical recompense. What if I decide I don’t want to pay my debts or mortgage? Corporate or state agents of violence will come and take either goods or liberty from me. This is violence and it is compelled and not voluntary. How is this according to your principle not theft? Who will enforce the system of property rights, contracts, debts and obligations on which the market relies? Will it be a matter of who has the biggest stick? If so what if my stick is bigger than yours? If not why do you get to choose which people can and can’t be stolen from and by whom?

          If you remove the governments moral right to dispense justice in the absence of consent then surely it cuts both ways. I’ve worked in prisons and trust me consent is pretty rare amongst the incarcerated, that’s why they have those bars and locks and all that jazz.

          You say:
          “What seems to be the recurring question at all granularities though, is if any “rich person” is ever allowed the natural right of property and of having sovereignty over the fruit of their labors.”

          Actually it’s only the governments moral right to dispense justice in the absence of consent that stands between them and the man with the big stick and the balls to take it from them.

          I like this world you propose where I can unilaterally and permanently repudiate my debt. It suits me just fine, but I’m not sure my bank manager is going to feel the same way. Free unfettered global markets need government to enforce their property rights. Well at least until they can militarize and police their interests with impunity. If you think this farfetched look into Bougainville and the Sandline International affair. They have been at it for years in the poorer regions of the world.

          Basically state government is there to service the interests of capital and capital to serve the state. Why do you think banks have been bailed out by there chums? They are all part of one mechanism, the corporate state.

          If you go skint and lose your shirt does anyone show up with a bail out for you? No pal you are not part of the club, you are the citizen, a source of revenue to be exploited. This is by both state and big business. (not small business owned by citizens and therefore persecuted at every turn) In both cases (state and market) you are the wealth creator not them.

          They both borrow and raise revenue on the strength of your spending/taxes. One is sort of voluntary to a degree. If you’re not keen on being dead then food and drink isn’t really optional is it? Shelter sanitation and heat are not so far behind nether is health care.

          This faux conflict between left and right over which is bad government or the market is just laughable. It’s like a bunch of horse shoes arguing over whether the hammer or the anvil is responsible for their lot. It’s all one seamless mechanism the anvil of the state holds us in place whilst the hammer of the market beats us into subservient tools for its utility. You mistake the blows as some great conflict and pick a side, when really you are witnessing a collaboration of forces aimed at you and yours. (Left wing thinking often does the same thing they just pick a different side.)

          Ideologically I am an anarchist. (I doubt it could work in practice. The powerful would just compel and enslave the free. They tend to be better organised.) But true anarchy would cripple the market as surely as it would the state. With no law there would be no debts except those of loyalty trust and mutual obligation. Faceless instructions are intrinsically untrustworthy whilst most people are basically good in my view. What makes you think that one institution with a logo and a brand name is any better than one with a flag and anthem?

          If it is the states capacity for violence which worry’s you, I agree but that is fast becoming a distinction of the past. In the third world it already is in many places. Private security contractors now hold significant roles in defence, intelligence and in incarceration.

          In my country (UK) prison officers are police men behind the wall. There are now many privatised prisons as well as court security. Depriving a person of liberty is an act of violence. We now have a state of affairs where private enterprise ventures are legally allowed to perpetrate acts of violence which would be illegal for a private citizen (false imprisonment/kidnap) and to do this for profit. We tolerate this because it happens to criminals not us but the principle is terrifying.

          The state and the market are two of the snapping heads of Cerberus grading the gates of hades to prevent our liberation. The third head of course is the supranational and quasi-governmental institutions David has described above. Your position seems to be that if we chop of two of the heads the remaining one will turn into a lovely family pet and lead us to liberation and the world of light. I think this might just be both a tad naïve and frankly somewhat odd.

          • ConfederateH December 17, 2013 at 8:41 am #

            how exactly is debt collection or obligation exempt from this universal moral maxim

            Because the debt in this case would have been confirmed by a written contractual agreement entered into voluntarily where you received some good or service and now you want cheat and steal.

            Who will enforce the system of property rights, contracts, debts and obligations on which the market relies?

            Clearly the left has been seeped in the mythos of the state to such a degree that they cannot fathom how things might work. The state has managed to associate in their minds the benefits of the product of a given state monopoly with the state itself.

            In your case above dealing with debt collection, we could have used any number of third parties, mutually and voluntarily agreed upon, before signing the contract. I am convinced that having a choice between third parties used to enforce the terms would allow us a much fairer and more efficient adjudication when you started getting dodgy about fulfilling your part of a contract.

        • Chaz December 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm #

          Dear confederate heart..

          “Clearly the left has been seeped in the mythos of the state to such a degree that they cannot fathom how things might work. The state has managed to associate in their minds the benefits of the product of a given state monopoly with the state itself.”

          Dude I’m not to the left of you I’m to the right. I don’t want a state at all.
          I rather like the idea of no one telling me what to do.

          “we could have used any number of third parties, mutually and voluntarily agreed upon, before signing the contract. I am convinced that having a choice between third parties used to enforce the terms would allow us a much fairer and more efficient adjudication when you started getting dodgy about fulfilling your part of a contract.”

          You have just re-invented a code of law and thus a judiciary to arbitrate and a police/armed force to protect property rights. You may make them private for profit companies if you wish.”It does not change the fact that they are the organs of a state which you want and I don’t. Why should you pay some third parties to enforce a code of laws by which I must live? By what right do you enslave me to your values?

          What if I do not believe in property and decide to take yours how will you stop me if I am stronger? You will cry out to your private judiciary and turn to your private police force. These are key organs of the state you shameless lefty. It does not matter if it is a democratic state with voters and citizens or an oligarchy with clients and employees. It may not be a democratic state but if it has the means of creating a code of law and the violence to enforce it then dude it’s a state.

          It is an in fact an oligarchy where power and force rest in the hands of those with the wealth to perches it. This is nothing new it is what a medieval baronial confederacy’s was. Last time round it ended up with personal enslavement pertaining to the land the then means of production. Just saying oligarcky doest have a great track record for freedom. It is just a different brand of enslavement you lefties sicken me with your desire to be ruled.

          You still want a government just a cooperate one where the pretentions of democracy are finally dispensed with, well keep smiling I think that’s where we are heading. I wouldn’t hope for any tax breaks though they may re-cast it as a service charge air ground or water rent or some such. But that would be a free agreement I have choice! Pay and breathe or don’t and find my own air somewhere ells like the moon maybe.

          “Because the debt in this case would have been confirmed by a written contractual agreement entered into voluntarily”

          So what who says I can’t chose to change my mind, Your corporate state that’s who.

          “where you received some goods or services and now you want cheat and steal.”

          So what who gets to make the rules that say I can’t? Your cooperate state my left wing friend that is who.

          As for tax, yes it is strictly speaking theft and much of it is taken to prop up corruption and bloodshed and control. I’m not sure I’d put care homes at the top of that list. I would first want to address the theft by bankers and there political allies and the machinery of war and imperialism but hay ho.

          That said if you were selling rope by the river side and I saw a child drowning I would ask and if you refused I would take it and save the child. That is theft. Would I bother with confession no I would not. If you didn’t give freely then you probably should. Is it theft yes but there are things worse than theft like dead children.

          I trust the state less than you. But I trust cooperate and capital forces no more than the state. I draw a distinction here between small business owned by individuals and the corporate world. Big business and big government are two boots of the same titan stomping on the small man and woman.

          Your position is bizarre to me. You’re like a boxer who defends against left jabs exclusively and insist that all the right crosses are well intentioned accidents intended to help him out which just when wrong.

          How after the recent bailouts can you believe that the corporate and government worlds are not bating for the same team? It baffles me how this is not obvious. I am not saying that big gov is not the enemy I am saying big business is too. How is that not self-evident given that they have latterly stolen your money on behalf of big business and are now asking you to pay the debt? Whilst telling you its other poor people to blame. What more do you need? A written confession or what? I just don’t get how you don’t see it they are two arms of the same monster dangling you upside down and shaking out you pockets!

          • Anne December 18, 2013 at 8:20 am #

            I don’t want a state at all.

            Neither do I and I am definitely ‘of the left’. The state is there to support the system and regulate it so it doesn’t go to far and precipitate revolution. Its actually not doing its job very well at the moment!

            The only way to get rid of the state is to remove the division between those who own and those who do not. A society that works for the benefit of all. The removal or weakening of the state in other circumstances leads to the sort of chaos you can find in ‘failed states’ like Somalia.

            The Soviet Union had a very powerful state and too many of us have been taught to think that that represents ‘Socialism’. The very fact that the state was so powerful tells you that it was not socialist.

            Socialism hasn’t been tried yet we actually haven’t worked out how to have a society that is both politically and economically democratic. Its a project we should not abandon.

            A world where 400 people own more wealth than the two billion poorest cannot be just.

            Human beings deserve better than this.

          • Chaz December 18, 2013 at 10:00 am #

            Ann I agree with what you say. Sorry maybe I wasn’t clear I did waffle on a bit. I was trying to make the point that the left right division is recast in modern politics as a false dichotomy. It is presented like we must choose between the tyranny of big Gov or the tyranny free market as if no other options existed. We should in my view choose neither. My point is that Con Heart condemns the left for bending the nee to a tyrannical state, when he does the same to an equally authoritarian master. The robber barons of the free market are his choice for tyrant, not the kings of big gov, but he remains enslaved surf just the same. So by his own logic (with witch I disagree incidentally) he is left of me on this spectrum.

            Chaz

          • Zac December 19, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

            Buying into the Democrat/Republican or liberal/conservative framework fools people into rooting for “their team” rather than critically evaluating how the people they vote for act. Remarkably similar to offering a child the decision to take a bath before or after dinner. A seemingly important choice for the child but they’re still taking a bath.

        • inorbitt December 18, 2013 at 10:21 am #

          “The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant.” George Orwell, 1984

          • steviefinn December 18, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

            Yes Anne & the Soviet Union was a police state that used repression to keep alive a system that did not work. The libertarians / Zerohedgers I assume know the causes of the present mess we are in, which due to their lack of power is not the fault of the poor who happen to be the ones who are taking the full brunt of the consequences.

            Meanwhile the safety net is being unwound in a situation mainly due to outsourcing where the kind of menial jobs that could once be taken as a temporary measure until something better comes along, are in most places no longer available. I spent 3 mths earlier this year bailing a ton of rags a day for minimum wage, a position I only got because I know the owner, who stated that he had a long list of people he could have given the work to.

            Fortunately things have picked up for me since due to my expertise in a certain field, this included another short term contract but at 5 times the pay, now I am ticking along working at half the rate I used to get 10 yrs ago, but in comparison to many I know I am fortunate. This is all happening in a situation where despite the crowing of the politicians & their media lapdogs the so called recovery is total bollocks & as things steadily or suddenly get worse those at the bottom are likely to get more & more radical.

            So if the rate of malnutrition keeps rising in the UK & in the US due to the funds for food stamps being cut etc, the possibility of food riots arises. Then it’s a choice of alleviating the problem or increased repressive measures which is already taking place within many police forces. The libertarians meanwhile want to completely remove the safety net which I would suggest is the equivalent of pouring salt on a giant wound.

            It seems to me that we might get an attempt at revolution which might well start in a few possible countries & could well be led by a populist party & goodness knows where that would lead, probably nowhere good, or a much more repressive version of what we have already that crushes any resistance, bans protest, reads the riot act etc. Call it whatever ‘ ism ‘ you like, but for the majority of people the name matters little.

            The only other option is that some sense & flexibility come in to play & things can somehow be sorted out through intelligence mixed with compromise, I live in hope.

            Pitchforks are coming out :

            http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-12/italys-pitchfork-movement-mapped

    • Charles Wheeler December 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      That’s quite a fascinating ideology. I’m particularly tempted by the idea of voluntary contracts and commitments between individuals. Presumably those who don’t agree to certain conditions would be free to make their own with other like-minded individuals in a series of parallel social contracts? I’m still a bit unclear about how this would pan out without any form of coercion, should some individuals seek to renege on their ‘agreements’ or others try to take advantage of any asymmetries of power that might exist between individuals or groups of individuals exercising their autonomy and freedom of choice, but I’m sure there must be some relatively simple mechanisms available.

      Of course the ‘undeserving’ poor should be given short shrift. No-one should expect a free lunch. Drug addicts, alcoholics, those who won’t find work and those who are just too inadequate to cope in a market system simply act as a dead weight on progress. This has been firmly established by social scientists like Spenc er and Galton, and was pretty much received wisdom before the wars – it’s fortunate that the National Socialists gave eugenics such a bad name by putting it into practice. But the question remains as to what to do with them all outside of mass extermination?

      Perhaps some kind of institution set up specifically for the purpose of incarcerating the feckless and workshy like the old Work Houses. This would keep them separate from the rest of us and act as a disincentive for those not trying hard enough. Maybe something along the lines of those privately run correctional facilities in the US which lock up whole swathes of no-hopers, from druggies and petty thieves to the mentally subnormal – it’s even become quite a good business opportunity.

      Of course, that raises the question of how it would be paid for. Even Jeremy Bentham recognised that: “a regular contribution should be established for the wants of indigence” even though “in theory WANT is decreased and thus industry hit” . Sometimes you have to just go for a degree of pragmatism, though it pains me to say it. However, it may still be possible to stick with the voluntary aspect of the system by asking for donations from the super-rich to keep these places running. As long as they were made sufficiently grim to deter all but the most deviant or desperate that might just work.

      Of course, you’ll always get the bleeding hearts claiming that many of these scum are the products of unsatisfactory upbringings, or victims of bad luck (as if life could ever be ‘fair’!), but where does that end? Shit happens. Suck it up. The idea that those born into poverty, with no skin in the game could ever experience ‘equality of opportunity’ is another one of those socialist inspired fantasies designed to stifle enterprise and initiative.

      I can also see that many of those working for the state are simply feathering their own nests at our expense. I know nurses who shovel other people’s shit not so much for the money, though that’s generously supplied in socialist Britain, but because it makes them feel better about themselves, and gives them a feeling of higher status than, say, hairdressing or working in McDonalds. Ditto firefighters who ‘risk their lives’(sic) for yet more state handouts. [In any case it has been demonstrated by economists that ‘altruism’ doesn’t actually exist - there an equation that proves it: cov(wi/w,zi)=(b-a)var(zi)]. So you don’t need to convince me on that one.

      Even so, I still have a few problems with what happens in certain circumstances, e.g.:

      A child that needs medical care, but whose parents can’t afford the insurance?
      (Charity?)

      An adult that needs medical care, but can’t afford the insurance – or has been deemed uninsurable?
      (I remember seeing Ron Paul’s audience enthusiastically calling for them to die – so that probably answers that one)
      Obviously any socialist system of healthcare based on need rather than ability to pay is a non-starter. In the socialist UK we still have a system where people pay in according to their income and then get treatment according to need – though our real wealth creators can jump the Stalinist queue by paying for their treatment privately – unless it’s very complicated, or not profitable, or if something goes wrong – whereupon the dirigiste leviathan state interferes in the contract – hard to believe I know. More annoying is the fact that it actually works out a lot cheaper to organize healthcare in this way (Health spending per capita: US:$8,233; Neth:$5,056; Den:$4,464; Can$4,445; Ger:$4,338; Fr:$3,974; Swe:$3,758; UK:$3,433) – which is actually quite frightening if you stop to think about it, because it seems to undermine the paradigm. But we don’t have to worry too much about that paradox because the neoliberals that run the ‘three party system’(sic) have been dismantling the Stalinist NHS and its Red Army of nurses and doctors by cutting its already low levels of funding to the bone – forcing people into the free world of privatised healthcare where they can choose what treatments they want to have on a sliding scale from: no treatment (the poor and undesirable), to tons of treatments (the wealthy and well insured) – when co-payment and ‘hotel charges’ are introduced we will be nearer to the nirvana of a US-style free-for-all (http://goo.gl/voXBwA http://goo.gl/17nrJ http://goo.gl/mg7fzR ). Moreover, thus far, it’s being achieved without the moochers and wasters who clog up the wards even noticing. When that’s finally achieved people will be more conducive to the attraction of natural selection.

      Education for children whose parents can’t or won’t provide the funding?
      (Plenty of jobs that don’t require education?)

      Someone who is born or becomes too disabled to work?
      (They can be a real drain on the economy for the rest of us – maybe invoking Baroness Warnock’s ‘Duty to Die’ (http://goo.gl/cGQgb ) for those who are a burden on their families or the public purse?)

      An old person that has never earned enough to provide a pension?
      (Ditto?)

      Who pays for the administration and policing of any breakdown in contracts between individuals – i.e. a legal system – and how are the particular laws arrived at by negotiation between different sets of individuals with differing political beliefs?
      (Private enforcement agencies funded by those they protect?)

      Who pays for the security of the ‘state’/collection of individuals in voluntary agreement from incursions by other groups of individuals in other kinds of voluntary agreement?

      Would there be any provision made for issues of health and safety in the workplace, the food industry, construction, pharmaceuticals?
      (Would caveat emptor be the guiding rule?)

      In any case, these are obviously minor issues (which I largely answered to my own satisfaction) that don’t undermine the general thrust of your theory, and I’m sure that if I read up more on the literature: Malthus, Spencer, Galton, Murray, Nozick, Friedman and the unsurpassable Ayn Rand, most of these problems would be easily explained away (I know any idea of charity in perpetuating useless existence was anathema to Ayn Rand).

      However, you seem pretty pissed off – almost as if you feel like you’re in a persecuted minority with no power to change things. And yet, as I see it, the changes are already happening. Things are going our way.

      The inherent asymmetries of power in the system are ensuring ever greater concentrations of wealth now that the dead hand of electoral democracy is giving way to the democracy of the market, leading to the rise of the corporations of the mega-rich (http://goo.gl/oimYH ) – something that can only be accelerated by the latest ‘trade agreements’ designed to further lessen any state impediments to the inevitable rise of private monopolies (http://goo.gl/n5chwC ).

      As a result we already have a degree of de facto voluntarism in the tax system, as the biggest corporations and wealthiest individuals are able to more or less set their own limits on how much they choose to pay (http://youtu.be/d4o13isDdfY ). At the same time, in a kind of plutocratic pincer movement, those same corporations have been able to engineer the collapse of democratic government and collapse of unionisation in cities like Detroit (http://theendisalwaysnear.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Detroit ), with the result that the leeches and moochers that were sucking on the teat of socialist municipalities have been cast adrift, and the pensions of most of those public sector ‘workers’(sic) have been wiped out.

      Inequality is accelerating at a rapid pace bringing increased incentives, both from above – in the form of massive bonuses to the super-rich and starvation wages to the lowest paid (which would be more effective still if we could stem the rise of the food banks (Tory laughter)). More and more riches are going to those that have earned them and the John Galts aren’t even going to have to go on strike to get their way (http://goo.gl/P3BtX6 ).

      See also: On how inequality lifts all the yachts:
      http://goo.gl/9jToH http://goo.gl/ApsZDg http://goo.gl/VH3iBm

      The tide is going our way.

      All in all, I think you should be more optimistic about the power of your philosophy – which should be given the credit it deserves.

      • Charles Wheeler December 20, 2013 at 3:44 pm #

        Of course, that should have read: ‘unfortunate’ re: National Socialists

        • Golem XIV December 20, 2013 at 5:48 pm #

          Always a treat to hear from you Charles. I hope you and yours are well.

          • John Souter December 21, 2013 at 10:48 am #

            Charles, I’ll second David’s comment -it’s good to see the art of irony is alive and kicking.

            Meantime – I’d recommend to all, an article in Al Jazeera – ‘Free Trade’ and the death of democracy – by Jason Hickel.

            In my view, perhaps a small verification on the ‘chaos’ of 2007 being more by design than chance?

        • steviefinn December 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

          Thirded – Christmas is coming so I though I might add this:

          “At this festive season of the year, Mr Scrooge, … it is more than usually desirable that we should make some slight provision for the Poor and destitute, who suffer greatly at the present time. Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”
          “Are there no prisons?”
          “Plenty of prisons…”
          “And the Union workhouses.” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
          “Both very busy, sir…”
          “Those who are badly off must go there.”
          “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
          “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

  6. Tao Jonesing December 16, 2013 at 10:20 pm #

    The rhetoric of “The Undeserving” exists to distract us from the true authors of the story that is unfolding in front of our eyes. More importantly, it exists as a reminder to keep working more and more for less and less or else fall into ruin. It is easy to hate what you fear most becoming, and it is comforting to make believe that hard-working people like you could never become one of The Undeserving through no fault of their own.

    “Poverty is therefore a most necessary and indispensable ingredient in society…It is the source of wealth, since without poverty, there could be no labour; there could be no riches, no refinement, no comfort, and no benefit to those who may be possessed of wealth.”

    http://exiledonline.com/recovered-economic-history-everyone-but-an-idiot-knows-that-the-lower-classes-must-be-kept-poor-or-they-will-never-be-industrious/

  7. Chaz December 16, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Hi David.

    I think your blog is great keep up the good work. Anyway I grew up on estates and in bed-sit land amongst both the deserving and undeserving poor. I have had friends and relatives who have ventured on to the wrong side of the tracks. I have worked in the prison system, with the homeless and around poverty for a great deal of my professional life. I would like to make a few observations as to why I think this situation is not only permitted but actively encouraged by the powers that be.

    Point one. You have to remember the economic advantages of encouraging the existence of an undeserving ‘underclass’. There is an active and lucrative industry whose very existence relies on a criminal client base to generate much of the work. That’s why going straight is road block city, your past follows you everywhere. The system is designed to make rehabilitation difficult but recidivism easy. Conversely punitive measures for those staying in the life are frankly laughable. For a half useful drug dealer prison is just a chance to concentrate on your career. My experience is with the UK criminal justice system but I understand the US is even more spectacular in its failings. A lot of the great and the good as well as significant and increasing corporate interests are tied in to this system.

    Point two. Gorge Orwell, rightly observed that if you want to keep people pliant then you should keep them fearful. This can be achieved by forces foreign, domestic or at a push all together imaginary. This is where a pliant media and a revolving door legal system come in handy. Those who terrify and brutalise others around them serve their purpose well. Most often the silent majority of the poor are their victims and they are beholden to the state to protect them, however ineptly from the jackals.

    Point three. They make a convenient scape goat and tar brush with which to paint the poor as a whole when the need arises. When the undeserving rich wish to hide their own indiscretions they just pull some David Blane- esque misdirection. With one hand we are shown some ‘benefit scrounging criminal whilst they shove the bailouts up the other sleeve and hope we forget. Hey-Presto that’s why the money has all dried and now we are all in it together. We now have to tighten our belts and do the hard work of cleaning up this mess courtesy of scroungers and bleeding heart liberal idiots!.

    So the undeserving poor fulfil a very useful threefold function for the undeserving rich. I’m not alleging some moustache twirling grand scheme, nor do I believe for one minute that without a state to incarcerate criminals all criminal aspirations would evaporate from the human heart.

    I’m just observing that our current system is broken and all the incentives are in the wrong direction. There are a lot of vested interests in maintain this status quo and little or none in trying to fix a broken and ineffective system. If you want to brew nettle bear chances are you will cultivate a healthy patch of nettles at the bottom of the garden. If someone gets stung you may be inclined to think sod them especially if you can afford gloves.

  8. Phil (Mcr) December 17, 2013 at 12:03 am #

    Sign up here!!

    http://www.wewilldrivethemtotheairport.co.uk/

    • Joe Taylor December 17, 2013 at 1:34 am #

      Not got a car but will give any one of them my bike

  9. Joe Taylor December 17, 2013 at 1:32 am #

    ConfederateH

    I’ve been noting your comments since you began contributing to these bog posts.

    You brought to mind the mayor of municipality I once lived in – a divorced mother of two, caring for a disabled mother, working for a judge. Immediately on attaining office, she handed over the evidence she had been collecting on the former administration to the independent commission against corruption. As a result, the chief engineer was successfully prosecuted and the town clerk ‘moved on’.

    Years later, long after she had retired from office, the mayor who proceeded her was convicted of conspiring to arrange contract murder.

    Not being a long-term resident of that particular municipality, I found this woman extremely useful when trying to ascertain the character of new people I came into contact with. Those who expressed admiration for her usually turned out to be thoroughly decent human beings. Those who belittled her inevitably turned out to be just the opposite.

    She and those days are long gone. Now I use people’s opinion of Noam Chomsky for the same reason.

    • ConfederateH December 17, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

      I guess that means I failed your Chomsky litmus test. So be it. I actually have a modicum of respect for him, he was staunchly against the Iraq invasion(s) when I was still very brainwashed.

      I am convinced that Chomsky doesn’t respect my natural rights, like most readers of this blog. It’s funny, I respect theirs. I certainly don’t insist that they kow tow to my anarchistic beliefs yet they insist that if I don’t pay tribute to theirs then I am some kind of selfish greedy rich bastard. What a way to make friends, guys.

      • Roger December 18, 2013 at 10:52 am #

        Peter Kropotkin wrote the definition of Anarchism in Encyclopedia Brittanica 11th Edition.

        Anarchism is “the name given to a principle or theory of life and conduct under which society is conceived without government – harmony in such a society being obtained, not by submission to law, or by obedience to any authority, but by free agreements concluded between the various groups, territorial and professional, freely constituted for the sake of production and consumption, as also for the satisfaction of the infinite variety of needs and aspirations of a civilized being.”

        Here are two Quoteds for a speech he was going to give in Paris but was prevented from Delivering before being sent packing back to London by the french Authorities.

        http://www.panarchy.org/kropotkin/1896.eng.html

        What used to be called “natural law” is nothing but a certain relation among phenomena which we dimly see, and each “law” takes a temporary character of causality; that is to say: If such a phenomenon is produced under such conditions, such another phenomenon will follow. No law placed outside the phenomena: each phenomenon governs that which follows it – not law.

        Such is the eruption of a volcano, whose imprisoned force ends by breaking the petrified lavas which hindered them to pour forth the gases, the molten lavas, and the incandescent ashes.
Such, also, are the revolutions of mankind.

        I know Ayn Rand was a Libetarian, was she and Anarchist?

        • John Souter December 21, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

          Roger -in the philosophical sense I’m an anarchist, but that relies on the true definition of anarchy, in which there is no need for governance – need being the operative word.

          But in the reality of the pragmatic now the adoption of anarchy can be no more than a spectral dream and were it to be introduced now the result would as false as the Soviet version of socialism.

          Why! Because, as a species we simply have not reached a level of evolution where the concepts of survival – greed, competitiveness and power – which are all hard -wired in our conscience have been degraded by a conscious value of vocational contentment.

          Technologically we aspire, but in the maturity of our social conscience the drips of evolution have added little since the age of the Neanderthals.

          • Roger December 21, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

            Hi John,

            The question I pose is that who has the right to decide which system I am ready to exercise my responsibilities under? Who or which system has sufficiently evolved to impose their system and will on every one else.
            The present system is clearly flawed in the UK the US even here in Sweden.

            I read Ezra Pounds ABC of Economics during the week.

            ´´The preconception of democracy, let us say at its best, democracy as it existed in the minds of Jefferson and Ban Buren, is that the best men, kaloikagathoi, etc., WILL TAKE THE TROUBLE to place their ideas and policies before the majority with such clarity and persuasiveness that the majority will accept their guidance, i.e. ‘be right’.

            The preconception of lets us say the Adamses, or aristodemocratic parties is that privilege, a little of it, will breed a sense of responsibility.

            The further Toryism is that the best should be served.

            In practice it is claimed that the best get tired or fail to exert themselves to the necessary degree.

            It seems fairly proved that privilege does NOT breed a sense of responsibility. Individuals, let us say exceptional individuals in privileged classes, maintain the sense of responsibility, but the general ruck, namely 95% of all privileged classes, seem to believe that the main use of privileges is to be exempt from responsibility, from responsibilities of every possible kind.

            This is as true of financial privilege as of political privilege.´´

            The full Pamphlet by pound is fairly short and the original typescript by Pound is available free to read here courtesy of Yale.

            http://brbl-dl.library.yale.edu/vufind/Record/3568281

            Pound cites Major C H Douglas extensively the founder of the Social Credit movement.

            One could of course go on but just one last point with respect to direct democracy the canton System in Switzerland is something in the way of the direction as an Anarcho Syndacalist I do not distinguish between institutionalised Tyrany and private tyranny´s and share Noam Chomsky’s view that Corporations are as great Tyrannies as States indeed they are engaged in their own Symbiotic dependency which is parasitic on the great mass of humanity.

            The money power should rest in the Commons as should much else in an Urban post industrial society this is more important than ever I believe. http://governmentbycontract.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/direct-democracy-or-cantons/

            I am just reading Now the Addresses Pound made to the US and UK from Fascist Italy during the War for which he was tried for treason and imprisoned as a Lunatic after the war. ( The anti Semitism aside) I think Pound was right and his incarceration probably had more to do with his marginalisation than aiding the enemy ( think Prescott Bush )

            #3 (November 4, 1941) U.S.(A51)
            THE GOLDEN WEDDING
            ´´Sure Stalin approves of Marx and Engels wantin’ to take ECONOMIC, political, cultural and organizational measures. And seem’ as he put ’em in that order, you would expect me to fall for it ?

            ECONOMIC first. Of course the Bolshies didn’t. Any party that comes into power, probably puts ORGANIZATIONAL measures first, and the economics belong, alas to the almost inaccessible part of culture. So FEW people seem able to grasp simple economics without, as Senator Bankhead remarked, about three centuries delay.

            Three centuries, to get people to understand anything about anything havin’ to do with money. An’ it is now demonstrated on the corpus vilis of British reformers’ hopes that very little economic reform gets into practice without precedent organizational and political measures of an almost earth shaking nature. A curious phrase about “reconstruct capitalist society” must belong to the translator. I don’t want to pin that on Joseph, tho’ mebbe that was part of his muddle. I am far less concerned with Joe’s lacunae than with a few clear positive statements. Joe said he was aware that “a number of capitalist governments are controlled by big banks,” notwithstanding the existence of “democratic” parliaments.

            Not bad for a Georgian assassin. And possibly several decades ahead of the American public and professoriat. Not a single power in which the Cabinet can be formed in opposition to the will of the big financial magnates. I wonder: is that why they took Joe for a ride ?

            “It is sufficient to exert financial pressure to cause Cabinet Ministers to fall from their posts as if they were stunned.”

            Joey was talkin’ of European cabinets; not of the so very different American DEMocracy (as they call it) etc. where, unless there is absolute surety that financial pressure won’t be used, the blighters seldom or never get in. Joe SAID that the control of government by money-bags is inconceivable and absolutely excluded in the U.S.S.R. How different from the home life of our own DEMOCRACY (as they call it), etc. and how different from anything any British politician has ever encountered, and how different from any state of things that Churchill’s group would desire.´´

            The above from the Library of Congress a collection of those Italian Broadcasts produced in 1975.
            http://www.whale.to/b/pound.html

            Whether Greed and competitiveness are Hard wired into our Concious or are software upgrades is open to question John I do not have a Hobbesian conception of Human nature and tend more to Krotopkins Mutual Aid. I am more Socratic than Platonic in my philisophical predilictions too.

            Its a huge area of discussion John as I know you know but I think Cornel Wests view ecxpressed here from Race Matters regarding blaming Victims also sheds light on the dangers of to many negative assumptions of our potential as common men to achieve Arete. ( Excellence and Virtue)
            “My aim is not to provide excuses for black behavior or to absolve blacks of personal responsibility. But when the new black conservatives accent black behavior and responsibility in such a way that the cultural realities of black people are ignored, they are playing a deceptive and dangerous intellectual game with the lives and fortunes of disadvantaged people. We indeed must criticize and condemn immoral acts of black people, but we must do so cognizant of the circumstances into which people are born and under which they live. By overlooking these circumstances, the new black conservatives fall into the trap of blaming black poor people for their predicament. It is imperative to steer a course between the Scylla of environmental determinism and the Charybdis of a blaming-the-victims perspective.


            ― Cornel West, Race Matters

          • John Souter December 22, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

            Hi Roger – I’m attempting to answer here because of the lack of reply button to you post.

            As to your initial question I suppose the only answer if, as you patently do, logically analyse your own preferences and those that are offered to you it has to be none – so the only choice available is the pragmatism of the least bad option.

            For the second part – somebody is reputed to have said – “Many men can handle the challenges of adversity; few can handle the challenges of power.” Clichéd perhaps, but often they are truths refined to cliché’s in order for us to better remember them.

            Meanwhile I’m exersized by an article in Al Jazeera by Jason Hickell on the new free trade deals called Free Trade and the death of democracy.

            If true, the global oligarchs may be whittling down the options.

        • steviefinn December 23, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

          Shock Horror !!!

          http://knowledgenuts.com/2013/09/20/ayn-rand-was-a-secret-welfare-queen/

      • shaun o'hara December 23, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

        IS IT A XMAS CARD YOUR WANTING, CONFEDERATE?

  10. steviefinn December 17, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    The article reminded me of an Alain De Botton documentary I watched some time ago called ” Status Anxiety ” which examines how the development of the World’s 1st meritocracy in the US post revolution, changed the way the Western World viewed success & failure.

    He discusses the idea that success or failure is entirely down to the individual, that everybody is capable of making it big, which then led to the assumption that the rich are deserving because they have strived to become rich & have succeeded in fulfilling the American dream, whereas the poor are undeserving because they have not tried hard enough to emulate them.

    Luck, timing or as Warren buffet put it ” Winning the ovarian lottery ” apparently have nothing to do with it. This in turn leads to those who are the so called successful believing they are superior beings to those who are deemed as failures. I suppose this also leads on to the belief that poverty isn’t a cause of crime ( Bankers couldn’t really argue with this ) it’s simply down to bad people doing bad things.

    Interestingly he doesn’t think the root cause is greed, but that these driven people are trying to find some kind of respect, attention & even love by following a path that most met with their parents approval & because the were not as children fulfilled in this, they are doomed to an unquenshionable thirst.

    It’s interesting stuff – I liked the quote from the preacher which states that Jesus was poor so we could be rich & that if you are holy, God will reward you with hard cash. I was also reminded of this Rousseau quote which I think is a much less corrosive philosophy :

    ” Each time you are happy with what you have, you are rich. Each time you wish for more, you are poor “.

    As for the real undeserving poor like Chaz I have met a few of them, people who are just plain bad, latter day Bill Sikes types who fit the profile of psychopaths or at the very least sociopaths who cause untold misery to their families & those they come into contact with. Two in particular – one stabbed someone to death for nothing & another who swore he would kill me & almost did by trying to stick a broken beer glass into my jugular. These were exceptions to the rule however, most of the people I came across were average, as have been most much more affluent people I have come across. It is a fact that the 1-2% of psychopaths are found in all levels of society & is it any wonder that people behave badly if they are made to feel like failures in what is a cliff of a playing field.

    I detest the generalisations made about any group, especially by those who have had no direct connection with them & people who seem to be quite happy to cherry pick 2nd hand information that supports their prejudice. I do not think all rich people are evil, I have met some that are the opposite, but those who become rich by impoverishing nations, who produce nothing useful & demand huge funds for bonuses & public funded bailouts, while being placed above the law by their political lapdogs are by distance killing a lot more people than all those who are like the thugs I used to know.

    These efforts conducted by some of the powerful to turn the poor into a lumpen mass of worthless nobodies is only a step away from how the peasants were treated through most of history by their then so called superiors. Creatures considered only capable of being beasts of burden who were tolerated when deemed useful while being considered as sub-human. The next step will be when the unter-mensch are considered surplus to requirements, they will become the other, who are dragging the country down & apparently stealing some of their superiors silver.

    Pt.1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=_acgqf27CIU

    Pt.2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=rFab92rIHRY

    • steviefinn December 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

      Michael Wood’s excellent documentary on the life of a woman living in the 14th century. A good insight into how people who were considered of no or very little value were forced to live by the then equivalents of our modern day creatures of flint:

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00b6ksc/Christina_A_Medieval_Life/

    • John Souter December 22, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Stevie – someone once said “The rich can pay for their excuses to be published – the poor can only whisper to the maelstrom.

      Today some of my grandchildren are off to an appointment with Harrod’s Santa -seems he’s the nearest to the real thing. Sad and insidious, but there you go.

      For what its worth I’ll wish you and all the rest the very best in a dubious season for all the right reasons.

      • steviefinn December 24, 2013 at 3:30 pm #

        Yes John it is a dubious season, but I will bathe in the innocence of my Grandchildren’s pleasure ( Who fortunately have also learnt the joy of giving ) as a small holiday from a World in which those I consider as lacking in what redeems us as a species, conspire to put them on a treadmill of which as yet, they have no conception.

        May your fellowship enrich your heart.

  11. Phil (Mcr) December 17, 2013 at 2:33 am #

    Ex-Fraud Cop, Rowan Bosworth Davies, on the return of Bob Diamond to the City

    http://rowans-blog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/the-capo-di-tutti-capi-returns.html

    Interestingly Rowan fingers a few people as parasites. But they weren’t ordinary people working in public service.

    And perhaps of interest to Stevie. he writes that the money isn’t important to Mr Diamond: ”running these companies is just how he keeps the score”.

  12. Phil (Mcr) December 17, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Drills into official figures and reports to reveal Osbourne and the MSM are cretins

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/12/ilargi-everythings-fine-in-a-parallel-universe.html

    ”Not only is the Global Financial Crisis not over by a long shot, it’s deepening and worsening for most people. And they haven’t even found out at what price, which they will be on the hook for, their governments have shielded the banks from the fall-out of their own losses, an ultimately useless course of action because of the size of these losses. More unemployment, lower wages, more poverty, these are not temporary phenomena, they are set to be everyday reality for fast growing groups of people for many years to come.

    And while I’m sure there are different opinions on the matter, in the end you cannot solve a financial crisis by unloading its consequences on whoever happens to be weak and have no voice. By trying it regardless, our governments and other “leaders” are not just creating two different worlds, but different universes. However, if for a moment we allow ourselves to still see just one universe, it becomes painfully obvious that Nomura’s “the Global Financial Crisis is over” is a nonsensical claim.”

  13. Phil (Mcr) December 17, 2013 at 5:33 pm #

    ”Britain’s biggest banks benefited from a “too big to fail” subsidy from the taxpayer of £38bn last year, according to a leading economic thinktank which argued that they are not giving enough back to the public.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/dec/17/uk-banks-benefit-from-massive-state-subsidies

  14. Kreditanstat December 17, 2013 at 8:06 pm #

    More class warfare? More “evil rich banksters” vs. “the 99%”?

    It’s rather hard to make a distinction between the “undeserving rich” and the “undeserving poor” and still retain any principles. Both exist because of state favouritism and both extract private wealth from the private sector taxpayer via the actions of their governments. Both result in bloated government budgets, deficit spending and punishment of all of us via monetary inflation.

    Remove the problem: powerful, armed governments interfering in the market. The result may not lead to the achieving of anyone’s “social goals”, be “fair” or promote “equality” but it would lead to an equitable distribution of resources and would cut off both “undeserving” groups…

    • Golem XIV December 17, 2013 at 8:20 pm #

      Ah, we meet again Mr K… (strokes white cat and smiles thinly)

      I agree that we have a problem with what you call ‘state favouratism’. But we will have to agree to disagree on your prefered solution. I do not think the removal of government would lead in any way to an equitable distribution of resources. A removal of corruption and cronyism from government would certainly be good. I think we agree on that much. But I do not have your faith that the markets on their own produce an equitable anything.

      • Kreditanstat December 17, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

        Hello again! I do enjoy your blog…

        By an “equitable distribution of resources”, I meant that those willing to take legitimate risk, those with the capital or know-how to produce something or extract resources and those with innovative and profitable ideas be commensurately rewarded. That’s what “capitalism” should do – and would do, absent government’s market interference in pursuit of “social goals” that amount to rewarding the undeserving.

        (Key point: undeserving rich AND poor).

        “Equitable” may not be “fair”, “socially just” or “equal” and may not allow the pursuit of social policy agendas.

        But it does confer individual liberty…and simply means…equitable!

        • Golem XIV December 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm #

          I’m glad you enjoy the blog. I have always hoped it would be possible to have a place where people of very different views could offer each other very different perspectives in a civil manner.

          Given the very seriousness of our situation and the passion of many of those who come here, I like to think we, as a group, don’t do too badly. There are spats and sometimes ill-judged barbs. But in general I think the generally civil of our disagreements does offer hope that a restoration of democracy might be worth fighting for.

          It seems obvious that you and I agree on at least some of what is wrong and disagree in many other things. I can assure you I have no wish to deprive you of anything. But it is also obvious that we differ in our judgement on who is deserving and what should be done about it. We are both after fundamental change.

          What gives me hope is that we would both prefer to find civilized solutions to our fundamental differences.

      • ConfederateH December 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm #

        the removal of government would lead in any way to an equitable distribution of resources.

        That there is the issue. The never ending belief and refusal to consider any counter argument, just like with the warmists, that the problem of wealth distribution is due to “unequitable” distribution of resources.

        Anyone from a large, extended family can attest that there are members who can make money grow and members who make it shrink. Distribution of resources is not the issue. Sweat, sacrifice, planning and ambition are.

        This is just one of the reasons that the cultural marxists have been waging a war of genocide against the family.

        • Golem XIV December 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

          No, you are wrong to suggest I and others like me refuse to consider other arguments. This place is testament to the desire to consider and debate. I suggest it is why we are both here.

          I am not against ambition etc. Why should I be? But I do think the ambitious etc still have a duty to others beyond their own family. Perhaps that is what you see as a tyranny?

          My concern is, I think without some means of the wealthy helping those who have been born into stonier ground, then you end up with those who have done well, being able to leave their children in such a position of wealth and power that their dominance is almost unassailable. What begins as a meritocracy becomes, rather quickly becomes an aristocracy whose inheritance, rather than the virtues you admire, is the basis of their continued power and wealth.

          Of course such plans can become corrupted but that doesn’t mean it is not a goal worth trying to get right. Just as markets can be easily corrupted, rigged and captured (and not just due to government intervention. Cartels and corruption don’t require governemtn do they?) but it is still worth trying to get them right too.

          Anyway, those are some of my views for what they are worth.

          • ConfederateH December 18, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

            But I do think the ambitious etc still have a duty to others beyond their own family. Perhaps that is what you see as a tyranny?

            To try to use the power of persuasion and to discuss this and convince someone to help someone in need is certainly not tyranny.

            To use the states monopoly on force to steal in an ongoing and permanent fashion the property and the fruits of their labor from someone and give it to some person or cause that this person don’t want to receive the money is, in one word, worse than theft. It is slavery. It has absolutely nothing to with the level of their wealth or ambition. If you choose to submit to this that is your problem, but don’t use your submission as grounds to join the borg and force me to assimilate.

            I think one big problem is that people who have not dealt with complicated ongoing tax issues, including double taxation, have no idea what it does, how it saps your life of vitality. All of you should go to this web site and read up on what the US government and IRS are doing to “accidental Americans” living in Canada who are now discovering that their retirement accounts are going to be plundered by the IRS in an ever more crass fashion than the destruction of hundreds of small Swiss banks.

            http://www.isaacbrocksociety.ca/

            These Canadians will of course be forced to hire extremely expensive lawyers who lobby governments across the west for ever increasingly complex and draconian tax laws. Call it the taxation-legal-industrial complex. One more gift from the left.

            And in any case, I don’t mind giving to causes I believe in. In fact, I have given to several charities for years. And for 2 decades one of which I really believed in was not tax deductible in both the US and Switzerland, so I ended up not being able to claim the deduction on my US taxes.

            Also, just “google EBT” outage (EBT=food stamps) and watch how your “deserving poor” abandon shopping carts in the store when the system goes down and when they find out that some walmarts in a region aren’t checking the limits on their free-shit cards then end up looting to store to the degree that they leave half empty carts all over the parking lot because the couldn’t cram all the loot into the cars. Also look at Black Friday clips, where the majority of buyers are using the EBT to buy other free shit. (JPM runs the EBT system and now all the government stolen money flows directly into the EBT, that includes section 8 housing subsidies, Aid for dependent children, etc etc).

            Anyone can see that since the inception of the welfare state the “poor” are never ready to give up or even reduce their government dependency. They clamor more insistently for more free shit. It will never stop getting worse. Across the entire west income taxes were instituted during wars at rates of a few percent for only the ultra rich for the duration of the war. Even neutral countries like Sweden and Switzerland instituted these for the “duration of the war”. And even though after the war there was virtually full employment in both countries the income tax was not only not repealed as promised but constantly jacked up. Why? Because the masses wanted more free shit. And over the last 50 years they have been programmed by the left that they deserve it, because, you know, its the “rich”.

        • Phil (Mcr) December 18, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

          ”Distribution of resources is not the issue. Sweat, sacrifice, planning and ambition are.”

          Yet more ideological assertions free of connection to the real world. Thomas Aquinas’ Suma Theologica all over again.

          As labour has been hobbled in favour of capital over the last thirty years, the wage share as a proportion of GDP has fallen. Stagnating or falling wages have been replaced with credit. And in the search for more profit, those who benefited from labour’s lack of power invested in ‘interesting’ financial products which blew up in 2008. So, demonstrably the distribution of resources ARE one of the issues. And it is the concentration of wealth which enables the elite to hold a gun to the heads of the politicians forcing them to bail them out.

          And we still don’t get an answer from our market extremists about what happened in the 1930s after there were no bailouts or government interventions.

          And what of those who sweat and toil to make the clothes we wear and the baubles we use? What of their ambitions? Heaven forbid we intervene in their labour markets to ensure they can work in safe places and earn a decent living wage.

          How about those who have nothing to sell in the market – because they are old, ill, disabled or have been dispossessed – like those forced off the land during the enclosure movement or in the various land grabs going on in Africa and South America today?

          And since tax is ‘evil’, what do we think paid for the development of the packet switching technology which animates the technology on which we write here?

          ”This is just one of the reasons that the cultural marxists have been waging a war of genocide against the family.”

          What type of family? The 2.4 children variety? Since when was that the only approved type of family in human history? The divorce rate has increased in the last thirty odd years – about the same length of time as the free market has reigned superior.

          You can cut and paste any of these diatribes – vernacular and all – from the various Ayn Rand worshipers. It’s guff, and mercifully it’s consigned to abstract discussions read by few people. The vast majority of people will not tolerate an unregulated market and a government free world. And they include rich and poor alike.

          Ideological purity is an illness.

          • steviefinn December 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

            ConfederateH

            I agree with you on the double tax robbery, it does appear to be just that. I don’t think anyone here thinks that government is all good but in the present situation those who have not been bailed out are in need of it’s help. Until there is something better or the system is improved it will stop children starving, No-one it seems to me has put forward an alternative that would work for those who are already barely surviving.

            The Black Friday complete loss of dignity at it’s worst I would suggest only applies to a minority of the millions who set out that day as the good consumers they apparently should be. I am sure that as in the Uk most working class people in the US are fairly decent human beings. As for the looting on the scale you mention it does appear to be an isolated incident:

            http://www.infowars.com/ebt-card-food-stamp-recipients-ransack-wal-mart-stores-stealing-carts-full-of-food-during-federal-computer-glitch/

            Unlike this kind of thing carried out by their supposed betters perhaps most days of the year ? where getting a good deal & a certain loss of human dignity is also involved:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dtc58sTsTpE

            Robert Downey Jnr. I think sums it up.

          • ConfederateH December 20, 2013 at 8:56 am #

            in the search for more profit, those who benefited from labour’s lack of power invested in ‘interesting’ financial products which blew up in 2008.

            Apparently in your world you are poor or you are a greedy profit maximizing capitalist pig who rapes the poor working class. Didn’t Marx, Lenin and Stalin say that as they murdered millions of Kulaks and other “Bourgeoise”? In your world apparently there is no room for ambitious, creative and prosperous people who further themselves and their families and their community without stealing from others.

            Heaven forbid we intervene in their labour markets to ensure they can work in safe places and earn a decent living wage.

            By “we” you imply that you consider yourself part of this fascist crony capitalist welfare system. Bravo, you have perfectly illustrated why I want to secede the system that you and your fascist state have built.

            The divorce rate has increased in the last thirty odd years – about the same length of time as the free market has reigned superior.

            Bullshit. The last time there was any “free” markets was when the world was on the gold standard before the western welfare state used the power of central banking and fiat currency to dumb down the population to the degree that we have comments like yours.

            Ideological purity is an illness.

            Take a look in the mirror, you devout follower of the religion of the state. I have no ideology, all I ask is for you to let me secede from yours.

          • ConfederateH December 20, 2013 at 9:17 am #

            @ steviefinn

            I don’t think anyone here thinks that government is all good but in the present situation those who have not been bailed out are in need of it’s help. Until there is something better or the system is improved it will stop children starving, No-one it seems to me has put forward an alternative that would work for those who are already barely surviving.

            I was never bailed out nor do I want any bailout. And basically you have said double taxation is theft, but as long as there are “children starving” I should just suck it up even if the fruits of my labor are stolen and it never gets to any starving children (they are already on food stamps or aid to families with dependent children and school lunch programs).

            That is exactly what I have come to expect from the left, devoid of compassion, empathy and tolerance. This is why I want to secede from the fascist state they have allowed to be created to provide for their welfare.

            I am certain that you have no idea what complexity is involved in completing yearly tax forms for 2 countries with completely different systems in 2 different currencies. The Swiss want to tax any profits from appreciation in any dollar assets. The US wants any gains from CHF assets. Neither recognize the tax deferred retirement plans of the other. Both have completely different home interest deductions. Countless deductions are valid in one country and not in the other. The end effect is that is is virtually impossible to be completely tax compliant in both countries. So aside from spending literally months every year on this incredible burden that the “poor” never have to deal with, for decades I always lived with the fear that between the two countries somewhere I was not “compliant” and thus what you would surely call a “tax cheat”. We certainly wouldn’t want to burden the “poor” with anything like that, would we?

          • steviefinn December 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

            ConfederateH

            I know greed is not only the reserve of some of the rich, I just think aside from your problems with your wife & mother they are pretty trivial in comparison to the problems of many blameless others.

            Why not cut yourself off completely & go live on a small desert island that you could name ‘ ME ‘.

        • 1redart December 25, 2013 at 2:34 pm #

          your use of “cultural marxist” implies a far right background.

  15. The Dork of Cork December 18, 2013 at 3:52 am #

    In defence of idleness in a Industrial society……………..

    “It must be borne steadily in mind in
    considering this question that the object
    of industry is not work for its own sake; (Dork : to work for credit)
    the industrial system exists firstly because
    society has need of goods and services.
    The fact that the creative instinct of
    mankind can find satisfaction in crafts- manship is beside the point.”
    CH Douglas.

    https://ia600408.us.archive.org/21/items/cu31924013919968/cu31924013919968.pdf

    • BobRocket December 20, 2013 at 1:31 am #

      Just me

      I agree entirely, what isn’t mentioned is the amount of Housing Benefit that these properties generate for their landlords.

      This was a long term strategy set up by those in power at the time.

      Don’t be surprised when JP Morgan buys a big chunk of the Student Loan Book for 30p in the £.

      SL’s are undischargable and are thus AAA rated, you can use them as collateral to get low cost loans from a CB.
      Buy a £10bn loan book for £3bn and use the book as collateral for an £8bn cash loan from the CB at 0.5%
      (on average these loans are good as collateral for 25years)

  16. The Dork of Cork December 18, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    A warning in regard to this aspect of
    the situation is contained in the arbitrary
    division of society, now so popular with
    captains of industry, ” sane ” Labour

    leaders and extremists alike, into “workers”
    and a ” parasitic class,” the latter being
    supposed to be without useful function,
    and having no ” right ” to exist, held up
    to execration as battening on the virtuous
    industrial system, and robbing it, by so much as that class consumes, of what is its moral due. I realise the unpopularity of
    any defence of this class, but it is a defence
    which has to be undertaken
    not from any
    special liking for the task

    but because the attack on it leads nowhere
    useful. In the first place, when we leave
    the easy ground of generalities and come
    down to concrete detail, we find it over- whelmingly DIFFICULT TO DEFINE USEFUL WORK.
    Not only is it difficult, but it is in the highest
    degree mischievous.
    CH douglas

  17. The Dork of Cork December 18, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

    both on the
    side of Capitalism and Labour, are still’ explaining that, unless a man do ” useful ”
    work, neither shall he eat ; regardless of the \
    fact that both England and America are glutted with goods, that in both countries
    foodstuffs are allowed to rot, or are being
    actually destroyed, in order to keep up
    prices
    the high-priests of industry cry for more and yet more production as a condition of existence even though the production may be as it often is , detrimental
    to society in general, and the worker in
    particular.
    On the side of Labour a great part of the
    force which this movement against ” parasitism ” has acquired is due to the idea
    that it is only by the strenuous efforts of
    the orthodox worker, straining every nerve and muscle, that the world is maintained
    at its present standard of living; whereas
    it is, on the contrary, only by the most
    gigantic and organised sabotage on the
    part of the capitalistic system and Labour
    itself, not only positive but negative

    Dork :
    I like his swipe on Georgism here.

    “In passing, it may be observed that Labour
    has never been in danger from the Idle
    Rich—it is the hardworking rich who are the chief champions of the status quo”

    This is my experience up on some underworked Scottish estates barely existing hand to mouth but providing bothys in the best of places (although of course not all)

  18. The Dork of Cork December 18, 2013 at 2:36 pm #

    I remember one March being in a Scottish coastal bothy -taking a few days off after a weeks walking in near full Winter conditions.
    I settled down to a good bottle of scotch and a small humble fire.
    Dozing at about 11 o clock as the wind gusted outside and suddenly half a dozen drunk as skunk Glaswegians with headtorches came through the door with the biggest backpacks I have ever seen !!!

    Weighing maybe 70 or 80 Ibs at the very least.
    I said to myself – “I am in a bit of trouble here…….”

    In fact nothing could be further from the truth – they were hard men but good men
    Working class guys who needed the hills to dump their memory banks every so often – much like me infact.
    The very next day a twee Edinburgh couple (poor maybe / maybe not ? ,…almost certainly lacking cashflow) arrived with their two very young kids of 4 and 7
    To give you a idea of how strange this family was their daughter of about 4 was playing sandcastles on the beech in minus conditions and enjoying herself.
    Afterwards a bunch of English arrived on canoes and there was a very very clear sense of tension in the air between the Saxons and the Glaswegians.
    I as a Corkman diffused most of the bombs.

    But what was most striking about the “crack” was the Edinburgh couple – you could see how they brought their kids into the room (with a roaring fire) to see how we Gaels truly operate.
    (The English pretty much kept themselves to themselves after a while.)

    It was certainly the strangest scene of cultural non contamination that I have ever seen.

    Stuff like that can only happen in a Scottish bothy on a Winters night.

    But the general rule is the further the bothy is from a road the safer you are.
    Honesty can be expressed in the number of hours walked.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPZtt5MhHW8

  19. Phil (Mcr) December 18, 2013 at 3:34 pm #

    ‘Stumbling towards the next crash’ by… Gordon Brown.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/19/opinion/gordon-brown-stumbling-toward-the-next-crash.html

    • The Dork of Cork December 18, 2013 at 4:32 pm #

      @Phil
      “global problems need global solutions”

      Projectile vommit stuff
      There is nothing worse in the world.
      Scottish masons are a pox on humanity.

      This is the will to power that CH Douglas warned about.
      The Ring of power – call it what you want.
      It is a expression of pure evil.
      It will destroy all that is local and good.

      What he is actually saying is this :
      “There is no life in the void only debt”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G11prumD2pY

    • Golem XIV December 18, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

      What a treasure trove! Thank you. I wish `i could talk to Mr Simkin.

      • Just me December 18, 2013 at 5:02 pm #

        Just click “Contact”.

        http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/

      • Penny Bloater December 23, 2013 at 11:12 am #

        These developments have been extensively written about David.

        Check out Robin ‘Ramsey’s Prawn Cocktail Party’ and the various posts on Lobster for more details on the incorporation of neoliberal ideas in New Labour policy making during the 1990s.

  20. Phil (Mcr) December 18, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    Fascinating article

    http://www.monbiot.com/2013/07/02/ghost-psyche/

    ”There are powerful and growing movements of people who refuse to accept these constraints. They rebel against taxes, health and safety laws, the regulation of business, restrictions on smoking, speeding and guns, above all against environmental limits. They insist that they may swing their fists regardless of whose nose is in the way, almost as if it were a human right.

    I have no desire to join these people. I accept the need for forbearance. But it seems ever harder to carry on living this way. I sometimes feel I am scratching at the walls of this life, looking for a way into a wider space beyond, and I’m sure I am not the only one. Is it possible to satisfy this atavistic longing for adventure, freedom and the hint of violence without abandoning the necessary courtesies of a crowded planet?”

    • The Dork of Cork December 18, 2013 at 11:57 pm #

      @Phil
      Except many of the laws (coming out the Euro soviet) calling themselves environmental are not.
      The 2 primary goals of these is to manage or increase scarcity in the interests of the financial sector and to reduce human redundancy and therefore increase dependency on the state.
      They merely pick stuff that might and indeed do save lives so as to sell the product – debt. , debt to the system which overproduces ……….a system which asks you to make environmental sacrifices for it as it overproduces……..you could not make this stuff up.

      I can pick many many of these and highlight their true purpose.

      Be it yearly car testing – its true purpose is to remove perfectly functional petrol cars of the 1990s era so that you can buy more value added Diesel cars.

      The urban coal ban in Ireland was about reducing human redundancy as these are now captured gas people of a fully private utility.

      Peat extraction bans in Ireland – again to reduce human redundancy and move you even closer to a consumption of all items captured by the tax base.

      The fishing policy was the first of the euro scarcity policy systems – people just don’t get it – they cannot envisage why fish are thrown overboard as its simply not in their program.
      its not a scientific reason – again it is simply to increase scarcity.
      But people cannot get their heads around the fact that the guy above (scientist / concerned politician are just following banking orders.

      look states have been banks since 1648
      They don’t really exist as defined units.
      The tax system is completly different from the middle age variety given the compound nature of the debt money.

      Indeed how the money is collected is very different.

      Listen to Bellocs history of Parliament which he regards quite rightly as a oligarchy.

      “PARLIAMENTS MUST BE OLIGARCHIES.”

      “A tax was, for the men
      of the Middle Ages, essentially a grant
      The
      Government had to go to its subjects and say :
      ‘ We need for public purposes so much : can you meet us ?
      What can you voluntarily give us ?

      And the essential principle
      of the Representative Houses of the Clergy
      and of the Laymen all over Europe was a
      convocation for this purpose ; taxation was
      in those distant days a voluntary subsidy to the needs of the King, that is, of the public
      service.

      “The subsidiary attack upon the
      monasteries (the principal support of the
      Papacy) produced an enormous economic
      catastrophe and change in the distribution
      of wealth. Through this the Monarchy ulti- mately lost its preponderant position as the
      centre of the National Money-power, and was
      therefore replaced as a governing agent by
      the newly enriched landlords and the great
      merchants of the towns.”

      Those first & last lines are important – back then tax was a Covenant , now you are captured by a money monopoly.

      • Anne December 19, 2013 at 12:09 pm #

        The
        Government had to go to its subjects and say :
        ‘ We need for public purposes so much : can you meet us ?
        What can you voluntarily give us ?

        Mmmm…. strange definition of voluntary! In feudal times members of both houses of parliament went along with taxes on the common people.Magna Carta only set out the rights of the aristocracy (the barons).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magna_Carta

        It was of historical importance in the development of what we now call democracy. But the common people had no rights. After the Black death the common people began to feel their industrial muscle This resulted in the peasants’ revolt demanding an end to serfdom and the poll tax (which was enforced by the King’s officials).

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peasants'_Revolt

        Also remember that during the English civil war a debate took place on the franchise. Cromwell and his followers were against full manhood suffrage as the property-less would ‘vote against the rights of property’.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putney_Debates

        Full manhood suffrage was only achieved in the UK after WWI and full adult suffrage in 1928.

        However the vote on its own is a pale simulacrum of real democracy. The elephant in the room is what it always was -property. This does not mean just owning your house but ownership of the engines of the economy industry banking and insurance. It is this unequal distribution of property (and the power it brings with it) that is the problem, the state is just a bye-product of the division.

        History teaches us time and time again that you can’t control what you don’t own.

        The notion that the poor inevitably steal from the rich makes me smile, especially when often poor people are persuaded that this lie is the truth. The opposite is the truth.

        As David has often shown in these pages taxes still largely fall on the poor, the rich have many ways of avoiding them and have the funds to ‘encourage’ our elected representatives to help help them in this project.

        So, although capitalism has obviously contributed positively to human progress in the fields of science and technology, it has, when we examine the world as a whole done nothing to solve the fundamental problem of private ownership.

        If we fail to solve this problem I fear for humanity and the planet.

        • The Dork of Cork December 19, 2013 at 7:50 pm #

          @Anne
          You don’t get mine or Bellocs point – he did not argue that the Baldricks of this world had power over so called parliament but a limited form of control over their own lives.
          There was a change in power structure….a centralization after Tudor times.

          The peasant serf became a wage slave , a roboten
          We can see the same thing happening at a earlier time in what is now Belgium
          Mercator by Nick Crane
          Chapter 1 :A little town called Gangelt

          “In Gangelt they were locked into the fate of the peasant, who was currently enduring rural Europe transition from an ancient feudal system to a money economy ,where the freedom to work for a wage came at the cost of dispossession from the land , as owners consolidated their estates for commercial production”
          The rising prices of farm produce benefited the large farmers and estate owners,but crippled the peasants who were forced to work more ,for lower wages for crops that were not theirs.
          As larger farms became more viable ,the ancient privileges which gave peasants the wherewithal to live off the land was eroded.
          A new term emerged ,”roboten” , meaning drudge ,toil ,fag , sweat.

          The peasant became a wage slave ,a Robot.
          To the daily drudgery was added punitive taxes and periodic demands for men and horses to fight the emperors campaigns”

          Why did it happen first in the low countries ?
          because the money power was not in England at that time.

          ooks.google.ie/books?id=RDhQIP5syucC&pg=PT23&lpg=PT23&dq=A+new+term+emerged+Roboten&source=bl&ots=1mCvysd-wu&sig=pi6unCmHQZ8xTJP2k2

          Modern democracy is a illusion , most of politics a theatre of the absurd.
          Simply unneeded in a pure fiat system.
          But the most important point about such differences is the time people had to do other things beside work and endlessly thinking in a political mindframe – this is the true product of debt money systems…..a lack of time.
          Keeping the poor serfs on a endless hamster wheel of debt.

          • Anne December 19, 2013 at 10:56 pm #

            Agree that modern democracy is an illusion, voting is pointless (no-one to vote for)

            I was speaking only of taxation, then as now the common man had no control over the tax payable. Then as now the wealthy did. Now of course they just offshore it. Unfortunately I can’t offshore my pension! In this particular there has been no change, certainly no improvement.

            The situation of the wage slave is indeed worse than that of the serf, as Marx and Engels say in the ‘Communist Manifesto’ -

            Constant revolutionising of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned…

            They continue and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.

            Because the relationship between those with property and those without it is now clear. Mediaeval class society was masked by myriad complex sub-divisions and formal long standing traditions, now we essentially have those who own the economic engines of society (who have power) and those who are employed by them(who have none).

            In theory at least the relationship between Lord and serf was one of mutual (if unequal) responsibility but there was still exploitation. There is no responsibility between employer and employee except that enforced on the employer by the law. A situation employers are constantly complaining about!

            Exploitation is now clearer, the lack of democratic control in the workplace and the complete irrelevance of parliamentary democracy are serious issues and do indeed force us to examine our “real condition of life and (our) relations with (our) kind”.

            Hopefully leading us eventually to do something about it?

        • 1redart December 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coDtzN6bXAM
          “Cosmo: With luck, I might even be able to crash the whole damned system. Destroy all records of ownership. Think of it, Marty. No more rich people, no more poor people, everybody’s the same, isn’t that what we said we always wanted?”

  21. Just me December 18, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    “Tory Council Sends Out ‘disgusting, threatening and insulting’ Christmas Card”

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/tory-council-sends-out-insulting-christmas-card/

  22. Phil (Mcr) December 18, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    Riddle me this about the ‘market’

    Our local shopping centre is dying. It is losing custom because the shops there aren’t very attractive. A local citizens group has appealed to the centre to charge lower rents so that SMEs can set up shop there. The centre, owned by the large insurance firm, Arriva, has refused. Even Tescos are walking away once their lease is up.

    The citizens group, which now includes local residents, SME owners, local councilors, the local police, the council’s economic regeneration team and a local school, would like to have the centre knocked down and redeveloped since it is failing to contribute to the local area and is becoming a site of anti-social behaviour. They are supported by the local newspaper. The one thing standing in their way is the refusal of the insurance firm to budge. Indeed they want £70m for it (considered by most to be an over estimation by a factor of ten).

    How’s ‘the market’ going to sort that out?

    ”Well someone else will come in and buy it off them”

    Except they haven’t for over ten years now.

    What the owners really want is for the council to compulsorily purchase it off them. Except they haven’t got the money since Osbourne slashed local budgets by 40% and in any case, market extremists would claim that that council money was ‘stolen’.

    • steviefinn December 18, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      The market knows best Phil, or should that be racket ?

      “Some of us look at school buildings and see students learning. Ron Packard looks at schools and sees himself becoming fabulously richer — if he could only empty the buildings.

      Packard runs K12 Inc., a for-profit company that specializes in “virtual” education. K12 Inc. operates online “schools” that supply lessons to kids sitting in front of computers, a business endeavor that Packard pronounces a noble step toward “educational liberty.”

      “Kids have been shackled to their brick-and-mortar school down the block for too long,” he has declared.

      An army of corporate lobbyists has been spreading this message over the past five years, backed by the right-wing American Legislative Exchange Council, and more than three dozen states have now enacted legislation that lets companies like K12 Inc. grab students — and tax dollars.

      K12 Inc. currently has nearly 130,000 students in its “virtual learning” empire, with only one problem. Compared to their traditional school peers, K12 Inc. students are not doing much learning. Critics are, understandably, blasting the K12 Inc. business model as a giant scam.

      In that model, heavy K12 Inc. advertising on kid-centric media like Nickelodeon gets kids enrolled for the company’s offerings. State government education officials, after their annual student “head count,” then pay K12 Inc. for each kid signed up. But after the head count, many of the “virtual” students drop out. K12 Inc. doesn’t mind. The company gets to keep the money.

      Lots of it, enough to reward Packard over $19 million in personal compensation the last five years. Not bad, notes the Center for Media and Democracy, for a former Goldman Sachs executive “who started K12 Inc. with a $10 million investment from convicted junk-bond king Michael Milken.”

      http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/12/18-2

    • Kreditanstalt December 19, 2013 at 3:53 am #

      “How’s ‘the market’ going to sort that out?”

      Well, why should it? What’s to sort out…?

      A private owner of a piece of property doesn’t wish to sell it – unless they get their price. In this case it does sound like there is authoritarian pressure being applied to the owners of the property.

      Privately-held property. Do they believe in the concept? Or not?

      • drexciya December 19, 2013 at 6:46 pm #

        It’s a bit more complicated then just property rights and the so called market. My guess is that the actual value of the property is (way) lower than the price they want, because the insurance company still has it on the books for the price they want. Now in a real economy, they would have to put up with it and take their loss (just like banks on non-performing loans and stupid pranks they’ve committed), but there’s no real economy. Also, in a non-regulated market, other sites would become competing sites, which would offer lower rent and attract shops and other local commerce. But probably there are no other sites designated for that purpose.

      • Phil (Mcr) December 21, 2013 at 2:08 am #

        ”authoritarian pressure being applied to the owners of the property.”

        We’re in la-la land with these cranks we really are. The ‘authoritarian’ pressure consists of the local community, the local body politic, the police (the friend of private property) and SMEs. The owners of the property are a remote corporate monster with no other interest in the locality.

        You cannot possibly conceive of a social good can you? Something which is over and above the wants of a remote, faceless landowner. Even if it would be a boon to a vital local market.

        We are living in extreme times.

  23. Kaivey December 18, 2013 at 7:40 pm #

    But the undeserving poor won’t cause anywhere near the amount of harm as the underserving rich can do. They won’t bankrupt the country, start wars, asset strip companies and send the jobs abroad, force wages and the standard of living to rock bottom, cause millions in the third wold to live wretched poverty stricken lives despite that their country is mineral rich and their land fertile, or wreck the environment, etc.

    • Golem XIV December 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm #

      Exactly.

      • Kaivey December 18, 2013 at 8:52 pm #

        Haiti_The_Untold_Story THIS IS WHY HAITI POOR :(

        It’s only 15 minutes long

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhT278F7occ

        • steviefinn December 19, 2013 at 8:24 pm #

          Looks interesting :

          “Who we are and why we write this newsletter

          This is the first newsletter of Troika Watch. With this newsletter, we want to cover news about the Troika, the situation in the countries affected by it and the opposition and resistance against it. We hope that this can help connecting struggles and be a contribution to strengthen resistance against austerity policies.

          We are a group of people that mostly know each other from meetings like the European Social forum, Firenze 10+10, the Altersummit, EU in crisis or Blockupy. Some of us work for progressive NGOs like the Bretton Woods Project, CEO, CADTM or TNI, others are activists in networks like Attac or ICAN.

          We plan to publish this newsletter once or twice a month in English, French, German, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. You can subscribe to this newsletter at http://www.troikawatch.net/lists and contact us by sending an email to info@troikawatch.net .

          Greetings from Amsterdam, Athens, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt, Kopenhagen, Lisbon, London, Barcelona and Thessaloniki,
          The TroikaWatch Team ”

          http://www.troikawatch.net/1st-newsletter-of-troika-watch/#who

  24. DolleyMadison December 19, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Beautiful.

  25. Joe Taylor December 20, 2013 at 12:32 am #

    Hi Mike Hall

    Just about finished that book you put us on to – Sack The Economists by Geoff Davies. Thanks a million, a great book and easy to understand.

    “Neoliberals have a ready array of accusations and derogatory phrases to throw at anyone who questions their ways. Progressive taxation and social welfare are wealth transfer programs. Progressives indulge in social engineering. Anyone who questions the existence or behaviour of the super-wealthy is engaging in class warfare. Anyone who advocates any kind of ethical consistency or tolerance is accused of trying to impose political correctness.”

    “The neoliberal era has seen the imposition of a doctrine that most social interactions can be replaced by market mechanisms. This has caused dramatic changes in our societies. There has been a rise in individuality, selfishness, insecurity, inequality, poverty, and our families, communities and social fabric have been weakened. Democracy has been weakened and often actively subverted by the wealthy. The rise in international hostility that has accompanied these changes has been used as an excuse to seriously diminish our legal and civil rights, and to increase the power of the rich and powerful.”

    “There would not be any communists or socialists if capitalists had not behaved so badly. There would not have been serfs, slaves or revolutionaries if kings, pharaohs and despots had not behaved so badly.”

    “The Bush II administration in the US was remarkable for the blatancy with which it challenged the founding principles of the US. The powerful know best, restraints on the exercise of power are to be broken or ignored, government, acting for the people, is to be drastically curtailed, and the role of government is to be restricted to defending the property rights of capitalists and to fighting wars. The Obama administration (with many plutocrat apologists in its ranks) is either complicit or oblivious to what is really happening.”

    “Is it ‘class war’ to argue against super-concentrations of wealth, and its associated political power? Is it class war to point out that plutocracy leads to political corruption, subversion of democracy, human rights abuses, and poor economic performance leading into economic collapse? Well if it is, then the plutocrats have created the class distinctions. Once again, if they did not behave so badly there would not be a building movement opposing them.”

    • Kaivey December 21, 2013 at 8:37 am #

      This is good: the American comedian Carl Carlin describes neoliberalism shockingly well.

      Carl Carlin: A Tiny Ruling Elite Control the World

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wigDHjEwPuE

    • Kaivey December 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm #

      Thanks Joe, I have bought the book Sack The Economists by Geoff Davies. It looks good.

    • Mike Hall December 24, 2013 at 1:40 pm #

      Cheers Joe,

      I thought it might be decent given the associations with Steve Keen and others. I’ve only had time to dip in and read short bits so far, but looking forward to reading more :)

  26. TStockmann December 20, 2013 at 5:31 am #

    The good middle class warrior fights a two front battle.

  27. Roger December 21, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

    steviefinn December 20, 2013 at 1:52 pm #
    ConfederateH

    I know greed is not only the reserve of some of the rich, I just think aside from your problems with your wife & mother they are pretty trivial in comparison to the problems of many blameless others.

    Why not cut yourself off completely & go live on a small desert island that you could name ‘ ME ‘.

    No christmas Song this year Just the Status Quo Classic,
    Living on an Island.

    Merry Christmas everyone, Happy Holidays felicitous juletide greetings

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrnwJU3Q1LI

    • steviefinn December 21, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

      Thanks Roger – Same to you & yours.

      For everybody who happens upon this virtual meeting place, I wish you all joy within your own Christmas meeting place – RING THEM BELLS !!!

      “Anthem”

      The birds they sang
      at the break of day
      Start again
      I heard them say
      Don’t dwell on what
      has passed away
      or what is yet to be.
      Ah the wars they will
      be fought again
      The holy dove
      She will be caught again
      bought and sold
      and bought again
      the dove is never free.

      Ring the bells that still can ring
      Forget your perfect offering
      There is a crack in everything
      That’s how the light gets in.

      We asked for signs
      the signs were sent:
      the birth betrayed
      the marriage spent
      Yeah the widowhood
      of every government —
      signs for all to see.

      I can’t run no more
      with that lawless crowd
      while the killers in high places
      say their prayers out loud.
      But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
      a thundercloud
      and they’re going to hear from me.

      Ring the bells that still can ring …

      You can add up the parts
      but you won’t have the sum
      You can strike up the march,
      there is no drum
      Every heart, every heart
      to love will come
      but like a refugee.

      Ring the bells that still can ring
      Forget your perfect offering
      There is a crack, a crack in everything
      That’s how the light gets in.

      Ring the bells that still can ring
      Forget your perfect offering
      There is a crack, a crack in everything
      That’s how the light gets in.
      That’s how the light gets in.
      That’s how the light gets in.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=BCS_MwkWzes

    • ConfederateH December 22, 2013 at 10:27 am #

      Why not cut yourself off completely & go live on a small desert island that you could name ‘ ME ‘.

      Not only are assuming that if people were allowed to secede and free themselves from your liberal nirvana that I would be alone, but even worse you seem to want to ban me to a desert island while you and your precious state have complete control of everything else. Your generosity and charity is exposed for all to see.

      I am well aware where it ends, when the left finally drops its phony “we care about you” mask and we get to see the true degree of their depravity, just as with Stalin, Mao, Hitler (yes, Hitler was a socialist), Pol Pot, etc.

      When the South seceded from the Union on the eve of the war of Northern Aggression, Lincoln refused to vacate the property of the southern states, specifically Fort Sumter. This was then used as the bait for the Northern invasion that in the end left 70% of Southern white males dead and the Shenandoa valley and most of Viginia devastated and economically ruined. What a perfect metaphor for liberalism. The welfare state is the borg and all will be assimilated or banned to Phil’s desert island.

      • Roger December 22, 2013 at 2:12 pm #

        Confederate H,

        out of interest where do you stand on Bonded slavery? and the Jim Crow laws which persisted in the South even after the Civil Rights changes of the 1960′s.

        There are many sides to all of the stories as told and taught which are familiar to all of us who know and recount our particular versions.

        There is also the untold story of the indigenous American Nations who were all but obliterated and dispossessed even before Narrative which you call to question regarding the War Between the Confederacy and The Union.

        Why you conclude that the civil war is some sort of Metaphor for Liberalism I struggle to see. I grant you that most modern history is distorted by the victors who tend to write it or sponsor it ( Patronise It is probably the best description)

        http://hnn.us/blog/149929

        I also gave Howard Zinn credit for going beyond the textbooks to quote a critical sentence of Abraham Lincoln’s letter of August 22, 1862, to Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. As Lies My Teacher Told Me notes, this letter is textbook authors’ favorite Lincoln quotation, used by fifteen of the eighteen textbooks I surveyed. But they excerpt only these two sentences:

        If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that. What I do about slavery and the colored race I do because I believe it helps to save this Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union.

        Thus textbooks present a Lincoln unconcerned about slavery, concerned only to save the nation. Zinn gives readers what Lincoln wrote next:

        I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty, and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men, everywhere could be free.

        So far, so good.

        “Nevertheless, Zinn derides Lincoln’s views on slavery,” I went on to note. “He points to the inadequacies of the Emancipation Proclamation but fails to note that even with its limitations, it was too radical for most Northern voters and cost the Republicans dearly in the November, 1862, election. He needs to show that if Lincoln got too far ahead of the electorate, he would cease to have followers.”

        The foregoing was too much for HarperCollins. Instead of publishing what I wrote, they wrote and published this:

        “What’s more, Zinn questions Lincoln’s views on slavery, He points to the inadequacies of the Emancipation Proclamation and notes that even with its limitations, it was too radical for most Northern voters and cost the Republicans dearly in the November, 1862, election. Lincoln always understood that if he got too far ahead of the electorate, he would cease to have followers.”

        The changes are subtle but substantive. “What’s more” puts me on Zinn’s side when he questioned Lincoln. I was not.
        - See more at: http://hnn.us/blog/149929#sthash.dUmIV2kG.dpuf

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eric_Hobsbawm

        On his academic career: “Every historian has his or her lifetime, a private perch from which to survey the world. My own perch is constructed, among other materials, of a childhood in the Vienna of the 1920s, the years of Hitler’s rise in Berlin, which determined my politics and my interest in history, and the England, and especially the Cambridge, of the 1930s, which confirmed both.” 1993 Creighton lecture

        On socialism and capitalism: “Impotence therefore faces both those who believe in what amounts to a pure, stateless, market capitalism, a sort of international bourgeois anarchism, and those who believe in a planned socialism uncontaminated by private profit-seeking. Both are bankrupt. The future, like the present and the past, belongs to mixed economies in which public and private are braided together in one way or another. But how? That is the problem for everybody today, but especially for people on the left.” 2009 Guardian article

        http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2009/apr/10/financial-crisis-capitalism-socialism-alternatives

        Prisons as Frameworks:

        “The prisons are the frameworks. And those who do not like prisons will be opposed to the myth of the framework. They will welcome a discussion with a partner who comes from another world, from another framework, for it gives them an opportunity to discover their so far unfelt chains, to break these chains, and thus to transcend themselves. But this breaking of one’s prison is clearly not a matter of routine: it can only be the result of a critical effort and of a creative effort.”

        http://leakygrammar.net/2012/07/15/karl-popper-breaking-out-of-the-prison-of-language/

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBe8MTcCqKs

      • Phil (Mcr) December 24, 2013 at 12:44 am #

        ”when the left finally drops its phony…”

        Thought you were an anarchist.

        Anarchism being of the Left.

        • Phil (Mcr) December 24, 2013 at 12:46 am #

          ”Phil’s desert island”

          Don’t remember saying anything about desert islands.

        • 1redart December 25, 2013 at 3:42 pm #

          confederateh is an “anarchist” in his own little world.

          slinging terms like “cultural marxist” quite nonchalantly, his worldview is heavily influenced from the far right.

          breivik was another “anarchist” who liked to pejoratively use the term “cultural marxist”.

  28. Freddy Krueger December 22, 2013 at 12:24 am #

    I wonder if you are familiar with the truth-telling work of Henry Giroux?
    Then of course there is the book The Man Who Sold The World – Ronald Reagan & The Betrayal of Main Street America.
    Reagan was of course the catalyst for the systematic demolition of the Social Contract in America (such as it was).
    Freddy Krueger was of course Ronald Reagan’s shadow persona, who specialized in killing off the youth of down-town America, and thereby destroying the future.
    Plus this reference on the “great” man
    http://www.psychohistory.com/reagan/rcontent.htm

  29. Just me December 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    “I just got this information from a nurse freind of mine last night…….a man who has diabetics type 2 and severe copd was brought in to hospital last night…..aged 61 his esa was stopped 8 weeks ago after being found fit 2 work….. it turns out he has been eating dried corn flakes for the last 5 weeks and has no electric on for 5 weeks….. he has had no heating or even able to boil a kettle for a hot drink…..he was not even able to use his nebulizer without electric…..the cold has got to his lungs and his blood sugars have gone dangerously low as type 2 diabetics must eat 3 times a day 2 keep blood sugars level……the nurses have chipped in to get him a bottle of squash and some fruit ….apparently this gentleman is very unwell at the moment and if the tories and lib dems find peoples hunger something to laugh at will they also find this funny? The sick and vonerable will end up in hospitail beds if they cant eat and stay warm……this mans situation is just a taste of what the future holds for thousands…….peoples health will suffer and any savings made on welfare will have 2 be spent on the NHS as people get sick……”

    http://samedifference1.com/2013/12/20/a-story-that-should-scare-us-all/

    • Phil (Mcr) December 23, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      The let us use that story to animate ourselves to make sure it will not continue.

  30. Phil (Mcr) December 23, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

    “Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. Their final objective toward which all their deceit is directed is to capture political power so that, using the power of the state and the power of the market simultaneously, they may keep the common man in eternal subjection. They claim to be super-patriots, but they would destroy every liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.”

    Henry A. Wallace, 33rd Vice President of the United Staes

  31. The Dork of Cork December 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm #

    The Euro periphery may be seeing a major rise in oil consumption / waste

    According to the IEAs latest dec report Ireland (always the canary in the coal mine or maybe oil well)
    “The Irish demand series for 2013 has been adjusted upwards following revisions to official statistics. For 
    2Q13, Irish demand estimates have been hiked by roughly 15 kb/d, or more than 13%!!!!. These figures, 
    coupled with stronger demand readings for recent months, lift the Irish demand estimate for 2013 as a 
    whole to around 140 kb/d, 10 kb/d more than estimated in last month’s Report and 5 kb/d (or 4.6%) 
    above the year earlier.”

    As a Dork which has found himself on the Cork – Waterford road over these past few months I have noticed & can confirm a large rise in traffic
    The local CB is still reporting a decline in domestic credit production so this must be outside credit / oil looking for a yield.
    Ireland is on the brink of another major capital dumping event.

    Watch out below or indeed above for another pointless period of “growth” as the capital we exported to the core and is now being rexported back into this dead inside country cannot now be consumed in a manner which will do any good for anybody but the elite.

  32. Mike Hall December 24, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    Christmas greetings all :)

    There’s been a lot of drivel on here from the usual, self serving greedy turds trying to play some ‘Libertarian’ or ‘intellectual’ games eh? (I’m not interested in doing ‘polite’ to these assholes, sorry.)

    Really good blog piece here which provides some excellent historical context to the development of these ‘ideas’..

    http://www.economicpopulist.org/content/mr-anonymous-and-not-so-spontaneous-birth-libertarian-movement

    I’ve come across parts of this story before, but this gives a lot more detail.

    Here’s an extract:-

    “…There is no evidence that the much larger irony ever occurred to Hayek:

    Tens, perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars, hundreds of millions of books, hundreds of journals, dozens of universities, tens of thousands of people and thousands of professorships, and so on in a network touching virtually everyone in the “Western Democracies” – all of it centrally planned, all of it subsidized, none of it capable of existing by itself in the commercial marketplace or in the “marketplace of ideas” and all of it failing dozens of times until hooked into the river of cash produced by the simple subsidies of the rich designed to derail the “free” evolution of ideas as they were actually proceeding… is there any such example in all of human history of a “movement” so far at odds with its own self-proclaimed “principles”? No problem, though, for William S. Volker, for whom “belief” was always optional. Mr. Anonymous got exactly what he paid for….”

    Also:-

    “…..More importantly, the Mont Pelerin Society would itself beget 500 foundations and organizations in nearly 80 countries… again with strategic contributions from Mr. Anonymous. Once transformed into an “international movement”, there was no end to what was possible. One example tells the story.

    Initiated at Mont Pelerin and copying the FEE, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) was created in London in 1955. Serving as a conduit for both cash and “ideas”, the IEA set about the task of “rejuvenating” the dead and decaying British Tories. By 1985, the “Iron Lady”, Margaret Thatcher, would positively gush on the occasion of the Institute’s 30th Anniversary: “You created the atmosphere which made our victory possible… May I say how thankful we are to those who joined your great endeavor. They were the few, but they were right, and they saved Britain.” With that, the IEA begat the Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which in turn created a network of over 50 “think-tanks” in more than 30 countries.

    And what were the scale of these efforts? John Blundell, the head of the IEA, in a speech to the Heritage Foundation, and Atlas in 1990, would identify a rare failure in the Society’s efforts. Shaking his head at the abortive attempt to subsidize academic “Chairs of Free Enterprise” in dozens of countries throughout the world, Blundell complained about wasting, “hundreds of millions, perhaps one billion dollars”. This was just one initiative among many….”

    • steviefinn December 24, 2013 at 11:02 pm #

      Merry Christmas Mike – Yer grumpy bollix :)

      • Mike Hall December 25, 2013 at 12:15 am #

        Haha, you too ya misery, have a good one :)

    • Roger December 25, 2013 at 7:17 am #

      An interesting Article Mike, it reminds me very much of the criticisms that came out against the Occupy movement, No common theme etc.
      I agree with the articles statement that some libertarians have a faith based almost religious belief in free markets.
      In polemics there seems to be such a great deal of the pot calling the Kettle Black it seems so in all walks of life these days ( related to Public affairs at any rate)

      I have been doing some follow up research on this guy

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKHUaNAxsTg)

      who I stumbled upon following up on the ´´Banned´´ Ted talk by this guy,

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIhOXCgSunc

      Merry Christmas all

      I do not think it necessary for salvation to know Christ according to the flesh: but with regard to the Eternal Son of God, that is the Eternal Wisdom of God, which has manifested itself in all things and especially in the human mind, and above all in Christ Jesus, the case is far otherwise. For without this no one can come to a state of blessedness, inasmuch as it alone teaches, what is true or false, good or evil. And, inasmuch as this wisdom was made especially manifest through Jesus Christ, as I have said, His disciples preached it, in so far as it was revealed to them through Him, and thus showed that they could rejoice in that spirit of Christ more than the rest of mankind. The doctrines added by certain churches, such as that God took upon Himself human nature, I have expressly said that I do not understand; in fact, to speak the truth, they seem to me no less absurd than would a statement, that a circle had taken upon itself the nature of a square. This I think will be sufficient explanation of my opinions concerning the three points mentioned. Whether it will be satisfactory to Christians you will know better than I.
      Letter 21 (73) to Henry Oldenburg , November (1675)
      Variant translation: The eternal wisdom of God … has shown itself forth in all things, but chiefly in the mind of man, and most of all in Jesus Christ.

      As men’s habits of mind differ, so that some more readily embrace one form of faith, some another, for what moves one to pray may move another to scoff, I conclude … that everyone should be free to choose for himself the foundations of his creed, and that faith should be judged only by its fruits; each would then obey God freely with his whole heart, while nothing would be publicly honoured save justice and charity.
      SPINOZA.

  33. ConfederateH December 25, 2013 at 6:43 pm #

    There’s been a lot of drivel on here from the usual, self serving greedy turds trying to play some ‘Libertarian’ or ‘intellectual’ games eh? (I’m not interested in doing ‘polite’ to these assholes, sorry.)

    The ugly stench emanating from enraged Statists is the same whether they are of the Nazi type or your more garden variety Marxists. Their claimed “tolerance” is shed far easier than a snake changes its skin and their venom is far more poisonous.

    Hey douchebag, I am not a “Libertarian” and certainly not an “intellectual” like you who posts links to bloviating “intellectual” blogs completely unrelated to the thread of conversation. All I am is a person who doesn’t even want the same rights you claim to have over me. Since you are clearly a statist that means that I don’t want to be able to use the states monopoly on force to steal from anybody, even a selfish jerk like you.

    • 1redart December 25, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

      you made a post earlier in this thread using the term “cultural marxist”, pejoratively.

      i’ve pointed it out already, but i want to highlight it again so that the readers of this comment section know that your “drivel” is not to be taken seriously (unless said readers identify with the far-right)

      http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Cultural_Marxism

    • Phil (Mcr) December 27, 2013 at 2:15 am #

      Do you use roads?

      Would you call the police, fire service or ambulance in an emergency?

      What contractual agreements are you party to and which legal system underpins them?

      When you fly do you not need the help of Air Traffic Control?

    • Mike Hall January 2, 2014 at 8:07 pm #

      Hahaha

      ConfederateH, you self identified yourself brilliantly there, well done! :D

      I have found that people like you generally do know they are assholes, not giving a toss about anyone but them self.

      For you, prick, it’s all about trying to convince yourself (& anyone else you can foist your crap on) that your life is entirely your responsibility, using and requiring nothing from the entire legacy of human society’s developments from thousands of years ago and billions of souls, to the present day.

      So then, you think you owe nobody, past or present, dead or alive, any gratitude in any way for what has made your life possible.

      The problem is of course that that is a totally stupid proposition, and deep down you know that too. But hey, if you can get enough people to agree with you and validate this shit, even a little bit, it helps to soothe that canyon of empty-ness in the void that is your soul.

      Just for a while…until the next time you find yourself all alone and without all the distractions you need just to maintain some tiny sense of self belief. It’s in those times alone with our own conciousness that we must truly face ourselves.

      You are spending your life (like many) avoiding this at all costs, and eventually it fucks you up. The more effort you make & resources you use to this purpose, the more fucked up you become.

      ConfederateH, in this, you are hitting the jackpot, congratulations.

      Self awareness is the only purpose to life, ultimately the only thing of real value.

      We find self awareness through our social interactions, because we are fundamentally social creatures, all co-dependent to a level so deep and complex, nobody can really determine to what extent it was their own achievement or simply the benefit of others’ contributions.

      Oh, and by the way, internet blogs aren’t ‘social interaction’ except in a quite trivial sense, and actions speak vastly more than words.

      Good luck :)

      • patma2003 January 10, 2014 at 6:15 pm #

        Haha… Gold Mike Hall…!

  34. Roger December 25, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Santa may have been this mnorning but remember there is always next year too.
    He knows who’s been Naughty and Nice chaps.

    Hope you have all had a great day.
    This was our band of Vikings last year. This year a similar attempt would have been akin to herding cats.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7FPcKTSZXk

  35. Roger December 27, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Saint Ayn Rand, the day after the day after, chopping day after boxing day.

    http://www.motherjones.com/mixed-media/2013/12/watch-day-after-christmas-visit-saint-ayn-rand-fiore-cartoon
    Delete 3 hours ago

    Roger Lewis
    Chief chef and bottlewasher at Tonefreqhz

    http://vimeo.com/82261478

    • Joe Taylor December 29, 2013 at 1:13 am #

      Here’s one to make you throw up your Christmas dinner, if you were lucky enough to get one.

      Extended unemployment benefits will end today for 1.3 million Americans, just three days after Christmas. The cruel cutoff of income for the long-term jobless and their families exemplifies the contempt of the Obama administration and the entire political establishment for the working class. The move threatens millions of unemployed workers and their families with poverty.

      Read More:

      http://www.globalresearch.ca/a-cruel-christmas-gift-jobless-benefits-cut-off-for-1-3-million-americans/5362820?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-cruel-christmas-gift-jobless-benefits-cut-off-for-1-3-million-americans

      • steviefinn December 29, 2013 at 1:37 pm #

        Yes Joe & add to that the cut in food stamp funding you could possibly conclude that they either feel that there will be no backlash or uprising that they could not control, or they plan to make use of the mob to engineer something worse. The HBO series ‘ Rome ‘ showed how the Roman mob was used to instigate change for the benefit of oligarchs – Not fictional it seems, but rather a historically successful sleight of hand.

        “If and when the Ukraine enters into the European Union, the exuberant street demonstrators will join the millions of jobless workers in Greece, Portugal and Spain, as well as millions of pensioners brutalized by “austerity programs” imposed by their new rulers, the ‘Troika’ in Brussels. If these former demonstrators take to the streets once more, in disillusionment at their leaders’ “betrayal”, they can enjoy their ‘victory’ under the batons of “NATO and European Union-trained police” while the Western mass media will have moved elsewhere in support of ‘democracy”

        ’.http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2013/12/28/oligarchs-demagogues-and-mass-revolts-ag

        • Just me December 29, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

          “Benefit sanctions UK”

          http://dwpexamination.org/forum/the-governmants-agenda/benefit-sanctions-uk/#p118803

          • Joe Taylor December 29, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

            We don’t hear much about the Role of Central Banks in all these shenanigans eh?

            Was put onto this recent paper by Norbert Haring, which was quite illuminating for me – quotes below.

            Central bankers never, ever talk about the hugely profitable privilege that the ability to create legal tender means for commercial banks.

            Today, only a fraction of the money which circulates in the economy consists in cash issued by the central banks. We make by far the largest part of our payments without using any government issued banknotes. We pay by transferring deposits at commercial banks to someone else and we receive our paychecks in the form of deposits in the bank, i.e. in electronic money, created by commercial banks.

            The look into the history of central banks and the mechanisms by which commercial banks create money has revealed that there is indeed an important element in the nature of central banks of serving the interests of the banking community. We have seen that leading textbook authors and central bankers are actively trying to disguise this. This should be kept in mind then assessing the appropriateness of letting independent central banks, which do not have to answer to the electorate or their representatives, wield wide ranging powers in economic policy and banking supervision.

            The interest of central banks in making their influence on the economy less clear cut might go some way in explaining this aberration. However, there is also the interest of commercial banks in having something hidden. And this interest could be even more influential.

            The authors of the most influential textbooks are highly recognized economists with very close ties to central banks and to the financial elite.

            What is still lacking is a serious discussion of the even closer ties of many central bankers with the financial elite and about the undisclosed and unfettered conflicts of interest that arise from them.

            The conflicts of interest arising for this are very relevant for the subject of this paper and might well explain why leading central bankers and central banks seem to have tabooed talk and research about money creation by commercial banks.
            .

            Link to the whole thing (18 pages) here: http://nationalcan.ning.com/profiles/blogs/austerity-unemployment-etc-the-role-of-central-banks

  36. Salford Lad December 30, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    To add to the Hall of Shame check this – http://www.thebibbyblog.co.uk

    • BobRocket December 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

      Salford,

      did you mean http://www.thebibbyblog.com ?

      • Joe Taylor December 31, 2013 at 10:59 am #

        Thank you for those links BobRocket. I spent this morning reading through all of them carefully – hope to end the year on a somewhat brighter note from somewhere, but right now that looks like wistful thinking.

        I hadn’t read anything by Matt Taibbi and now have him bookmarked. I’ll be following his articles in 2014.

        Salford Lad, BobRocket was right, that the link should be http://www.thebibbyblog.com and thank you from a Wigan Lad for putting me onto it. Got that bookmarked too.

        Only yesterday, a totally committed community activist mate of mine from St Helens said in an email:

        “The corporate corruption is now so globally embedded I doubt anything can be done to stop it – certainly voting and protests are useless – and people don’t care about the bigger picture these days. It’s a waste of time trying to educate them, they couldn’t care less (senses dulled by media propaganda, drink and drugs etc.”

        Can fully understand where he’s coming from but I believe that people do care and they want than more than this. We have to find a way to unite people by tapping into our shared humanity. It can be done. We have to believe collectively to make it happen.

        Thank you Golem for being such an inspiration all through 2013 and thank you to all the contributors on this blog for sharing your knowledge.

        All the best for 2014.

  37. Buck Turgidson January 3, 2014 at 1:58 am #

    Well Golem….. I have already heard this century described as the Epigeneitic century. I think you need to adjust your thinking accordingly,

    As it says in Exodus 34:7
    Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

    Happy New Year

    from Buckie

    • steviefinn January 5, 2014 at 5:10 pm #

      Interesting article especially due to this year being the centenary of the so called ‘ Great War ‘, when a quarrel between the then almost incestuous European elites led to their prize dogs adopting a plan of action based on a knowledge of strategy that despite being redundant in a changed world, was nevertheless forced through for the greatest part of the conflict.

      It describes how those who bore the full brunt of their supposed betters policies adopted a spirit of ‘ Live & let live ‘ & co-operation as opposed to the dog eat dog philosophy from those who were safe behind the lines :

      http://libcom.org/history/why-blackadder-goes-forth%E2%80%99-could-have-been-lot-funnier

      Failure to adopt to a changing world at the cost to the ‘ Cannon fodder ‘, could it now be similar situation if it was changed to ‘ Debt fodder ‘ ?

  38. allcoppedout January 5, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Just read this thread watching Man U lose to Swansea. Almost makes life worth living! Growing up in the top class at grammar school I thought my hard work the reason I did so much better than the other 95%. Now I know much I was learning dross or plain wrong and no amount of hard academic toil could make up for the lack or different biological development others ‘suffered’. Much teaching is as relevant as me teaching my dog geometry or him training me to map the world of his sniffing with my haplessly incapable nose.

    A key way to become undeserving is to blow the whistle or become a victim – more or less the same things. Think of a 14 year old kid in care. She may have had to use ‘sex’ to get scraps at the table growing up. Returning from her umpteenth missing from home adventure she gets isolation in a cell converted from a toilet. Workers in 17 agencies talk of her as a pain in the arse who has chosen prostitution as a lifestyle. Such has been the case for 70 years of enlightenment, yet we talk of our emergency and care workers as a good lot, our courts as just. Yet this vast majority of hardworking, dedicated agency workers and lawyers have done very little over 70 years to sort out Jimmy Saville and the rest. We make the kid undeserving?

    Imagine being a cop who happens to blunder into the Duggan killing as a witness. You have a clear view, see no gun in Duggan’s hand and don’t see the converted pea-shooter found an hour later on the grass, despite standing almost where it was planted (oops!). What do you do? Seems simple, yet write me the future of an officer who tells the truth in such circumstances. Retirement on ill health is the standard precedent. You may think you’d blow the whistle, yet in my experience cops with a plain view claim their eyes were elsewhere. Duggan may have been undeserving, yet far more importantly don’t we deserve best evidence and public scrutiny concerning such incidents rather than costly inquests years to late?

    At the other end we have ‘debates’ on ludicrous wealth that excuse the obscene because Wayne Rooney is paid so much. What would undeserving become in a world provided with basic living and duties to perform certain work? In robot heaven and so on?

  39. johnm33 January 5, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Joe Taylor thanks for that Natcan link on 29th clearest article on the subject I ever read.

  40. BobRocket January 6, 2014 at 3:20 am #

    Re Penny Bloater 23/12/2013

    Lobster Magazine http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/

    Issues from 58 onwards downloadable as a whole pdf or as individual articles.

    Of note is Ramsey’s ‘A View From The Bridge’ in each issue

    My favourite is the first article in Iss62

    http://www.lobster-magazine.co.uk/issue62.php
    (note not suitable for work or minors)

    For those not familiar with ‘The Rise Of The Meritocracy’ here is Micael Youngs’ article on the (ab)use of his concept
    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2001/jun/29/comment

    • old dog January 6, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

      Bob Rocket
      Stumbled on Lobster & Ramsay over Christmas, no idea what took me so long, just started his Prawn cocktail party, a book charting the capture of the Labour party, looking good

      • old dog January 7, 2014 at 12:05 am #

        PS you are on the money,i remember reading that article by Michael Young, fab stuff, thanks for the post.

      • Penny Bloater January 15, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

        Old Dog, I’ve read PCP a few times and heartily recommend it. It charts the sell out of the Labour Party and the growth of financiaisation in the post war period exceptionally well. The 1976 IMF episode is also dealt with in a way that explodes tabloid myths about the 1970s.

        It should be read alongside Curran’s ‘Culture Wars: the Media and the British Left’ which looks at how the Labour Party ‘bought into’ the attack on local democracy and minority interests led by Thatcherism and the tabloids during the 1980s. The book, like Ramsay’s is a real eye-opener.

        These two books pretty much account for the death of the left in British parliamentary politics and I’m sure they will give you plenty to think about. In fact, I’d be interested to hear your views on Ramsay’s book when you have finished it.

        • old dog January 16, 2014 at 10:55 pm #

          Thanks Penny B it’s noted, had a rummage and saw the graun’s review, hardly a mention from that useful ijit Greenslade so bodes well.

    • Penny Bloater January 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm #

      Thanks for that Bob, especially the Lobster links.

      Belated new year greetings to you and everyone on the blog.

  41. dental care January 13, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

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  42. Just me January 13, 2014 at 10:16 pm #

    OT.

    “Iraq: “Devastating” Dossier Lodged with the International Criminal Court”

    http://dissidentvoice.org/2014/01/iraq-devastating-dossier-lodged-with-the-international-criminal-court/

  43. Just me January 14, 2014 at 8:29 pm #

    The Tories/NuLab/LibDems

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/13/north-sea-oil-money-uk-norwegians-fund

  44. Just me January 14, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    “a free market economy is a destructive myth.”

    http://www.jkozy.com/Killing_the_Goose_that_Laid_the_Golden_Eggs.htm

  45. Phil (Mcr) January 15, 2014 at 2:32 am #

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/15/ed-miliband-plans-british-banks-competition

    Labour says it will make long term structural changes to the British economy, including the banks.

    Anyone want to comment on this? Especially regarding obstacles.

    • desmond January 15, 2014 at 1:55 pm #

      does anyone seriously think that our MPs have any power over banks. It should by now be obvious to everyone that banksters run the show and MPs and parliament are just their pubic relations branch.

      • Phil (Mcr) January 16, 2014 at 1:39 am #

        I agree with you absolutely. I can tell you for sure, based on knowing people in the Labour movement, they are afraid of the City. Well, those not of Ed Balls’ ilk.

        But I think it would be good to consider what are the obstacles to getting what we want.

        • Phil (Mcr) January 18, 2014 at 6:02 pm #

          I think the reaction of the media to a relatively small banking intervention from Milliband illustrates just how the status quo is set up and who protects it.

          I understand the frustrations with the Labour party but I think we need to recognise the power of the British Establishment.

  46. Just me January 15, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

    “On February 11, a broad coalition of internet-involved organizations will go online to protest massive electronic surveillance by various governments.”

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=0efecb4fc09fae0cadffec7d0019afb9&showtopic=20958&hl=

    “whistleblowers”

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=0efecb4fc09fae0cadffec7d0019afb9&showtopic=20961&hl=

  47. Phil (Mcr) January 16, 2014 at 1:37 am #

    When the Chief Economist of the FT writes this, you know you’re living in ‘interesting times’

    ”Failing elites threaten our future”

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/cfc1eb1c-76d8-11e3-807e-00144feabdc0.html?siteedition=uk&utm_content=buffer68819&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#axzz2qV0SO1Xy

  48. Phil (Mcr) January 16, 2014 at 1:43 am #

    Ann Pettifor’s book is out, ‘Just Money’

    http://thereturnofthepublic.wordpress.com/2011/04/20/superstition-and-mystery-are-useful/

    ”It is not God who controls our currency but men – by methods that we currently choose not to understand.”

    • Joe Taylor January 21, 2014 at 9:52 pm #

      Got it. £2.99 on Kindle. Cheers Phil

  49. Just me January 16, 2014 at 10:18 pm #

    OT.

    “They’re All Gone”: Shock as sardines vanish off California — Fishermen didn’t find a single one all summer”

    “Posted Today, 04:59 PM”

    http://educationforum.ipbhost.com/index.php?s=5b7bcbd4f8a7e7bd2ac31a3bef3a21c9&showtopic=20965&hl=

    “Natural News”

    http://www.naturalnews.com/043544_contaminated_rivers_radiation_Pacific_Ocean.html#

    • Just me January 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm #

      “Does the lingering aftermath of the crisis pose any danger to people living on the West Coast of North America? ”

      “The documentary concludes that it does not. “The radiation will slowly sink, before harmlessly decaying over decades as Pacific currents turn most of the groundwater toward Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean,” says Professor Aoyama Michio, a scientist at the Meteorological Institute of Japan. But, he adds, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) must remove all the Strontium-90 from contaminated water or it will cause a “big problem” for the whole Pacific.”

      http://japanfocus.org/-David-McNeill/4062

  50. Just me January 18, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    “The Hows and Whys of Gold Price Manipulation”

    http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/01/17/hows-whys-gold-price-manipulation/

    Oh dear!!!.

    • Roger Lewis January 21, 2014 at 7:23 am #

      Hi Just Me,

      Thats a great article, I am not a Gold Bug myself but I have been reading alot particularly about silver and its history from Rome through to the present day. Bryants Cross of Gold Speech, the Crime of 1879, Hume and Lockes wrtitings etc etc.
      That money has periods of being better understood by the public is very clear presently I think there is a renaissance in recovering some of that old Savvy. I read Ezra Pounds ABC of Economics a few weeks ago, he has a lot about Social Credit and Major Douglas.
      All of the periods of turmoil point to concentration of wealth and power, collapse into Tyranny followed by some sort of Revolt.

      The Great Debasement

      Groats of Henry VIII’s last years – note the coppery-brown tone to the “silver”.

      bullet Until Henry’s reign, English currency was made of valuable metals – gold and silver – whose face value was approximately the same as their bullion value. To pay for his wars, Henry decided to mix the silver in his coins with base metal (copper).
      bullet Soon the “silver” coinage was so debased that it contained more copper than silver. Henry’s subjects derisively called him “Old Coppernose” as the copper in the coins tended to show through first on the high surfaces – e.g. the nose of the portrait.
      bullet The debasement of the coinage helped cause rampant inflation, as people demanded proportionally more of the impure coins. The price of imports increased, for foreigners would not accept debased currency.
      bullet The economic disruption caused by debasement and inflation continued into the 1560s; it was only in 1562 that the debased coins were fully withdrawn from circulation.

      Clipping, even sermons against the practice its all there, time and again and the tax farming , Narcisissm the whole lot.

      “The oppressors do not perceive their monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a possessing class, they suffocate in their own possessions and no longer are; they merely have.”
      ― Paulo Freire

      “The radical, committed to human liberation, does not become the prisoner of a ‘circle of certainty’ within which reality is also imprisoned. On the contrary, the more radical the person is, the more fully he or she enters into reality so that, knowing it better, he or she can better transform it. This individual is not afraid to confront, to listen, to see the world unveiled. This person is not afraid to meet the people or to enter into dialogue with them. This person does not consider himself or herself the proprietor of history or of all people, or the liberator of the oppressed; but he or she does commit himself or herself, within history, to fight at their side.”
      ― Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of the Oppressed

      • desmond January 21, 2014 at 11:37 am #

        ZH pointed out that 85 so called human beings own the same amount as half of the worlds population. That is 3500 million people. When gathering possessions people think that they own them when in fact they become owned by them.

      • Phil (Mcr) January 21, 2014 at 7:56 pm #

        Some great quotes there, Roger.

        Is there a difference between Social Credit and a Citizens’ Income?

        • Roger January 22, 2014 at 1:04 pm #

          Hi Phil,
          in practical effect I think there is little difference although hairsplitting differentiation of anything is possible Phil.
          Thomas Paine in Agrarian Justice advocated for a share for all in the natural inheritance of the fruits of the earth as a logical imperative given that in creating private property in a real sense everyone gives up a share of the commons.
          The subject gets very heated as it is loaded with polemical ideology and offends against the Capitalist and Statist faith.
          Cheers

          Rog

          • Phil (Mcr) January 23, 2014 at 11:12 pm #

            Thanks Roger

      • Just me January 22, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

        Everything that is going on, everything they are doing, everything, is being driven by…The preparation for the running out of global resources. What did you think they would do, wait until everything had run out ?.

        We are entering into what will be the most terrible period in the whole of mankinds history, please believe me, everything that has happened over the last forty years was meticulously planned to happen, they are going for total control of the whole planet.

        If you want all the evidence as to what is going to happen, how evil they are, I give the great big history book of mankind.

  51. Phil (Mcr) January 22, 2014 at 1:52 am #

    ”Oxfam: 85 richest people as wealthy as poorest half of the world

    As World Economic Forum starts in Davos, development charity claims growing inequality has been driven by ‘power grab”’

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

    • desmond January 22, 2014 at 5:48 pm #

      thanks Phil (Mcr)

  52. Jesse January 23, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

    So tell us. What is new in Osborne’s Brave New World?

    Are they readying the water cannon?

    UK is a bellwether, so inquiring minds wish that you had a happy holidays,
    but now is the time to return to your good work. lol.

  53. Phil (Mcr) January 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm #

    Nevermind the water cannon. What about the military robots?

    http://iacknowledge.net/us-general-quarter-of-combat-soldiers-to-be-replaced-with-robots-by-2030/

    ”A senior US General has told a military symposium that thousands of combat troops will be replaced by robots in order to manage cuts in US military budgets. He argues that by 2030, a quarter of all combat troops will be non-human. This raises a number of serious questions for America and the world.”

  54. Phil (Mcr) January 23, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    ”Are you opposed to fracking? Then you might just be a terrorist

    From North America to Europe, the ‘national security’ apparatus is being bought off by Big Oil to rout peaceful activism”

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/jan/21/fracking-activism-protest-terrorist-oil-corporate-spies

  55. Joe Taylor January 24, 2014 at 10:13 pm #

    What do you guys make of this business in Argentina?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25877391

  56. Just me January 25, 2014 at 1:15 am #

    Peter Dale Scott

    http://japanfocus.org/-Peter_Dale-Scott

  57. Just me January 25, 2014 at 2:28 am #

    “The Missing TRILLIONS: Where The RICH & MIGHTY Hide The CASH. Tax Havens EXPOSED”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pd2QVvWc6Nw

  58. Just me January 25, 2014 at 2:29 am #

    June 15, 2013

    “Deutsche Bank, 60 times Over-Leveraged and a $72 trillion Derivative Exposure”

    https://alternativeeconomics.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/deutsche-bank-60-times-over-leveraged-and-a-72-trillion-derivative-exposure/

    January 19, 2014

    “German watchdog plans to step up FX probe at Deutsche: report”

    http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2014/jan/19/german-watchdog-plans-to-step-up-fx-probe-at-deutsche-report/

    Jan. 20, 2014, 5:53 a.m. EST

    “Deutsche Bank latest to count the cost of bank probes
    Posts €1 billion loss after taking charge for legal costs”

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/europes-big-banks-count-the-cost-of-probes-2014-01-14

  59. bill40 January 26, 2014 at 3:39 pm #

    Golem,

    Now see what you have started John Ward over at the slog has started his own polemic against the undeserving, or underclass, as he terms them. Quite another barney going on original article here http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/at-the-end-of-the-day-408/

    And the response article here http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/underclass-policy-a-reader-response/#comment-363900

    Including a very cross bill40, where angels fear to tread…

    • Phil (Mcr) January 26, 2014 at 7:53 pm #

      Good response there, Roger.

      You won’t change JW’s mind though.

    • Golem XIV January 27, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

      Oh dear,

      What can I say but sorry. I had thought me aritcle made it clear that I do not think anyone deserves poverty and certainly not to be born into it. I had hoped people would see that my recitation of what everyone says about the undeserving poor is a perfect and accurate description of the underserveing rich. The Slog’s description of the underclass fits the bailed out financial class like a glove.

      My point was to ask why do people fulmiinate against poor shit heads but never against rich ones? But if I did more harm than good then I offer my apology. Not, I realize, that it will do anyone any good.

  60. Just me January 27, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    “It cost friends of government just £8.3 billion to get £53 billion in PFI returns”

    http://www.maxkeiser.com/2014/01/it-cost-friends-of-government-just-8-5-billion-to-get-53-billion-in-pfi-returns/

    “NHS privatisation: Compilation of financial and vested interests.”

    http://socialinvestigations.blogspot.co.uk/2012/02/nhs-privatisation-compilation-of.html

  61. Joe Taylor January 27, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    Reading that book Phil(Mcr) recommended recently, Just Money – How Society Can Break The Despotic Power Of Finance by Ann Pettifor.

    Looking very good so far; example:

    Backed by large swathes of the economics profession, criminals, charlatans, Ponzi schemers and common thieves are effectively granted free rein to rob and loot, to cheat and lie, to evade tax, to launder money, to move vast sums of illicit ‘dirty’ money across borders – and to do so unfettered by law or regulation.

    The transfer of economic power away from sound, elected, accountable institutions to wealthy elites had hollowed out democratic bodies and placed key decision-makers – like the heads of global banks – beyond the reach of the law, of regulators and politicians.

    While our universities turned a blind eye to this capture of a great public good for private gain, knowledge of the monetary system was scant, and sometimes deliberately buried.

    The experience of financial de-regulation has shown that capitalism insulated from popular democracy degenerates into rent-seeking, criminality and grand corruption.

    There need never be a shortage of money to solve the great scourges of humanity: poverty, disease and inequality; to ensure humanity’s prosperity and wellbeing; and the ecosystem’s stability.

    I’ve nowhere near got to her proposed solution yet but I’m expectant.

    So far I’ve only come across two ideas that seem, to my limited perception, to have any chance of actually working: David’s idea of trying to elect a member from each country in the EU and them forming a block to demand financial reform and Positive Money’s idea of widespread lobbying to take the power to create the money supply away from commercial banks.

    Neither would be easy (and David’s idea didn’t seem to get much support) but I think that if they came about they would eventually make a critical difference.

    Those of you old enough to remember John Fowles (The Magus, The Collector, The French Lieutenant’s Woman) may know of his philosophic work,’The Aristos’ ?

    “Before opposing, ask these questions: To what extent do I enjoy opposing? If I could annihilate in one blow all that I oppose, would I make that blow? Will my opposition weaken or strengthen the thing opposed? How effective is my proposed form of opposition likely to be? Is it a pose or a reality? To what extent is it caused purely by a desire to be admired, or not despised, by those I admire? Is there anything else I could oppose more usefully?”

    “So many movements of opposition are Charges of the Light Brigade. And, symptomatically, we admire their failure more than we hate their waste and futility.”

    Look forward to Ann Pettifor’s suggestion. Will keep you posted.

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  63. Just me February 9, 2014 at 8:42 pm #

    “By the passage of this rule, Tim Yeo’s company stands to benefit massively in terms of sales. Tim Yeo is a member of the Conservative Party. Boris Johnson (left) the London Mayor is also a member of the Conservative Party. ”

    http://hat4uk.wordpress.com/2013/02/25/crony-capitalism-boris-johnson-tim-yeo-conflicts-of-interest-ignored-evidence-and-utterly-pointless-london-taxi-regulations/

  64. Someone February 12, 2014 at 10:56 pm #

    “Throwing 13,000 families to the wolves”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-YgWDURE2k

  65. steviefinn February 19, 2014 at 3:19 pm #

    http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2014/02/stay-classy-greg-mankiw-rich-deserve-deserve.html

    Really sums it up.

  66. Just me February 25, 2014 at 3:21 pm #

    “A new policing operation in six London boroughs will treat homeless people like criminals with arrests, harassment and even destruction of personal property to be inflicted on those who cannot afford a home.”

    http://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/homes-not-jails-sleeping-rough-is-not-a-crime-protest-tomorrow-26th-february/

  67. Just me February 25, 2014 at 10:39 pm #

    “The Undeserving”

    “David Cameron, William Astor and the Bahamas”

    http://www.andywightman.com/?p=3040

    “Tenanted land and minority interests”

    http://www.andywightman.com/?cat=8

  68. Just me February 28, 2014 at 1:35 pm #

    ““Something pushed him or affected him in the time before he died and the only thing I can put my finger on is the pressure he felt he was under when his benefits were removed.”

    http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11043378.Man_starved_after_benefits_were_cut/

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Undeserving | Gold and What Moves it. | Sco... - December 17, 2013

    [...] In this season of good will to all and general cheer let us talk of “The Undeserving.” They are an emotive topic. They divide people. Do they exist or are they a political scapegoat? I personally do not feel anyone is born undeserving. But some people achieve it. Some seem to take a cruel and degenerate delight in causing harm. Others become so out of weakness. They are faced with moral decisions in life and they take the easy path of closing their conscience to the harm they do others. We have all seen them. It may not be politically correct to label them for what they are but I do not like political corectness. So let us be honest. The feckless and irresponsible exist. …  [...]

  2. Links 12/19/13 | naked capitalism - December 19, 2013

    [...] The Undeserving Golem XIV [...]

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