Friday, November 11, 2016

Systems Or People - Wherein Lies Morality?

Occasionally, FOFOA will emerge from behind the curtain of the Speakeasy and offer an opinion on current events. It is oddly coincidental that we seem to think and write about similar things around the same time, though we don't always exactly agree.

As I had just written in my last post, the international monetary and financial system, governed by the reserve world currency - the dollar - has been moving toward a further consolidation of human values under the controlling hand of "political correctness" (PC). This PC often finds its appeal in concepts like freedom and democracy, religious tolerance and racial harmony. Obviously, when the motives behind its stated virtues are indeed actually virtuous, it is hard for impressionable people to resist "wanting to belong" to the PC camp.

I agree with FOFOA that this allure of self righteousness emboldens the left to take extreme measures and an openly harsh view against the non PC right. I do at times shake my head at the social media rants and raves of otherwise cool-headed people as they spit forth acerbic vitriol at Trump and his supporters. Social media is simply the wrong medium for any sort of meaningful political discussion. And that point is a large part of what I wrote about in my last post. But in as much as social media is a social norming tool for the PC movement, I do agree that those rants and raves indicate "peak political correctness".

I also agree that Trump is decidedly and perhaps intentionally "politically incorrect" (PI) and I also agree from direct observation that he is an egotistical narcissist, which probably accounts for much of his PI-ness.

Where we disagree, and where I am somewhat surprised actually, is in FOFOA's characterization of certain systems as being inherently evil. Now, by "systems" I do mean systems of a certain type, and I do not mean to be vague, but I devoted an entire post to the definition of these systems back in March. To fully appreciate my position here, that relatively short post might need to be revisited, but let us call them "value systems" (to further the point made in that post) as we compare FOFOA's characterizations to my own.

Among the commonly accepted labels that define these organic and ever changing value systems we find "Communism", "Capitalism" and "Socialism" to name a few. Now in this particular passage taken from FOFOA's recent post we learn:
But I do believe that Communism is evil, and therefore I believe that the political left leans toward the evil end of the spectrum. That does not mean that I think all people on the political left are evil. I don't.
I do at least partly agree here that not all people on the political left are evil, but I disagree that Communism as a system is inherently evil. I believe that people can be evil, and that they can use political, economic or social systems to perpetrate that evil, but I do not believe that Capitalism, Socialism or Communism are inherently evil.

I do agree with FOFOA that Josef Stalin was evil, but I do not agree with any inference that Socialism is inherently evil. Neither do I believe that Capitalism is inherently evil (as many apparently do, moreso lately than in the past) but there is no doubt that certain people have used Capitalism to perpetrate evil, just as they have used Political Correctness to perpetrate evil in the name of freedom, Democracy and so on ...

Fascism, or Corporatism is a system that I have difficulty finding any redeeming qualities to defend, but I think that depends upon its definition. Again, if you look at the post linked earlier from March, the "definition" of Fascism contains many negative connotations drawn from the historical implementations of Fascist regimes, and yet government and corporations could work together in a morally virtuous way.

Not to get off track here, but it is PEOPLE who are evil, and the systems they use to perpetrate evil (whether we agree with them or not) are merely the tools of their choice to do so in a larger way. If a group of Satanists got together and did nothing but conjure up spells to help the poor, heal the sick and spread peace on earth, would they be evil? Would they be Satanists? Ahhhh, there's the point - it is our definitions of the systems that matters after all. We define Satanism as evil people doing evil things, therefore the idea of Satanists practicing altruism and humanistic philanthropy does not fit our description of the system - it is defined by the behavior of the system's adherents.

I make this point not to belabor it, but rather to emphasize that semantics are important, and we must be careful not to generalize (as the politically correct movement often does to harvest the allegiance of impressionable minds into their camp). Otherwise, we fall prey into the same logical invalidation as those who would characterize Capitalism as evil, based on such evil as the fraud perpetrated upon the middle classes under the concept of TOO BIG TO FAIL.

It is not Capitalism, but rather immoral (or "evil" if you will) PEOPLE that wrote liar loans, rated junk securities AAA and sold pure shit to the world packaged as solid, risk-free financial assets. Sadly, history will remember that these evils (and many others) were perpetrated under the "label" of capitalism, and maturing generations will (as they are already) begin to define Capitalism as "evil" just as Fascism or Communism are sometimes defined today.

Acts of good or evil are what define the systems that label these acts, and it is PEOPLE who carry out the actions - therein lies the morality which then characterizes the system.

In the end, as I said back in March, the character of our "money" - as it denominates our "values" is represented by the PEOPLE who issue it. This is especially true when the money is FIAT which of course is issued by whim or by decree. There are motives behind the issuance of FIAT and we have long ago reached a point where those motives can be judged as "corrupt but necessary" or in some cases just simply corrupt.

Gold on the other hand is not "issued" by a few keystrokes. Gold does not have morally questionable ulterior motives, nor does it engender politically correct valuations. Gold has no political agenda. Gold has no moral judgement. It has always been called "honest money" for these very reasons.


  1. STATE Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, etc. is evil.

    VOLUNTARY Socialism, Communism, Capitalism, etc. is good.

    I used to be a follower of FOFOA, back when Blondie, Cosata, VTC et. al. were contributors. When they left, so did my interest.

    Since you are still following him, I wonder what the FOFOAites have to say about this:


  2. While I can't speak for all of them, I don't think true advocates of FREEGOLD indulge much in "manipulation theory".

    Because so little real metal is involved in the currency price of gold, it is subject to the same incongruities as any traded item in the markets. I don't think that falls under the manipulation label of the typical gold-bug mentality.

    More gold proxies are traded on a given day than all the above ground gold (represented by current prices) that exists in the world (more to the point of Freegold than some one-off daily buy or sell).

    Some people would like to believe that our markets will always operate this way, and that derivatives can grow infinitely and indefinitely.

    Should we live long enough, we shall see.

    Thanks for stopping by ...

  3. Thanks for the response. I have often wondered what conversations happen behind FOFOA's paywall, given that the EU appears to be breaking up, and with it perhaps the ECB. Although who knows, they still possess 900 tonnes of gold, so perhaps they will remain as a quasi-private super-national currency.

    You may find Martin Armstrong's cycles analysis useful, although at times he is a bit opaque to my understanding.

    1. I think the EU gold remains relevant as BRIC currencies gain credibility from equity backing vs. debt. Not just in gold accumulation, but in the nature of their equity stakes in trade deals and OBOR partnerships. The Yuan being included in the SDR was a pretty big deal last month.

      Jim Rickards increasingly warrants interest.