Thread: The Global Rat Race

   
   
       
  1. #331
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    EDITORIAL
    By Richard Ebeling - February 17, 2015




    A little more than seventy years ago, on March 10, 1944, there appeared in Great Britain one of the most amazing and influential political books of the twentieth century, The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek, which forewarned of socialist trends in Britain and America that ran the danger of leading to tyranny if taken to their logical conclusions.


    Written during the Second World War, Hayek's main and crucial thesis was that many of the ideological and economic trends that had culminated in the triumph and tragedy of German Nazism could be seen developing and taking hold in Great Britain, where Hayek was then living, and also in the United States.


    Hayek did not argue that either Great Britain or America were inevitably and irretrievably heading for a totalitarian state exactly like the National Socialist regime then existing in Hitler's Germany, and against which the combined economic and military strength of Great Britain and the United States were at that moment in mortal combat.


    But as I shall try to explain, the threat against which Hayek was warning was that there were certain underlying political philosophical and economic policy currents at work in these two bulwarks of Western civilization that if continued ran the risk of moving these countries further away from being societies of freedom.


    A little more than seventy years ago, on March 10, 1944, there appeared in Great Britain one of the most amazing and influential political books of the twentieth century, The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich A. Hayek, which forewarned of socialist trends in Britain and America that ran the danger of leading to tyranny if taken to their logical conclusions.


    Written during the Second World War, Hayek's main and crucial thesis was that many of the ideological and economic trends that had culminated in the triumph and tragedy of German Nazism could be seen developing and taking hold in Great Britain, where Hayek was then living, and also in the United States.


    Hayek did not argue that either Great Britain or America were inevitably and irretrievably heading for a totalitarian state exactly like the National Socialist regime then existing in Hitler's Germany, and against which the combined economic and military strength of Great Britain and the United States were at that moment in mortal combat.


    But as I shall try to explain, the threat against which Hayek was warning was that there were certain underlying political philosophical and economic policy currents at work in these two bulwarks of Western civilization that if continued ran the risk of moving these countries further away from being societies of freedom.


    Great Britain and the United States, Hayek argued, were increasingly becoming politically controlled and managed states in which the individual human being faced the danger of being reduced to a cog in the machine of governmental planning. Individual liberty would be lost in societies of socialist paternalism and centralized economic direction of human affairs.


    The Life and Contributions of F. A. Hayek


    Friedrich August von Hayek was born on May 8, 1899 in Vienna, in the now long gone Hapsburg Empire of Austria-Hungary. While still a teenager he served in the Austro-Hungarian Army during the First World War, seeing military action on the Italian front. When released from military service shortly after the end of the war in November 1918, he entered the University of Vienna in an accelerated program that enabled him to earn a doctorial degree in jurisprudence in 1921. Two years later in 1923, he earned a second doctoral degree in political economy from the University of Vienna.


    Hayek's first international reputation was as one of the most highly regarded economists of the 1920s and 1930s, the years between the two World Wars. With the assistance and support of his mentor and friend, the well-known Austrian economist, Ludwig von Mises, Hayek became the founding director of the Austrian Institute for Business Cycle Research in 1927, a position that he held until the summer of 1931.


    Hayek was invited to deliver a series of lectures at the London School of Economics in January 1931 on what has become known as the Austrian theory of money and the business cycle, which resulted in his being offered a professorship at the London School, a position that he accepted and took up in the autumn of 1931.


    His lectures were published shortly after under the title, Prices and Production. Along with his other writings during this period of the 1930s, he was soon recognized as one of the foremost monetary and business cycle theorists in the English-speaking world, and as a leading critic of the emerging new Macroeconomics of the Cambridge University economist, John Maynard Keynes.


    Also in the 1930s and 1940s, Hayek was an outspoken critic of socialism and government central planning, editing and contributing to a collection of essays on Collectivist Economic Planning (1935); his two most famous writings on this theme during this period were his book, The Road to Serfdom (1944) and an article on "The Use of Knowledge in Society" (1945).


    At the beginning of the 1950s, Hayek moved to the University of Chicago here in the United States. But his attention had turned from economic theory and policy in the narrow sense to the broader problems of social and political philosophy and the nature of societal order and the competitive market system. These interests culminated in two major works, The Constitution of Liberty (1960) and Law, Legislation, and Liberty that appeared in 3-volumes between 1976 and 1979.


    In recognition for his work on monetary and business cycle theory and his analysis of social evolution and the institutional structures of human society, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1974. Friedrich Hayek died on March 23, 1992, at the age of 92.


    Growing Collectivism in Great Britain and America


    As I pointed out, when The Road to Serfdom was published Great Britain and the United States were engulfed in a global war, with Nazi Germany as the primary enemy and Soviet Russia as their primary ally. In 1944 the British had a wartime coalition government of both Conservative and Labor Party members, with Winston Churchill as its head. During these war years plans were being designed within the government for a postwar socialist Britain, including nationalized health care, nationalized industries, and detailed economic planning of both industry and agriculture.


    For the eight years before America's entry into the war Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal had transformed the United States through levels of government spending, taxing, regulation, and redistribution the likes of which had never before been experienced in the nation's history. Many of the early New Deal programs had even imposed a network of fascist-style economic controls on private industry and agriculture; the only thing that prevented them from being permanently in place were a series of decisions by the Supreme Court that declared most of these controls unconstitutional in 1935.


    At the same time, the Soviet Union was frequently portrayed as a model – however one rather rough around the edges – of an ideal socialist society, freeing "the masses" from poverty and exploitation. The Nazi regime, on the other hand, was usually depicted as a brutal dictatorship designed to maintain the power and control of aristocratic andcapitalist elites that surrounded Hitler.


    Nazism an Outcome of Bismarck's Welfare State


    Hayek's challenge in The Road to Serfdom was to argue that German Nazism was not an aberrant "right-wing" perversion growing out of the "contradictions" of capitalism, as Marxists and many other socialists insisted.


    Instead, Hayek documented, the Nazi movement had developed out of the "enlightened" and "progressive" socialist and collectivist ideas of the pre-World War I era in Imperial Germany, ideas that many intellectuals in England and the United States had praised and propagandized for in their own countries in the years before the beginning of the First World War in 1914.


    Large numbers of American graduate students went off to study at German universities in the 1880s, the 1890s, and the first decade of the 20th century.


    They returned to the United States and spoke and wrote about a new and higher freedom observed in Germany, a "positive" freedom provided through government welfare state paternalism rather than the mere "negative" freedom of individual liberty in the form of absence of coercion in human relationships as practiced in America.


    It was in Bismarck's Germany during the last decades of the 19th century, after all, that there had been born the modern welfare state – national health insurance, government pension plans, regulations of industry and the workplace – and a philosophy that the national good took precedence over the interests of the "mere" individual. In this political environment Germans came to take it for granted that the paternalistic state was meant to care for them from "cradle to grave," a phrase that was coined in Imperial Germany.


    Two generations of Germans accepted that they needed to be disciplined by and obedient to the enlightened political "leadership" that guided the affairs of state for their presumed benefit. Beliefs in the right to private property and freedom of exchange were undermined as the regulatory and redistributive state increasingly managed the economic activities of the society for the greater "national interest" of the German fatherland.


    The German government restricted competition and fostered the creation of monopolies and business cartels under the rationale of directing private enterprise into those avenues serving the higher interests of the German nation as a whole.


    Germany's trade with the rest of the world was hampered by taxes and tariffs designed to shift German industry and agriculture into those forms the government considered most useful to prepare the nation for greater self-sufficiency during the war that was expected to come, and which finally broke out in 1914.


    By 1933, Hayek argued, fifteen years after Germany's defeat in the First World War, when Adolf Hitler came to power during the Great Depression, the German people not only accepted the idea of the "führer principle," – the belief that people should follow and obey the commands of the political leaders of the nation – but many in German society now wanted it and believed they needed it. Notions about individual freedom and personal responsibility had been destroyed by the philosophy of collectivism and the ideologies of nationalism and socialism.


    But Hayek's main point was that this tragic history was not unique or special to the German people. The institutional changes that accompanied the implementation of socialist and interventionist welfare-state policies potentially carried within them the seeds of political tyranny and economic servitude in any country that might follow a similar path.


    Government Planning Means Control Over People


    The more government takes over responsibility for and control over the economic activities of a society, the more it diminishes the autonomy and independence of the individual. Government planning, by necessity, makes the political authority the ultimate monopoly, with the power to determine what is produced and how the resulting output shall be distributed among all the members of the society.


    Belief in and expectation of government paternal care from the everyday vicissitudes of life, employment, and enterprise, Hayek insisted, weakens the spirit of self-reliance and independence. It makes for a more passive people who lose any sense of a loss of personal freedom and autonomy, as they increasingly cannot imagine a world in which government does not guaranteed many if not most of the necessities and amenities of human existence.


    But it is not only economic independence that is lost as the government extends the safety nets of welfare statism and expands regulatory and planning control over society.


    What personal and intellectual freedom is left to people, Hayek asked, when the government ownership of industry or heavy-handed regulation of business has the ability to determine or influence what books will be printed or movies will be shown or plays will be performed? What escape does the individual have from the power of the state when the government controls everyone's education, employment, and consumption?


    He also warned that the more that government plans production and consumption, the more the diverse values and preferences of the citizenry must be homogenized and made to conform to an overarching "social" scale of values that mirrors that hierarchy of ends captured in the central plan.


    Each Free Man an End in Himself and a Means to Others' Ends


    One of the hallmarks of a free society in which people associate and cooperate through the networks and institutions of the market economy is that each individual is at liberty to peacefully pursue those interests, inclinations, and desires that suggest themselves as a source of personal meaning and happiness for him.


    The more developed and complex the market society becomes with a growing population, the more there will emerge and develop diverse conceptions of the good life among people.


    In the competitive market order there is no need or necessity for society-wide agreement about desired ends and goals among its members. In the division of labor of the market order, individuals earn the living that enables them to have the financial wherewithal to pursue the self-interested purposes that give value and meaning to their own lives by specializing in the production and sale of goods and services that serve as the means to the desired ends of others.


    Thus, in the liberal, free market society, every man is an end in himself with his own chosen scale of values reflecting what he considers important and worthwhile. And each can try to attain those values by producing and supplying others in trade with the goods and services that serve as the means for trying to achieve their respectively chosen ends.


    Fulfilling the Government Plan Requires Obedience by All


    One of Hayek's central points was the fact that a comprehensive system of socialist central planning would require the construction and imposition of a detailed system of relative values to which and within which all in the society would have to conform, if "the plan" imposed by the government was to succeed.


    This was the origin of Hayek's warning that government central planning ran the danger of becoming tyranny and a new form of "serfdom," since any meaningful dissent in word or deed could not be permitted without threatening the fulfillment of the goals of the government's plan. All would have to be assigned to their work, and be tied to it to assure that "the plan" met its targets.


    Even dissent, Hayek warned, becomes a threat to the achievement of the plan and its related redistributive policies. How can the plan be achieved if critics attempt to undermine people's dedication to its triumph? Politically incorrect thoughts and actions must be repressed and supplanted with propaganda and "progressive" education for all.


    Thus unrestricted freedom of speech and the press, or opposition politicking, or even observed lack of enthusiasm for the purposes of the state becomes viewed as unpatriotic and potentially subversive.


    Rule of Law or Unequal Treatment for Equal Outcomes


    In addition, the classical liberal conception of an impartial rule of law, under which individuals possess equal rights to life, liberty, and the peaceful acquisition and use of private property, would have to be replaced by unequal treatment of individuals imposed by the political authorities to assure an ideologically preferred redistributive outcome.


    In the free society, equality of individual rights under rule of law inevitably means an inequality of economic outcomes. Men widely differ in how they use and take advantage of their equal rights to life, liberty and property. We all know that people are far from being the same in terms of inherited traits and potentials, as well as attitudes and inclinations concerning acquiring an education, working hard, and being willing to make personal sacrifices in the present for some hoped for and possible greater benefits in the future.


    In addition, our fellow men value more highly some things than others and are willing to pay more to get them. This means that some of us, as a result of intelligent forethought in deciding what occupations and trades to undertake, the education and skilled talents to acquire, as well as general circumstances and even a bit of luck, will earn higher salaries than those who market less valued goods and services in the eyes of the buying public.


    To make people more "equal" in terms of the economic outcomes that emerge in the marketplace requires people to be treated very differently by the political authority responsible for that equalization.


    In the foot race of life, it is inevitable that some will speed ahead of others in terms of financial and other forms of social success. But if the government is assigned the task to reduce these disparities, then it must place weights on the ankles of some in the form of taxes and regulations to slow down their outdistancing the others, while those others must be allowed to cut across the field in the form of wealth transfers, subsidies or other special treats provided by the government so they can catch up with or get ahead of those in front of them on the racecourse of society.


    But, asked Hayek, by what benchmark, other than prejudice, caprice, or the influence of interest groups, would or could the planners make their decisions concerning who would be treated better and who worse in the form of government interventions, regulations, redistributions and controls? How will it be found out who is more deserving or meritorious for government differential benefits at the expense of others?


    Who is more deserving? The man to whom things such as learning and luck often seem to come easily but who has eight children, a sick wife and an elderly mother to care for? Or a man to whom luck never comes, has to work hard for everything he finally gets but has only himself and a one high school honors student daughter to take care of?


    And if it is replied that the answer to that requires detailed gradations of evaluation and judgment, then in whose evaluating and judging eyes and on what standard or benchmark of relative merit, deservedness and neediness shall the decisions be made by those in government?


    The means available are always insufficient to attain all our desired ends, and some in the society will invariably consider any politically decided trade-offs in these matters to be unfair, unjust, and uncaring.


    Whether a dictatorial minority or a democratic majority makes such decisions, there is no escape from the imposition of advantages and disadvantages given to or imposed on different members of the society by those in political authority, and upon whom the individual becomes dependent and subservient for the social and material fortunes and misfortunes of much if not all of his life.


    Why the Worst Get on Top


    Finally, in one of the most insightful chapters in the book, Hayek explained why, in the politicized society, there is a tendency for "the worst to get on top." Fulfillment of the government's plans and policies requires the leaders to have the power to use any means necessary to get the job done.


    Thus those with the least conscience or fewest moral scruples are likely to rise highest in the hierarchy of control. The bureaucracies of the planned and regulated society attract those who are most likely to enjoy the use and abuse of power over others.


    One form of this in Hitler's Nazi Germany was known as what was called "working towards the Fuhrer." In 1934, a senior Nazi government official told his subordinates, "It is the duty of every single person to attempt, in the spirit of the Fuhrer, to work towards him." And, "the one who works correctly towards the Fuhrer along his lines and toward his aim will in future as previously have the finest reward . . . "


    As historian Ian Kershaw explained in his biography, Hitler, 1889-1936 – Hubris (199, "The way to power and advancement [in the Nazi regime] was through anticipating the 'Fuhrer's will', and, without waiting for directives, taking initiatives to promote what were presumed to be Hitler's aims and wishes."


    As Kershaw continues, "Through 'working towards the Fuhrer', initiatives were taken, pressures created, legislation instigated -- all in ways which fell in line with what were taken to be Hitler's aims and without the dictator necessarily having to dictate."


    In this instance, the government bureaucrat was stimulated by his superiors to anticipate Hitler's will in instituting policies and actions in the hope for material gain and promotion within the Nazi hierarchy, and to do so with often brutal ruthlessness to the misfortune of many helpless victims.


    Those who pursue such careers and who are willing to introduce and implement whatever policies necessary in the name of explicit or implicit government goals will be those who often care little about the unethical and immoral conduct that holding such political positions will require of them.


    But there are others who may be led to do things in their government role and position that as a private individual in their personal life they would consider immoral or unethical behavior. This often is due to a person's confidence of patriotic purpose and belief in his superior understanding of what must be done regardless of the violation of other people's rights or the sacrifices imposed on other members of society to attain the greater "national" or "social" good.


    With the realization that it is a controversial subject, let me suggest that a type of person who searches out employment and specialized surveillance work in the National Security Agency because he truly believes that there are potential "enemies" everywhere threatening harm to the "homeland" is highly likely to be a person who gives few second thoughts about whether intruding into the privacy of ordinary people's emails, phone conversations, text messages, and private computer documents is unethical, illegal or even simply "bad manners."


    Indeed, the more zealous among such types of individuals will at the end of their workday not lose sleep due to a guilty conscience that a human being's privacy rights have been violated. He is more likely to be thinking of tomorrow's day of work and how he can find ways to do it even more effectively, regardless of high much more other people's rights and privacy might have to be abridged in the attempt to attain the highly allusive goal of "national security."


    Indeed, way back in 1776, the famous Scottish economist, Adam Smith, warned about such people in government, when he said that nowhere would such political power "be so dangerous as in the hands of a man who had folly and presumption enough to fancy himself fit to exercise it."


    Men are easily subject to arrogance and hubris, and never is that human weakness so to be feared as when government has the power that allows such individuals to practice their pretensions of superior knowledge and wisdom over their fellow human beings.


    The Continuing Relevance of The Road to Serfdom


    It may be asked how relevant remains Hayek's arguments and warnings more than seventy years after the appearance of The Road to Serfdom? After all, Nazi- and Soviet-style totalitarian socialism, with their attempts to comprehensively control and plan every facet of human life, and with a ruthlessness and violence unsurpassed in any period of modern history, are now things of past. They are closed chapters in the history of the 20th century.


    First, as I said earlier, Hayek never claimed and went out of his way to insist that he was not forecasting that Western nations like Great Britain or the United States would become carbon copies of either Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.


    What he did say was that the more governments extended their power and control over the personal, social and especially economic affairs of the private individuals of society, the less freedom of choice and decision-making would the individual continue to retain in his own hands.


    The less flexible and dynamic would become the society, with the greater the direction of production, investment and employment under the influencing hand of government agencies, bureaus and departments.


    The wider the net of welfare state dependency and guarantees for the circumstances of everyday life, the weaker would become the sense of initiative, self-reliance, and risk-taking to improve one's own life.


    The type of serfdom that has increasingly enveloped parts of human life in the Western world was, in fact, anticipated with concern and fear by the 19th century French social philosopher, Alexis de Tocqueville, in his study of Democracy in America published in the 1830s:


    After having thus taken each individual one by one into its powerful hands, and having molded him as it pleases, the sovereign power extends its arms over the entire society; it covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated, minute, and uniform rules, which the most original minds and the most vigorous souls cannot break through to go beyond the crowd; it does not break wills, but it softens them, bends them and directs them; it rarely forces action, but it constantly opposes your acting; it does not destroy, it prevents birth; it does not tyrannize, it hinders, it represses, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally it reduces each nation to being nothing more than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.


    I have always believed that this sort of servitude, regulated, mild and peaceful, of which I have just done the portrait, could be combined better than we imagine with some of the external forms of liberty, and that it would not be impossible for it to be established in the very shadow of the sovereignty of the people.


    The Freedom We have Lost


    Ask yourself, what corners of your daily life, in its most mundane and important aspects, are not controlled, regulated, planned, and overseen by the guiding hand of government?


    Americans are free to say whatever they want – as long as it does not offend any ethnic, gender or racial group. They can pursue any career they choose – as long as they have been certified or licensed and have successfully passed inspection by an army of state regulators.


    Americans may come and go as they please – as long as they have been approved for a government-issued international passport, declared whether they are carrying more than $10,000 in currency, reported all taxable or forbidden items they wish to bring into the country, and have not attempted to visit any foreign lands declared off-limits by the state.


    They may buy whatever satisfies their fancy – as long as it has been manufactured, packaged, and priced according to government standards of safety, quality, and fairness, and as long as it has not been produced by a foreign supplier who exceeds his import quota or who offers to sell it below the state-mandated "fair market price."


    Americans may go about their own affairs – as long as they send their children to government schools or private schools approved by the state; as long as they do not attempt to employ too many of a particular ethic, gender, or racial group; as long as they do not attempt to plan fully for their own old age rather than pay into a mandatory government social security system.


    They may enter into market relations with others – as long as they do not pay an employee less than the government-imposed minimum wage; as long as they do not attempt to construct on their own property a home or a business in violation of zoning and building ordinances; that is, as long as they do not try to live their lives outside the permissible edicts of the state.


    And Americans freely take responsibility for their own actions and pay their own way – except whey they want the state to guarantee them a job or a "living wage"; except when they want to state to protect their industry or profession from competition either at home or from abroad; except when they want the state to subsidize their children's education or their favorite art or the preservation of some wildlife area, or the medical research into the cure of some hated disease or illness; or except when they want the state to ban some books, movies, or peaceful acts between consenting adults rather than trying to change the behavior of their fellow men through peaceful persuasion or by personal example.


    That many who read such a list of lost freedoms in the United States will be shocked that anyone should suggest that the state should not be concerned with many or all of these matters shows, I would suggest, just how far we have come and are continuing to go down a road to serfdom.


    Restoring a Philosophy of Individual Rights


    Yet, a hundred years ago before the First World War, when the citizens of the United States still lived under the influence of 19th century classical liberalism with its emphasis on individual liberty, free enterprise, limited government and voluntary association to service and solve many of the "social problems" of modern society, most people would have strongly opposed anyone who suggested that the government should envelope society with such a vast spider's web of paternalistic plans, regulations, controls and redistributions.


    It would have been considered "socialistic" and "un-American," and not only by some supposed "right-wing fringe group" but by a wide consensus of the American people as a whole.


    If we are to find a way to get off this road to paternalistic serfdom that has been weakening an understanding and draining existence out of the free society, the first task is to appreciate how this came about and what its implications can be.


    Most importantly, the immorality of collectivism, with its insistence that the individual must live and sacrifice his life for "the tribe, "the nation," "the society" must be wholeheartedly challenged and rejected. And in its place we must recover a sound and rational philosophy of individual rights that defends and respects the right of every human being to live his own life for himself as the core ethical concept in all human relationships.


    As part of undertaking this task, Friedrich Hayek's Road to Serfdom still serves an invaluable role in explaining how this road was first entered upon, what it led to in the middle decades of the 20th century and why government planning and regulation carries within it a loss of personal freedom and choice, and undermines the human spirit of creative thought and self-responsibility from which have come all the great accomplishments of mankind.


    This is why The Road to Serfdom remains a classic of political and economic ideas that still speaks to us in our own time, and why anyone who values liberty and fears for its diminishment and loss can do no better than to open its pages and absorb its lessons.
    (The text is based on a talk delivered at the College of Coastal Georgia, St. Simon Island, Georgia, February 12, 2015.)
    py

  2. #332
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    How do you avoid being manipulated by the Globalists?

    BEYOND LEFT AND RIGHT — WHERE DO WE GET OUR NEWS?

    Sat, 11 Apr 2015 08:00:00 PDT

    By Foster Gamble
    People are often asking us at Thrive, “Where do you get your news? And how do you sort out what’s true?” Following is a commentary on political tribalism vs. ethics and critical thinking, and at the end of this blog is a partial list of the many sources that we continually review.


    I spend about 40 hours a week researching the current state of the world, both the problems and the solutions. I track the funding of the sources I rely on, as well as their political affiliation. One of my favorite ways to learn and to hone my critical thinking is to expose myself to “expert” sources that disagree with one another. Rarely do I end up agreeing 100% with any source of news or analysis. But agreement is not what I’m after. It’s understanding the patterns that underlie the events, and culling out the principles from which to generate lasting solutions.
    When considering any source of news, I ask a few fundamental questions:



    • What are they saying?
    • What do they want me to believe?
    • What is their proposed or implied solution?
    • Does it rely on violence and coercion/political power or ethical principles?
    • What strategies and tactics are offered to achieve their stated goal?
    • Who funds the research or the outlet?

    SHARED VALUES — DIFFERENT FAILED STRATEGIES


    Other than the small number of banking elite who seek total global domination, almost everyone I’ve met shares a desire for a world that has thriving people and a robust and healthy environment. The disparity comes in when figuring out how to achieve these shared values.


    One thing that most people from both ends of the political spectrum are good at is shining a light on the weaknesses, the contradictions, the corruption and the immorality of “the other side.” And that is one of the main reasons why I listen to so many of them. Another is that listening to corporate and foundation-funded news shows me not so much what is happening, but what the big institutions and the financial elite want me to believe is going on and how they want me to think about it.



    At the grand scale of highly visible and highly funded political news, we have people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Fox News on the right. On the left we have CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, Rachel Maddow, Amy Goodman, Thom Hartman, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher and Jon Oliver. (I know…I haven’t been able to find right wing humor shows either… I think they balance that out with the domination of AM radio by very serious Religious Fundamentalists.) Then there are some whose commentary and philosophy lifts off the plane of partisan politics, and while they are often unaware of transition strategies or other important distinctions, they get into the realm of rational, universal ethics and their practical application — people like Stefan Molyneux, Lew Rockwell and Larken Rose.



    The biggest commercial players, including the nightly news and the Sunday TV talk shows are punctuated by a blitz of commercials from: the pharmaceuticals (Merck, Pfizer, Bayer…), the banks (Chase, Citigroup, B of A…) and the military industrial complex (Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, Halliburton…). So whose drum do you think they are marching to?


    I see the headlines in various online newsletters that I receive, as they expose abuses of power by the Fed, FDA, NSA, CIA, Big Pharma, Ag, Media, the military and the government… the schemes, scams, corruption and wars being cited are almost identical. Often a newcomer would not know what political viewpoint was being represented until usually, near the end of the article, when it’s time to say some version of, “And the solution is…vote in ourenlightened leaders. They’ll fix it.”



    Except that they never have…and when looking logically, I cannot see that they ever will. When the Right is in charge, we get more war, more consolidation of corporate power and more patriarchal restrictions on social freedoms. And, of course, more wealth and power to the bankers and politicians.


    When the Left is in charge, we get more taxes, more people rendered dependent on welfare, more inept, disempowering government control of healthcare, education, the media, etc. And, of course, more wealth and power to the bankers and politicians.
    THE BOTTOM LINE


    In fact, partisan politics has taken us to the brink of nuclear, financial and environmental catastrophe. Almost every region on Earth has been broken into “nation states” and those which have moved beyond dictatorship all have “parties” which battle each other through propaganda, bribes and votes (often rigged) to claim the power to rule. For some period of time a collective of individuals with a name, a slogan and an ideology tell us what we have to and cannot do in our lives. After the resulting dissatisfaction, another group eventually gets “voted in” and the rules change a little.



    Meanwhile the suffering of people, the depletion of resources, the elimination of species and languages, and the degradation of the environment all grow, and yet most people continue to think that if they could only get their party in charge, things would get better. But it doesn’t. Throughout history it gets worse as the deceptions, the weapons and the tyranny grow.
    The bottom line is that adhering to political party dogma undermines critical thinking. It pits individuals against each other — to trap them inside a never-ending game of “I’m right and you’re wrong” so that we don’t see what is really going on and create the true, lasting solutions.


    I believe it’s time to step back and take a profoundtranspartisan look — into and beyond politics itself, if we want to survive and thrive. The word “transpartisan” is not yet in most dictionaries. That’s a telltale sign. It should be. Let’s help launch its widespread use.
    The military uses the word “partisan” to describe someone who is “a member of a party of … troops engaged in harassing an enemy.”


    The civilian definition is “a person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance to a group, party or cause.”
    After literally decades of nearly full-time research and analysis, I am convinced that partisan politics is designed to distract us from a fundamental question: How did some people get the power to rule others? I realize that having some group in power is supposed to be a given in our global culture, but so is fiat currency. That doesn’t make it legitimate, or good for people.

    THE BIRTH OF OUR CURRENT SYSTEM


    How did it happen? Most often people just assume that because we’ve always had parties, this is the best we can do. Certainly democracy is better than the royalty-based tyranny and subsequent dictatorships it has evolved from, but that doesn’t mean it’s the endpoint. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” The Norman conquest of England and the key Battle of Hastings in 1066 is what resulted in King George of England having authority over the colonies, which later became the states, which later became the nation. This whole ‘power over’ paradigm stems from the conquering of a people and region by force of arms.

    In essence, violence is at the very foundation of government and the partisan politics that support it. As Stefan Molyneux said, “It’s not just the abuse of power that’s the problem, it’s the power to abuse.”


    Involuntary power over others has always been achieved by force, and to this day is maintained by the threat of violence. You will be imprisoned if you do not agree to the terms imposed by those who claim power. I believe unequivocally that this can and must change. With the level of weaponry and the dangerous ideology that supports its use, it seems high time to consider solutions that are truly non-violent.

    NON-AGGRESSION PRINCIPLE


    This is where the Non-Aggression Principle comes in, and why we at Thrive are devoting our time and resources to the further discovery and implementation of what Gandhi referred to as Hind Swaraj — self-governance — based on the principle that no one can violate another against their will. This provides a system for accountability, where those who assault, deceive, and steal from others or pollute the resources upon which we all depend are personally liable for the violations they cause. This, rather than more partisan politics, is what we believe can and will bring lasting peace and further our true conscious evolution.


    History has proven that results reflect the means of any action. We may achieve temporary control through coercion, but we never achieve lasting peace. And yet Left and Right so-called solutions are equally responsible for coercive strategies that leave individuals fundamentally disempowered. On the Left, it’s by consolidating domination over education, finance, media and everything else related to personal well being into the hands of government at the expense of individual rights. On the Right, they want to control us in the boardroom, the bedroom, and on the battlefield — by supporting unfair advantage with crony corporatism (with its subsidies and bailouts) and war-mongering on behalf of the multinational corporations, as well as religious and social intolerance.

    THE DRAW OF THE LEFT AND THE RIGHT



    It seems many are drawn to be on the team of Certainty on the right. The dismissive condescension and righteous anger of a Limbaugh, O’Reilly or Hannity is like a safe haven for the uninformed. Be on the Red team and avoid their disdain.


    On the Left, Social Acceptability is an especially subtle but mighty club. A good chuckle feels great in the face of on-going disasters, and siding with the biting sarcasm and partisan irony of new comics like Stewart, Maher or Oliver is comforting, as long as you agree with their view that Liberals should rule. Be on the blue team and you’re both in on the joke and obviously superior to the stupidity and evil of the Right.


    So what is the advantage of reading and following so many of them? Why do I put myself through the discomfort and ordeal of wading through a ton of propaganda to find the kernels of truth and value? Because in addition to benefitting from their analyses of what is lacking from the other’s perspective, I believe each worldview offers something of great significance in helping us transition to a truly free world.


    The Progressive ethic leans toward helping those most in need and bringing more integrity to current systems. Some examples of actions that align with the Liberal agenda AND help move toward personal empowerment are getting rid of corporate personhood, ending the Federal Reserve’s ability to make up money out of nothing and charge taxpayers interest on it, and introducing the Precautionary Principle, where corporations and governments are required to prove the safety of a new development rather than that being the responsibility of those impacted by their policies — GMOs being a good example.


    As for traditional Conservatism, (as distinguished from Neocon deception and coercion), they have important ideas about shrinking government to the protection of individual rights and the commons such as water, air and fisheries. They often support a return to sound currencies which would help return real wealth to the people from which it has been stolen, through taxes and inflation.

    BEYOND LEFT AND RIGHT



    Beyond left and right there is a means, an end, and an insight, called Liberty. This is not about nationalism, patriotism or dominating others through some hallowed State. This is where people care for themselves and each other through voluntary associations that operate with nonviolation as the core principle. Complete Liberty, orVoluntaryism, refers to a society of free association. It does not argue for the specific form that voluntary arrangements will take, only that the initiation of force (except in true self-defense) be abandoned so that individuals in society may flourish. In this model of Liberty, the means determine the end; people cannot be coerced into freedom. No institution controls a monopoly on a single currency, so wealth stays in the hands of actual people, which allows them to support the services they choose.


    On April 18th, 2015, in our ThriveTogether event, we will take a look at some of the compelling mouthpieces from the left and right that I believe keep the masses so enthralled and deluded. We will unpack the philosophy and strategies of figures like Russell Brand, Amy Goodman, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Chris Hedges, Ron and Rand Paul, Bill Maher and others to help highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each, and ultimately shine light on the path to individual sovereignty and the process of wading through news sources that can help us get there.


    As requested, here is a partial list of resources that we read and watch regularly. Please remember we are neither saying any of these sources are absolutely reliable nor that we agree fully with any particular person or organization. We believe they are all useful to gaining a full picture and strategy from which to forge the new future we believe is possible.


    Feel free to recommend other sources and tell us why you find them to be of value. Thank you!
    Sources for News and Perspectives — In America


    In addition to this list, we are grateful to have well-informed and courageous contacts who share important news and trends with us confidentially, before they become mainstream news. For reasons of privacy and security, we will not be sharing their names.


    LIBERTY





    GLOBAL DOMINATION AGENDA






    LIBERAL






    CONSERVATIVE






    FINANCE






    NEW SCIENCE






    CONSCIOUSNESS






    MAINSTREAM NEWS




    • RT (pro-Russia bias, but good source of candid international news)
    • CNN (Left)
    • Fox (Right)
    • MSNBC (Left)
    • ABC (Left)
    • NBC (Left)
    • CBS (Left)
    • New York Times (Left)
    • Wall Street Journal (Right)
    • Washington Post (Bi-partisan but not transpartisan as we define it)


    Comprehensive Understanding







    Last edited by pywong; 15th April 2015 at 10:13 PM.
    py

  3. #333
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    Five Charts That Show American Exceptionalism Is a Myth

    1. Stagnant wages,
    2. Inefficient health care,
    3. Plutocratic politics,
    4. Education,
    5. Foreign aid
    Some dour commentary from Jeremy Grantham.

    Luke Kawa LJKawa


    December 11, 2015 — 1:51 AM MYT
    Share on FacebookShare on Twitter









    Jeremy Grantham says the U.S. is not OK.

    Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg


    Jeremy Grantham, chief investment strategist at GMO, has some bad news for Americans.

    From health care, to politics, to education, to the economy, the U.S. is far from a standout, he says.

    And before the nation can resolve its challenges, Americans must first acknowledge them.


    "We are dealing today with important issues, one so important that it may affect the long-term viability of our global society and perhaps our species," the strategist writes in his latest quarterly letter. "It may well be necessary to our survival that we become more realistic, more willing to process the unpleasant, and, above all, less easily manipulated through our need for good news."


    In the letter, Grantham presents a dozen exhibits that cast doubt on the notion of American exceptionalism. We've highlighted five that jumped out:



    Stagnant wages

    Other advanced economies—especially France—are crushing the U.S. when it comes to real wage growth, Grantham says:



    GMO

    "For the 50 years I have been in America, Business Week and The Wall Street Journalhave been telling us how incompetent at business the French are and how persistently we have been kicking their bottoms," he writes.



    Inefficient health care


    GMO
    "And watch out for when the Turks, Poles, and Czechs cut back on smoking, for then we may find our way to the bottom of the list," quips Grantham.



    Plutocratic politics


    GMO

    "The probability of a bill passing through Congress is affected by the general public’s enthusiasm or horror. In a nutshell, not at all!" he writes. "The financial elite, on the other hand, can double the chance of a bill passing or, much more disturbingly, can completely block passage."



    Are our children learning?

    The U.S. doesn't crack the top 10 in two segments of the STEM educational grouping.

    GMO
    Illusions of foreign aid grandeur

    "Now, I do not think I have met a single American who does not believe that the U.S. government is generous in its foreign aid," writes Grantham. "Yet, it just ain’t so, and by a remarkable degree."



    GMO

    However, there's one area in which the U.S. has been exceptional: corporate profitability. And that enduring dynamic has been crimping GMO's returns, as Ben Inker, co-head of asset allocation, readily admits.


    "As a firm that has consistently underweighted the U.S. versus non-U.S. markets for the last couple of decades, what we at GMO seem to have gotten wrong is continually fading U.S. profitability back toward that of the rest of the world and its own longer history, while U.S. profitability has instead moved higher," he wrote.


    Watch Next: U.S. Economic Growth Outlook: 'Perhaps, Eventually'



    U.S. Economic Growth Outlook: 'Perhaps, Eventually'
    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.














    py

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    Six Former US Presidents Warn About ‘Invisible’ Shadow Government

    Posted on January 3, 2016 by Sean Adl-Tabatabai in Conspiracies // 2 Comments





    Six former U.S. Presidents have warned the public about an invisible “shadow government” secretly running the United States behind the scenes, who have an “incredibly evil intent”.


    Over the last 214 years, past Presidents and political leaders have tried to warn the public that the U.S. government is under the control of an “invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.”



    Hiduth.com reports:


    They “virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties… It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.”


    As a result, “we have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world—no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.”




    The sources for the above quotes (and more) are listed below. All of the quotes in this article have been verified as authentic and have associated links to the source materials. Also included below are statements made by David Rockefeller, Sr, former director of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and Federal Reserve Chairman’s Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke that appear to confirm some of the warnings.



    Warnings About the Invisible Government Running the U.S.


    The warnings listed below, which appear in chronological order, began with our first president – George Washington. The last president to speak out was JFK, who was assassinated. Read what they and other political leaders have said about the invisible government.


    George Washington wrote that the Illuminati want to separate the People from their Government


    “It was not my intention to doubt that, the Doctrines of the Illuminati, and principles of Jacobinism had not spread in the United States. On the contrary, no one is more truly satisfied of this fact than I am. The idea that I meant to convey, was, that I did not believe that the Lodges of Free Masons in this Country had, as Societies, endeavoured to propagate the diabolical tenets of the first, or pernicious principles of the latter (if they are susceptible of seperation). That Individuals of them may… actually had a seperation [sic] of the People from their Government in view, is too evident to be questioned.” – George Washington, 1st President of the United States (1789–1797), from a letter that Washington wrote on October 24, 1798, which can be found in the Library of Congress. For an analysis of Washington’s warning, see the article “Library of Congress: George Washington Warns of Illuminati”


    “I sincerely believe, with you, that banking establishments are more dangerous than standing armies.” —Thomas Jefferson, dent of the United States (1801–1809) and principal author of the United States Declaration of Independence (1776), in a letter written to John Taylor on May 28, 1816


    “A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves, consisting of many and various powerful interests, combined in one mass, and held together by the cohesive power of the vast surplus in banks.” – John C. Calhoun, Vice President (1825-1832) and U.S. Senator, from a speech given on May 27, 1836


    Note that it appears that Washington’s and Jefferson’s concerns regarding bankers and separation of the people from the government was realized by 1836. This fact was confirmed in a letter written by FDR in 1933 (see below) in which he wrote that “a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.” Jackson was the seventh president of the United States (1829-1937). Calhoun served as Jackson’s vice-president from 1829-1832.


    “Behind the ostensible government sits enthroned an invisible government owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people. To destroy this invisible government, to befoul the unholy alliance between corrupt business and corrupt politics is the first task of the statesmanship of the day.”— Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, An Autobiography, 1913 (Appendix B)


    “A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is privately concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men… [W]e have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated, governments in the civilized world—no longer a government by free opinion, no longer a government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a government by the opinion and the duress of small groups of dominant men.” – Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, The New Freedom, 1913


    “Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organized, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they had better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it.” – Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, The New Freedom, 1913


    “The real menace of our Republic is the invisible government, which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy legs over our cities, states and nation… The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both parties, … and control the majority of the newspapers and magazines in this country. They use the columns of these papers to club into submission or drive out of office public officials who refuse to do the bidding of the powerful corrupt cliques which compose the invisible government. It operates under cover of a self-created screen [and] seizes our executive officers, legislative bodies, schools, courts, newspapers and every agency created for the public protection.” – New York City Mayor John F. Hylan, New York Times, March 26, 1922


    “Mr. Chairman, we have in this country one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks. The Federal Reserve Board, a Government board, has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt…Mr. Chairman, when the Federal Reserve act was passed, the people of the United States did not perceive that a world system was being set up here… and thatthis country was to supply financial power to an international superstate — a superstate controlled by international bankers and international industrialists acting together toenslave the world for their own pleasure.” – Congressman Louis T. McFadden, from a speech delivered to the House of Representatives on June 10, 1932


    “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the large centers has owned the government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson.” — Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States (1933–1945), in a letter to Colonel Edward M House dated November 21, 1933, as quoted in F.D.R.: His Personal Letters, 1928-1945.


    “Today the path to total dictatorship in the U.S. can be laid by strictly legal means… We have a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state… It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government… This ruthless power-seeking elite is a disease of our century… This group…is answerable neither to the President, the Congress, nor the courts. It is practically irremovable.” – Senator William Jenner, 1954 speech


    “The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent.” —J. Edgar Hoover, The Elks Magazine, 1956


    “The very word “secrecy” is repugnant in a free and open society; and we are as a people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings… Our way of life is under attack. Those who make themselves our enemy are advancing around the globe… no war ever posed a greater threat to our security. If you are awaiting a finding of “clear and present danger,” then I can only saythat the danger has never been more clear and its presence has never been more imminent… For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence–on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice, on guerrillas by night instead of armies by day.It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published. Its mistakes are buried, not headlined. Its dissenters are silenced, not praised. No expenditure is questioned, no rumor is printed, no secret is revealed.” — John F Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, from a speech delivered to the American Newspaper Publishers Association on April 27, 1961 and known as the “Secret Society” speech (click here for full transcript and audio).


    “The Rockefellers and their allies have, for at least fifty years, been carefully following a plan to use their economic power to gain political control of first America, and then the rest of the world. Do I mean conspiracy? Yes, I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent.” Congressman Larry P. McDonald, November 1975, from the introduction to a book titled The Rockefeller File.


    “There exists a shadowy government with its own Air Force, its own Navy, its own fundraising mechanism, and the ability to pursue its own ideas of national interest, free from all checks and balances, and free from the law itself.” – Daniel K. Inouye, US Senator from Hawaii, testimony at the Iran Contra Hearings, 1986.


    The Federal Reserve


    “A power has risen up in the government greater than the people themselves…” – John C. Calhoun


    “… owing no allegiance and acknowledging no responsibility to the people.” – Theodore Roosevelt


    “… one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Bank.“ – Louis T. McFadden


    In an interview with Jim Lehrer that was aired on PBS’ News Hour on September 18, 2007 that you can watch on YouTube, formal Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said, essentially, that the Federal Reserve was above the law and that no agency of government can overrule their actions:




    Jim Lehrer: “What is the proper relationship, what should be the proper relationship between a chairman of the Fed and a president of the United States?”


    Alan Greenspan: “Well, first of all, the Federal Reserve is an independent agency, and that means, basically, that there is no other agency of government which can overrule actions that we take. So long as that is in place and there is no evidence that the administration or the Congress or anybody else is requesting that we do things other than what we think is the appropriate thing, then what the relationships are don’t frankly matter.”


    The fact that the Fed is above the law was demonstrated by current Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, during his appearance before Congress on March 4, 2009 (as shown in this video). Senator Bernie Sanders asked Bernanke about $2.2 trillion in American tax dollars that was lent out by Federal Reserve. Bernanke refused to provide an answer:


    Senator Sanders: “Will you tell the American people to whom you lent $2.2 trillion of their dollars? … Can you tell us who they are?”


    Bernanke: “No”



    David Rockefeller and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR)


    “We have a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state…” – William Jenner


    “The Rockefellers and their allies have, for at least fifty years, been carefully following a plan to use their economic power to gain political control of first America, and then the rest of the world.” – Larry P. McDonald


    In 1921 the stockholders of the Federal Reserve financed an organization called the “Council on Foreign Relations” (CFR). A full discussion on the CFR is beyond the scope of this article. Suffice it to say that the CFR likely plays a prominent role in the invisible government that we have been warned about. The CFR is alleged to be the arm of the Ruling Elite in the United States. Most influential politicians, academics and media personalities are members. The CFR uses its influence to push their New World Order agenda on the American people.


    David Rockefeller, Sr is the current patriarch of the Rockefeller family. He is the only surviving grandchild of oil tycoon John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. Rockefeller began a lifelong association with the CFR when he joined as a director in 1949. In Rockefeller’s 2002 autobiography “Memoirs” he wrote:


    “For more than a century ideological extremists at either end of the political spectrum have seized upon well-publicized incidents such as my encounter with Castro to attack the Rockefeller family for the inordinate influence they claim we wield over American political and economic institutions. Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as internationalists and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure — one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”


    James Warburg, son of CFR [Council on Foreign Relations] founder Paul Warburg, delivered blunt testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on February 17, 1950:


    “We shall have world government, whether or not we like it. The question is only whether world government will be achieved by consent or by conquest.”



    Cognitive Dissonance


    “THE AMERICAN MIND SIMPLY HAS NOT COME TO A REALIZATION OF THE EVIL WHICH HAS BEEN INTRODUCED INTO OUR MIDST. IT REJECTS EVEN THE ASSUMPTION THAT HUMAN CREATURES COULD ESPOUSE A PHILOSOPHY WHICH MUST ULTIMATELY DESTROY ALL THAT IS GOOD AND DECENT.” —J. EDGAR HOOVER


    Because of a deep rooted beliefs that the U.S. government is “for the people” and the protector of the free world, many will reject the notion of an evil shadow government. When our beliefs are challenged or when two beliefs are inconsistent, cognitive dissonance is created. It’s human nature to try to hold our beliefs in harmony with our world view and avoid disharmony (or dissonance).


    For those of you who having difficulty believing the information presented in this article, I fully understand. For the first 57 years of my life, I would not have believed in the possibility that a shadow government could exist. Three years ago my world view changed. While on vacation in Mount Shasta, I came across a book titled “Global Conspiracy” that seemed strangely out of place in a metaphysical book store. I had never heard of the author before – some guy named David Icke. I scanned through the book and frankly didn’t believe 99% of what I read. But, I saw one thing that caught my attention in that I knew that I could easily verify Icke’s assertion. I did my own research and turned out what Icke had stated was true. That led me down a rabbit hole and many, many hundreds of hours of independent research.


    So, keep an open mind, do your own research, and use discernment. Beware that there is a ton of disinformation on the internet, much of which is intentionally placed to confuse the public. At a CFR meeting on geoengineering (see the article “Millions Spent to Confuse Public About Geoengineering“), M. Granger Morgan stated (it’s captured on video for you to see and hear for yourself):


    “FIRST OF ALL, OF COURSE, THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY GETTING SPENT TO MAKE SURE THAT A VERY SUBSTANTIAL PORTION OF THE PUBLIC STAYS TOTALLY CONFUSED ABOUT THIS. AND, I MEAN, IT’S BEEN REALLY QUITE PERNICIOUS. BUT THERE’S BEEN LITERALLY TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS SPENT ON EVERY LITTLE THING THAT COMES ALONG THAT MIGHT, YOU KNOW, RELATE TO SOME UNCERTAINTY.”


    What Can We Do?


    “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead


    In addition to doing your own research, please spread the word, and get involved. The Thrive Solutions Hub is an excellent place to join with others who are taking positive action steps expose corruption and to create a world in which we can all thrive. You can watch the full Thrive movie on YouTube here.






    py

  5. #335
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    Pepe Escobar:

    The Top 8 US financial universe - JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, US Bancorp, Bank of New York Mellon and Morgan Stanley - is 100% controlled by only TEN shareholders. And only FOUR companies take part in ALL major decisions: BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard and Fidelity.


    The Fed is made up of 12 banks, represented by a board of seven, which includes members of those four.


    So the Fed is actually controlled by four PRIVATE companies: BlackRock, State Street, Vanguard and Fidelity. These are the real financial Masters of the Universe as they control US - and global - monetary policy.
    Welcome to the real matrix.




    19 October 2011



    Revealed – the capitalist network that runs the world

    The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy. Superconnected companies are red, very connected companies are yellow. The size of the dot represents revenue

    (Image: PLoS One)

    AS PROTESTS against financial power sweep the world this week, science may have confirmed the protesters’ worst fears.An analysis of the relationships between 43,000 transnational corporations has identified a relatively small group of companies, mainly banks, with disproportionate power over the global economy.


    The study’s assumptions have attracted some criticism, but complex systems analysts contacted by New Scientist say it is a unique effort to untangle control in the global economy. Pushing the analysis further, they say, could help to identify ways of making global capitalism more stable.


    The idea that a few bankers control a large chunk of the global economy might not seem like news to New York’s Occupy Wall Street movement and protesters elsewhere (see photo). But the study, by a trio of complex systems theorists at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, is the first to go beyond ideology to empirically identify such a network of power. It combines the mathematics long used to model natural systems with comprehensive corporate data to map ownership among the world’s transnational corporations (TNCs).


    “Reality is so complex, we must move away from dogma, whether it’s conspiracy theories or free-market,” says James Glattfelder. “Our analysis is reality-based.”



    Previous studies have found that a few TNCs own large chunks of the world’s economy, but they included only a limited number of companies and omitted indirect ownerships, so could not say how this affected the global economy – whether it made it more or less stable, for instance.


    The Zurich team can. From Orbis 2007, a database listing 37 million companies and investors worldwide, they pulled out all 43,060 TNCs and the share ownerships linking them. Then they constructed a model of which companies controlled others through shareholding networks, coupled with each company’s operating revenues, to map the structure of economic power.


    The work, to be published in PLoS One, revealed a core of 1318 companies with interlocking ownerships (see image). Each of the 1318 had ties to two or more other companies, and on average they were connected to 20. What’s more, although they represented 20 per cent of global operating revenues, the 1318 appeared to collectively own through their shares the majority of the world’s large blue chip and manufacturing firms – the “real” economy – representing a further 60 per cent of global revenues.


    When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.


    John Driffill of the University of London, a macroeconomics expert, says the value of the analysis is not just to see if a small number of people controls the global economy, but rather its insights into economic stability.


    Concentration of power is not good or bad in itself, says the Zurich team, but the core’s tight interconnections could be. As the world learned in 2008, such networks are unstable. “If one [company] suffers distress,” says Glattfelder, “this propagates.”


    “It’s disconcerting to see how connected things really are,” agrees George Sugihara of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, a complex systems expert who has advised Deutsche Bank.


    Yaneer Bar-Yam, head of the New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI), warns that the analysis assumes ownership equates to control, which is not always true. Most company shares are held by fund managers who may or may not control what the companies they part-own actually do. The impact of this on the system’s behaviour, he says, requires more analysis.


    Crucially, by identifying the architecture of global economic power, the analysis could help make it more stable. By finding the vulnerable aspects of the system, economists can suggest measures to prevent future collapses spreading through the entire economy. Glattfelder says we may need global anti-trust rules, which now exist only at national level, to limit over-connection among TNCs. Sugihara says the analysis suggests one possible solution: firms should be taxed for excess interconnectivity to discourage this risk.


    One thing won’t chime with some of the protesters’ claims: the super-entity is unlikely to be the intentional result of a conspiracy to rule the world. “Such structures are common in nature,” says Sugihara.


    Newcomers to any network connect preferentially to highly connected members. TNCs buy shares in each other for business reasons, not for world domination. If connectedness clusters, so does wealth, says Dan Braha of NECSI: in similar models, money flows towards the most highly connected members. The Zurich study, says Sugihara, “is strong evidence that simple rules governing TNCs give rise spontaneously to highly connected groups”. Or as Braha puts it: “The Occupy Wall Street claim that 1 per cent of people have most of the wealth reflects a logical phase of the self-organising economy.”


    So, the super-entity may not result from conspiracy. The real question, says the Zurich team, is whether it can exert concerted political power. Driffill feels 147 is too many to sustain collusion. Braha suspects they will compete in the market but act together on common interests. Resisting changes to the network structure may be one such common interest.


    When this article was first posted, the comment in the final sentence of the paragraph beginning “Crucially, by identifying the architecture of global economic power…” was misattributed.
    The top 50 of the 147 superconnected companies

    1. Barclays plc
    2. Capital Group Companies Inc
    3. FMR Corporation
    4. AXA
    5. State Street Corporation
    6. JP Morgan Chase & Co
    7. Legal & General Group plc
    8. Vanguard Group Inc
    9. UBS AG
    10. Merrill Lynch & Co Inc
    11. Wellington Management Co LLP
    12. Deutsche Bank AG
    13. Franklin Resources Inc
    14. Credit Suisse Group
    15. Walton Enterprises LLC
    16. Bank of New York Mellon Corp
    17. Natixis
    18. Goldman Sachs Group Inc
    19. T Rowe Price Group Inc
    20. Legg Mason Inc
    21. Morgan Stanley
    22. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc
    23. Northern Trust Corporation
    24. Société Générale
    25. Bank of America Corporation
    26. Lloyds TSB Group plc
    27. Invesco plc
    28. Allianz SE 29. TIAA
    30. Old Mutual Public Limited Company
    31. Aviva plc
    32. Schroders plc
    33. Dodge & Cox
    34. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc*
    35. Sun Life Financial Inc
    36. Standard Life plc
    37. CNCE
    38. Nomura Holdings Inc
    39. The Depository Trust Company
    40. Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance
    41. ING Groep NV
    42. Brandes Investment Partners LP
    43. Unicredito Italiano SPA
    44. Deposit Insurance Corporation of Japan
    45. Vereniging Aegon
    46. BNP Paribas
    47. Affiliated Managers Group Inc
    48. Resona Holdings Inc
    49. Capital Group International Inc
    50. China Petrochemical Group Company


    * Lehman still existed in the 2007 dataset used


    Graphic: The 1318 transnational corporations that form the core of the economy


    (Data: PLoS One)



    py

  6. #336
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13,391


    These 13 Families Rule The World: The Shadow Forces Behind The NWO

    By conspiracyclub -
    Dec 4, 2014







    The shadow forces behind the New World Order (NWO) are following a slow-paced agenda of total control over mankind and our planet’s resources. David Icke coined it the “Totalitarian Tip-Toe,” because “they” are making very small steps towards our complete and definitive enslavement.


    As a result, the masses remain relatively unaware of the fact that their liberties are being gradually taken away, while the power of the NWO octopus grows steadily.


    The shadow forces behind the NWO agenda


    Somewhere near the very top of the pyramid, an extremely elitist organisation known as the Council of the 13 families orchestrates all of the major world events. As the name suggests, the Council consists of the top 13 most influential families on Earth.




    1. Rothschild (Bauer or Bower)
    2. Bruce
    3. Cavendish (Kennedy)
    4. De Medici
    5. Hanover
    6. Hapsburg
    7. Krupp
    8. Plantagenet
    9. Rockefeller
    10. Romanov
    11. Sinclair (St. Clair)
    12. Warburg (del Banco)
    13. Windsor (Saxe-Coburg-Gothe)



    (Personally, I suspect that this may not be the complete list and some very powerful lineages are still unknown to us).


    The Rothschild dynasty is unquestionably the most powerful – visible – bloodline on Earth and their estimated wealth is around $500 trillions!


    They exercise their power through the world banking empire, which is almost entirely owned by them.


    The most important institutions that work hard to establish the NWO and completely enslave our species, are:



    1. The City of London (finance, controlled by the Rothschilds) – NOT part of the UK;
    2. The US Federal Reserve (finance – private bank, owned by the Rothschilds) – NOT part of the USA;
    3. The Vatican City (indoctrination, deception and scare tactics) – NOT part of Italy;
    4. Washington D.C. (military, mind programming, brainwashing and depopulation) – NOT part of the USA;


    All of the above institutions function as individual states, operating under their own laws, hence there is no court of law on Earth that could ever prosecute them.


    The multitude of Secret Societies in existence today, operate as branches of a mega corporation, which is owned by the Council of the 13 families.


    Even though they have been handsomely rewarded for their work, the members of these secret societies are not members of the “elite” bloodlines, they don’t know who theirmasters are and they have no idea what the real agenda is.


    The brainwashing


    Another mass-enslavement tool that they are using against us, is the so called educational system. Schools are no longer what they used to be and children are learning to memorize without thinking and obey without questioning.


    In fact, this established educational system is extremely expensive to keep operational and obsolete in the age of the internet.


    “Why obsolete?” you may ask. Because the internet gives us free access to almost infinite amounts of information.


    So why are we still paying huge amounts of money for governmental education? Because the world’s “elite” require that our children learn conformity and inside-the-box thinking.


    What can we do about it?


    Mankind’s faith is hanging in the balance right now, as the control of the NWO octopus spreads. On the one hand, we are very close to our complete enslavement, while on the other hand, we could easily crumble to the ground their pyramid of power, by simply uniting against their deception in a peaceful revolution of minds, hearts and souls.


    I’ve asked myself for years what their greatest weapon of enslavement is. Is it poor education combined with constant indoctrination? Is it the fear generated by religion? Is itthe fear of being punished (jailed or killed) by the system, or is it the invisible enslavement of the monetary system?


    In my opinion, all of the above combined had a huge impact on our society and the way we think, but their biggest weapon is hands-down the financial system!


    Currency slaves


    The financial system has stealthy enslaved our species and now we are being used as currency slaves. We work from 9 to 5 every day, in boring and depressing environments, not stimulated by anything creative or constructive.


    In most cases, the sole motivation for going to work, is the next paycheck — and no matter how hard we work, we never seem to have enough money.


    Have you ever wondered why mega-corporations (reaping $billions/year in profits) pay dozens of millions to their CEOs and as close as possible to the minimum wage to the rest of the employees?


    This has been carefully designed, because a person that is constantly “on the edge,” will never have time for self-education, introspection and – eventually – spiritual awakening.


    Isn’t this our main purpose on Earth? To become spiritual beings (and by spiritual, I obviously don’t mean religious) and complete the incarnation cycle?


    “They” don’t need educated people, who are capable of critical thinking and have spiritual goals. No, this kind of people are dangerous to the establishment!


    “They” want obedient “robots,” just intelligent enough to operate the machines and keep the system running, but stupid enough never to ask questions.


    Money is the eye of the “devil”


    All of the world’s biggest problems have their roots deeply embedded in the financial plague: wars are profitable, diseases are profitable, Earth’s plundering is profitable, human slavery and inhumane working conditions are profitable.


    Our leaders have been corrupted by money and mankind’s collective mission on Earth has been hijacked by money.


    So why do we need the financial system, in the first place? Actually, we don’t need it (at least, not anymore). The planet doesn’t charge us a cent for using its natural resources and we have the technology to extract them without physically working a day.





    py

  7. #337
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    13,391
    This is how the US Federal Reserve con the Rats. Their 2% target inflation is bull-shit.


    David Stockman

    The Inflation Targeting Scam And Why It Guarantees The Mother Of Financial Meltdowns

    By David Stockman

    The estimable Martin Feldstein put the wood to the Fed in a recent op ed and in so doing hit the nail directly on the head. He essentially called foul ball on the whole inflation targeting regime and the magic 2.00% goalpost in part due to the measuring stick challenge.

    A fundamental problem with an explicit inflation target is the difficulty of knowing if it has been hit.

    That problem is plainly evident in the chart below. You could very easily make the argument that goods prices are beyond the Fed's reach because they are set in the world markets and by the marginal cost of labor in China and the EM.
    Therefore the more domestically driven CPI index for services such as housing, medical care, education, transportation, recreation etc. is the more relevant yardstick. Alas, if there is something magic about 2.00%, why then, mission accomplished!

    On a five-year basis, services inflation is up at 2.2% annually, and during the past year it has heated up to 3.2%.




    Then again, if the Fed were not comprised of power-hungry apparatchiks looking for any excuse to intrude in the financial markets and dominate their hourly behavior, it might well recognize the merit of what we have termed "CPI Using Market Rent" (box).

    That's because the regular CPI gives a 25% weighting to the OER (owners equivalent rent), which is more than a little squirrely. The BLS actually asks a tiny sample of homeowners what they would charge per month if they were to rent out their castle.

    They have no clue! So the BLS plugs some survey questionnaire noise into an algorithm and calls it 25% of the entire damn index!

    To improve upon this nonsense, we just swapped out the OER in the chart above and replaced it with an asking rent index that a private vendor provides to real clients in the housing rental business. The results get us exactly to the title of Feldstein's post called "Ending the Fed's Inflation Fixation".

    After all, can any adult really believe that there is any significant difference between 2.0%and 1.9% on a five-year trend basis? Or even that 1.6% is a significant "miss" that adversely impacts an $18 trillion economy during a year where the global collapse of oil and commodities has clearly temporarily depressed the overall CPI index?

    So why is it that the Fed insists on the PCE deflator less food and energy to measure its inflation policy target. Is it technically or theoretically superior to the dozens of alternative measures available, including the internet based Billion Prices Project index, which is based on scrapping massive numbers of high frequency transaction prices from the internet each day?

    Not in the slightest. Bernanke and his disciples and successors embraced the PCE less food and energy deflator solely because at least in recent years it has been the shortest inflation measuring stick around. It's about staying in the game, period.

    These people are all about justifying a regime of financial market domination that is a complete historical anomaly and a wellspring of price falsification, malinvestment, rampant speculation and dangerous trolling for yield. And the smoking gun, in fact, is the data scrapped from the billions of actual transactions prices which course through cyberspace daily.

    The chart below shows that consumer inflation has long been running above 2.0% in the real world of transactions. The light orange line plunged below the 2% marker only when global crude oil dropped from $100 per barrel to $40.

    Folks, that's not undershooting the target from below. That reflects, in fact, just the opposite.

    Namely, that the world's central banks have enabled so much cheap, uneconomic credit in recent years that massive excess energy and commodity investments have generated a condition of chronic over-supply, and therefore deflationary commodity price trends. So the temporary plunge in consumer prices is yesterday's monetary policy errors at work, not a reason for central banks to keep interest rates lashed to the zero bound today.




    Indeed, the rank intellectual dishonesty of the Fed's "2 percenters" is even more dramatically demonstrated below. The level of the overall consumer inflation index, regardless of which one you choose, is a function of its components. That is, the overall index value is a weighted average statistical derivative.

    Yet the two driving forces on the CPI since inflation targeting was officially adopted in 2012 have been medical care services and consumer energy products like gasoline and heating oil.

    As it happened, during the 48-month period ending in April 2016, the medical services component rose by 2.9% per annum while energy has dropped by 7.7% per year. Neither of these component changes are driven by some Keynesian either called "aggregate demand" in the domestic economy, or anything else the central bank can remotely influence or manipulate.

    Instead, energy prices are driven by long-cycle supply, demand and capacity balances and short-cycle inventory movements in the $80 trillion global GDP; and medical prices are driven by third party payer machinations in the nation's $3 trillion bureaucracy-encrusted medical care delivery system.

    Indeed, throw in the BLS's phony OER component with these two items and you have 40% of the weight in the CPI and only slightly less in the PCE deflator. Given this, is it even remotely rational to believe that the deliberations and interventions of the FOMC have anything to do with the second decimal place outcome on the overall CPI of 1.19% annually during the last four years?
    You might conclude that our monetary politburo consists of feckless and befuddled academics and apparatchiks who are tilting at inflation windmills, but you would be mainly wrong.

    The truth is, these are power-hungry bureaucrats who have usurped their charter in manner so brazen and excessive as to be fairly described as a coup d etat. There is absolutely nothing in the elastic and aspirational language of the Humphrey-Hawkins Act that requires this kind of fanatical pursuit of 2.00% inflation or a 4.99% U-3 rate, either.




    And that gets us to the even more important point in Feldstein's post regarding the real function of the Fed with respect to inflation. That is, its true inflation mandate is not about two-decimal point undershooting from below on a monthly basis; it's being vigilant about a breakout of inflation to the upside on a trend basis.

    With a margin of error that large, it makes no sense to focus monetary policy on trying to hit a precise inflation target. The problem that consumers care about and that should be the subject of Fed policy is avoiding a return to the rapidly rising inflation that took measured inflation from less than 2% in 1965 to 5% in 1970 and to more than 12% in 1980.

    Although we cannot know the true rate of inflation at any time, we can see if the measured inflation rate starts rising rapidly. If that happens, it would be a sign that true inflation is also rising because of excess demand in product and labor markets. That would be an indication that the Fed should be tightening monetary policy.

    Here's the thing. Feldstein has been at this game since the late 1960s and knows a thing or two about how economies work and what central banks can and cannot do with their primitive tools of money market pegging, yield curve management and wealth effects pumping and puts.

    What they can't do is micromanage the GDP or fine-tune the short-term rate of wage, price, production and job gains on domestic ledgers that are rooted in an integrated global economic and financial system. Attempting to do so will only result in more price falsification in the financial markets and inflation of financial asset values. As Feldstein argued,

    .......but interest rates remain excessively low and are still driving investors and lenders to take unsound risks to reach for yield, leading to a serious mispricing of assets. The S&P 500 price-earnings ratio is more than 50% above its historic average. Commercial real estate is priced as if low bond yields will last forever. Banks and other lenders are lending to lower quality borrowers and making loans with fewer conditions.

    When interest rates return to normal there will be substantial losses to investors, lenders and borrowers. The adverse impact on the overall economy could be very serious.

    That's right, but "serious" is not the word for it.

    What is coming down the pike is the Mother Of All Financial Meltdowns. And this time it will be evident to the world as to who is responsible for the resulting carnage.
    py

  8. #338
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Panama
    Posts
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    The Global Rat Race

    FYI, the event flyer is now posted on the Rat Dog page We are still bottoming out on where to stage the event from, so stay tuned, as we plan to be finalized on July 1-Tom

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