Posts Tagged ‘Japan’

Krugman Rising From The Deep

October 31, 2014

Nowadays, I rarely bother to criticize, let alone advise, Obama (OK, I did it on Syria).

The One has become insignificant, it does not matter what he thinks, supposing he thinks at all. (Chuck Hagel, the Defense Secretary just called the policy of the USA in Syria strategically compromised, long term, as it profits the other enemy of civilization, Assad. Hagel is right. Attacking ISIL without taking out Assad is unbalanced. I am sure another Christain, or Druze strongman can be found.)

Soon the entire Congress will be Republican, and the Obama groupies will wonder what happened. Well, they have only themselves, and their reveling, to blame.

What happened is that, while Obama adulators were celebrating, when Obama became president he got surrounded by a thick cloud of plutocrats and their servants. Thus all Obama’s policies were all plutocratic, including (most of) Obamacare.

Unfortunately, the so called “Democrats” were not brainy enough to realize this. They believed that their beige hero would save them all. And, besides, superman like, find a solution to everything.

And, even if “Democrats” had brains, they had neither theory, nor a plan on how to handle the world.

The same problem has arisen with Clinton, Bill, earlier, and with the dimwits of the Socialist Party in power (supposedly) in France: no progress whatsoever.

I can’t reproach right wingers such as Cameron, or Merkel to be right wing. Even Abe in Japan does what he said he would do.

But the left, in Europe and the rest of the West has long been derelict.

Why? How? Lack of correct ideas. They did not think it through.

The best Krugman could suggest, for years, was more money for kleptocratic banks (“QE”), or devaluation (as Abe is doing in Japan). Fortunately, at last, Krugman is changing. As he is the most followed political economist in the world, it matters. Polls in Europe showed that the (Ex(?)-Europhobic Krugman) is the most trusted voice… On the left!

Then, of course, it all makes sense: if Krugman, the most trusted voice on the left, was actually on the right, or nowhere in particular, then no wonder the left was a right, and civilization got off the rails.

Krugman is realizing, slowly, that the debate has been framed by the plutocracy, especially about the lack of investments.

So now Krugman realizes that he and his kind (ex-Fed chief Bernanke) owe apologies to Japan. Says he:

TOKYO — For almost two decades, Japan has been held up as a cautionary tale, an object lesson on how not to run an advanced economy. After all, the island nation is the rising superpower that stumbled. One day, it seemed, it was on the road to high-tech domination of the world economy; the next it was suffering from seemingly endless stagnation and deflation. And Western economists were scathing in their criticisms of Japanese policy.

I was one of those critics; Ben Bernanke, who went on to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, was another. And these days, I often find myself thinking that we ought to apologize.”

Well, indeed, you should: to keep its economy up, the Japanese government engaged in a gigantic effort (its debt is now 240% of GDP… Slightly more than the 90% of Britain or France).

And Krugman to diagnose: “… the West has, in fact, fallen into a slump similar to Japan’s — but worse. And that wasn’t supposed to happen. In the 1990s, we assumed that if the United States or Western Europe found themselves facing anything like Japan’s problems, we would respond much more effectively than the Japanese had. But we didn’t, even though we had Japan’s experience to guide us. On the contrary, Western policies since 2008 have been so inadequate if not actively counterproductive that Japan’s failings seem minor in comparison. And Western workers have experienced a level of suffering that Japan has managed to avoid.”

If it were only workers! Grandmothers and everybody not a banker or hedge fund managers also suffered from Quantitative Easing (which brought savings’ interest down to zero).

So what happened? Krugman again:

”What policy failures am I talking about? Start with government spending. Everyone knows that in the early 1990s Japan tried to boost its economy with a surge in public investment; it’s less well-known that public investment fell rapidly after 1996 even as the government raised taxes, undermining progress toward recovery. This was a big mistake, but it pales by comparison with Europe’s hugely destructive austerity policies, or the collapse in infrastructure spending in the United States after 2010. Japanese fiscal policy didn’t do enough to help growth; Western fiscal policy actively destroyed growth.”

And Krugman to evoke the austerity mistake even in Sweden, and to conclude:

“I’ll be writing more soon about what’s happening in Japan now, and the new lessons the West should be learning. For now, here’s what you should know: Japan used to be a cautionary tale, but the rest of us have messed up so badly that it almost looks like a role model instead.”

I added the following in a comment:

The case of Japan is special: it has collapsing demographics, not compensated, as it is in many Western countries, by a vigorous immigration. Japan also has no indigenous energy to speak of (even its nuclear waste recycling long depended upon France).

It was long obvious to yours truly, that the conditions we are in are worse than in 1930s. The Great Depression of the 1930s happened mostly accidentally; it was a succession of obvious mistakes: a boom, followed by a crash, made worse by a tariffs war, leading to industrial shrinkage, and a liquidation of banks.

Nowadays, it’s different: the planet is crashing, a more serious problem. This could be stopped, but for that the general mindset would have to be different. However, said mindset is constructed by an ever more powerful plutocracy, a few hundred individuals who order the world around.

In particular, the plutocratic mindset has seized the financial sector and the government. The former does not need the public to make money: the financial sector has tricks such as Quantitative Easing up its sleeve, boosted by the continual authorization for banks to cooperate with, or engage in financial piracy.

The latter, the government, refuses to engage in massive public investment, from top notch free public schools, to massive infrastructure to massive public healthcare (if you brandish Obamacare, contemplate its deductibles). Simply because, as a proximal reason, if government goons hold that line, cushy jobs are for them to take when they come out of government.

The way it connects with the financial pirates is simple: money creation is a zero sum game, when pushed to the max. If more money went to the real economy, it would be as much not going to the financial pirates.

Krugman, and his eminent colleagues have not understood this yet, that all the money created for financial thugs, is as much not going for vaccine research, schools, bridges, healthcare, etc. Hopefully, they will, some day. Before that day, do not expect progressive polices to bear fruit, or, even, to exist.

The media, everywhere, is little better than FOX News: it’s a giant propaganda machine which has interest to make the rich richer, and the poor, stupider.

Plutocracy is the metastatic cancer which has invaded, paralyzed all the minds. Before a stunted economy, and decaying society, we are confronted to decomposed minds. And mostly on the left. The right, at least, the plutocratic right, knows how to take care of its own.

Patrice Ayme’

Victimization Is Instinctive

February 1, 2014

Collaboration With Victimization: A Sin To Ruin Civilization.

Victimization is a powerful instinct that encourages masters to become ever more abusive. All masters have it. All those who submit to it, encourage it some more.

Thus victimhood is another drawback of a society with masters and servants, as victimization tends to make it ever more so.

Where does the Dark Side, this gift that enables us, come from? From a set of evolved behaviors that our brains naturally engaged in, from the very way they are. Those behaviors were fruitful in the last thirty million years or so. They enabled our uppity primate ancestors, in their quest for the conquest of everything.

We grew, and changed as a genus, into what we are.

White House Resident Obama says all the time “it’s not what we are” after describing how the USA are. He is living in total denial, so his presidency has consisted into crawling modestly at the feet of great plutocrats, and accomplishing nothing. Why? Because beggars, supplicants and victims, per their nature, accomplish little, except for living in denial. They instinctively resign themselves to be emergency food supply, and finding consolation that way.

(An animal being devoured, flooded with endorphins, does not suffer that much, thus allowing the predator to not suffer an  injury. Injuring a predator is ecologically disruptive!)

Victimhood, and thus impotency, has been the defining characteristic, and great advantage, of Christianity, with its tortured hero hanging from nails, pathetically moaning. That’s why Roman emperors loved to give birth to Christianity, to victimize the population some more.

The end result of all this victimization and victimhood glorified: the quasi-collapse of civilization until the “Franks”took over. That “Frank” meant “Ferocious” (and thus free) is no coincidence: the Franks were the exact opposite, and opponents, of victimhood. As Consul, King and Imperator Clovis pointed out, “if my Franks had been there, this would not have happened”. By “this” he meant all this pathetic moaning on a cross. The Franks did not recognize victimhood as a valid moral posture, that’s why they were able to restart civilization.

Real philosophers are more interested by what we are, than in denying who we are, Obama style.

Instead of claiming that there are no waves on that beach, when periodically a wall of water sweeps ashore, learn to surf them. So goes wisdom.

We are predators, the most efficient predators that ever were. In practice that means our species, for at least 2 million years ate, dominated and killed whatever was in the way. And that did not happen by accident, but by will, and because such is our good pleasure. We got the psychology to kill and dominate.

This domination became total during the Neolithic. Before the Neolithic, in the Middle Earth as anywhere else, lions (or lion like) species were the most numerous (and thus massive, literally) species. Humans exterminated the lions from all the places suitable for rising cattle, and, so doing, as cattle exhale prodigious quantities of methane, modified the climate, avoiding a little re-glaciation.

Thus the concept of “Anthropocene” (the geological age of man) is entirely justified, and we entered it more than 10,000 years ago.

The first megafauna to disappear was that of Australia, when it was invaded by Homo Sapiens hybridized with Denisovans.

In general what does a predator do? Kill. Kill what? Preferably the weak, the sick, the dumb. Most predators engage in a period of observation of the potential prey to determine who the weak are. Predators chose their prey among those who look like the best victims, they are attracted by victims, excited by victimhood. This is a very strong “instinct”… There is a pulsion, even among a simple an animal as a shark, to focus aggression on victims.

That instinct of victimization is no doubt present in humans. That does not mean that it’s simply a sin, something to bemoan, and claim loudly on rooftops that will have nothing to do with it. One may as well bemoan the weather and rain. Because one has no control of it, and, however disagreeable on the moment, it is also a good thing.

What it means is that any system of thought or mood that brandishes victimhood and martyrdom as if it were sainthood is accomplice to aggression. Including, of course, non-violence made into a religion.

Nietzsche perceived this, somewhat confusedly, and riled against victimhood as a religion.

Non-violence (and hate of the British) made Gandhi a self-declared friend of Hitler. This is no anecdote, and it’s no ancient history: Gandhi’s attitude led to the partition of India, and thus a threat of nuclear war (and thus the obstinate desire of Obama to stay in Afghanistan to keep on messing up with Pakistan!).

Now it is increasingly perceived that the Munich conference of 1938 and the Yalta conference of 1945 encouraged Hitler (with the first one) and Stalin. Both Munich and Yalta showed Stalin that, the more a dictator ordered the West imperiously, the more he got.

At Munich and Yalta, leading democracies started to behave like trembling victims, and that excited the predators.

In neither case that was justified: in 1938, the French and Czech armies could have held off the Nazis, while Britain rearmed. At Yalta, the Western Allies, had under their command 16 million soldiers (to Stalin’s 600 divisions). But both Churchill and Roosevelt were weak and close to death. Having excluded the fierce and dashing De Gaulle, who would have no doubt stiffened their spine, was a huge mistake.

(General De Gaulle, heading the hastily constituted French Fourth Heavy Armored division, nearly cut-off the Panzer army in May 1940, and nearly killed the entire Nazi Panzer command, including its chief Gen. Guderian… So De Gaulle was a real combatant, differently from Churchill and FDR. I recognize this, although I don’t like him.)

Except of course, Munich and Yalta were not really a mistakes, from the plutocratic point of view. Whatever weakens democracy is good to plutocracy, so Munich and Yalta were irreplaceable. Indeed, to this day, Russia is an unabashed plutocracy headed by a KGB agent, a spiritual son of Stalin. (And, early on, American plutocrats financed, advised and helped not just Lenin, but also Stalin… However counter-intuitive that is.)

A more recent example? Abe is the Prime Minister of Japan. He, somewhat rabidly, honors World War Two mass murdering criminals of the worst kind (the kind entangled with the worst infamy).

What should the West do? Acting as it has been doing, like a trembling victim again? Chosing the path to victimhood again?

Or lodge a formal protest and withdraw Western ambassadors from Japan for “consultation“? Of course the latter. Japs who have learned nothing important, are apparently still around, calling holocausts they conducted before, heroic, while worshipping the worst souls known to man.

(Japan killed more than 35 million citizens of other countries in World War II, most of them civilians, while losing only two millions or so, most of them soldiers in the Japanese army, from disease. Crying oversized crocodile tears about Hiroshima and Nagasaki won’t change that reality.)

Those Japs have to learn civilization is their master, and it has a sword, and even a few nukes, and the will to use them. At the first clear occasion. Playing trembling victims excusing themselves with Japan at this point would be an exact repeat of what happened in the past: encouraging victimization by behaving like victims.

The plutocrats that led Japan until 1945 were morally identical to the Nazis, albeit with even fewer excuses, and the fact that the Japanese government still does not get that basic monstrosity in 2014 is more than alarming: it turns civilization again into a trembling victim. Again.

Victimhood is no strategy in the defense of civilization. It only invites predation on civilization. And that is also true with all and any inexcusable drift towards the Dark Side (Obama, his drones, and his NSA being another obvious inexcusable drift).

Martyrdom and victimhood are deeply inhuman. They behoove not who we are and how we evolved into the crown of creation.

Patrice Ayme’