Is Bastiat predicting the future, explaining the past or commentating on the present:
“When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men living in society, they create for themselves, in the course of time, a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.”
Of course it’s a bit of a trick question as the answers are not mutually exclusive. There is a constant in history and it is us. Our basic DNA will not have changed much since he wrote that sometime before 1850. Looking around our world is very different, but we are fundamentally the same.
The much longer, incomparably more comfortable and relatively pain free life we lead flows not from within us, but without. It is the effect of the social and physical capital created by our ancestors, elders and even ourselves in our youth. The knowledge, institutions, practices and procedures work hand in glove with our physical infrastructure to sustain our way of life. It is this external fabric we have created that drove past improvements and is the only hope for future gain. That’s why attacks on them are so unforgivable. It is why this site takes such a strong stance against attacks on our cultural capital. Cultural capital being shorthand for all those things that make our way of life what it is.
So it is with a heavy heart that I catalog some of the latest signs of just how rotten our system has become. But it is not with a hopeless heart. For we still have within us and around us knowledge of a better way. We know things can and will be better, if we but make it so. Honesty and integrity are not dirty works.They are a clarion call from our past to us and our future. We will revive. We will survive. We will make a better world.
The only question is how low do we go? Germany repeatedly in the last century dived into the depths. It exterminated its own people, then moved onto those of its neighbors. Plundering. Ever plundering. No restraint. No morality. No reflection of its cultural past curtailed the excesses of its then progressive present. Then occupied, cleaved into two and absorbed into ideologically opposed camps. Yet a generation or two later and it is again united and a European colossus. Albeit one with a heart of paper.
The German work ethic survived. Its culture is amenable to wealth creation. It creates wealth. We can recreate our cultural pillars. We can overthrow the rogues and advocates of political correctness. We owe it to our elderly and our ancestors as much as to our children and children’s children. They deserve better than the base vile acts being undertaken in the world, sometimes in their name or with the approval of their elected representatives:
What could be alarming is that the conditions that led to the loss of customers’ funds at MF Global have not been corrected, and it could be happening again at some other firm even now. We just may not realize it because the losses have not yet been publicly disclosed.
As in the case of MF Global, the insiders and powerful customers learn about the impending loss first, and take steps to secure their accounts before the collapse and downfall occurs.
Then there is the issue of the Greece not paying and not defaulting:
“The International Swaps and Derivatives Association said on Thursday that based on current evidence the Greek bailout would not prompt payments on the credit default swaps.”…
The claim that Greece has not defaulted — despite refusing to make good on their obligations in full or on time — is utterly laughable.
In order to get paid on a default, you need a committee to evaluate whether or not failing to make payments is a — WTF?!? — default? Even more ridiculous, the committee is composed of biased, interested parties with positions in the aforementioned securities?
Zerohedge details the composition of the ISDA in this post and notes:
Keep in mind, as criminal as this appears, and as damaging to the CDS market, the real trigger will be what ISDA does determines following the end of the PSI process. If there is no credit event then either, especially when the CACs are triggered as expected – an event which will certifiably be a trigger event under Section 4.7, then ISDA is truly hell bent on blowing up the CDS market as a hedging vehicle in its entirety.
Perhaps most alarming of all is the purchasing of stocks by central banks. Central banks that are backstopped by the Fed. What have they cooked up between them? Read about it at Jesse’s Cafe Americain. I’m sick of the slime.
Bastiat was right. We are at a low ebb and heading down. What we do now will determine how low we go. Will we wait until Greece is our fate? Or will we rise up sooner, seizing control of our culture, our capital? Spread the word. The sooner people see, the sooner they object, the less dire the circumstances when we can start rebuilding. Western civilization will prevail within its own countries. We will prevail. But will it be your children or your children’s children who are born free? It is their birth-right. It is your birthright.
We outnumber the Kleptocrats. We live in democracies. Think about it. We can win this battle, as long as we ensure it involves ballots not bullets. So go ahead, make my day, make everyone’s day. Make a new day, a new civilization. One which increases our cultural capital, one built on trust and integrity. One worthy of us.