Originally penned and posted on February 29, ARSH 2012If you know how bad the situation is and don’t feel the need to subject yourself to any more of my patented Barnhardt Phillipic and Funeral Dirge for Civilization, take your leave now, because I honestly think that this is the the saddest, most profoundly depressing post I have yet written.
And I’ve written a few.
A few thousand.
The topic is the US Dollar, and currency in general. The Federal Reserve has been willfully and systematically debasing the US dollar for a century by claiming that 2% inflation is the benchmark of a healthy economy. Since the universities and media have been overrun by Marxists, there is hardly anyone alive who A.) is in possession of the capacity to independently think and reason their way through such a question and B.) anyone who cares in the first place.
In addition to the slow grinding debasement by the Fed, the Marxists have finally fully usurped and overthrown the government of the United States, and thus have now executed the coup de grace: wild, flagrant money “printing”, and by “printing”, please understand that we are not talking about the fabrication of paper bills. We are talking about computerized entries into the Federal Reserve’s ledger. The Fed literally types in an addition of x billion or y trillion dollars into its balance sheet – creating dollars out of thin air that exist as zeroes and ones on a computer server – and then use those new dollars to purchase US Treasury bonds. In this way, the Obama regime and its puppetmasters have debased the US dollar by roughly one half the total GDP in less than four years. This iteration of both the United States and the US Dollar are over. There is no way to walk back the damage that the Obama regime has done. They have accomplished their mission, no matter what happens from this day forward.
After reading and reviewing my texts on monetary theory from Mises, Hayek, Friedman and contemporary economists including Denninger, I have come to a profound realization about money and the fiat vs commodity money (i.e. gold-backed currency) debate – and it bodes very, very poorly for us.
First, a few preliminary points.
1. Going to a gold standard will solve nothing. This is not to say that I don’t think that gold and silver are good wealth storage vehicles in this situation. To the contrary, I think they are excellent for these times. BUT, simply reverting to the gold standard, in and of itself, will not turn us around. We will, at some point, be FORCED to revert to the primordial commodity currency paradigm simply because our government and society will collapse, and thus our currency with it. If and when our culture rebuilds itself, if we remain as we are, the exact same problems that have arisen under the fiat money system will emerge again, even under a gold-backed currency.
So why has civilization, up until just within the last few decades, operated on commodity money systems, and why is it plausible to think that any fiat currency could ever have any legitimacy? The reason why civilization has used commodity money, namely gold and silver, up until just recently is because up until just recently, there was no way to instantly verify money held on deposit, or the existence of a line of credit. With computers and the internet, such instant checks are as common as breathing, blinking and walking. We don’t even think about it anymore. We go to the sandwich shop, get our sandwich, and in less than three seconds, the vendor has confirmed that we have funds, and then transferred those funds into his account. In the centuries and millennia past, people would load chests filled with gold coinage and jewels onto sailing ships and set out for distant lands. Why did they take their gold and jewels with them and risk losing that money to shipwreck or piracy? Because they had to take it with them. The only way to confirm your wealth to others was to physically possess it. Physical possession and spot exchange was also the only way to execute mercantile transactions. If we lose telecommunications and computing ability due to the successful detonation of an Electromagnetic Pulse weapon, or simply due to the total breakdown of society and the ability to maintain and power such systems, then indeed, this argument will become moot. BUT, so long as there is near-instant data transmission, commodity money will be theoretically optional (*with a qualifier to be addressed later in Part 3).
While we are looking at history, it bears mentioning that metals-backed currencies have not prevented other economic calamities. Just in the United States, the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the post-Civil War depression of 1873-1879, now called the Long Depression, which was actually caused by the manipulation of silver demand by the German Empire, were not magically prevented by metals-backed currency. Returning to a gold standard would not prevent recessions from happening. In fact, recessions are a necessary fact of economies, and serve to deflate bubbles and restore equilibrium. The only people who promise to eliminate economic recessions are Marxists, and that is because Marxists are liars. Just as all respiring beings on earth must both inhale and exhale, so too must economies. A person who perpetually inhaled would eventually burst their lungs and die. Conversely, a person who could only exhale would asphyxiate and die. But both actions, in a balanced, moderate cycle, are the definition of health. It is the same with economies: periods of expansion followed by a healthy, normal contraction that deflated any bubbles and restored equilibrium, thus setting up the next expansion phase.
2. Metals-backed currencies can be corrupted, too. There are two ways to corrupt a metals-backed currency, and it has happened many, many times throughout history. The first means pertains to coinage, and is to corrupt the metal itself with cheaper metals, such as zinc. The Roman denarius was debased from 4.5 grams of pure silver to less than one tenth of a gram of silver. Hyperinflation was the inevitable result, and the currency had to eventually be totally replaced.
The second means, which pertains to paper and electronic currency, is for the government to lie about the reserve quantity. This could either be done by explicitly lying about the number of ounces in storage, OR could be done by clandestinely issuing dollars to cronies of the oligarchy, which were NOT actually backed by any metal, and thus would be a de facto lie as to the supply. Since the people would be unable to demand a daily audit and reconciliation, the ability to police and reconcile the supply of metal and dollars would be impossible, and exactly the same things that are going on today, namely government looting of the Treasury and debasement of the currency, would continue apace.
Well, the reality today is that banks are both writing massive quantities of unsecured loans and doing nothing on their side to balance the ledger, AND they are failing to honestly and realistically book the values of their hard-asset loans. The big banks are still booking home values at their original purchase price – not the fair market value today. Given the housing bubble, most mortgages today are underwater and are worth far, far less than the principal balance to say nothing of interest. This is why I say, echoing others, that the major banks in this country are not just totally insolvent, they are insolvent multiple times over. If the government wasn’t criminal and the favored banks of the oligarchs actually had to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, the entire system would implode into a singularity tomorrow.
For more info and a much better explanation of the concepts covered to this point, do purchase “Leverage” by Karl Denninger – a very easy-to-grasp, detailed explanation of the whole, stinking mess.
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And that brings us to the conclusion and actual point.
All of the stuff outlined above is all well and good to talk about, but as I was reading, including opposing thoughts from other schools, including the Austrian School which advocates full-reserve banking in some instances, namely demand deposits – a possibility to which I am not entirely opposed – I kept running into the 400 pound gorilla, which is silently acknowledged, but never really discussed, because the discussion would inevitably lead to talk of morality and thus . . . religion.
At the end of the day, any currency is backed not by physical commodities or a collective abstraction called “a government”. No. A currency is backed by the character and integrity of men that constitute the issuing nation or body. In short, WE ARE THE GOLD. We are the bearers of the “full faith and credit” which backs our Federal Reserve notes today. And that, dear readers, is why this country is not going to turn itself around anytime soon, and is almost certainly doomed in the short-run.
Every text I read over the last few days always included a very brief caveat that all of the preceding theory was, of course, contingent on a moral society with a functioning rule of law, honest regulation and a populace that was mostly honorable and trustworthy. This caveat was phrased differently in each instance, but it was always there, hanging over everything else like a fine mist. If you have a nation of moral degenerates, all bets are off. If the people are more dishonest than honest, and the government is nothing more than a mafia, then all economic systems and all postulations fly apart at the seams. If there is no rule of law, and if theft, graft and looting are the prevalent systems of economic activity, then no matter what your banking system, no matter what your currency – fiat or commodity-backed, your system and your economy will absolutely, positively fail eventually.
The fall of a society can happen very quickly. Our society has taken roughly 50 years to topple. If the previous example of the Russian culture is any example, we can expect it to take many multiples of 50 years to undo this damage, if and only if the pendulum has reached its maximum amplitude and now begins to swing back, which I fear has not yet happened. Morality cannot be legislated. Cultures cannot be purged of evil, selfishness and sloth overnight – even with a war. I cannot lie to you and tell you that short of Divine Intervention, this situation will resolve itself in any of our lifetimes. We had “it.” We had “it”, and we squandered “it”, and now “it” is gone, and no governmental, economic or monetary policy will get “it” back. “It” can only come from God, dwelling in the hearts of men, and God only comes to men if they specifically ask Him.
We, the people, always have been and always will be the ultimate backing commodity of our currency, because at its core, money is merely the representative device for a man’s capacity to produce and create. Dishonest men do not create or produce. They steal. Thus, the currency of a morally degenerated society is by definition degenerate itself. The currency of a degenerate society is the proxy not for a man’s ability to work and think, but rather a proxy for a man’s capacity to steal and evade work.
We used to be like gold – beautiful and warm. Now we are like pig iron – cold, brittle and good-for-nothing. And THAT is what constitutes the “full faith and credit” that backs the U.S. Dollar. So long as our culture remains degenerate, our currency can never be anything but spiraling, worthless trash.
Since we're on the subject .... Originally penned and posted on August 1, ARSH 2012. More on this tomorrow with regards to a new genuine hero who has stepped to the front, Edward Snowden.If you forced me to distill everything that is wrong with this culture down to one word, to find one word that covered almost every sin in one fell swoop, it would be cowardice. I look at western civilization and I see cowardice EVERYWHERE. It is in the eyes and hearts of every adult. Its stench permeates everything.
First, the definition. Cowardice is, when you boil it down, total self-absorption. Cowardice is putting your own immediate and superficial desires above everyone and everything else. Cowardice is indifference to your fellow man, and to God, and as we have already established, indifference, not hate, but INDIFFERENCE is the opposite of love.
The coward cowers and fails to act because he puts himself first, thus breaking the two Great Commandments simultaneously: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and soul AND thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. The coward gives both God and his neighbor the proverbial finger, pulls the covers over his head, and retreats into his own lint-filled navel, oftentimes rhetorically hiding behind the words “prudence” and “benignity”.
The word “Prudence” has been twisted by cowards into the lie that one should never act, but rather think and think and think ad infinitum until either they have talked themselves out of any action (which is always very easy to do) OR until someone else comes along and takes up the slack, thus making the question of their own action moot. In other words, STALLING.
Prudence is being able to discern the right, see the big picture and then DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. Many people think that they can “legally” dodge this by simply doing nothing. Ah, but they forget that to NOT act is to act, to NOT speak is to speak, to quote Bonhoeffer. It is impossible to avoid action, because inaction is itself an action. When prudence truly dictates that something MUST be said or done, inaction then becomes a sin, no matter how one might try to justify that inaction as prudence. That sin is called COWARDICE.
Benignity means “kindness”, which is not the same as “being nice” or even being liked. True kindness sometimes requires sternness, or even ferociousness. Ferocity is defined as "extreme intensity". If you walked into a kitchen and saw a three year old child just about to drink from a bottle of drain cleaner, would you not ferociously dive at the child yelling, “NO!” in order to save that child from poisoning and burning themselves? Anything less would be unthinkable. How could one react with silent paralysis to a child about to drink poison? How would that be kind? How would that be benign? It wouldn’t. It would be malignant malefaction devoid of prudence and charity, and utterly cowardly.
The other term that gets distorted by cowardice is “meekness”. The tragic coincidence that the word “meek” rhymes with “weak” in English has led many intellectually lazy people to believe very falsely that the words are synonyms. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Meekness is POWER UNDER CONTROL. Hence, Christ is perfectly meek, because as the Second Person of the Triune Godhead He is infinitely powerful, but yet so under control of His power that He freely chose to be crucified. An absolute monarch, powerful politician, powerful corporate executive, or law enforcement officer is called to meekness: power UNDER CONTROL. Power itself isn’t necessarily bad, as the absence of authority leads to anarchy and chaos. Power without the integrity of self-control is the problem. I think we can all agree that we have a serious, serious meekness deficiency in this culture, borne from cowardice, which recall is total self-absorption. A coward cannot be meek because a coward has no LEGITIMATE power to control in the first place. You hear me, Barack?
The reason we are in this mess, and the reason why I don’t see any indication of anything getting any better is because we are indeed a nation, and a civilization, of cowards. I see exactly ZERO willingness by anyone to offer any meaningful resistance to evil. I see zero willingness for anyone to do anything that might result in the least bit of discomfort, loss or material damage to themselves or their estate.
As an example, over the last couple of days I have been inundated with emails from people who remember the Mass before 1968, and they all say something very similar: When the changes came, we hated them and just KNEW that they were bad, bad news. We also KNEW which priests were gay, it wasn’t like they were trying to fool anyone.
My universal response to that is: WELL, WHY THE HECK DIDN’T YOU DO ANYTHING?
The answer is cowardice. People wanted to maintain their social standing, and so they chose the action of inaction. People wanted to just pull the blanket over their head, not get involved, and be considered “nice”. This is the ultimate self-absorption. If you people KNEW that the Church and the Mass were being profaned and you did NOTHING, then you will be held to account for that cowardice. You will be made to answer for the hundreds of millions, if not billions of human beings who were lost to hell because of the Marxist-homosexualist near-destruction of the Church and the Mass. You will be held to account for the horrific gutter dive that this culture has taken, because if the Novus Ordo Mass had been deep-sixed by the irate demand of the people before it ever got off the ground, this world would be a very, very different place. If the Marxist-homosexualists had never been allowed to rise to power by the silent assent of the cowardly people, God would still be shedding His grace on us, and tens of millions of dead babies would be very much alive today, and countless millions of people might not have been lost to hell.
This is why we, the people, are and will be punished by God - not just the psychopath politicians, banksters, oilgarchs and sodomites. This is why just war theory permits actions that can involve civilian casualties and destruction of non-state property. THE PEOPLE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR GOVERNMENT. And no one is more responsible for their government, no one is more complicit in the sins of their state than the poeple whose organizational document begins with the words, "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union ...."
Every time I hear someone say, “Well, I can’t DO THAT. I can’t SAY ANYTHING. I can’t stop paying taxes. I can’t get crossways with the IRS. I can’t cancel my cable. I can’t get on my boss’s bad side. I can’t jeopardize my job. I can’t jeopardize my reputation. I can’t jeopardize my income. I can't jeopardize my pension. You just don’t understand. I just CAN’T,” I have just one question in response. It is very easy, and only requires a single number is response – not even words. Just one number. The question is, exactly how many human souls are you content to see lost in exchange for your personal comfort and ability to navel-gaze uninterrupted? I need a number. No prose. No bee-ess excuses. Just a number. If you are willing to admit that you are willing to see a billion people lost, then say it. If you’re willing to see 3.5 billion people lost, then say it. If you’re willing to see the entire surface population minus yourself lost, then say it. But don’t bee-ess me by saying “zero” and then cowering in fear and refusing to so much as lift a finger or say ONE WORD in the face of this evil.
Fish or cut bait, people.
From the female perspective, a woman identifies and rejects the coward because the coward will not protect her. The coward will abandon her and their children. So how is it that any inner city black man today gets laid? Because the Marxists have brainwashed the black culture into embracing male cowardice. The men are given false substitutes in the form of sports and gangs (because nothing is more GAY than running around in a shirt with another man’s name emblazoned across it), and the women are trained by the rap/hip-hop culture to expect to be used and abandoned as mere masturbation vectors. And when conception actually happens, we have the ultimate act of cowardice to fall back on: abortion.
From the male perspective, cowardice is repellant because it is the coward who will either betray you, or fail to come through and get both of you killed. Judas Iscariot was the biggest coward in history. Read John 6. When Jesus told the huge crowd of disciples about the Eucharist, that they would literally have to eat His Flesh and drink His Blood to have His Life within them, they all freaked out and got up and left. Judas was humiliated at being associated with Jesus from that moment forward. He was livid that the potential revenue stream of thousands of followers was drying up. He was livid at the loss of power that he was watching as a member of Jesus’ inner circle of apostles. He thought Jesus was going to overthrow both the Herodian dynasty and the Roman occupation and that he, Judas, would be made a prince. When Jesus revealed the Eucharist to the people and they all left, Judas, self-centered and desperate for worldly wealth, power and approval, which is to say an abject coward, decided at that moment, purely because of the Eucharist, to betray Christ.
But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning, who they were that did not believe, and who he was, that would betray him. John 6:65.
Jesus answered them: Have not I chosen you twelve; and one of you is a devil? Now he meant Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon: for this same was about to betray him, whereas he was one of the twelve. John 6:71-72.
At this point, I am sadly reminded of the priests and bishops in the U.S. who have betrayed and continue to betray Christ because they are embarrassed by Him and His Truth, livid at Him for getting in the way of the government revenue stream, and humiliated and ashamed of the Eucharist itself. Oh, to be a fly on the wall at a Georgetown party when Joe Biden or John Kerry sidles up to Archbishop So-and-So, leans in close, smiles wryly and says, “You don’t actually believe that a cracker and a shot of wine turns into God, do you?”
If the coward doesn’t betray you outright to your enemies, he will at the very least fail to come through in combat, and get you both killed. To my eye, that covers pretty much everyone else. Even the clergy and people who are not Marxists are paralyzed and give every indication that they cannot be relied upon to march into combat. Some even hiss their contempt at courageous men in the hopes that God won’t recognize their cowardice if He has no courageous contemporaries to compare them to. I believe the technical term for that is “relativism.” Or perhaps they feel that they will be able to talk their way out of their sin by claiming “prudence” or “benignity.”
Yes, let’s just stall and hope and pray that someone comes along who will take up our slack and do the right, do that which we are too chicken* to do.
Be careful what you pray for. You might just get it.
I’ll conclude with some quotes from Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
To stand up for truth is nothing. For truth, you must sit in jail. You can resolve to live your life with integrity. Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.
The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible what was the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: ‘Men had forgotten God; that is why all this has happened.’A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage . . . . Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elite, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society.And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.
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