Will To Destruction

The West rots in a crazy political crisis propelled by carefully engineered ignorance, misunderstanding and herd like behavior. It has drastic economic, social, and even ecological consequences. None of this is an accident. Instead, it’s the expression of a will. And no, it’s not just a Will To Power, as Napoleon and Nietzsche would have it, in their simplicity, and general lack of cynicism.

Before taking flight above the morass of commonality, let’s roll out Krugman in “Build We Won’t” (07/ 3/ 2014):

“You often find people talking about our economic difficulties as if they were complicated and mysterious, with no obvious solution. As the economist Dean Baker recently pointed out, nothing could be further from the truth. The basic story of what went wrong is, in fact, almost absurdly simple: We had an immense housing bubble, and, when the bubble burst, it left a huge hole in spending. Everything else is footnotes.

From Obama To O Blah Blah

From Obama To O Blah Blah

Krugman pursue, playing naïve: “And the appropriate policy response was simple, too: Fill that hole in demand… In prosperous times, public spending on roads, bridges and so on competes with the private sector for resources. Since 2008, however, our economy has been awash in unemployed workers (especially construction workers) and capital with no place to go (which is why government borrowing costs are at historic lows). Putting those idle resources to work building useful stuff should have been a no-brainer.

But what actually happened was exactly the opposite: an unprecedented plunge in infrastructure spending. Adjusted for inflation and population growth, public expenditures on construction have fallen more than 20 percent since early 2008…an almost surreally awful wrong turn…

And it’s about to get even worse.”

Krugman explains that public spending is evil, because that would increase the deficit. Deficits are evil, when there’s a Democratic government that can borrow at incredibly low interest rates. We can’t raise gas taxes: that would be a tax increase, and tax increases are even more evil than deficits. So public infrastructure can decay.

Krugman does not know if this is politics or madness: “If this sounds crazy, that’s because it is… The collapse of public investment was, therefore, a political choice… how self-destructive that political choice has become. It’s one thing to block green investment, or high-speed rail, or even school construction… But everyone… thinks we need good roads. Yet the combination of anti-tax ideology and deficit… means that we’re letting our highways, and our future, erode away.”

In simple terms:

Trillions of dollars are sitting idle, a huge amount of work needs to be done, around 40% of the working age cohort is not employed. Crazy? Not at all. It’s the logic of the plutocratic phenomenon. Gut the People. We have seen this before, when the Roman empire entered its terminal decay (which took more than two centuries).

Here is my explanation:

Public investments are those made for the common good, because they are too large, or too much about public property, or too unprofitable, short term (fundamental research in science and philosophy).

No capitalist can buy the air, for example. The air is a public good. No private individual ought to be allowed to possess the atmosphere. Thus it’s public investment that has to take care of the air.

And so on.

Of course, civilization has decided that what is the most precious: free will, freedom, life, cannot be owned any more. They used to be, at occasional, crazy points of history, never sustainable: in this country, nearly four centuries ago, slavery was reintroduced, and human beings, and their children could be owned, and abused (the slave trade was unlawful in the Empire of the Franks since 655 CE, in the Seventh Century, the great conceptual, and technical break with Greco-Roman Antiquity).

As the most precious cannot be owned, and traded privately, they can only be taken care of publicly. By cutting down on public investments, the powers that be have decided that what was the most precious was not worth investing into.

So the economy, society, and civilization itself go down.

You may wonder: what usage are the powers that be pursuing, by smothering the most precious values? Are they not suffering too? Well, by making ever more life into a living hell, the plutocrats who lead our politicians feel ever more at home.

Who needs roads, or trains, when one can private jet around? This is exactly the reasoning that was made when plutocrats destroyed the tax base of the Roman Empire: plutocrats did not need roads, they could live in their villas. They did not even need a public army: they had their own private armies. Nor did they need public schools, they had private schooling. It is the same now!

What drives this Will To Destruction?

Something deep in the genus Homo. The Will of Homo To Destroy… Homo.

This is what the plutocratic phenomenon taps into, that Will To Destruction. It is its reason of being.

Patrice Ayme

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36 Responses to “Will To Destruction”

  1. gmax Says:

    Very nice essay! Could you explain further one of these days how the will to destruction differs from the will to power?

  2. pshakkottai Says:

    For a money creator, DEFICIT means created money. At one time the govt and private sector were on the same side of economic balance and if the govt were in deficit, so did the people. Not any more. The new balance is
    FISCAL DEFICIT – TRADE DEFICIT = NET PRIVATE SAVINGS, where FISCAL DEFICIT is created money, created at zero cost and zero interest rate and no debt payments. The fact its name is DEFICIT scares people. Note that FISCAL DEFICIT is the prime mover of the economy. It is supposed to be invested in all commons.At neutral trade, one dollar DEFICIT adds one dollar to PRIVATE SAVINGS and One dollar of wealth.
    This is shown by data in

    http://pic.twitter.com/mIvjkQ18Hh

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      In any case, it’s pretty obvious that, in the “worst” possible case, DEFICIT = TAXES too (see Japan).

      • pshakkottai Says:

        DEFICIT = SPENDING – TAXES = TAXES, means, SPENDING = 2 TAXES. I do not see why this is the worst case. Actually, the economy will work with zero taxes and all SPENDING. The federal govt does not use taxes for anything. The states need taxes because they can’t create money.

        • richard reinhofer Says:

          Well stated. Taxes are only necessary for 2 things, discouraging certain activity and reducing inflation.

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Is that what Partha is trying to teach me? Hmmm… See the comment I am adding to Partha’s comment:

            It’s true, on the face of it, that, instead of going through the Fed’s monetary base, and the private banks connected to it, the Treasury could just print money, as decided for the activities.
            In other words, one could short-circuit the entire plutocratic circus.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Partha: Do you want me to consider the following to be true (as I think it is):

      It’s true, on the face of it, that, instead of going through the Fed’s monetary base, and the private banks connected to it, the Treasury could just print money, as decided for the activities.
      In other words, one could short-circuit the entire plutocratic circus.

  3. richard reinhofer Says:

    Nicely stated.

  4. Benign Says:

    Final paragraph, spelling error: it’s = it is. “Its” is the possessive form.

    The Old Testament put the will to destruction down to not living according to God’s (modern secular interpretation: the System’s optimal) intentions which leads to God’s anger and destruction (systemic collapse).

    The essay touches on a theme prominent in American social psychology as seen in the popularity of the film “Noah.” Also, virtually every long-wave theory requires a forgetting of the hard times and loss of sensible living.

    However, I think the plutocrats honestly think they can win this one (some even believe a nuclear war can be won). They look ahead a few generations (extreme far sightedness for humans) and think that if they accumulate enough wealth they can guarantee their progeny will multiply.

    So you have to believe that the species genetic programming has adapted to population departures from optimality and provides for periodic episodes of collective self-destructiveness which presumably have *some* salutary effects for the species as a whole.

    May the meek inherit the earth!

    • richard reinhofer Says:

      *some* is an enormous leap of faith. It is hard to see how this might be an advantage over generations. A rich man’s great grandchildren who have the advantage of inter-generaltional rent can be guillotined (sp?) and have been thanks to Patrice’s ancestors.

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Hmmm…. Some ancestors of mine traced over more than 1,000 years were ennobled in Carolingian times. They had to do some gymnastics to escape the wrath of the revolution. Several of the main actors of the Revolution, for example the Marquis De Sade and the Comte de Mirabeau were nobles. And the Revolution was pretty much started in 1788 in the salle du jeu de paume (?) of the chateau de Vizille, among nobles (mostly). They requested the Etats Generaux.

        The number of people guillotined during the Revolution was not as great as in other travails of the times. For example, the American Secession war killed about ten times more than the French Revolution stricto sensu (sans the Revolutionary and “Napoleonic” wars attached to it).

        War forces intelligence to become more creative. And intelligence becomes then more of an evolutionary advantage, more of a characteristic of survivors.
        PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Thanks Benign for spotting the typo. It was actually a spell checker error (earlier word version did not have it). There are more and more of these spell checker errors. I got “from” transformed into “form” at least 100 times…

      It’s true that the Will To Destruction is prominent in the Bible. I forgot that.

      I do agree on both of your ominous perspective: the species is not just adapted to periodic devastation, but thrive on them, evolutionary speaking. And yes, the plutocrats feel they are winning. They even feel they are the only one doing anything!
      PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The Will To Destruction is so prominent in the Bible, it is as if God viewed it as an intrinsic good.

  5. Ken Says:

    I believe it is the allowance of ourselves to be ruled that is the root cause. We have only to cap wealth and get rid of royalty to greatly enhance the live of nearly everyone else on the planet. granted birth control would be nice to educate many people about..Too few with to much is always the failure of an empire tho.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Entirely correct, Ken. We allow ourselves to be ruled. The funny thing is that if REPUBLICAN president Eisenhower was back, he would view the present situation as grotesque, and would bring back his 93% margin tax rate.
      The main reason why people are willing to be ruled is that their minds have been captured by celebritism, and well imprinted notions such as that the plutocrats are “philanthropists”, who are “job creators”.

      Whereas of course the way to create jobs is to do as FDR or Eisenhower did. That latter built the freeway system, for “free”, from taxes, calling it a “defense” bill.

      There are relatively few countries with high birthrates left. Nepal went from 6 children per woman down to 2 in a generation. High birthrates are mostly in Africa. Niger is the record holder with 8 children per woman…
      PA

  6. EugenR Says:

    The politics of macro economy is based on two opposing theories, one is a theory emphasizing the demand as a major drive to economic growth and lack of demand is considered as major cause to economic crisis, and the other theory emphasizing the supply as a major phenomena influencing economic growth. Both these theories agree that economic growth is necessary for economic stability, since the capital invested into equities and loans, demands positive yield.
    The Demand side economic theories claims that any kind of increased demand will always be satisfied by increased supply, what means economic growth and they neglect the possibility, that the supply can run into difficulties of limited resources. This views go so far that their followers praise the Fukushima disaster as a positive event for economic growth in Japan. They just don’t take in account the positive economic impact, accumulated assets create on the volume of economic activity and on the general standard of living. They judge economic activity only from point of view of the recent and near future economic current activity. According to this view also the WWII is sometime praised as a positive event that ended the 1929 world economic crisis, though even in US it took years until its economy, as a tool to create standard of living, returned to its prewar level. Of course the damaged infrastructure and social, political disruptions the war caused, damaged the standard of living in the US, not to speak about Europe. There is no need to explain that this economic view supports macro-economic policy with a very short term goals.
    On the other hand the supply emphasizing economic theory sees as the major obstacle to economic growth the limited resources and limited supply capacity.
    Non of these economic theories try to create an economic model, where there is no necessity for infinite economic growth. It would of course force them to thing about economy in a completely different dimensions.
    To my opinion without to be observed, we are heading toward a new economic model, in which money will be inter-mediated without the traditional financial institutions. The very best example is Bitcoin, which still exists, even if the banks try to disqualify it as a trustful financial instrument. Other example is kickstart which opens a direct channel between the entrepreneur and the investor, without need for inter-mediation.
    An other important economic phenomena is the growing number of products available free of charge, that annihilate whole range of services as paid services, and as such doesn’t appear in the GDP statistics. As example for such a service i would mention the availability of academic level education free of charge on the web. We can speak also about films, music at.c. Truth is all this are virtual services, but also products from the real material world are already knocking on the door to enter the markets. Just try to imagine you have a 3D printer at home, and for the evening gala party you want to wear some costume you saw on the web. All you will need to do is virtual instruction how to print the dress. I am sure the instructions will be available on the web free of charge. And here you have a product created just in time.

    • pshakkottai Says:

      Two theories but one accurate equation of conservation of money
      FISCAL DEFICIT – TRADE DEFICIT = NET PRIVATE SAVINGS, an accounting identity, as shown by USA data (applicable to all money creating nations) in

      http://pic.twitter.com/mIvjkQ18Hh

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Totally excellent points, Eugen. Especially about the quality free stuff at the end. I did not think too much about it, actually, in connection with my AWE theory. The basic idea of AWE is that a currency could be created of Absolute Worth from Energy computations (whereas Bitcoin is created from non-sensical (?????), tell me it’s not so, computations…)
      PA

      • EugenR Says:

        Dear Patrice, If I understand correctly your theory, you want to anchor the currency to basic row material item, that seems to be limited and the human civilization can’t do without it. Scarcity of currency is very important, but it has to be stable scarcity. What if some new technology makes it abundant? Then inflation will be inevitable. And the opposite way, meaning too limited energy resource can cause deflation.

        If you ask my opinion what should be the currency anchor, it has to be “SOMETHING”, just in right volume, meaning the right quantity in circulation multiplied by its price that is equal to the volume of products in circulation as explained in my book, viz:
        http://www.amazon.com/What-happens-WORLD-ECONOMY-when-ebook/dp/B00FLXJ5NE

        In today’s system the anchor is created artificially by the central banks, while they manipulate with the interest rates, rules imposed on commercial banks, their regulations and interventions in government security markets. This system has several disadvantages. The main is, it is a very undemocratic system, that gives to much power in hands of too few, who are elected God knows how. They may be clever and even honest, but still very far from being Goddesses. The other disadvantage is the limited effect these monetary tools have. As example i may give, is that the interest rate cannot become negative, or the limited possibility in today’s “Western”, financial system, to force commercial banks to increase lending when deflation prevails, and decrease it when everything seems to run towards prosperity. In Chinese non democratic government system it can be done.

        From my point of view a virtual anchor, based on an algorithm with unbreakable code (if exists such an algorithm) and honesty, could be a perfect tool. Yet this Googlisation phenomenon, I mean free of charge services, make these products very attractive to potential consumers and the consumption will lean more and more towards these products. It means the other products will have to compete with them. Take for example the mass tourist industry. If Google Earth will become a 3 dimensional tour experience, will this mass tourism survive with sometime stupid guides, repeating again and again the same jokes, and telling the same shallow stories? Or people will stick to their chairs and have the tourist adventure right from there?
        I recently experienced in Portugal a tour made free of charge (income of guyed is based on tips) of an unemployed teacher, a historian, giving us a detailed 3 hour history lecture, without compromises and without mentioning Michael Jackson and some other scandalous superstars.
        If my prediction is correct, bigger and bigger part of economy will become virtual and free of charge, and the significance and hopefully also the arrogance of the whole financial system will decline. (As said in some parts of the word, inshallah).

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Eugen: My idea is NOT, N O T, to anchor currency value to raw materials. Actually it’s the exact opposite to some extent, at least conceptually.

          If a precious raw material (say Coltan) is hard to extract, ensure the security of, and transport, it’s going to cost so much in energy expenditure, so factor that. However most human activity nowadays is about services. That’s energy expenditure too.

          And if one employs a PhD, it took ten years (say) after high school of energy expenditure (including on the teachers, forming and feeding them). Factor that.

          In other words, use energy as a measure of value. But then look only at efficient energy (tricky… But no more so that “hedonistic” evaluations of central banks). That’s why I call it Absolute Worth Energy (AWE). Being a single mind, I can’t develop the theory alone, but I have advertised the basic idea to some scientists for more than ten years.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Escaping central bank oligarchy to fall into Google’s maw is jumping from the pan, into the fire.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          The present dominant financial-judicial system rests on military force, and is not distinguishable from “extortion”.
          A word The Economist itself uses in its last issue, in connection with New York vulture justice.
          So we are not dealing here with a system that tries to be good, and falls short. It’s more like an extortionist conspiracy. Tell them there is something better out there, make them scoff inside. They know. That’s the whole idea.
          I have explained for ever and ever that the present public-private fractional reserve money creation system is intrinsically oligarchic and criminal. To throw in another conspiracy, such as Google, won’t help.
          PA

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          There are NO unbreakable codes. We don’t even know what’s the maximal capability of computers out there (because we don’t know what’s the QUANTUM computer capability).
          PA

  7. Paul Handover Says:

    Can we go back to the origins of the universe?

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      The problem for scientists who love science only, is that bad politics leads to bad science. That can be direct, such as de-funding for USA high energy physics, and USA thermonuclear fusion, or weakening in biology.

      That rise of bad science can also be indirect, such as so much competition, researchers spend their time competing instead of searching, and then producing fake results (a major problem in biology).
      PA

  8. EugenR Says:

    Dear Patrice, it seems i didn’t comprehend exactly your Absolute Worth Energy (AWE) theory. I remember reading your essay some time ago. Anyway since i published on my blog my comment above someone turned my attention to the following book;

    http://www.amazon.com/Zero-Marginal-Cost-Society-Collaborative/dp/1137278463/ref=sr_1_sc_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1404667925&sr=8-1-spell&keywords=zero+magin+cost

    I haven’t read it yet but saw the following;

    and his ideas correspond with mine.

  9. gmax Says:

    @ Eugen and the Indian gentleman economist: AWE, as I understand it, uses ENERGY as the currency unit. Beautiful. To avoid counting traffic jams as a plus, as GDP does, AWE counts only the Absolute Worth.

    That’s all possible bcs huge computing power we now have.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Exactly. I even got some mathematicians interested by AWE, but they did not follow through (hahaha). I should write another AWE essay, in light of Bitcoin, and the free economy Eugen speaks of. The latter being an illusion, a momentary illusion, BTW (re-hahaha).

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