Birthday of a Bloodbath

This October-November 2017 marks the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia – the bloody communist state that would produce a political-ideological killing spree unlike any the world has ever seen.
And yet, communism continues to find supporters. Here are three personal anecdotes:
I did a conference this past week on the legacies of communism. One liberal professor complained that no pro-communist speakers were included. I wasn’t surprised.
Another case: a former student of mine this week told me of his professor (at a local college in Pittsburgh) who was hailing Karl Marx for his ‘brilliance.’ Again, no surprise.
One more: A student from the University of Wisconsin called in to a talk-show I did last week insisting that capitalism is just as lethal as communism.
That all happened just this past week, and it’s not unusual in my world.
Anecdotes aside, an October 2016 poll by the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation generated a stunning finding: almost one-third of Millennials ‘believe more people were killed under George W. Bush than under Joseph Stalin.’ And it isn’t only those silly Millennials. More than one in four Americans generally believe Bush was the bigger killer.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on November 24, 2017.

The Daily Hell of Life in the Soviet Bloc

This month is the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party’s seizure of power in Petrograd, Russia. British Guardian columnist Paul Mason recent declared that the Soviet revolution provided ‘a beacon to the rest of humanity, no matter how short lived.’ The New York Times has exalted the Soviet takeover in a series of articles on the ‘Red Century’ – even asserting that ‘women had better sex under communism’ (based largely on a single dubious orgasm count comparison of East and West German women.)
Professor Hunt Tooley’s November 1 Mises article on ‘The Bolshevik Great Experiment: 100 Years Later’ vividly captured the stunning death tolls communism produced in Russia and elsewhere. Stalin reputedly said that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.
Communism’s mortality toll does not capture its full horror – the daily degradation that its victims suffered. In the mid-1980s, there were plenty of Soviet apologists writing in the western media. Practically any Soviet Bloc reform was touted as the turning of the corner to sustained economic progress. I was mystified why people living in freedom would idealize a system of state slavery.
In 1986 and 1987, I slipped behind the Iron Curtain a half dozen times to study economic perversity and political slavery, writing articles for The New York Times, Wall Street Journal Europe, Freeman, Journal of Economic Growth, and other publications. My final trip – in November 1987 – began in Budapest, Hungary, before heading on to the most repressive regime in Europe.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on 20 Nov 2017.

Political Correctness and Voter Resistance

In October, I published an article about Angelo Codevilla’s article, “After the Republic.”
has done it again.
I have worked with him for over 40 years, when we were both on Capitol Hill as researchers. I regard him as the smartest guy in the conservative movement. His specialty is foreign policy, but in recent years, he has become the top political analyst. His latest essay is “The Rise of Political Correctness.” Download it here. (Print it out at 80%.)
He is a scholar. He is going to take you through the labyrinths of communist history. He takes us back to the 1930s in the Soviet Union. He argues that the whole concept of political correctness as we know it today had its origin in the USSR under Stalin. It had its origins there because the Communist Party believed that what the party said was true was in fact true, and any attempt to challenge that was met with resistance.
He goes on to argue that the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci recognized early that Marxism had to deal with the issues of Western Christian culture. Marxism would not be successful simply by revolutionary violence because the people as a whole were not committed to the goals of the revolutionaries in the realm of culture. He correctly observes that in this sense, Gramsci was not an orthodox Marxist. I have been arguing this way for 25 years, and this is the first time I have found anybody writing about cultural Marxism who recognizes this fact. In other words, what we see today is a form of deviant Marxism, sometimes called cultural Marxism, which was opposed to the original formulations of Marx, Engels, and Lenin. Marx believed that the structure of production or the mode of production is the substructure of society, and culture, philosophy, and morals are simply part of the superstructure which grew out of a prevailing mode of production. Gramsci thought this was dead wrong, and he was right.

This post was published at Gary North on Gary North – January 07, 2017.

Currency Shows Turkey’s Death Spiral into Dictatorship

Turkey has really turned into a dictatorship and the claimed ‘elected’ head of state acts like anyone other than a democratically elected representative. He has acted more like Stalin, and has been gathering anyone who disagrees and demanding other government return people who have fled from him so he can execute them. The Turkish author Asl Erdoan was jailed in August and accused of links to terrorists as well as being a member of the terrorist organization the government labelled PKK. Last week began the trial against this journalist in Istanbul and outside are demonstrators gathered to protest.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Jan 3, 2017.

Socialism: Force Or Fantasy?

Have you ever tried to nail Jell-O to the wall? It’s easier than getting a socialist to stand pat on what socialism is, which makes socialism an endlessly moving target.
Marx called for the abolition of private property and state ownership of the means of production. He labeled it ‘scientific socialism.’
‘But that’s not what we mean!’ today’s socialist dreamers proclaim.
Lenin established the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). He put the Soviet state in charge of every aspect of life for ‘the good of the people.’ Stalin, his mass murdering successor, declared that Soviet socialism would perfect the ‘workers’ paradise’ promised by socialist intellectuals.
‘But that’s not what we mean!’ today’s socialist dreamers proclaim.
Hitler and his minions ‘planned’ the German economy, called themselves socialist and even named their political organization the National Socialist German Workers Party.
‘But that’s not we mean!’ today’s socialist dreamers proclaim.
Fifteen different republics within the Soviet empire all proclaimed themselves dedicated to socialism (until all of their socialist regimes collapsed in 1989 – 91).
‘But that’s not what we mean!’ today’s socialist dreamers proclaim.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Jun 12, 2016.

Austrian Elections Today

The people who count the votes claim the election is a dead-heat in Austria today. Norbert Hofer of the Freedom Party and Alexander Van der Bellen are each on 50%, according to the estimate, which includes postal votes not yet counted. The pools really put Hofer ahead, so there may be some voting counting issued, Stalin fashion. Nevertheless, what this is demonstrating is that 50% of the people are fed up with the EU. Instead to addressing the crisis, those in Brussels refuse to ever change course.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on May 22, 2016.

Ukraian Tatar Wins Euro Vision Song Contest

amala is a Ukrainian singer, composer and actress whose ethnic background is a Tatar. In this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Jamala performed her own composition, 1944. This has caused a bit of a stir for the song is about the oppression of the Tatars in Crimea by Stalin. There have been hundreds comments complained on Facebook and Twitter calling it the politicization of the ESC by the public broadcasters. The criticism came from virtually every country in Europe: from Sweden, Italy, France, Poland, Great Britain and Germany, it was noted that the winning song was so political, that a serious suspicion was not overcome.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on May 15, 2016.

Socialists, Central Banks & Credit Is Not Capital

Submitted by Jeffrey Snider via Alhambra Investment Partners,
It may just be fitting that it is May Day weekend, the old remembrance of the once ‘great’ destructive force of international communism. Of course, it still resonates largely because its proponents view it from the standpoint of actual purity. Stalin, you see, never really practiced it; as such it has supposedly never really been tried. Repeating that lie long enough has left generations susceptible to the same cowing interpretations.
Normally, these fascinations with Marx and Marxism are left to the ivory towers of academia, who have apparently taken heart to the KGB’s ‘liberation ideology’ and brought it to America’s college youth. I don’t mean for this to be such a political discussion, but it is somewhat unavoidable. After all, one of the most trending topics on Twitter earlier this week, just in time for May Day itself, was #ResistCapitalism.
The open spaces for this backlash are provided neatly by the recovery that doesn’t exist outside of various DSGE and GARCH models central banks employ to tell us how well they have done. Today’s youth are being inundated with Marxism that once appeared ridiculous in obviousness, but now contains, seemingly, some righteous prescription. This is not just ‘inequality’ but it isn’t apart from it either, as stock bubbles and the very real lack of wage opportunity sharpen this great sense of divide.
From the perspective of anyone who appreciates actual freedom and free markets, there is an easy answer to the problem – that all these neo-socialists that don’t appreciated the irony of being ‘afforded’ the opportunity to resist and renounce capitalism by all its very successful fruits. They are confused over the nature of capitalism itself, as maybe should not be so unappreciated or unexpected since it has been buried for some decades now. The smartphone technology and the internet fabric that draws it all together, the very means with which the Marxists gather each other for more comforting online serenades about how much better the world would be under more ‘equal’ terms, is actually more ancient. The capitalism revolution of the information age was birthed and came of age long before Alan Greenspan started directing key economic variables from his computer.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 05/03/2015.

Zwangswirtschaft – A Reader Comments on the Four Year Plan

The Fhrer Had a Four Year Plan Too …
Our recent article on the ‘EU’s Stalinesque 4 Year Plan’ has been picked up by a number of other websites, and on one of them (David Stockman’s Contra Corner), a reader by the name of Mauro Cella wrote a comment adding some additional color regarding the history of government-directed central economic planning. We found his remarks quite interesting and asked him if we could re-publish his comment here. Here it is:
‘Four Year Plan is a terrible name. It sounds exactly like the program initiated by Adolf Hitler in 1936 to fight unemployment and create ‘self-sufficiency’ in Germany. Apparently the Fuhrer wanted to show the superiority of National-Socialism over old fashioned Communism (‘Stalin says he can do it in five years? We’ll do it in four!’).
To continue with the inauspicious similarities, it’s well known if Hitler had a weakness, it was grandiose engineering projects.
Gustav Krupp von Bohlen, heir to the legendary German industrial empire, may have been a man with many faults but he knew how to read people like an open book. When the Fuhrer visited the Krupp works in Essen in 1936, the magnate showed him blueprints and scale models of colossal artillery pieces which would have been capable of defeating even the most powerful fortifications of the Maginot Line. Hitler was obviously ecstatic.
Krupp promised him that ‘if we are given access to all the resources we need’ he could deliver the first guns by late 1940-early 1941. This was a time when Hermann Goering was locked in a bitter feud with German industrialists who were seeing resources allocated to them dwindle in favor of Goering’s fledgling economic empire. Gustav Krupp played his cards well by going straight to Hitler: as soon as the Fuhrer was back in Berlin, he immediately ordered Krupp should be given access to whatever resources he needed so the super-guns could be delivered on schedule. Goering was openly warned not to interfere.
What are modern grandiose and really expensive infrastructures if not the spiritual heirs of the Krupp super-guns? Politicians love ribbon cutting and bureaucrats love overseeing huge projects which will increase their power and prestige. Industrialists who can get first in line at the trough will make a bundle.
And very much like the Krupp guns, these engineering projects are high maintenance and nigh on useless. A new (toll) highway built in Italy requires 60 million/year (on top of tolls, obviously) just to stay open. This is provided on a no-questions-asked basis by the local government, which will obviously later lament they have no money to resurface the ordinary roads people use every day …’

This post was published at Acting-Man on March 16, 2015.

Any Document Older than 180 days You Have Abandoned for Legal Purposes

Just why does government want to read everything you have ever written? They are obsessed with collecting data on everyone exactly as if this was George Orwell’s 1984. The people in charge are just insane. They have nothing better to do but act like Joseph Stalin who could not sleep at night worrying what others might be thinking. His solution – he murdered tens of millions far beyond Hitler. The Jews Hitler killed were economic based. Hitler was able to confiscate banks, business, and even collected gold teeth from dead corpses. Edward I threw all the Jews out of England and also got to keep all their assets. But Stalin killed not for money, but for fear of what people thought. He killed the smart ones who might create a counter-revolution against him. Stalin killed Kondratieff because his study of cycles said communism would fail. The Ukrainians hated the Russian because Stalin killed more than 8 million of them.
Human nature is not confined to borders. Stanley Milgram conducted his experiment with actors in the United States to see if killing the Jews was somehow just because the German people follow orders. He discovered that human nature is strange. He conducted his experiment in different cultures and concluded that humanity will simply obey authority to the point they will torture another if so directed. This is what governments depend on to maintain order. The unruly are the fearless who refuse to conform. With time, as governments always end up abusing the ruled, the unruly rise up in an organized manner. When they become the majority, revolution is born.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on February 14, 2015.

Vacuous Blabber Association Meets in Brisbane

G-20: Governments are ‘Growth’ Magicians The G-20 met in Brisbane again this weekend for a shrimp-fest at reportedly considerable cost to tax payers (it cost more than $400 million and shut down an entire city for the best part of a week). What did the meeting achieve? According to the communique, it will achieve miracles. Not only is there going to be an intensification of the fight against the non-problem of ‘climate change’ (as if the climate cared what we do or don’t do), but governments will ‘create economic growth’ – allegedly $2 trillion worth of it over the next five years.
Since this figure refers to global GDP it can of course be achieved, mainly because GDP is a very poor measure of growth. All sorts of activities that really make us poorer are counted as ‘growth’ – all that counts for the purposes of GDP calculation is ‘spending’, no matter what the spending entails or who actually does the spending. The Soviet Union had ‘growth’ too – in fact it reported plenty of it. It even grew while millions died in famines during the collectivization drive. Western intellectuals were duly impressed by Stalin, who seemingly demonstrated the superiority of communism over capitalism in the 1930s. People in the Soviet Union were even paid in something that was called money, but there was very little they could actually buy with it.
Since governments want to fight ‘climate change’ (there is no point in fighting ‘global warming’ anymore, since it has stopped dead in its tracks more than 18 years ago), they are bound to create some of that magical growth by wasting scarce resources on alternative energy subsidies. It should be obvious that such investment is wasteful – if that were not the case, it would not need to be subsidized (Germany’s citizens have seen their electricity bills soar in the course of the rigorous implementation of the ‘green energy’ boondoggle in that country). However, it will register as growth in the GDP accounts, just as numerous housing bubbles around the world looked like growth until they blew up in 2008.
All this government intervention-induced growth should perhaps be called ‘growth at a price’ – it is a bit like buying $1 bills with $5 bills. According to the AP, the G-20 want to create more jobs specifically for women as well (by means of quotas? They didn’t say), but it is actually not necessary to plan specifically for that, at least not in the industrialized nations.

This post was published at Acting-Man on November 17, 2014.

Oh Boy! Get Ready. The Paranoid Nutjobs at the NSA Will Be About To Read Your Thoughts

Believe it or not, Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a machine and computer program which converts brain activity into sounds and words. That’s correct! Speech activates specific neurons as the brain operates to interpret the sounds as words. Each word activates a slightly different set of neurons. This is how language functions – it is actually pattern recognition with sound rather than sight.
These scientists have begun to develop an algorithm that can pick up the activity and translate it back into words from outside your mind. They claim this technology will help people who are unable to speak. In reality, it will help the NSA transcend everything to fill their paranoia about what people are thinking and can they eliminate those who would overturn their power. This is Stalin unplugged and unlimited.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on November 2, 2014.

All the world’s gold to be confiscated and buried in Switzerland by 2020 argues Jim Rickards

In what pretends to be a history looking back from the future ‘Currency Wars’ author and fund manager Jim Rickards argues that by 2020 all the gold of the G-20 nations will be confiscated and buried in a former nuclear bunker under a mountain in Switzerland to take it out of the global financial system.
This is the conclusion to the astonishing tour de force article that kicks off his new monthly newsletter ‘Rickards’ Strategic Intelligence’ for Agora Financial, publisher of highly successful financial newsletters like Chris Mayers’ ‘Capital & Crisis’. Has the normally sober and thoughful Mr. Rickards lost his marbles?
Ad absurdum
I must confess to having my doubts on reading his first issue with one absurd conclusion leading to another and then to a totally unrealistic world gold confiscation scenario. How would that happen? The G-20 meetings struggle to agree on a final communique. How could they agree something like that?
Mr. Rickards does not stop there. In his world not only does money die and cease to exist but there is a sort of death of capitalism that Marx prescribed and Stalin tried to implement without notable success. There are no markets, bonds nor money by 2024 and equality rules.

This post was published at Arabian Money on 19 October 2014.

Gold And Silver – An End Still Not In Sight

Miscellaneous, with a central not-so-apparent binder. Do they relate to gold and silver? In a way, yes.
At the end of September, Yahoo ran a picture of Putin along side of Stalin. No too much in the way of suggestive association at play here by the media intent on pleasing the elites and federal government. The caption was what the two have in common, both from Russia certainly being one. What we know for sure is that neither ever won a Nobel Peace Prize, and neither has been responsible for inciting wars all across the globe and bombing other countries into submission, so Obomba is one-up on them in that regard, but his photo did not appear in the line up.
Question? How many countries have Russian troops on their soil? The US has maybe over 150. How many drone strikes has Russia conducted against other sovereign nations? No one has unleashed more killer drone strikes than Barack Hussein Obomba. No one. How many Islamic extremist groups has Russia trained and armed? The CIA has created, armed and trained al-Quida, and now ISIS with the intent is to create chaos in the Middle East as an indirect deflection for bringing down Assad in Syria and attempting to disrupt the flow of Russian oil and natural gas to Europe, trying to save the fast-sinking US fiat petrodollar.
Few Americans have ever heard of Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung [one of Germany’s largest newspapers]. The CIA had been pimping him out to write pro-American articles for German and international consumption. He had an ‘aha’ moment of conscientiousness when he could see how the US has been pushing so hard for war, and he had had his fill of lying for the US government. There is an article and clip from RT News, but do not be put off by the news source. No US media would ever give it coverage. It is interesting, especially for Americans who do not get any or much news outside of elite-controlled mainstream news.
Lest anyone think the story lacks credibility, we did an article a few weeks ago of a US journalist who refused to cooperate and, in fact, wrote an expose on the CIA employing journalists in this country, [Do You Trust The Government, Or The Media?]. The movie, Dark Alliance, is due out soon.

This post was published at Edge Trader Plus on 11 October 2014.