Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Trump Wins Again! [UPDATED]

It may not feel like it, and headlines notwithstanding, but Trump was handed a huge victory in Helsinki.

The hyperbole from Democrats, Never Trumpers, and many past supporters reads like a thesaurus of condemnation. He's committed treason, high crimes, anti-American acts.  He's clearly Putin's puppet, is colluding with Russia, is afraid of what they have on him.  He is unqualified as Commander in Chief, is in over his head, is a joke on the world stage.  He should be impeached, imprisoned, overthrown in a military coup.

What did he do to earn these indictments?

First he was asked by a journalist to call Vladimir Putin a liar to his face.  Trump refused. He knew it was a trap.  Think of it:  Trump is there to establish detente with a temperamental nuclear adversary. An adversary, by the way, which the Democrats have declared war against because they think Russia jacked their emails.  Trump is there acting as a diplomat to cool these tensions.  What purpose would it serve to call Putin a liar to his face?

Second, Trump refused to emphatically endorse the assessment of the intelligence community regarding Russian meddling in the election.  This is another trap that Trump was unwilling to walk into.  Why would he delegitimize his own presidency?  And didn't the FBI's counter intelligence chief, Peter Strzok, just spend ten hours lying in front of a congressional committee?  Who could endorse such dishonesty?  Anyone paying attention knows that the intelligence community has been plotting a coup d'etat against Trump since he came down the escalator! 

So he avoided two traps by equivocating in a typically clumsy Trumpian word salad fashion.  Just like he does every day!  Is this an impeachable high crime?  Hardly.  The American people can see that Trump's critics are falling into a virtue-signaling vortex.   It's a mob mentality.

Take his actions regarding Russia. Trump has been tougher on Russia than any president in my lifetime.  He has hurt Russia by working towards making the U.S. the worlds largest energy producer, re-building our military, re-building NATO, defeating ISIS, standing up to Putin in Syria, standing up to Iran, supporting Israel, strengthening our economy, asserting our power at the UN, strengthening the dollar, and much more.  What's more important, the atmospherics or the results?

Conversely, Obama was caught on a hot mic signaling secret concessions to Vladimir Putin.  Did the pop media condemn this behavior?  No, they covered it up!

Americans can sense hysterical over-reaction and mob virtue-signaling.  Once again, Trump's critics have crossed a line and handed him a yuuuge victory.  They constantly do this and never learn.  I expect his poll numbers to unexpectedly go up once the dust settles on this episode.

[UPDATE 7/23]

As predicted, Trump's approval rating ticked up in the latest NBC/WSJ poll, half of which was taken after the Hilsinki summit.  Trump is extremely lucky to have such inept opposition.     

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Socialism is The Darwin Award for Economic Ignorance [UPDATED]

Socialism got a fresh transfusion the other day with the surprise victory by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (above) in a NY congressional primary.  The 28 year old Democrat is a full-on  socialist whose platform reads almost point for point like the constitution of the defunct Soviet Union.  Within hours,  supposedly mainstream Democrats throughout the country began calling her the future of the party and adopted much of her socialist agenda.  Overnight, the Democrat Party, the party of JFK and "a rising tide lifts all boats" has become the party of "let's lower the tide and ground all the boats"!

Most people paying attention to economic history know full well that all forms of socialism lead to economic collapse and untold human suffering when left in place.  It's not surprising that some would wish that fate on their fellow countrymen, after all some people are inherently cruel, nihilistic, and even suicidal.  But that doesn't account for everyone sucked into this self-destructive vortex.  Some are true believers.  Why is that?             

Pop quiz:   
  1. Who is the father of modern socialism/communism?  
  2. Who is the father of modern capitalism? 
Odds are you will be able to answer the first question correctly and can name Karl Marx as the father of modern socialism/communism.  You probably can do a decent job of explaining Marxism without even looking it up on Wikipedia.  You may even be familiar with the Marxist slogan, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need."

Conversely, if you are asked who the father of modern capitalism is, odds are you'd either draw a blank, or be mostly wrong.

If you attended a public school in the U.S., chances are most of your teachers were union members. Unions were prohibited for most government workers prior to the 1960s because organized labor in the U.S. began as a communist/socialist movement.  Public sector unions were seen as a huge conflict of interest. But that changed in the 1960's under Democrat John F. Kennedy, and since then government workers, including school teachers, have flooded into organized labor. That's not to say all teachers and organized laborers are socialists.  Most probably don't even think in those terms, but the politics of organized labor leans undeniably in that direction. You may or may not have been taught Marxism in school, but you probably weren't taught anything positive about "capitalism"!  

If you attended a college in the U.S., particularly in recent years, you are very likely to have been taught Marxism.  Karl Marx's "Communist Manifesto" is the third most assigned book at U.S. colleges today.  That's out of all the books ever published!  The next most assigned book in economics, capitalist or otherwise, is not even close.      

So how did you answer the second question above?  In one sense the answer to that one is again... Karl Marx.  Yes, Karl Marx is both the father of modern communism/socialism AND the father of modern capitalism. Karl Marx was the person who defined that term for the masses in his risible critique of 1860s capitalism, "Das Kapital".  

Many scholars credit a Scotsman named Adam Smith as the person whose ideas most influenced our economic system.  Adam Smith’s book, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations” was actually published in 1776.  (That date rings a bell, no?)  But the word capitalism wasn't in common use in Adam Smith’s day.  He never used it.  We mistakenly call our economic system capitalism because that's what Marx and the critics called it.  The name unfortunately stuck. 

If everyone knows what "Marxism" is, why doesn't everyone know what "Smithism" is?  Because it’s not taught, except to select economics majors.  According to the Open Syllabus Project, Adam Smith is assigned at a rate about 25% compared to Karl Marx.  "Smithism" never became a word the way "Marxism" did.  You can go through K-12 and well beyond in schools in the U.S. and never hear the name Adam Smith, never learn about his ideas, and never understand the influence those ideas had on the founding and success of our country.

Pop quiz:  
  1. What is Supply Side Economics?  
  2. What is Demand Side Economics?
You are probably familiar with the first term, but can you accurately define it?  Have you ever heard of its opposite, Demand Side Economics?  

·         Supply side economics is the theory that people will SUPPLY (create) more value if they are allowed to function in a free market.
·         Demand side economics is the theory that people will DEMAND (consume) more value if wealth is redistributed to them.    

These are opposite approaches for achieving different economic goals.  Supply Side seeks to optimize overall economic vitality (Smithism).  Demand Side seeks to stimulate consumption (Keynesianism), or at times to redistribute wealth (Marxism).

If you look up supply side economics on Wikipedia, you’ll find a thorough entry along with plenty of criticisms.  If you look up demand side economics, you’ll get... crickets.  The language in this case does not favor the Marxist/socialist demand side ideology.   Hence, it is not even defined.  [UPDATE:  There is now a short and inaccurate entry on Wikipedia for Demand Side Economics.  When the first version of this piece was written in 2016, there was only a re-direct to "Keynesianism".] 

Pop quiz:

The financial crisis of 2008 was caused by:

      A) Greedy bankers, deregulation, George W Bush, and capitalism
      B) Socialism

Most likely, you are 100% certain the correct answer is A.  

No event had a more profound impact on this country's recent tilt towards socialism than the financial crisis of 2008.  It is said that history is written by the victors.  That has never been more true than in the wake of the financial crisis.  Democrats controlled the government commission that wrote the post-mortem.  Barack Obama won the presidency.  Democrats had both houses of congress.  And liberals made the movies and wrote the books explaining the crisis to the masses. Unfortunately, everything they told you was a deliberate deception designed to exonerate socialism, and scapegoat capitalism.   

The fact is, the financial crisis of 2008 was a perfect demonstration of the failures of socialism. Redistribution of wealth, in this case redistribution of mortgage credit, was at the heart of the financial crisis.  At times, the support for this redistribution was bi-partisan, but the ideology behind it was socialist/demand side regardless of who was advocating.

It all began with the affordable housing goals promoted by Democrats in the early 1990s, which lowered mortgage requirements.  It accelerated in the mid 1990s under Democrat Bill Clinton with further loosening of mortgage standards, pressure on banks to write loose loans, and mandates for government backed companies FNMA (Fannie Mae) and FHLMC (Freddie Mac) to buy all the new mortgages.  It finally reached its apex in 2007 under Republican George W. Bush, while Democrats including Senator Barack Obama, ran both houses of congress.

All of the risk from this socialist redistribution was supposed to be assumed by the federal government, mostly in the form of the afore mentioned government backed companies.  Fannie and Freddie were ground zero for the financial crisis.  No government official took more money from these two companies, and at a faster rate, than the junior Senator from Illinois named Barack Obama.  His closest competitors in that money grab included Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, and Hillary Clinton.  If this is news to you,  it's because they wrote the history.

What they told you was that it was a perfect storm involving greedy bankers, deregulation, and the natural flaws of capitalism.  It was a plausible argument designed to deceive.  Bankers today are no greedier than their banking forebears.  So why did they suddenly engage in such risky lending? Because they were coerced to do so.

Deregulation also had nothing to do with it.  Canadian banks are lightly regulated compared to their U.S. counterparts and none of them failed.  Why the difference?  Only in the U.S. was mortgage credit redistributed.  To make matters worse, government regulations encouraged financial institutions to load up on mortgage backed securities.   Unfortunately, when the scheme went bad the damage quickly spread to the private financial sector bringing the entire global financial system to its knees.

The deceptions about this animated the Occupy Wall Street movement, got Barack Obama elected twice, and are responsible for the acceptance of openly socialist candidates like Bernie Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez today.   They are also part of the continuing campaign that has mischaracterized the mortgage market as an example of free-market failure.

The frightening thing about this is, if history is written by the victors and they engage in deception, aren't we doomed to repeat it?  Fannie and Freddie own just about every new mortgage written since 2008, and the socialist policies promoting home ownership and borrowing accelerated under Barack Obama.  We are currently in the process of building a second real estate bubble.  Adding to that are new socialist bubbles in national debt, student loans, auto loans, and equity prices.

Pop quiz:

People love Scandinavian socialism because:

      A) Scandinavian countries are happy, healthy, productive, prosperous, AND socialist
      B) They misunderstand Scandinavian economics and history

Scandinavian success came long before their experiment with socialism.  They were happy, healthy, productive, and prosperous prior to the 1960s when they first began their turn towards socialism. Socialism had nothing to do with their success.  But sixty years of high taxes and socialism has slowed their growth and momentum.  Until recently, Sweden and Denmark spent more than 100% of their private sectors on government - an obviously unsustainable level.  In response, socialist Europe has been freeing their economies and sharply turning away from socialism.  Switzerland, Ireland, and the U.K. are economically freer than the U.S., and Sweden, yes "socialist" Sweden, is essentially tied with the U.S. in economic freedom today.  (According to the Heritage Foundation rankings.)

Here's the thing:  National socialism has never produced anything long term other than misery, poverty, totalitarianism, and death.  Think Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, and North Korea.  The NAZIS, who brought about the holocaust, WWII, and directly or indirectly caused the death of 70 million people, were known by the German acronym for "National Socialists".

So, that's at the national level.  And long term.  At the local level, socialism can survive a bit longer. Local socialism does not eliminate the incentive killing aspects of socialism, but it does avoid the inevitable monetary collapse.  That's because local governments cannot create money and therefore tend to be more fiscally responsible. National governments can hide their insolvency, plunder future generations, devalue currencies, manipulate interest rates, and cause much bigger problems down the road.

This is an important point that deserves repeating;  socialism cannot work long term at the national level.  The national level is where money is created and controlled.  Our system was never designed to be a socialist system.  The Constitution implied that the states were the proper place for redistributive experimentation.  The conflict of interest at the national level is just too great.  National politicians will eventually destroy the currency, borrow too heavily, undermine the work ethic, and undermine national defense in an attempt to gain and maintain power. The founders knew that.  It is happening today.  We doubled our national debt during just Obama's eight years.  Interest rates were artificially held near zero for that entire time.  If and when rates normalize to historical levels, the debt service alone will cause the kind of pain socialist nations have felt throughout history. We are not immune.
In summary: You were indoctrinated to be a socialist. You were indoctrinated to call our system capitalism.  You've been deceived about the benefits of socialism.  You've been deceived about the evils of free markets.  And you've been deceived about the perils of national socialism.  If you still think socialism is great after all that, congratulations, you've earned a Darwin Award in Economics!

Friday, June 29, 2018

Why Conservatives Won’t Be The Ones Killing Reporters [UPDATED]

Yesterday was an amazing day in politics.  As we now know, a deranged gunman with a grudge (above) killed five people in a newsroom at a small newspaper in Maryland.  As if on cue, Liberals knew instantly who to blame.  In the several hours before anyone knew who the shooter was, Politicians, media personalities, and entertainers beclowned themselves by blaming Donald Trump and Milo Yiannopolous (as if he matters!).  “They have blood on their hands!”, they bellowed from their perches.  Among them several sitting Congresspeople.

While it is conceivable that a Trump supporter could commit an act like what occurred at The Capital Gazette, it was highly unlikely to have been a Conservative.  Remember, some Liberals also supported Donald Trump, which is how he got elected in the first place.  I, like everyone else, had no idea if the gunman was a Trump supporter (he was not), but I was nearly certain it couldn't have been a Conservative one. How did I know?

Pre-emptive political violence is a phenomenon of Liberal behavior.  Take the example of Presidential assassinations; no President has ever been assassinated by a Conservative:

  • Lincoln, a Republican, was killed by a Democrat actor. (the Robert DeNiro of his day?)
  • Garfield, a Republican, was killed by a deranged person ostensibly from the same party, but he was a lawyer who spent time on a "free sex" commune.  No Conservative, he. 
  • McKinley, a Republican, was killed by an Anarchist.
  • Kennedy, a Democrat, was killed by a Communist.
What are the odds of this being a coincidence?

And take for example what's been going on recently:

  • Senator Rand Paul has been shot at, physically attacked at his home, and had his family threatened by an ax.  Three separate incidents, all by violent Liberals.
  • Ajit Pai, FCC Chairman, has had constant threats on his life, the most recent resulting in the arrest of a Liberal who specifically threatened to murder his kids.  
  • EPA Chief Scott Pruitt was verbally assaulted by a Liberal while dining in a restaurant.
And this is just the "P"s in the news today!  I could go on with almost every other letter of the alphabet.  Nothing approaching this happened during Obama's eight years when Conservatives peacefully opposed his policies by and large.

What explains this phenomenon?  

At the root of the Liberal/Conservative divide are four intertwined dichotomies: 

First, at the base level, Liberals and Conservatives make decisions through different pathways. Liberals decide emotionally, and Conservatives decide rationally.  That’s not to say anyone makes decisions entirely one way or the other.  Most people are a blend of both with one mechanism dominating on average.  Think of the Yin Yang Taoist symbol where each side has a piece of the other.  

The second part has to do with limiting principles.  A rational mind understands the concept of limiting principles and operates within those constraints.  An emotional mind knows no limits. Everything is on the table.  That’s why artists, musicians,  entertainers, and entrepreneurs tend to fit in the Liberal category.  These are the people you want to party with, and whose concerts you want tickets for.  But it’s also why violence is an option; if everything is on the table, nothing is not!

Third, is the difference between Liberals and Conservatives on the importance they place on the individual vs the collective.  Conservatives believe that individual rights are supreme over any group or collective.  Liberals believe the opposite, putting group and collective rights at the top. Leonard Nimoy's character, Spock, in the original "Star Trek" series said it most succinctly, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." Therefore, it becomes easy to see how an individual or several individuals can literally become sacrifices to aid a group or a larger collective. Millions have been killed under this Liberal assumption in Communist countries by the likes of Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, etc.

Fourth has to do with an understanding of the nature of man.  Conservatives intuitively understand that any sustainable system must acknowledge the nature of man.  Liberals believe that they can control men, essentially denying their nature.  This cannot be done without totalitarian control, and that can only be had with force.  It goes that way throughout history when liberalism progresses to socialism and communism, as it always tries to do.       

Donald Trump is indeed capable of being misinterpreted by one of his supporters who might someday commit an act of violence against a “fake news, enemy of the people" news-outlet, but it won’t be one of his Conservative supporters.  

That, I can tell you!

Racist violence is usually portrayed as coming from the "far right", the implication being that it is Conservative violence.  It is not.  For example, when the "Alt-Right" marched in Charlottesville and a  participant drove into protesters killing one woman, the media portrayed this as being the act of a Conservative Trump supporter.  Watch this Prager U video below to understand why this is not the case.  (Hint: the alternative to the Right is the...Left.  The Alt-Right has three core beliefs that are in direct opposition to what Conservatives believe, but are in full agreement with what Liberals believe.)


Thursday, June 14, 2018

Awaiting The Inspector General Report!!! [UPDATED]

I went on a quest to find the “Great Inspector General Reports Throughout History” to save you the time and effort of doing the same.  Watch the short video below to see what I found...


Well the IG report just came out and it’s Deja Vu all over again!  It’s exactly like the James Comey news conference in the summer of 2016 when he said, "yes, Hillary broke all these laws, but she didn’t really INTEND to break all these laws, so there's nothing to prosecute."  (Try that for your next speeding ticket!)   The OIG report basically concludes with the same kind of pass - "yes, the department was caught making really biased decisions, and yes they were caught speaking in really biased ways, and yes they were caught taking really biased actions, buuuut, there’s no actual “documentary or testimonial” proof of any political bias. None at all. Not even a smidgen." Yada yada yada.  It's Comey, two point oh.

That said, this IG report may actually prove to be rather impactful, consequential, etc. in the same way Comey’s newser was.  You see, while the newser itself was a snoozer, the people saw through the charade. It angered them and they showed up to vote against the corrupt establishment, which is one of the reasons Trump kept confounding the pollsters.  That same phenomenon will likely result from this report and the follow-ups to come.

Monday, June 4, 2018

SCOTUS Bakes a Sensible Cake

I recently heard Alan Dershowitz responding to critics who think he is selling-out his principles when he defends Donald Trump against the partisan agenda of the Mueller investigation: (paraphrasing) "I've always employed the "Shoe-On-The-Other-Foot" test, and in this I've been consistent regardless of who is in the White House."

That test comes to mind with today's SCOTUS ruling ostensibly in favor of a Colorado baker's right to deny baking a custom cake for an event against his religion.  Here's a meme I made at the time these cases were first making news:

Good for the SCOTUS for applying the "Shoe-On-The-Other-Foot" test,  even though the ruling doesn't technically address the central issue here.     

Saturday, May 26, 2018

"Spygate" - Cutting Through the BS

Donald Trump has dubbed it "Spygate", the brewing apparent scandal that Barack Obama weaponized the federal government to spy on the Trump campaign in order to defeat it.  And when that didn't work, to destroy it.

The latest wave of revelations comes via a recent New York Times piece which exposed operation "Crossfire Hurricane", part of which involved paid government informants placed in the Trump organization to gather and possibly plant information.

"No, no, no!" say the Obama people who carried out this operation, "This was not an attack on Trump - this was to protect him!"  And on cue every Democrat and many GOP moderates are calling for giving Obama "the benefit of the doubt".

Some points: 

1.  If Obama wanted to protect Trump from Russia, why call the operation "Crossfire Hurricane"?  Hurricanes destroy, they don't protect.  Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans.  The levees were supposed to protect it.  Why not name it operation "Levee"?

2.  Why did all this come out now, and why in a leftist newspaper? The DOJ and FBI have been stonewalling congressional document requests since the beginning of the Trump administration.  At some point this will become unsustainable.  Meanwhile, the DOJ Inspector General is about to release its findings regarding the Hillary Clinton email investigation and whether or not it was done above-board.  And finally, John Huber, a U.S. Attorney in Utah has been quietly looking into the very substance of "Crossfire Hurricane", including possible FISA, unmasking, spying, etc. abuses by team Obama.

Since I've never heard of a case where an Inspector General uncovered major corruption and made it stick, and congress has no power to actually get the IC to comply with its requests, my money is on John Huber as the stealth reason all this is coming out now.  The NYT is trying to soften the blow by getting ahead of the story and giving time for team Obama to road-test their alibis. 

(UPDATE:  I don't know why, but whenever I hear about DOJ IG Michael Horowitz I picture him as Ari Spyros, the compliance guy at Axe Capital in "Billions".  Definitely not a Wilbury!  (Apologies to those who don't watch "Billions".))

3.  Why are James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper, etc. doing the bulk of the alibi road-testing while Barack Obama, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, etc. are acting like they are in a witness protection program?  I'll let you, dear reader,  answer that one.

4.  Is "Spygate" the right nickname for operation "Crossfire Hurricane"?  Spying implies information gathering.  The more likely scenario is that Stefan Halper et al were there to plant information into the Trump campaign to form the basis of a counter intelligence operation.  Halper introduced the subject of emails and Russia to George Papadopoulos.  The unwitting Papadopoulos then repeated that information to the Australian ambassador which supposedly triggered the counter intelligence investigation.   Remember, even the meeting at Trump Tower with the female Russian lawyer was preceded and followed by her meeting with Hillary's Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS.  That whole meeting was likely a set-up, a sting operation on Donald Trump Jr.

This should be called "The Sting" or "Sting-Gate".

(UPDATE:  Here's a photo of Stefan Halper (L) with Alexander Downer (R), the Australian ambassador,  colluding at an event in 2010.)

5.  Should Obama be given the "benefit of the doubt"?  Sure, if your knowledge of history starts today, Barack Obama deserves the "benefit of the doubt".  But if you paid even cursory attention to what happened during Obama's eight years, you'd know that:

  • Barack Obama weaponized every single tentacle of the federal government for political purposes.  (Here's a partial list in addition to the obvious IRS weaponization)  
  • Under Barack Obama, numerous film makers who disagreed with his agenda were jailed and persecuted - just like in any totalitarian dictatorship.  (Here's a partial list)
  • Barack Obama's DOJ was caught spying on journalists.
  • Barack Obama lied repeatedly to the faces of the American people about substantive things, even earning the lie of the year.  
  • Barack Obama brazenly lied to grieving parents for political purposes after their loved ones were killed in Benghazi. 
  • Barack Obama's first Attorney General, Eric Holder, was actually found in contempt of congress.  (And then there's this from yesterday!)   
Look, I could go on for pages, but what would be the point?  As I've pointed out before, Barack Obama was the most powerful dictator the world has ever known.  He was immune from criticism and scrutiny because while the media deified him and was aligned with his totalitarian leftist agenda, his skeptics were afraid of being labeled racists.  That gave him carte blanche as candidate and President.  It still does. 




Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Iran Nuke Deal was NEVER about Nukes

Now that Israel has obtained Iran's secret nuke plans and U.S. intelligence has confirmed their legitimacy, we know with certainty that Barack Obama's fake "nuke deal" with Iran was an atomic bomb of deception and duplicity.

Remember this was the deal where Barack Obama plus five other countries, which desperately wanted to resume trade with Iran, lifted sanctions on Iran, flew billions of dollars in cash on secret planes to Tehran, all in return for Iran's vague promise to put off their nuclear weapons program for... a whole decade.

Here's what I wrote at the time on, 4/2/15:      

"Great liars are also great magicians." 

Barack Obama wants you to believe he is negotiating with Iran about nukes.  Pick up a paper, watch a news show, listen to the radio, wherever you are in the world, you will be told about an historic negotiation going on with the P5+1 talks, and it's all about Iran's nuclear program.

Truth is, these talks are nothing more than cover for lifting sanctions on Iran, many of which were preemptively lifted before the talks started.  The talks are Kabuki theatre, a magic trick, to distract you from seeing what's really going on.  This is a trade deal with the world's number one state sponsor of terrorism - a rogue nation bent on bringing about nuclear armageddon, wiping Israel off the map, and achieving regional Shiite hegemony.

If you have any doubts about whether or not this is about nukes, I advise you to read Dan Henninger's piece in The Wall Street Journal, "Why the Iran Deal is Irrelevant" from 4/2.   Mr Henninger chronicles the parallels between North Korea and Iran and the pursuit of nukes.  Iran cannot be stopped by talking.  Everyone knows this.  Talking had zero effect on North Korea over three presidencies.  Sanctions, and the perception that force is an option, are the only way to prevent a rogue nation from acquiring nukes.

Not only has Obama lifted sanctions and taken the threat of force off the table, he is guaranteeing Iran the right to spin centrifuges, enrich uranium, and follow through on their promise to nuke Israel off the map.  This trade deal does nothing but make Iran richer and accelerate their ability to achieve these goals.

Barack Hussein Obama, peace be upon him, apparently shares these goals.

(Incidentally, the quote at the top is often credited to Adolf Hitler.) 

Friday, April 20, 2018

Mutually Assured Destruction - Trump vs Anti-Trump

The raids on Michael Cohen's office, home, and hotel room were an unprecedented escalation in "lawfare" - the weaponization of the legal system for political purposes.  If you can find me an example of Republicans conducting a similar raid on a private attorney involved in a political case against a Democrat, I'll buy you a steak dinner.  Heck, I'll buy you several.

Now, Rudy Giuliani has joined the President's legal team.  While this could mean any number of things, I'd like to focus on "Occam's Razor" - the principle that the simplest explanation often works best.  

First, Rudy is a friend of Trump's.  He's trusted.  Second, he used to run the Southern District of NY, which ostensibly did the raid on Cohen.  Finally, Giuliani just said he believes he can wrap up the Mueller investigation in a week or two!  How can he possibly think this, much less say it?  

I believe Rudy is not joining Trump's team to defend him.  He was never a defense attorney.  But he was a prosecutor.  And as a friend of Trump's, he's got some sense of "the art of the deal".    

By now it's apparent there is much to fret about in Democrat-land.  The DOJ IG, Michael Horowitz, is looming with multiple upcoming reports.  He just dropped a criminal referral on Andrew McCabe, Jim Comey's deputy director of the FBI.  The noose is tightening.  And among those feeling its pull are the entire upper echelon of the Obama administration, including Barack Obama himself.  

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John Brennan, James Clapper, Loretta Lynch, James Comey, Samantha Power, Robert Mueller, top White House staff, Democrat party leadership, CIA, FBI, and DOJ leadership are all in jeopardy of being exposed for running what was apparently a coup d'etat against a duly elected President of the United States. They weaponized the federal government and used it illegally for political purposes. This is serious stuff.    

Meanwhile, Trump is in serious danger because his lawyer's records are now open to the very people running the coup!  

So, in comes Giuliani to make the case against mutually assured destruction.  In chess terms it goes something like this:  "Leave my King untouched and we won't take down your entire side of the board - King, Queen, Knights, Bishops, Rooks, and Pawns."

I'm not so sure this is going to work, but I think that's why Rudy is there.  


Friday, April 6, 2018

Why Trump is Right about Voter Fraud

Donald Trump talked about voter fraud yesterday, and like clockwork, exploding heads ensued:

"In many places, like California, the same person votes many times — you've probably heard about that," Trump said. "They always like to say 'oh that's a conspiracy theory' — not a conspiracy theory folks. Millions and millions of people."
The remarks came as Trump continued his recent focus on immigration, railing against what he sees as porous security on the U.S. southern border. He said Democrats are lax on immigration policies related to sanctuary cities and family-based "chain" migration, as he calls it, because "they think they're going to vote Democrat."

This comes on the heels of California proudly announcing the success of their program to issue driver's licenses to illegal immigrants:  

From the Sacramento Bee:    
"More than 1 million undocumented immigrants have received driver's licenses, the California Department of Motor Vehicles announced Wednesday."

Issuing driver's licenses to illegals is a perfectly reasonable response to the reality that illegals are here possibly in the tens of millions, want to drive, get in accidents, and break laws just like everyone else.

But there's a problem with issuing driver's licenses to illegals, and it proves Trump's point.  Back in the '90s the Democrats came up with a scheme to tie voter registration to driver's licenses.  The bill they came up with was dubbed the "Motor Voter" bill.

Below is a picture of Bill Clinton signing the Motor Voter bill in 1993.  The two people standing directly behind him in the green and grey respectively are Francis Fox Piven and Richard Cloward, two architects of the bill.   Cloward and Piven were radical Columbia University professors who advocated for empowering dependents to create a "redistributive" political crisis.     

And here's where we've come in the 35 years since the Motor voter bill - thirteen states have laws that allow illegals to openly obtain driver's licenses:

States that Issue Driver's Licenses to Unauthorized

Of those thirteen states, twelve of them, a whopping 92%, voted Democrat in 2016:

2106 Election Results Map

(Utah was the only state that both issues licenses to illegals and voted Republican. But Utah requests a form of ID when voting and illegals are given a different license than citizens, rendering their driver's licenses useless for voting.)

In other words, it's possible to predict a states voting pattern with over 92% accuracy based on whether or not illegals can get driver's licenses.  The same can be said about voter ID laws.  

Of the 9 states that have strict voter ID laws, 8 of them, a whopping 88%, voted Republican: 

States and Voter ID 

Of the states that both issue driver's licenses to illegals and require no voter ID, a whopping 100% of them voted Democrat!

Of course, all of this is circumstantial.  There is no way to absolutely know how many illegals are voting in the U.S. because voting is done entirely on the honor system.   When Donald Trump tried to study voter fraud with a presidential commission, it was stonewalled by the Democrat states and sued into oblivion. 

To this day, no state requires proof of citizenship to vote.  All that is required to vote in all 50 states is for a voter to self declare citizenship.   

In other words, we have up to 20 million illegals in the U.S. who failed to honor our borders, and we are counting on their honor to NOT vote illegally?  This is the insanity of questioning the existence of voter fraud.  

One final thought:  

2106 Election Map Showing Democrat Concentrations Near Border Crossings and Routes

(Hat Tip: @Military4Trump on Twitter)

Friday, March 16, 2018

Jonah Goldberg: "Karl Marx's Jew-Hating Conspiracy Theory"

This piece by Jonah Goldberg in Commentary Magazine is so good it must be shared.  But you really should go to this LINK and read it at Commentary. 

My only critique is that the title belies the immense scope of its insights.   The anti-Semitic implications seem to me to be outweighed by the political and economic ones.   And my only addition is to alert readers to the fact that Karl Marx is the third most assigned author at U.S. colleges, out of all the authors in history.  You are what you teach.       

Karl Marx’s Jew-Hating Conspiracy Theory

Marx didn’t supplant old ideas about money and commerce; he intensified them
From the time of antiquity until the Enlightenment, trade and the pursuit of wealth were considered sinful. “In the city that is most finely governed,” Aristotle wrote, “the citizens should not live a vulgar or a merchant’s way of life, for this sort of way of life is ignoble and contrary to virtue.”1In Plato’s vision of an ideal society (the Republic) the ruling “guardians” would own no property to avoid tearing “the city in pieces by differing about ‘mine’ and ‘not mine.’” He added that “all that relates to retail trade, and merchandise, and the keeping of taverns, is denounced and numbered among dishonourable things.” Only noncitizens would be allowed to indulge in commerce. A citizen who defies the natural order and becomes a merchant should be thrown in jail for “shaming his family.

At his website humanprogress.org, Marian L. Tupy quotes D.C. Earl of the University of Leeds, who wrote that in Ancient Rome, “all trade was stigmatized as undignified … the word mercator [merchant] appears as almost a term of abuse.” Cicero noted in the first century b.c.e. that retail commerce is sordidus(vile) because merchants “would not make any profit unless they lied constantly.”

Early Christianity expanded this point of view. Jesus himself was clearly hostile to the pursuit of riches. “For where your treasure is,” he proclaimed in his Sermon on the Mount, “there will your heart be also.” And of course he insisted that “it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

The Catholic Church incorporated this view into its teachings for centuries, holding that economics was zero-sum. “The Fathers of the Church adhered to the classical assumption that since the material wealth of humanity was more or less fixed, the gain of some could only come at a loss to others,” the economic historian Jerry Muller explains in his book The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought. As St. Augustine put it, “Si unus non perdit, alter non acquirit”—“If one does not lose, the other does not gain.”

The most evil form of wealth accumulation was the use of money to make money—usury. Lending money at interest was unnatural, in this view, and therefore invidious. “While expertise in exchange is justly blamed since it is not according to nature but involves taking from others,” Aristotle insisted, “usury is most reasonably hated because one’s possessions derive from money itself and not from that for which it was supplied.” In the Christian tradition, the only noble labor was physical labor, and so earning wealth from the manipulation of money was seen as inherently ignoble.

In the somewhat more prosperous and market-driven medieval period, Thomas Aquinas helped make private property and commerce more acceptable, but he did not fundamentally break with the Aristotelian view that trade was suspect and the pursuit of wealth was sinful. The merchant’s life was in conflict with the teachings of Christianity if it led to pride or avarice. “Echoing Aristotle,” Muller writes, “Aquinas reasserted that justice in the distribution of material goods was fulfilled when someone received in proportion to his status, office, and function within the institutions of an existing, structured community. Hence Aquinas decried as covetousness the accumulation of wealth to improve one’s place in the social order.”

In the medieval mind, Jews were seen as a kind of stand-in for mercantile and usurious sinfulness. Living outside the Christian community, but within the borders of Christendom, they were allowed to commit the sin of usury on the grounds that their souls were already forfeit. Pope Nicholas V insisted that it is much better that “this people should perpetrate usury than that Christians should engage in it with one another.”2 The Jews were used as a commercial caste the way the untouchables of India were used as a sanitation caste. As Montesquieu would later observe in the 16th century, “whenever one prohibits a thing that is naturally permitted or necessary, the people who engage in it are regarded as dishonest.” Thus, as Muller has argued, anti-Semitism has its roots in a kind of primitive anti-capitalism.

Early Protestantism did not reject these views. It amplified them.3 Martin Luther despised commerce. “There is on earth no greater enemy of man, after the Devil, than a gripe-money and usurer, for he wants to be God over all men…. Usury is a great, huge monster, like a werewolf …. And since we break on the wheel and behead highwaymen, murderers, and housebreakers, how much more ought we to break on the wheel and kill … hunt down, curse, and behead all usurers!”4

It should therefore come as no surprise that Luther’s views of Jews, the living manifestation of usury in the medieval mind, were just as immodest. In his 1543 treatise On the Jews and Their Lies, he offers a seven-point plan on how to deal with them:
  • “First, to set fire to their synagogues or schools .…This is to be done in honor of our Lord and of Christendom, so that God might see that we are Christians …”
  • “Second, I advise that their houses also be razed and destroyed.”
  • “Third, I advise that all their prayer books and Talmudic writings, in which such idolatry, lies, cursing, and blasphemy are taught, be taken from them.”
  • “Fourth, I advise that their rabbis be forbidden to teach henceforth on pain of loss of life and limb… ”
  • “Fifth, I advise that safe-conduct on the highways be abolished completely for the Jews. For they have no business in the countryside …  ”
  • “Sixth, I advise that usury be prohibited to them, and that all cash and treasure of silver and gold be taken from them … ”
  • “Seventh, I recommend putting a flail, an ax, a hoe, a spade, a distaff, or a spindle into the hands of young, strong Jews and Jewesses and letting them earn their bread in the sweat of their brow.… But if we are afraid that they might harm us or our wives, children, servants, cattle, etc., … then let us emulate the common sense of other nations such as France, Spain, Bohemia, etc., … then eject them forever from the country … ”
Luther agitated against the Jews throughout Europe, condemning local officials for insufficient anti-Semitism (a word that did not exist at the time and a sentiment that was not necessarily linked to more modern biological racism). His demonization of the Jews was derived from more than anti-capitalism. But his belief that the Jewish spirit of commerce was corrupting of Christianity was nonetheless central to his indictment. He sermonized again and again that it must be cleansed from Christendom, either through conversion, annihilation, or expulsion.

Three centuries later, Karl Marx would blend these ideas together in a noxious stew.


The idea at the center of virtually all of Marx’s economic writing is the labor theory of value. It holds that all of the value of any product can be determined by the number of hours it took for a laborer or laborers to produce it. From the viewpoint of conventional economics—and elementary logic—this is ludicrous. For example, ingenuity, which may not be time-consuming, is nonetheless a major source of value. Surely it cannot be true that someone who works intelligently, and therefore efficiently, provides less value than someone who works stupidly and slowly. (Marx anticipates some of these kinds of critiques with a lot of verbiage about the costs of training and skills.) But the more relevant point is simply this: The determinant of value in an economic sense is not the labor that went into a product but the price the consumer is willing to pay for it. Whether it took an hour or a week to build a mousetrap, the value of the two products is the same to the consumer if the quality is the same.

Marx had philosophical, metaphysical, and tactical reasons for holding fast to the labor theory of value. It was essential to his argument that capitalism—or what we would now call “commerce” plain and simple—was exploitative by its very nature. In Marx, the term “exploitation” takes a number of forms. It is not merely evocative of child laborers working in horrid conditions; it covers virtually all profits. If all value is captured by labor, any “surplus value” collected by the owners of capital is by definition exploitative. The businessman who risks his own money to build and staff an innovative factory is not adding value; rather, he is subtracting value from the workers. Indeed, the money he used to buy the land and the materials is really just “dead labor.” For Marx, there was an essentially fixed amount of “labor-power” in society, and extracting profit from it was akin to strip-mining a natural resource. Slavery and wage-labor were different forms of the same exploitation because both involved extracting the common resource. In fact, while Marx despised slavery, he thought wage-labor was only a tiny improvement because wage-labor reduced costs for capitalists in that they were not required to feed or clothe wage laborers.

Because Marx preached revolution, we are inclined to consider him a revolutionary. He was not. None of this was a radical step forward in economic or political thinking. It was, rather, a reaffirmation of the disdain of commerce that starts with Plato and Aristotle and found new footing in Christianity. As Jerry Muller (to whom I am obviously very indebted) writes:

To a degree rarely appreciated, [Marx] merely recast the traditional Christian stigmatization of moneymaking into a new vocabulary and reiterated the ancient suspicion against those who used money to make money. In his concept of capitalism as “exploitation” Marx returned to the very old idea that money is fundamentally unproductive, that only those who live by the sweat of their brow truly produce, and that therefore not only interest, but profit itself, is always ill-gotten.

In his book Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life, Jonathan Sperber suggests that “Marx is more usefully understood as a backward-looking figure, who took the circumstances of the first half of the nineteenth century and projected them into the future, than as a surefooted and foresighted interpreter of historical trends.”5

Marx was a classic bohemian who resented the fact that he spent his whole life living off the generosity of, first, his parents and then his collaborator Friedrich Engels. He loathed the way “the system” required selling out to the demands of the market and a career. The frustrated poet turned to the embryonic language of social science to express his angry barbaric yawp at The Man. “His critique of the stultifying effects of labor in a capitalist society,” Muller writes, “is a direct continuation of the Romantic conception of the self and its place in society.”

In other words, Marx was a romantic, not a scientist. Romanticism emerged as a rebellion against the Enlightenment, taking many forms—from romantic poetry to romantic nationalism. But central to all its forms was the belief that modern, commercial, rational life is inauthentic and alienating, and cuts us off from our true natures.

As Rousseau, widely seen as the first romantic, explained in his Discourse on the Moral Effects of the Arts and Sciences, modernity—specifically the culture of commerce and science—was oppressive. The baubles of the Enlightenment were mere “garlands of flowers” that concealed “the chains which weigh [men] down” and led people to “love their own slavery.”

This is a better context for understanding Marx’s and Engels’s hatred of the division of labor and the division of rights and duties. Their baseline assumption, like Rousseau’s, is that primitive man lived a freer and more authentic life before the rise of private property and capitalism. “Within the tribe there is as yet no difference between rights and duties,” Engels writes in Origins of the Family, Private Property, and the State. “The question whether participation in public affairs, in blood revenge or atonement, is a right or a duty, does not exist for the Indian; it would seem to him just as absurd as the question whether it was a right or a duty to sleep, eat, or hunt. A division of the tribe or of the gens into different classes was equally impossible.”

For Marx, then, the Jew might as well be the real culprit who told Eve to bite the apple. For the triumph of the Jew and the triumph of money led to the alienation of man. And in truth, the term “alienation” is little more than modern-sounding shorthand for exile from Eden. The division of labor encourages individuality, alienates us from the collective, fosters specialization and egoism, and dethrones the sanctity of the tribe. “Money is the jealous god of Israel, in face of which no other god may exist,” Marx writes. “Money degrades all the gods of man—and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal self-established value of all things. It has, therefore, robbed the whole world—both the world of men and nature—of its specific value. Money is the estranged essence of man’s work and man’s existence, and this alien essence dominates him, and he worships it.”

Marx’s muse was not analytical reason, but resentment. That is what fueled his false consciousness. To understand this fully, we should look at how that most ancient and eternal resentment—Jew-hatred—informed his worldview.


The atheist son of a Jewish convert to Lutheranism and the grandson of a rabbi, Karl Marx hated capitalism in no small part because he hated Jews. According to Marx and Engels, Jewish values placed the acquisition of money above everything else. Marx writes in his infamous essay “On the Jewish Question”:

Let us consider the actual, worldly Jew—not the Sabbath Jew … but the everyday Jew.

Let us not look for the secret of the Jew in his religion, but let us look for the secret of his religion in the real Jew.

What is the secular basis of Judaism? Practical need, self-interest. What is the worldly religion of the Jew? Huckstering. What is his worldly God? Money [Emphasis in original]

The spread of capitalism, therefore, represented a kind of conquest for Jewish values. The Jew—at least the one who set up shop in Marx’s head—makes his money from money. He adds no value. Worse, the Jews considered themselves to be outside the organic social order, Marx complained, but then again that is what capitalism encourages—individual independence from the body politic and the selfish (in Marx’s mind) pursuit of individual success or happiness. For Marx, individualism was a kind of heresy because it meant violating the sacred bond of the community. Private property empowered individuals to live as individuals “without regard to other men,” as Marx put it.

This is the essence of Marx’s view of alienation. Marx believed that people were free, creative beings but were chained to their role as laborers in the industrial machine. The division of labor inherent to capitalist society was alienating and inauthentic, pulling us out of the communitarian natural General Will. The Jew was both an emblem of this alienation and a primary author of it:

The Jew has emancipated himself in a Jewish manner, not only because he has acquired financial power, but also because, through him and also apart from him, money has become a world power and the practical Jewish spirit has become the practical spirit of the Christian nations. The Jews have emancipated themselves insofar as the Christians have become Jews. [Emphasis in original]

He adds, “The god of the Jews has become secularized and has become the god of the world. The bill of exchange is the real god of the Jew. His god is only an illusory bill of exchange.” And he concludes: “In the final analysis, the emancipation of the Jews is the emancipation of mankind from Judaism.” [Emphasis in original]

In The Holy Family, written with Engels, he argues that the most pressing imperative is to transcend “the Jewishness of bourgeois society, the inhumanity of present existence, which finds its highest embodiment in the system of money.” [Emphasis in original]

In his “Theories of Surplus Value,” he praises Luther’s indictment of usury. Luther “has really caught the character of old-fashioned usury, and that of capital as a whole.” Marx and Engels insist that the capitalist ruling classes, whether or not they claim to be Jewish, are nonetheless Jewish in spirit. “In their description of the confrontation of capital and labor, Marx and Engels resurrected the traditional critique of usury,” Muller observes. Or, as Deirdre McCloskey notes, “the history that Marx thought he perceived went with his erroneous logic that capitalism—drawing on an anticommercial theme as old as commerce—just is the same thing as greed.”6 Paul Johnson is pithier: Marx’s “explanation of what was wrong with the world was a combination of student-cafĂ© anti-Semitism and Rousseau.”7

For Marx, capital and the Jew are different faces of the same monster: “The capitalist knows that all commodities—however shabby they may look or bad they may smell—are in faith and in fact money, internally circumcised Jews, and in addition magical means by which to make more money out of money.”

Marx’s writing, particularly on surplus value, is drenched with references to capital as parasitic and vampiric: “Capital is dead labor which, vampire-like, lives only by sucking living labor, and lives the more, the more labor it sucks. The time during which the worker works is the time during which the capitalist consumes the labor-power he has bought from him.” The constant allusions to the eternal wickedness of the Jew combined with his constant references to blood make it hard to avoid concluding that Marx had simply updated the blood libel and applied it to his own atheistic doctrine. His writing is replete with references to the “bloodsucking” nature of capitalism. He likens both Jews and capitalists (the same thing in his mind) to life-draining exploiters of the proletariat.

Marx writes how the extension of the workday into the night “only slightly quenches the vampire thirst for the living blood of labor,” resulting in the fact that “the vampire will not let go ‘while there remains a single muscle, sinew or drop of blood to be exploited.’” As Mark Neocleous of Brunel University documents in his brilliant essay, “The Political Economy of the Dead: Marx’s Vampires,” the images of blood and bloodsucking capital in Das Kapital are even more prominent motifs: “Capital ‘sucks up the worker’s value-creating power’ and is dripping with blood. Lacemaking institutions exploiting children are described as ‘blood-sucking,’ while U.S. capital is said to be financed by the ‘capitalized blood of children.’ The appropriation of labor is described as the ‘life-blood of capitalism,’ while the state is said to have here and there interposed itself ‘as a barrier to the transformation of children’s blood into capital.’”

Marx’s vision of exploitative, Jewish, bloodsucking capital was an expression of romantic superstition and tribal hatred. Borrowing from the medieval tradition of both Catholics as well as Luther himself, not to mention a certain folkloric poetic tradition, Marx invented a modern-sounding “scientific” theory that was in fact reactionary in every sense of the word. “If Marx’s vision was forward-looking, its premises were curiously archaic,” Muller writes. “As in the civic republican and Christian traditions, self-interest is the enemy of social cohesion and of morality. In that sense, Marx’s thought is a reversion to the time before Hegel, Smith, or Voltaire.”

In fairness to Marx, he does not claim that he wants to return to a feudal society marked by inherited social status and aristocracy. He is more reactionary than that. The Marxist final fantasy holds that at the end of history, when the state “withers away,” man is liberated from all exploitation and returns to the tribal state in which there is no division of labor, no dichotomy of rights and duties.

Marx’s “social science” was swept into history’s dustbin long ago. What endured was the romantic appeal of Marxism, because that appeal speaks to our tribal minds in ways we struggle to recognize, even though it never stops whispering in our ears.


It is an old conservative habit—one I’ve been guilty of myself—of looking around society and politics, finding things we don’t like or disagree with, and then running through an old trunk of Marxist bric-a-brac to spruce up our objections. It is undeniably true that the influence of Marx, particularly in the academy, remains staggering. Moreover, his indirect influence is as hard to measure as it is extensive. How many novels, plays, and movies have been shaped by Marx or informed by people shaped by Marx? It’s unknowable.

And yet, this is overdone. The truth is that Marx’s ideas were sticky for several reasons. First, they conformed to older, traditional ways of seeing the world—far more than Marxist zealots have ever realized. The idea that there are malevolent forces above and around us, manipulating our lives and exploiting the fruits of our labors, was hardly invented by him. In a sense, it wasn’t invented by anybody. Conspiracy theories are as old as mankind, stretching back to prehistory.

There’s ample reason—with ample research to back it up—to believe that there is a natural and universal human appetite for conspiracy theories. It is a by-product of our adapted ability to detect patterns, particularly patterns that may help us anticipate a threat—and, as Mark van Vugt has written, “the biggest threat facing humans throughout history has been other people, particularly when they teamed up against you.”8

To a very large extent, this is what Marxism is —an extravagant conspiracy theory in which the ruling classes, the industrialists, and/or the Jews arrange affairs for their own benefit and against the interests of the masses. Marx himself was an avid conspiracy theorist, as so many brilliant bohemian misfits tend to be, believing that the English deliberately orchestrated the Irish potato famine to “carry out the agricultural revolution and to thin the population of Ireland down to the proportion satisfactory to the landlords.” He even argued that the Crimean War was a kind of false-flag operation to hide the true nature of Russian-English collusion.

Contemporary political figures on the left and the right routinely employ the language of exploitation and conspiracy. They do so not because they’ve internalized Marx, but because of their own internal psychological architecture. In Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi, the talented left-wing writer, describes Goldman Sachs (the subject of quite a few conspiracy theories) thus:

The first thing you need to know about Goldman Sachs is that it’s everywhere. The world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money. In fact, the history of the recent financial crisis, which doubles as a history of the rapid decline and fall of the suddenly swindled dry American empire, reads like a Who’s Who of Goldman Sachs graduates.

Marx would be jealous that he didn’t think of the phrase “the great vampire squid.”

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has occasionally traded in the same kind of language, even evoking some ancient anti-Semitic tropes. “Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special-interest friends, and her donors,” Trump said in one campaign speech. “This election will determine if we are a free nation or whether we have only the illusion of democracy, but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system, and our system is rigged.” He added: “Our corrupt political establishment, that is the greatest power behind the efforts at radical globalization and the disenfranchisement of working people. Their financial resources are virtually unlimited, their political resources are unlimited, their media resources are unmatched.”

A second reason Marxism is so successful at fixing itself to the human mind is that it offers—to some—a palatable substitute for the lost certainty of religious faith. Marxism helped to restore certainty and meaning for huge numbers of people who, having lost traditional religion, had not lost their religious instinct. One can see evidence of this in the rhetoric used by Marxist and other socialist revolutionaries who promised to deliver a “Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.”

The 20th-century philosopher Eric Voegelin argued that Enlightenment thinkers like Voltaire had stripped the transcendent from its central place in human affairs. God had been dethroned and “We the People”—and our things—had taken His place. “When God is invisible behind the world,” Voegelin writes, “the contents of the world will become new gods; when the symbols of transcendent religiosity are banned, new symbols develop from the inner-worldly language of science to take their place.”9

The religious views of the Romantic writers and artists Marx was raised on (and whom he had once hoped to emulate) ran the gamut from atheism to heartfelt devotion, but they shared an anger and frustration with the way the new order had banished the richness of faith from the land. “Now we have got the freedom of believing in public nothing but what can be rationally demonstrated,” the writer Johann Heinrich Merck complained. “They have deprived religion of all its sensuous elements, that is, of all its relish. They have carved it up into its parts and reduced it to a skeleton without color and light…. And now it’s put in a jar and nobody wants to taste it.”10

When God became sidelined as the source of ultimate meaning, “the people” became both the new deity and the new messianic force of the new order. In other words, instead of worshipping some unseen force residing in Heaven, people started worshipping themselves. This is what gave nationalism its spiritual power, as the volksgeist, people’s spirit, replaced the Holy Spirit. The tribal instinct to belong to a sacralized group took over. In this light, we can see how romantic nationalism and “globalist” Marxism are closely related. They are both “re-enchantment creeds,” as the philosopher-historian Ernest Gellner put it. They fill up the holes in our souls and give us a sense of belonging and meaning.

For Marx, the inevitable victory of Communism would arrive when the people, collectively, seized their rightful place on the Throne of History.11 The cult of unity found a new home in countless ideologies, each of which determined, in accord with their own dogma, to, in Voegelin’s words, “build the corpus mysticum of the collectivity and bind the members to form the oneness of the body.” Or, to borrow a phrase from Barack Obama, “we are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

In practice, Marxist doctrine is more alienating and dehumanizing than capitalism will ever be. But in theory, it conforms to the way our minds wish to see the world. There’s a reason why so many populist movements have been so easily herded into Marxism. It’s not that the mobs in Venezuela or Cuba started reading The Eighteenth Brumaire and suddenly became Marxists. The peasants of North Vietnam did not need to read the Critique of the Gotha Program to become convinced that they were being exploited. The angry populace is always already convinced. The people have usually reached the conclusion long ago. They have the faith; what they need is the dogma. They need experts and authority figures—priests!—with ready-made theories about why the masses’ gut feelings were right all along. They don’t need Marx or anybody else to tell them they feel ripped off, disrespected, exploited. They know that already. The story Marxists tell doesn’t have to be true. It has to be affirming. And it has to have a villain. The villain, then and now, is the Jew.

1 Muller, Jerry Z.. The Mind and the Market: Capitalism in Western Thought (p. 5). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

2 Muller, Jerry Z. Capitalism and the Jews (pp. 23-24). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

3 Luther’s economic thought, reflected in his “Long Sermon on Usury of 1520” and his tract On Trade and Usury of 1524, was hostile to commerce in general and to international trade in particular, and stricter than the canonists in its condemnation of moneylending. Muller, Jerry Z.. Capitalism and the Jews (p. 26). Princeton University Press. Kindle Edition.

4 Quoted approvingly in Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich. “Capitalist Production.” Capital: Critical Analysis of Production, Volume II. Samuel Moore and Edward Aveling, trans. London: Swan Sonnenschein, Lowrey, & Co. 1887. p. 604

5 Sperber, Jonathan. “Introduction.” Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life. New York: Liverwright Publishing Corporation. 2013. xiii.

6 McCloskey, Deirdre. Bourgeois Dignity: Why Economics Can’t Explain the Modern World. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p. 142

7 Johnson, Paul. Intellectuals (Kindle Locations 1325-1326). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

8 See also: Sunstain, Cass R. and Vermeule, Adrian. “Syposium on Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures.” The Journal of Political Philosophy: Volume 17, Number 2, 2009, pp. 202-227. http://www.ask-force.org/web/Discourse/Sunstein-Conspiracy-Theories-2009.pdf

9 Think of the story of the Golden Calf. Moses departs for Mt. Sinai to talk with God and receive the Ten Commandments. No sooner had he left did the Israelites switch their allegiance to false idol, the Golden Calf, treating a worldly inanimate object as their deity. So it is with modern man. Hence, Voegelin’s quip that for the Marxist “Christ the Redeemer is replaced by the steam engine as the promise of the realm to come.”

10 Blanning, Tim. The Romantic Revolution: A History (Modern Library Chronicles Series Book 34) (Kindle Locations 445-450). Random House Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

11 Marx: “Along with the constant decrease in the number of capitalist magnates, who usurp and monopolize all the advantages of this process of transformation, the mass of misery, oppression, slavery, degradation and exploitation grows; but with this there also grows the revolt of the working class, a class constantly increasing in numbers, and trained, united and organized by the very mechanism of the capitalist process of production.”