The Duran: Dismantling Family & Faith Destroys Society

RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss the Dayton, Ohio shooting in which nine people and the suspect were killed, and the El Paso, Texas Walmart shooting where 22 people were killed before the gunman was taken alive.

My comment: Peter Lavelle mentioned the ID propaganda spewed on Netflix, saying that all the men depicted in those movies are either weaklings, cowards, morons, or psychopaths. I personally don’t watch Netflix and have stopped watching mainstream movies a long while ago; but am well aware of the cultural and political propaganda these productions contain. Lavelle touched on the economic situation and on the issue of young men who find themselves in a position of involuntary celibacy; and that most women simply won’t marry men who make less money than they do. Single parent families were invoked as well, the absence of the father in children’s lives. The argument is made that things like porn, social media, and video games cannot fill the void created by the absence of family and faith. I wholly concur, and no sane human could object to that in my opinion. As far as mass shootings are concerned… there was only one mass shooting in the 1960s, ditto for the 1970s. And back then, racist political forces were part of the mainstream. The guns were always there. What changed?

In a recent article, Addiction, Polygamy, and Neofeudalism, I tried to tackle the larger phenomenon of socio-economic and spiritual decay, but failed short in doing so. Sadly, my longer articles don’t do nearly as well as my shorter ones. In another recent piece, I expose blatant anti-heterosexual propaganda in an NBC article from 2018.

Nearly a quarter of surveyed millennials claim they don’t have any friends. In order to even begin to understand the situation we’re facing today, it’s important to have a look at history. People may be familiar with dystopian novels like Huxley’s Brave New World [1932] or We by Evgheni Zamiatin [1924]… But I show the reader the broad scheme for mass social engineering, the effects of which we’re living today, published in the year 1915. The following is not fiction, it’s a precise statement of political action.

“The historical mission of our world revolution is to rearrange a new culture of humanity to replace the previous social system. This conversion and reorganization of global society requires two essential steps, firstly the destruction of the old established order, secondly, the design and imposition of the new order, the first stage requires elimination of all frontier borders, nationhood and culture, public policy, ethical barriers and social definitions. Only then, the destroyed old system elements can be replaced by the imposed system elements of our new order.

The first task of our world revolution is destruction. All social strata and social formations created by traditional society must be annihilated. Individual men and women must be uprooted from their ancestral environment, torn out of their native milieus, no tradition of any type shall be permitted to remain as sacrosanct. Traditional social norms must also be viewed only as a disease to be eradicated. The ruling dictum of the new order is, nothing is good so everything must be criticized and abolished. Everything that was must be gone.

The forces preserving traditional society are “free market capitalism” in the social economic realm, and “democracy” in the mental political realm. The capitalist free market does not fight against the old economic order, nor does democracy lead a fierce hot battle against the forces of reaction which oppose the new order, therefore our transformative work will be imposed through the unifying principle of the militaristic spirit, the negative task of destroying the old established order will be completely solved and finished only when all the human masses are all forcibly collectivized as uniformed soldiers under imposed mass-conformity of new order culturing.

After destruction of the old order, construction of the new order is a larger and more difficult task…..We will have torn out the old limbs from their ancient roots in deep layers, social norms will be lying disorganized and anarchic so they must be blocked against new cultural forms and social categories naturally re-emerging. The general masses will have been first persuaded to join as equals in the first task of destroying their own traditional society and economic culture, but then the new order must be forcibly established through people again being divided and differentiated only in accordance with the new pyramidal hierarchical system of our imposed global monolithic new world order.” From the book/Manifesto, Der Geist des Militarismus, Stuttgart 1915, by Nahum Goldmann [a leading Zionist and founder of the World Jewish Congress]. From the English translation housed in the collection of the Leo Baeck Institute, p.37 – 38.

The neo-Marxist currents we see today, ever entrenching themselves in public and private institutions, increasingly curating our language, shaming and slandering anyone who dares to take a different point of view, has mutated in such a fashion to become perfectly compatible with capitalism, even though they profess to hate it.

I’ll give two examples of individuals [famous in their own professions], just to point out the destructive nature of this ideology. My examples are adult film star Nina Hartley and economist Murray Rothbard. Both are Jews and come from communist families. Nina Hartley’s been an ardent supporter of the porn industry. While she stated that she wants everyone to have a piece of the [economic] pie, Hartley’s career has nothing to do with class struggle, but everything to do with spreading hedonism to all – a sexual revolution – not to empower the proletariat, but to distract it, and inevitably, demoralize it. Many icons of the counter-culture were in fact agents of the Deep State [CIA & other organizations], or useful idiots in their employ. Hartley is no exception. And just to point out her vain materialism and faux sympathy for class struggle, I recall some of her posts on Twitter, back when I had a presence on that dismal echo chamber. A woman, a porn actress, tweeted that her boyfriend had asked her to be exclusive with him, so she dumped him without a second thought and was quite proud of it. To that tweet, Nina Hartley replied something along the lines of, ‘Did he pledge to take care of you financially in exchange of you dropping your career? I don’t think so.’ Interesting emphasis put on “career” by a leftist; the “career” of sleeping with other men for money, as if no other profession is available for women or ex-porn actors. Evidently, the so-called socialist Nina Hartley had asked a rhetorical question. Her mind was made up from the start.

Now let’s go to Murray Rothbard. He too came from a Jewish, communist family. He grew up among communist friends and neighbors too. But unlike them, Murray chose anarcho-capitalism. Rothbard’s particular brand of radical libertarianism is all about rentier markets [neo-serfdom] and the individual’s right to choose freely [more illusion of choice]. An ironic thing is that Rothbard defended price monopoly, so long as the monopolist in question was a private agent and got in that position via fair competition. A short, concise take down of this particular view of his is found here. Rothbard was funded by the [pro-open borders, pro-usury, pro-rent-seeking] Koch brothers, until he had a falling out with them over ideological lines. The Kochs made their fortune in the USSR, fulfilling contracts for Stalin, then used that money to fund the libertarian ideology in the USA, and later the Tea Party movement.

Is this what communist families produce? Are Hartley and Rothbard the norm, or the exception? I would say they’re the exception, because if we look at the actual policies of the communist republics, the State made it its mission to protect and promote the traditional family, condemned and combated hedonistic ideas and activities, ensured housing, jobs, health care, and education for all: men and women. Indeed, when the internationalist fervor died down, the national communists affirmed themselves. Romania’s Gheorghe Gheorghiu Dej famously put it to the Soviets that first and foremost, he was Romanian, and a communist second. The idea of the nation wasn’t sacrificed in favor of Globalization – quite the opposite, the nation state was resurrected and civic nationalism [as opposed to cosmopolitanism] was promoted. Romanian political dissident, Octavian Paler, in his old age, though a strong believer in misanthropy, didn’t fail to criticize Romania’s socio-economic and moral scene after ’89; and he didn’t fail to acknowledge the good things in the pre ’89 epoch.

To put it simply, without order, without purpose, life is a chore to live. Spiritual rot ultimately leads to emptiness, alienation, the destruction of the self, of the family, of the community… Some may criticize me for bemoaning the slow, but steady social implosion of the United States of America. After all, in its role of hegemon, is the biggest purveyor of terrorism. Yet, I can’t bring myself to wish a pox on other nations. I have friends in the US, and even if I didn’t, it would still be wrong to wish evil on others.

I’m an adept of the great Erasmus [de Rotterdam]. Back in 1995, Donald Phau wrote a superb article on him, “the educator’s educator.” The Platonic Christian outlook of Erasmus was reflected in northern Europe by the work of the Brotherhood of the Common Life, and later by the Oratorian Order. The Brotherhood, founded in the 14th century by Gerhard Groote, was dedicated to mass education, including the poor, and from an early age. Their teaching method encouraged their students to study the original writings and discoveries of the ancient Greeks. Instead of employing formalisms to be learned by rote, children were encouraged to replicate the actual creative thinking of the original authors. Erasmus carried forth the Brotherhood’s method in his writings throughout his life.

The printing and mass circulation of Erasmus’ books led to an unprecedented leap in literacy throughout Europe. In addition, he collaborated with leading intellectuals in England and Spain to revolutionize teaching methods, by developing a school curriculum which remains to this day a foundation for education. In the area of statecraft, Erasmus was in personal contact with most of the monarchs of Europe and called on them to emulate Plato’s “philosopher king.” At the same time, his works addressed the wider population on the issue of national sovereignty. Erasmus foresaw the necessity for an educated population to freely elect its own government. Lastly, he was in the forefront of a movement to reform the institution of the Catholic Church, to end its corruption and toleration of superstition. And when Venetian interests pitted Luther’s Reformation and the Church against each other with the goal to destroy the legacy of the Renaissance, Erasmus, virtually alone, fought for a reconciliation based on a Platonic Christian dialogue.

Since Alex Christoforou and Peter Lavelle were talking about the alienation of young men, the erosion of faith and family [the main pillars of a well-functioning society], I feel the next paragraphs from Donald Phau are seminal to remedy the problem.

A letter to a young teacher, written in 1516, shows Erasmus’ commitment to lift Europe’s 95 percent out of ignorance. The teacher, Johann Witz, had written to Erasmus that he was considering quitting the profession and moving instead to a higher paying and more influential position, perhaps at court. Erasmus replied the following…

To be a school master is an office second in importance to a King. Do you think it a mean task to take your fellow-citizens in their earliest years, to instill into them from the beginning sound learning and Christ himself, and return them to your country as so many honorable upright men? Fools may think this is a humble office; in reality, it is very splendid. […] No one does more for it [one’s country] than the man who shapes its unformed young people, provided he himself is learned and honorable – and you are both, so equally that I do not know in which of them you surpass yourself. […] An upright man who is above all temptation is what that office needed, a man devoted to his duties even if he is paid nothing.”

Author William Wertz describes the teaching at one of the Brotherhood schools, as designed by Groote: “Imitating Christ themselves, the teachers […] preferred loving warnings to harsh punishments, sought to inculcate a love for individual research by letting pupils delve among the classics rather than confine themselves to text books, and taught the boys the use of their vernacular language. Poor pupils were given money for books, ink, and paper they needed in school. […] The basic idea is that the way to self-improvement is to think about an appropriate saying which helps one to overcome whatever obstacle to creative thinking arises in one’s mind at the moment it occurs.”

Gottfried Leibniz, one of history’s great polymaths, in a paper called Society & Economy from 1671, envisioned that artisans will work together happily in the large work rooms, singing and conversing, except for those whose work requires more concentration. On the question of education, Leibniz wished for children to be taken care of by Society. Parents shall be relieved of the task of educating their own children: All children… shall be rigorously brought up by women in public facilities. And scrupulous attention will be paid that they do not become overcrowded, are kept clean, and that no diseases arise. Note Leibniz’s desire for women to be part of, what Erasmus considered, the most important function in society, second only to that of the monarch.

Most of the work will be done in the morning. Pains will be taken to provide for pleasures other than drinking – for example, discussions of their craft and the telling of all sorts of funny stories, whereby they must be provided with something to quench their thirst, such as acida. There is no greater pleasure for a thoughtful man, or indeed for any man once he becomes accustomed, than being in a company where pleasant and useful things are being discussed; and thus every group, including the artisans, should have someone to write down any useful remarks that may be made. But the Society’s highest rule shall be to foster true love and trustfulness among its members, and not to express anything irritating, scornful, or insulting to others. Indeed, even rulers should eschew all insults unless nothing else is effective, since such behavior precludes the establishment of trust. No man shall be derided for a mistake, even if it be a serious one; rather, he should be gently admonished in a brotherly way, and at the same time, immediately and appropriately punished. Punishment shall consist in increased and heavier work, such as making a master work like a journeyman, or a journeyman like an apprentice.

My own philosophy is a mixture of what I discovered in my quest for knowledge throughout the years. I’m a Westphalian National Socialist and Georgist. By national socialism, I don’t mean Nazism / Hitlerism, but a philosophy completely divorced, purged of racist, supremacist ideology and imperialistic ambitions. One might also call it Christian Socialism, or Cooperative Individualism. The State has a fundamental role to look after the security and welfare of its citizens. Georgism is the philosophy that Land forms the Natural Commons, is not a commodity, and it should be taxed instead of labor, buildings, sales, and enterprise. And the Westphalian philosophy refers to a sisterhood of sovereign nation states, in which past transgressions and enmities are forgotten and forgiven in perpetuity, and each works for the benefit and dignity of the other: no nation prospers at the expense of another’s injury.

As economist and historian Michael Hudson points out, “To understand the crucifixion of Jesus is to understand it was his punishment for his economic views [crucifixion being a punishment reserved especially for political dissidents]. He was a threat to the creditors [rent-seekers and usurers].” Evangelical Christians are pro-war Zionists, pro-usury, pro-rent-seeking, and their loathsome, heretical ways don’t and cannot offer the meaning and structure craved by today’s demoralized masses. If religion cares not for the poor, it is useless and unable to steer Mankind toward a future worthy of pursuit. Without a holistic approach to one’s life, family, faith, community, and parent nation, the Great Adversary [an expression I use to anthropomorphize the forces of socio-economic and spiritual decay] will have permanent dominion upon this earth.

Addiction, Polygamy, and Neofeudalism

by Serban V.C. Enache

We shall see how chemical thralldom, cultural and class warfare lead to demoralization, disease, violence, and political instability.

More than 70 percent of societies studied by anthropologists allowed men to have more than one wife. Polygyny has seen a decline over the past centuries. But in recent times, it’s been on the rise, even in countries where it’s still technically outlawed. Four years ago, professor Valerie Hudson wrote a thoroughly convincing article on the threat to national security posed by polygyny. I’ve never been a fan of this marriage system, ditto for polyandry, and my instinct on this matter turned out in line with actual reality. It’s from Valerie Hudson I borrowed the most important points for this blog post.

Polygyny was legalized in 2013 in post-Gaddafi Libya, alongside the de facto resurrection of the slave trade there – thanks to the wonderful liberals and humanitarians in NATO. There are also factions in Tunisia who are pushing for the legalization of polygamy. Even in post-Soviet countries like Kyrgyzstan, polygyny is a hot topic on the agenda. Legalization attempts failed there in 2010, only because polyandry [a woman having multiple husbands] would have had to be legalized as well. Almost all the upper class men from Kyrgyzstan have more than one wife [between two and four, usually acquired around the age of 18].

According to a Gallup survey from 2015, 16 percent of Americans consider polygamy as morally acceptable; in 2003, only 7 percent held that view. Some analysts predict full legalization [of polygyny and polyandry] in Western countries in the next decades. This trend isn’t a positive phenomenon, in fact, folks should be alarmed.

Historically speaking, polygyny [a man taking multiple wives] is the most common form of polygamy. Research has shown plenty of problems directly created by the socio-economic and cultural system of polygyny. Maternal mortality rates are five times higher in societies with the highest rates of polygyny compared to those with the lowest rates. Women in these societies also have reduced life expectancy compared to monogamous societies, the difference being around 20 years in lifespan. Polygynous societies exhibit levels of sex trafficking and domestic violence [toward women] twice as high compared to monogamous or low-polygyny societies, while the risk of female genital mutilation in strong polygynous societies jumps by a factor of 100. And when it comes to children, boys and girls face a higher risk of malnutrition and receive less education, narrowing social mobility.

There’s more to it, though. Polygyny, at its core a rigid class system, is a threat to national security as well. It creates a strong imbalance between the wed and those unwed, seeking a spouse. If each man takes more than one wife, it leaves other men [usually from the lower classes], without any wives at all. Nearly half the boys in polygynous cultures need to be removed from their primary community at puberty in order to sustain this imbalance whereby few [older, wealthier, more influential men] claim a disproportionate share of women for themselves. Because these estranged boys tend to come from the poorer segments of society and are often left with less education and little social support, few choices are available to them, short of violence, to carve out their own destiny. A strong link between the number of greenhorns taken in by terrorist groups and the prevalence of polygyny has also been identified.

Greater competition among men looking for wives leads to unstable political situations – and as a consequence, increased government repression to contain the phenomenon. Highly polygynous societies sport rigid [unmeritocratic] hierarchies and despotic governments. Historian and anthropologist Laura Betzig studied 186 societies around the globe and found a strong correlation between polygyny and despotism. Compared to monogamous societies, these countries grant far fewer civil and political rights to their citizens, men and women.

Anthropologists also found strong links between polygyny and warfare. It fuels tensions between men who are seeking to reproduce, and those men or forces who deny it to them – “the first law of intergroup conflict [civil war].” Polygynous societies are more likely to engage in expansionist warfare as a means to distract low-status males without wives. Countries with higher rates of polygyny spend significantly more money on weapons. In studies examining more than 140 states, Valerie Hudson and her colleagues found that polygyny is strongly linked with lower levels of national security and political stability. A great many scholars across the social sciences, who studied the relationship between polygyny and violence inside and among groups, conclude the same. Real academic consensus exists on the critical subject matter of polygyny. These solid correlations hold true regardless of region, faith or culture. The negative socio-economic and political dynamics associated with polygyny are not bugs in the system, they are its features. The system’s math creates a pool of disgruntled young adult men who [rightly] seek to oppose the establishment. In these marriages, when the females suffer from structural inequality and subjugation, and this state of affairs is built into family culture, the boys who grow up into men under under this way of life, come to regard women as 2nd class citizens against whom violence is acceptable. Under this rotten script [the script authored by and for the select few men], polygyny generates ever-growing cycles of violence within and between individuals and societies.

This particular blight is growing in the East as well, in the former soviet republics. While the consequences of the one child policy, and of sterilization [population control policies inspired and sponsored by Western Governments and Western NGOs] are felt in countries like India, China, Vietnam, and Korea; where an imbalance in the gender population is causing a huge wave of child abductions due to a lack of women for marriage. Around 170 million women are ‘missing’ from the demographic count; they were never born due to State policy agendas, touted as humanist programs destined for humanitarian purposes.

The polytheist Romans and Greeks were wise enough to practice monogamy. For Europe, the USA, and other countries, monogamy is a legacy of our pagan ancestors and must be defended at all costs. Even the Zionist state of Israel has outlawed polygamy ever since 1977, despite the fact Judaism approves the practice. Israeli state planners understood the threat polygamy poses to the stability of the country.

Chemical thralldom and disease

In the US the situation is very alarming. More and more adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s compared to the mid 2000s suffered serious psychological breakdown: major depression episodes, suicidal ideation, and suicide attempts. The rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression increased by 52 percent in adolescents from 2005 to 2017 and 63 percent in young adults from 2009 to 2017. The rate of young adults with suicidal thoughts or other suicide-related outcomes increased 47 percent from 2008 to 2017.

In the last decade, cultural trends have had a much bigger impact on young people compared with older generations. Higher levels of social media use are also believed to be responsible, especially in the case of teenagers. Youngsters are also sleeping less than previous generations.

Almost 80 percent of the global pharmaceutical opioid supply is consumed in the United States. The problem has spread to other countries as well, particularly among young adults. It seems that medical doctors get less and less knowledgeable on drug addiction, when it comes to causes and treatment; or perhaps more of them are earning commissions by recommending drugs to people who don’t need them. Drugs used for non-medical reasons is a global concern, primarily driven by the large and growing phenomenon of non-medical use of prescription opioids in young demographics. Prescription drugs are legal and are easier to procure than most illegal drugs. Most drug‐related deaths worldwide are caused by prescription opioid or heroin overdoses. A recent review has illustrated worldwide increased rates of deaths from prescription opioids. In Europe, prescription opioids account for three‐quarter of overdose deaths, which represent 3.5% of total deaths among 15‐39 year olds.

Non-medical use of stimulants and prescription opioids among adolescents and young adults is also linked to the increased [harmful] use of other substances. Greater social acceptance for using these medications as alternatives to controlled substances and the myth they’re safe may be a contributing factor to their misuse. There are negative consequences of sharing with others medications prescribed for our own ailments. Equally important is the need for medical practitioners and their staff to recognize patients who seek to consume substances for non-medical purposes, to consider and implement alternative treatments and closely monitor the medications they dispense to these patients.

The World Health Organization reports more than 1 million STIs are acquired every single day. An STI is a sexually transmitted infection that hasn’t yet evolved into a disease. Since the majority of STIs have no symptoms or only mild ones, most people have no clue they’re carriers. Mexico has the highest number of HIV cases in all of Latin America; and 60 percent of HIV carriers don’t know they have it. England, last year, registered a 5 percent increase in STIs. Gonorrhoea is at its highest in 40 years. Syphilis went up as well, at over 7,500 cases. A new high in STIs was reported in the United States too. Nearly 2.3 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis—200,000 more than in 2016, which was a record-breaking year in its own right. The Center for Disease Controlled said the country was going backwards, showing a steep and sustained increase in sexually transmitted infections in recent years. Growth from 2016 to 2017 is concerning, but the data from just six years ago is quite alarming. For instance, syphilis cases went up by 76 percent, particularly among men who have sex with men, albeit infection rates in women are also on the rise. We’ll see how quickly these STIs develop into diseases, given rising levels of substance abuse, pollution, lower quality food, hormone-ridden water, and depression all taking their toll on the body’s immune system.

Neofeudal economics and xenophilia

Ever since the Democrat and Republican parties moved away from their pro-labor platforms throughout the decades, becoming staunch supporters of the ultra rich [rent-seekers, usurers, and war profiteers] and their exclusivist economic agenda [of Globalization], the working class put up with the demise of the industrial economy and the rise of the service economy [mutated today into the gig sector] – while every aspect of human life was financialized. Value no longer shapes prices. Prices shape value. That’s how we end up with seemingly paradoxical situations like wages stagnating, despite unemployment going down, and the top 0.1 percent’s share of income growing while inequality [the GINI coefficient] is on the downward trend. Western public institutions are being systematically defunded. Even if the money sums may not show it, these essential public services are shrinking in real terms. Prison populations are exploding while the staff is downsized. In the UK, psychiatrists, nurses, teachers, and dentists have been reduced six times over, compared to ten years ago. Literacy levels are dreadful and only getting worse.

Class and cultural warfare are now waged on all levels, visible and invisible, directly and indirectly – because the working class has been divided and demoralized up to the hilt. Solidarity has evaporated; we pretty much only hear of it when it comes to a particular group’s self-interest, but never different groups working together on principle. Contemporary liberals and the so-called SJWs [Social Justice Warriors] have a profound disdain for the white working class, no longer viewing it as seminal for progress, but wishing it didn’t exist. There is more propaganda today than ever before in human history. The Western virus of addiction, degeneracy, and neo-serfdom is spreading like wildfire, despite populist resistance here and there. This ‘woke’ future is going to be a lot closer to a dystopia than anything else.

I’d like to close this article with George Washington’s thoughts on xenophilia and geopolitics from 1796. If you read between the lines, Washington was making the case against imperialism, and his insight remains strongly relevant to this day.

“So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils. Such an attachment of a small or weak [country] towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.”

One may be tempted to conclude that two factions are at odds with each other: the pro-war xenophiles vs the pro-war xenophobes. But that view is incorrect. The Republican party just exploits the issues of open borders and outsourcing, feigning opposition. Their corporate backers want unlimited immigration and persistent unemployment in order to put downward pressure on wages and to squeeze extra labor for poorer working conditions and lower pay. You don’t like my terms? Get out. There are a thousand like you willing to take this job. They don’t want it reversed on them. Hey, are you going to give me a decent package? Because fifty other firms are willing to take me on.

The Koch Brothers are the perfect example on this issue. They promote this brand of ‘business conservatism’ who eats into the very flesh of working Americans and [ironically] their own customer base, and they also promote the deranged libertarian current, which is actually feudalism [and hedonism] with the word liberty thrown in to entice suckers at the bottom who foolishly dream that – one day – they too will become like Bezos [a self-professed libertarian], provided they work hard enough. And when they achieve that goal, they’ll also want Government “off their back” [aka. will want Government to subsidize them even more and protect them from the ‘dirty’ masses].

Argentinian Depression

by Serban V.C. Enache

Leaving aside Venezuela for a moment, I thought we’d focus on the situation in Argentina. This article will contain a lot of graphs, so please bear with me. We will look at the symptoms and then formulate a diagnosis.

When looking at the inflation rate, we see that things started going erratic with 2014. And with 2016, it went from bad to worse.

Next, we’ll look at the Unemployment Rate and the Labor Force Participation Rate. These two graphs paint a contradictory picture. The latter went up a bit, which is good, while the former went up as well, which is bad.

How about Industrial Production? Nightmare stats for 2018 and the beginning of 2019.

Let’s get a wider view on Industrial Production. It’s a nightmare.

What about overall capacity utilization? Monstrous.

What about Monetary Policy? The Central Bank’s key interest rate is in the double digits and its highest peak in 2018 was at about 75 percent.

The interbank rate, the rate at which banks lend reserves to each other short-term, is similar to the previous graph, as is normal.

Argentina’s minimum wages graph also sheds important insight, as we see the reactive picture to the economic and financial ailments outlined previously. Labor Unions in Argentina are very powerful, and often strike during negotiations. We see that between 2010 and 2012, and between 2012 and 2014, minimum wage growth follows the same speed, more or less, but it accelerates between 2014 and 2016, and it goes even faster in the next years.

Let’s look at Argentina’s foreign exchange reserves. FX reserves have been going up dramatically compared to the 2014-2016 period. In January this year, Argentina had 60.3 billion US dollars in reserves. This situation is due to the Government obtaining money from the IMF.

Household debt to GDP tells us that from 2017 it started to grow, reaching a peak of almost 7.5 percent of GDP in 2018.

How about gasoline prices? Not what you’d expect. It actually went down by a bit in recent years.

Tax-wise, things have stayed the same. The company tax, the personal income tax, the sales tax, and social security taxes have remained unchanged. Exports remained relatively stable, while imports grew between 2017 and 2018. Argentina’s imports tend to decrease on the heels of each year.

Can’t find faults in the macros here. The Argentinian Domestic Private Sector has been building equity year-after-year since 2011. In 2017, it incurred a slight deficit of 0.9 percent. Unfortunately, the macro numbers for 2018 aren’t available yet.

Was the weather different? If you suspected something like a drought, you nailed it. During the 2017-2018 season, the country experienced drought-level moisture and high temperatures. The national average yield was almost 30 percent worse than in the previous year, with losses calculated at about 3.4 billion dollars.

Conclusion

We have a bad harvest, a collapse in industrial production and overall capacity utilization, rising unemployment, a financial bottleneck due to high interest rate monetary policy, households taking on 2 extra percentage points of GDP in debt, the negative current account almost doubling in size in one year [2017], and the minimum wage rising faster than usual due to the high inflation. Note: changes in the minimum wage impact the entire wage structure at varying degrees according to specific circumstances. Note: we should take the official stats with a grain of salt, particularly the labor figures. My friend from Buenos Aires, Diego Lattes, would be first to say so, and I’d say the same about Romania.

The Government of Mauricio Macri is an outright disaster. Inflation and economic contraction made Macri turn to the IMF. Last year his Government agreed to a 56.3 billion dollar loan, accepting in turn strict [arbitrary] targets set by that vulture institution. Mauricio Macri is center right, so that tells you all you need to know about his policies; ditto if he was center left. I reiterate, Macri’s Government is a disaster. Argentinians should reject his so-called reforms and plan to balance the budget, and should vote him out at the next election. This mess can only get worse with him in office.

Argentina requires investment. And it needed it yesterday. The mainstream media and alternative media, outlets like Zerohedge, all like to invoke the Government printing money and corruption as the cause for Argentina’s ailments. Most countries on earth print money [a crude way of saying they run fiscal deficits]. Most countries on earth are corrupt, including the developed ones, including the super powers. But how did they develop? Surely they didn’t develop by “abolishing” corruption, for lack of a better word. No. They developed through investment, through credit – they didn’t first make the output and then come up with money for it, but vice-versa. Argentina needs better policies and better people in Government.

For more information on the inflation problem, see The Cure For Hyperinflation. Solutions are found at the end of that article.