The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the U.S. Criminal State, The Grand Plan for a New World Order
Prof. John McMurtry
(Editor’s Note: We bring to the consideration of our readers this incisive and carefully formulated analysis by Canada’s renowned philosopher Professor John McMurtry.Â – JSB)
The complete text published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies can be downloaded in pdf
I was sceptical of the 9-11 event from the first time I saw it on television. It was on every major network within minutes. All the guilty partieswere declared before any evidence was shown.The first questions of any criminal investigation were erased.Â Who had the most compelling motives for the event? Who had the means to turn two central iconic buildings in New York into a pile of steel and a cloud of dust in seconds?[i]
Other questions soon arose in the aftermath. Why was all the evidence at the crime scenes removed or confiscated?
Who was behind the continuous false information and non-stop repetition of "foreign/Arab terrorists"when no proof of guilt existed? Who was blocking all independent inquiry?
Even 11 years on these questions are still not answered.
But those immediately named guilty without any forensic proof certainly fitted the need for a plausible Enemy now that the "threat of the Soviet Union" and "communist world rule" were dead. Â How else could the billion-dollar-a-day military be justified with no peace dividend amidst a corporately hollowed-out U.S. economy entering its long-term slide? While all the media and most of the people asserted the official 9-11 conspiracy theory as given fact, not all did.
A Bay Street broker with whom I was improbably discussing the event in Cuba had no problem recognising the value meaning. When I asked what he thought about the official conspiracy theory, he was frank:
"You can call it what you want, but America needs a war to pull the people together and expand into new resource rich areas. That what it has always done from Mexico on. And that is what it needs now".Â When I wondered why none in the know said so, he smirked: "It would be impolite", adding, "It affects the entire future prosperity of America and the West". And all the deaths? "It had to be done â€“far less than it could have been". The 19 Arabs with box-cutters reducing the World Trade Center buildings to powder in a few seconds?He shrugged.
Thus everyone since 9-11 is prohibited nail-clippers on planes to confirm the absurd â€“ including 15 of the 19alleged hijackers being from Saudi Arabia and several apparently still alive after crashing the planes into the buildings.[ii]As for the diabolical mastermind Osama bin Laden, he is never linked by credible evidence to the crime and never claims responsibility for the strike since the videos of him are fakes. "Ground Zero" is a double entendre. All doubts are erased apriori.
Decoding the U.S. Theater of Wars and the Moral Driver Behind
One already knew that suspension of belief is the first act of fiction, and that instant culture rules the U.S. One already knew that monster technical events are America’s stock in trade. And one already knew the long history of false U.S. pretexts for war – so well established that a young strategic thinker a decade after 9-11 advises the right-wing Washington Policy Institute on how to create a crisis by deadly planned incident to make war on Iran â€“ "it is the traditional way of getting into war for what is best in America’s interests".[iii]
One further knew from past research that the U.S.’s strategic leadership since 1945 had been Nazi-based in information and connections and the dominant Central-European figures articulating it ever after across Democrat and Republican lineshave a common cause. For over 40 years, Henry Kissinger as Republican and Zbigniew Brzezinski as Democrat have been protÃ©gÃ©s of David Rockefeller, selected as Trilateral Commission and Bilderberg Group leaders, and capable of any mass-homicidal plan to advance "U.S. interests".
The banker-and-oil imperial line through David Rockefeller as paradigm case goes back to the Nazi period to John Foster Dulles (an in-law) and his brother Allen Dulles (OSS and then CIA Director), who Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg called "traitors" for their support of the Nazi regime.
The Rockefeller Foundation funded and developed German eugenics programs in the pre-war years, Standard Oil supplied oil in collaboration with I.G. Farben, and so on.[iv]
The supreme moral goal and strategic methods governing U.S. covert-state performance have not only have been very similar in moral principle, but have deeply connected Rockefeller protÃ©gÃ©s Kissinger and Brzezinski, and more deeply still the theoretical godfather of U.S. covert state policy, Leo Strauss, who was funded out of Germany by David Rockefeller from the start.
The inner logic of covert and not-so-covert U.S. corporate world rule since 1945unified under Wall Street financial management and transnational corporate treaties for unhindered control of commodities and money capital flows across all borders is undeniable if seldom tracked. This architecture of the grand plan for a New World Order is evident in both strategic policy and global political and armed action over decades that have seen the objectives increasingly fulfilled with constructed deadly crises as pretexts for war the standard technique.[v]Behind them as first post-Nazi historical turn lies the 1947 National Security Act (NSA) which created the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)and explicitly licensesdestruction of life, truth and other societies as institutional methods.
The CIA is charged with designing, planning and executing "propaganda, economic war, direct preventive action, sabotage, anti-sabotage, destruction, subversion against hostile States, assistance to clandestine liberation movements, guerrilla murders, assistance to indigenous groups opposed to the enemy countries of the free world". The linkage back to Nazi methods and world-rule goal as the highest moral objective is not just one of corresponding ultimate principles and strategic policy formation. It relied on Nazi SS intelligence sources and means from the beginning of the covert terror state.[vi]
There is no heinous means that is not assumed as the highest morality by this long-standing covert institutional formation linking to the presidential office.It is an explicitly secret system involving at least the Defense Department and the CIA, the former with many more operatives and offices.
The Special Activities Division (SAD) to carry out NSA criminal operations, for example, also confers the highest honors awarded in recognition of distinguished valor and excellence â€“ as did the earlier SS prototype in Germany. What people find difficult to recognise is that these actions, whether by the SAD or other system operations,are conceived as the highest duty, however life-system destructive and mass murderous they are. All participants are super patriots in their own view, as were the Nazis. Contradiction between declared and actual values, however, is a central mode of the covert system. For example, what can be considered a high duty in the perpetual U.S."war on drugs", the most morally obligatory commitment of the U.S. state,is at the same time a war against and with other drug operations to transport illegal hard drugs into the U.S. itself.[vii]
We might see here a parallel between foreign mass murder and domestic mass murder in 9-11, with both regarded as high patriotism in this supreme morality. In the background of America’s Reichstag Fire and likewise disclosing the unlimited geo-strategic action that can be operationalized as necessary and good, the post-1945 U.S. control of international sea-lanes made the covert U.S. state the world’s dominant narcotics controller so as to fund secret criminal war actions from South-East Asia to Latin America, entailing the addiction of its own peoples.[viii]This woeful method has been long known by experts, but came to be public knowledge in the Reagan-state funding of the death-squad Contras of Nicaragua as "the moral equal of our Founding Fathers" (a tribute he is said to have given later to the drug-running warlords and jihadists of Afghanistan).
These moral contradictions seem insane, but this is so only if one does not comprehend the underlying supreme morality of which they are all expressions.
Even U.S.-sponsored death squads torturing and killing tens of thousands of poor people across Latin America before 2000 and their return as direct covert U.S.-state method from Iraq to Syria after 9-11 â€“ called "the Salvador option"[ix] â€“ is regarded as necessary and obligatory to "defend the Free World and our way of life". They entail ever more total U.S. world rule and self-maximizing position by strategic deduction from the supreme morality’s first premises.
The covert nature of the mass-murderous operationalization is never from moral embarrassment. It is solely to ensure effectiveness of execution against "soft" and "uninformed" public opinion, to terrorize people in situ from continued resistance, and to annihilate its leadership and community agency all the way down. Throughout the deciding moments of execution of the underlying supreme value program, global corporate money demand multiplication is always the ultimate value driver -as may be tested by seeking any covert U.S. action or overt war which is not so regulated beneath saturating propaganda of lawful intentions of peace and freedom.
These lines of underlying moral institution, policy, strategic plan, and massive life destruction at every level are indisputable facts of the covert and official faces of the U.S. state, but are typically not connected to the September 11, 2001 attack. Since most people cannot believe their own government or the "leader of the free world" could execute such a sabotage action as "9-11" in which thousands of American themselves died, these behavioral reminders forge the unifying meaning.
Worse still occurred in the last "war"before 9-11. In the background providing graphic example of how the covert U.S. state apparatus is structured to attack and murder U.S. citizens themselves to strategically maximize implementation of its supreme value program of transnational corporate money sequences over all barriers, there is the now known Operation Northwoods. Very familiar to the 9-11 truth movement, but unpublicized since its release under freedom of information laws, this Department of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff plan proposed that the CIA and other operatives covert operatives "undertake a range of atrocities" to be blamed on Cuba to provide pretext for invasion.
"Innocent civilians were to be shot on American streets; boats carrying refugees fleeing Cuba were to be sunk on the high seas; a wave of violent terrorism was to be launched in Washington DC, Miami and elsewhere. People would be framed for bombings they did commit; planes would be hijacked".[x]
All would be blamed on Castro the Communist in place of bin Laden the Islamicist, and invasion of desired resistant territory would be achieved as a triumph of American freedom and interests over its enemies.
Operation Northwoods was not, however, okayed by President Kennedy – perhaps another reason for his assassination and replacement by more pliant presidents to represent "America’s interests" in accord with the supreme morality. Underneath the stolen election of George Bush Jr.in contrast – whose family made its money, in part, by serving the covert financial requirements of the Nazi regime before and during the 1939-45 War – was a domestic and foreign administration which would push further than any in the past to advance "U.S. interests"to full-spectrum world rule. Its project included reversing the Roosevelt New Deal and the social state within the U.S. itself – "an anomaly" as Bush Jr. expressed the historical perspective and ethic at work.
This plan was more explicit in the published Project for the New American Century formed from 1997 on. It even supplied the need for a 9-11 event in its 2000 version, the year that Bush Jr. was elected and the year before 9-11. To indicate the "non-partisan" nature of the planning, Democrat National security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski had already hinted at the usefulness of a 9-11-style domestic attack to move policy forward in his 1998 book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.[xi]
The Moral Compass of 9-11
As a moral philosopher with social value systems as my primary object of analysis, my first thoughts in understanding "9-11" were of the system motives,known methods, and objective interests driving the event which could coherently explain it. Whatever the immediate hold of the official conspiracy theory on the public mind,a rational explanation is required which is consistent with the suppressed facts and the organising geo-strategic plan on both sides of the event.
For over a decade before 9-11, there were three U.S.-propelled global trends that almost never come into the understanding of 9-11 itself. 9-11 truth seekers themselves have focused on the foreground technics and the transparent motive for oil. But these are undergirded by deeper sea-shifts of geopolitical and economic wars of seizure and destruction by other name against which the world’s people were rising. To compel books of analysis into one unifying frame, transnational corporate-rights treaties from NAFTA to the Maastracht Treaty to the WTO overrode all other rights across borders;the private "financialization"stripping of social sectors and welfare states had advanced across the world; and the totalizing movement of the system across all former "cold war" and cultural borders was "the new world order" in formation. Together these vast shifts towards transnational money-sequence rule of all reversed centuries of democratic evolution. And every step of the supreme value program was life blind at every step of its global operationalization.[xii]
Yet states and cultures were so sweepingly re-set into unaccountable transnational corporate and bank rule that few recognised the absolutist value program being imposed on the world.Â Fewer still recognised all was unfolding according to plan.
What has been least appreciated about the long-term strategic plan unfolding on both sides of what was immediately called "9-11" â€“ CallEmergency!–is that supreme banker and global money director David Rockefeller had summarized "the plan" to fellow money-party elites across borders at the Bildersberg meeting in Baden Baden Germany in June 1991 -exactly at the same time that the Soviet Union and its resistant barriers fell.[xiii] Bear in mind that Rockefeller among other initiatives appointed both Kissinger and Brzezinski for the lead in both the supranational Bilderberg and Trilateral strategic bodies of which he was the lead patron, not to mention financed the unemployed academic Leo Strauss out of Germany to be the godfatherÂ "philosopher" of the "new world order". Rockefeller speaks very precisely to his fellow "elite of the elite" of the Western world where only Americans and Europe are invited and reportage excluded:
"A supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries", Rockefeller said.[xiv]
Observe the foundational new concepts in place of responsible government and democratic accountability. They are now consigned to "past centuries". A "supranational sovereignty"has replaced them and is morally"preferable". Rockefeller is not exaggerating. By 1991 a "supranational sovereignty" had already developed in the form of transnational treaties conferring override rights of "profit opportunity" on transnational corporations and private bank rule of government finances across borders â€“ procedurally trumping any elected legislatures and their laws which are inconsistent with their thousands of treaty articles, even when the system eventually leads to world depression as now.[xv] The source of the legitimacy of governments, ultimate sovereignty, has now passed as preferable to "an intellectual elite and bankers": more exactly, academic strategy servants and transnational money sequences overriding all human and planetary life requirements a-priori by the supreme moral goal.
Ask which function of the world’s people and means of life is not now in debt to Wall Street and the private global banking system it leads. Ask which means of life from food and water to autos and pension cheques is not thus ultimately controlled, or which commodity is not under oligopolist corporate sway. The "surely preferable" objective was already achieved by 1991 or in advanced global institutional motion. Now supreme over all else so that all else is now accountable to it, and it is not accountable to anything above it, "the plan"seemed all but accomplished by Rockefeller’s own considered words.
But what if people resist the new world rule with no life coordinate or constraint at any level of its execution? We may recall that during the death-squad rule of the Argentina generals at this time in which civilians were murdered and tortured in the thousands, National Security Adviser Kissinger congratulated the junta on their “very good results – – The quicker you succeed the better."Kissinger also heartily approved of the earlier massacres and torture in Chile.
The resistance was in this way pre-empted long before the Soviet Union fell, and after 1990 had no block in the Middle East and Central Asia either. "The plan" has been very long term. Kissinger the geo-executer was originally appointed to high office by Rockefeller (to lead the Council on Foreign Relations back in 1954), and â€“ to give a sense of the long-range trajectory of the plan design â€“was,incredibly,the U.S. administration’s first choice for an "independent 9-11 Commission". The obviously not-independent Kissinger was still not a problem for "the free press" and official discourse. But when he was required to disclose his business connections, he withdrew to stay covert in his ongoing backroom capacities and enrichment.
The 9-11 sacrifice is better understood within the deep-structural context of the unfolding plan. Thus David Rockefeller gave special thanks to media like "the New York Times, Washington Post, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion" in co-operating with the plan. Rockefeller was again precise:
This plan for the world would have been impossible for us to develop if we had been subjected to the light of publicity during those years. [xvi]
The plan’s next decisive steps were in fact already in motion as Rockefeller expressed gratitude for the media black-out. A new strategic manifesto from the Pentagon was in preparation entitled "Defense Planning Guidance on Post-Cold- War Strategy," completed on February 18, 1992.[xvii]Prepared under the supervision of Paul Wolfowitz, then the Pentagon’s Undersecretary for Policy, it was disclosed in March of 1992 by the New York Times.After the first invasion of Iraq, it became known as the Project for the New American Century, publicly released from 1997 to 2000 prior to 9-11.
Again we may note the long arc of planning control, crisis and war as required. Item 6 of the strategic plan defined the agenda in general terms: "In the Middle East and Southwest Asia, our overall objective is to remain the predominant power in the region and preserve U.S. and western access to the region’s oil."
Oil-rich Iraq had in fact been invaded â€“ not only to privatize its peerlessly high-quality surface oilfields but to destroy its region-leading socialist infrastructure.Iraq became accessible for invasion as the arms-bankrupted Soviet Union was in collapse. We may observe that the covertly genocidal destruction of Iraq bridged Republican and Democrat administrations over three changes of government â€“ disclosing how the covert state operates as a moral constant across party fronts.
The actions confirm and express the one supreme moral goal identified above. They bridge from Saddam himself as CIA-payroll killer and war proxy against Iran to recapture lost Iran oilfields dating from 1980 to 1988 to the fall of the USSR in 1991 as the axis of the long-term strategic plan of global turnaround to "America’s century" still to come before and after 9-11.But between 1990 and 2003 Saddam was transmuted from former ally to aggressor against Kuwait in an invasion given an official green light from the U.S. government, to "mushroom cloud"threat with invented "weapons of mass destruction".
In fact, National Security Adviser Wolfowitz explained after the invasion found nothing of the kind: "[We had] virtually no economic options with Iraq because the country floats on a sea of oil."
Observe how the invasion is conceived as obligatory for a reason that expresses the supreme value goal. Observe that it occurs less than two years after 9-11, which gave the open-cheque justification for the bombing and occupation which allowed the expropriation of Iraq’s society’s oil resources.
The problem was not the evil Saddam or the "weapons of mass destruction", the standard reverse projection.[xviii]The problem was the Iraqi people themselves and their developed oil-funded social life infrastructure between the supreme oil-fields and their U.S. corporate control and privatization. 9-11 was,thus, first the justification for invading Afghanistan â€“ to clear the way for pipelines into the former Soviet republics from the Caspian Sea regionâ€“ pipelines that prompted the U.S. representative to predictively warn the Taliban:"Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs."[xix]9-11 was then the necessary basis of justification for the bombing of Baghdad for the unifying supreme objective.
In fact,seldom published in the corporate media keeping the glare of publicity away from the supreme moral objective, the publicly owned and managed oil revenues of Iraq had been invested since the 1950′s in Iraq’s advanced social infrastructure, leading the Middle East with free higher education, high health standards, and near universal livelihood security. The world’s oldest civilisation was robust in organisational capacities long before the CIA-asset Saddam was installed.
Despite his murdering his way to the top in this function, even Saddam could not destroy the system because socialist government had been achieved decades earlier by a powerful oil-workers’ union base and a population glad to have all education free, an efficient low-cost foods delivery system, and the most advanced public healthcare system in the Middle East. So there was not only the "sea of oil" as a motive to assert U.S. control in the new "supranational sovereignty" of the world. Just as important in this ultimate moral cause, what the U.S. covert state always seeks to destroy by any means, isa successful social infrastructure without private big oil, bankers and transnational corporations free to control it towards higher profit opportunities.
Unravelling the Supreme Moral Doctrine behind the U.S. Covert State
The genocide of Iraq, as the long-opposing "evil empire" was in free-fall, is the most important strategic anchoring prior to "9-11". Covert strategic policy to forward the supreme goal is by now self-evident, but the inner moral logic is assumed not penetrated.Â The most influential of Rockefeller’s protÃ©gÃ©s in this regard is the "philosopher king" of the U.S. covert state, Leo Strauss. While he never worked in a philosophy department or has any training in logic, his concept of "natural right" fits exactly to the "supranational sovereignty" of private money-sequence rule of the world â€“ what "the intellectual elite" Rockefeller refers to invoke as "moral anchor", "right" and "justice".
The moral thought system is not unlike that of Mein Kampf without the racist rant, camouflaged everywhere in practice by the method of big lies â€“ "noble lies" as Strauss exalts them.[xx] The innermost value driver is a perpetual war of dispossession of the weaker for the private transnational money-capital multiplication of the rich.
Nothing in this doctrine is too mendacious, greed-crazed and murderous if it fulfills the plan of this limitless private-capital rule as ultimate moral ground and compass. In Strauss’s canonical teaching of U.S. national security advisers and intellectual following, the ruling moral absolute is expressed by the core master idea behind the "supranational sovereignty" of an "intellectual elite and bankers":
"limitless capital accumulation – — the highest right and moral duty".[xxi]
This is the ethical absolute of the covert U.S. state and its strategic decision structure. And there is no internal limit within this moral universe to life means seizure from poorer societies and resource looting for the supreme goal.Â It is the natural and absolute Good.
To justify its meaning, the Straussian canon adopts a potted reading of Western moral and political philosophy from Plato through Hobbes, Hegel, Nietzsche, Marx and Weber. This impresses American political operatives of the faith, but Strauss is a failed philosopher turned down by Paul Tillich for his post-doctoral Habilitation and only saved from academic ruin in Germany by Rockefeller grant money. While not taken seriously as philosophy anywhere else, it is worth decoding its talmudic involution for the borrowed ideas that drive its covert state disciples and neo-fascist public "intellectuals" in America.
The ultimately organising idea is to commend all forms of conquering and limitlessly expanding private capital as "natural right and law" with genocidal subjugations justified in glowing moral terms. For example, "noble lies" is the moral category for limitless mendacity. One may wonder how educated people can be so bent out of moral shape. So I now concisely provide what cannot be found elsewhere: the inner logic of the supreme doctrine as perversions of great thinkers.
Its framework of meaning and value helps us to understand why the 9-11 event could easily follow for the managers of the covert U.S. state and its Straussian planners as not at all anomalous or evil within their moral logic. 9-11 follows as a maximally rational and unique tool to achieve the objectives in fact achieved by 9-11, and the geo-strategic cabal behind it is servilely linked from the beginning to the dominant private transnational corporate and banking interests exemplified by David Rockefeller.
To understand this brutal moral universe and its connection to 9-11, the 9-11 wars and a globalizing police state, we need to understand the deformations of its basic organising ideas. Plato’s idea of "the noble lie" means, in fact, a myth or parable to communicate an underlying truth about the triadic human soul of reason, spirit and appetite which, Plato argues, should be reflected in the construction of the ideal state (in which the rulers are communist in their common property to keep them uncorrupted and true).
But through the prism of U.S. global money-party rule a la Strauss this idea becomes the principle of lying to the public to keep the vulgar herd â€“ the people themselves – ignorant and obedient. The philosophies of Hobbes and Hegel are also grist for this mill. Hobbes argues that "man is moved by a restless desire for power after power that ceaseth only in death", but this brute desire in the "State of Nature" is tamed by "the covenant of peace" ordered by the internal sovereign as absolute.
Via Strauss and the U.S. covert state this becomes right is might and the ultimate "natural right" is limitless private capital power and empire with no end of totalization across the peoples and lands of the world. Hegel too suits a fascist-capitalist reading since he argues "the State is the march of God Â through the world", and war itself is history’s test of which State is a higher realisation of "the absolute Idea". But Hegel still envisaged a "universal state"to supersede the competitive private-property division of capitalism in the "universalization of right and law on earth".
Once again U.S. private money-capital power with no bound, the supreme moral goal in the Rockefeller-Strauss doctrine, is opposite to the classical philosophy it invokes. Once more dialectical development of reason to more coherently inclusive conception and life is reversed into one-way private money capital sequences maximized to rule the world with the U.S. military as its instrument of force and terror.
However it conceals its meaning, all positions come down to this underlying value code â€“ as may be tested on whatever transnational money-sequence demand, right or war is launched next. 9-11 construction in such a moral world does not violate this value code. It expresses it in self-maximizing strategic turn to achieve the ultimate goal.
Friedrich Nietzsche may provide the best fodder for the doctrine when he advises that "life is essentially appropriation, injury, overpowering of what is alien and weaker, imposing of one’s own forms, and at its mildest exploitation" in his superman vision of "beyond good and evil". For philosophical Nietzscheans, this is code for the inner meaning of the angst of artistic creation. But this meaning is predictably lost on the U.S. covert-state school seeking the "supranational sovereignty" of "limitless capital accumulation" as the supreme good with the "intellectual elite" as servants to it. Karl Marx’s link of capitalism’s success to productive force development is the ultimate equivocation upon which this ruling doctrine depends â€“ making no distinction between productive capital providing life goods and unproductive money sequencing hollowing out the world by money-capital multiplication. Marx, it must be acknowledged, did not made the distinction himself since this mutation of capital came a century after his death.[xxii]
Finally Max Weber’s Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism does not ground this doctrine of "limitless capital accumulation as the highest right and duty" with the state to serve it, as Strauss again torturously suggests. In fact, Weber deplores any such perversion of public authority. His capitalist model is a young Benjamin Franklin speaking of money saved and invested as like having "a breeding sow", not a transnational money-sequence juggernaut of eco-genocidal expansion.Â Revealingly, Benjamin Franklin and "the protestant ethic" in general were most concerned about non-waste, which Strauss explicitly excludes from the meaning of "limitless capital accumulation". For Leo Strauss and his U.S. "national security" disciples, the capitalist may waste as much as he wants by "natural right".
Further, in complete inversion of source, the greed worship of the U.S. state, its patrons and its academy disciples reverses the model of the "spirit of capitalism" exemplified by Benjamin Franklin in proprietary claim on knowledge and inventions. He,in fact,refused to patent his famous Franklin Stove because he believed that no innovation or new knowledge from which other people could benefit should be denied them – just as he himself had benefitted from the community of knowledge and science as the distinguishing feature of being a civilised human being.
In short, it is important to recognise how twisted the covertly ruling doctrine is. No element of it is life coherent or true to the classical thinkers in which it costumes itself. In the end, only the transnational U.S. money party has any place in its rights and obligations, and any sacrifice of other life to its supreme goal is legitimate â€“ linking back to the Nazi-U.S. corporate axis that nearly destroyed the civilised world once before.[xxiii]
Money-Capital Power UeberAlles: How Economic Rationality Leads the Plan
The U.S. culture of money-sequence "rationality" is the underlying intellectual and moral disorder which leads to "limitless money capital accumulation" as the supreme moral goal. In formal terms, the equation of rationality to atomic self-maximization is assumed a-prioriacross domains. With globalizing Wall-Street-led "financialization", this "rationality" becomes equated to private money-sequence multiplication across all borders as the ultimate Good. This is the innermost mutation of value logic and goal, the moral DNA, from which the cancerous world system develops on both sides of 9-11.[xxiv]
This first principle itself is,in fact,built into formal economics, decision and game theory, and strategic science, as I explain step by step in "Behind Global System Collapse: The Life-Blind Structure of Economic Rationality."[xxv] It is axiomatic but unexamined, life-blindly absolutist but not recognised as morally problematic. To make a long story short, competitive self-maximization in the market is assumed to produce "the best of possible worlds" by mathematical proof. "Pareto efficiency" is believed to demonstrate this by private money exchanges between self-maximizing atoms apriori stripped of all life properties, relations, society, conditions of choice, and all natural and civil life support systems. Pareto himself recognised outside this formula what has since been covered up.
Not only is the formula consistent with most having remaining impoverished by the "optimum" of "no-one worse off", what none who cite "Pareto efficiency" as a standard academic mantra ever acknowledge or even recognise. Pareto himself is in no doubt of the implication. As the fascist party he belongs to rules Italy and Rockefeller creates the Council of Foreign Relations, he asserts with approval: "Very moral civilized people have destroyed and continue to destroy, without the least scruple, savage or barbarian peoples".[xxvi]We glimpse here at the roots the supreme morality built into "economic science" itself.
Yet, as demonstrated in "Behind Global System Collapse", even the most liberal canons of America, including John Rawls’ classic A Theory of Justice, are grounded in the same meta principle.[xxvii] Rationality and value are equated to self-maximizing gain with no limit within game-theoretic interactions as the sole limiting framework of "limitless money capital acquisition". The generic equation defines, indeed, the dominant intellectual and economic mind-set of America and the global system in action since 1980. The cabal internal to U.S. national security strategic planning follows the moral logic to its most radical conclusions with no constraints by life or law.
The one absolute moral meaning is the spread of U.S. economic, military and political power as good for all, or, more exactly in Straussian language, limitless private transnational money-capital expansion as the highest right and moral duty. Only what is consistent with or serves this supreme morality, it follows, deserves to exist. This is the alpha and omega of the covert doctrine and state, and careful reading can find no disconfirmation beneath the rhetoric of "noble lies".
The Iraq Paradigm:Â Genocide Strategy From 1990 On
The Iraq line of the geostrategic plan from 1990 to 2001 and after is a paradigmatic articulation of the covertly ruling moral logic. It launches into the theatre of war as direct war attack when U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, is instructed to green-light Saddam’s already known plan to invade Kuwait in 1990: "The US. has no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait", she advises. To formalize the lie as official and traditional, she reports: "Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America".[xxviii]
The dispute was, in fact, over Kuwait’s drawing out oil from reserves underlying Iraq as enabled by the colonial split of the oil-rich Kuwait province from Iraq – the classic divide-and-rule policy holding also in the division of oil-rich Kurdistan among four manufactured states. Saddam had good reason to trust the U.S., not only by the long-term official promise of neutrality but as blood-mix ally when he waged a U.S.-supported war of aggression against Iran – which still remains the target. Note the big lie to provoke the supreme crime of war has remained without any glare of publicity that might derail the plan.
When Saddam did exactly as planned by invading Kuwait, Bush Sr. raved about the Nazi-like aggression against a weaker country in the reverse projection that always defines the covert U.S. state before, through and after 9-11. So in the same name of "preventing aggression" U.S. "defense" forces invaded Iraq to destroy any life capacity it had to defend itself â€“ always the strategy since the defeat in Vietnam. The genocide began by the massacre of many tens of thousands of fleeing soldiers. Recall the weeping young woman, the Kuwait ambassador’s daughter, planted next to baby incubators falsely claiming the monster Saddam had murdered the babies. This reverse projection was soon to be made real thousands of times over inside the victim society of Iraq.
Reverse projection of evil is the meta law of U.S. psy-ops propaganda in the deadly conflicts and wars it covertly starts. This is the supreme moral program in action as "noble lies". In this case, the air-bombing after surrender continued from U.S. and "special ally" Britain as "sanctions of Iraq" to "prevent aggression" â€“ again the reverse projection. In fact the bombs continually fell on the water and electricity infrastructures of the defenceless people and against all lines of repair to restore either â€“ "the line in the sand against Iraq aggression". We might bear in mind that Wolfowitz was Undersecretary of Defense under Secretary Cheney at this time, their positions not unlike those at the time of 9-11.
Air-bombing, as Bertrand Russell long ago pointed out, is inherently fascist in erasing the killed and maimed from sight while ensuring impunity for the bombers of defenceless people.Â But all such mass murder is only collateral damage to the supreme moral goal as "natural right and law".Â The air bombing of Iraq’s water and electricity supplies dressed in one big lie after another continued in slow mass-murderous destruction of the people and their social life infrastructures years on end.
Denis Halliday, United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator for the mission finally called it "genocide" (Wikipedia calls it "the Persian Gulf War") when he resigned in 1998 to protest against "the crimes against humanity". But no-one knew until the U.S. Department of Defense Intelligence got out that the first sweep of Iraq was planned down to the mass killing of the infants and children. September 11 in 2001 is better understood in this wider context of strategic planning by the covert U.S. terror state. For years the non-stop bombing of the people’s central life-water support system deliberately engineered mass dying from diseases of children in the hundreds of thousands.
What was predicted by Harvard Medical School researchers from the continuous civilian infrastructure bombing by the U.S. military – the deaths of over 500,000 children- was verified by the counts scientifically taken at the risk of researchers as the bombing continued month after month with NATO support.[xxix]
Full-spectrum corporate money-sequencing through Iraq under the Comprehensive Privatization Program would only be enabled by "9-11"down the road. But first the bases of advanced social life organization needed to be destroyed. The later-leaked U.S. Defense Intelligence document entitled "Iraq Water Treatment Vulnerabilities" expresses the moral DNA at work. I cite the key lines of U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency reports because they reveal the character of the supreme moral goal and its strategic planning."With no domestic sources of water treatment replacement or chemicals like chlorine"and "laden with biological pollutants and bacteria", the leaked Defense Intelligence Agency report says (italics added), "epidemics of such diseases as cholera, hepatitis, and typhoid" will "probably take six months before the [drinking and sewage water] system is fully degraded".
The document continues, Conditions are favorable for communicable disease outbreaks [by the one-way air bombing] with the "most likely diseases during next sixty-ninety days of diarrheal diseases (particularly children) acute respiratory diseases (colds and influenza); typhoid; hepatitis (particularly children); measles, diphtheria, and pertussis (particularly children); meningitis including meningococcal (particularly children), cholera". "Medical Problems in Iraq", dated March 15, 1991, reports that the "water is less than 5 percent of the original supply – – diarrhea is four times above normal levels – – Conditions in Baghdad remain favorable for disease outbreaks". The fifth document in June reports "almost all medicines in critically short supply" and "Gastroenteritis killing children – – in the south, 80 percent of the deaths are children".[xxx]
In short, no limit to covert U.S. planning of indiscriminate mass murder for the supreme goal exists. The number who died in 9-11 suddenly pales in comparison. In all cases, it lets "those inimical to U.S. interests" know that there is no limit to how far the covert terror state will go for the supreme moral code not yet decoded. Combined with wars of aggression before and after 9-11, raining fire and explosions on civilians from the air so that no defense or escape can be made, saturating the fields of public meaning with big lies civilly dangerous to unmask, and bringing vast enrichment and new powers to transnational corporate conglomerates and their past and present CEO’s of the acting U.S. state â€“ all become clear in their ultimate meaning once decoded. As the Democrat U.S. Secretary of State responded to the question of the 500,000 killed children, "we think the price was worth it". No price is too much to pay for fulfilment of the transcendent project of the global U.S. state and its private capital rule as "the Free World". "Those inimical to our interests" are those who oppose or are in the way of it, and thus "hate our freedom".
TheÂ Strategic Logic of Value through 9-11
By 2000 it was very clear to the U.S. strategic planners that the opening up of the Middle East and Central Asia after the fall of the Soviet Union had to be further pursued before it was too late.The great regret for the planning personnel of the coming Bush Jr. administration such as Paul Wolfowitz was that Iraq had not been taken over on the first invasion. The need for "full spectrum dominance" across the Middle East and Central Asia was thus the essential argument of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), with the prescription that no other "regional power"was able to contest this dominance.
The PNAC more explicitly recognised the strategic necessity for what Zbigniew Brzezinski had already called for in 1998 in The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives â€“ namely,"the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat" to ensure public support for "the United States, as the sole and, indeed, the first truly global power". The now once untouchable Central Asia, formerly of the USSR, was thus targeted as essential not only for its vast oil reserves, but to complete rule of the "first truly global power".
The Project for the New American Century was more explicit than Brzezinski in 2000, the year before 9-11. As former Defence Minister of Canada, Paul Hellyer, lucidly puts it in a recent address (italics added):
"The authors of this American ‘Mein Kampf’ [the PNAC] for conquest recognized the difficulty of persuading sophisticated Americans to accept such a gigantic change in policy. So they wrote the following (subsequently removed from the record):Â ‘Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary changes, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event â€“ like a new Pearl Harbor.’"[xxxi]
Excepting the Vietnam War ending in military defeat â€“ but vastly enriched armaments and connected private bank and corporate interests – the hitherto favoured strategic-plan mode had been local death squads along with pervasive American media propaganda against the victims as "communists" and "sponsored by the USSR". But once there was no remotely equal opponent in mass-kill capacities and transnational trade treaties now bound governments within corporate-rights law as overriding domestic laws and policies, anything became permissible. The plan for the "supranational sovereignty" of "limitless capital accumulation" in "full-spectrum power"required only 9-11 to derail world-wide peace, environmental and anti-corporate globalization movements growing into uncontrollable civilian capacity across borders and continents.
People were waking up to the one-way destruction of life systems at all levels. Iraq was not alone in the genocidal clearance of formersocialist infrastructures uniting peoples across ethnic lines. A far more democratic Yugoslavia was set up and destroyed by financial means in the same year by the 1991 U.S. Foreign Operations Appropriations Law after the 1980′s multiplication of public interest rates to over 20percent primedevoured social life support structures across the world.
This was the unseen financialization base of a global war against public and worker economic and political powers that was reaping a cumulative global civilian reaction of opposition to "the plan". 9-11 ensured against the fightback of financially dispossessed peoples with the signature reverse operation – diversion to an external "terrorist threat" that stood in the way of more sweeping transnational corporate wars on more peoples being dispossessed. Civil war in Yugoslavia long targeted by Reagan’s secret National Security Directive 133 as early as 1984 was predicted and occurred after the underlying employment and welfare structure of multi-ethnic Yugoslavia collapsed under deliberate financial destabilization. (The villain of the piece, Slobodan Milosevic, was himself a major banker).
In oil-rich Somalia, two-thirds of its territory had been leased out to four transnational oil companies by 1993 – a condition of lost grounds of life for Somalians behind the primeval civil war ever since. These are merely expressions of the underlying logic of value and the plan for its supranational rule beneath the lights of publicity as "discretion". The examples are myriad from Latin America to South-East Asia to sub-Sahara Africa and the Middle East to Israel and Canada today. But a descriptive law of the supreme moral goal holds across all diverse instances of its expression.
Strategic planning for the destruction of social life infrastructures of peoples for private money capital gain without limit is the ultimate value program throughout from the U.S. to China.
The people of the U.S. are not exempt from their own system of covert state rule, although democratic heroism here joins with the larger world against it. This is the ultimate moral struggle on earth today. The moral politics of the disorder are the enforcement of the descriptive law. Â This is the ruling meta program, and it is carcinogenic by its nature. The supreme motive force it multiplies by is privately self-maximizing money possession (individual and corporate)seeking to be limitlessly more.More = Better. Less = Militant Demand for More.
The "9-11" event is the epicentre of the supreme moral objective seated in Wall Street. Itis best understood as an ultimate strategic maximizer of the italicized formula. Exactly expressed, its ultimately regulating axiology is private money inputs through all life to maximally more private money outputs in ad infinitum progression: Money = Life as Means = More Money or, formally, "LasM"1,2,3,4— N.
At the highest level of anchoring moral meaning, this private money-demand rule seeks to be absolute and total across borders with no quarter. "Full spectrum dominance" is its military method. Yet what distinguishes it from the Nazi rule it connects with as prior transnational corporate partner in war making is that in the U.S. private money demand multiplication at the top is the only organising value meaning. 97% of its money command is produced by private bank notes of others’ debt to the private bank system centred in Wall Street. Yet despite this very narrow centre of control,almost no global territory or field of life is outside its rule and strategic plan.
The "Trans-Pacific Partnership" is but its latest expression – focusing on private knowledge-patent money sequencing to rule out generic pharmaceuticals and other life-and-death knowledge commons from which higher profits cannot be made. The one underlying common principle throughout all phases is transnational corporate and bank money sequencing to more. Its converse is to overrideall life requirements at all levels, and strategically planned crises and wars are the advancing lines of control and enforcement.
What is not recognized through all the genocidal wars,ecocidal results, collapsing social life support systems and falling wages, however,is that this ruling value sequence rationally leads to"9-11" as maximal strategic payoff progression."Absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event", the Project for the New American Century declared before 9-11,
" – – the U.S risks the loss of a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity".
Decoded, this meant in theory and practice more transnational private money sequence progression to ever more control over all still-uncontrolled assets for more and richer returns without limit of take or life destruction. But these are unspeakable lines of value meaning, and that is likely why, for example, Wikipedia keeps altering the entry of my name with conspiracy theory attributions and smears to ensure that such deep-structural diagnosis does not gain currency. That is how this system works, and analysis will provide more variations of this gagging method on 9-11 ahead.
The strategic necessity of the 9-11 event for "global security order"can even be asserted by the principal architects of the administration under which it happened, and those who observe this can be dismissed as "conspiracy theorists". Reverse projection is, as always, the essential psychological operation. The documented but shouted-down logistics included V-P Cheney having control of the air-defence of NORAD six months before the event to manage the relocation of the stand-by fighter jets to Alaska and Canada on September 11, 2001, and more broadly, no jet intervention for almost two hours until the full operation was completed.
The tell-tale signs that it was not the "foreign act of war" which was trumpeted were that President Bush Jr. continued exposed in set-up photo ops with school children during the "attack on the U.S." Not a wheel turned in U.S. jet intervention or homeland protection. No evident defensive action or response whatever occurred.Until strategic security from public uprising and awareness was established, the blame on foreign terrorists was repeated non-stop around the clock with no-one raising a question.
Weeks thus passed in inaction. As the future director of the 9-11 Commission said years before 9-11: "The effort and resources we devote to averting or containing this threat now, in the ‘before’ period, will seem woeful, even pathetic, when compared to what will happen ‘after’."[xxxii]And so one war of invasion after another was made upon entirely unproven sources of the "attack" who were, in fact,states and peoples standing in the way of vast publicly owned oil-fields. These had to be taken for control by U.S. and allied state armies for the private transnational corporations employing their leaders in and out of office. Money-sequence oil to quadruple-plus more has been the story ever since.[xxxiii]If 80% of the 19 claimed suicide agents were from oil-ally Saudi Arabia, if none of their identity paperscould have survived the destroyed buildings, and if several of these "hijackers" were apparently still alive, why did none of the vaunted "free press" ever investigate 9-11?Â The "noble lie" is built into every step.
The total demolition of the buildings on 9-11 was professionally executed â€“ impossible to manage except by a technologically sophisticated state with intelligence support, as former State Secretary for Defense of Germany, Andreas von BÃ¼low,has concisely observed at the first-order level: "To hijack four big airliners within a few minutes and fly them into targets within a single hour and doing so on complicated flight routes! That is unthinkable, without backing from the secret apparatuses of state and industry".[xxxiv]Turning huge fireproofed steel-girded buildings in the centre of New York into fuming debris in a few seconds and melting car bodies nearby extends the problem of physical impossibility by jet fires. That is why the firemen were killed by being "falsely told it was a fire, not military ordnance".The fire-squad commander who told me this asked me not to name him because of the harm that might come to him "from the media" â€“ the 9-11 gag again. Yet the core and deciding issue is strangely avoided by all:
Whatever the technics, every step before and after 9-11 took place in accordance with the supreme moral objective and covert-state strategic methods to execute it.The smoking gun is incinerated buildings. Every step "before" and "after" goes back to the motive, the crime syndicate, the plan, the payoffs, the seizures and dispossessions.
Reducing the Auto-Determination of Nations Requires the Plan
To reduce the "auto-determination of nations practised in past centuries" for the "supranational sovereigntyof an intellectual and banker elite"could only be made possible through "full spectrum dominance" on the groundas the Project for the New American Century had independently explained, and"the catastrophic and catalyzing event" required was "9-11", however it was accomplished.
Nicholas Rockefeller was already speaking of "the plan"eleven months before the "9-11" call for emergency help when he said to his close friend, Aaron Russo:
"There’s going to be an event Aaron…We are going to go into Afghanistan so we can put a gas pipeline to the Caspian Sea…We are going to go into Iraq to take the oil and to establish a base in the Middle East and we’re going to go into Venezuela and try and get rid of ChÃ¡vez – – -Through it, you fight the War on Terror and then you go into Iraq – – the media can convince everybody that it’s real – -"[xxxv]
Lest the reader doubt this witness, it has nowhere been disavowed any more than the patriarch’s disclosure of "the plan" itself which is also available on the right-wingCato Institute website. All express the underlying but observable moral law of motion of this ruling value system -to acquire maximally more money demand for private use and control with no public or other barrier across internal and external borders by war, trade treaty or any other means whatever the sacrifice of others’ lives.They do not count in the calculus. All life is an "externality". There is no step of the covert U.S. state that does not obey the formula.
The legality of international treaty was and remains the transnational legal method already established in the decade before 9-11 to provide the supranational framework of private transnational money-sequence rule as the moral absolute to which all conformed. Coded as "the global free market", it is neither free nor a market, but oligopolist corporate control of supply, demand, and inert-state policy. In fact, the supreme morality as defined overrides all economic interests themselves by absolute protection of private transnational "profit opportunity" alone -with thousands of regulations across borders governed by this moral absolute. This too is testable by examination of the articles of any transnational trade treaty in the NATO control zone.
Policy structures follow in line. Tax, financial, natural resource and investment policies are structured by law and right to ignore all destruction of social and natural life and life capital bases to grow transnational private money sequences to limitlessly more.This is why the self-multiplying money sequencing with no committed life function has expanded in accordance with this moral absolute through and after "9-11". Observe how the ultimately regulating principles of value prescription and description all conform to one axiological syntax across controllable theoretical, economic, political, and other levels of the global system.[xxxvi]
Thus whatever the world uprisings against it and however destructive of the planet’s social and ecological life bases, this law of motion remains the ruling constant. Not even the life impoverishment of the growing majority and the collapsing of the biosphere itself are allowed to modify its supranational ruling form. Even a tenth of one percent tax on its ruinous money-sequence tides or fraction of legal tender to back them is off-limits.
Not only 9-11 itself, but global policy locks of every kind are the expressions of this ruling moral absolute as inviolable and supreme, however much they destroy people’s lives without any committed life function – the normalization of private-bank compound-interest debts bleeding peoples dry, destabilizing speculations in sovereign currencies and bonds, asset-stripping buyouts and disemploying mergers, predatory repossessions of homes and loan-shark rates on poor debtors including college students with no limit, endless takeovers of productive firms by foreign multinationals with only banknotes, ecologically devastating mega-projects and loot-mining with no environmental or social criteria, lethal armaments manufacture led by bribery for sales to despots, Wall Street intermediations in every project with no life commitment, huge hauls of financial lifeblood from public privatizations to equity capital multiplying outside of securities regulations, stock-market derivatives exploiting fabricated money-sequence tides and futures at the cost of hundreds of millions more hungry people, and- in general – limitless corporate predation of societies’ domestic resources, home markets, worker pay and benefits, and public tax revenues.Â
With all regulating life standards thus erased and repelled,a direct question arises: Why would the sacrifice of a few thousand mixed-nation people and two iconic buildings count against this covert value calculus if it reaped the world in payoff to the under one percentÂ and could always be blamed on the Enemy to achieve even more full-spectrum dominance of the ultimate objective over all life and life systems that limit its growth and universalization?
Conversely, and in particular at the geostrategic armed force level, if any society does not yet fit into the world system as function of it, armed invasion can now follow as "defense against the terrorists" who have "attacked America" in 9-11. As U.S. General Wesley Clark has also reported for the public record,this strategic line of war has been explicit in "U.S. defense" strategic planning for Iraq, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Iran, and Syria since 9-11.
The second part of this essay is forthcoming on Global Research.
The complete text published by the Journal of 9/11 Studies can be downloaded in pdf
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:33 am
View full post on opinions.caduceusx.com
David Friedman still has qualms about the position I have expressed about freedom and property, and about moralized vs. non-moralized conceptions of freedom. To summarize, I have argued that we should use the word “freedom” to mean “the absence of interference by others,” and that thus understood, property rights interfere with freedom in some ways, while protecting it in others. And, to be clear, I think this is true of all property – both natural and created. Nothing that David has said so far has led me to believe that there is a relevant difference between the two, at least in this respect.
So, am I right in claiming that property rights restrict freedom? And if so, what follows morally? In his most recent response, David notes that property rights impose restrictions on the freedom of “rapists, sadists, and would-be slave owners,” and says that my position implies that the freedom of these nasty folks has “the same status” as any other sort of freedom. Since this is obviously an absurd conclusion – of course the freedom of rapists doesn’t have the same status as the freedom of people to live their own lives in a peaceful and productive way – the fact that my position supposedly entails it is meant as a reductio of my view.
The problem with David’s critique is that it confuses conceptual claims with normative ones. This confusion manifests itself in the ambiguous phrase, “same status.” In one sense, it’s true, I do think that the freedom of rapists and the freedom of peaceful productive individuals have the same status. I think that we can meaningfully and usefully talk about both of them as “freedom” in the sense of non-interference. A rapist who is not prevented from raping has the freedom to rape, just as a worker who is not prevented from working is free to work.
But this is merely a conceptual point. It’s a point about how I think we ought to use the word “freedom.” And as a purely conceptual point, it does not entail anything about the moral status of different kinds of freedom. Consider: when we lock up a guilty rapist in jail, we deprive him of his freedom. If we were to lock up an innocent person in jail, we would be depriving him of his freedom too. In both cases, freedom is being restricted. But, obviously, in one case the restriction is morally justifiable, and in the other case it is not. Questions about how we should use the word “freedom” are one thing. Questions about the moral status of freedom are another.
So what is my view on the moral status of freedom? Obviously, I don’t think that the freedom of rapists and sadists (to rape and be sadistic) has the same moral status as the freedom of individuals to, say, raise a family, choose their employment, and so on. Freedom, understood as the absence of interference, is on my view a prima facie good. In other words, all else being equal, it’s better that people be free from interference. There is a strong moral presumption against interfering (in certain kinds of ways) with the activities of others, but it is a presumption that can be overridden. And one of the things that can override it is when the activity in question is itself interfering with the freedom of others. That’s why harvesting the tomatoes you grew on your own land is different, morally speaking, from harvesting the tomatoes your neighbor grew on his.
So, no, I don’t think that all freedom is equal, morally speaking. And I certainly don’t think we can arrive at any morally enlightening answers simply by “adding up” the freedom of the rapists and the workers and the housewives and enacting whichever set of policies turns out to maximize the aggregate. Herbert Spencer’s idea of maximum equal freedom comes closer to getting things right, but for reasons I will address in a future post, I think even his formulation falls short.
At the end of the day, I think that questions about freedom are too complicated to be adequately captured by a pithy formula. Interfering with others in some ways (like clubbing them over the head) is bad, but in other ways (by firing them from a job they’re doing poorly) is not. Freedom is often an important value worthy of protection (like the freedom to work as an eyebrow threader without the imprimatur of the state), but in other cases (like the freedom to mutilate the genitals of one’s female children) it isn’t. And even when freedom matters, morally, it’s not the only thing that matters. We owe it to others to respect their freedom, but we also sometimes owe it to them to give them what they deserve, to meet their needs, and so on.
It would be nice if morality were easier. It would be nice if we had a formula that could tell us exactly when and how much each of these considerations matters, and to what conclusion they lead in any particular case. But as far as I can tell, we don’t. And so morality, like painting or architecture or any other skill of reasonable complexity, remains as Aristotle claimed it to be, a domain in which rules and formulas inevitably fall short, and in which ultimately there is no substitute for the experienced judgment of practical wisdom.
View full post on Libertarianism.org
By Daniel J. Mitchell
Part of my job is to educate people about free markets and fiscal policy.
In some cases, that means providing information and analysis to those already sympathetic to limited government. There are many people who like the idea of lower tax burdens, for instance, but they may not have given much thought to the interaction of tax rates, taxable income, and tax revenue, so that’s why I put together my Laffer Curve tutorial and why I wrote about this amazing data from the Reagan tax cuts.
A more challenging part of my job is reaching people with statist instincts. I wrote a post last week mocking an absurd example of Swedish egalitarianism, but I included some serious thoughts about why some people oppose liberty. How do I reach those people, especially when there’s some very interesting evidence showing fundamental differences in how liberals, conservatives, and libertarians see the world?
I don’t have a single answer to that question. Sometimes I use the utilitarian approach and show how capitalist nations outperform statist nations, as you can see in this comparison of North Korea and South Korea, and this post comparing Argentina, Chile, and Venezuela.
In other cases, I try a philosophical approach, one example of which is this video arguing against majoritarianism.
And sometimes I use horrifying anecdotes in hopes that people will realize the risks of unconstrained government.
But perhaps the folks at the Fund for American Studies have discovered a good way of educating statists. Take a look at this clever video.
P.S. Here’s another video from TFAS that uses an unusual tactic to get people to think about the value of capitalism and free markets.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard4:52PM BST 14 Oct 2012
Drastic fiscal tightening in a string of interlinked countries does two to three times more damage than assumed, especially if there is no offsetting monetary stimulus.
Pushed beyond the therapeutic dose, it is self-defeating. At a certain point it becomes pain for pain’s sake.
The error has long been obvious in Greece. The EU-IMF Troika originally said the economy would rebound quickly, growing 1.1pc in 2011, and 2.1pc in 2012, and on from there to sunlit uplands.
In fact, Greek GDP contracted by 4.5pc in 2010, 6.9pc in 2011, and is expected to shrink a further 6pc this year, and 4pc next year. If the Troika were a doctor, it would face manslaughter charges.
The IMF now admits — or rather those in the IMF who always feared this outcome are at last able to say — that this misjudgement goes far beyond Greece. Tightening by 1pc of GDP in rich countries does not lead to a 0.5pc loss of output over two years as thought.
The "fiscal multiplier" is not the hallowed 0.5 assumed by every finance ministry in Europe. The awful evidence since the global bubble burst in 2008-2009 is that the multiplier is between 0.9 and 1.7, or even higher for EMU’s crucifixion belt.
The model constructed over the long boom years — and largely drawn from isolated cases, each able to export its way out of trouble — is dangerously wrong in a 1930s-style excess savings crisis with much of the world is slump.
Steen Jakobsen from Saxo Bank says the IMF’s mea culpa is the "biggest financial story of the year". Indeed it is. The authorities have repeated the blunders of the Great Depression, but with fewer excuses.
The IMF has now called for a change of course. The Greco-Latins should be given more time to cut their deficits. The AAA creditor bloc should stop cutting altogether until the eurozone is off the reefs.
"Reducing public debt is incredibly difficult without growth," said the IMF’s Christine Lagarde. "Instead of frontloading heavily, it is sometimes better to have a bit more time."
One might expect a flicker of recognition from Germany’s Wolfgang Schauble that something must change. But no, with half Europe sliding into a second and more menacing leg of depression, and with unemployment already at 25.1pc in Greece and Spain, and 15.9pc in Portugal, he refuses to brook deviation.
"Increasing public debt doesn’t create growth, it destroys growth," he snapped back. There is "no alternative" to debt reduction. Always the same pedantry.
He reminds us of the immortal Pfuhl in Tolstoy’s War and Peace: "disposed at all times to be irritable", and unshaken in his military certainties even after the defeats of Jena and Auerstadt.
"Failure did not cause him to see the slightest evidence of weakness in his theory. On the contrary, failure was entirely due to the departures made from his theory."
So there will be no change in policy. "Europe is on the way to solving its problems," insists Mr Schauble.
The Latins will have to bear the full burden of adjustment. They alone must continue closing the North-South chasm in competiveness through an "internal devaluation", a posh term for a policy that works chiefly by throwing enough people onto the dole to break labour resistance to pay cuts. It redoubles the contractionary bias of the whole EMU system in the process.
Whether or not the Schauble plan shatters on the barricades of civic revolt is the great unknown. Growth forecasts are all over the place.
Is the Spanish government right to pencil in a fall just 0.5pc next year, with recovery starting by the summer, or is the the Spanish employers group right at -1.6pc, or Citigroup at -3.2pc (and -5.7pc in Portugal), or Nomura at -3pc and -1.5pc again in 2014?
Madhur Jha from HSBC fears that a further 1.5m people in Spain could lose their jobs by the end on 2013, pushing unemployment to over 31pc. His optimistic scenario is 28pc.
The Spanish private sector has born the brunt of cuts so far. The axe must now fall on state employees as well, and that will almost certainly be a condition for a sovereign bail-out. "Cutting jobs in the public sector is politically explosive. The flashpoint for the Spanish economy could be approaching," he said.
The EMU doctrine — expounded by bail-out chief Klaus Regling as he tours world capitals with his charts — is that carping "Anglo-Saxons" will have to eat their words about the perils of internal devaluations.
We are told that Ireland has largely closed the gap already, showing what is possible. Indeed it has, but Ireland has one of the most open economies in the world. Its exports are 127pc of GDP. It has a fat trade surplus.
It has never been seriously uncompetitive in the euro. It does not have a misaligned currency. Ireland tells us nothing about Spain, Italy, Portugal, or indeed France.
Spain clearly faces a much tougher task. It has a closed economy. Exports are less than 30pc of GDP. The current account deficit has narrowed from 10pc of GDP to 2pc — nudging into surplus in July on the reviving tourists trade — but the low-hanging fruit has been picked and the gains are flattening.
I do not wish to belittle the feat of Spain’s formidable companies. They have almost matched the export growth rates of German peers since 2009. Commerce secretary Jaime García Legaz said last week that Spain’s economy would be crashing at a 4pc rate without them.
Yet they cannot work miracles. If EMU policy settings had been more expansionary — if the eurozone had not been forced back into recession by the incompetence of the EU authorities — then perhaps they could have pulled off an export-led recovery. But the handicap imposed upon them is too great.
The credit crunch across Club Med has left Spanish firms facing a borrowing premium of 2pc or more compared to Northern rivals. The North-South gap is becoming hard-wired into the EMU system.
The reality is that even after a collapse in imports, Spain is still in deficit and has net external debts of 92pc of GDP. Trade equilibrium will be attained only with the economy in depression and only with unemployment at levels that no demcoracy can tolerate.
Mr Schauble thinks Spain has no choice. It must take its medicine. "There is no European country that would waste the smallest thought on giving up the common European currency," he said last week
This is not quite true. The head of the ruling party in Cyprus has openly discussed exit from the euro if Troika rescue terms are unacceptable.
It is also a misjudgement. Every sovereign nation has a choice, and the IMF’s mea culpa changes the landscape. The issue is no longer whether Spain should adhere to the Schauble plan, but whether the plan can work at all.
In fairness, the German government has shifted ground. It is letting the European Central Bank engage in stealth mutualisation of EMU debt by ramping up its balance sheet. This makes it easier for Chancellor Angela Merkel to avoid a bruising showdown in the Bundestag.
Yet such a policy falls between two stalls. It is too fitful, hesitant, and cribbed about with conditions to halt the crisis: but is enough to provoke a backlash from the German people as they realise their country is being smuggled into fiscal union without democratic assent.
The Latin bloc and like-minded allies could of course marshal their voting power in the EU Council and the ECB to ram through a reflation policy.
The effect would be to drive Germany and the AAA-periphery out of EMU by pushing domestic inflation in those countries to unbearable levels. You could argue that this process is already underway, though France is not yet feeling enough pain to force the issue.
Besides, to do that you need a Churchillian figure — or indeed a Juan Pérez Villamil, the hero of the Levantamiento — to raise the flag of defiance. No such leader has yet appeared.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:27 pm
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Jacques de Guenin is the founder and president of the Cercle Frédéric Bastiat. He is a graduate of the École des Mines in Paris and holds a Master of Sciences from the University of California, Berkeley.
In this video de Guenin speaks at a meeting of the International Society for Individual Liberty in 1992. He examines the moral basis for capitalism and the foundations of ethical systems generally. de Guenin’s essential rules of conduct for the establishment of ethical systems include traits such as: freedom, responsibility, property, authenticity, and the absence of envy.
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In many dystopic visions of the future, corporate ads are everywhere. In “Minority Report,” holographic ads accost Tom Cruise with personal suggestions. In films like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Running Man,” corporations sponsor death-match game shows, sometimes replete with little absurdities like the “Wells Fargo Death Blow.”
Harvard professor and communitarian philosopher Michael J. Sandel seemingly believes we’re already living in that dystopic future. Corporations name our stadiums, Rolaids brings in relief pitchers (“that spells relief!”), and unscrupulous people bet on other’s lives through life insurance exchanges and death pools. What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets is Professor Sandel’s jeremiad against this increasing tide of commodification. He asks for a national conversation on “the great missing debate in contemporary politics,” namely the “role and reach of markets.”
Sandel objects to a long list of market exchanges. To name but a few: paying students to read books, carbon credits, tolls to drive in the carpool lane while driving solo, payments by companies to employees to get healthy (so-called “health bribes”), paying line-standers, athletes selling autographs, selling stadium naming rights, and skyboxes. He objects for two reasons: 1) market choices can reflect underlying economic inequality; 2) markets corrupt goods and degrade social norms.
Both of these objections deserve the careful attention of political philosophers. Even libertarians don’t believe that everything should be bought and sold, and sometimes allowing market transactions will crowd out other norms. Sandel discusses one example extensively: after a day-care center became fed-up with parents arriving late to pick up their kids, thus making teachers stay late, they decided to charge parents a late fee. The result? More parents showed up late because they felt they were now paying for a service. An interesting social phenomenon, certainly, and worthy of consideration.
But Sandel hardly supplies any deep thoughts on these questions. Instead, what he mostly offers are his unsupported feelings about when a good is corrupted and when underlying economic inequality is a problem. Ultimately, like Judge Robert H. Bork’s Slouching Towards Gomorrah: Modern Liberalism and America’s Decline or Rick Santorum’s It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, What Money Can’t Buy is largely a list of things that Sandel doesn’t like. For a book by a respected political philosopher, it is startlingly short of philosophical insight.
The occasional valuable observation is overshadowed by complaining and moralizing. For example, “moneyball”–the term given to Oakland Athletics’ manager Billy Beane’s strategy of focusing on recruiting undervalued players who contribute to winning through unappreciated skills such as drawing walks–leaves Sandel cold. Moneyball brings the cold values of economics to baseball and makes it worse because “it’s hard to stand up and cheer for the triumph of quantitative methods and more efficient pricing mechanisms.” Instead, Sandel would rather see more free-swinging for the fences. Similarly, skyboxes separate fans into classes, thus undermining the “civic teaching” of sports–“that we are all in this together, that for a few hours at least, we share a sense of place and civic pride.” During one extended passage, Sandel criticizes Inuits who sell their exclusive right to hunt walrus to big-game hunters. “The appeal of such a hunt is difficult to fathom,” he writes, because walruses are so easy to kill that it is “less a sport than a type of lethal tourism.” Therefore, “this bizarre market caters to a perverse desire that should carry no weight in any calculus of social utility.”
But Sandel never explains why skyboxes magnify inequality in a worse way than Upper West Side apartments. He never explains why Inuits should be allowed to kill walruses but not big-game hunters. He never acknowledges that there are those who think “moneyball” results in a more interesting game. Moreover, he never seriously addresses how some markets, such as granting property rights in endangered species (including the right to hunt), benefit those endangered species. Perhaps most surprisingly, Sandel never discusses black markets and whether bringing them into the open may be preferable to their effects–e.g. crime and dangerous merchandise. No, Sandel would rather address the problems that come with black markets by earnestly imploring people to stop buying things he doesn’t like.
Rick Santorum and Michael Sandel should go fishing some time. If they put preconceptions aside, they will quickly realize they have a lot in common. They both feel the “national character” is eroding and that “we” need to have a serious conversation about where our culture is going. They can even trade knowing nods over their shared conviction that, while there’s nothing wrong with certain voluntary relationships (same-sex couples and corporations), why do they have to do it in public?
Clearly, the attitudes of a new “moral majority” infect the left as much as the right. To see how, pick up Sandel’s book and turn to a random page. Page 59: “Health bribes trick us into doing something we should be doing anyhow. They induce us to do the right thing for the wrong reasons.” Page 89: “When market reasoning is applied to sex, procreation, child rearing, education, health, criminal punishment, immigration policy, and environmental protection, it’s less plausible to assume that everyone’s preferences are equally worthwhile. In morally charged arenas such as these, some ways of valuing goods may be higher, more appropriate than others.” Page 33: “Something is lost when free public theater is turned into a market commodity, something beyond the disappointment experienced by those who are priced out of attending.” Page 47: “Before we can decide whether market relations are appropriate to such domains, we have to figure out what norms should govern our sexual and procreative lives.”
Thankfully, we already have a way to “figure out what norms should govern our sexual and procreative lives”: individual rights. The great insight of Enlightenment political thinkers was that governments should not have jurisdiction over certain personal choices. Individual and property rights delineate “zones of autonomy” that remove some questions from the public sphere. In a sense, classical liberal philosophers conceptually drew a bubble around our bodies and our property and argued that penetrating that bubble with outside commands is only justified in limited circumstances.
Those who argue against this view have always pointed to how individual choices have effects that leak outside the bubble. Libertine and indulgent choices, for example, can erode the moral fabric of society, thus giving governments the right to regulate our personal lives. The misuse of private property, such as selling ad-space on your forehead (something Sandel criticizes) can also have negative ramifications outside the “zone of autonomy” by making others believe that the human body is just a commodity to be sold. The world is too interconnected, the argument goes, to give individual rights a moral trump card.
Conservative and communitarian arguments are thus equivalent in form. For both philosophies, “we” are supposed to be engaging in a collective conversation about what values will run “our” lives. Neither philosophy argues that such personal choices are off-limits on principle; each only offers arguments based on situational convenience and personal taste. Thus, by collaborating in this type of argument, conservatives and communitarians clear the way for increasing government’s encroachment on our personal space. When politicians battle over our foreheads and bedrooms our control over those personal zones is only as good–only as tenuous–as a political victory. Come the next election, a Sandel may turn into a Santorum, and you may lose the control you once had. Ultimately, the world is too interconnected to not give individual rights a moral trump card.
Sandel, like Santorum, like Bork, like all of us, wishes that people were better–better at staying healthy, better at reading books, better at taking care of the environment–or at least good enough to not need cash payments to make us “do the right thing for the wrong reason.” Yet I doubt that Professor Sandel teaches at Harvard for free. By taking a paycheck, is he doing the right thing for the wrong reason?
I don’t mean to demean Professor Sandel with a base tu quoque argument. I believe Professor Sandel should charge for his services just as I believe Mickey Mantle was justified in charging for his autograph. I bring up the example, however, to challenge whether there is a difference between professors’ salaries and Mickey Mantle charging for autographs–a difference, that is, not rooted in Sandel’s fond memories of the halcyon days when baseball players were the “object of fervent pursuit by young fans clamoring for autographs.” The onus is on Professor Sandel to differentiate between the two, and in What Money Can’t Buy, he fails to meet this challenge.
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Sixty-seven million dollars. That’s the tax bill Eduardo Saverin’s avoiding by renouncing his U.S. citizenship just as he’s expected to earn billions from Facebook’s IPO.
By not paying that $67 million, Saverin’s being greedy, ungrateful–even traitorous. Or at least that seems to be the consensus view among the tech press and the political talking heads. And it’s a view I strongly rejected in a post here a couple days back.
Noah Kristula-Green over at the Daily Beast thought so little of that post, he labeled it “The Weakest Defense of Eduardo Saverin.” Kristula-Green argues that Saverin gained much–if not everything he has–from America’s system of laws. Thus he owes the state for much–if not all–of his riches, and so ought to pay up. (Or, rather, he ought to pay more than he already will, because he’s not escaping the U.S. tax free.)
“If you think that Saverin should be convinced to maintain his U.S. citizenship,” Kristula-Green writes, “this is an incredibly important argument to get right.”
That’s true. But Kristula-Green doesn’t succeed.
Let’s start with a major assumption being made–one that must be argued for, but isn’t. This is the question of whether paying taxes is the only (or even the best) way of discharging debts you have to America for benefits you received from being a citizen. I wrote a rebuttal of the “only taxes will do” position last year.
The short version is simply that my debt from benefits received is ultimately owed not to the state, which may have been the immediate supplier of the benefits, but to the citizens who sacrificed to pay for them. Because of this, the debtor can discharge his debt in any way that helps those citizens. That may mean paying taxes, but it needn’t mean that exclusively. Rather, if Saverin benefited from all of us, his obligation (if he has one) is to in turn benefit us back. I argue he’s done that enough by being partly responsible for Facebook. But even if that’s not enough, I don’t quite see why he must “benefit” us by way of a check to the IRS instead of, say, funding private scholarships or launching a new business to put even more Americans back to work.
Further, while it’s true that Saverin benefited from America’s judicial system, that would seem to imply only a duty to give back to the judicial system. It’s unclear why it means he’s morally obligated to pay into a pot from which the judicial system will get something, true, but which will also be used to bail out banks, drop bombs on people in Afghanistan, subsidize rich sugar growers, and outfit SWAT teams perpetuating the shockingly immoral war on drugs.
Kristula-Green goes on to ding me for “express[ing] skepticism with the idea of a state at all.” To support that claim, he links to a post of mine on fair play theory, part of a series I’m writing on the philosophy of political obligation.
The question of political obligation–even if it makes us skeptics–matters. It’s not an easy question, but it’s one we need to address if we’re to have meaningful discussions within political philosophy. It’s a exploration that may lead to anarchism, but it needn’t necessarily take us that far. As I wrote in an earlier post,
Recognizing just how hard the question of political obligation is does carry some normative weight outside anarchist circles. The modern state, with its high taxes, voluminous legislation, and robust regulatory regime, acts as if we have a significant number–a huge number–of obligations to it. The modern state exercises a great deal of authority over us.
But if justifying that authority and grounding those obligations proves morally difficult, then at the very least we ought to be more skeptical the next time the state adds another obligation to its list. And the state adds obligations all the time.
What’s more, none of this is particularly controversial among philosophers. In fact, most of the arguments I’ve discussed in my series, raising problems with fair play and gratitude and so on, also appear in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on the topic, which itself pulls from A. John Simmons’s groundbreaking book, Moral Principles and Political Obligations, as well as the work of Simmons and others in the 30 years since its publication. Simmons’s position, what he calls “philosophical anarchism,” may actually be the dominant view among academic philosophers (surely not a reactionary, right-wing bunch) who’ve made a study of political obligation. And if it’s not dominant, it’s certainly the most influential.
In short, explaining why we have political obligations proves awfully hard. Assuming it’s easy won’t make the question go away.
What’s more, we all have a theory of political obligation and authority, even if we’ve never examined it. We all have a point at which we say what the state asks of us is too much. We can all imagine some situation where we’d feel the state has no right to spend our tax dollars on that.
In closing, do I, as Kristula-Green claims, “express skepticism with the idea of a state at all?” Yes and no. Throughout my series, I’ve generally avoided attacking premises such as “the state benefits us” or “we are better off with government than without” precisely because, even if those premises are true, it’s not clear that genuine political obligations of the kind expected of us by large, modern democracies necessarily follow. In fact, I believe they don’t. I believe that while it’s possible for political obligations to arise, they can only occur in very narrow circumstances (i.e., through some form of legitimate consent) and with very narrow scope. I also believe that no currently existing state meets those requirements. Thus none of us actually bear political obligations.
(Please note this is not the same thing as claiming we are without moral obligations and so are free to murder, steal, oppress, and so on. I explain the difference between moral and political obligations here.)
But denying political obligations doesn’t mean I therefore reject the idea of the state and embrace anarchism. Rather, while I think the state has no moral authority over us, we still have good reasons to want live within it and support (some of) its activities. Thus we should act as if political obligations do in fact exist, while recognizing that enforcing them may, because they are a fiction, be immoral. We may even have very good reasons for adopting this tactic. Perhaps having a state that enforces its (illegitimate) authority is just so much better in its consequences that we’re willing to put up with the moral violations it entails.
So this makes me skeptical of the state, yes, but not of the idea of the state at all.
There are many things Eduardo Saverin probably ought to feel morally bound to do with his $67 million. Paying what amounts to voluntary taxes, by choosing to stay in the United States, isn’t one of them.
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People from Charles Murray to Rick Santorum worry about moral decline in modern America. Steven Pinker, author of The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, sees a different reality. He writes in the New York Times:
It’s easy to focus on the idiocies of the present and forget those of the past. But a century ago our greatest writers extolled the beauty and holiness of war. [See more on this in the forthcoming March-April issue of Cato Policy Report.] Heroes like Theodore Roosevelt, Winston Churchill and Woodrow Wilson avowed racist beliefs that today would make people’s flesh crawl. Women were barred from juries in rape trials because supposedly they would be embarrassed by the testimony. Homosexuality was a felony. At various times, contraception, anesthesia, vaccination, life insurance and blood transfusion were considered immoral.
People such as the reformed slave trader who wrote the hymn “Amazing Grace,” Martin Luther King Jr., and Episcopal bishop Mariann Edgar Budde might attribute such moral progress to a better understanding of Christian faith. Pinker attributes it to a different factor:
…in one important sense, people have been getting smarter, not dumber, over time. The increase is not in raw brainpower, nor in crystallized skills like arithmetic or vocabulary, but in abstract reasoning: the ability to ignore appearances and reckon in formal categories. …
Ideals that today’s educated people take for granted — equal rights, free speech, and the primacy of human life over tradition, tribal loyalty and intuitions about purity — are radical breaks with the sensibilities of the past. These too are gifts of a widening application of reason.
Whatever the source, it’s a reality that should be considered when we try to assess the state of morality in the modern world. Some people do see it. A commenter named Evan at econlog offered a similar perspective in a vigorous debate about Bryan Caplan’s claim that average people today have more material comforts than George Vanderbilt, the builder of Biltmore, had:
One thing I haven’t heard anyone address yet is moral progress. The values of earlier time periods were sickeningly depraved. One reason I’d never want to have been born in the past, rather than today, even if my past status would have been higher, is that I enjoy being the kind of person who doesn’t burn witches, own slaves, participate in pogroms, or bash gays. I think if you asked most poor people if they’d rather be a wealthy slaveowner in the past, they’d all look at you with horror.
Perhaps Martin Luther King was right when he said, echoing the abolitionist Theodore Parker, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”
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FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2011
QUOTE OF THE YEAR
Gold is cheap relative to the idea that you could have a life’s fortune on a statement from a clearing agent [your brokerage account] and find out that you don’t have a penny left anywhere. Which should you have had, physical gold or that clearing house statement? Gold is cheap because of the condition of other things
– Jim Sinclair www.jsmineset.com
How can you have your money anywhere…and expect and feel certain that this money will be returned to you when you see the inner workings of finance and Wall Street through the eyes of the collapse of MF (Global)?
There will be no private sector involvement. In other words, the banks are too big to fail and public sector wealth will be expropriated for the use of bailing out the catastrophic investment decisions of the wealthy individuals who operate the world’s largest banks. – Dave in Denver
Moral Hazard – In general: Circumstance that increases the probability of occurrence of a loss, or a larger than normal loss, because of a change in an insurance policy applicant’s behavior after the issuance of policy. It may be due to the presence of incentives that induce the insured to act in ways that incur costs the insurer (but not the insured) has to bear.
Moral Hazard – As it applies to the growing financial crisis: refers to a situation in which a party makes a decision about how much risk to take, while another party bears the costs if things go badly, and the party insulated from risk behaves differently from how it would if it were fully exposed to the risk. Moral hazard arises because an individual or institution does not take the full consequences and responsibilities of its actions, and therefore has a tendency to act less carefully than it otherwise would, leaving another party to hold some responsibility for the consequences of those actions. (Wikipedia)
Moral Hazard is embedded deeply in the root, the very core, of the global catastrophic financial crisis that continues to accelerate in scope and severity on a daily basis. Specifically as applied to the United States, the fact that our Government has created and enabled the idea of a bank that is "too big to fail" that will always be bailed out by the public sector – really, each individual Taxpayer in this country – is the perfect embodiment of that exact nature of moral hazard as it applies to the ongoing financial collapse of the United States.
And the contagion is indeed spreading, though not from the Greek source that is readily identified and blamed by most. Rather, the EU member countries have adopted principles to facilitate the use of public sector money, ultimately to be enabled by additional debt issuance and money creation – aka "QE" – in order to bailout the big banks which control the political process here and in Europe. In other words, the "contagion" is spreading because moral hazard has been allowed to infect and permeate every aspect of the global financial industry to the point at which it threatens to cause systemic collapse throughout Europe and the United States (and in Canada, from what I’m now hearing).
"EU Leaders Drop Demands for Investor Write-Offs"
As regards private-sector involvement, we have made a major change in our doctrine: from now on we will strictly adhere to the IMF principles and doctrines,” EU President Herman Van Rompuy told reporters at a briefing. “Or, to put it more bluntly, our first approach to PSI, which had a very negative effect on debt markets is now officially over.
This report from Bloomberg related to the agreement reached by the EU members to "save" the euro describes the decision to use additional debt and public sector funds (taxpayer money) in order to bailout the failed risk-taking endeavors of the largest global financial institutions. The "spin" put on this by the politicians and establishment-controlled media uses the term "private sector involvement" to describe what is ultimately a decision made by the bank-controlled politicians that the big banks will be bailed out. Here’s the report from Bloomberg: LINK This is the epitome of moral hazard – the moral hazard which is the terminal cancer destroying the global financial system and ultimately will destroy many countries including the United States.
Please make no mistake about this, the reason that Tim Geithner is over in Europe to participate in the agreement reached last night by the EU leaders is that the biggest U.S. banks are not only exposed to many tens of billion of dollars in actual European sovereign loans, but the risk exposure is magnified into the trillions because of the off-balance-sheet derivatives issued and underwritten by the biggest firms on Wall Street. For instance, Morgan Stanley’s derivatives book grew by $9 trillion in the latest reporting period. This is why Morgan Stanley’s stock was down nearly 10% yesterday. JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs have even bigger derivatives exposure to Europe than Morgan Stanley. THIS is why the U.S. Government has been involved in the agreement reached last night and THIS is why the Federal Reserve, unilaterally and without any Congressional oversight OR approval, has extended $500 billion in U.S. taxpayer money to help prevent the collapse of the too big to fail banks using the "cover page" of a seemingly complicated tool labelled "currency swap agreement."
This is moral hazard in the extreme. It’s why Long Term Capital, Enron, Worldcom, Global Crossing, Enron, Refco, Amaranth, Bear Stearns, Lehman, Washington Mutual, Countrywide, Wachovia, Merrill Lynch, etc. all collapsed. One would have thought at the very least that after Enron the system would have been drastically amended, reformed and fixed. But it was not. And now the Jon Corzines, Henry Paulsons, Jamie Dimons and Lloyd Blankfeins of the world have figured out how to steal billions from the system and get away with it. That was the message from yesterday’s shit-show on Capitol Hill. THAT is why our system is collapsing. THAT is why, if you will, Atlas shrugs.
Have good weekend. And remember: try to enjoy what you can, as much as you can, while you can because life in this world at some point is going to become very unpleasant for most people.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Fri Dec 09, 2011 1:36 pm
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