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Beware the ides of March?

Debt is the Fed’s basic problem, and it doesn’t know how high rates can go without triggering a financial crisis. And even if the Fed could make an assessment for America, there is the knock-on effect of the Fed’s interest rate policy on foreign dollar borrowers, as well as on the Eurozone and Japan. China has indirectly added to the West’s problems by being the largest component of global economic growth. Her massive credit expansion is contributing to higher interest rates elsewhere by financing imports, commodity stockpiles and driving up prices. It is the lack of ability of the ECB and the Fed to raise interest rates sufficiently to counter higher rates of price inflation that’s becoming the most pressing challenge.

Alasdair MacLeod

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49 comments to Beware the ides of March?

  • Shlomo Maistre

    It is the lack of ability of the ECB and the Fed to raise interest rates sufficiently to counter higher rates of price inflation that’s becoming the most pressing challenge.

    It is the lack of ability of the ECB and the Fed to raise interest rates sufficiently to counter higher rates of price inflation that has become the foundation of and means by which Western sovereignty is secured.

    FTFY

    Borrowing into the future, effectively stealing the wealth of unborn children, has enabled sufficiently massive expenditures in public and private spending in modern Western democracies to induce submission to sovereignty by a crass commercialism or materialist patriotism that fills much of the void left by the erosion of genuine faith in the Creator that once infused the Western world with such prodigious virtue we today can hardly even imagine it.

  • Expatnik

    fills much of the void left by the erosion of genuine faith in the Creator…

    What ‘Creator’?

    …that once infused the Western world with such prodigious virtue we today can hardly even imagine it

    You have strange notions about the western world’s blood-soaked history.

  • Paul Marks

    The bubble will burst – and Mr Trump and the Republicans will get the blame.

    Although it is actually nothing to do with them.

    And, to be fair, it is nothing to do with the Chinese either.

    The Western Central Banks their dependent commercial banks have done this all themselves.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    What is wrong with giving blood, or forcing others to do so?
    And happy World Harmony Day!

  • Shlomo Maistre

    You have strange notions about the western world’s blood-soaked history.

    In the 20th century the Western world saw a quantity and severity of genocides, wars, political murders, oppression, enslavement, expulsions, and chaos unmatched by any preceding century. Not by a small margin but by a huge margin, perhaps an order of magnitude in some cases. What is your explanation for this? Do you know why World War One was once called the “first democratic war”?

  • bobby b

    ” . . . the void left by the erosion of genuine faith in the Creator that once infused the Western world with such prodigious virtue . . . “

    I love drugs, too, but they always eventually wear off and you’re left with a bleaker, more unsettling time. If everyone used heroin or opium, we’d have had a lot fewer wars. Western religions tended to be heroin or opium, and did in fact keep the wars down while they were ascendant. People are stepping away from them now, though.

    In the meantime, Eastern cultures have flocked to a newer drug that makes you hyper and prickly, easily offended, and physically confrontative and aggressive. It makes the guys fear the girls and pushes them to take over the world to impress them. They lose their teeth and wear the desert version of strappy t-shirts and sharpen their knives constantly. As more and more use it, there are more and more wars and killings.

    Sadly, while people can get off heroin, drug treatment people will tell you that the only thing that cures meth addiction is death. We in the West lucked out and got the right drugs. But there are definitely “wrong” drugs, too.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened.

    It can be dangerous to be unlike most people.

  • Shlomo, you think World War One was someone worse than the Thirty Years War in terms of sheer horror? And I would hardly call the German, Russian and Austro-Hungarian states ‘democratic’ circa 1914.

  • OFF-TOPIC (responding to a similar off-topic)

    Expatnik (March 21, 2017 at 12:16 am): “You have strange notions about the western world’s blood-soaked history.”

    No, it is Expatnik who has PC notions of western history: commonplace these days, but very strange from a rational point of view. The current state of the anglosphere owes much to the fact that our history is astonishingly free of what was common elsewhere, and would still be much more common elsewhere than it now is if we had not existed. In our history, things were absent (e.g. torture in common law), or were less (e.g. societal violence generally), or were ended (e.g. slavery), where they were commonplace and clearly set to continue everywhere else.

  • BACK ON TOPIC

    The failure of today’s financial system to reward savers adequately is indeed a grave matter. Misperceptions add to the problem: too many blame financiers as the primary causers, and governments as very very secondary, and merely collusive. This would be an obstacle even if it did not unhappily coincide with a marked uptick in anti-Semitism. The immediate cause of that is immigration and (perhaps equally guilty) PC’s embracing ideology about it, but the two trends have the potential to combine.

    Brexit gives us the ability to solve these problems. It does not alone guarantee that we will. And I expect them to remain serious in Europe until Brexit is more widely imitated and/or learnt from.

  • Expatnik

    No Niall, the “anglosphere” is not another way of saying “the western world”. I’m a former US national of German-Polish ancestry. My ancestors came from Gdansk/Danzig and so I might have a more realistic take on the violence and brutality of European history.

  • Steve T

    Shlomo, some of the Chinese civil wars had similar death tolls to the World wars. Also some estimates of the death toll among Hindus when the Muslins invaded give a be very similar order of magnitude as well, some estimates would say actually much higher, although over a longer period of time. Plus there have been some very high body count wars in Africa (millions) in the second half of the 20th century that you seem to be ignoring as well.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Shlomo, some of the Chinese civil wars had similar death tolls to the World wars. Also some estimates of the death toll among Hindus when the Muslins invaded give a be very similar order of magnitude as well, some estimates would say actually much higher, although over a longer period of time. Plus there have been some very high body count wars in Africa (millions) in the second half of the 20th century that you seem to be ignoring as well.

    and

    Shlomo, you think World War One was someone worse than the Thirty Years War in terms of sheer horror?

    What I am saying is that within the Western world no century saw as much bloodshed, horror, oppression, war, chaos, political murder, genocide, expulsions, ethnic cleansing, etc as the 20th century did. Whether the Thirty Years War was worse than WW1 “in terms of sheer horror” doesn’t contradict my point because WW1 was just one page in the 20th century book of horrors – to which no century compares. The level of Hindu and African body counts likewise are irrelevant with respect to whether the West experienced a more horrible century prior to the 20th (which it did not). The extraordinary level of bloodshed, war, oppression, expulsions, ethnic cleansing and oppression of the 20th century was unprecedented in Europe until that century and nobody here has any adequate explanation for why this happened.

    Except me. Political (dis)order tends to follow spiritual (dis)order overtime.

  • Except me.

    You think a disinclination to show obeisance to some vermin in ermine or a refusal to pray to an imaginary god (or at least indifference to imaginary god’s human representatives) is what causes disorder.

    It is not a very good theory given that genocidal wars and convulsions are hardly just a modern phenomena. The French Religious Wars and Thirty Years War suggest there was nothing uniquely ghastly about the first half of the 20th Century in Europe.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    The French Religious Wars and Thirty Years War suggest there was nothing uniquely ghastly about the first half of the 20th Century in Europe.

    The French Religious Wars saw 3 million casualties in 36 years – a rate of 83k a year. The Thirty Years War saw about 8 million casualties in 30 years – a rate of 266k a year. The Russian Civil War saw about 10 million casualties in 5 years – 2 million a year (almost an order of magnitude greater than the Thirty Years War even though is was confined to only one country). And the Russian Civil War is just a drop in the West’s extraordinary 20th century bucket.

    You think a disinclination to show obeisance to some vermin in ermine or a refusal to pray to an imaginary god (or at least indifference to imaginary god’s human representatives) is what causes disorder.

    You know a disinclination to show obeisance to some vermin in ermine or a refusal to pray to an imaginary god (or at least indifference to imaginary god’s human representatives) is what causes disorder.

    FTFY

  • Population of Russian Empire in 1917 was about 125 million. 10 million casualties.
    Population of Holy Roman Empire (Germany) in 1600 was about 21 million. 8 million casualties.

  • rxc

    the Western world saw a quantity and severity of genocides, wars, political murders, oppression, enslavement, expulsions, and chaos unmatched by any preceding century

    Then there was the Great Leap Forward in China, and the unpleasantness in Cambodia, the disagreement with the Japanese, and the little police actions in Korea and Viet-Nam. Not to mention various massacres in Africa and South America, and the on-going upheavals regarding Islam, which seem to never stop. I guess we can lay this last one at the foot of the West, though, for its dismemberment of the Ottoman empire. And then, come to think about it, the events in China, Cambodia, and Korea, because they arose from the eastern adoption of a certain thread in western philosophy, which is still causing problems everywhere.

    I think, though, that they would have found their own ways to keep killing one another, even if the West had not innoculated the East with toxic ideas.

  • Fred Z

    https://www.google.ca/search?q=percentage+of+stone+age+people+killed+by+violence&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&gws_rd=cr&ei=BEPRWM-SAdHijwPv0LnACg

    10 to 20 percent of pre-historic people died at the hands of their fellow people.

    So in a town of 100,000, about 15,000 could expect to be killed? And how many wounded?

    It’s nonsense to consider modern times to be particularly violent.

  • Cristina

    You know a disinclination to show obeisance to some vermin in ermine or a refusal to pray to an imaginary god (or at least indifference to imaginary god’s human representatives) is what causes disorder.

    You know the inclination to show obeisance to some vermin in ermine or the acceptance to pray to an imaginary god (or at least respect to imaginary god’s human representatives) is what somewhat minimizes disorder.

    FTFY

  • Laird

    I’m not sure why an article about the failures of central banking and mainstream (i.e., Keynesian) economics has engendered a debate about the relative horrors of wars with and without the (supposed) moderating influence of religion, but I would prefer to return to the actual topic at hand.

    I agree with Paul: the bubble will burst. But we’ve both been saying that for some time now, and the world economy is clearly more robust and resilient than either of us expected. So whether the inevitable occurs during the Trump years is anybody’s guess.

    There is a lot to digest in MacLeod’s article, which was obviously timed to coincide with that historically significant date (and it was useful, for his literary purposes, that the FOMC meeting and the expiration of the US debt ceiling suspension occurred at that same time). It is interesting to note, with hindsight, that the Fed did raise rates on the 15th, and the world didn’t come to an end (the stock market is down minimally since then, but it certainly hasn’t fallen off a cliff). It seems to me that Europe is the greater systemic risk.

    In some respects, I think this was the most important sentence in the essay: “Given the US economy is at a late stage in the credit cycle, both private and government sectors are competing for funds.” In other words, crowding out and the attendant upward pressure on interest rates which governments will be powerless to prevent. And as rates go higher debt service costs for existing government debt will consume an ever-higher share of federal spending. This will put pressure on other areas of the budget, but rather than cutting spending (which politicians never do) it will trigger even more borrowing and an endless ratchet effect until the whole house of cards collapses. We might be witnessing the very beginning of the death spiral. We’re likely in for some rocky times. Keep some powder dry!

  • Fraser Orr

    @Shlomo Maistre
    The plain fact is that the wars of the 20th century were vastly more blood soaked because of rising world populations and, perhaps most importantly, the rise of technology and industrialization. Machine guns and artillery, factories and the moving assembly line, rather than atheism lead to the incredible fatalities.

    I’d say the argument that eliminating technology would be a far more effective argument for reducing our blood soaked history, than a widespread restoration of faith in a putative creator.

    However, I don’t think that is a good idea either.

    On the contrary, trade is far and away the best tool for reducing wars. One does not, if one is smart, kill one’s customers. (Notwithstanding the fact that people, especially elected people, are frequently not smart.)

  • Myno

    ” the world economy is clearly more robust and resilient than either of us expected. ”

    Count me in that crowd. That resilience appears to be reliant upon the US being the investment of last resort, there being no other option available on the planet, all govt’s worldwide having drunk the same Kool-Aid of Keynesianism. This Pavlovian injection of foreign cash at the least hint of trouble helps keep the US afloat when Treasury auctions ought to have been dragging it down for some time now… and the US thus being afloat and busy purchasing from abroad, keeps all the international investors overly confident, which helps stabilize the foreign markets that otherwise would volatilize themselves dry. So long as the ‘umble US purchaser (of goods and services, as well as of the mostly monotonic US stock market, aflood with the inflating “printed money” that flowed downstream from gov’t expenditures)… as long as those millions of people continue to believe in the Almighty Dollar, we can fly farther and farther from the cliff, like Wiley Coyote, before en masse we look down to see the canyon far below. Gonna be interesting times when this fortunate cycle has a major hiccup, and folks wake the f*ck up. “Good morning, Sunshine! There IS such a thing as Real Economics.” So, yeah…

    “I agree with Paul” [and Laird]: “the bubble will burst.” But when? But when?

  • Laird

    I agree with all of that, Myno.

  • bobby b

    ” That resilience appears to be reliant upon the US being the investment of last resort, there being no other option available on the planet . . . “

    I watch various market investments (in US equities) continually rising, rising, rising, with little to no justification apparent in the merits of the individual concerns, and I am thankful that everyone in the world is so desperate to find safe havens for their own money that they’ll continually bid up prices for me.

    It’s like living in the best-built prepper shelter while the rest of the world crumbles. I can feel short-term pleasure in my relative well-being, but I know my little preserve will eventually have to follow everyone else’s fate. Mine may be the hardest-to-loot shelter, but that is only a ranking of the order in which looting will occur. It will occur.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    But what happens if the Chinese Yuan becomes the reserve currency of choice, as China grows stronger?

  • Myno

    “…as China grows stronger?”

    Have a little faith in the inability of a Command Economy to perform to its Narrative… theirs more than ours.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    So does that mean that Taiwan will soon be conquering China? Sounds good to me!

  • bobby b

    “But what happens if the Chinese Yuan becomes the reserve currency of choice, as China grows stronger?”

    It’ll never happen. The yuan is so blatantly manipulated as a pure bubble-harvesting tool that making it the reserve currency would be like sending China your checkbook and telling them to send you what they think you deserve every month.

    (I note that the NORKs have just launched missiles against Japan. They blew up. But this might well be a moot issue in a few days.)

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Population of Russian Empire in 1917 was about 125 million. 10 million casualties.
    Population of Holy Roman Empire (Germany) in 1600 was about 21 million. 8 million casualties.

    Russian Civil War: (10/125)/5 = 1.60% of the population became casualties per year.
    Thirty Years War: (8/25)/30 = 1.27% of the population became casualties per year.

    So the Thirty Years War was about 79% as damaging as the Russian Civil War was on a per person, per-year basis.

    And the Thirty Years War was the centerpiece of bloodshed for its era, while the Russian Civil War blends into its era’s horrific scenery as if wearing camouflage.

    In terms of bloodshed, war, genocide, chaos, oppression, and expulsion, the 20th century is simply unbeatable, the best of the best; it’s like having Bill Russell at C, Wilt Chamberlain at PF, Larry Bird at SF, Michael Jordan at SG, and Magic Johnson at PG with KAJ, Duncan, John Stockton, Robertson, and Jerry West coming off the bench.

    Nobody beats my team. Nobody.

    Thirty Years War is Karl Malone or maybe Charles Barkley at best.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Actually Thirty Years War is more like Reggie Miller/Alonzo Mourning – Barkley and Malone are too generous.

  • Darin

    Why do so many people say people are continually getting better when the 20th century has been the bloodiest on record?

    Was the twentieth century one of the worst centuries in human history (regarding war, inhumanity, suffering etc.)?

    What were the worst centuries in human history and why?

    The fact is that 20th century was, despite all bad things that happened, the best century for humanity so far. I am grateful being born there, and feel absolutely no “nostalgy” for lost fairy tale feudal times. 😆

  • Darin

    Shlomo Maistre

    And the Thirty Years War was the centerpiece of bloodshed for its era, while the Russian Civil War blends into its era’s horrific scenery as if wearing camouflage.

    We are talking about 17th century in Europe? Just from memory, there was Smuta (Time of Troubles) in Russia, English Civil War/Wars of Three Kingdoms in the British Isles, The Fronde in France, The Deluge/Northern War in Poland and Eastern Europe, the Turkish wars in Balkans and Mediterrannean. All as devastating to their regions as 30YW was for Central Europe.

  • Rob Fisher

    I suspect the resiliency of the western economy is due to the rate of technological progress. The bubble will burst when Moore’s “law” stops working. Hopefully this happens after poverty is eradicated and we can all be unemployed but well fed.

  • Paul Marks

    SM – the First World War was caused by the German government (which was NOT responsible to the German Parliament) declaring war on Russia and France and then invading Belgium. This transformed a Balkan War (of which there had been several before the First World War) into a European and World war.

    The German Declaration of War upon France in 1914 was a tissue of lies (it falsely claims that the French are bombing Bavaria and so on).

    And the German government did not even bother to pretend that Belgium had attacked Germany (or that Russia had).

    The tragic death of the Emperor (Kaiser) Frederick in 1888 had left his son Wilhelm as Kaiser, and Kaiser Wilhelm II was under the influence of the PROTO National Socialist elements who already dominated German academia. People who wanted to use war so that the German Reich could first dominate Europe and then the world.

    I can assure you that “democracy” was not something these men were in favour of.

    Yes the German Parliament voted for War Credits – and I agree with you that it should not have done.

    However, Bismark had shown in the early 1860s that when the Prussian Parliament refused to vote for higher taxes (to fund military expansionism) the government would just collect the money by force – without any Parliamentary approval.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Darin you’re right about technological progress (nothing I said is contradicted by your statements). Certainly if you were born in the 20th century and you weren’t in a place that was experiencing political upheaval you could benefit enormously in terms of wealth and longevity and health due to extraordinary progress in medicine and technology and farming and transportation etc. Doesn’t change the fact that for Western world 20th century was the worst century ever in terms of war and oppression and expulsion and genocide. And you are right that other very bad things happened in the 17th century. If they were as bad as the Thirty Years War (which I’m not too convinced of) then that means they are about 79% as bad as the Russian Revolution was on a per year per person basis. So yeah, not impressed. But the Smuta was largely due to terrible harvests … and the Fronde had how many casualties? Not that many. And the Deluge lol – bro, the Battle of Stalingrad all by itself had far more casualties. The Deluge is maybe a John Starks in terms of political bloodshed; please stop claiming a John Starks conflict is a Bill Russell conflict. They are at different levels. I’m not too impressed by your links, examples; Quora for analysis lol, very unconvincing. Your assertions either do not contradict my points (yeah medicine is better today, congrats) or your assertions are unfounded.

    Paul Marks

    SM – the First World War was caused by the German government (which was NOT responsible to the German Parliament) declaring war on Russia and France and then invading Belgium. This transformed a Balkan War (of which there had been several before the First World War) into a European and World war.

    Feel free to consult this comment thread to learn why your assertion is unfounded.

    https://www.samizdata.net/2016/03/no-one-owns-a-culture/

    The German Declaration of War upon France in 1914 was a tissue of lies (it falsely claims that the French are bombing Bavaria and so on).

    I’m unaware of it claiming this. Feel free to quote the document itself to prove your assertion.

    http://www.firstworldwar.com/source/germandeclarationofwar_france.htm

    I can assure you that “democracy” was not something these men were in favour of.

    You’re correct. And the wrong side won WWI.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    You know a disinclination to show obeisance to some vermin in ermine or a refusal to pray to an imaginary god (or at least indifference to imaginary god’s human representatives) is what causes disorder.

    You know the inclination to show obeisance to some vermin in ermine or the acceptance to pray to an imaginary god (or at least respect to imaginary god’s human representatives) is what somewhat minimizes disorder.

    FTFY

    True indeed. I stand corrected.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    10 to 20 percent of pre-historic people died at the hands of their fellow people.

    So in a town of 100,000, about 15,000 could expect to be killed? And how many wounded?

    It’s nonsense to consider modern times to be particularly violent.

    Your link is about the Stone Age – a period that listed about 3 million years. I don’t think that anyone can confidently assert that a given % of “prehistoric people” (wtf does that include/exclude precisely?) died violently. We don’t have any reports or writings or records from that era about the alleged conflicts.

    In any case I claimed (correctly) that the Western world suffered more war, oppression, genocide, expulsion, political bloodshed than any century previously. Prehistoric people are not part of the Western world. So even if you could make curious conclusions about people who lived long ago based on many assumptions and limited samples of skulls found in burial grounds, well, the assertion is besides the point anyway, since prehistoric people are not part of the Western world.

  • Darin

    Shlomo Maistre

    Doesn’t change the fact that for Western world 20th century was the worst century ever in terms of war and oppression and expulsion and genocide.

    In absolute terms, yes, because everything in 20th century is biggest in history in absolute terms. In proportional terms, not. How many times it have to be explained to you?

    If they were as bad as the Thirty Years War (which I’m not too convinced of) then that means they are about 79% as bad as the Russian Revolution was on a per year per person basis.

    Thirty Years War losses

    There can be no precise comparison of death rates – the numbers of victims of RCW are unclear and numbers of 30YW casualties are pure guesswork, but look at the after effects.

    20 years after RCW, USSR was again one of the great powers of the world. After 30YW, Germany remained backwater of Europe for 2 centuries.

    But the Smuta was largely due to terrible harvests …

    Most of victims of RCW also died of famine and disease.

    and the Fronde had how many casualties?

    I remember one French history book about 10-20% population loss. Unable to find the reference right now, and it might be completely wrong, feel free to disregard this one.

    And the Deluge lol – bro, the Battle of Stalingrad all by itself had far more casualties.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluge_(history)#Destruction_of_the_Commonwealth

    During the wars the Commonwealth lost approximately one third of its population as well as its status as a great power.[7] According to Professor Andrzej Rottermund, manager of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the destruction of Poland in the deluge was more extensive than the destruction of the country in World War II.

    I’m not too impressed by your links, examples; Quora for analysis lol, very unconvincing.

    The Quora writers cite lots of sources, unlike you.

    (yeah medicine is better today, congrats)

    Yeah, the little detail of you and me not being dead of smallpox, tuberculosis, typhoid or cholera.

    The German Declaration of War upon France in 1914 was a tissue of lies (it falsely claims that the French are bombing Bavaria and so on).

    I’m unaware of it claiming this. Feel free to quote the document itself to prove your assertion.

    M. Le President,

    The German administrative and military authorities have established a certain number of flagrantly hostile acts committed on German territory by French military aviators.

    Several of these have openly violated the neutrality of Belgium by flying over the territory of that country; one has attempted to destroy buildings near Wesel; others have been seen in the district of the Eifel; one has thrown bombs on the railway near Carlsruhe and Nuremberg.

    Paul Marks

    I can assure you that “democracy” was not something these men were in favour of.

    No side of WWI cared about democracy. In the UK, the Cabinet decided to declare war without consulting the population (British people had no idea that UK and France are allies and in case of war, British army will defend France)
    In the US, Woodrow Wilson was reelected on the promise he will put “America First” and keep US out of the war, promise he broke at the first opportunity.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    Wasn’t the Lusitania sunk by the Germans? Hardly a trivial excuse to declare war! And didn’t the German ambassador send a telegram to Mexico, promising to help Mexico regain territory that the gringos had taken from Mexico? America takes, it doesn’t get taken from!

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Dear Darin,

    In absolute terms, yes, because everything in 20th century is biggest in history in absolute terms. In proportional terms, not. How many times it have to be explained to you?

    Unlike you I have calculated the relative per-year per person casualty rates of RCW vs 30 years war and its clear that the latter was less than 80% as damaging as the former. So in both relative and absolute terms, based on the evidence, I am correct.

    20 years after RCW, USSR was again one of the great powers of the world. After 30YW, Germany remained backwater of Europe for 2 centuries.

    Learn how absurd your statement is:
    https://www.amazon.com/Black-Book-Communism-Crimes-Repression/dp/0674076087

    Most of victims of RCW also died of famine and disease.

    The point is that there is a difference between mass deaths that happen primarily/originally for political reasons and mass deaths that happen primarily/originally due to bad farming harvests. For instance, scorched earth strategy starves people in war but even if those people technically die of famine, they are in reality properly understood to be casualties of political violence. This is very different than people perishing due to a shitty harvest and the resulting consequences of said bad harvest.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deluge_(history)#Destruction_of_the_Commonwealth

    During the wars the Commonwealth lost approximately one third of its population as well as its status as a great power.[7] According to Professor Andrzej Rottermund, manager of the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the destruction of Poland in the deluge was more extensive than the destruction of the country in World War II.

    How many people died in the Deluge? I clicked on the source for that claim in the wiki article and it does not mention a number. Professors have been known to be wrong in the past and I suspect this is such a case. It’s also not clear to me after reading the source for that statement over how many years a supposed whole third of the population was lost. WWII lasted for only about 6 years after all so the per person, per-year rate of casualties is almost certainly far higher in WWII for Poland. But anyway, there is no data supplied to support the claim that a whole third of the population perished.

    The Quora writers cite lots of sources, unlike you.

    So you have linked in an article with many sources. Congratulations. Truth is found in revelation, not data, young grasshopper. And your links do not prove what you think they prove anyway (as I have been pointing out).

    Yeah, the little detail of you and me not being dead of smallpox, tuberculosis, typhoid or cholera.

    Dude it does not matter if people these days were routinely able to live until they were 6,000 years old. My point is not about medical technology/health/longevity; these data points have NOTHING TO DO WITH whether it is true that genocide, holocaust, war, political oppression, expulsion happened more or less in a given century within the Western world than in other centuries. We are talking about whether A is A and you are bringing up unicorns. We are talking about the striking frequency and severity of political conflict, genocide, war, expulsions in the western world in the 20th century. Not antibiotics.

    The German administrative and military authorities have established a certain number of flagrantly hostile acts committed on German territory by French military aviators.

    Several of these have openly violated the neutrality of Belgium by flying over the territory of that country; one has attempted to destroy buildings near Wesel; others have been seen in the district of the Eifel; one has thrown bombs on the railway near Carlsruhe and Nuremberg.

    Paul Marks’ claim was about Bavaria and Nuremberg is in Bavaria. Perhaps that one point may have been false technically, but one case of throwing bombs on the railway does not constitute a systematic air bombing campaign. It may not even involve airplane at all but done on the ground. Certainly, as we all know, the winners write history and you Darin would be in no doubt that Germany’s declaration of war on France was entirely true and correct had the right side one WWI, since the winners write history. So even if there is some truth to the Nuremberg bombing (whether from ground or air) the records of it would surely no longer be available to us. And, in any case, it remains an open question whether the German ambassador intentionally, knowingly lied.

    http://www.jstor.org/stable/1838473?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

    In any case, it remains rather shocking to me that anyone at Samizdata would presume a declaration of war to be either truthful or reveal the true motives for war. Neither of these are the case in 99% of wars throughout human history.

    If you actually want to learn about the real causes of WWI then read this thread and the items I link to:

    https://www.samizdata.net/2016/03/no-one-owns-a-culture/

    No side of WWI cared about democracy.

    https://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Wilson%27s_War_Message_to_Congress

    http://teachingamericanhistory.org/past-programs/hfotw/120401-2/

    https://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/world-war-i/essays/fighting-for-democracy-world-war-i—overseas-and-over-here

  • Truth is found in revelation

    Oh do explain this, please 💡

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Revelation = wondrously inexplicable 😉

  • The whole discussion above seems to me to have been originally motivated by a misconception. In C.S.Lewis’ “The Screwtape letters”, the old experienced devil quotes a (nominally) Christian writer stating “Only such a faith can … < gain certain social benefits > …” and comments with delight: “Believe this, not because it’s true, but for some other reason; that’s the game!” (i.e., the game that devils should fool humans into playing). As someone I don’t often quote (Nietzsche) once said: “A man who needs reasons for being honest cannot be trusted.”

    People believe in things because they think those things have a sufficient claim to being true. Or else they are politically correct: treating some alleged consequence as more important than than the (allegedly local and temporary fact of) being actually incorrect. Or else they can practise a sort of mild form of political correctness: “Let us all believe this – because of the benefits it would bring if we could only persuade each other into believing it.”

    I offer the guess that most on this blog believe in the freedom that includes free markets because we hold it a better way to live – not just, or even mainly, because we think we’ll be richer if our society believes it. We see the communist claim that “economics determines consciousness” as a deformity of reasoning in itself, not just as leading to poverty. A belief is much more than just useful to society, or else it is nothing. Things are true of themselves, or else not at all.

    As for revelation, only very rarely does it occur en masse. Individual revelation can be of great importance towards saving an individual soul, but can be of very little importance towards winning the next election. These things have each their contexts.

  • bobby b

    “Truth is found in revelation, not data, young grasshopper.”

    We just need faith, right?

  • Mr Ed

    the winners write history.

    So the reality of the external world is nothing to be concerned about then?

    Asked if the bombing near Nuremburg happened or did not happen as described in the German declaration of war on France, is your answer that it did happen, or that it did not happen?

    (Edited out pre-posting snarky insinuation of insult at the end for the sake of decency).

  • Shlomo Maistre

    So the reality of the external world is nothing to be concerned about then?

    Correct (more or less) but this conclusion does not follow from my generally accurate statement that ‘the winners write history’ as you appear to (facetiously) claim it does.

    Asked if the bombing near Nuremburg happened or did not happen as described in the German declaration of war on France, is your answer that it did happen, or that it did not happen?

    It probably did not technically happen, but it’s unclear if this was an alleged case of an agent merely throwing bomb on a railway or an allegation of systematic bombing from the air. Also, it remains an open question whether the German ambassador intentionally, knowingly lied – as indicated by the links I showed above. And again if the correct side had won WWI then I fully expect you and most people would fully, genuinely believe that it had happened and that the German declaration of war had been entirely free of falsehood (intended or otherwise).

    In any case lets assume the worst: it did not happen and the German ambassador intentionally lied. Okay. Almost no war is ever started on honest pretenses (the first casualty of war is truth – Aeschylus) and the vast majority of wars were started by countries that lied about why they started said wars. You have previously demonstrated your incapacity to understand these general truths about war and the particular truths surrounding the lead-up to WWI in the Samizdata thread I linked to earlier. I’m just not super impressed by your past attempts to pin “blame” for WWI on the side that lost that war. Germany acted in the lead-up to WWI very similarly to how Israel acted with respect to the 1967 war. Not many people claim Israel was not justified to “start” that war – perhaps Israel winning it has something to do with that.

    We just need faith, right?

    Not sure that anyone really ‘needs’ anything.

    But genuine faith in the Creator (such as Catholicism or Orthodox Judaism) is a good substitute for faith in various strands of bullshit such as Keynesian economics, feminism, environmentalism, and Progressivism. If you think yourself to be free of bullshit beliefs, I’d ask you to think again if I thought you were capable of sufficiently imaginative thinking to recognize the broad, substantial, long-term benefits to society of individuals acting in accordance with Western traditionalist, monotheistic faiths like Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism, but I don’t think that so I won’t ask it of you.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    In my comment above I said: “Correct (more or less) but this conclusion does not follow from my generally accurate statement that ‘the winners write history’ as you appear to (facetiously) claim it does.”

    I meant to say: “Correct (more or less) in a spiritual (a spiritually full inner life does not necessarily and rarely ever does preclude self-interested temporal desires) sense but this conclusion does not follow from my generally accurate statement that ‘the winners write history’ as you appear to (facetiously) claim it does.”

    As someone I don’t often quote (Nietzsche) once said: “A man who needs reasons for being honest cannot be trusted.”

    I generally concur with this sentiment, though would I consider a Jew who lies about his religious identity in 1942 German-occupied Europe to be automatically untrustworthy? Would you? There are many shades of gray in life.

    People believe in things because they think those things have a sufficient claim to being true. Or else they are politically correct: treating some alleged consequence as more important than than the (allegedly local and temporary fact of) being actually incorrect. Or else they can practise a sort of mild form of political correctness: “Let us all believe this – because of the benefits it would bring if we could only persuade each other into believing it.”

    In any case, that which is true is true regardless of what people think and I have never asked anyone to believe something for the sake of the benefits believing in it will have. With that said, there is a difference between believing in something and not speaking out against something. Furthermore, the incapacity of many libertarians to recognize the genuine, broad, and significant benefits to society that embraces traditionalist, Western values and cultural norms reveals a lack of understanding.

  • bobby b

    “If you think yourself to be free of bullshit beliefs, I’d ask you to think again if I thought you were capable of sufficiently imaginative thinking to recognize the broad, substantial, long-term benefits to society of individuals acting in accordance with Western traditionalist, monotheistic faiths like Catholicism and Orthodox Judaism, but I don’t think that so I won’t ask it of you.”

    Amusingly, in my earlier comment about your concern with erosional voids – March 21, 2017 at 2:37 am – aside from not sharing your belief in a deity, I was agreeing completely with this very point that you had made – religious mania has had a profoundly beneficial calming effect on human morality. I’ll speak more literally next time. It can be confusing, I know.

  • Shlomo Maistre

    Amusingly, in my earlier comment about your concern with erosional voids – March 21, 2017 at 2:37 am – aside from not sharing your belief in a deity, I was agreeing completely with this very point that you had made – religious mania has had a profoundly beneficial calming effect on human morality. I’ll speak more literally next time. It can be confusing, I know.

    I read that comment; and no, you were not “agreeing completely with this very point that [I] had made” but the fact that you think this reveals that you are more misguided as to what my point actually was than I thought you are.