Top Billing!!! Pundita’s series “From Economic Collective to Police State”
Part I. From Economic Collective to Police State: Once Americans ceded control over their financial affairs they lost control of everything else, Part II. The Guardians of the Economy make their move: Part 2 of From Economic Collective to Police State, Part III. From Tofu to the Police State, Part IV Modern U.S. lawmaking and the original police state: Part 4 of “From Economic Collective to Police State”
….Mao famously said that all power comes from the point of a gun. Not in a republic it doesn’t. All power comes from the peoples’ control of their monetary wealth. Here wealth simply means an abundance — what money earners have left over after meeting all their expenses including taxes. Whoever controls this wealth rules because while taxation provides representation, only the crushing authority of wealth — how the people decide to spend, save, borrow, and invest their abundance of money — imposes the discipline on government that insures taxation produces honest and adequate representation.
So here is the bottom line about whether the United States will continue to exist as a republic: Just as there’s never been any such thing as a long lived monarch who doesn’t control his wealth, a “rule of the people” can’t last long unless the people control their wealth.
This control works out in practice to the people controlling their banking system. And by “people” I don’t mean “the government of the people.” I mean “the depositors.” I’ll expand on all this later but for any reader who thinks it can’t be that simple — tragically, it is that simple. The clearest indicator of where an independent nation stands on the freedom-oppression index is the state of its banking system, although the indicator is usually viewed, wrongly, as an effect and not a primary cause. But then how many American high school and college graduates have you met who know anything about banking?
The bottom line was overlooked by political parties in the USA. Instead of focusing on the critical issue for a rule of the people, the parties encouraged voters to engage in distracting arguments about taxation and the size of government. All the while Americans ceded more and more control of their financial affairs by cooperating with fiscal and monetary policies designed to stave off another Great Depression.
For example, if the President appealed to the public to spend for the sake of the economy, Americans dutifully spent, even if this meant going into debt. If the Federal Reserve enacted policy that slashed the amount of interest banks paid depositors — policy meant to stimulate greater public spending and investment in the stock market — Americans who depended on income from the interest grumbled but didn’t picket the Fed or chain themselves to bank doors in protest.
In short, there was no need for a draconian regulatory regime or what people consider a police state because Americans were so cooperative with policies that eroded their control of their wealth. Then the Great Recession of 2008 struck. After that, everything changed. Many Americans ceased being cooperative. This alarmed the Guardians of the Economy.
I think Pundita has been reading John Robb….
….Along with Putin’s UN/international law argument he weaves the current situation in Syria and the greater Middle East. The conclusion a reader draws from this description is that overt US military involvement not only faces strong international opposition, but is difficult to see as being in the US national interest or even strategically coherent in terms of the forces our military actions would support. The implication is that this aggressive Syrian policy operates counter to the strategic narrative of the Global War on Terror which has dominated US foreign policy for over a decade.
….This specific crisis is then placed within the larger context of the US foreign policy emphasis on the use of force which has proved “ineffective and pointless”. Not only that, this proclivity has had the opposite effect on nuclear proliferation, since “if you have the bomb, no one will touch you”. So with this context in mind, Putin is inviting the US to “return to the past of civilized diplomatic and political settlement”, a past which the US was fundamental in building and maintaining.
….First, this is an appeal from Russia to the US to start acting once again as a great power. What we see today in US Syrian policy is a policy of strategic incoherence, of a power acting not in it’s own interests but in those of other powers which attempt to utilize US military force for their own ends. We have degenerated in terms of strategic effect to the point where the US acts as a “tool” of other powers. In the case of a US attack on Syria, the interested powers include Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Israel.
Choices are hard.
In a recent op-ed on the Strategic Choices Management Review (SCMR), I challenged those who expected more definitive choices in the review (or those I suspect want to avoid definitive choices). The SCMR was really about establishing a framework for choices that the next QDR must actually make and explain. It’s a two-step process, and I thought that review had set the stage for what will I think prove to be a critically important Pentagon effort for the remainder of this year. We clearly need to match our aspirations more coherently with the resources we will be allotted.
Otherwise, we will remain “strategically insolvent” as my colleague at NDU, Professor Mike Mazarr, has argued in The Washington Quarterly. To improve our solvency, we will have to make some tradeoffs and come to appreciate risk better.
Eeben Barlow –THOUGHTS ON FRAGILE AND FAILED STATES Part 2
Aeon Magazine – (David Barash) Is there a war instinct?
The Scholar’s Stage – Independence and Rights
Ribbonfarm –The Exercise of Authoritah
Kings of War -(Jill Sargent) You Can’t Shoot Rioters*
Michigan War Studies Review –Between Flesh and Steel: A History of Military Medicine from the Middle Ages to the War in Afghanistan