Re: the finger of blame

James Rogers (
Tue, 13 Jan 1998 21:20:32 -0800

At 07:57 PM 1/13/98 +0100, Erik Moeller wrote:
>Anton Sherwood wrote:
>> 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
>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).

Your first mistake was using a "conspiracy theory" book as your sole
historical reference. Not only are your examples way out of context, but
irrelevant. Bell Helicopter was *the* vendor of helicopters to the
military *long* before the Vietnam (First delivery to the military in
1946). Additionally, Bell was one of the most prominent developers of new
aerospace technologies from WWII through the Vietnam War (first American
jet powered aircraft, first aircraft to break the sound barrier, *the*
leader in helicopter technology, etc) and received numerous military
contracts during the time period prior to the Vietnam war. The founder of
Bell (Larry Bell?) died circa 1956, at which point the essentially
leaderless company became more or less for sale until they were finally
bought by Textron in 1960. First National Bank had very little to do with
promoting a company who at the time was already considered to be the leader
in military helicopter technology.

Boeing is an even stupider example, which I'll get to in a moment.

>> 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.

You shot yourself in the foot here. Boeing nearly went *bankrupt* after
WWII, as production of wartime products effectively stopped. Boeing bet
the entire company on the 707 whiched was successful enough to keep the
company going.

The huge profit increases from '65-'70 correspond to the wildly successful
sales of the Boeing 727 (starting in 1964) and the best-selling commercial
aircraft ever, the 737, which became an instant success when introduced in
1967. The large profit increases you noted were in no way related to war
time efforts, but in the commercial sector instead.

I *seriously* suggest that you take the time to research your evidence
prior to puking this crap all over the mailing list. By citing your sole
source as a conspiracy novel, you make yourself look like even more of an

>> : 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.

Rich families are always in the top political positions because it is very
expensive to be a politician. This is true even in the most socialist
countries. But it is a good investment for rich people because the
government is an advantageous source of power that they can control. A
source of power that wouldn't exist on the free market. Take away this
unfair advantage and they have to compete based on their virtues, just like
everyone else.

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

Well duh. That's the whole point. A free market economy has never been
tried in any significant sense because government always gets in the way.
Do you think the government wants a free market? Come to Silicon Valley
sometime and ask your average independant consultant. Even a "pseudo-free
market" like the Internet scares the hell out of government because it
devalues their power structures. But hey, they're in a postion to
legislate that nuisance away...

>> 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.

So what are you missing? It obviously follows that if you eliminate the
government, you eliminate the power elite. The only power elite that can
exist in a free market, exist by their own ingenuity. What's so wrong with
a level playing field?

>> : 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.

Another example is the United States, where unemployment is at a record
lows attributed almost entirely to increased productivity in the economy.

>> 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,
>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

The only people who have to work harder are people too inflexible or too
stupid to work smarter. Average people would enjoy the benefits of
progress a great deal more if they spent more of their energy accustomizing
themselves to it rather than resisting it. Ability to adapt *is* an
evolutionary advantage.

>> 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
>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.

In a free market economy, it is highly unlikely that all the major
industries would be making record profits and unemployment would be
increasing. Most likely this is the result of subsidies, where a company
can make a decent profit, but be terribly non-competitive in the face of
foreign competition. Many European countries are in this situation right
now, especially in the tech industries. If government support didn't exist
for these industries, darwinian selection would have bred industries that
could actually result in economy-improving profits (government provided
profits are worthless as the money is effectively removed from the economy
in the first place).

>> : 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.

Too protect populations from people with power who don't have your high
moral standards? Actually, there is a rather large difference between
European militaries and the US military in general (which may be tempering
your view). In many European countries (Germany, for example) the military
is used as an auxiliary police arm of the government, many times quite
violently. This is simply not the case with the professional US
militaries, which have virtually no adversarial contact within the domestic

-James Rogers