My good friend Taylor recently posted this comment:
Not sure I would use predictions from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to bolster my opinions. Actually that last graph was pretty unpatriotic. Why not put your efforts more into the “here is what I think we can do to see that this country remains/becomes great” instead of “I will enjoy watching you burn.” There are enough nay-sayers on the net already, I think people would rather read and contemplate ideas of salvation (for the economy and country) rather then have reiterated the doom and gloom they already are getting from the media (not to mention from their investment statements).
I see a trend on your blogs to gloat at the circumstances we are in. You do offer alternatives but few seem viable (i.e. returning to the gold standard). I guess what I am trying to convey here is that I want to read your opinion on what can actually be done to better the situations you comment on.
– How can we practically reduce entitlement program spending?
– How can we practically buy out our debt?
– How can we practically curb inflation, raise home value, bolster jobs and growth?
Anybody can tell me the situation is bad…put your efforts into educating us instead? If there is something to be learned from you I want to know it.
It’s not that I respect the words of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that caused me to quote him. After all, how accurate can someone be when the claim that there are no homosexuals in their entire country? But when he is one of a chorus of voices saying that this is the end of the American Empire, it’s worth noting.
In regards to your charges of my lack of patriotism, that would depend entirely on how you define it. If you define patriotism as the willingness to make sacrifices for your country, then I am clearly not a patriot. As far as I’m concerned, I think I’m getting a raw deal on the taxes I pay and I’ll be damned if I sacrifice anything more. But if you define patriotism more broadly to be acting in support of the ideals of liberty on which this nation was founded, then I feel I am being very patriotic.
Our founding fathers, whom we consider paragons of patriotism, were clearly not patriotic to the causes of the British, the ruling government of the time. As Jefferson wrote:
“The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”
I feel Jefferson would be proud of the people speaking out against our government today. I feel he would call us patriots. This, of course, just reinforces the saying that “One man’s patriot is another man’s terrorist.”
In regards to what can practically be done to improve our current situation, my answer is this: nothing. The American political system has rotted to its core. The realities of fiat money have combined with powerful corporations to ensure that what is in the best interests of the people will be hardly given any consideration at all. If that we’re enough, mass media and polling have enabled politicians to shift the political dialogue away from anything meaningful and towards such chestnuts as abortion, gay marriage, and the “War on Terror.” I watch in abject horror as every year our politicians seem to get dumber and more empty. Just when I though George Bush was as low as we could go, McCain dug up Sarah Palin.
That’s not to say that there weren’t meaningful candidates running this year. One person was running for President who say this crisis coming a long time ago, and he was running as a Republican. But the Republican establishment was not ready for someone like Ron Paul. They distanced themselves from him and even went so far as to form a collation to deny him the delegates from the State of Louisiana.
Since you work in the corporate world, here’s a corporate analogy for you. Pretend you were brought in as a consultant to clean up a failing company. The problems with the company were obvious, but when you proposed the obvious solutions, you were told none of them could be undertaken because management wouldn’t allow it. Would you not then call for the ousting of management?
You are asking for new insight into this problem. It seems to me almost as if you were asking for a magic bullet. “Please don’t talk to me about the gold standard and the dangers of fiat money.” you seem to say, “I just want to know what policies we can adopt that will fix this situation (and allow us to go on just as we have been).” Were there is no magic bullet. Nothing will fix what is so clearly broken. You can add all the fertilizer you want. the tree of our nation’s governance died long ago.
The solutions to this problem are as simply as they are unpalatable. Take all powers to control money away from the government entirely and outlaw fractional reserve banking. The resulting monetary system will be run by private institutions who are closely audited by their depositors, and precious metals (or whatever the free market decides) will be the unit of accounting of commerce. Suddenly the government will have to raise in tax revenue all that it spends. When such a day comes, you will notice a sudden and drastic curtailing of government spending, including entitlement programs. Meaningless wars will suddenly shift from convenient exercises to gain public support to the truly horrible actions that should only be taken as a dire last resort that they really are.
None of these ideas are new. Jefferson wrote about them in the late 1700s, as did Murray Rothbard in Man, Economy, and State in the late 1900s. If you’re looking for a sample of Dr. Rothbard’s work, check out his essay on “Taking Money Back.” Times may change, but our situation is not new. But then again I think you knew this. I suspect you’re now saying to yourself how impractical all of these hard money ideas are in our current environment. “There must be some other way to fix the system,” you might ask.
Let me assure you, there is not. Attempts at fixing our current system is as meaningless as rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic. The system is broken, but few seem to realize it. Until the system is allowed to collapse, we are powerless to improve the situation. You yourself once ridiculed me for being a Libertarian as “wasting my vote.” So you now claim to think that there is some meaningful action that I can take?
The system must be shown to be what it is: a failure; a sham; a tragic disaster. It is only from its ashes that we can meaningfully move forward. Only once people clearly understand the folly of the life that they have been leading can we make the hard decisions to take back our liberties from the all powerful nanny state we have built to take care of us all. That is why I am contently and excitedly watching the decay and collapse of the system. I believe I am going to outlive our current system, and it is what lies on the other side of it that excites me.
2 thoughts on “On Patriotism”
Good to hear from you. I have often wondered where you would surface.
When I get a chance I will have to order your book but only if you sign it.
Your blog will now provide me more substance to read while on uncle sams grid….the net.
Good to see you. Hope all is well. Of course I will autograph a copy of the book for you.