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
-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."