Friday, July 2, 2010

It's no use blaming Obama for the end of stage one of the Platonic Cycle

So lately I have been monitoring an increase of anti-Obama-ism among friends, coworkers, and family members. It is interesting that negative sentiment is rising in perfect correlation with the probability of a second down-dip in double-dip recession. This is the much-dreaded "W" shaped recession structure, which has proven very politically-destabilizing throughout modern world history. The only dude who managed to ride through one of these largely unharmed was Franklin D. Roosevet.

Personally, I am not mad at Obama. It is not his fault that he got elected to the last-watch of the American Democracy. It's just happen-chance. It's a fluke of his date of birth, and the circumstances. He's a prisoner of deteriorating system, just like the rest of us.

My take is not simple. It is hard to explain. I am not a simplistic thinker on these subjects. When they understand what I think, a lot of folks have a very heavy knee-jerk reaction against it. This is because people have a very difficult time separating fact from theory, and separating fact from emotion. Many do not believe that history is fractal-patterned thing, although it is. Like George Santayana said: Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. The reason why is simple: History is a fractal patterned thing, where the same sequence of shapes keep coming up over and over in many different contexts.

Unfortunately, G.W.F. Hegel already told us that the only thing we learn from history is that we never learn nothin' from history. Pardon my paraphrase.

Once upon a time, there was dude name Plato who lived in a city called Athens. He wrote a lot. He wrote about the adventures of his mentor Socrates. He also wrote about politics. He wrote a book called "The Republic", mostly devoted to political subjects. Along the way, he declared that human government progresses through 3 stages of a cycle, and this cycle repeats endlessly in an infinite loop. The cycle is irregular. There is no exact time frame for each stage of the cycle. Each stage could last one month. Each stage of the cycle could last 500 years.

The first stage is democracy or a republican form of government. People are deemed to be more or less equal in legal status, and elite by merits. Everyone has a degree of freedom, and corporate decisions are made by consensus in one form or another. This lasts until democracy becomes a form of organized class-warfare, with each social class using the government as a tool of organized looting of the other classes. At this point, the democratic republic breaks down, and various crises occur

The second stage begins when a military dictatorship emerges. A general with great credentials emerges as a populist, saying he will put an end to the class-warfare via democracy. He promises to rule with an even hand, and make all decisions fairly. Since his power emanates from the sword and shield, he does not need the masses to get elected. He does not need the consent of rich elites. He can make purely efficient decisions based on what is logically optimal. Everyone who dislikes his moves can be impaled on a stick, or crucified.

The third stage emerges when the military dictatorship hardens into a monarchy. A hereditary line of kings (or emperors) emerge. This stage breaks down when the crusty and conservative monarchy becomes a serious fetter to economic and technological development. Karl Marx wrote a lot about this. He had a notion that modes of production come and go, and politics is merely a superstructure on top of it. If the economic base of our survival needs to change and develop, and the political superstructure is a serious impediment to that development, the political superstructure will be destroyed and a new one will emerge quickly.

At the end of stage 3 in Plato's cycle, something like this does indeed tend to happen. Monarchy, royalty, elite status, all these things ossify into a very stogy form of aristocracy that hampers great technologists and entrepreneurs from feeding the masses. When that happens, aristocracy gets shoved aside, or the monarchs get their heads cut off. At this point we return to stage one, and a new democratic republic emerges.

Well folks, I am here to tell you that the United States of American, and perhaps Europe, is (are) now at the end of stage one of the Platonic Cycle of politics. We have hit the break-down phase of democracy. Our Republic has become a tool used by the various classes to engage in the organized looting of one another. The situation is ugly. The Great American experiment with democracy is getting ready to end.

Those who think we are solving the economic ills that caused the last recession are fools. Those who think the economy is going to make a natural and normal come-back are also fools. They have no idea of the level of damage that OTC Derivative rip-off schemes did to our economic base. They do not know that something like $70 trillion dollars in OTC derivatives were written by the various investment banks, most of that paper is still outstanding debt, and it is all bad. The U.S. Federal government is expected (by elites) to make these debt obligations good, but there is not that much money in the entire world. Even if the U.S. Federal government were to want to make these debts good, for what preposterous reason I will never understand, the project is impossible. It cannot be done.

The problem is that no politician, in our current democratic republic, has the balls to turn to the world's riches elites and say something like: "I am sorry you were stupid enough to play this preposterous game of hot-potato, in which everybody gets a hot-potato, but the jig is up. You all got burned. You loose. Take your loses. Eat it."

They don't have the balls to do this for two simple reasons: (1) they need the money of the elites to run for office, (2) they need roughly-happy masses to get elected. If the rich eat the bitter fruit of their stupidity, there will be a full-scale depression. If the politicians say 'fuck you' to the elites, the elites are going to say 'fuck you' back. Just when you think you are fucking them, that's when they're fucking you. If there is a full-scale depression, the masses will be distressed. There will be tribulation and the masses will be ready to overturn things. Because the government cannot correct our current economic problems, this depression is going to happen anyway, sooner or later. Still, you can expect the government to forestall the inevitable for as long as possible, using palliative treatment techniques. They won't remedy the problem. They will only mask the symptoms.

However, using palliative treatments, such as Fentanyl, can have it's own deadly consequences.

The bottom line is this: The first phase of the present economic crisis has not passed. The first phase ends when the elites are forced to eat their losses. That will not happen under the republic. I don't think the first phase of this crisis can pass until some General, such as McCrystal or David Patreus Crosses the Rubicon, and takes over. Wesley Clark would be the Platonic Ideal Type. [This is not to say I approve of him or support him. It means he fits the Spider-Man suit.] He is a military populist. Of course, it could also be a Navy Admiral we have never heard of before. At that point, a military dictator, whose power blossoms from the barrel of a gun, can turn to the elites and tell them that it is time to eat their losses.

Sorry folks, that's the pattern of history. Democratic republics get themselves into corruption messes they cannot exact themselves from. Military dictators emerge to extract the nation (forcefully) from its woes. This pattern has been repeated thousands of times in hundreds of different contexts.

Plato died sometime around 348 BC. Julius Ceasar died around 44 A.D. Plato laid down his theory politics more than 400 years before Ceasar gave us one of our biggest-proof cases for his theory. There are scores of other highly-characteristic cases. During the last depression, most of Europe turned to military dictatorships. Guys like Mussolini, Franco, and Hitler rose to take over major nations of Europe. Many will tell you that Stalin was no different, although pretended to be different. In South American, there are scores of banna republics that have gone bankrupt due to the corruption of democratic republics. Whenever these financial crises hit intolerable proportions, you always see some general send troops into the capital building. They defenestrate the politicians at the wrong end of pack of machine guns. The general always presents himself as a populist reformer who will make life safe again for ordinary people.

Our first military dictator will probably emerge shortly after the third financial bubble--the government debt bubble, or T-Bill bubble--bursts. At that point, the good 'ole Dollar bill will be busted, spiralling down in value with a massive upsurge in inflation. If they bust the Dollar, there will be more hell over it than you can imagine. As Bum Philips said "Now you kaint do that! If you do that there will be more hell over it than a little bit!"

I would expect the USA to do much the same thing Rome did: We will dispense with the republic and never admit it... at least not for several hundred years. The Romans were forever in an amazing state of public denial about the Imperial nature of their second government. They would never admit that Rome was anything but a Republic. You could get killed for mouthing off too loudly about that. Similarly, the USA will have a military dictator, but we will call him the President, and the standard formals will still be maintained. Don't mouth off to loudly about the military boss. You be advised not to pull a Glen Gary Glen Ross on this dude.

Whenever I tell my fellow Americans my thoughts about politics, this is usually the point where there is a massive emotional reaction against me. We are all trained to view our democratic republic as sacrosanct and inviolable. It must be kept sacred. You must never utter such filthy abominations. Saying these things makes me a heretic, and apostate, and an Antichrist.

Look folks, you can cuss me out all you like. It doesn't change the pattern of history any. It also doesn't change where we are in the Platonic Cycle of politics. You might as well object to the Krebs cycle and complain that God shouldn't have made chemistry like that. Silly, silly, silly reaction. You need to separate fact and theory better. You need to separate both fact and theory from emotional reaction also. Consider things more objectively and dispassionately.

As I mentioned, Plato died around 348 BC. Archaeologists have uncovered evidence of 20 different civilisations at Jericho, dating back as far as 9,000 BC. Ancient Egypt got going around that time also. The Sumerians rose around 5,300 BC. The Hittites were alive and kicking by 1,586 BC. Plato constantly referred to the land of Atlantis, just beyond the Straights of Gibraltar. His references would date to roughly 9,600 BC. Plato had access to a lot of history we did not. God only knows how many hundreds of detailed examples he had seen from lost epochs we know nothing about. We don't know how many hundreds of times this cycle played itself out in thousands of years of ancient quasi-historical time Plato knew something about. God only knows how many precious documents of history were lost in fires like the one that destroyed the Ancient Library of Alexandria. Plato felt that he had plenty of evidence to make his claims.

I see a ton of evidence for Plato's theory in modern history. I'm not talking about a few cases, but a ton of cases. I am a Platonic thinker. I come from Plato's school of thought. I've grown reconciled to the thought that democratic republics break down. This is just a part of the cycle of life in politics. Generals rise and take over. It is simply part of another phase of history. Sooner or later, their descendants become monarchs.

One of these days, sometime in the next 10 years, I fully expect to see some dude with four-stars on his jacket rise up and take over this American Government. I don't know who that guy is. I probably won't until he shows himself. When Wesley Clark ran for president in 2004, my antennas rose up hard and fast. I monitored him very closely. I wondered if he was the guy. When Obama fired General McCrystal, my eyebrows went up, and then my antennas went up. Obama flat-cold declared that his remarks undermined civilian control of the military. I wondered if he was the guy. I am still wondering who that guy is.

Like most Americans, I have a tendency to view the overturn of the republic as a complete disaster. I have learned to take solace in example of Rome, a nation we are often compared to. Understand that 1 Anno Urbis Conditae was 753 BC. Julius Ceasar did not finish the republic until 795 or 796 Anno Urbis Conditae... and Rome still had its greatest glory ahead. It also had some of its worst moments. Rome didn't really fall until around 500 AD, 1250 years after the foundation of the city.

We need to hope for 5 good emperors, no fucking Caligula, no fucking Nero, and no fucking Commodus.

After we bust the Dollar we can re-introduce the Sestertius.