You write in order to change the world knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that [writing] is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter even by a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it.-— James Baldwin
The great threat to our republic today comes not from the hidden bribery of the Gilded Age, when cash was secreted among members of Congress to buy privilege and secure wealth. The great threat today is instead in plain sight. It is the economy of influence now transparent to all, which has normalized a process that draws our democracy away from the will of the people. A process that distorts our democracy from ends sought by both the Left and the Right: For the single most salient feature of the government that we have evolved is not that it discriminates in favor of one side and against the other. The single most salient feature is that it discriminates against all sides to favor itself. We have created an engine of influence that seeks not some particular strand of political or economic ideology, whether Marx or Hayek. We have created instead an engine of influence that seeks simply to make those most connected rich.
Republic, Lost: How Money Corrupted Congress–and a Plan to Stop It, Lawrence Lessig
First, let me apologize for anyone out there among the few thousand subscribers (non-paying) that might have actually noticed the absence of my emailed blog commentaries since last Wednesday. It is rather humbling to say the least, to have once been a mini-me “Master of the Universe” who in his obnoxious and prideful youth was rumored to have been the model for Michael Douglass’s portrayal of Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street, a rumor I must admit to having enjoyed, to have the cable company shut ones internet service off. Even more so for not being able to pay the modest sums to have it reinstated for several days. As master of my own destiny I have arrived at my peonage by acts of my own mind, there is no one to blame but myself.
At times suffering from depression over the past few years, but always a rather substantive case of ADD. Over my career on Wall Street I have made and lost a number of small fortunes, but always seemed able to bounce back to grab the ring one more time. This is, however, a bit like musical chairs with the orchestra playing the “symphony of time”. The risks associated with each loss and the chance of playing again and having a seat when the music stops increases.
Of course, traveling down the rabbit hole of truth can be so damn depressing as well. Reality, for those who care to discard their willful ignorance, that is if they are not among the John Gruberesque innately stupid mass of Americans, is simply put, frightening. If you are not scared by what you have learned and see of reality and truth, you have not remotely looked hard enough or with the enormous energy needed to discard the many years of ingrained propaganda induced self-delusion from your minds. Anyway, apologies for my absence,if you care and more importantly, my apologies for the likely flurry of posts over the next few days.
The sound of the worlds accelerating Chaos is becoming deafening. Needless to say, there is absolutely no chance, none at all that America and the worlds economic, social and geopolitical fabric are not about to become totally destroyed through war, economic and financial market collapse and a fascist tyranny that would have made Hitler envious.
The Spirit Of America is Lost For Good?
Socialism and the State always, always destroy the will to strive and the human spirit to achieve.
There is now, a Spirit of America, the soul of a people, and it is this which has made the United States and which still animates and controls them. The first and most potent factor in the soul of the American people is the spirit of self-reliance.
This was the most dominant and formative factor of their early history. It was the inward power which animated and sustained them in their first struggles and efforts; it was deepened by religious conviction and intensified by practical experience. It took shape in political institutions, declarations, constitutions; it rejected foreign guidance and control, and fought against all external domination. It assumed the right of self-determination, and took for granted the power of self-development. In the ignorant and noisy it was aggressive, independent, cocksure, and boastful. In the thoughtful and prudent it was grave, firm, resolute, and inflexible. It has persisted through all the changes and growth of two centuries, and it remains to-day the most vital and irreducible quality in the soul of America—the Spirit of self-reliance.”
== The Spirit of American, Henry Van Dyke, 1910
In 1910, Henry Van Dyke, a professor at Princeton, gave the Henry Hyde Lectures in Paris France, which were subsequently published that same year with the subtitle title for his lectures To The People of France. The book was, The Spirit of America. Van Dyke wished to convey what he, and clearly many of his contemporaries held to be the core, essential principals that when combined comprised a uniquely American spirit, what we might call now the spirit of American Exceptionalism. He described first, as in the quote above, the first principal of this spirit which he described as the “spirit of self-reliance“.
The next of his five traits of the American spirit was the “spirit of fair play and democracy“. Van Dyke told his audience that “the spirit of fair play, in its deepest origin, is a kind of religion” and further that the deeply embedded sense of fair play in America “appears simply as the wish to conduct trade with just weights and measures, to live in a State which affords equal protection and opportunity to all its citizens, to play a game in which the rules are the same for every player, and the good stroke counts, no matter who makes it”.
Of American’s democratic passions, entwined Van Dyke professed, intimately with the notion of fair play, equality of opportunity and the ability of all citizens to transcend their birth circumstances because every American should be given what Teddy Roosevelt spoke as “the square deal for everybody”. And though he addresses the imperfection of America in achieving this goal universally, it was that the “soul of the American people” answered to these words because Roosevelt had expressed one of their dominant, core ideals.
The third group of principals driving the spirit of America was tilted “will-power, work and wealth“. “la vie intense—which is the polite French translation of “the strenuous life”—”is regarded as the unanimous choice of the Americans, who are never happy unless they are doing something, and never satisfied until they have made a great deal of money”. But it is will-power that is the key attribute that joins as the third core element of America’s energized spirit of the time, “that vital energy of nature which makes an ideal of activity and efficiency. The man ‘who does things’ is the man whom the average American admires”. Work and the will to keep striving, the appreciation of the “strenuous life” and all that must accompany this were endemic in America, an important element in its productive success and its national persona.
Next, in the limited pantheon of the DNA of the American Spirit was what Van Dyke called “love of common order” or “the sentiment of common order, and the building up of a settled, decent, sane life in the community.” “Here we see, in the mild light of unconscious self-revealment, one of the chief ends which the Spirit of America desires and seeks. Not merely a self-reliant life, not merely a life of equal opportunity for all, not merely an active, energetic life in which the free-ill of the individual has full play, but also a life shared with one’s fellow-citizens under the benign influence of good laws, a life which is controlled by the principles of harmony and fruitful in efforts cooperant to a common end, a life rangée, ordonnée, et solidair, –this is the American ideal.”
In other words, community and civic virtue, the common order and the engagement of citizen, of any means, in voluntary associations to work together for common purpose, these were the important ends for the self-reliant hard working American of all stations. It was George Washington retired from his years of unparalleled public service to his country who set this tone from the beginning when he declared that he wished to “partake in the midst of my fellow-citizens, the benign influence of good laws under a free government, the ever favorite object of my heart, and the happy reward, as I trust, of our mutual cars, labors and dangers.”
Finally, Van Dyke comes to the formerly quintessential American trait, the desire for personal development and education, “The Spirit of America shows its ingrained individualism nowhere more clearly than in education: First, by the breadth of the provision which it makes, up to a certain point, for everybody who wished to be educated. Second, by the entire absence of anything like centralized control of education. Third, by the remarkable evolution of different types of educational institutions and the litany of choices that they offer to each student.” This leads to the fifth quality of the Spirit of America which he considers closely connected to the sense of self-reliance and a strong-willpower, “intimately related to the love of fair play and common order—a keen appreciation of the value of personal development.”
In 1910, the Spirit of America was still alive, but unbeknownst to Professor Van Dyke and his Parisian audiences, it was already fraying at the edges. In the forefront were the repudiation of the Founding Father’s adamant warnings about “foreign entanglements” and the start of the American Empire in its true externally driven manifestations, along with the accompanying rise of the military-industrial powers within the halls of government. Second, with the soon to be creation of the Federal Reserve, the beast from Jekyll Island formed in the year of the Hyde Lectures in Paris, a national bank founded by bankers, owned by bankers in order to serve bankers the path of restricted access to wealth and privilege began.
Next the rapacious use of the powers of centralized government by big business to destroy the nascent labor movements through the legislation of totalitarian controls and the acquiescence of the Judiciary, even though the constitution was being trampled upon. The development of fear based assumption of unconstitutional powers was fully fleshed out during these years, as was of course the first government sponsored propaganda machinery in the soon to be inaugurated Creel Commission, aptly named in a pre-Orwellian mockery, The Committee on Public Information, a tool of the Wilson administration filled with what would become the future brains of Madison Avenue. The sole purpose of the CPI was to rapidly change the antiwar, isolationist attitudes of the American people in to a war hungry, fanatically anti-German American nationalism. They succeeded beyond their wildest dreams and subsequently poised in all their naked lies as the studio model for Herr Goebbels only a few years later.
The Spirit of American has been crushed. Self-reliance a thing of the past, as both the power elites of finance and big business and the increasing dependency of the underclass (virtually everyone now, but the top 10% of income) have everyone feeding at the same pig trough of the government redistributionist machinery. Fair Play, come on, fair play is only for the weak and anachronistic in the Crony Capitalist fabricated lies that is the America of today. Will-power, love of work and labor, a strenuous life well served, is all but a joke on the lips of the indolent and those taking advantage of a system that may still reward hard work, but with rapidly diminishing expectations. Love of community, of a common order and bonds, twitter that away. And personal development through education, to what end does this serve in the America of today except to fill the coffers of the banks with student loans and provide the financial system with its much needed doses of debt and credit creation.
Not one, not one, of the well elucidated cornerstones of the Spirit of America by the long forgotten Professor Van Dyke can be said to populate the veins of the American dystopia of today. No politician can renew these core beliefs, now or ever. Renewal must come from the people. It will, but it will not likely arrive boiling in this nation’s blood without radically more pain and social dislocation first. It will not be handed to us. Renewal of the American Spirit will come only out of the ashes of the destruction of the New World Order and out of the flames of our empires inevitable implosion.
The withering away of the socialist, progressive fascism that has created a seemingly impregnable wall of delusion among the people of this nation and the world based based on the false gods of the lies of multiculturalism, the politically correct gibberish and the moral and ethical relativism that the power elites, seeking to destroy all sense of any absolutes, any unassailable truths and all vestiges of belief in the principles of our once essential Judeo-Christian religions, have imposed upon us all. There can only be a few accepted truths today, those dictated to us and enforced by the coercive powers of an unshackled State.
If we are lucky, there is only one year left before the revulsion, the dangerous, but necessary catharsis that will rip this nation and world asunder. It is only when communism, the communism of the West’s power elites, socialism, progressive state interventionism and all of their trappings are totally discredited in the funeral pyre of freedom. The Spirit of America, whether reborn in the existing geography of his nation today, or decentralized as planned in the original Articles of Confederation or in some other form, will arrive but not tomorrow or perhaps, even our lifetime. But one thing is absolutely certain, there can be no permanent central government in Washington DC or anywhere in the land.
28% of men, 40% of women and 39% of youth simply don’t want a job. Must watch!
“Democracy breeds gullibility. Lord Bryce observed in 1 921 , “State action became less distrusted the more the State itself was seen to be passing under popular control. ” The rise of democracy made it much easier for politicians to convince people that government posed no threat, because they automatically controlled its actions. The result is that the brakes on government power become weakest at the exact time that politicians are most dangerous.
Blind trust becomes a substitute for informed consent. But mass trust in government compounds the political damage brought about by pervasive ignorance.
The bias in favor of trusting government brings out democracy’s worst tendencies. The normal defenses that people would have against alien authority are undermined by a chorus of politicians and government officials continually reminding people that government is themselves, and they cannot distrust the government without distrusting themselves. ”
—How Democracy Breeds Political Idiocy, James Bovard
The following is a good read, a worthy read–if I may say so with all humility.