A quick jab, and then a pummeling. Forever.
That was the sage advice from Paul Krugman, a Nobel-winning economist and prolific lefty, famous for writing that the Internet was a fad because nobody really had anything to say to one another (an opinion he now claims was a joke). It was during a discussion on CNN that Krugman offered his otherworldly advice for reviving the sluggish economy (strangely, the video in question appears to have been wiped from the Internet; you can watch this followup instead).
Of course, Krugman’s plan is complete nonsense; digging ditches that you don’t need doesn’t make you wealthier; in fact, it makes you poorer, because you use up resources doing it, resources that could have been put toward generating useful wealth instead. The fallacy that labor creates value is central to Marxism, and is why Marxism is guaranteed to fail. What matters is working smart, not working hard.
However, there is one way in which digging dumb ditches does work: Tricking creditors into giving up the payments they expect to receive from debtors.
For instance, a government goes into debt by issuing bonds (a promise to pay people back with interest), but nobody wants to buy these bonds, because the bonds represent a junk promise from a junk organization whose core competency is turning wealth into junk; so, instead, a central bank acts as the bond buyer of last resort: The central bank prints new currency units with which to buy the government’s junk bonds. The government takes this newly printed currency and begins spending it; the bureaucrats wave the fresh cash around to coax society’s men to go to bed sober, wake up early in the morning, grab their shovels, and dig ditches that nobody needs. The laborers get paid handsomely for this worthless work, allowing them to use that currency to pay off their existing debts.
Having had their loans paid back by the former-debtors, the former-creditors will go out into the world to spend their accumulated currency units, only to find that there is not as much wealth out there as they thought! Because the digging of ditches is not generating wealth, but rather using up wealth, the result is more units of currency chasing fewer units of wealth; that is, the result is inflation. The currency is not worth what it used to be! In reality, the former-creditors were not paid back; they thought they’d be able to retire on their investments in the laborers, but it turns out that the cost of living is now so high, they’ll probably have to go dig ditches too (or maybe find a cushy white-collar job greeting patrons at the local Big Box Store).
Yet, despite all the hardship, these bamboozled former-creditors won’t be able to say that they were cheated by the former-debtors, because all parties seemingly met their contractual obligations. The creditors loaned out currency units, and the debtors paid it back with interest; the debt was inflated away.
Of course, this inflation affects everybody negatively; it is not merely a transfer of wealth from the Rich to the poor. Soon, even those poor laborers won’t be able to make ends meet anymore. Whatever shall they do? Of course, they’ll have to go into debt again to keep their children fed. “Won’t anybody think of the children?!” they’ll scream; that will become the political cry of the day, and the policymakers’ predatory pity will produce the obvious solution: a Modern Monetary Theory (MMT), in which it becomes normal for a government to print currency specifically to hand it out to the little folk, thereby institutionalizing the ongoing transfer of wealth from the “Haves” to the “Have Nots”, and then from the “Have Nots” to the ditches. So goes the economy, which is to say, so goes society: “earth to earth; ashes to ashes; dust to dust.”
The (false) hope is that if debt can be paid down faster than it increases, or if “usury” (e.g., extortion by credit card companies) is outlawed altogether, then eventually Utopia will be achieved: Though everybody will be as poor as the dirt they’re digging from ditches that nobody needs, at least they’ll all finally be debt free. Even better, the commoners will have become dependent on The System, thus establishing a stronghold for the Elites. As they take their place at the top of the Ivory Tower, the Elites will make a grand gesture to the unwashed masses below; they will hold a celebratory Jubilee in which they direct their Central Bank to forgive the one last debtor, their Government. After all, the bonds have been repaid with much interest: The Elites traded arbitrary numbers on paper in exchange for Raw Power over Mankind.
There are 2 problems, though, one small and one Big.
The small problem is that most humans are incapable of paying off their debt voluntarily; even if debt is outlawed, people will privately, in the “shadow” economy, go into debt just to keep up with the Joneses; like drug addicts, they’ll steal, cheat, and kill for their increasingly dangerous dose of delusion. That’s the small problem. The Big problem is that people will know they’ve become dirt poor because of the monetary policies of the Government; while former-creditors and former-debtors won’t be able to point the finger at each other, they will ALL point the finger at the Policymakers. “YOU did this to us! YOU made us poor, dependent, and wretched!”
Hence, we arrive at Paul Krugman’s solution: There needs to be something else to which the collective finger may be pointed; and, the more abstract this something is, the better.
Well, why not BOTH?
A quick jab to surprise, and then a long, drawn-out pummeling for the win. A global pandemic will scare everyone into submission, normalize widespread stimulus, and briefly diminish quality of life so much that most people will beg to be granted a mere fraction of the world they knew before. Then, the real work can begin, as estimated in a report published in late 2021 by the Bank of America: $150 Trillion, at least, spent over 30 years, all to dig ditches that nobody needs, to re-jigger society around “Green” initiatives.
Heck, while we’re seeking justice for the Earth, we might as well also seek Justice® for the downtrodden “minorities” by normalizing direct payments to the most indebted, as reparations for the lingering scourge of one kind of supremacism or another; after all, what could be better than getting people to point their accusatory fingers at themselves?! Do you not bemoan your unconsious bias? Aren’t you crestfallen over your carbon footprint?
Bigot. Racist. Fiend.
Thus it all comes together. Your sweat and blood must be poured into the Collective on three levels: Environmental, Social, and Governance; the only moral “investment” is an ESG expense. And, the greatest part about this plan is that victory is guaranteed:
So, after a sufficient amount of theater, the Elites can pat each other on the backs, and report to the commoners the Good News: Our intelligent, centralized stewardship of “your” lives has indeed saved the day, and will continue to save the day—forever.
This architecture of Tyranny was well known to Eric Blair, better known by his famous pen name, George Orwell. Blair wrote for communist publications, fought in the Spanish Civil War as a member of the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification, and even owned a poodle named “Marx”. Though Blair became vehemently opposed to dictatorial imposition, he was nevertheless an active proponent of “democratic socialism”, including a planned economy; he argued that a globalist movement should begin by creating a “Socialist United States of Europe”, or more specifically, a “western European union” composed of decolonialized “Socialist republics” whose citizens needed to be re-educated about their station in life—they needed to have their noses rubbed in propaganda telling them that their high standard of living was derived from the “exploitation of coloured peoples”. Yikes! He wrote all about this in 1947, laid down in a rather prescient essay titled “Toward European Unity”. The most startling bits of this essay include the following insights:
During the year following the publication of that essay, Blair completed in 1948 a detailed look at the nature of such a future, in the form of his dystopian novel, Nineteen eighty-four (“1984”); the story follows the protagonist Winston Smith who is exploring individualism and meaning in a society eclipsed by the brutal mindlessness of totalitarian Collectivism. Towards the end, Winston is caught in his nonconformity, and is thus subjected to ideological purification as preparation for his destruction.
Through Winston’s ordeal, the reader comes to understand the mindset of the Elite; they must first gain power over the masses:
Exactly. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.
They must strip humanity of self-worth:
The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroy—everything. Already we are breaking down the habits of thought which have survived from before the Revolution. We have cut the links between child and parent, and between man and man, and between man and woman. No one dares trust a wife or a child or a friend any longer. But in the future there will be no wives and no friends. Children will be taken from their mothers at birth, as one takes eggs from a hen. The sex instinct will be eradicated. Procreation will be an annual formality like the renewal of a ration card. We shall abolish the orgasm. Our neurologists are at work upon it now.
They must standardize and streamline every aspect of existence:
There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed.
Controlling you is their ultimate reward:
But always—do not forget this, Winston—always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.’
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