We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

“When Boris Yeltsin visited a Houston supermarket in 1989, the sheer choice of goods and services on offer compared to stores in Soviet Russia shocked him. `Even the Politburo doesn’t have this choice. Not even Mr. Gorbachev,’ he said. Faced with this new, striking reality of American living standards, he began to recognise the massive costs of the communist economic system on the Russian people. Before seeing it with his own eyes, though, Yeltsin was none the wiser. To echo the movie The Matrix again, his supermarket visit was a ‘red pill’ moment – it allowed him to escape the constructed reality of Soviet communism and experience a real, alternative world.”

Ryan Bourne.

45 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • staghounds

    We used to always take defectors to supermarkets in Black neighborhoods about mid day. Having been taught that Black folks were starving slaves, it killed several birds with one stone.

    They uniformly thought it was all fake, that the cars and people and goods were some Hollywood set.

    Because there was no place they had ever seen with so many cars, so much traffic, such beautiful food, and so many idle people. It was like seeing the distant future they had always been promised their children would have.

  • bobby b

    Yeltsin sounds like me going from Minnesota, with its paranoid citizenry and re-growing lockdown, to other states further west. I can go in bars! I can go in restaurants! I can walk around in crowds! I can inhale fresh air! In Minnesota, not even the Governor can do these things!

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Staghounds, there is a story about Ayn Rand, who was able to re-connect with her Russian sister (who had managed to survive in the Soviet Union and live during the War), and who came to visit Miss Rand in the early 70s. The visit was not a success: the sister could not figure out the sheer scale and variety of things to buy and found it bewildering, even sinister.

    I remember some academic about a decade ago wrote a book about how we suffer from “too many” choices and would be better off if life was made much simpler (people holding such views tend, in my experience, to be well off).

  • bobby b

    “I remember some academic about a decade ago wrote a book about how we suffer from “too many” choices and would be better off if life was made much simpler (people holding such views tend, in my experience, to be well off).”

    Bernie Sanders told us we didn’t need nearly so many choices of deodorant while he was campaigning to be US Prez two years ago. He was making this same point – “too much wasted effort and resources for the sake of private gain.”

  • Lee Moore

    I had already completed my journey from half witted lefty student to willing tool of the capitalist oppression by the time I first visited the Eastern bloc in the mid eighties. Nevertheless I was still able to ingest a second red pill going from West to East. I was prepared to see OPPRESSION writ large – tanks, border guards etc and I knew all about the Gulag and the Ukraine starvation.

    I wasn’t prepared for how grey, dirty, dull and sordid everything was. A bit like the 1984 movie with John Hurt – never mind the boot stamping on a human face forever, what about the peeling wallpaper and general run down seediness ?

    That line from A Man For All Seasons captured it nicely “Why Richard, it profits a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world – but for Wales !”

    I can imagine weird lunatics being willing to sacrifice millions for a commie utopia – but the Eastern Bloc was more like giving your soul for an unflushed toilet in Port Talbot. Never mind “where’s the omelette”, where’s the stale spam sandwich with mould on ?

  • When Kravchenko arrived in Vancouver eight decades ago and saw the shops there, he thought:

    But this is like the abundance predicted under socialism. This is what we are promised after an endless succession of five-year plans. (‘I Chose Freedom’, quoted from memory)

    The same effect could strike westerners who spent any time in the Soviet Union. A woman I knew at Oxford had spent many weeks there as part of an exchange student course and so – unusually – was on a representative Russian standard of access to shops, etc., not a special ‘intourist’ deal. She told me that when she first went into a supermarket after returning to the UK,

    “I almost burst into tears”

  • The OP quote is from an article about social care (how government involvement limits our ideas of what a true private market supply of social care could even look like). It also notes that:

    Over recent years, minimum wage hikes have hit the social care system hard.

    The poverty trap also impacts that sector. I know a care provider with many workers who offer 16 hours a week, not because that is all the time they can spare, not because that is all they want to earn, but because that is a local maximum point at which earnings growth stops beating tax and loss of benefits effect.

  • Deep Lurker

    I remember some academic about a decade ago wrote a book about how we suffer from “too many” choices and would be better off if life was made much simpler (people holding such views tend, in my experience, to be well off).

    I don’t need all those choices. I only need the one choice that’s right for me. It’s all those other people who need those other choices, because those other people are Not Me.

    And that’s the central failing of collectivism. Collectivists don’t – can’t – allow for other people to be Not Them.

  • Dyspeptic Curmudgeon

    I remember reading a comment that “All of the African students who went on scholarship to universities in the anglosphere went back to Africa as Marxists while all of the students who went to Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow went back as capitalists,(except for the one in a hundred who the KGB groomed to be their mole in the underground: he went back as a ‘Communist leader’. He wasn’t an actual Marxist, but he knew he could become the ‘Leader’ by pretending to be one).

  • Duncan S

    I’ve never understood why Colgate market so many different brands of toothpaste.

  • Fraser Orr

    @bobby b
    Bernie Sanders told us we didn’t need nearly so many choices of deodorant while he was campaigning to be US Prez two years ago.

    Is it petty of me to say that Bernie Sanders always struck me as the sort of person who didn’t wear deodorant unless someone reminded him. I thought that is why he flaps his arms so much, to get some circulation in the pits.

    I mean, OMG, next we will have people telling us we can’t have pineapple on our pizza.

  • bobby b

    “Is it petty of me to say that Bernie Sanders always struck me as the sort of person who didn’t wear deodorant unless someone reminded him. I thought that is why he flaps his arms so much, to get some circulation in the pits.”

    I understand, though, that he makes up for those failings with a thoroughly grating and unpleasant personality. It doesn’t matter that you smell if no one wants to be near you anyway. 🙂

  • Bogdan the Aussie

    I have to laugh, albeit bitterly; When I was still living in Poland under the whip and a boot of a commune fascist regime we used to have one (or occasionally two)sorts of bread and bread rolls as well. If I wanted something better I’d have to stand in a long queue from 5.00am at one of two or three small private bakeries.
    One day (it was in 1976 or 1977, if I remember well) the local cooperative in my city of Zielona Gora (Green Mount) in the Western Poland, build and opened a lovely, big market called “Chlebus” for a little, lovely bread.
    Suddenly, we could see and buy, perhaps, twelve or more sorts of bread, bread rolls, cakes, pies and other stuff.
    It has become such a sensation that people were flocking from the entire city and surrounds to admire and enjoy the incredible range and quality of goods offered in this shop.
    Six or seven months later the entire shop was burnt as mysteriously as thoroughly down never to be opened again and we returned to the original staple of one/two sorts of bread and bread rolls.
    Needless to say that those were our commies who have ordered the shop to be destroyed as there was no better proof of the efficiency of even a quasi market economy and a barbaric failure of the commie controlled and “managed” one.
    Regards from (he, he, he…) – Bogdan

  • Michael

    One thing I noticed about Yeltsin’s observation was the relationship of profit to choice. Profit offers choices, and expanding circles of growth. The effects of profit generate rising standards of living, albeit contrary to the goals of those dedicated to equity. Profit makes life above sustenance levels possible. Profit is based on co-operation, where one or more people produce what others are willing to purchase, all based on the idea that production is generated by profit.

    The simple supermarket is a testimony to the rule of Law, profit and and an independent mind.

  • decnine

    How typical of an aparatchik. Yeltsin compares to that which the pinacle of Soviet society had access to. Not a glimmer of a thought for the ordinary ‘Comrade’.

  • Stonyground

    I never understood that complaint about having too much choice. Surely the solution is to close your eyes and grab something at random. That will effectively recreate the effect of only having whatever it was that you grabbed to choose from.

    Wasn’t it the Toyota boss who observed US supermarkets and then invented the Kanban system for his car factories?

  • Stonyground

    “…he began to recognise the massive costs of the communist economic system on the Russian people.”

  • Rich Rostrom

    I had a friend whose cousins from East Germany got a chance to visit the US. He took them into a supermarket – they asked “Who do you have to be to shop here?”

    I also read of a Cuban girl who got permission to go to university in Italy. (Her father was in the Party.) It was at a university for foreigners in Bologna. One day, a Moroccan student invited some friends (including her) for brunch, and served truffle omelettes. She was delighted with her omelette, but didn’t seem to notice the truffles, which annoyed the host. She explained that she had left Cuba because she really liked eggs, and didn’t want to sleep with French truck drivers to have them more than once a month. I.e. one had to have dollars or euros, obtainable only by prostitution with tourists.

    Then there was Col. Oleg Penkovsky, who was a supremely well-connected Soviet insider. He defected in place, becoming a US/British spy. It was after noticing how those who got to visit the West were always expected to bring back things like batteries, which the allegedly superior Soviet economy couldn’t provide, even to the elite.

    Some Western leftists saw through the Soviet facade when they got up close. E.g. Emma Goldman. Also ACLU co-founder Roger Baldwin, who came back from the USSR and purged all the Communists from the ACLU.

    But some never got the clue. I saw a cartoon in The Nation a long time ago, which mocked conservative complaints about the various evils of Soviet Communism by equating them to American conditions. For instance, “special stores for the rich” – just like Neiman-Marcus. (I don’t think I need to explain how stupid that is.)

    Or Bernie, who honeymooned there – with his eyes closed, apparently.

  • Snorri Godhi

    I remember some academic about a decade ago wrote a book about how we suffer from “too many” choices and would be better off if life was made much simpler

    I remember that, too. I never got to read the book, though.

    There is such a thing as decision fatigue.
    Like all concepts in psychology, the experimental evidence has been questioned.
    However, given my life experience, i am strongly inclined to think that there is such a thing as decision fatigue. The only thing that could convince me that i am wrong, is an alternative explanation for people’s (including myself) reluctance to make hard choices.

    It should be clear, however, that the above is in no way a reason to restrict choice.
    Decision fatigue is just one of the prices that we have to pay to remain free.

  • Snorri Godhi

    She explained that she had left Cuba because she really liked eggs, and didn’t want to sleep with French truck drivers to have them more than once a month. I.e. one had to have dollars or euros, obtainable only by prostitution with tourists.

    What puzzles me is why most tourism to Cuba consisted of French truck drivers.

  • Fraser Orr

    @Snorri Godhi
    an alternative explanation for people’s (including myself) reluctance to make hard choices.

    I don’t think that reluctance to make hard choices is hard to explain — fear of the consequences of making the wrong choice, fear of not recognizing an unknown risk. That is a rational behavior. However, I think decision fatigue is more manifest in reluctance to make simple, inconsequential choices — what is for lunch, what socks to wear, which movie to watch. As a personal testimony (since, as you know, data is the plural of anecdote) I actively reduce my choices in these simple areas, I have a predetermined plan what to wear, I pretty much eat the same thing every day, if my car has a problem I go to the same mechanic and do exactly what he recommends etc. And in my experience it does leave extra energy to make more complex choices.

  • pkudude99

    Another graphic example — this is a recent Cuban immigrant to the US, and his reaction to visiting a supermarket for the 1st time —


  • bobby b

    “Decision fatigue is just one of the prices that we have to pay to remain free.”

    “Decision fatigue” in the context of the OP was the only possible way to attack someone who was showing how much better life is with capitalism compared to communism. It’s like 1970 Biafrans making fun of fat Americans as their children starved to death. “See, we’re healthier, we don’t NEED to go on weird diets.”

  • Fraser Orr

    Snorri Godhi
    Decision fatigue is just one of the prices that we have to pay to remain free.

    When democrats see a problem they propose a regulation, when republicans see a problem they propose a tax break, when libertarians see a problem they start a business.

    Decision fatigue is clearly a business opportunity. Don’t want to chose lunch, subscribe to a service that sends you food in a box every day where their professionals plan your menu. Don’t want to chose your clothes? Go to a fancy store and have a professional shopper shop for you. Don’t know how to decide? Hire a life coach or a therapist to walk you through it.

    Having lots of choices is the very essence of freedom. Decision fatigue is most certainly a “first world problem”.

  • Penseivat

    After the end of the miner’s strike in the ’80’s, Arthur Scargill, the leader of the NUM, took his wife to East Germany as he “would never live in a Thatcher dictatorship”. Once they discovered the realities of living in a communist paradise, and the lack of choice over every aspect of their lives, they very quickly returned to the Thatcher dictatorship. His future actions showed a true socialist making the most of a capitalist society.

  • Rich Rostrom

    Snorri Godhi – September 11, 2021 at 2:02 pm:

    What puzzles me is why most tourism to Cuba consisted of French truck drivers.

    At the time, Cuba was a popular destination for European sex tourists, many of them “working class”. “French truck drivers” being a typical example.

  • Stonyground

    How fooked up does your country have to be to have a shortage of eggs? Chickens aren’t exactly difficult to breed and look after.

  • How typical of an aparatchik. Yeltsin compares to that which the pinacle of Soviet society had access to. Not a glimmer of a thought for the ordinary ‘Comrade’.

    Sure, but if the average Joe in the good old US of A had access to food, goods and services that were beyond the fetid dreams of even members of the Soviet Politburo, then the entire Soviet system wasn’t worth a bucket of warm piss, was it?

    …and when since George Washington has the elite of any country given a flying phuq about the ordinary Comrade / Average Joe, save in the abstract because it might end up with his removal from the elect (or in other places his head in a bucket / bullet in the back of the neck).

  • Stonyground

    I’ve never understood the kind of person who, when faced with absolute proof that they are wrong about something, doesn’t change their mind.

  • I remember some academic about a decade ago wrote a book about how we suffer from “too many” choices and would be better off if life was made much simpler

    I’m assuming you’re referring to the 2004 book “The Paradox of Choice – Why More Is Less” by American psychologist Barry Schwartz. While I can’t say anything for the man himself, his fundamental contention that “too much choice is bad for you” is one of those things that seems reasonable in theory but doesn’t work out in real life.

    More Is More: Why the Paradox of Choice Might Be a Myth

  • Deep Lurker

    One other minor but telling point about American stores:

    “He noticed first the smell, or rather the absence of smell;” – MiG pilot Lt. Belenko on first encountering an American supermarket.

  • staghounds

    Deep Lurker, you might mean “AFFLUENZA”

  • Paul Marks

    And now the rulers of the West, including some officials of the Houston area, want to imitate the shortages of the Soviet Union.

    The left are like Tolkien’s character “Sauron” – he is brought to the island Kingdom of the most advanced men in the world, and he sees all its wonders. But his spirit just more moved to “envy and hate”.

    “The reason is never the reason” – they talk of “Covid 19” and “Climate Change” (as well as “racism”, “sexism”, “homophobia”, and so on) – but they are motivated by the lust for power.

    Unlimited and absolute power.

    They do not care care if we all starve, including them, as long as they can stamp their boots down on the faces of other people.

    Yesterday I briefly watched, via television, the memorial event to 9/11 in New York City – and there they were, the leading people. Joseph Biden, Mr and Mrs Obama, the “Woke” Credit Bubble billionaire Michael Bloomberg (to him every detail of other people’s lives is for him, not them, to decide), and the rest of them.

    They have nothing but HATRED for the principles that made Western Civilisation great.

    Meanwhile that buffoon, George Walker Bush, (the father of the foreign policy of the last 20 years – a policy now exposed as an abject failure, the policy lays in ruins) made a speech somewhere else.

    In his speech former President Bush (“Progressive Lite” as always – little better than creatures such as Liz Cheney, who was busy “tweeting” as if the policy she has supported for 20 years had not just collapsed) decided to use the anniversary of 9.11 to denounce real conservatives.

    Conservatives (i.e. real ones – who actually believe in LESS government not always MORE government) were “domestic extremists” George Walker Bush declared, just as bad as the terrorists of 9/11.

    Just as bad as the terrorists of 9/11.

    Thank you George – it is good to know where people stand.

  • Paul Marks

    Even when Boris Yeltsin visited Houston in 1989, the President was George Herbert Walker Bush.

    George Herbert Walker Bush did not understand the principles of liberty – and he admitted this, this was the “vision thing” and he freely admitted that he did not understand it.

    Being humble can be a good thing (a virtue) – but a President should have some basic grasp of the ideas of limited government, and George Herbert Walker Bush had none.

    Higher taxes (HIGHER taxes in response to the end of the Cold War?) – fair enough if that is what the Democrats want. New regulations such as the “Americans With Disabilities Act” – again why not, is not government either supposed to help everyone itself, or force private employers to help everyone?

    Limited government and private property rights? The “vision thing” – which George Herbert Walker Bush did not understand.

    Even when the West seemed to have won the Cold War the seeds of our destruction were already sown. Long sown.

    A person does not learn about the principles of liberty at YALE (where both “Bush 41” and “Bush 43” went) – or at any “Ivy League” place. The “elite” schools and universities have been pits of Collectivism for more than a century. Even the early 1900s the textbooks in “elite” private schools and universities were written by Richard Ely, Woodrow Wilson and other Collectivists – people who thought there were a “101 reasons” for government intervention – against private “greed”.

    A culture that honours the authors of such works as “The State” (Woodrow Wilson) and “Philip Dru: Administrator” (Colonel House – the “other self” of Woodrow Wilson) is doomed – indeed it is astonishing it has taken this long for the West to die.

    A fish goes rotten from the head – and the Western elite have been rotten for a very long time indeed.

  • Paul Marks

    Sadly it is already happening.

    The abundance is already going – “Covid supply chain problems”. As if it was a virus, not the actions of governments, that were causing the “supply chain problems”.

    And shops in poor areas of the United States are closing – partly because of lockdowns, but also because people in such States as California (and large cities in other States) are DE FACTO allowed to steal – because stealing is not really prosecuted.

    As for privately defending property against looting and burning – well then you get into the position of Kyle Rittenhouse.

    I am told he has turned to drink and wearing vile shirts with such things as “Free as Fuck” written on them – a long way from the sort of young man he used to be. But then with the pressure he has been under since August 2020 (endless death threats and so on) it would taken a mind of tempered steel not to snap.

  • Paul Marks

    It is not just the United States – in the whole Western World the elite, in the “best” school and universities, that what one has to do to improve the lives of “the people” is spend money (taxpayer money) and (even better) pass “laws” just demanding better working conditions, higher wages, and so on – they are also taught that any opposition to all this is based on “private greed” and “lack of compassion”.

    This “Social Reform” has been taught to the elite since the 19th century (yes as far back as that) – and it is also taught to them that this “gradual and peaceful reform” is the only way not just to improve the lives of “the people”, but also the only way to preserve their own private wealth from violent revolution.

    “Social Reform” does not really “do good” – on the contrary it makes things WORSE than they otherwise would be, but that was masked for many years by technological improvement and economic growth.

    In, say, 1960 the establishment could point at cities such a New York and London and say “the state is much bigger and more interventionist than it was a century ago in 1860, and people live much better now – this PROVES that Social Reform is a good thing”.

    It is a lot harder to say that about the last few decades – as the degree of government interventionism (and the “Social Revolution” that has caused the collapse of such things as the family – but this Social Revolution is also intimately linked to government interventionism) has undermined the economy vaster than even technological improvement can compensate for it.

    As for “free market” publications and “free market” academics – they have, mainly, contented themselves with opposing outright nationalisation (not regulation – which achieves the same objective, government control, by a different method) and promoting “free trade”.

    “Free Trade” interpreted only as international free trade, not opposition to taxes and government spending and regulations at home (that is considered nothing to do with “free trade” or with liberty generally – one can even see this in J.S. Mill).

    Indeed even “Free Trade” that is really Credit Bubble finance (such as the farcical AMERICAN situation of the last few decades) is proclaimed as “Free Trade” and we are told (absurdly) that “trade deficits do not matter”.

    Even those few academic economists who DID oppose the growth of domestic government spending, taxation and regulation joined this “trade deficits do not matter” mantra – most notably the late Milton Friedman (also famous for his defence of the idea of the culturally and politically neutral corporation – which, sadly, is not how corporations behave in reality).

    It is totally true that where gold or silver (or some other commodity) is money (not a “standard” for something else – but the actual money) then “trade deficits do not matter” – because when people run out of gold or silver (or whatever the commodity money is) they have to GO BACK TO WORK and actually farm and manufacture again. Because they have no more money to import any more stuff – “the party is over”, there is a nasty hangover, but their country still exists.

    But when “money” is just Credit – then people can carry on importing and importing, till they wake up in a country that is owned by foreign powers and they are SERFS (in reality – even if not in legal theory).

    As Milton Friedman (and the other Chicago School people) were defenders of “modern money” (i.e. Credit Money – as long as it was only increased at a rate that would not cause the “price level” to rise, very Irving Fisher) and “modern banking” (i.e. the expansion of credit money by banks – NOT banks just lending out Real Savings of cash money) they could not say that. So any level of trade deficit “did not matter”, year after year, decade after decade, “did not matter”.

    So people such as Donald Trump (who knew very LITTLE about economics) passed through towns and cities that were obviously dying – ruins, with people in “Macjobs” or just living on welfare.

    They have a “red pill moment” – but it is the wrong “red pill”.

    Donald John Trump (with no real economists to turn to) – assumed that the trouble was the imports, and that Protectionism was the answer (at least till other countries opened their markets to American goods – what goods?). The basic point that it was the MONETARY AND FINANCIAL SYSTEM that was at fault did not occur to him – but then why should it? Everyone in academia (including the “free market” wing of it) was in support of “modern money” and “modern banking”.

    And, of course, even those members of the elite who had DOUBTS about endless government spending and endless regulations at home (destroying industry, and mining, and ranching, and ..) were told that it “did not matter” – as one could just carry on importing everything from China (and elsewhere) and pay by creating money from NOTHING.

  • Paul Marks

    It is not “free trade” that is the problem – not all those imported goods in shops in Houston and elsewhere.

    It is the monetary and financial system that is the problem.

    And that Credit Bubble monetary and financial system is absolutely vital for the VAST governments Western countries now have – their endless government spending and their endless regulations.

    “But Paul you are contradicting yourself – you are saying that the Credit Bubble monetary and financial system is absolutely vital to the modern system, and you are saying it is a bad thing”.

    It seems like a contradiction – but it is not.

    Because I am actually saying that the “modern system” (the vast government – its endless government spending, and its endless regulations) is a bad thing, that it is (to use modern language) totally unsustainable.

    “Social Reform” (the endless government and the endless regulations) requires Credit Bubble finance (J.S. Mill denied that, but he was mistaken – his “Social Reform” was incompatible with his “hard money” views, as J.M. Keynes and the others later understood).

    One can not have this “Social Reform”, this endless government spending and endless regulations, without Credit Money and a Credit Bubble financial system.

    And Credit Money and a Credit Bubble financial system eventually destroys itself – and everything that it is built upon it.

    The magic Fairy Kingdom held high in the air by the Pixie dust and Moon beams of “modern money” and “modern banking” comes crashing down.

    Try not to be anywhere near a big city, such as New York, that depends on all this stuff – for no amount of bailouts will save them.

    Mr Biden and his government (or rather the government of whom he is a puppet) and the Federal Reserve have already thrown truly vast amounts of money (money created from NOTHING) at New York and other such places. It will not save them.

    The culture (the people) must return to thrift, hard work, and self denial.

    But everything that recent generations have been taught is directly contrary to that.

  • Paul Marks

    The original Free Trade economists in the United States, such as A.L. Perry, also taught that government spending must be kept DOWN, and that regulations (to improve wages and conditions of work) ignored the basic economic principles of supply and demand – that it is economic development (not “laws”) that must decide conditions – and that is NOT “private greed” and “lack of compassion” to tell-the-truth.

    But then people such as Richard Ely and Woodrow Wilson took over – with their “101 reasons” (really more than that) for government intervention – and their sneering at any opposition (any effort to tell-the-truth) as “private greed” and “lack of compassion”. A lack of “Social Responsibility” and a wicked opposition to “Social Reform”. Whose logical end point is total Collectivism – the Soviet Union or some such society.

    When one considers this, it is not astonishing that the West is dying – it is astonishing that it has taken this long to die.

    There has been resistance to the ideas of the “Social Reformers” – and some of that resistance has been truly heroic (far from being based on “private greed” those who resist “Social Reform” often have had to give up everything and live lives of great poverty – as de facto punishment for opposing the orthodoxy that controls almost everything), but in the end that resistance was not enough.

    When Big Business, the Corporations, went over to the side of the “Social Reformers” (the Collectivist Totalitarians – for their ideas lead to the total state) that, with hindsight, was the death bell of the West. It rang out “Social Responsibility” as the Business Schools from the 1970s put it.

    Today even the highest Corporate Manager must live in fear – for anything they said in their lives (any dissent they have expressed – at any point) can be used to “cancel” them.

    “You are against EQUITY – you are against EQUAL OUTCOMES” that is grounds for total destruction of even the highest Corporate Manager as a “racist”, or a “denier”, or “lack of compassion and private greed”. So even those who do not really believe in creeping totalitarianism (the World Economic Forum, “Stakeholder Capitalism”, and all that) must pretend to believe in it all, and act accordingly.

    And, increasingly, the flow of Credit Money that the big Corporations depend upon, is tied to their POLITICAL and CULTURAL stance.

    In America if your “ESG” (Environmental and Social Governance) score is “too low” – your bank or other Corporation risks no more Credit Money from the Federal Reserve and other such.

    And the Big Corporations depend on this “low interest rate” money – money created from NOTHING.

    So they have to persecute you for your opinions.

    It is becoming much the same in other Western countries.

    And this will carry on – till the Credit Money (money from NOTHING) system, collapses.

  • the last toryboy

    Yes, behind the worlds woes is fiat currency IMO, most visibly to the average Joe in the property market as it’s quite close to the money printers, but really distorting the entire economy. The end game seems too horrible to contemplate and I guess I’m not the only one as the world slouches towards the apocalypse, as the opening line in Shadowrun said…

    Regarding Tolkien analogies, my fave is one to describe the woke decolonisers – “evil cannot create, only corrupt”.

  • Paul Marks

    the last toryboy – agreed Sir, agreed.

  • Paul Marks

    One of the interesting things is that the Corporations are not just planning to sit there and get endless Credit Money in return for high ESG (Environmental and Social Governance) scores, and-so-on. The situation is more complicated than that.

    For example, Disney-Marvel is increasingly seeing government (rather than individuals) as its customer – as “The Forth Age” explains on Youtube, their Corporate strategy is to work with libraries, school boards, government departments – to get their essentially Marxist comics, television shows (of course the television shows are often supported by Corporate advertisers – but there are also subscription services) and quite “serious” documentary style political agitprop paid for with tax money (either by local or national government – or by “charities” funded by government).

    This strategy is increasingly followed by other corporations.

    In a world of Universal Basic Income (or some such scheme) the next logical step would be to tell people what to spend their, government provided, income on – government either buying things directly, or directing individuals what to buy (with the advice of “experts” and NGOs).

    This is the world as the “Woke” Corporations hope it will be – after many years of “education” ordinary people will either naturally buy their products, or will be allocated their products, or will be told to buy their products (or lost their government provided income).

    In short the “reactionary” customers will either be replaced over time with people who have been “educated” to like all this – or what people like will not matter, as they will be allocated stuff or told what to buy.

    Essentially a World Economic Forum dream.

    And it is not light years from reality – after all in California (the largest population State in the United States) one third of all independent small business enterprises have been destroyed over the last two years.

    One third destroyed in two years – the speed of the transformation to a society totally dominated by vast government and a handful of “pet” Woke Corporations (using “Covid” and “Climate Change” and other justifications) has been astonishing.

  • Paul Marks

    “How will the United States oppose the People’s Republic of China?”

    No – as far as the government and corporate bureaucracy (both produced by the same collectivist education system) are concerned – the United States will not fight the PRC, it will become a version of the PRC (Social Credit Score and all) – just weaker and more chaotic, a sort of Saruman to China’s Sauron (still pretending to love freedom – but really mocking freedom, in vile parodies such as the latest advertisements for the American military “my two mothers, I went on protest marches for social justice…..” this being supposedly the ideal military recruit, for “defending freedom”).

    The plan is the same for all Western countries – after all Klaus Schwab and both the World Economic Forum and the United Nations make no secret of their love for the way the PRC manages society.

    Of course there will be differences – but not fundamental ones. It will be a bit like the differences between Ingsoc (English Socialism), NeoBolshevism, and “Total Submission of Self” (“Death Worship”), the names of the three doctrines of the great powers in George Orwell’s “1984”.

    But without violent revolution in the West – with the Corporations and individual “Capitalists” actually working to bring about socialism (as with the dreams of Saint-Simon two centuries ago).

    “Will what the “liberal” elite plan for the West be even worse than what happens in the other great powers – such as the PRC or Putin’s Russia?” – I suspect that “liberal” plan for total Collectivism is indeed a bit more sickening. But again – it is like being asked to choose between the powers of “1984” – the point is to PREVENT the “liberals” destroying what is left of Western liberty.

  • Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    All societies have tensions between the center and the outskirts. Whilst no nation is perfect, I think the Swiss Confederation is as decentralized as any nation can be, whilst still having enough cohesion to be a desireable place to live. When it had ‘free’ land to take from the Indians, the US had a small Federal Government, because people could use the ultimate resort of moving west, thus escaping from Washington’s control. If Australia had more fresh water, lots more people would escape to the interior. Could be a good idea for a novel- perpetual nomads in solar-powered vans, living off the grid…..

  • Paul Marks

    Nicholas – each new Constitution in Switzerland concentrates more power in the centre. However, you are correct – compared to Australia, the United Kingdom, or (these days) the United States, there is a bit more liberty in Switzerland. And, as you point out, nothing to do with it being being big or land being taken from local people – unless one means the arrival of the Germanic tribes in parts of what is now Switzerland in the 5th century A.D.

    As for the United States – two thirds of votes (votes – I did not say voters) in California just went to the man, Gavin Newsom, who has destroyed the State.

    And General Milley (Chairman of the Joint Chiefs) turns out to have been working for the People’s Republic of China Communist Party dictatorship – and do not hold your breath waiting for him to be arrested.

    In spite of all the problems Australia has – I think you may be better off there than in the United States (at least ASIO is NOT likely to arrest you and have fun having you gang raped – they are not the FBI).

    I am told that South Australia (Adelaide) is nice.

    As for living in the interior of Australia – to escape a collapsing world.

    That is the background for the “Mad Max” films.

    “Mad Max” may well be the future.

  • Paul Marks

    Laura Logan has been reporting for days that the Biden/Harris regime has been SENDING BACK military equipment that Afghans managed to get out of Afghanistan.

    The fanatical hatred for the United States, indeed the West in general, that the regime in Washington D.C. (which is supported by the education system and the media) has, is without limit.

    They will do anything, anything at all, to inflict harm on the United States and the rest of the Western world.

    And the Progressive regime is not even trying to make their election rigging look plausible.

    “Two thirds voted for Gavin Newsom”.

    Why not four thirds? Why not more votes than there are voters?

    Why not? Who is going to stop them?

    “We can fight back – defeat the FBI” – organisations that say that tend to be full of FBI stooges (“you do that illegal act – I am just going to pop out for a second and make a telephone call…”), and even if they were not – how can you the defeat the military of General Milley?

    Milley and co may use kid gloves when “fighting” the Taliban – but the gloves would come off against American “insurrectionists”. As Mr Biden said (gloating – with a smile on his senile face) “we have nuclear weapons – so much for your 2nd Amendment” – and they would not hesitate to use them against Americans if they “had to”. Only if they “had to” of course – they would not ENJOY doing it, not even slightly.

    Only economic collapse may (perhaps) change the game.

    This sickening system may come crashing down – not because of anything “the right” does, but because of its own internal decay.

    Evil is a giant – but it is a hollow giant, rotting out from the inside.