The essence of the modern collapse confusion has to do with the nature of equality in a modern democratic state. The only true equality lies in liberty; it the the equality of law as applied to all individuals regardless of religious creed, color or income. The alternative, which is promoted by the ignorant and the unscrupulous is that equality means equal outcomes. This is the path to gradual descent into tyranny towards which the statists are taking America. If you want a preview of where our slow-motion train wreck is leading - look at the EU. The only worthwhile equality is equality of means, not outcomes.
The essence of this point is presented in Ameritopia in an eloquent quote from Freidrich Hayer:
Equality of the general rules of law and conduct ... is the only kind of equality conductive to liberty. Not only has liberty nothing to do with any sort of equality, but it is even bound to produce inequality in many respects. This is the necessary result and part of the justification of individual liberty: if the result of individual liberty does not demonstrate that some manners of living are more successful than others, much of the case for it would vanish.Having been born in a country that was a failed Utopia, which has since ceased to exist (USSR)I feel passionately about this subject. I see America taking a different (gradual as opposed to revolutionary) route to the the inevitable failure of its own Utopia.
One important distinction between a free county, and a fallacious Utopia, is the relationship between the people and the government. In the former they are citizens, competent to make their own choices, while in the latter they are subjects. It's not a coincidence that in his Republic Plato compares the relationship his ideal government as the relationship of parents to children. The ideal government does treat its subjects as competent adults, but as those who cannot be trusted to act in the own rational interest. Get a clue, or get in line.
The Utopian nature of Western politics, makes asocial covenants into a suicide pact. The self-defeating nature of striving for perfection is a crucial insight, without which we're in back in the darkness and confusion of Plato's cave, reacting to shadows without comprehension.
Yet, this is where many of us are. I've had a few reminders in Boston lately - supposedly an educated town. "Obama couldn't have fixed it all in one term". "What has he done wrong? He's been great on foreign politics." And today, taking the train back from Boston, my neighbor was doing a Cash-Crossword puzzle. I've never seen such a thing, but one of the words was Utopia. I wonder if he truly knows that he's living in one. Probably not, considering the stacked nature of the lottery he was playing. I felt he was literally in touch with the essence of Utopia, which in the ultimate analysis amounts to fancy promise in a rigged game.
The root causes of the current collapse are confusing to many, and not just Democrats in liberal city of Boston, and the blue collar workers who like to gamble a bit. Even those in-the-know, who y can sense something significant is happening. It's very common for me to agree with George Soros (in part, because I think he's part of this problem), but he's correct about the seriousness of what's happening and the direction, if the the cause.
George Soros recently opined that Europe is confronting a descent into chaos and conflict. In America he predicts riots on the streets that will lead to a brutal clampdown that will dramatically curtail civil liberties. All true, but the underlying problem is primarily the lies upon which Eutopia and Ameritopia are based. I have started this blog specifically to expose and discuss this point, although I used a term I found even more provocative than Utopia.
To Soros, the underlying cause is the spectacular debunking of the credo of efficient markets—the notion that markets are rational and can regulate themselves to avert disaster—“is comparable to the collapse of Marxism as a political system. The prevailing interpretation has turned out to be very misleading. It assumes perfect knowledge, which is very far removed from reality.”
The elites who will be meeting at the World Economic Forum starting tomorrow, also blame capitalism. As I wrote they are trying to shift the blame, not solve the problem. By parroting their inane attacks, Soros is either promoting the sames falsehoods, or he doesn't truly understand what is happening. It's not capitalism that's failing, but human nature: the corruption of capitalism and the over-reaching of governments that has undermined the economies, by promising everything to everybody. Spreading these lies risks undermining the social contracts of Western nations, when the bills come due.
Soros told Newsweek: "The tragedy of our current situation is the unintended consequence of imperfect understanding." Yes. Sadly, Soros doesn't get the essence of the problem himself. He continued: "Unrestrained competition can drive people into actions that they would otherwise regret." No. What unrestrained competition? Did it give us the 2008 fiscal crisis? Boneheaded derivatives, and green in Lehman Bros and Goldman Sachs did, aided and promoted by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Did unrestrained competition drive the EU into its current fiscal mess, or was it a naive belief that fiscal union could only be a boon? At least that's how it was sold to the European nations. Now Greece and Germany are counting each other's money, rather their own business.
When Soros says: "We are facing now a general retrenchment in the developed world" he is right. Misunderstanding of the underlying reality by elitists like Soros will ensure that the meeting at Davos will merely heap the blame on capitalism and produce another diversion.
When asked whether the financial whizzes behind our economic meltdown were not just wrong, but evil? Soros said: “That’s correct.”He’s now convinced that “if you have a disorderly collapse of the euro, you have the danger of a revival of the political conflicts that have torn Europe apart over the centuries—an extreme form of nationalism, which manifests itself in xenophobia, the exclusion of foreigners and ethnic groups. In Hitler’s time, that was focused on the Jews. Today, you have that with the Gypsies, the Roma, which is a small minority, and also, of course, Muslim immigrants.”
I have also pointed out existence of these risks. Are such risks greater from an orderly dismantling of EUor from a disorderly collapse of confidence and social contract when the underlying economic economic assumptions are proven false? Definitely the latter, especially because these economic difficulties are exacerbated by convenient political lies.
It is “now more likely than not” that Greece will formally default in 2012, Soros will tell leaders in Davos this week. He will castigate European leaders who seem to know only how to “do enough to calm the situation, not to solve the problem” while by agreeing with the 'blame capitalism' premise of the European elites, Soros perpetuates the problem.
The irony gets even thicker. Soros sympathizes with the Occupy movement, which articulates a widespread disillusionment with capitalism that he shares.People “have reason to be frustrated and angry” at the cost of rescuing the banking system, but unbelievably he blames the banks, rather than the government, which failed to properly regulate (see Fannie and Freddie), then used public money to bail out the banks, which were over-relying on the implicit guarantee of these government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs), whose leaders during the 2006-2008 period have been charged by the DoJ with misleading the public and officials. Officials like Barney Franks, and Frank Dodd, who received hundreds of thousands of dollars in donation from these GSEs. Soros gives credit to the Occupy movement because it has “put on the agenda issues that the institutional left has failed to put on the agenda for a quarter of a century.”
Despite his sympathy, Soros acknowledges that the Occupy Wall Street “is an inchoate, leaderless manifestation of protest”Kudos to Ann Coulter and her new book "Demonic', which argues that the Democrat party has all the habits and tactics of a mob. Apparently, Soros likes the mob, despite the fact that it's blind fury offers no solutions and intrusive tactics (he admits) can lead to civil unrest. Note how the Tea Party, which is neither intrusive nor excessively angry, but offers an actual solution - shrinking the government, and giving responsibility back to the people
George Soros hopes Obama will win the election in 2012: "Obama might surprise the public. The main issue facing the electorate is whether the rich should be taxed more. It shouldn’t be a difficult argument for Obama to make." In fact he has; Washington post writes: "In State of the Union address, Obama puts focus on economic inequality".
Here's the response of the GOP. to Obama's State of the Union address. I'm tempted to comment on the conflation of Soros' and Obama's thinking today (on top of Davos). But it requires no comment. Or maybe it is beyond words. Yes - words that are fit to print, anyway.