MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Lockdown’

Tomas Pueyo, lockdown thinkfluencer, issues edict on the Ukraine

Posted by M. C. on March 16, 2022

Believe me when I tell you that the climatists, the Ukrainists, the Covidians, the mass migrationists, and the antiracists are all expressions of the same malign force.

eugyppius

The western borg is not a place. It’s a state of mind. As it expands across the world, it aims to rob other places of their placehood too, and assimilate them to the same shallow diffuse global consumerist project. The western borg likes to conceive of itself as post-national and post-political. Its values, in its own conception, exist on a higher plane, like religious or philosophical truths. They are about “freedom” and “democracy” and “peace” and “human rights.” Yet people in the West do not have much voice in government, they are not free, the western borg instigates wars across the world, and western assimilated governments do not care about anybody’s rights.

These are just the words with which the western borg seeks to disguise its imperialist, autocratic tendencies. Unlike some of you, I prefer to see the actions of the borg as essentially undirected, and the result of internal dynamics. It arises from a lot of separate forces, among them prosperity and technology, the complexity of mass society and its management, and the universal claims of the liberal democratic political tradition. All of its ideological obsessions and propaganda narratives either further or express its totalising project in some way.

Upcoming: Observations about the ongoing Omicron wave in Europe, a review of Alex Berenson’s Pandemia, and thoughts on whether Corona is truly ending or merely taking a break. I just had to get this out of my system first.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Putin the New Coronavirus?

Posted by M. C. on March 8, 2022

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2022/march/07/is-putin-the-new-coronavirus/

Written by Ron Paul

President Biden’s “maskless” State of the Union signifies the near-end of the COVID tyranny we have lived under for the past two years. Fortunately for Congress, the President, and the Federal Reserve, the Ukraine-Russia conflict is replacing COVID as a ready-made excuse for their failures and a justification for expanding their power.

Even before politicians began declaring the end of the pandemic, polls showed that rising prices were the people’s top concern – particularly the increase in gas prices. Since Russia is one of the world’s leading energy producers, sanctions imposed on Russia, as well as Germany’s decision (made under pressure from the US) to shut down the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, provide a convenient excuse for rising gas prices. This is the case even though the US, citing the “instability” in world energy markets created by the Russian-Ukraine conflict, has yet to officially ban imports of Russian oil.

The Federal Reserve has been planning several interest rate increases this year, even though some fear that rate increases could decrease growth and increase unemployment. The Russian crisis allows the Fed to either postpone rate increases or blame Russia for any unemployment that accompanies the rate increases. Either way, the Fed can use the crisis to deflect attention away from its responsibility for our economic problems. As of now, it appears the Fed will go through with at least a modest rate increase this month, but because of the Ukraine crisis, the increase will be smaller than previously expected.

The Ukraine crisis also provides an excuse for Congress to do what Congress does best: increase federal spending. President Biden has requested Congress provide an additional $10 billion in emergency military aid to Ukraine. Congress will likely quickly approve the President’s request. This will not likely be the last time Congress rushes billions of “emergency” money to Ukraine.

It is also certain that lobbyists for the military-industrial-complex are already “explaining” to a very receptive Capitol Hill audience why the Ukraine crisis justifies increasing the military budget to “counter the threats” from Russia, China, and whoever else can serve as a convenient boogeyman. It is unlikely there will be much resistance in Congress to a further increase, even though the US already spends more than the combined defense budgets of the next nine biggest spending countries.

Over the past two years, many leading Internet companies did the government’s bidding by “de-platforming” anyone who expressed skepticism of vaccines or promoted alternative treatments — even when they presented evidence to support their claims. These companies are once again helping the government by de-platforming those who question, or are suspected of questioning, the official narrative regarding Ukraine. Yet these companies’ concerns with “fake news” have not led them to stop people from sharing widely debunked stories supporting the US-backed Ukrainian government.

The lockdown and mandates did more harm than the coronavirus itself. They were based on lies promoted by the government and its allies in the “private” sector. Yet too many Americans refuse to even question the US government’s claims regarding the Ukraine crisis or question whether Russia is really responsible for our economic problems as opposed to a spendthrift Congress, successive spendthrift Presidents, and an out-of-control Federal Reserve. The only way to stop authoritarians from using crises like these to grow their power is to make enough people understand a simple truth: authoritarian politicians will always lie to the people to protect and increase their own power.


Copyright © 2022 by RonPaul Institute. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit and a live link are given.
Please donate to the Ron Paul Institute

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Indiana Alex Jones and The Last Conspiracy Theory

Posted by M. C. on January 12, 2022

https://thegoodcitizen.substack.com/p/indiana-alex-jones-and-the-last-conspiracy

Good Citizen

You Must Choose Wisely
We hear a great deal about mass formation and mass psychosis these days. The psychological theories are palatable and familiar enough to be distributed amongst those who can recognize truths, associate them with our two-year nightmare and easily communicate them to others. Free floating anxiety, personal anxiety, isolation, segregation, engineered fear through propaganda for social division and control. These are all interconnected but they require greater examination for comprehending the machinations of our information age, especially the propaganda side of the equation which is really the wellspring of resultant psychological responses. The propaganda of today is not your grandmother’s propaganda.

Here one could dive into the nature of propaganda, its history and all the literary staples of propaganda studies, but in trying to convince others that what they believe to be true is actually propaganda, this methodology might be as effective as that David Foster Wallace story about fish comprehending what water is. With the ubiquitous nature of propaganda today, a life source for millions of misguided world views and beliefs, a different approach is required.

The most impressive and fascinatingly spectacular thing about propaganda today is the people trapped in its spell believe they are simply and passively engaging art, education, cinema, late night entertainment, online news and information searches and consumption. This is how the powers that be can socially engineer a catatonic state of blissful ignorance and total obedience in millions of people around the world through one series of events. Their lives are constantly controlled. Their impressions and stimuli always carefully managed. Their perception of it all is under the spell that they are freely making choices for information that haven’t already been made for them through behavioral conditioning and predictive engineering.

All of the above is related to the process of passively accepting information, rather than discerningly choosing information.The former is done for you, the latter requires a dedicated effort that results in not being a manipulated ignoramus. I don’t mean to insult you reader but this is a far more profound collective crisis than a virus, and most of the past two years does not happen if the majority out there were not lazy, passive acceptors of information.

Now that the introduction is concluding and your attention spans are fading, the impulse to depart this essay and return to your regularly scheduled programming is going to be too overwhelming soon, if I keep writing you’ll leave, another sentence and you’ll be gone…Let’s play a game!

Only one of these three options below is true. You must accept choose wisely.

A. A novel coronavirus was transmitted at wet market in Wuhan, China through a bat and an intermediary animal before infecting humans. The novel virus was first identified from an outbreak in December 2019, and attempts to contain it there failed, allowing it to spread across the globe. To protect their citizens governments across the west had to lockdown societies to keep the virus from spreading and hospitals from becoming too overwhelmed with patients. In addition to necessary lockdowns, health experts implemented other safety measures to slow the spread of the virus, including masks, social distancing and contact tracing using human and digital surveillance technologies. Thanks to scientific breakthroughs in biotechnology vaccines were quickly developed, tested and approved for mass distribution around the world. The vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to protect the health and safety of citizens, especially the most vulnerable. They should be mandatory for everyone to participate in society to protect the health of everyone else.

B. A coronavirus may have escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China in December of 2019, where important research on bat coronaviruses was being conducted. The virus was identified and sequenced by the Chinese government and distributed around the world for companies to begin the process of developing vaccines. Government imposed lockdowns were necessary to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients. Other measures and safeguards were put in place to buy time until the vaccines could be safely tested and then approved for emergency use. Some of these measures were more effective than others but governments and policy makers did the best they could with a rapidly evolving situation. The masks turned out to not be as effective as we were told, and the vaccines not as effective or safe as they initially believed but are still a useful tool in protecting the health and safety of those who want them.

C. A lab engineered coronavirus that was not novel was intentionally released in Wuhan, China in September or October of 2019 during the world military games. The virus is a bioweapon with a deadly spike protein inserted to make it highly transmissible and toxic in humans. As it spread across the globe governments across the west coordinated harmful policies and measures that intentionally did far more harm than good and sold it to the people as necessary for their ‘health and safety’. Early effective treatments were ignored or suppressed, cases manipulated with false positive results, and for the first time in human history ‘harm’ was collectivized to retract civil liberties while the only government ‘cures’ were experimental “vaccines” already in waiting which would be forced on entire populations through human rights violating coercive measures. The entire purpose of all of it was to usher in vaccine passports so governments could have total control over their populations, whose liberties would now be contingent on them doing whatever they were told for “health and safety” and “the common good”.

And only one of these two options below is true. You must accept choose wisely. One will nurture your immunity to engineered fear and the other will nurture your immunity to common sense.

You Must Choose Wisely
We hear a great deal about mass formation and mass psychosis these days. The psychological theories are palatable and familiar enough to be distributed amongst those who can recognize truths, associate them with our two-year nightmare and easily communicate them to others. Free floating anxiety, personal anxiety, isolation, segregation, engineered fear through propaganda for social division and control. These are all interconnected but they require greater examination for comprehending the machinations of our information age, especially the propaganda side of the equation which is really the wellspring of resultant psychological responses. The propaganda of today is not your grandmother’s propaganda.

Here one could dive into the nature of propaganda, its history and all the literary staples of propaganda studies, but in trying to convince others that what they believe to be true is actually propaganda, this methodology might be as effective as that David Foster Wallace story about fish comprehending what water is. With the ubiquitous nature of propaganda today, a life source for millions of misguided world views and beliefs, a different approach is required.

The most impressive and fascinatingly spectacular thing about propaganda today is the people trapped in its spell believe they are simply and passively engaging art, education, cinema, late night entertainment, online news and information searches and consumption. This is how the powers that be can socially engineer a catatonic state of blissful ignorance and total obedience in millions of people around the world through one series of events. Their lives are constantly controlled. Their impressions and stimuli always carefully managed. Their perception of it all is under the spell that they are freely making choices for information that haven’t already been made for them through behavioral conditioning and predictive engineering.

All of the above is related to the process of passively accepting information, rather than discerningly choosing information.The former is done for you, the latter requires a dedicated effort that results in not being a manipulated ignoramus. I don’t mean to insult you reader but this is a far more profound collective crisis than a virus, and most of the past two years does not happen if the majority out there were not lazy, passive acceptors of information.

Now that the introduction is concluding and your attention spans are fading, the impulse to depart this essay and return to your regularly scheduled programming is going to be too overwhelming soon, if I keep writing you’ll leave, another sentence and you’ll be gone…Let’s play a game!

Only one of these three options below is true. You must accept choose wisely.

A. A novel coronavirus was transmitted at wet market in Wuhan, China through a bat and an intermediary animal before infecting humans. The novel virus was first identified from an outbreak in December 2019, and attempts to contain it there failed, allowing it to spread across the globe. To protect their citizens governments across the west had to lockdown societies to keep the virus from spreading and hospitals from becoming too overwhelmed with patients. In addition to necessary lockdowns, health experts implemented other safety measures to slow the spread of the virus, including masks, social distancing and contact tracing using human and digital surveillance technologies. Thanks to scientific breakthroughs in biotechnology vaccines were quickly developed, tested and approved for mass distribution around the world. The vaccines are safe, effective and necessary to protect the health and safety of citizens, especially the most vulnerable. They should be mandatory for everyone to participate in society to protect the health of everyone else.

B. A coronavirus may have escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan, China in December of 2019, where important research on bat coronaviruses was being conducted. The virus was identified and sequenced by the Chinese government and distributed around the world for companies to begin the process of developing vaccines. Government imposed lockdowns were necessary to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with patients. Other measures and safeguards were put in place to buy time until the vaccines could be safely tested and then approved for emergency use. Some of these measures were more effective than others but governments and policy makers did the best they could with a rapidly evolving situation. The masks turned out to not be as effective as we were told, and the vaccines not as effective or safe as they initially believed but are still a useful tool in protecting the health and safety of those who want them.

C. A lab engineered coronavirus that was not novel was intentionally released in Wuhan, China in September or October of 2019 during the world military games. The virus is a bioweapon with a deadly spike protein inserted to make it highly transmissible and toxic in humans. As it spread across the globe governments across the west coordinated harmful policies and measures that intentionally did far more harm than good and sold it to the people as necessary for their ‘health and safety’. Early effective treatments were ignored or suppressed, cases manipulated with false positive results, and for the first time in human history ‘harm’ was collectivized to retract civil liberties while the only government ‘cures’ were experimental “vaccines” already in waiting which would be forced on entire populations through human rights violating coercive measures. The entire purpose of all of it was to usher in vaccine passports so governments could have total control over their populations, whose liberties would now be contingent on them doing whatever they were told for “health and safety” and “the common good”.

And only one of these two options below is true. You must accept choose wisely. One will nurture your immunity to engineered fear and the other will nurture your immunity to common sense.

See the rest here

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Watch “Austria Freak Out: Lockdown EVERYTHING!” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on November 20, 2021

Just a day after announcing that the unvaccinated would lose all basic human rights, the Austrian government took it a stage further and ruled that the entire country would lose its basic human rights. Back to a nationwide lockdown to control a covid outbreak that was not controlled last time by a nationwide lockdown. Make sense? Also…as the AP reports, experts are “baffled” that in unvaccinated Africa, where there have been no lockdowns, there are very few covid cases and deaths are a tiny fraction of those in Europe and the US per capita. Finally today: Fauci demands three jabs and Biden’s approval rating continues to freefall.

https://youtu.be/bCGDdaDpgBI

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Watch “Biden Doubles Down: ‘Your Jab Or Your Job!'” on YouTube\

Posted by M. C. on November 5, 2021

Seemingly unaware of the pummeling his party took at the polls this week, President Biden is doubling down on his “mandate” that American workers must take the covid shot or be fired. Lockdown politicians from Seattle to Virginia were tossed out – even almost the lockdown governor of New Jersey – by the same voters Biden has declared war on. Meanwhile, in formerly lockdown Canada Ontario and Quebec announced an end to mandatory vaccines for health workers.

https://youtu.be/QOCbK_Ua0H0

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

The Federal Reserve’s Assault on Savers Continues | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on November 3, 2021

If the federal government does not protect the American people from the Fed’s reckless monetary policies, which have caused prices to accelerate and have blown up another financial bubble, then the public “could go on strike” and withdraw their money until banks pay us a market rate of interest.

https://mises.org/wire/federal-reserves-assault-savers-continues

Murray Sabrin

The front-page headline in the Wall Street Journal on October 14 says it all, “Inflation Is Back at Highest in over a Decade.” The Labor Department reported that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 5.4 percent from a year ago. This should not have been a surprise to Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell and his fellow board members nor to its hundreds of PhD economists who drill into the economic data to forecast the economy.

In 2020, when the US economy imploded under the lockdown orders of the federal government and state governors, the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet exploded from $4.17 trillion in February 2020 to $8.48 trillion in October 2021. In other words, the Federal Reserve bought more than $4 trillion in mortgage-backed securities and US Treasury debt in less than two years. This increase in the Fed’s balance sheet in eighteen months is more than was purchased in the first hundred-plus years of its existence. This unprecedented “money printing” has had enormous consequences for the economy and the American people, not the least of which is accelerating price inflation.

As the new money created by the Fed diffuses throughout the economy prices rise in an uneven fashion. Economic sectors and geographic regions are affected differently depending on how the recipients of the newly received dollars spend them, an observation I identified forty years ago in my doctoral dissertation on the spread of inflation through the economy.

The broad measure of the money supply, M2, consists of cash, checking accounts, savings accounts, small denomination time deposits, and money market funds. M2 increased from $15.4 trillion in February 2020 to nearly $21 trillion dollars in September 2021—nearly a 33 percent increase in liquid assets that the American people have at their disposal to buy goods and services in the marketplace.

Any PhD economist should have been able to conclude that opening up the monetary spigot full blast to “stimulate” because of the lockdowns would raise prices down the road. We are now down that road. Price inflation will probably continue for at least two more years. Once price inflation accelerates as it did in the mid- to late 1960s and then again in the early and late 1970s and early 1980s, it takes “tight money” by the Fed to slay the price inflation dragon. 

Forty years ago was the peak of the double-digit inflation that began in the mid-1970s, when the Federal Reserve inflated the money supply to boost the economy after the 1973–75 deep recession. In addition to the recession, double-digit inflation rocked the US economy. In 1979, to get inflation under control President Jimmy Carter appointed Paul Volcker Fed chairman, who continued his tight money policy after Ronald Reagan was elected in November 1980. The fed funds rate (the rate at which banks borrow from each other overnight, controlled by the Fed) climbed to 22 percent in December 1980. Three-month Treasury bill rates topped out at 16.30 percent in May 1981, while the inflation rate was about 10.00 percent. In short, savers were getting a substantial real rate of return on their T-bills and their money market accounts.

Since the early 1980s the fed funds rate has been dropping, not in a straight line, but more like a staircase. Currently, the fed funds rate is a tad above 0 percent while the inflation rate has clearly accelerated in the past year to more than 5 percent. The interest rate on bank money market accounts is 0.02 percent at my bank. Inasmuch as I have a substantial amount of cash reserves—funds for the proverbial rainy day—I and tens of millions of Americans are losing hundreds of billions of dollars in interest due to the Federal Reserve’s super easy money policies. 

To rectify this highway robbery I propose the Congress pass and President Biden sign the Savers’ Protection Act. The act would state that if the interest rate on savings accounts, money market funds, and other short-term instruments are less than the rate of inflation, savers will deduct the lost savings on their tax return. For example, if someone has $100,000 in a money market fund the account should pay at least the rate of inflation for the year. Today that would be about $5,000. I propose a tax credit of at least 50 percent of the lost interest, $2,500 or more. 

If the federal government does not protect the American people from the Fed’s reckless monetary policies, which have caused prices to accelerate and have blown up another financial bubble, then the public “could go on strike” and withdraw their money until banks pay us a market rate of interest. As every undergraduate business student learns in a corporate finance course, the nominal rate of interest on a risk-free asset, such as a bank account, equals the real rate plus the inflation premium. The American people should earn 7 percent on their savings accounts. I would be content at this time to earn the inflation rate on my money market account.

Author:

Contact Murray Sabrin

Dr. Murray Sabrin retired on July 1, 2020 as Professor of Finance. On January 25th 2021, the Board of Trustees awarded Dr. Sabrin Emeritus status for his scholarship and professional contributions during his 35-year career. His book, Universal Medical Care: From Conception to End-of-Life: The Case for a Single Payer System, calls for the individual or family to be the single payer to restore the doctor-patient relationship. His latest book, Navigating the Boom/Bust Cycle: An Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide, was published in October 2021. Sabrin is the author of Tax Free 2000: The Rebirth of American Liberty, a blueprint on how to create a tax-free America in the 21stcentury, and Why the Federal Reserve Sucks: It Causes, Inflation, Recessions, Bubbles and Enriches the One Percent, which is available on Amazon.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Vaccine Mandates: Who Will Comply, and Why? | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on September 23, 2021

The introduction of covid certificates is not, essentially, related to the idea of preventing the spread of the more contagious delta variant, because if they were, another lockdown would very likely be proposed as the solution. In such a case, lockdown would disable both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated (who clearly spread the virus too) from contaminating others. Covid certificates favor vaccinated populations, because they have adhered to desirable behavior during the pandemic. 

https://mises.org/wire/vaccine-mandates-who-will-comply-and-why

Jovana Diković

The presumption of venality, as it is inscribed in new measures against the pandemic, is extremely interesting, at least from an anthropological point of view. The measures implemented over large parts of Europe include, most notably, covid certificates. Elsewhere, in addition to covid certificates there has even been an incentive for games of chance among those who are vaccinated. The purpose of covid certificates is to make the life of the unvaccinated more difficult and hence to exert additional pressure toward vaccination. The main assumption is that if people feel their quality of life is impaired (through an inability to go to restaurants, theaters, to attend or take part in sporting activities, and so on) then this response would be the easiest way out. Surely, they will act as expected and get the vaccine.

Applied to parenting (because what else is the state but one great guardian?), child psychologists advise against this pattern of behavior because children should not be brought up through a system of blackmailing and rewards. They warn that such a system nurtures a bad character, a venal personality incapable of making its own decisions, and more importantly, it creates a person of poor moral traits. With the new anticovid measures, the state (guardian) acts in a retrogressive way and treats mature individuals as if they were children, anticipating that they will react properly for the conditioned reward: if you do not get your vaccine, you cannot go to the restaurant and enjoy your Zürcher Geschnetzeltes.

From a scientific angle, it will be important to trace people’s reactions to the measures imposed. This is critical to learning whether they contribute to an increased rate of vaccination. If yes, this might reveal that early in their childhood people adopted a pattern of blackmail and reward as a key form of communication. Child psychologists perhaps would say that they were wrongly brought up. If not, it may tell us that during their childhood—apart from conditioned reflexes—people developed intuitive moral responses to blackmailing and bribery, and that being true to their principles (no matter how questionable these are) is more important to them than Zürcher Geschnetzeltes or going to the theater.

The introduction of covid certificates is not, essentially, related to the idea of preventing the spread of the more contagious delta variant, because if they were, another lockdown would very likely be proposed as the solution. In such a case, lockdown would disable both the unvaccinated and the vaccinated (who clearly spread the virus too) from contaminating others. Covid certificates favor vaccinated populations, because they have adhered to desirable behavior during the pandemic. Thus, they are rewarded with a permit for things that normally do not require permission, such as going to restaurants, shops, theaters, and so on. 

On the other hand, as the unvaccinated understand the new measures, these are directed toward punishing them. By the way in which the explanations are framed and intoned, many European governments reprimand the unvaccinated, telling them that they will have to bear the costs of testing on their own because states and taxpayers do not have to support their irresponsible behavior any longer.

The new measures are aimed at conditioning those who clearly do not want to get vaccinated, because had they wished to, they would doubtless have gotten vaccinated by now. The introduction of disproportionate measures that put basic quality of life at stake go toward disciplining the unvaccinated. In contrast, lockdowns are a tough but pretty much egalitarian measure that could have continued to follow the pandemic as it develops.

The basic paradox of covid certificates, however, lies in the fact that (as already mentioned) they are not really aimed at preventing the spread of the virus, which neither favors those who have been vaccinated nor those whom the vaccines are intended to protect. If we assume—and such predictions generate additional interesting work for scientists—that the bulk of the unvaccinated, with minimal deviation, are not going to get the vaccine even after the imposition of the measures, then the whole idea of pandemic prevention falls apart. Namely, this makes the fundamental idea of fighting coronavirus meaningless, which is basically built upon the argument that if it is not already possible to eradicate the virus, then at least the possibility of its spread should be minimized. At this point, the idea of lockdown—seen from a purely medical standpoint—is fairer, although in many ways it is controversial in itself.

On August 31, The Guardian published an article entitled “Vaccine passports will make hesitant people ‘even more reluctant to get jabbed,’” which discusses research examining the attitudes of sixteen thousand people in Great Britain, fourteen thousand of whom are not yet vaccinated. In the unvaccinated group, 87 percent expressed the view that they would not change their decision even if covid passports were required. The data also show that there are differences of opinion among the unvaccinated—between those who consider covid passports acceptable only if they are required for international travel, but not for domestic use, and those who reject the idea of covid passports outright.

Covid certificates will be an important social indicator of the foundation of the assumption of venality, and of the sort of pressures under which people deviate or do not deviate from their principles. This will be significant for ethics specialists, because it will offer them clusters of fresh material that can better explain the existing spectrum of moral justifications and reasoning. For anthropologists, it will provide new insights into what kind of society and values are generated and how permanently. For epidemiologists, virologists, and medical workers it may reveal whether the new measures have perpetuated the vicious circle of the pandemic or if they have contributed to the fight against it. Finally, for politicians it may indicate whether society in the long run can be governed by applying the historically problematic concept of segregation—only this time to the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Author:

Contact Jovana Diković

Dr. Jovana Diković is an economic anthropologist and researcher at the Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of Zurich. She is also a lecturer at the Universities of Zurich and St. Gallen. Her regional expertise is in the rural Balkans where she investigates how microeconomics, local cultures, values, and ideas skew the course of the state plans for agriculture, rural development, and cooperation. She is particularly interested in understanding how the synergy of local forces reconfigures the institutionalized idea of change. She widely publishes in academic journals and political magazines in Switzerland, the US and Serbia. For more about the work and interests of Dr. Diković visit: here and here.  

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Benevolent Fascism of Australia, Part I | The Libertarian Institute

Posted by M. C. on September 10, 2021

With QR codes and contact tracing, the discussion of further surveillance of Australians to minimize the spread of COVID-19 will be accepted an condoned. And in the case of the war on drugs, placing members of the public on lists and denying them travel and the ability to mail or receive items from abroad will continue. In time we will have quaint memories of a more liberal time as the future brings far more dire and extreme measures of law and order.

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-benevolent-fascism-of-australia-part-i/

by Kym Robinson

Australia is in the news.

The images of police officers imposing themselves on the citizenry has drawn the attention of international critics. It has also raised admiration for those who have big government inclinations. Some have declared that Australia has fallen as a free society, that it should now be considered a police state. Australia, however, already had a history as a police state. The balance between individual freedom and an overbearing government has been one of constant, uneven sways over time and it usually takes a crisis to bring down the full weight of authoritarianism. And most Australians have always been fine with this.

The COVID-19 pandemic has tested both individuals and governments, and shown their true nature. The pandemic response has revealed a dangerous dependence that all of us have been forced to place on government monopolies, from health and infrastructure to security and in many cases, income. The lockdown culture of not only Australian state governments but governments the world over have shown an irrational and reactionary impulse to rule and control, not just to stop a virus but crush dissent itself. They claim it is for all of our health; it is scientific and it’s to save as many lives as possible. No room for debate, only obey and do as one is told. It is the science of law, order, and health.

In practice it has been random, arbitrary, inconsistent, unscientific and some lives really do seem to matter over others. The police have been a crucial element in the fight against the citizenry during the pandemic. It’s been the police that have enforced laws that have destroyed the economy and put lives indirectly in jeopardy. Last year entire apartment towers in Melbourne were instantly quarantined and the individuals inside only access to the outside world was via the police. Those trapped were treated as criminals and were sacrificed in an attempt to “flatten the curve.” Melbourne itself would soon suffer an almost indefinite lockdown cycle. The curve was never flattened.

Following the trend in liberal democracies, partisan politics alleviate blame from specific government departments. The police and experts are viewed as amoral objects who are wielded by incompetent and power hungry politicians. Regardless of the political leadership these technocrats, officials and police officers remain the same. Australia has a history of governance via experts and panels. The politicians usually help legitimize such measures when it comes to excessive policing. It is not a political leadership problem, it is a problem from the ground up. Morality, right and wrong, are exercised by the individual. “Just doing a job” or “Just following orders” is a coward’s shield by which to hide beneath.

It is not just an Australian phenomenon to see the police inserting themselves more and more into the citizen’s day to day. It is however an Australian tradition to lean heavily onto policing for numerous crises. The police are an important tool for the state and federal governments in Australia and act as the aggressive arm to both impose and implement policy while also to protect the government itself. Australia projects itself as a free society that values human rights, but at times in its own history it has a patchwork of authoritarianism which is more common than many wish to admit.

“Australian police forces were similarly founded on violence: racist violence, imperial violence and settler colonial violence. Some of the earliest forms of state policing were established with the specific purpose of extending the colonial frontier.”- Amanda Porter, Senior fellow at Melbourne Law School.

Many historians on colonial Australia consider that the early policing models were not based upon British community methods and organization but instead were a paramilitary model that was used during the same period to impose imperial oppression in Ireland. A lot of these traditions have remained in Australian policing and in how the various governments have continued to wield it. Public health and safety mandates are often the fixture of policing in Australia along with the ever aggressive War on Terror.

Beyond the state level Australia has numerous federal agencies that are granted great powers which obey the Department of Home Affairs and will in the coming years grow more powerful in reach, focus, and powers. The boundaries of colonial expansion may have been fulfilled but those into the individuals private life and against their rights are a frontier that Australian police agencies are continuing to encroach upon. To understand the Australian “police state” we must also understand certain aspects of Australian history and social norms that have made the modern situation possible and why it really is neither unusual or unexpected.

Australians are now in a society where they need to tune in to government officials to find out what they can and cannot do. It is a nation that is run on press conferences, where most Australians watch the television with an obedience to find out the infection and death numbers while hanging on to every word of experts and government ministers. In a recent incident those from regional NSW found themselves under lockdown mandates with only a tweet as the official announcement. The tweet posted at 3pm and stated that by 5pm all of regional NSW would be in a 7-day lockdown. The police perpetrated an ever active enforcement on those who do not have Twitter or didn’t hear about such a spontaneous announcement.

While Australia is in the media abroad, most Australians are oblivious to the condemnation and the risk that lies ahead for them. It is a future uncertain but with the promise of safety nets and blankets provided by a scientific government of planners and scientists. It is a government that is based upon altruistic welfare and reactionary impulses, while also being steered by careful trends of academic hubris. It is a nation of public servants and an ever dependent public. The police exist to protect not so much the individual (and certainly not freedom) but the nation state itself. And in an expression of true democracy, perhaps the mob of the majority welcome and embrace this because many are apart of it in some way.

“Australia’s federal constitution does not protect fundamental human rights nor does it regulate the use of force by the police. Australia‘s federal rules on police use of force generally comply with international standards although an amended law in New South Wales allows use of firearms against suspected terrorists where no imminent threat is perceived.”- Policing Law, The Law on Police Use of Force Worldwide

Medical State

For the advocates of government, especially an all powerful one that is responsible for every aspect of human life, a powerful and active police force is crucial. It is the ugly truth that confuses utopian governance with the dystopian truths of practical history. In the past, besides aspects of moral puritanism, the individual’s health and body was their own domain. But in the modern era of public health we are seeing the unification of the health and police state.

Australia has a populace that believes in the existence of a public health system. It is an ideological abstract which is rarely challenged. It is considered a right to all Australians to have access to “free health” regardless of any failings, scarcity, and prohibition of choice that such a system presents. Because of this the individual’s body becomes a shared entity, one that the state is expected to care for and in many aspects control. Despite the majority wanting such a powerful health system, the past belief in individual body autonomy still lingers in the minds of even the advocates of public health.

So Australia is going through a cross roads between human rights and the call for greater power to the healthcare system over the public and individuals themselves. The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the conflict between these two perspectives. Those who advocate public health as a right also want the individual to have the right of health autonomy. The reality is that a powerful public health system controls what medication and treatment an individual has access to. It also creates extended waiting periods and it has the ability to determine treatment based on wider concerns than the individual’s own health. Those concerns often being cost, time, resources, and the fatigue-availability of health practitioners.

It is an almost impossible fight for individual liberty when public health is entrenched in Australian society as a “collective good.” The wider implications of costs, shortages, and a lack of alternative treatments are disregarded in favour of a one-payer system that homogenizes and centralizes medicine. It is assumed that a free market of health would leave the poor under the bus and become expensive but it is the health state that creates dependence and makes it harder for many to actually get treatment, not to mention lengthy waiting periods and a lack of accountability when things go wrong.

The police and at times the military have been used to quarantine entire cities and states, separate families, and treat individuals as criminals because they “may” be sick. This is the new reality that health mandates and a powerful health state brings with it. Whatever pretence of human rights is lost and ignored because it is declared a crisis. Just as the War on Terror allows the police to trample on the freedoms that terror organizations threaten, a powerful police state can snatch those liberties away in the name of security. In matters of public health the individual is isolated and condemned as being selfish and placing others at risk, should they seek independence and autonomy. So as is in the War on Terror, those who question government overreach or act differently are marginalized as being a threat to the wider community.

It is not a too distant future in Australia where individuals may be forced to take medication against their will, receive procedures that they do not want, or are denied access to friends and families based upon health status. The public health system has become so important that the private citizen has little choice and say over their own body. The imperial approach and dominion over the individual is always done with a benevolent parental tone, assuming that all individuals are childlike or a risk to everyone else. That is the hallmark of the public health system in the first place, a one way street with little regard to individual needs, wants, and complexities.

The emergency powers of government allows it to disregard international laws and domestic laws that it has promised to uphold. These are the special, exceptional powers of all government, not just Australia’s. War allows a nation to declare martial law, impose curfews and grant itself extraordinary powers. The health crisis and mandates are treated as if the rule of law never really existed. It is an illusion that dupes those who romance government and believe that it stands for human rights. But it always serves itself and grows. The health state is just another aspect of the leviathan’s reach and control.

Just as a person consuming or selling “illicit materials” is considered a public threat regardless of their actual actions, so too can the benign existence of those individuals who do not want the same medical procedures or medications, whether because of ethical reasons or because it may be a direct danger to their health. Elements within the wider community have recently reported on such individuals and tar them as being selfish and “super spreaders” of the virus, which is apparently the greatest threat to human existence. “Dobbing is the new patriotism,” as one commentator put it.

Because a large part of the populace supports the government regardless of political affiliation and consider the experts the absolute authority regardless of human rights and individual liberty, the health state has a large community of active ‘dobbers’ who will inform the police on businesses, families, and people that are defying the mandates and rules that are constantly being amended during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis. Those doing the “dobbing” are often doing it because they genuinely believe that those in breech of such laws are dangerous and reckless or as is often cited, being selfish. And in other instances a more cynical aspect of jealousy and spite likely steer the dobber’s actions.

One police officer during the last South Australian state lockdown claimed that their phone lines were non-stop with members of the public reporting number plates of vehicles driving during the period or giving information on those who were suspected of being in breech of the lockdown. In 2020 wives were informing on their husbands who dared to sneak in a late night dog walk and beach goers were filmed swimming on their own in the sun. It is not just a legal problem but a cultural one.

Why is all of this talk about public health so important? Because it is one key aspect of modern Australian culture, the ingrained importance of the government to most people and what empowers the police force in their present conduct. The sword and spear of the Australian government are their police forces and the military. Both are becoming more of a Swiss Army Knife apparatus with so many uses to be wielded, removing the key conceptual function of such entities. The public belief in what the police and military do or should do is often in contrast with the reality of what they are being asked to do and continue to do.

The anti-lockdown protests in Australia have become a divisive issue. The protesters are accused of being “conspiracy theorists” and “anti-vaxxers” in an attempt to label them as simpletons. While some some certainly are, not all. Such simplified claims ignore very real grievances and frustrations. Those sympathetic and wary of police powers can see a heavy handed response and a media backlash that has not given a balanced perspective. In an age where diversity and being inclusive is promoted when it comes matters of political opinions, dissent about one’s own health is not allowed.

The war on the virus has created a paranoia and obsession with defeating an entity through laws and violence against individuals. It is the belief that more government can somehow make people healthy and safe. Just like the War on Terror it looks to erode the freedom that it boasts to safeguard and instead empowers the police state to the point that a nation becomes a prison full of either compliant and eager subjects who believe in such measures or those who are forced to suffer it despite their instincts and desires for liberty (or to be left alone).

What empowers the police state is its benevolent claim of safety and security. Public health is extremely important to the Australian government and the wider public. To question the public health system is taboo and often political suicide. It is a civic religion. The wider implications and dangers of such a system are ignored and denied and inevitably more funding and overhauls are demanded. This in turn gives all control to the government in regards to individual and community health. Because no real free market exists, regulations are so extensive and so many laws are in place that not only are alternatives impossible but people become dependent on the government for all their needs. In a pandemic this empowers the government during and after to such a point that it is impossible to turn off the spigot of dependence.

Lock in Hospitals of World War Two

See the rest here

About Kym Robinson

Some times a coach, some times a fighter, some times a writer, often a reader but seldom a cabbage. Professional MMA fighter and coach. Unprofessional believer in liberty. I have studied, enlisted, worked in the meat industry for most of my life, all of that above jazz and to hopefully some day write something worth reading.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Why the Fed Is So Desperate to Hide Price Inflation

Posted by M. C. on September 9, 2021

Otherwise, as noted earlier, rising interest rates would collapse the debt pyramid and result in a collapse in output and employment. It is, therefore, no wonder that the Fed is doing whatever it can to hide the inflationary consequences of its policy from the public:

Thorsten Polleit

Speaking at the Jackson Hole meeting on August 27, 2021, Federal Reserve (Fed) chairman Jerome J. Powell indicated that he supported “tapering” toward the end of this year and hastened to add that interest rate hikes are still a long way off. The term “tapering” means that the central bank reduces its monthly purchases of bonds and slows down the monthly increase in the quantity of money accordingly. In other words, even with tapering, the Fed will still churn out newly printed US dollar balances, but to a lesser extent than before; that is, it will still cause monetary inflation, but less than before. 

Financial markets were not alarmed by the Fed’s announcement that it might take its foot off the accelerator pedal a little: ten-year US Treasury yields are still trading at a relatively low level of 1.3 percent, the S&P 500 stock index hovers around record highs. Could it be that investors do not believe in the Fed’s suggestion that tapering will begin soon? Or is tapering of much lower importance for financial market asset prices and economic activity going forward than we think? Well, I believe the second question nails it. To understand this, we need to point out that the Fed has put a “safety net” under financial markets.

As a result of the politically dictated lockdown crisis in early 2020, investors feared a collapse of the economic and financial system. Credit markets, in particular, went wild. Borrowing costs skyrocketed as risk premiums rose drastically. Market liquidity dried up, putting great pressure on borrowers in need of funding. It wasn’t long before the Fed said it would underwrite the credit market, that it would open the monetary spigots and issue all the money needed to fund government agencies, banks, hedge funds, and businesses. The Fed’s announcement did what it was supposed to do: credit markets calmed down. Credit started flowing again; system failure was prevented.

tp

In fact, the Fed’s creation of a safety net is nothing new. It is perhaps better known as the “Greenspan put.” During the 1987 stock market crash, then Fed chairman Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates drastically to help stock prices recover—and thus set a precedent that the Fed would come to rescue in financial crises. (The term “put” describes an option which gives its holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price within a specified time frame. However, the term “safety net” might be more appropriate than “put” in this context, as investors don’t have to pay for the Fed’s support and fear an expiry date.)

The truth is that the US dollar fiat money system now depends more than ever on the Fed to provide commercial banks with sufficient base money. Given the excessively high level of debt in the system, the Fed must also do its best to keep market interest rates artificially low. To achieve this, the Fed can lower its short-term funding rate, which determines banks’ funding costs and thus bank loan interest rates (although the latter connection might be loose). Or it can buy bonds: by influencing bond prices, the central bank influences bond yields, and given its monopoly status, the Fed can print up the dollars it needs at any point in time.

Or the Fed can make it clear to investors that it is ready to fight any form of crisis, that it will bail out the system “no matter the cost,” so to speak. Suppose such a promise is considered credible from the financial market community’s point of view. In that case, interest rates and risk premiums will miraculously remain low without any bond purchases on the part of the Fed. And it is by no means an exaggeration to say that putting a safety net under the system has become perhaps the most powerful policy tool in the Fed’s bag of tricks. Largely hidden from the public eye, it allows the Fed to keep the fiat money system afloat.

The critical factor in all this is the interest rate. As the Austrian monetary business cycle theory explains, artificially lowering the interest rate sets a boom in motion, which turns to bust if the interest rate rises. And the longer the central bank succeeds in pushing down the interest rate, the longer it can sustain the boom. This explains why the Fed is so keen to dispel the notion of hiking interest rates any time soon. Tapering would not necessarily result in an immediate upward pressure on interest rates—if investors willingly buy the bonds the Fed is no longer willing to buy, and/or if the bond supply declines.

But is it likely that investors will remain on the buy side? On the one hand, they have a good reason to keep buying bonds: they can be sure that in times of crisis, they will have the opportunity to sell them to the Fed at an attractive price; and that any bond price decline will be short lived, as the Fed will correct it quickly. On the other hand, however, investors demand a positive real interest rate on their investment. Smart money will rush to the exit if nominal interest rates are persistently too low and expected inflation persistently too high. The ensuing sell-off in the bond market would force the Fed to intervene to prevent interest rates from rising.

Otherwise, as noted earlier, rising interest rates would collapse the debt pyramid and result in a collapse in output and employment. It is, therefore, no wonder that the Fed is doing whatever it can to hide the inflationary consequences of its policy from the public: the steep rise in consumer goods price inflation is being dismissed as only “temporary”; asset price inflation is said to be outside the policy mandate, and the impression is given that increases in stock, housing, and real estate prices do not represent inflation. Meanwhile, the increase in the money supply—which is the root cause of goods price inflation—is barely mentioned.

However, once people begin to lose confidence in the Fed’s willingness and ability to keep goods price inflation low, the “safety net trickery” reaches a crossroads. If the Fed then decides to keep interest rates artificially low, it will have to monetize growing amounts of debt and issue ever-larger amounts of money, which, in turn, will drive up goods price inflation and intensify the bond sell-off: a downward spiral begins, leading to a possibly severe devaluation of the currency. If the Fed prioritizes lowering inflation, it must raise interest rates and reign in money supply growth. This will most likely trigger a rather painful recession-depression, potentially the biggest of its kind in history.

Against this backdrop, it is difficult to see how we could escape the debasement of the US dollar and the recession. It is likely that high, perhaps very high, inflation will come first, followed by a deep slump. For inflation is typically seen as the lesser of two evils: rulers and the ruled would rather new money be issued to prevent a crisis over allowing businesses to fail and unemployment to surge dramatically—at least in an environment where people still consider inflation to be relatively low. There is a limit to the central bank’s machinations, though. It is reached when people start distrusting the central bank’s currency and dumping it because they expect goods price inflation to spin out of control.

But until this limit is reached, the central bank still has quite some leeway to continue its inflationary policy and increase the damage: debasing the purchasing power of money, increasing overconsumption and malinvestment, and making big government even bigger, effectively creating a socialist tyranny if not stopped at some point. So, better stop it. If we wish to do so, Ludwig von Mises (1881–1973) tells us how: “The belief that a sound monetary system can once again be attained without making substantial changes in economic policy is a serious error. What is needed first and foremost is to renounce all inflationist fallacies. This renunciation cannot last, however, if it is not firmly grounded on a full and complete divorce of ideology from all imperialist, militarist, protectionist, statist, and socialist ideas.”1

  • 1. Ludwig von Mises, “Stabilization of the Monetary Unit–from the Viewpoint of Theory (1923),” in The Cause of the Economic Crisis. And Other Essays before and after the Great Depression, edited by Percy L. Greaves Jr. (Auburn, AL: Ludwig von Mises Institute, 2006), p. 44, appendix.

Author:

Thorsten Polleit

Dr. Thorsten Polleit is Chief Economist of Degussa and Honorary Professor at the University of Bayreuth. He also acts as an investment advisor.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Dear White People”: NHS Lectures Brits About Their “Privilege” | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on September 8, 2021

Despite being notoriously terrible, the NHS is so venerated that it has all but replaced the church as the United Kingdom’s official state religion.

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/dear-white-people-nhs-lectures-brits-about-their-privilege

Tyler Durden's Photoby Tyler Durden

Authored by Paul Joseph Watson via Summit News,

The NHS has published a blog on its official website called “Dear white people in the UK” which lectures Brits about their “white privilege” and says they should “be uncomfortable” about their “whiteness.”

Yes, really.

The article is written by Aishnine Benjamin, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion lead at the Nursing and Midwifery Council (not a real job).

It orders white people to read numerous far-left screeds about intersectionality and why white people should feel guilty about the color of their skin while telling them to shut up and “listen…to what black and minority ethnic people are saying.”

“Don’t say ‘I’m not political’ to excuse yourself from this conversation,” the text barks.

“Right now, ignorance isn’t an excuse. You can’t unsee what you have seen.”

That’s interesting given that all one can see in this article is outright racist hatred of white people thinly veiled in the garbled, quixotic rhetoric of social justice.

“Be uncomfortable,” the blog instructs white people, before asserting how “structurally racist systems” can only be properly understood by consuming numerous race-baiting books, videos and podcasts about how bad white people are.

The article then stresses that all of these messages should also be pushed on children before telling people to support Operation Black Vote, a leftist NGO.

“Diversity isn’t a fun to have it’s a must have,” the article aggressively ends.

Britain’s National Health Service — the taxpayer-funded, eternity-waiting-list for cancer patients but if you want your cock chopped off you’re right at the front health service — is now promoting racial Marxism to the nation. pic.twitter.com/ay6IpEkmVl — Raheem J. Kassam (@RaheemKassam) September 5, 2021

While it’s easy to dismiss the blog as a meaningless exercise in performative white guilt, the situation becomes more ominous when you understand that the NHS can now literally deny health care to people it considers to be “racist” or “homophobic.”

Despite being notoriously terrible, the NHS is so venerated that it has all but replaced the church as the United Kingdom’s official state religion.

During the first lockdown, Brits were pressured to take part in a cringe-inducing weekly clapping sessions to show their appreciation for a health service that was apparently “overwhelmed,” but not overwhelmed enough to prevent nurses up and down the country performing Tik Tok dance routines for social media clout.

Some people who refused to take part were even publicly shamed by their community on Facebook.

As we previously highlighted, a prominent think tank published a report concluding that adulation for the NHS is not rational.

Be seeing you

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »