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See You on the Dark Side of the Moon

SEE YOU ON THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON

And if the cloud bursts thunder in your ear
You shout and no one seems to hear
And if the band you’re in starts playing different tunes
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

Brain Damage, Pink Floyd

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And if the dam breaks open many years too soon
And if there is no room upon the hill
And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too
I’ll see you on the dark side of the moon

Brain Damage, Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd’s 1973 Dark Side of the Moon album is considered one of the greatest albums of all-time. It stayed on the Billboard 200 charts for 937 weeks. Roger Waters concept was for an album that dealt with things that “make people mad”. The Dark Side of the Moon’s themes include war, conflict, greed, the passage of time, death, and insanity, the latter inspired in part by former band member Syd Barrett’s worsening mental state.

The five tracks on each side reflect various stages of human life, beginning and ending with a heartbeat, exploring the nature of the human experience, and empathy. The themes of this album are timeless and are as germane today as they were forty-six years ago, if not more relevant. The country and world are awash in conflict, driven by the greed of evil men. Decent, law abiding, hard-working, critical thinking Americans see the world going insane as the passage of time leads towards the death of an American empire.

Waters and Gilmour lyrics have always captured the falsity of the world, whether it be the music industry, the ruling elite, educational system, politicians, the military, or our own delusions that keep us from accepting the truth. Their cynicism about our world appeals to my natural inclination towards skepticism about mankind and those constituting the invisible government, controlling the levers of our society.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Anthropologist Debunks Bill Gates’ BS Narrative That Free-Market Capitalism Has Solved Crisis of Global Poverty

Anthropologist Debunks Bill Gates’ BS Narrative That Free-Market Capitalism Has Solved Crisis of Global Poverty

Calling billionaire Microsoft co-founder ‘completely wrong,’ Jason Hickels says “those defending poverty line you should be willing to live on it. Lookin’ at you, Bill.”

Contrary to what Bill Gates and other powerful, wealthy Davos attendees say, Jason Hickel writes, extreme poverty is far from wiped out. (Photo: Jeremy Higgs/Flickr/cc)

Anthropologist and author Jason Hickel swiftly disabused readers of a narrative offered by Microsoft founder Bill Gates this week, rejecting the billionaire’s statement on Twitter that “people underestimate just how much life has improved over the last two centuries.”

The idea that the free-market capitalism has grown while solving the crisis of extreme poverty around the world may be tempting for some to embrace, Hickel wrote in the Guardian—but it is “completely wrong.”

Ahead of his appearance at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, Gates shared an infographic on Twitter claiming to show that extreme global poverty has plummeted since 1820, with 94 percent living in poverty 200 years ago compared with just 10 percent today.

View image on Twitter

View image on Twitter

This is one of my favorite infographics. A lot of people underestimate just how much life has improved over the last two centuries: https://b-gat.es/2S23hlG

In reality, Hickel wrote, people simply needed relatively little money to survive and thrive in 1820.

The global population as a whole hasn’t gained more wealth in the last 200 years, he wrote—instead, “the world went from a situation where most of humanity had no need of money at all to one where today most of humanity struggles to survive on extremely small amounts of money,” with much of the world having endured “a process of dispossession that bulldozed people into the capitalist labor system.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Free Market Capitalism as the Antidote to the World’s Ills

In following the daily news events both in the United States and around the rest of the world, it is easy to get lost in the detail and not step back once and awhile and remind ourselves what the really important issues are. Under the anxiety of a possible nuclear war in Korea, actual terrorist attacks in the Middle East and by seemingly “lone wolves” in other countries, threats of trade wars, and polarizing trends in politics in many places, the real underlying issue is and remains, how should people live together?

Clearly people are not living as harmoniously, peacefully and prosperously as they could, and many of us believe they should. The question is, why? The sophisticates will say that life, politics, and local and global society are complex. It is just the way it is, and we have to just “muddle through” on a daily basis as best we can.  The dreamers of various sorts will point to racism, class conflict, gender wars, the one true religion, or the transcendent ideological purpose. If only their brand of salvation was established all the problems of the world would go away.

All of these conceptions of the solutions to our problems share one thing in common. They invariably involve someone in society imposing their vision and will on the rest of mankind. This is fairly obvious when we turn to the religious or ideological fanatic. Make the world follow my faith or my political utopia or my ideal of a “socially just” society, and then peace and happiness will reign with an end to all the strife dividing humanity.

Element of Coercion in Proposals to Make a Better World

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Bill Gross’ May Investment Letter: The Scariest Thing I’ve Read In Years

Bill Gross’ May Investment Letter: The Scariest Thing I’ve Read In Years

The gist of the letter was discussing the fact that technology is accelerating the replacement of human capital with software and machines.  It is a fact.  Bill rightly suggests that if this continues on course (which he believes it will) we will find ourselves in a jobless society.  He describes a future where jobs are no longer part of societal life.  Bill includes an excerpt from Andy Stern’s Raising the Floor,

“a policymaker – a future President or Prime Minister – must recognize that existing government policies have “built a whole social infrastructure based on the concept of a job, and that concept does not work anymore.” In other words, if income goes to technological robots whatever the form, instead of human beings, our culture will change and if so policies must adapt to those changes.”

To this proposition Bill then proposes a solution,

“What should the policy response be?  Retraining and education sound practical and are at the head of every politician’s promised ticket for the yellow brick road, but to be honest folks, I doubt that much of it will be worth the expense. 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Asset Ownership and Our System of Deepening Debt-Serfdom

Asset Ownership and Our System of Deepening Debt-Serfdom

Debt-serfs who make the difficult and risky transition to small-scale business owners find they have simply moved to another class of serfdom.

The core dynamic of debt-serfdom is that debt-serfs must borrow money to buy essentials while the wealthy borrow to invest in productive assets.

This is not merely a random result of free-market capitalism; it is the structure of cartel-capitalism in which highly profitable goods and services must be paid for with highly profitable debt.

This need to borrow to pay for essentials is already evident in student loans, vehicles and housing.

The cost of these essentials is so high that few debt-serfs can borrow enough to pay for these essentials and then have enough borrowing power left to buy productive assets.

Those few who do attempt to buy productive assets face regulatory hurdles and costs that limit their ability to own or launch small-scale profitable enterprises.

The net result is a system in which the vast majority of productive assets are owned by the few who then have the means to exploit the many.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
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