When I went to Russia, there were major changes taking place, from the Berezovsky theft to the privatization of state shops to hyperinflation.
Can’t remember exactly but it was about 50000 roubles to the pound. Looked in my wallet and there were a million roubles. I was a millionaire. It bought a meal at a cafe. Not really that bad but you get the idea. Think the Spanish had something similar in the days of the peso.
And of course there was a [hardly underground] hard currency also floating about – in Russia, the dollar. Anyone with dollars was someone of substance.
People’s savings were suddenly worthless. Pensions were meaningless. If you had a 400 mark monthly pension, you went from comfortable to penniless in a matter of months. People demanded to be paid daily so they would not have their wages devalued by a few days passing. Ultimately, they demanded their pay twice daily just to cover changes in trolley fare.
People heated their homes by burning money instead of coal. (It was more plentiful and cheaper to get.) The middle class was destroyed. It was an age of renters, not of home ownership, so thousands became homeless. But the cultural collapse may have had other more pernicious effects.
There was so much ground covered in those two paragraphs and the cultural collapse then went on to the point that in Berlin, wives, mothers and daughters were being rented out to anyone who would pay and prostitutes lined the streets in varying degrees of pregnancy. The human spirit was defiled and bowed, something I do not wish upon any society.
Girls who had stayed prim and proper awaiting some future Prince Charming now had no hope at all. Social morality began to collapse. The roar of the roaring twenties began to rumble. All hope and belief in systems, governmental or otherwise, collapsed. With its culture and its economy disintegrating, Germany saw a guy named Hitler.
I think you have to have been in the position of our parents to understand real austerity, as distinct from this faux, contrived austerity on the basis of what those above say we owe the global organizations who have bailed the banks who did these things out with our own money, which we now have to become austere over … but not them of course.
I saw it in a non-real way in Russia during a period of great fear and worry but for me, there was always the option to depart. Not always so for them, though border regulations had eased. By the way – I had to get a visa to exit the country. Like it.
To be phoned by a girl at the bank to come and get what remained of my money and to bring some plastic rubbish bags to take it away in was an eyeopener. Perhaps the cavalier attitude in Russia rubbed off as I certainly take nothing seriously now at government level that I once did.
The article quotes Keynes:
By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens. By this method they not only confiscate, but they confiscate arbitrarily; and, while the process impoverishes many, it actually enriches some.
… and then he gets it at first right:
Those to whom the system brings windfalls….become profiteers. To convert the business man into a profiteer is to strike a blow at capitalism.
… and then all wrong:
… because it destroys the psychological equilibrium which permits the perpetuance of unequal rewards.
Clever slide of Keynes there – unequal rewards. Rewards for what? Free enterprise is about rewards for effort, enterprise and expertise. Of course it is “unequal” in a fair way, in the sense that you will have a different life path to me – we are unequal in that respect – you’ve achieved what you have, I’ve achieved what I have. If I have less, then I don’t cast covetous eyes at you but say instead – well done. Protect it.
But Keynes’ subtle slide was to conflate that with unequal in the PC sense – that all must be rewarded equally for unequal input.
You really have to watch the forktongued slides of socialists. There’s nothing they like better than to play on people’s natural instincts to feel self-aggrieved and put upon. Inequality of opportunity is one thing but inequality itself is quite another – that should depend on what you do with your life.
Unfortunately, when governments enter it and do artificial things, e.g. calling in gold, then they arbitrarily bind the hands of ordinary people to be able to trade or work their way out of trouble and their regulations upon regulations strip everyman of whatever wealth he was able to cobble together for himself and his family.
If there was ever a manifestation of the evil origins of socialism and of Statism, this is it. And “evil” was not used in a literary way there, it was used in a biblical way. In an Ephesians 6:12 way.
These bstds are not going to let up, not on this gravy train, they’re not going to “see reason”, as they have an Agenda. We can number that Agenda today – N21. And part of that is nobbling our ability to combine in order to throw the bums out, to execute them. The very division of left and right alone ensures that, of feminazism and sanity, of low moral compass and high, of these comments on socialism, on Christianity.
This is the essential danger, in secular terms, of Christianity. It binds people to a set of societal norms which govern ethics, contain profiteering, punish those who break those mores. When those mores are no more, then a situation of “do as thou wilt” exists and you don’t wish to be around when that happens. I saw it in Russia – the lawlessness, the rampant amorality in all matters – and I see it happening in the west now. That’s what Islam is on about and why some people give it the time of day.
Christianity is a great leveller – one man is as good as the next. The parish priest knows his bible but he’s certainly no judge and jury, not in this country – where the enemy got in in the past and distorted everything was another matter. This enemy is exactly the same as caused 1922 Germany and the various panics in America – all contrived by bankers and profiteers. This enemy turns belief into a matter of Inquisition and rivers of blood in the holy land, with a cross on the tunic to lay the blame on.
The vast majority have thrown out their chance of protection and freedom in the interests of being modern and PC, a Brave New World, the new generation has not even been offered it and then they wonder just why these things are actually happening.
As the Who sang: “I have a feeling deep inside that something is missing.”
There is no such thing as a state of natural freedom – the enemy will always wish to remove it. There are only installed mechanisms for protecting freedom.
Men are not born free – we are born into varying degrees of servitude to different masters. Mine was base instinct and now is otherwise. Women’s might be shopping, men’s might be sport and drinking. For both, it might be the slavery of sex.
The only way to ensure freedom of self-determination is in a Strider way in Lord of the Rings – to have more than adequate defences and then be nice to everyone in the context of that position of strength. Bleating won’t melt the hearts of the pitiless and self-interested – strong defences will. You can’t build those defences without the mortar though, you can’t fight without the ammunition.
If the majority think that freedom needs active protection, instead of being something handed down by an oligarchy not remotely interested in people’s freedom, then that explains why it used to be harder to enslave Americans – they’re armed for a start, they have a Constitution which everyone knows because it was drummed into them at school.
Over here, we have discipline and indiscipline.
I’m not interested in nice philosophical treatises on freedom – I’m interested in taking up cudgels to protect it. We can start by our own defences inside us, then of our family, then of our home perimeter, then of our community and after that it’s out of our hands.
I don’t believe in violence and killing, I’d never suggest we cull a few politicians to strike fear into the others because we are meant to turn the other cheek, no? I know this though – if a few Barossos and Ashtons were to be assassinated, the playing field would be quite dramatically redefined. The Ceausescus showed Romania what was possible.
Filed under: Politics & economics