Power!

Last night after writing a post, I got a nasty virus.   A piece of ransom ware that I can't remove without professional assistance.   I'm supposed to send a check or money order to some branch of the US Government to unlock my computer.   The people who write these virus's are the dregs of society.  Whether these programs are written by organized crime or a bunch of tech savvy teenagers with nothing to do, these individuals have no moral compass and are bend on destruction for destruction sakes and are a weak man's form of power.    There is nothing worse than rewriting a piece that you have completed.  So instead of torturing myself, I've decided to write on another topic and that is POWER and the role it plays in political and financial systems.  I've not seen this topic dealt with by anybody because it's a topic that has rarely been dealt with.  

As I read commentary by insiders such as Catherine Austin Fitts, Jim Rickards, Paul Craig Roberts or any number of insiders who have seen from the inside the lies and manipulations,  I hear as a general rule or formula "this is their plan and how they intend for it to unfold."   Its not that I do not think their insights are important but I also listen to see if they acknowledge a more silent, often imperceptible dynamic at work.  The Laws of Power!

Most people can spot a power game at work and call it out.   That is not much of a trick.  There is a more subtle dynamic at work whether it's the angry guy in the office who shields his ego by wielding what little influence he has over a few people granted to him by the power of the corporation or the insidious power plays of governments s hell bend at suppressing liberties of individuals.  

Power actually operates as a set of cause and effect laws that have been observed throughout time and talked about by philosophers such as Plato and Machiavelli.  Shakespeare understood these silent forces and incorporated these archetypical forces in his writings.  These laws play out in the affairs of men but it takes understanding and acute powers of observation to connect outcomes to the causation that might have begun years before.  This is where the study of cycles becomes important to be able to trace the outcomes of today to their casual beginnings.   The human species is often short sighted and forgets how the mistakes of previous generations are effecting current affairs.   So when a political insider tells us that the elite intent in pursuing such a such a course, I am reminded of  the quote "all the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry"

If you read the history of Rome, you'll find 100's of different reasons attributed to it's decline.  Everything from the lead they put in the pots and pans, imperialist over reach and the debasement of it's money.  Doug Casey counted 180 reasons that he found attributed to Rome's decline.  SRSRocco has also provided a very noteworthy analysis of the Roman experiment with more energy In, than energy out.    I don't disagree.  Yet, I would suggest an even more fundamental flaw, POWER!     I have yet to read one contributor to the decline of Rome that doesn't fit into this broad category.

The study of Power is interesting in that there are very few scholarly writings on the subject yet our political and financial systems are entirely based on Power structures and individuals channeling their power through institutions such as government, banks and corporations.  Power or lack of  it is the human emotion that more than any other  that makes for great literature, history and ensures that the 6 o'clock news is never without a news story, yet we know little about it.  

Most of us have a familiarity with some principles of economics and finance.  We learn that money and markets behave according to certain principles such as the laws of supply and demand, Gresham's law, laws of cycles and too many to mention.  Adam Smith's "Wealth of nations' is a discourse in principles and observations of the political economy.   However, if we want to look at the laws of power, we find a great gap in modern theories.  This is a brief overview of the dynamics of personal power.   They are quite similar to the dynamics of institutional which would encompass political and economic power.

Machiavelli understood that power was like drug stronger than cocaine.  A man on power probably feels a euphoria unlike any synthetic drug know to mankind.   Imagine what Obama or any president must feel like day after day having at is disposal the worlds largest military, men standing, saluting him, trumpet calls and an entire staff at his beg and call every minute of the day.  The greatest sports stars, musicians, artists, businessman and men in just about any field come to his front door for an opportunity to have a picture with Mr. President.  Seldom do men who have experienced this euphoria ever want to ever relinquish it.      There is actually a physical and emotional withdrawal that men go through after loosing power.

Adolf A. Berle was no stranger to power.  He was the ultimate  insider of his day having served FDR, JFK and Lyndon Johnson.   He was a close advisor to FDR as a member of FDR's working group known as the "Brain Trust"  A lawyer, educator, author, and U.S. diplomat.   Berle wrote a modern day classic on the nature of power in his classic "Power"  Berles insights come as a result of decades of service as a diplomat and advisors to three very powerful and historically important presidents. Probably no modern day President used political, economic and the power of the media more to his advantage than FDR. 

POWER VS CONTROL

While Berles books is filled with brilliant insights, five laws of power and many other postulates and case histories,  I'd like to focus on just one of those ideas.  The idea of power vs control.   They are not synonymous.  As Berle points out, decisions to use power is the desire by the power holder to control events and events do not necessarily follow the power holders intentions.

I know in the last two years that Turdville has a vast array of opinions on the nature of future of events, system collapsing/not collapsing, dollar collapse/not, hyperinflation/stagflation and recently whether or not it is possible for the power holders and the financial elite to loose control or if all events and plans from bail-ins to bank collapses are part of a greater plan.   Lets look at what Berle might have to say if he could give his voice to any of  these discussion. 

In his final chapter "The Decline of Power-Epilogue in America"  Very fortuitous title for a book written over 50 years ago.  Don't you think?  The author has a mock conversation with the Roman God Zeus'

"You are assumed to control events.  You say, "Go' and men go: 'Come,' and they come.  You can arrange, within measure, that armies take or leave the field.  In extremes you can say, "this man may live; that man, die.' You achieve a measure of order, for that is the condition of power.  but i do not see that events follow your will." Zeus summarizes  "Power Exists.  At any given minute, any given man may be completely in its grip. Or, for that matter, kingdoms or continents.  When I say you take too seriously, I mean you assume it's lasting effects can be willed by it's holder.  This is an illusion." 

Keynesian Theory is based on Power

KT in a nutshell is a basically a treatise on economic power.  More specifically economic power guided by the forces of political power.   As consumers, we all have a modicum of economic power although it might pail in comparison to a corporation or an individual such as Warren Buffett.  You have the right to make consumer choices, choose your investments, decide what prices you are willing to pay for those things you buy. Political power at this time seeks to limit those powers, nonetheless, you still possess free will to make choices in a repressive environment.   That's what essentially Turdville has been about.  Providing information so you can make the best choices.

Keynes basic premise was that economic disparity  can be controlled and the state can and must exercise a guiding influence on consumption and investment.  The state influences those who own the instruments of production and how the welfare and equilibrium of the economy should be in the hands of a few men and central control.  Fed monetary policy is our best examples that it is the first and final word on money production.  Outlaw competitive currencies, disable other forms of barter and issue fiat money backed by the force of the govt.

Unpredictability of Power Holder Decisions.

Power holders  recognize that their decisions often create unpredictable events.   Jim Rickards wrote his book "Currency Wars" based on simulation of a currency war game to entertain various outcomes to different decisions by the economic powers.   The US military and a myriad of government think tanks are full time dedicated to trying to predict the outcome of various scenarios that will occur as a result of a certain action.   Why do we need war games and simulated military, political and social experiments if the power holders were certain of the outcome and that they wouldn't loose control ?  Because they ultimately do not know the outcome of any initiative by the power holders.  If they knew, they would not hold simulation games and insurance companies wouldn't hire the smartest statisticians to be actuaries.   This all falls under Berles postulate that power can control the immediate outcome but not always all the resulting fallout of their use of force. 

If you are still in doubt, grab a Ouija board and ask Alexander the Great who met his defeat despite the warnings the Chaldeans that the sun would set on his kingdom, or Mussolini died at the hands of a mob.  When events are dictated by power and control, history shows that they don't unfold according to plan. 

The Cleveland Kidnapping story. Power loses Control

A man holds three woman captive for years.   He controls every aspect of their life.  He determines when they eat, sleep and when they can go outside.  He has total authority over his victims. However, one fateful day, a unique set of unforeseen circumstances converged all at once.   He left the front door unlocked.  One of the victims noticed it and began screaming while one of the neighbors next door was outside.  A combination of internal flaws and external circumstance ended the kidnappers dominance over his victims. He now faces life in prison plus a 1000 years.

I'm sure whatever narcissistic, deranged disease the kidnapper had is just a psychological theme and variation from what  Mussolini suffered from when he dreamt of a great Mediterranean empire, or Hitlers' dream of a new system to last a thousand years.  These dreams didn't  end well.   We can look at Napoleons' defeat in Waterloo and his eventual fate of being sent into exile where he died from stomach cancer.  What's the lesson these individual's teach us?   Personal power invariable meets defeat and often a destructive end before the power holders life ends.   

Power of men and institutions will continue to seek absolute power until it is interrupted.  It is a compulsive, self-feeding force, until it is countered.  Berle observed and filled his book with case history after case history of the three forces that interrupted personal power.  Briefly, those forces are

-Death
-They voluntary resign or abdicate their position or their term is completed.
-They are over thrown or illegitimately displaced through revolution or outside forces.

And there you have an overview of the dynamic of the laws of power.  So next time you read an insiders rendition of what the future holds, ask yourself, does the analyst entertain external unforeseen forces or is their analysis based on a closed system.   To summarize using Berles words:

 "I say power controls immediate events-but forces other than power determine their results."

67 Comments

Argent's picture

First

Metals on the up today.

jonoso's picture

wow

finally a bounce 

achmachat's picture

good day!

i like "power" ;-)

treefrog's picture

furth!

hi-yo silver!!! 

gold ain't lookin' too shabby either.

SilverTree's picture

POWER!

I-love-gold-goldmember.jpg

¤'s picture

Power ~ When Worlds Collide

I hope your computer gets well soon.

I know when I had my virus trouble online (35 viruses within 1 minute!) it was overwhelmed and almost frozen/locked up. It took awhile to untangle it on my end.

Good luck and thanks!

Computer_Virusteam.png

Monedas's picture

A Live Cat Jump !

The seldom used corollary .... to the morose "Dead Cat Bounce" .... for all you Market Ghouls !      Monedas     1929       Comedy Jihad Default Platoon Leader World Tour    devil

dudestacker's picture

fyi

I had that same malware bug hit me and I fixed it myself. No techie moi, but if you've backed up your files, just go back to a previous version when it was working properly.

And I much prefer the original: "the best-laid plans o' mice an' men gang aft agley."

To a Mouse

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"To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough"[1] is a Scots poem written by Robert Burns in 1785, and was included in the Kilmarnock volume. According to legend, Burns wrote the poem after finding a nest full of mice during the winter.

 
   

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
An' fellow mortal!

I doubt na, whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
A daimen icker in a thrave
'S a sma' request;
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
An' never miss't.

Thy wee-bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
Baith snell an' keen!

Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
Out thro' thy cell.

That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
An' cranreuch cauld.

But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!

Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But och! I backward cast my e'e,
On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
I guess an' fear!

English tranlation (don't know why it didn't come through side by side as in original c & p.)

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With argumentative chatter!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes you startle
At me, your poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blessed, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!

¤'s picture

Massive Leverage Pratically Guarantees This...

Fed Warns Leveraged ETFs Could Trigger 1987-Style "Cascade" In Stocks

In a 43-page research report, the Federal Reserve has authored a rather concerning tome warning that the mechanical positive-feedback rebalancing of Leverage ETFs (LETFs) resembles the portfolio insurance strategies, which contributed to the stock market crash of October 19, 1987. The impact of LETFs on broad stock-market indexes become significant during periods of high volatility (shown empirically in 2008/9 and H2 2011) as they show that LETF rebalancing in response to a large market move could amplify the move and force them to further rebalance which may trigger a “cascade” reaction. Furthermore, executing orders within a short period of time, such as the last hour of trading, may cause disproportionate price changes (especially in financial stocks). The Fed warns that a significant price reduction at market close may also impair investor confidence with accelerating depressed prices at the close potentially driving large investor outflows overnight....(cont.)

zerohedge.com

Green Lantern's picture

@dudestacker

can't go back to an earlier point.   The virus has locked me out of all safe modes.  Never happened before.  I think the Old Daily Bell site has some serious malware. 

No, I didn't have my documents backed up otherwise, I would not have had to write a new piece.  By the time I download the various softwares to boot from a CD, read directions, or post in one of those free computer forums, I can pay a professional to remedy it.   Stimulate the economy, feed his kids, and free me of a headache.   That's the beauty of fiat.  People are willing to exchange it for a service that free's  me of hours of pulling my hair out and reading a 1/2 dozen set of directions by well meaning people which bring you right back to where you started.    

Tabberto's picture

Viruses

Colloidal SILVER is good for viruses.

FWIW I'm not counting any chickens until we stick a close above 1346.  Clear resistance there to my amateur technical eye....Should we bust it in next 24 hours though I think the hedgies will start to mess up their calvins....

Patrancus's picture

Power

It ain't changing till the power changes and the power is not changing anytime soon.

TreeTop Dweller's picture

Power

GL,

Thank you for your contribution, good stuff!

Speaking of power, have you heard from Mr. Fix?

Hopefully one of his power experiments has not gone awry!

Strange that such a prolific poster can vanish...

Green Lantern's picture

I saw he was logged in

I saw he was logged in lurking but like many that are passively observing in the background. Cat Must have Got His tongue. 

Heck, I thought for sure yesterdays article by AM on stagflation, there would be one person, at least one, arguing the case of hyperinflation?   Dang, Not one.   They were too busy arguing over  fate of turdville, that even when the forums are  still free, nobody wants to talk about the most dastardly economic plan in centuries?  Some kind of strange psychology at work.

I wonder what happens to people and how they behave when things really start to break down?

Maybe the new war chant is not QE to infinity but QE to Poverty. 

mirvin's picture

The virus

Agreed with the dregs of society comment.  I had the same and had to boot up in safe mode.  Updated my anti-virus (because the virus blocked any anti-virus update downloads [treated the download as a threat, and stopped]).  Problem appeared to have gone away, but I ran a malware program also.  Haven't had the problem since.

Jakarta Expat's picture

@ Green Lantern

Where did you pick this virus up at? I mean I download all kinds of torrents from sites and the worst I have found are torrents originating from India that stopped me from watching anything on Youtube, screwed up my pdf programs as well as any kind of restoring from a restore point or just about anything else. I already had most of my files backed up, finally after a month of this I backed up the rest, found all of my activation codes for the various pieces of software I actually buy and reinstalled Windows 7 ultimate and all was well again. 

That virus sounds like something that Russian cyber gangs have come up with to shake down people.

abguy4's picture

@ Green

It feels like you were just getting started. I'm having a,  'GL Interruptus' moment here~!

As to the virus ---personal antidote;

I was trafficking some alternative news sites - haven't we all -  back a couple years ago. Got a nasty virus. Lock-up.

Tried everything a homebody could - no good.

So, off I go to my local (Very proficient) computer store, with locked-up computer in hand.

So, I ask the young computer jock;

"Who the hell is writing virus software SOOO G.D. sophisticated, that it can defeat all the protection software out there?"

Without batting an eye, and within the hearing distance of the other four service techs in the place he says;

"It's a Gov agency. You frequent a site where they don't want you to go - you get tagged. This is no secret - it's old news, it's been written about in every computer trade journal. These terminal viruses appear as fast as the anti-viruses are written. No one else but the Gov has those kind of resources - do they? You have heard about cyber-warfare for years now, haven't you? Well, you just got hit. Your taxes at work. They are inadvertently, or maybe not, making 95% of our service business, and new computer sales."

I stood there with a look on my face - like I had just been hit in the face with a hot horse ball.

Monedas's picture

Imagine That ?

A cyber attack .... or a pandemic of viruses .... just when you want to cover your shorts .... or liquidate you ETFs .... or buy something low .... under 1987 market sell off conditions .... be prepared .... take delivery .... if they still got any Gold left .... no one can be trusted with your Gold .... not even gold miners .... especially those in corrupt, foreign dictatorships .... with poor human rights records .... which includes about 95% of the World !        Monedas      1929        Comedy Jihad The Lieutenant's Been Shot Long Live The Default Platoon Leader World Tour   devil   PS:  Maybe that's why I got run off at XeroEdge .... I have a special, twisted way of seeing things .... calling Moochele a slut and stuff like that ?

Larry's picture

Powerful post, GL

As always, your posts are well worth the time to read. Thanks. Sorry'bout the 'puter. Try a Mac :)

Personal power (and the use for good and abuse of it for selfish endeavors), is a subject that delves into everything. Psychology, politics, business, Empires rising and falling, energy sources, nature's powerful forces and religion. We have the heavenly powers and dark forces that make the wicked doings of men stumble and fall (or they fall over their own hubris), no matter how great men, nations and governments see themselves or how they may be viewed by their subjects.

Empires always fall and man has always abused power. We've also seen the abuse, neglect and incompetence around nuclear power. That is an abuse that may change everything in this world.  

We often refer to TPTB around here. It's certainly real although not everything is always subject to its will in terms of the worldly institutions, secret societies, shadow governments, secret militaries and banking cartels. As you indicate, accidents happen, cause/effect, best laid plans, unintended consequences and such.  

On another note, it's nice to see gold, silver and the miners have a somewhat powerful day. 

Hawkman's picture

Wheee...Here we go!

What a great way to start the week...with a FRN25 ramp in the barbaric relic. Silver following suit.

Great post GL, thanks for your continuing contributions. Always worth reading and food for thought.

-Jack, an unabashed Robert Burns fan.

ag1969's picture

Mr Fix

Is busy doing a major home renovation by himself.  He'll be back when he is done.

Green Lantern's picture

Thanks Larry! Good to see

Thanks Larry! Good to see you.  My backup 'puter is a Mac;)

I think i got the virus on the Old Daily Bell Site. You know liberty, free markets etc..  I've been reading the archives.   yesterday, when I visited the sites, I got all these consecutive warnings of a virus so I shut it down immediately.   I won't be revisiting.   Too bad.

Later this pop window kept coming up to install new Java update.  Thats when the world went hay wire.

Jakarta Expat's picture

@GL

Yes the Indian cyber guys have had great results at programing viruses to ttake advantage of Oracle's Java software to the point that Oracle still does not have a 100% fix yet for it or it could just be those hard earned US tax dollars at work.

question's picture

Power Without Wisdom

or heart is even worse than power used with good intentions; it's not so much the actions that matter but the results of those actions. Once something is set in motion those "unintended consequences" can be a real embarrassment.

Klingon's picture

If you can get it to start at

If you can get it to start at all in safe mode, try using a different browser (like chrome) to download the latest free version of superantispyware.com or malwarebytes.org.

A few days ago I spent hours on my wife's computer trying to de-virus it. Could never get to system restore in Safe Mode and when I went to download the above two programs, the virus stopped them in their tracks. It was only after in frustration that I tried thru Chrome that I was able to download and run malwarebytes and that solved the problem.

ReachWest's picture

Human Nature and Power

An interesting and thought provoking article, GL. Thank-you. The topic of 'power' is one that I suspect lies at the root of our humanity.  

I believe it is human nature to desire 'power' and I think we all seek to obtain and employ it at one level or another. There are power structures in personal relationships, in families and certainly communities. The vast majority of these 'power' structures are benign and productive - they allow the community to develop order and structure - and to be productive.     

Problems arise when 'power' becomes unbalanced, unchecked and unchallenged - or wielded by the narcissists among us. Perhaps these folks become narcissistic over time as a consequence of the 'power' they have, whereby they start to believe their own bullshit. (eg. The Fed believes that they can control the world economy through Keynesian concepts.)  

One 'power' structure that is talked about a lot in Turdville is the 'elites' and 'their' plan for the rest of us. I must say I have always struggled with this concept of a global 'all-seeing' power cabal. I just don't buy the idea of a powerful group of folks in a 'star-chamber' who meet to decide the fate of humanity over a period of decades. While I don't completely right-off the possibility of this, I am more inclined to believe that there are a series  of groups that are working in their own interests (The Fed as an example) to expand their power. But, they are competing with other similar groups - and so there is a waxing and waning effect (over a long time period) that may move and shift different competing groups to the top of the 'power' and influence structure. We are probably witnessing this first hand now as true financial power is moving from the West to the East. The Fed and the West have made tactical errors in their efforts to expand their power (they took too much stock in paper wealth) while the East has taken a differing tact and pursued real wealth in the form of hard assets. It's all ultimately about power.  

Certainly time is the great equalizer that can clip un-deserved 'power' from those who use it improperly.

Jakarta Expat's picture

@ReachWest

In the next day or two there will be the actual elites here, the pays vs the pay not's, thus as you have stated you will joining the pay site thus you will be an elitist in your own right, right? So in fact your own argument above could be a fair example of this website in the future, not that there is anything wrong with that. 

libertyforall's picture

Linux

The permanent solution to avoid PC viruses is to install a Linux distribution on your PC.  You can dual boot, but there are some problems on newer PC's due to Microsoft's demand that they have UEFI instead of bioses.  It is best to totally overwrite the Windows installation if possible.  There will be an adjustment period, but afterward you will be glad to be rid of Windows software forever.

ReachWest's picture

@Jakarta Expat

Yes - I will become an 'elite' here in Turdville and it will cost me a mere $10 a month to do so. smiley [I can already feel the power surging through my veins.]

BTW: I spent 5 years living in Indonesia in the early-mid 1990's. Lot's of great memories.

Strongsidejedi's picture

Entertainment $$$ starting to run against Obama

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2013/08/12/kris-jenner-slams-president-obama-over-comments-about-kim-kardashian-kanye-west/

I'm not a big E! fan and I don't watch the Kardashian's TV show.

But, when entertainment and media starts running against the Obama/Democrats, then you know something is up.

The Obama mystique is clearly gone and there is no way that the Congress / President will reach consensus on the debt ceiling and federal debt.

This video is another sign that QE-infinity is here to stay.

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