Re: the finger of blame

Erik Moeller (
Tue, 13 Jan 1998 19:57:55 +0100

Anton Sherwood wrote:

[I will reply only to your message and not to Michael's because there are no
major differences.]

> : Who sells the weapons? The government? Who earns money when a war has
> : started? The government?

> Not money: power. The state always expands during wartime,
> and rarely if ever retreats afterward to its former size.
> ("War is the health of the state.")

The state spends a lot of money during wartime, money extracted from its
population through taxes. It spends this money in buying weapons, paying
transports etc. So the state does not get more powerful, those who are paid by
the state do. And in effect, those who *own* these companies are the ones who
earn from war. That's the big investment banks. Example: First National Bank
during the Vietnam War. Right after this bank had allowed Textron to buy the
Bell Helicopter Company, the extensive use of helicopters in the war started.
[Prouty, L. Fletcher: "JFK - The CIA, Vietnam and the Plot to Assassinate John
F. Kennedy", NY 1996]. First National Bank also participated in Boeing, which
had dramatic increases of sales (1965: $ 2 billion, 68: $ 3.3 billion, 70: $
3.7 billion).

> To blame "Businessmen" for wars, you must ignore the fact that MOST
> of them, on either side, LOSE money in wartime.

I don't ignore it, it's true. But the really big enterprises, of course
especially arms industry, usually profit from war -- and the big banks behind
them do as well.

> : Who profits from a tax policy which burdens the majority and favours
> : the minority? The minority, of course. Which is not the government.

> Hah! Government is the most favored minority of all!

In which way?

> : John Clark, one of the more intelligent free market advisors, would
> : answer: "If you remove governments, all this corruption will disappear
> : and the free market will bring up only efficient companies." The problem
> : is that by removing government, you only remove a cover under which the
> : true power elite hides. The power structures remain - and before you can
> : say "Jebediah", your country will be ruled directly by big enterprises.

> Evidence?

For the power structures, there's lots of evidence. US history is full of it.
Start with JFK, go over to Vietnam, look at Watergate, look at how Reagan was
put up as a strawman for Bush and how Bush (former CIA-boss, coming from a
rich family, good connections to investment banks, big in the oil industry
with Zapata Oil), how Bush started the Gulf War etc.

For what happens after you remove the cover: The fact that nothing you call a
free market has ever existed. And the above facts.

> If you're right, wouldn't it be better in some ways to have the beast
> made naked, so all can see its true nature?

Your rhetoric doesn't help here. Major parts of the population are controlled
through mass media, unless anyone shows them a "beast" on TV, they won't
believe in it. People in the Middle Ages (another fine Free Market) followed
the church. This is an example of direct influence through a true power elite
and of what people do in this case.

> : Luddism is a perfectly understandable reaction in capitalism. Because in
> : a capitalist society, progress in production efficiency will often hurt
> : the population. The more efficient you are, the less workers you need.
> : More unemployment. 4,5 million registered in Germany today, and rising.

> So why did employment in the Nottingham textile industry (origin of the
> term "Luddite") increase with mechanization?

Short-term development because of cheaper and better goods and still high
demands (sometimes the market laws indeed apply). Working conditions, however,
worsened dramatically. That's why the Luddite movement was started - not
because people were just technophobic, but because they suddenly had to do
more work for less money and/or work under extreme conditions. The Luddites
never attacked humans in the beginning. Still, the industrial Horsfell ordered
to shoot a group of Luddites. Horsfell was murdered, and maybe it was not the
Luddites who did it but the industry who now had a justification for a true
witchhunt. First, the destruction of machines was punished with death, later
with deportation.
What's better, getting roasted by a gov for killing a kid or getting hanged
for destroying a machine?

> Of course there are no state regulatory barriers to employment,
> only reactionary "libertarians" believe that, right?

Right. German industry complained about the oh-so-high loan costs from
1995-1996 and promised to create jobs when they would not have to pay so much.
Further cuts in the social system were made. Now German industry complains
about the oh-so-high loan costs again. Further cuts in the social system are
made. Then ... Get the idea? And all the time, unemployment has not decreased
a bit, instead it has risen. And neither in 1995 nor in 1999 the German
industry was in a bad situation. Fact is, each year they make record profits.

> : About military: Why do you think we have it? Because some bums in the
> : government think we need it to defend our country?

> Because military forces have been around longer than anyone can remember,
> and few dare question their necessity? I dunno, you tell us.

No, I won't. Give me a rational explanation.

> : Most extropians despise governments, but at the same time, they are the
> : perfect democrats. Because they really believe that democracy works the
> : way it is intended to work - they just think that this way is not right.

> Well, let's have a show of hands. How many here believe there's no fraud
> in democracy as it is, in your respective city or country?

No, how many believe, that elections are not manipulated, that people choose
politicians freely and that the politics are just wrong?

[bullshit deleted]

Erik Moeller