The Mezunian

Die Positivität ist das Opium des Volkes, aber der Spott ist das Opium der Verrückten

SNOOOOORE: Moderate Liberals Prove Themselves to Be Close to the Same Level of Fuck-up as Republicans

Sorry I haven’t been writing much. Nobody else has been saying much notable & I got distracted by this neat book called They Thought They Were Free by Milton Mayer. Not sure where I’d get the idea to read a book like that in a time like this. Unlike 2016, this election went just as everyone expected: Democrats barely win the House & barely lose the Senate.

If Democrats have any spine, the best they can do is cockblock Republican bills like Republicans did to Obama & pressure the Hairpiece administration into revealing its dirty laundry. I hope they a’least do the latter, as that will a’least be intriguing. ¡Don’t be boring for once in your life, Democrats!

According to DailyKos, this is 1 o’ the biggest waves ( keeping in mind that, in Democrats’ defense, they were unlucky with few senate seats up for grabs ). That’s not too surprising: 1 o’ the reasons I’m rather optimistic is that the obvious rancidness o’ Hairpiece has made mo’ people turn their nose & overtly oppose Republicans — when self-described centrists are mo’ & mo’ ending this “both sides” shit & going, “Yeah, no, clearly 1 side is much smellier than the other”.

For god’s sake, The New York Times, a newspaper that a decade ago was ‘fraid to call torture torture is warning ’bout fascism. Reddit, a forum with a somewhat undeserved notoriety with their alt-right forums & weirdness, has its main politics subforum mostly dominated with furious Democrats. While 538 tried to keep a nonpartisan visage, its comments are full o’ people sad when Democrats lose & happy when Democrats win, & you could see in Nate Silver’s mea culpa for his infamous misprediction o’ Trump’s loss that Nate Silver considered Trump, & to an extent, the Republicans in general kind o’ a joke. ¿& who could blame him? Halfway moderates have always known that Republicans are dumb; they just always tried to handwring round it ’cause they feel it’s too mean to tar an entire political class, ’cause they make that wrongheaded conflation conservatives try to feed that people who choose certain morals are the same as people who don’t choose their race, gender, sexual orientation, or economic stature ( a’least as much ), e’en though moral behavior is exactly what you should judge people on if your society is to survive. Turns out, this moral nihilism o’ “both sides are wrong” on behalf o’ centrists leads to a complete flouting o’ morals, & only by actually punishing those who flout good behavior do you actually lead people to act morally.

1 thing’s certain: intellectuals are certainly veering e’en mo’ ‘way from conservativism, which isn’t surprising, considering the geniuses they have. Studies prove it. This, ‘gain, we already know by the way conservatives attack intellectuals & colleges.

This is why I’m, as odd as it may seem for a cynic like me, totally dour ’bout the future. People compare conservative America to Nazi Germany but forget what Germany is like now: a progressive social democracy. That’s ’cause, if you look back @ history, you learn that, in the long run, the intellectuals always win, ’cause ideas are the only thing that outlasts people & are what basically all development comes from.

This is already happening. Climate change denialism is looking mo’ & mo’ ridiculous to mo’ & mo’ people; mo’ & mo’ moderates are becoming less enthralled with the ol’ “Washington Consensus” o’ neoliberalism. Economists who praised Bush’s tax cuts now roll their eyes @ the conspicuous cynicism o’ Hairpiece’s tax cuts. LGBQT rights has gone from a controversial issue to an issue as black-&-white, good-&-evil as racial equality, so that e’en nonpolitical children’s shows aren’t ‘fraid to embrace them.

Yes, there are still outspoken conservatives; but there are also outspoken flat-earthers. Mo’ & mo’ people are finding it hard to distinguish ‘tween the 2 — & most o’ those who can’t are ol’, &, in their defense, were raised on irrational ideas so long that it’s hard to break from them. Something you don’t e’en need empirical evidence to see is that the ideas o’ the young will definitely win in the long-run, since in the long-run, the young will be the only ones left.

That’s not to say that the US’s politics will get so good so quickly, since it is e’en mo’ corrupt than is dawning on moderates now. ( Though e’en normal people are starting to see it, as we shall get to soon ).

Which brings me to the actual important wins: Florida allowing ex-convicts to vote & Missouri passing a bill to weaken gerrymandering. The former will be vital since Florida is such a strong, unpredictable swing state, & Democrats tend to win when mo’ people vote, ‘specially lower-class people.

On the other end, you have righteous fury @ Georgia for letting someone running for representative monitor & control the very election machines. Conveniently, they had a shortage o’ machines in mostly inner-city, black areas. Then ‘gain, this is the same guy who “lost” voting records when they got sued.

Anyway, I may continue tomorrow, when I’m not too tired to write. ¿Why’d it take so long to get all these results? 2014 everyone knew by 8 PM.

Posted in Politics

Let’s Watch the Democrats Utterly Disappoint ‘Gain / Tie, Part II

Looks like Democrats got fucked out o’ the Senate. Everyone claims they’ll win the House, but Google still shows them below. I think maybe the blue states are waiting longer to count their votes, as my state still isn’t showing any results.

¿Why all the hate gainst 538? This time it seems like they’ve been accurate — as they’ve been for just ’bout every election ‘cept 1 particularly odd 1.

Posted in Politics

Let’s Watch the Democrats Utterly Disappoint ‘Gain / Tie, Part I

It’s that time o’ year: time to stay up far too late having my computer die trying to load political pundits’ haphazard websites made with templates & doused in advertisement JavaScript & autoloading video with Hairpiece’s loud mouth embarrassing me in front o’ anyone within a 5-meter radius.

As usual, not being a presidential election, this 1 was rather quiet & subdued. The fact that everyone expects Democrats & Republicans to be rather even in this outcome, with Democrats retaking the House & Republicans keeping the Senate. Since the opposite party o’ the party that recently took the presidency failing to take the House the next midterm only happened twice in the last 100 years or so, if the Democrats fail to take the House, they’ll prove themselves to be ultra mega utter fucking failures. Can’t wait to see that.

& what’s always predictable is the way pundits react:

DailyKos generally shows subdued optimism, which is the only way they can keep their teacher mom audience from slitting their wrists. I did find this fascinating post on California’s slow vote-counting. That’s what happens when you’re those filthy liberals who actually want everyone to vote.

Though this post seems bizarrely alarmist, e’en if trying to stem alarm.

O, wait, ne’er mind: I just checked & Democrats are a li’l below on the House. & they usually vote early, too. Wow, Democrats are fucking losers.

Meanwhile, “Interested Observer” is already prepared for a letdown:

Short diary.

Democrats are going to come up short in the house, lose ground in the senate and likely do nowhere near as well as they had hoped in the governors races.  Your country is run by an overt racist, sexist asshole and he is again being rewarded for that very behavior.

Nice country you have there.

I hate to break it to you, Interested Observer, but the US is run by overt racist & sexists whether the Democrats win or not.

Meanwhile, Naked Capitalism shows their typical cynicism by predicting that e’en if Democrats win anything, they won’t do shit ‘cause they’re filthy moderates. Then they do what these kind o’ cranks always do & point out the weaknesses in polling data & then care mo’ ‘bout their own arm-chair theories, which have no scientific backing, empirical or mathematical. They will then try to argue that this makes it better ‘cause science is flawed, unlike this 1 s’posedly enlightened beard-stroker, who knows all. I’ll stick to my tried-&-tested philosophy o’, “either science knows or nobody knows” ( economics falls in the latter ), which is why everyone who predicts some wacky amazing economics event is an idiot.

( To be fair, his claim that Democrats are filthy moderates is backed on data ).

FiveThirtyEight claims Democrats have a 9 in 10 chance o’ winning the House but a 5 in 100 chance o’ winning the Senate — the latter o’ which shows how naive people who thought Hairpiece’s 3 in 10 chance was “impossible” were. ¡Let’s still have hope for no reason!

Posted in Politics

1 Grand Lesson on the Superfluousness o’ All Economics Schools ( feat. Lord Keynes & Some Teenager Who Became Enlightened by an Epic Rant ’bout Economics on Reddit & Decided to Make a YouTube Video ’bout It )

I oft make blog rounds in search for things to write ‘bout & decided to check on Lord Keynes’s continuing brain rot into what could only be called “reactionary liberalism” — moderate liberal economics matched with backward social politics. I guess this was popular in the 50s, when many European countries had that postwar boom o’ theirs. That Nordic countries are now doing the best while also being the most socially liberal & some o’ the most tolerant o’ foreign cultures breaks this crude “causation = correlation”, but whatever.

Anyway, I was hoping I’d finally see our precious Hairpiece-supporter eat crow & admit that the President who supported tax cuts, tried to sabotage Obamacare, & is now planning to slice food stamps isn’t the “Keynesian” gainst that vile neoclassical, Clinton, who wouldn’t have done these things. But, ‘course, he’s been conspicuously silent on Hairpiece for the past year or so. There has been plenty o’ racist woo masquerading as science, by cranks like Charles Murray — the Bell Curve guy, whose conclusions based on ( accurate, but not new ) statistics are illogical & based on backward biology. Same goes for Nicholas Wade, not a scientist @ all, whose book has been refuted by most o’ the actual scientists whose research he cited.

But then, that’s easy to keep up without refutation: just declare any refutation, no matter how much evidence is ’hind it, as being “liberal-biased”, or whatever the Realist Left™ equivalent is, based on some sentimental inability to see cold, hard reality. That this is the same thought process that Keynes mocked conservative economists for is rich in irony. I will settle for discovering a new logical fallacy: “Appeal to Bad Consequences”, the opposite o’ “Appeal to Consequences”. This is the idea that we should believe in something that’s ugly ’cause it’s ugly, regardless o’ evidence or reality, ’cause this makes us feel “stronger” & less sentimental. ( That proponents o’ these ideas are ne’er harmed themselves by these “harsh truths”, we need not focus on… )

Anyway, I got bored o’ that, & was planning on just moving ‘long, till I stumbled ‘pon him complaining ‘bout some conservative neoclassical tract on economics, which I just used as a platform to muse on what I feel to be the weakness o’ all economic “schools”, Post-Keynesianism included.

(1) “Wealth is not Money”.

This is a meaningless “lesson”, since “wealth” is a vague idea. E’en Lord Keynes falls into ol’-fashioned assumptions like all other economic pundits. He defined “wealth” as “the good [sic] and services we consume”. “Consume” itself is vague: it implies that the “good” or “service” ( ¿how do you eat a “service”? ) is destroyed as one uses it. ¿So if I pay to use something that isn’t destroyed, like living on land for a temporary period, is that “wealth”, or something different?

Money cannot be consumed in the way that commodities can.

Actually, money can be used the same way commodities are. There’s nothing stopping some particularly creative fellow from eating money. Most people just don’t ‘cause in most current societies money has greater value in a different use.

A mo’ serious example: commemorative coins are money, but they are simply used as collectible commodities ( which means they could be bad for the economy, since it’s money that’s added to “currency”, but doesn’t actually run in it, which s’posedly creates inflation; but the connection ‘tween adding money to the economy & inflation are much mo’ mixed — ‘specially since some dollars inevitably get destroyed in the violent scramble to grab them all when they’re dropped from Friedman’s helicopter ).

Libertarians are fond [ sic ] accusing Keynesians of saying that “money is wealth” or that “money creation is wealth creation.”

In a society where there exist mo’ than a few people who believe ( or say they believe ) that the Democrats are touching kiddies in their hoo-haws in Chuck-E-Cheese, it’s not that hard to believe that quite a lot o’ people believe things ‘bout other things simply ‘cause they ne’er deign to actually read such works — which means that any correction will also go unread, making it futile.

But I can’t even recall seeing any left heterodox economists who even say this. The maxim that money is not everything – which many people on the Left are fond of saying – is even a subtle admission of the point.

Both Keynesians & neoclassicals do claim that money is value ( or, in connection, that demand is value ), through their hypocritically-named “subjective theory o’ value”, which is just as wrong.

This is not a lie, since I can use Lord Keynes’s own words to prove it in his immensely flawed critique o’ the immensely flawed labor theory:

In modern economics, value is normally exchange value, that is, something has an economic value when it is traded or bought as a commodity in a market.

“Economic value” is market demand ‘cause it’s specifically defined that way, making “economic value” tautological & meaningless.

&…

It is the demand for goods caused by the subjective desires of people that is the cause of value, not labour.

If one believes that demand — the willingness to pay money for something — creates value, then the only logical conclusion one can make is that creating mo’ money gives people mo’ money to pay, & therefore mo’ value to create. That’s obviously absurd, just as the idea that people wanting things magically makes it appear is absurd.

Anyone with any sense would realize that if value is subjective, then the means to create value is subjective, & therefore can’t be narrowed down to any 1 grand thing — including money or labor. For instance, price can make something mo’ valuable if I want something expensive to show off how rich I am, or for any other social reason. Similarly, I may value something simply ‘cause I worked hard on it, which means that labor did create that thing’s value, & nobody can tell me that I’m wrong ‘cause they have no objective basis on which to judge my values.

To show you how ridiculous this claim is, remember that Lord’s Keynes’s blog doesn’t sell for any price on any market — it has no demand. Lord Keynes is saying outright that his blog has no value.

Some may protest that economists are only talking ‘bout “commodities” — “economic value”. That is to say that economists, both Keynesian & neoclassical ( & Orthodox Marxist1 & Austrian, actually — which is to say, all economists ), prove the market to be integral to economics ( both good & bad ), by simply refusing to acknowledge economics outside o’ the market — that good ol’ “La, la, la, I can’t hear you” argument ( or as they say it in economic parlance, “We don’t talk ‘bout that thing, e’en though it’s perfectly relevant & we truly ought to, ‘cause it might make us question our assumptions like true scientists” ).

(2) “The Economy is not a Zero Sum Competition”.

Lord Keynes’s critique isn’t bad — & his general conclusion that it’s a mix is just ‘bout right. But his examples are a small speck o’ what could be said in this immensely complex issue. He focuses on small, isolated examples like gambling, & 1 major ( but still not fundamental ) example, finance. I have much mo’ fundamental problems with it.

The most important problem with this idea is that it contradicts subjective value: if value can be anything anyone deems it to be, then basic logic tells us that either there must be cases where certain values conflict with others, creating a zero-sum game, or that we can all get anything we want at the same time, which is obvious fantasy.

This is so hypocritical ‘cause this argument is used to argue gainst certain people’s values. People use this to argue gainst things like economic redistribution; ¿but what if I highly value relative wealth? Then I can either have my value or economists can have theirs — we have a zero-sum game.

‘Gain, economists try to argue that value is only their narrow “economic value”, but it isn’t: value is anything — economic, political, spiritual, aesthetic, personal, emotional, psychological, technological, social… Economics affects all these things, so economists can’t ignore these if they want to talk ‘bout economics in a complete way. If an economy that creates lots o’ “economic value” conflicts with, say, an equal society with high “political value”, then these 2 contradict each other & one must pick 1. For economists to say that they prefer “economic value” simply ‘cause they’re economists is to say that economists are just arbitrary pundits — propagandists. A true scientist isn’t objective within “their particular field”, but o’er everything.

(3) “International Trade is not a Zero Sum Game.

This involves the typical moderate-left critique that Lord Keynes’s readers should already be sick o’ reading a million times. The fundamental idea that he hints at, but doesn’t specifically say, is that neoclassical “efficiency” assumes that efficiency comes from minimizing costs now, disregarding the long-term ( which is ironic, considering their strawman criticism o’ Keynes & his economically-poisonous homosexuality — ne’er live down that classic, Forbes ). This applies in general to any “race to the bottom” situation.

He points out that this idea relies on the assumption that workers can retrain instantly. This is true, but ironically falls into the same problem he criticizes elsewhere: that efficiency must come immediately. It’s perfectly consistent to acknowledge both that workers can’t retrain instantly but that they should for long-term efficiency — e’en when things change rapidly. A perfect example is an industry I’m quite familiar with, web design. That’s an industry wherein workers voluntarily retrain themselves constantly ‘cause they see that in most cases taking the extra time to learn new things is worth lessening e’en mo’ time spent doing the same thing that can be automated from what they learned. Not only that, but retraining can actually in itself be a mo’ rewarding type o’ work, since it adds variety to something that’d otherwise be monotonous — it ironically takes them outside o’ the assembly line that capitalism is notorious for — & ‘cause learning is developing, personal growth.

‘Course, middle-class web developers are quite different from the working class. For 1, web development isn’t a particularly capitalist industry: there is relatively low capital investment ( the education needed is probably a’least 40 times the cost; the rest is just a computer, software, — which you can just download open-source or pirate — & internet ), & thus much mo’ competition. Most web development “businesses” are individuals or groups working for their own salary. Thus, they benefit directly from the efficiency.

The problem with this effect on working class people is the same problem the effect that “efficiency” has on a country in general: there’s no guarantee that all parties will be allowed to share in the efficiency. It’s not that workers shouldn’t retrain to mo’ efficient skills; it’s that in real-world economics, workers aren’t given the option; they’re just laid off & sent into unemployment, where they don’t have the resources to retrain.

In this situation, like many, both neoclassicals & Keynesians are wrong on the solution: the solution is neither to let a tiny few rich people get e’en mo’ money while the majority are made worse off or to stifle development to benefit the majority, but to use government funds to keep poor people healthy & well ( both physically & mentally ) — think a mandatory minimum living salary, or whatever they call it — while offering them tools to retrain them so they can get better jobs.

The failure to understand the efficiency & social benefits o’ this idea come from a common contradictory sentiment: 1. the ( right ) idea that efficiency comes not from working mo’, but from working less — rather that labor creating value, eliminating labor is what creates the most value, & 2. the idea that we should demand people work to make money, else we’ll be inefficient. That workers being unemployed to train off the government dole so that they can do mo’ productive work in the future is mo’ efficient than having them continue to do work they’re not good at doing as others is beyond them, which is strange, since this is how college works for many people.

This particularly annoys me ‘cause these jobs that these modern Luddite Keynesians try to keep are the kind that are least appropriate for humans. The kind o’ jobs that can be automated are the most mind-numbingly dumb & monotonous — hence why mentally inferior machines can do them. While socialists bemoan the inhuman way capitalists turn workers into cogs in a machine, ¡Keynesians panic that humans won’t be able to be cogs anymo’! ( But then, Keynesians have ne’er had much respect for working-class people, so maybe they’re not so interested in treating them like fellow humans as they are protecting the stability o’ their own station ).

This leads to a central conundrum for philosophers to debate: what’s worse, an Austrian dystopia where workers are starved off, or a Keynesian dystopia where workers are trapped in a dour living that makes them wish for death.

His claim that Ricardo’s 3rd point, “it does not matter what you produce (e.g., you could produce pottery), as long as you do it in a way that gives you comparative advantage” is “utter nonsense” is vague. ¿Is he claiming that certain goods are intrinsically better than others? ( i.e. that value is objective ). It’s amazing how much a tricky idea like value being subjective can utterly trip up economists everywhere.

He also seems to assume that manufacturing is where true economic development comes from, which is ( ironicly, considering his repeated criticism ) an outdated Marxist idea. If value is subjective, than “development” is just as much — ‘specially when that “development” comes @ huge environmental costs. Much as efficiency comes from minimizing labor, not making more o’ it, efficiency comes mo’ from creating value from as li’l manufacturing as possible, rather than trying to maximize it. Thus, the obvious reason developed countries, which are still much better off than developing countries, are mo’ & mo’ “service-based” economies.

Despite Lord Keynes’s racist conspiracies, developing countries aren’t outsmarting developed countries; developed countries as wholes are still benefiting mo’ from shifting their dirty industries to poorer countries while keeping most o’ the profits within the developed countries — e’en in the long run. E’en if we acknowledge that only a tiny minority o’ rich westerners benefit from the profits, basic logic would tell you that redistributing this larger chunk o’ wealth to the displaced working class is better than forcing working class people to work crappy jobs for a ( almost certainly smaller ) share o’ a smaller chunk o’ wealth while people in developing countries starve from a lack o’ jobs for themselves.

An e’en better, though unlikely, solution: make laws that force western businesses to pay foreign workers a minimum wage & have western standards o’ safety & worker well being & foreign workers will lose their competitive “advantage” while also allowing foreign workers to make mo’ money & develop their economies mo’ so that they don’t have to rely on western companies for technology just so their people don’t starve — but then, we have to remember that in Lord Keynes’s fever dreams, Chinese workers are living like kings with their wonderful 12-hour sewing jobs without safety regulations while unemployed westerners with better safety nets are the true victims.

Or maybe it’s that protectionists like Lord Keynes don’t care ’bout Chinese people, or the rest o’ the vast majority o’ working class people who aren’t a part o’ the narrow western 17%. Then ’gain, considering LK’s views on women’s rights, that would include half o’ that percentage, & e’en less considering his views on nonwhites — quite a niche populism you have there, LK. It would seem absurd to anyone who wants to defend the lowest classes ( not white, male westerners ) or the mass majority ( also not white, male westerners ), which is what that word “leftism” that LK likes to claim himself to be the only true follower o’ has traditionally meant… ¡till they realize that questioning this makes them on the side o’ the corrupt neoclassical bourgeosie Nazis! ( The most transparent o’ ad-hominem is also serious empirical science that the silly SJW poopy-heads refuse to acknoledge ).

(4) Say’s Law.

His critique here is absurd & hypocritical. He notes that “The Academic Agent” defines Say’s Law differently from Keynes & his worshippers & acknowledges that many economists agree that Say himself didn’t believe in what Keynes claimed was “his” law, but then asserts that Keynes’s definition is the right 1, ‘cause he’s God apparently. He then diverts the subject to Keynes’s critique o’ how Adam Smith & John Stuart Mills interpreted “Say’s Law”, with 1 point also believed by Ricardo. This adds a hitch to Lord Keynes’s critique: this is s’posed to be an o’er-all attack on classical & neoclassical economics, which are s’posedly very similar; but neoclassicals reject “Say’s Law”, since they have incorporated some elements o’ Keynesianism. &, in fact, not e’en all o’ what Keynes called “classical” is included here, ‘cause classical socialists like Proudhon & Marx also didn’t believe in “Say’s Law”.

But he doesn’t go far ‘nough in his critique gainst whatever “The Academic Agent” claims is “Say’s Law”: “(2) supply and demand are not independent of one another, but dependent in the sense that factor payments by producers or income to producers provide the source of demand for other goods.”. He claims that “no serious economist even disputes” this, but only adds that “credit money” adds to demand. Since demand is based on money paid for things, this should be obvious ( it’s supply that it has the risk o’ hurting by creating too much consumption, a problem rare in developed countries, but still real in developing countries, as Venezuela shows ). Not only is this point vague on what counts as a “producer” or what “sense” these are dependent, it’s limited: maybe payment to “producers” can provide demand — if they chose to buy things. Since this is a point Keynes made, it’s odd that the Lord o’ Keynes neglects to mention this.

(5) “Every part of the economy is connected to the whole of economy… .” [ I have no idea why this period & ellipsis are formatted so oddly ]

“Connected” is so vague, it’s meaningless, & this is clearly a “law” that can be “proven” by twisting the word “connected” so that this point is proven by it. I’m not e’en sure what context this is based on — ¿what concrete point is it trying to prove?

Lord Keynes’s rebuke seems ridiculous:

While this is true, this does not vindicate Léon Walras’ Neoclassical economics, which “The Academic Agent” cites as his source for this insight, which has quite specific assertions about capitalist economies.

“Walras may be right ‘bout this thing, but his other irrelevant ideas are wrong”.

I actually looked @ the video, — it’s such strong Dunning-Kruger syndrome that I can’t bear to watch the whole thing — & the video glosses o’er “general equilibrium” & ’stead talks ’bout e’en stupider shit, all in haphazard trawls o’ logic. ¿Why doesn’t LK make fun o’ this other stuff? For instance, he complains ’bout how interest caps s’posedly mostly affects poor people being able to get loans ( no evidence, or e’en Libertarian-style simplistic “logic”, to back that up — like most o’ this video, it’s just a Biblical commandment ), e’en though the 2008 recession showed exactly why blocking poor people from getting loans they can’t pay back may be very much positive. He also parrots Milton Friedman ( who isn’t a classical economist ) saying, “There’s no such thing as free lunch”, which is 1 o’ those sayings that sounds profound, but is vague & almost certainly wrong. Saying that you can’t gain without loss is equivalent to saying that there’s no such thing as profit or growth, which is obviously wrong & contradicts point 2: if every gain comes with an equal cost, then the sum will be 0. Either “The Academic Agent” didn’t proof-read his smug shit or he doesn’t understand basic math. Either way, “The Academic Agent” should stick with foiling terrorist plots by Blofeld in exotic countries & leave economic thought to people who bother to read their own work, much less the work o’ other economists.

[B]oth Austrian and Neoclassical theory ultimately hold that free markets have a tendency towards general equilibrium

He’s mistaken ‘bout Austrian-schoolers — something he should be well aware o’, since he wrote ’bout it before. Many Austrian-schoolers acknowledge that their incoherent conception o’ “free” markets can go into disequilibrium; they simply say that this is just ‘nother example o’ capitalism’s marvelous mysteriousness. The INVISIBLE HAND works in mysterious ways.

No mention, by the way, o’ how inconsistent the concept o’ a “free” market is that we can’t e’en truly define it in a concrete, cohesive way — we just use a jargon word. “Freedom”, ‘course, is a paradoxical concept, since it requires force to keep round, which is why e’en the “freest” countries have police & governments. Economies, too, need governments to run them, or else some other authority just as authoritarian will take its place in the ensuing vacuum.

[M]arket systems are complex human systems subject to degrees of non-calculable probability and future uncertainty

The question no economic school, e’en Post-Keynesians, has the bravery to answer: if economics is so subjective, so non-calculable, & so uncertain, ¿how could anyone devise an objective, certain science that could predict ways to make society better off in the future? This should not lead one to Post-Keynesianism, but an anti-economics — a complete deconstruction o’ the whole branch, just as a “Science o’ Art” has been rendered nonsensical.

(6) “Marginal Utility”.

“The Academic Agent” ends with pointing out the “value” in the sense of desiring or evaluating commodities is subjective. This is true, but does not take you very far.

It takes one quite far if they actually follow it consistently. The problem is that every bozo who squawks ‘bout value being subjective — Marxists included, by the way — then falls onto their own pet preference for the “true” source o’ value & simultaneously proclaims it objective.

He’s right on diminishing returns, though: it mostly applies, but not always, & doesn’t refute government intervention. In fact, applied to money itself ( which is logical — you know the story ‘bout the person so rich they use $ bills as tissue ), it shows that income redistribution literally creates value. This applies intuitively, too: a poor person can have their whole world rocked by gaining just $1000, while someone in the upper 1% whole hardly notice if they gained it or lost it. A minuscule loss paired with a huge gain is the very definition o’ efficiency.

One thing that bugs me ‘bout Post-Keynesians is that they love parroting the same tiny, isolated points in their disparate soup o’ a framework, but don’t go deeper than the floor panels under the carpet. They blow up ‘bout “endogenous money”, prices being based on the cost o’ production rather than supply & demand ( ne’ermind that they already debunk neoclassical supply & demand, making this point redundant ), & all those hokey moral plays by their god Keynes, but ignore the deeper problems with market economics in general that make the foundation ‘pon these questions debatable themselves. Post-Keynesians still treat money in the same superstitious way every other economist does2, as if it follows natural laws & isn’t something humans made up. ( That this invention may be practical is fine to acknowledge — but debating whether a human invention works a certain way as if it had gained sentience & turned gainst its master like AI is ridiculous ).

In short, I’m sick o’ all these conservatives scribbling out how their narrow laws ‘bout how their “capitalism” works when run by robots with no self-awareness; I want to know ‘bout economics its fundamental self.

Addendum

I mostly wrote ’bout this blog article, not the video, ’cause I couldn’t stand the video, but can I reiterate how ignorant the video is ’bout the history o’ economics. I’m not e’en saying what he’s saying is wrong ( it’s definitely made-up assumptions worthy o’ a religious Bible ): he mixes up the history o’ the development o’ economic thought, mixing up neoclassical & classical economics. Ironically, this mixup comes from that devil himself, Keynes, who admits he pulled the definition out o’ his ass. E’en mo’ ironic, the term “classical economist” originates from that e’en mo’ devilish o’ devils, Karl Marx; & his main basis for definition was belief in the so-called labor theory, which this video doesn’t mention @ all.

So LK writes this blog post as if he’s arguing gainst some serious economists, & I finally realize that it’s just some fringe crank on the YooToobs right next to videos o’ 20-year-ols screaming @ their video games who read some fringe crank websites from some think tanks & think they actually know anything ’bout economics.

It also took me this long to realize it’s a fucking listicle video, too. I’ll stick to YouTube Poop next time, LK. Thanks, though.

Posted in Politics

AUXILIARY: Moderate Liberals Known for Utter Fucking Unbelievable Failures Slightly Less Failures

A bit late ’cause it’s an odd year &, seriously, nobody cares ’bout odd years, ’specially not the hip kids, who probably care mo’ ’bout Mayor Pauline & her city o’ freakish uncanny valley realistic humans in that new-fangled Mario game than Seattle’s mayor being replaced ’cause he touched kiddies in their hoo-haws.

When I say “slightly less failures”, I mean the Democrats took o’er Virginia & Washington… state ( not to be confused with the Washington people actually care ’bout ), which they already mostly owned, anyway. Republicans still, ’course, control all 3 branches o’ the federal government.

Virginia is the main focus, ’cause nothing else important has happened. Virginians hated Republicans so much that they elected a transgender & filthy socialist just to piss on them. The former has, predictably, led some to question how Christianity, a religion that’s lasted multiple millenia, will survive the existence o’ exactly 1 lowly state legislator who’s trans, which is reminiscent o’ that time Christianity vanished after gay people & rock ’n roll spontaneously appeared in the 1960s or after they let in those filthy Gentiles with their unsnipped dicks.

’Course, this ( very miniscule ) turn-round should be expected: voters are notoriously fickle & generally turn gainst the party in power1 ’cause it gives them the delusion that they’re radicals raging gainst the machine & not sad ordinary people who couldn’t o’erthrow a bossy cellphone.

Still, with victories by such Democrats as a Goldman Sachs financier ( WARNING: link contains obnoxious video that plays without warning ) ( gainst Chris Christie, that infamous New Jersey governor that nobody liked, ’cept as a target for mockery @ how unlikeable he is — so, Hairpiece before Hairpiece ), a Clinton fundraiser who will soon be Virginia’s new governor, & Democrat Jenny Durkan, Seattle’s 1st woman mayor & heavily funded by Comcast, CenturyLink, AT&T, & Amazon gainst ’nother woman who was actually mo’ left-wing, we can see the key to Democrats’ success: spend much mo’ money. That’s always been Democrats’ main strategy for getting America’s rich o’erlords to give them elections: just convince them Democrats will also give them everything they want without being as dangerously self-destructive as Republicans ( “Filthy Capitalism without the Dumbassery” could be their tagline ).

’Course, there will always be naysayers on ours necks telling us there are still problems with our beloved loser party, as well as all our secrets to our crush in a Stewie-like voice. For instance, we have this “autopsy”, which is just some pundit saying things we already know: Democrats care mo’ ’bout money than people & lowerclass people aren’t so fond o’ them anymo’. Meanwhile, Breitbart — & you owe me for stepping into that cesspool o’ popup ads & tacky clickbait web design — handles this election with straight-up denial: their home page had mo’ references to the 2016 election than to this 1, as if that wasn’t a whole year ago, & therefore ancient & irrelevant.

O yeah, & I guess Ohio & Maine will get public health care & Ohio passed a bill forcing pharmaceutical companies to lower the price on their much-needed pain medicine in this torture hole known as planet earth, cheating these companies out o’ the money they themselves earned on their own hard work lobbying the government for free funding grants. But that’s not as sexy as… um, ¿what else was accomplished ’gain? ¿Democrats finally got their “You’re pretty good, too” trophy?

Also, apparently the “Involuntarily Celibate” subreddit has been banned, which may be a victory for liberals, I guess, but is definitely a victory for good taste. For those blissfully unaware o’ it, ’twas a place for people to publicly whine ’bout not getting sex — the most vital thing to human existence if you’re a middle-class white male with a well-off family that gives you infinite economic support. “¡It’s fucking torture, being ‘forced’ to live in security & comfort & not being able to fuck any woman I want!” ’Cause just paying a prostitute or jerking off is pathetic, unlike whining in public ’bout not getting sex “only” ’cause they’re s’posedly fat & ugly while bashing s’posedly fat & ugly women & making up misogynist conspiracy theories while outright admitting that it’s based on emotional problems & not rational reasons, which is the epitome o’ dignity.

Tune in next year when we’ll hopefully see the Democrats stop being utter fucking failures & actually win back the house & senate so they can go back to backstabbing the lower classes & then lose goodwill for the dozenth time, leading to the election o’ that Milo Yapalopolis guy to presidency so he can touch all o’ America’s children in their hoo-haws ( edit for fairness: but only if they’re gay & still have sex organs2. Milo does have standards, & I respect him for that ). After all, if America doesn’t have their vicious cycle o’ Coke vs. Pepsi elections, ¿what do they have anymo’?

Posted in Politics

Belaboring the Point

The controversy surrounding “labor theory of value” is interesting to me in that I agree that it’s not a particularly useful theory, but almost every criticism I hear against it is stupid. Probably ’cause almost all criticism is by people who believe in the Orwellian “subjective theory of value”, which is e’en stupider.1

Part o’ the problem is that people obsess o’er the binary o’ whether it’s “right” or “wrong”, & not the mo’ logical basis for judging a theory, such as “¿is it useful for understanding economics?”. It’s like that cliché issue on internet forums o’ whether god exists: either yes or no, it doesn’t help one understand any phenomena mo’ since god’s existence or nonexistence has no implications for anything.

To simplify, I’d say that there is logic to the “labor theory”, but that it doesn’t prove much o’ anything — &, indeed, I’d say if you pay close attention to pretty much all pro-market people, they all believe in the importance o’ labor to creating value, too.

I’ll freely admit that the logic I came up with may have nothing to do with whatever the many contradicting interpretations o’ Marx’s incomprehensible works & that I don’t care. I’m going to stand by the logic I present here whether it’s called “Marxist”, “bourgeoisie”, or “shitheadist”.

The Logic o’ the Labor Theory

Value is such a vague word that it’s hard to e’en define, much less quantify or evaluate. Basic logic states that you need a formal definition for something before you can make any objective theories ’bout it. Economics’ utter lack o’ formal definitions is why it’s ne’er rose beyond the scientific rigor o’ political pundits with charts & academic diction.

The kind o’ value most economic studies look @ is money. The fact that there exist plenty o’ societies that exist without money should throw this out as a definition for any kind o’ universal economics, but to be fair, I’m not e’en sure any economist e’er pretended to believe in such a thing. In any case, money does hold huge importance for modern society, & thus is worth looking @. Whether one loves or hates money-based economies doesn’t change the fact that they are the most prominent economies, & thus definitely worth studying.

I’ve mentioned before that I think the ultimate question o’ these money-based economies is, “Who gets what”. Some may balk & say that growth is mo’ important, to which I would reply that growth is only important in terms o’ how it lets people get mo’ stuff”. I’d e’en add that it’s ironic that such pro-capitalist economists would focus so much on such a communistic thing as this imaginary “collective success”, as if I care what anyone else has.

& if we should study this mysterious thing called “growth”, we should ask how to measure what causes it & what hurts it. Moreo’er, we should ask what we as humans can do to cause or hurt it, since knowing that solar eclipses cause stock markets to rise isn’t useful when humans can’t yet force solar eclipses to happen.

Moreo’er, I’m focusing on income distribution ’cause, ultimately, that’s the subject that’s up for debate, whether we admit it or not. Toss ’way all spineless etiquette o’ “objectivity” & being “apolitical”; ¿why do we contrast the “labor theory” & “subjective theory”? ¿Why do people who believe in either choose to believe in either? It’s ’cause people want to defend the idea that workers are being “exploited” in support o’ massive income distribution or ’cause they want to defend the current massive inequality as having a logical basis, & thus only support some or no income distribution. Don’t fall for economists’ coyness: most people just care ’bout economics for figure out what to vote for or gainst ( or support or oppose by other political means ).

With those qualms out o’ the way, I want to focus on humans, ’cause they’re the center o’ economics. I have yet to see evidence that anyone other than humans can e’en understand the study o’ economics ( & e’en then, it’s only an unlucky few ). Money, too, is something that revolves round humans. While you could, in theory, give your money to horses or plots o’ dirt, no matter how tirelessly they worked to give us nice things, they can’t use money — a’least I’ve ne’er heard o’ a horse or plot o’ dirt walking into a store to buy milk2. Maybe they’re all lactose intolerant.

This is 1 o’ the common idiocies that critics o’ the labor theory make. I read someone who clearly hadn’t thought much claim that it’s “disproven” ’cause land makes value, with the obvious implications that inanimate land should be paid, too. E’en Steve Keen, that messiah o’ modern hip Keynesians, made this argument in that book o’ his, Debunking Economics, that millions o’ hip liberals read, but hardly any understood, which is deeply embarrassing.

So we have a total sum o’ all money in the world held, in some proportion, by the sum o’ all humans. ¿But how do we decide the proportion? We could do the lazy laissez-faire method o’ just accepting ( or rather, through the threat o’ state violence & incarceration, enforce ) whatever the current proportions. That, indeed, sounds fun if you happen to currently have a high proportion, but doesn’t if you actually enjoy thinking critically. Sadly, I do, so this choice won’t work.

Let’s go back to the idea o’ equal distribution. This actually makes mo’ sense as a default than whatever history randomly threw on our plate today — ’specially from a mathematical perspective. But I know exactly what you’re saying as you shake your fist @ me through the screen: “If we do that, then nobody will do any work & we’ll have nothing”. I bolded the word “work” to highlight the irony. I don’t know if everyone whose bashed the obvious stupidity o’ the labor theory has said something like this, since I obviously don’t know every obscure argument some laissez-faire libertarian nobody on Reddit has made that’ll surely be sent to me; but I do know that far too many people have made this contradiction — & many o’ them are not so much “nobodies on Reddit” as “high-paid politicians who have way mo’ power o’er economics than you”3.

So then we know the obvious logical answer: OK, if we truly care ’bout rewarding productive work, we should divide all money in proportions matching the proportions o’ productive work. Thus, the people who do the most productive labor deserve the most money.

¡Awesome! ¡Then let’s do it! OK, ¿now how do we determine who does how much proportion o’ productive labor?

¡Oops!

& therein lies my 1st problem with the labor theory: it’s right, but useless. Yes, it’s obvious that people who do the most useful things deserve the most things — it’s so obvious that every procapitalist believes it, whether they acknowledge it or not. But that’s not useful if we don’t know who creates how much o’ that mysterious thing we called “value”.

That is the core question o’ economics that nobody has e’er been able to solve. Look @ the debates we have: ¿are poor people hard workers who are exploited by lazy, o’erfed rich or are poor people lazy idiots scheming to steal the industrious rich’s hard-earned money?

’Course, if you have no independent thought, there’s a fairy-tale ’bout a s’posedly “competitive” market that does it all so elegantly you can buy — & while you’re @ it, ¿why not buy my books on how to cure depression by saying to yourself in the mirror every day, “I’m fuzzy”4. ’Course, once one actually looks mo’ deeply into said market they’ll see that it’s suspiciously as messy, contradictory, & narrow-minded as any other societal construct — almost as if ’twere made by mere humans, & not formed by some “natural law” that grows out o’ the dirt ( see, land e’en deserves money for producing the American Constitution ). One will see that this idea that the market’s incentives are anywhere close to logical is based on a bunch o’ requirements that aren’t real, & many o’ which are logically contradictory. For instance, they require equal opportunity, e’en though money itself is an opportunity in the form o’ buying any kind o’ capital or investing in any opportunity, thus meaning that only equal distribution could lead to a competitive economy. The fact that our own economy is full o’ monopolies & that economists have done jack shit to try changing that — & in fact, most o’ the time enable monopolies — certainly doesn’t help that theory.

Well, ¿what does Marx say? What he doesn’t say is that any kind o’ work no matter what it does creates value5, as many critics who in addition to being unable to think can’t e’en read say. ’Stead, ironically, he spews the same stupid shit that so-called neoclassicals spew: the s’posedly perfect market that Marx surely knew didn’t exist apparently forces workers to fit some imaginary “marginal labor time” or else they’ll get fired. ’Course, anyone who’s every worked @ a convenience store & saw a slacker who chats with their friend hilariously get paid just as much as some young fool who actually thinks working hard will get them ’head in life knows that this is that Marx-trademarked “horse-piss”. Also, since this measurement requires a libertarian market utopia under it, it falls apart if we start redistributing money or anything mo’ radical — the very goal this measurement’s s’posed to serve.

It’s simply impossible to measure humans’ proportional productivity. For 1, it’s impossible to determine what it is that any individual human actually did. Marx was right ’bout 1 thing ( & quite a lot o’ procapitalist economists agree ): capitalism is already collectivist, a’least in production, so that it’s impossible to tell who was responsible for what. ¿Who was most responsible for the quality o’ The Beatles’ music? ¿Whose idea was responsible for that rise in profits last quarter? Or maybe ’twas just that some unknown worker happened to become mo’ skilled. ¿Who knows? Looks like we need this omniscient god to exist & tell us who did what for this meritocratic economy to work.

& then we have to control out environmental influences. ¿Is that programmer brilliant ’cause they did all the right things to become brilliant or ’cause they had better access to educational materials & computers on which to test? ( Hint: look @ the biographies o’ most successful programmers & you’ll usually see someone who had computers when they were young & usually had access to particularly powerful computers in expensive colleges ). ¿Should handicapped be given disincentives for choosing to be born by a mother who drank while pregnant, & should non-handicapped people, in comparison, be rewarded for their hard choice to not have done so? Capitalism reasonably gives a resounding, “¡Yes!”

But the most obvious reason why this could ne’er happen is a point I made @ the beginning: value is subjective. Not only can we not agree on who was how productive, we can’t e’en agree on what is productive6. For instance, I’m sure economists have been told by their mommies that they’re very productive, don’t listen to those bullies on the internet, whereas I’m smart ’nough to know that no westerner has done anything productive since the 1950s.

’Course, this is all a silly argument: everybody who isn’t brainwashed finds the idea that capitalism could e’er be meritocratic or fair laughable — just look @ it. The only intelligent defenders o’ capitalism simply think that all real-world examples o’ communism were worse, which is a fair point ( well, if “communist” doesn’t include social democracies — ’cause, seriously, they have consistently kicked laissez-faire’s ass for o’er a century; it’s not e’en a competition ). Turns out that rightwingers who obsess o’er calling their opponents filthy commies are smarter than the average economist. Tip: if you want to prove capitalism as, in the words o’ Krugman, “the worst economic system, ’cept for all those other things we tried7”, which is the best you could hope for, you should probably spend mo’ time studying the Soviet Union & less time looking @ the US’s dirty laundry & trying to make it look clean. ’Sides, ¿wouldn’t a detailed study o’ all the fuckery ’hind the Soviet economy be far mo’ entertaining than the usual trite empty platitudes that economists spew out. If economics is going to be complete horseshit, it ought to be entertaining while they’re @ it.

& no, Freakonomics doesn’t count, ’cause no matter how funny it is to imagine drunk people stumbling round, comparing irrelevant statistics to trollishly “prove” that drunk walking is mo’ harmful than drunk driving or that climate change isn’t a problem ’cause some random guy they found in a bar ranted @ them for hours ’bout planes farting the O-zone back into the sky is just fucking stupid.

Addendum: Be this Labor ’Live or Be He Dead

I got so strewn up in jokes ’bout horse-piss that I forgot a complication o’ Marx’s specific brand o’ labor theory & how it complicates the subject o’ making money off capital.

Marx defined 2 types o’ labor: dead & ’live, also ( quite inaccurately ) describes as “constant” & “variable”, ’cause s’posedly selling off or buying tools is harder than hiring or firing workers. Clearly Marx’s was a time before labor contracts existed.

Better descriptions would be “past labor” & “present labor”: the former being labor in the past used to create things that are used to create value in the present, while “present labor” is the creation o’ value through a mix o’ current labor & capital — including past labor. Yes, since past labor now exists in the form o’ inanimate objects ( that’s why it’s “dead”: it’s ossified into inanimate objects ), that past labor is now capital.

For example, say one builds a computer & then uses that computer to create things in less time than it would’ve taken without it. In this case, that computer is being used as a form o’ capital. Though this type o’ capital need not be a physical object: education8 is just as much past labor, now ossified into better knowledge & credentials which, s’posedly, would help one become mo’ capable @ creating value. I say s’posedly ’cause, as we mentioned before, there’s a lot o’ subjectivity in how valuable any type o’ labor is, & past labor is no different.

Marx seemed to argue that dead labor doesn’t truly create value, & this doesn’t make sense to me in any sense. If we’re talking ’bout “dead labor” o’ dead people, then this makes sense, as they’re no longer part o’ the human population. ’Gain, their proportion o’ created value must go somewhere, & it makes no sense to bury it with them, nor to give it to anyone else in particular simply ’cause they shared blood with them or were particularly liked by them ( though giving it to someone who was, say, 2nd place in terms o’ involvement in the creation o’ that value would be an interesting, but unbearably complex to figure out, solution ).

But Marx’s definition o’ “dead labor” seems to include capital created by humans still ’live. In this case, they clearly still make up part o’ the human populace, & thus it would make perfect sense to give them a proportion o’ the total value that matches the proportion added by the thing they made ( or, technically, a proportion o’ that that matches the proportion o’ their labor to that thing’s creation in comparison to natural resources or other people’s labor ).

Surely we would not go beyond the question o’ whether someone deserves money for work they did far in the past & ask whether work done in the past could possibly create value in itself nowadays. To argue such would be to argue that technology has no influence on value, which is absurd: that’d be to say that a primitive society can create just as much value for the same amount o’ labor as an advanced society. I s’posed someone could argue such, but it wouldn’t be a strong — & probably not popular — sentiment. Whatever devaluation technology creates, the better health standards, education, & recreational opportunities it creates surely outstrips them.

To put us in a micro level, in an actually immensely realistic situation, if I were to create a computer program that allows someone to do math in 1000 times less time & with much less effort than before, ¿would one honestly argue that computer program didn’t contribute to value creation — that we have no reason to reward the creation o’ such things? Admittedly, my time example is based on the assumption that saving scarce time is beneficial & that a worker would much rather spend their time doing something mo’ valuable than doing basic math ( for instance, making their own tools for helping people make value mo’ easily ). ’Course, part o’ that is less rosy than reality, & the ability for workers to have the opportunity to make tools rather than simply use them, much less profit off them themselves, is not a sure thing; but then, so is reality without technology, so we can’t complain that this is a case wherein capital is the cause o’ exploitation. After all, e’en if we had a society that just had natural resources & labor, if a select few individuals owned all natural resources, they could still exploit workers in the same way. Indeed, if anything, it should be control o’er stuff they had no involvement in, whether their involvement is “dead” or “’live”, that should be the focus.

&, indeed, to be fair to Marxists, this also means that there exists a form o’ exploitation that reached far further than just present labor — there can be just as much exploitation o’ capital. Take, as a common example, creators o’ famous comic book characters like Superman or Spider-Man, but who got a tiny few o’ the profits in comparison to big companies that had li’l to do with their creation. You also have gray areas, such as companies that use free software to create propriety software & make much mo’ money than the makers o’ the free software could hope to get.

But all o’ this is meaningless, anyway, since we’ve already established that we can’t determine exactly what labor creates what value & by whom, & thus the same applies for capital. We could just as much question how much o’ that program I made was truly my doing or how much came from a million different environmental variables — the material I used, my better access to computer technology & learning material, my better free time to learn what I need & to do what I needed to do.

Money falls into the same subject, & it’s here where we can nicely synthesize a variety o’ views, from Austrian-school to Keynesian. Austrian-schoolers, ’course, coined the term “time preference”, which, if you dig down into the logic, is basically the idea that money, being s’posedly ossified labor ( money gotten for labor ), rather than being used for my own benefit, is saved so it can be used to fund the creation o’ capital or material ( as a source o’ value, essentially ). Keynesians would be quick to question the assumption that saving creates value ( that question o’ what use o’ labor is valueable ’gain ); I would question whether that money saved truly came from one’s own labor ( & whether they truly deserved it — we’re defending the current distribution o’ income by already assuming the current distribution is right ) o’or through other means & to what extent that saving is their own doing. The logic seems to be that saving is a sacrifice in consumption; but this seems to assume that any amount o’ lost consumption for 1 person is equal to any lost consumption for another, which violates diminishing returns & also ignores that simply not having @ all is technically a “sacrifice”, too — ’gain, since we haven’t proven that the money came from one’s own hardship.

Posted in Politics

It Is an Oppression Olympics

“It’s not an Oppression Olympics” is interesting in that it’s ne’er backed by any logic or evidence; it’s just asserted as pure faith. It also violates natural reality.

Despite what people like Paul Krugman say, so long as you don’t arbitrarily reject people with ideologies you don’t think are “serious” as “not real economists”, economists do have wide differences. But the 1 thing I think all economists agree on is that we live in a world with limited resources: limited time, limited attention, limited money, limited goods.

Thus, we do have to pick & choose what problems to solve. Every $ that goes to 1 charity is a $ that can’t go to all the others. Therefore, as grim as it may be, it’s an objective mathematical fact that charities compete gainst each other. This shouldn’t be that surprising: charities work in the same competitive market system as everything else.

( Truly, everything does: it’s just that some market systems are aware o’ the vital role politics plays in it, some that call themselves “free market” are in denial & make up arbitrary rules ’bout what competition is “free”, & others that call themselves “communist” deny the existence o’ market competition while using worker population advantages to better compete in the economy or use the power that political ideologies have o’er people to compete for economic control. Whether you believe in equality or some imagined meritocracy or don’t care ’bout distribution @ all, the fact that a cake eaten by 1 person can’t simultaneously be eaten by ’nother is irrefutable ).

Posted in Politics

The Inherent Hypocrisy o’ the Term “Men’s Rights”

The 1st question to ask is, ¿what’s wrong with the term “feminism”? The 2 answers I’ve always seen given:

1. “It’s antimale”.

2. “Men are greater victims”.

The hypocrisy o’ the 1st is obvious, since emphasizing male rights is just as biased.

The 2nd is hard to take seriously. Its proponents can cite various studies that show arbitrary situations in which men are worse off than women, such as IQ & life expectancy. However, these don’t say much ’bout actual relative power.

What would are statistics o’ political & economic power, & those show beyond doubt that in general women are worse off.

MRAs who do acknowledge these facts turn to the argument that these are caused not by society but by s’posed inherent flaws in women. 1st, this is a digression: it’s not saying, “No, society isn’t mo’ sexist gainst women”, it’s saying, “Yes, society is mo’ sexist gainst women, but they deserve it”.

2nd, it’s hypocritical, since MRAs ne’er accept that answer for the reason ’hind the statistics wherein men are worse off, such as IQ. ¿How can they reconcile this arbitrary inconsistency?

3rd, this is given as a bare assertion, not backed by any evidence, usually in the form o’ flimsy stereotypes that themselves have no proof. Worse, these stereotypes don’t e’en fit the modern way humans get success & power. You can tell someone has no societal savvy when they talk ’bout “alpha males”, as if we’re still baboons. The fact is that the most muscular & hostile people are mo’ likely to be lowly workers while the most successful humans are flabby, weak, ol’ men in suits. The fact that in the last few millennia since humans 1st developed human society has radically evolves far beyond the rate o’ their biological evolution — that whatever basis in helping survival whatever purported biological differences ’tween sexes has has long since become irrelevant in a world wherein coming up with creative slogans & being able to afford high-quality health care has mo’ importance than being able to bash someone on the skull or spawn healthy kin — is oddly beyond MRAs.

We end up deciding ’tween whether society or biology is to blame; that MRAs lean toward the latter with no evidence is peculiar since the former makes mo’ common sense & requires less explaining. They blatantly ignore the fact that societal rules are based largely on political & economic power, & thus these rules must, by objective empirical fact, be mainly controlled by men. Indeed, e’en those who acknowledge the truth o’ these studies keep to the conclusion that women have mo’ power, e’en though they contradict each other. They also ignore history, which also unquestionably shows a tradition o’ an e’en greater level o’ discrimination. & since this level was e’en greater than it is now, then it can’t be based on s’posed inherent biological flaws, since this imbalanced was lessen by societal changes, ’less they’re trying to take the mo’ absurd argument that women evolved ’way these greater biological flaws, in which case, ¿why couldn’t they do so e’en mo’?. The argument that this change was caused by society being biased in favor o’ women despite their s’posed biological flaws doesn’t make sense, thanks to those pesky empirical facts o’ their inferior political power, ’specially relative to the past. ¿Are they trying to argue that the time o’ gender equilibrium was when women couldn’t vote @ all? That would argue an interesting but absurd point: that women have greater skills @ influencing people relative to their actual power than men, which would be a strange superiority to grant to them, given all the flaws they s’posedly have. & yet, while men taking advantage o’ their s’posed biological flaws is fine, women doing the same is “corrupt”… This is ’nother inconsistency that lacks an explanation.

In sum: the idea that women have some mysterious “less initiative” gene is mo’ believable than that a tradition o’ sexism could continue into the present. I’m bleeding, I’ve been cut by Occam’s razor so much.

4th, e’en if women’s inferior power were due to inherent biological flaws, that wouldn’t be caused by them but by their biology that they can’t control &, the obvious corollary is that men’s purported biological advantages aren’t their own. The question then would be to ask why someone should be rewarded for something they didn’t do within their own individual will — what philosophy could logically argue for men’s “right” to have unearned advantages.

This is ’specially strange considering how oft MRAs criticize purported corruption, when being born into advantages is the biggest form o’ corruption one could have. Hell, if women did use their “wiles” to trick society into bending to their will, despite the empirical fact o’ their inferior political power, then that’d show mo’ individualist accomplishment than being born with genes. E’en manipulation requires some skills.

’Course, those who call themselves “feminists” don’t fall into the 2nd problem thanks to those same economic & political studies: they can accurately argue, through a mix o’ empirical fact & better consistency, that it’s a fact that, in general, society is mo’ biased gainst women than men & that the word compensates for that bias.

Thus, I can see a logical basis for calling someone who supports gender equality a “feminist” or a “equalitarian” — or some other neutral term — ( though the former, being an established term, would be less confusing ), no consistent logic backs any match o’ “gender equality” & “men’s rights activist”. Anyone who claims to serve both is either a manipulative liar or incompetent; those who don’t intend the former should change what they say if they want to avoid embarrassing themselves.

That’s a lot o’ words for, “‘Men’s rights activist’ is a bullshit term”.

Posted in Politics

There’s Nothing Mo’ Bewilderingly Hypocritical than People Who Criticize “Hashtag Activism” as Frivilous

Whenever I hear someone complain ’bout those lazy people who try to influence politics purely through social media — i.e. through communication — I always want to ask them what they think truly decides politics in modern civilization. Presumably they should get off their ass & go challenge the President to an honorable battle to the death, as is usually the means for enacting political change in modern society.

This should be contrasted with serious pundits who sit on their ass & write news articles or talk on TV all day, or those lazy politicians who literally control politics through sitting on their ass, talking, & signing pieces o’ paper. ¿How does that degenerate nobody Hairpiece expect to do anything sitting round in that white house all day?

I might e’en be callous ’nough to compare hashtag activists to that lazy bum Thomas Paine who just wrote some silly pamphlets — the 1700s equivalent o’ a Tumblr blog post — & sent them round all his friends. One may e’en be surprised that that most infamous inciter o’ political change, Karl Marx, spent quite a lot o’ his time sitting on his ass writing books & sending gossipy mail to his commie friends.

& on that subject, I might e’en go far ’nough to put on my Marx hat — or pirate hat; I get them confused a lot — & note that perhaps the only thing different from social media & the other examples I gave were that social media is used by dirty normal people, the dirty majority, whereas sitting on your ass writing newspaper articles or talking on TV is different ’cause those are reserved only for those who, um… ¿are rich? Can’t truly see how the average blowhard on TV or in the newspapers is any mo’ qualified. I know no hashtag could e’er meet the scientific sophistication o’ such wisdom as, “Suck on it, Iraq”, “How did the moon get there”, or Jon Stewart & Colbert making jokes ’bout eating a banana as if it’s a penis.

See, I’m mixed, ’cause I agree that most online political propaganda is inane. I hope it’s not too controversial o’ me to argue that, nah, I just don’t think random pictures o’ particularly hideous frogs has the same intellectual rigor o’, say, Voltaire — & I’m not e’en comparing them to the famous philosopher, since that’d be a laughable comparison, but that musician who made that song on The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy. It’s just that I can’t take these criticisms seriously when they come from people just as idiotic.

Look, let’s be balanced here: the internet, TV, & newspapers are all equally braindead & you should probably be reading actual scientific journals or works by actual renown historians, you lazy bum. Or just read ’bout silly bootleg video games, ’cause it’s not like you’ll be able to do anything ’bout anything, anyway.

Which makes one wonder why anyone cares whether some high schoolers posting some wicked Rage Against the Machine lyrics on Twitter & what kind o’ deep insecurities rich people who get paid to write for big newspapers must have to consider it worth their time to smugly compare themselves to such serious targets o’ satire. “¡I sure showed that college freshman still living with their parents!” I know that’s why I make fun o’ everyone else, so clearly it must be the case for everyone else.

Posted in Politics

In Vain

¿Where did Vanity Fair get the silly idea that they had any brain cells to talk ’bout politics. Stick to interviewing brain dead actors, please.

Internet clickbait promotes mental tooth decay[.]

“Duh, ¿what’s a mixed metaphor? I don’t have to think when I write figurative language, ¿do I? ¡But that’s too hard!” That’s right up there with “rectal cancer of the mouth” in sense-making.

If Donald Trump speaks Jerkish, according to retired novelist Philip Roth, Jones’s broadside was written in Snarkish:

If your biggest complaint ’bout a president dangerously ignorant o’ basic science & who inspires rises o’ hate crimes is that he “speaks Jerkish”, you are a pampered dipshit & need to get o’er your fucking self. If your biggest complaint ’bout a blogger is that they spoke “snarkish”… ¡You’re speaking “snarkish”! ¡& stupid!, which is e’en worse.

“That I should live to see the day when Meryl Streep’s speechifying at a Hollywood awards show is admired as solemnly and discussed as fervently as Lincoln’s second inaugural address is a personal nightmare. Lectured by Streep! And about how her and all her Hollywood pals, decked out in everything that costs the earth and sparkles in the spotlight, are among the true victims of Donald Trump’s American authoritarianism!”

Sounds right to me.

Vanity Fair: “¡How dare this… snarkish person be insensitive to the plights o’ the rich & airheaded! ¡Do you have any idea o’ how much I bled to come up with that whipped cream metaphor!”

Streep’s chastising of Trump in her acceptance speech at the Golden Globes was derided as a sniffy display of royal hauteur, as if her ladyship had gotten her blue sash in a twist.

No, ’twas rightfully mocked for being self-indulgent & airheaded. The irony is that it’s the lack o’ pretentious inanity in the critics that’d make them ne’er write something as inane as this sentence.

But here’s the twist: Eileen Jones is no righty coveting a rotation spot in the Fox News greenroom. She teaches film at Berkeley—and you know what it’s like at Berkeley, radical fervor springing from every hair follicle—”

Stereotypes are the best political points to make. “Duh, there’s no right-wingers in Berkeley like there are no liberals in Texas”.

We also have a naive cliché: that leftists making fun o’ airheaded celebrities who exploit anti-rightwing rhetoric for their own shallow interests is rare. It isn’t; we’ve been making fun o’ you for decades.

[A]nd her Streep denunciation was published in Jacobin, which bills itself as “a leading voice of the American left, offering socialist perspectives on politics, economics, and culture.”

They have standards almost as low as Vanity Fair.

Disillusionment with Obama’s presidency, loathing of Hillary Clinton, disgust with “identity politics,” and a craving for a climactic reckoning that will clear the stage for a bold tomorrow have created a kinship between the “alt-right” and an alt-left.

Interesting. Here, let me try:

With their use o’ ad-hominem association attacks gainst political enemies with popularly reviled figures based on superficial similarities, their focus on label-based attacks rather than descriptive analyses, such as “alt-left” or “commie”, & their use o’ pretentious, empty buzzwords to hide the lack o’ substance in their arguments, Vanity Fair has created a kinship with the alt-right.

The “[d]isillusionment with Obama’s presidency” isn’t e’en right. The alt-right wasn’t “disillusioned” with Obama ’cause they ne’er liked him, dipshit. As for the “disgust with ‘identity politics’”, yeah, Jacobin shows it — when it’s appropriated by the alt-right. ’Course, Vanity Fair doesn’t bother to actually give a link showing any evidence that this nebulous “alt-left” hates “identity politics” or offers a definition o’ what that nebulous phrase is s’posed to mean. Presumably he’s accusing Jacobin & the rest o’ the “alt-left” o’ being bigoted — without any evidence to back it up.

Like I said: stick to interviews with rich idiots talking ’bout their fancy dresses. That’s all this ditz has the brain power for.

They’re not kissin’ cousins, but they caterwaul some of the same tunes in different keys.

Read: “They’re not actually allies, but I found some superficial similarities”. E’en he acknowledges he’s a liar.

The alt-right receives the meatiest share of attention in the media, as it should.

Yeah, ’cause what hurt the alt-right so hard was too much attention. That’s why they try to avoid it as much as possible.

I can’t get o’er how li’l political savvy this idiot has.

It’s powerful, vicious, steeped in neo-Nazi ideology, nativist white supremacy, men’s-rights misogyny, and Ayn Rand capitalist übermensch mythos […]

Um, ¿what evidence is there that Hairpiece was particularly popular with Objectivists? Most I’ve read hate that evil socialist ’cause they’re crazy, take any tepid criticism o’ excess neoliberal economics as being “socialist”, & forget that their own god was a crony who profited off politics & used government funds for her cigarette-fed medical bills. ( Shocking how an ideology that praises selfishness & narcissism would lead people to be narcissistic hypocrites who praise their own actions done for purely selfish reasons while attacking others who do the same as “corrupt” ).

The alt-left can’t match that for strength, malignancy, or tentacled reach, but its dude-bros and “purity progressives” exert a powerful reality-distortion field online and foster factionalism on the lib-left.

As opposed to Vanity Fair, which slipped up in that sentence before & pretty much acknowledged that they’re being propagandist liars.

“The alt-left isn’t actually as bad as the alt-right; but some empty terms I made up trick people into thinking… ¿they’re similar?” ¿How are they “distorting” reality? ¿By being bigots? ¿Are they somehow tricking other leftists into being bigots? That’s not necessarily deceitful. It’d be a lot smarter to actually start with the examples, & then give the conclusions, so I don’t assume you’re full o’ shit. But I’m gonna guess you won’t e’er give any arguments.

The closest we get to an argument is “dude-bros”, presumably a reference to “Bernie Bro” pro-Bernie bigots. ¿Why not focus on them? ¿& what evidence is there that Jacobin supports them?

Interestingly, Jacobin, through Matt Bruenig, does provide statistics that show that Bernie had ’bout the same even male-female ratio as Clinton in terms to support. You have no idea how refreshing it is to see actual data & proof, & not just a bunch o’ clunky mixed metaphors & bitching.

Sorry for a second: I have to relocate my place in the Vanity Fair article ’cause it keeps moving me round ’cause their web design, like most big newspapers, is shit. The ratio o’ actual competence vs. perceived competence is leagues low for big newspapers like Vanity Fair or CNN.

He then goes on to list random left-wing & right-wing papers & websites, mentions 1 guy who became a Hairpiece-supporter ( &, ironically, considers himself pro-neoliberal, making him not on Jacobin or Naked Capitalism’s team, since they despise neoliberals worse than pond scum ), & 1 other politician who went on to gladhand Hairpiece in hopes o’ getting a spot in his crony bin. So this vile “alt-left” includes 3 people, 1 o’ which committed the crime o’ calling a celebrity a self-indulgent airhead.

O, sorry, we have 1 mo’:

Cornel West, once an orator at every social-justice convocation who got so uncoiled by his rancorous contempt for Obama and cast adrift into the hazy fringes of the alt-left—see Michael Eric Dyson’s definitive autopsy, “The Ghost of Cornel West,” the New Republic, April 19, 2015—that in 2016 he supported the Green Party candidacy of Jill Stein, that stellar mind.

O, ¿you mean that stellar mind who talked a lot ’bout the problems o’ the US’s electoral system, such as its inane electoral system or lack o’ instant-runoff, which caused Clinton to lose in the 1st place while that genius Clinton talked ’bout Hairpiece’s fucking tax returns? ( But she’s a 3rd party, & therefore dumb, ’cause independent thought is too hipster ). As opposed to that genius, Clinton, who lost what should’ve been a cinch ’cause she couldn’t be bothered to so-much-as visit Wisconsin. That genius.

I should add that Dyson’s “definitive autopsy” is nothing mo’ than a multithousand word pile with li’l actual analysis o’ Obama or West’s politics, but plenty o’ words ’bout West being a hypocrite ’cause he made fun o’ Dyson dicksucking Obama while West dicksucked Prince — when any sane person given the choice ’tween sucking Prince’s dick or Obama’s dick would choose Prince every time. ’Specially now that Prince is a ghost: if you’ve ne’er sucked a ghost’s dick, you’ve ne’er lived.

To be fair, this writer for once provides actual evidence o’ an actual target showing actual political naivity:

It was Jill Stein who said Hillary might be the greater evil in a Trump matchup (“Hil­la­ry has the potential to do a whole lot more damage, get us into more wars”), a sentiment shared by actress Susan Sarandon, who told an interviewer she believed that Clinton was “more dangerous” than Trump because she was more hawkish and better able to ram her agenda through Congress.

On 1 hand, it’s important to remember that during the election itself, Hairpiece did spew some talk ’bout backing ’way from wars, caged in the name o’ antiglobalism, since the only way to get idiot bigots to oppose bombing foreigners is to tell them that that’d mean forcing the soldiers to go near them. Then ’gain, anyone who takes Hairpiece on his word for anything is an idiot, & we’ve seen this when he sent drones to Syria.

In words I suspect Sarandon wishes she could reel back, she discounted the threat level posed by a Trump presidency: “Seriously, I am not worried about a wall being built . . . . He is not going to get rid of every Muslim in this country.”

“As long as we still have a few Muslims left, I won’t have to worry ’bout putting on brown face for the movie version o’ Arabian Nights. The rest o’ those Muslims, though, they’re collateral damage — fuck ’em”.

While Jill Stein is certainly a relevant example, Sarandon’s just some dimwitted celebrity — just like Meryl Streep. Shocking she’s dumb, too.

Let’s have a compromise, Vanity Fair: all actors shut up ’bout politics, whether liberal ditzes, “alt-left” ditzes, or conservative 1980s presidents.

He follows this with some Russian conspiracy theories, which, following the pattern o’ subconscious realization o’ his own idiocy, involves self-referencing cold-war scares without a sense o’ irony.

See, it used to be that left-wingers opposed warmongering, ’cause it doesn’t solve anything. If people like this guy who support warmongering so long as it has the stamp o’ approval by Clinton & the Democrats had any semblance o’ nuanced political savvy ( or didn’t have their fist up the Democrats’ asshole ), they’d remember that the Cold War ended not ’cause Reagan constantly threatened military force gainst Russia but ’cause Reagan was actually rather genial ( while still being outspoken in his opposition to the Soviet Union’s government system ) with Gorbachev, convincing him to moderate the Soviet government. Contrast that with the Soviet Union’s reaction to JFK’s blitheringly stupid actions during the Cuban Missle Crisis: alarmed by the US’s cowboy, “Fuck you all”, they booted Khrushchev, who was relatively moderate, & tightened control o’er the populace. Anyone with a basic understanding o’ human psychology knows that that’s what happens when you act belligerent toward someone else: they’re mo’ likely to act belligerent back. But then, assuming this writer has any knowledge o’ basic psychology is silly, since he doesn’t have any basic knowledge, period.

It ends with the best:

And here is where the alt-right and the alt-left press foreheads for a Vulcan mind-meld: the belief that the real enemy, the true Evil Empire, isn’t Putin’s Russia but the Deep State, the C.I.A./F.B.I./N.S.A. alphabet-soup national-security matrix. But if the Deep State can rid us of the blighted presidency of Donald Trump, all I can say is “Go, State, go.”

It’s ironic for someone who criticizes Hairpiece for being authoritarian to pledge support for a military coop with the lines “Go, State, go”.

I could throw round a bunch o’ labels @ this writer, like “neoliberal stooge” or “rich liberal who cares mo’ ’bout ideological tripe & having their shallow team win o’er the real suffering o’ poor people” ( oops: still couldn’t keep myself from being mo’ descriptive ); but there’s a much mo’ fitting label: this writer is a fucking idiot who doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking ’bout.

Worse, he’s a destructive idiot. His idiocy is destructive to the left-wing. He lumps all critics o’ the Democratic Party, e’en those, like Jacobin, which hasn’t shown a single shred o’ support for the alt-right with those “leftists” who authentically show no concern for women or racial minorities as a pathetic attempt to deflect from the fact that the Democratic Party are fuck-ups. He doesn’t want to admit that Clinton wasn’t sabotaged by an evil conspiracy o’ those vile leftists who don’t show 100% devotion, but that Clinton was authentically a shitty politician. He doesn’t want to admit that Clinton was widely unpopular ’mong leftists, not ’cause many o’ them are secret women-haters, but ’cause Clinton supported truly awful things, like deeply homophobic murderous tyrants in Haiti ( & these fucking Democratic sycophants have the gall to accuse other people o’ not caring ’bout “identity politics”, when Clinton showed a shocking lack o’ concern for the worst o’ attacks gainst a minority group ), supported drone strikes gainst middle easterners ( hard to take leftists seriously when they attack a president for kicking Muslims out o’ a country while praising a politicians who supports mass-murdering them ), & supported economic policies that hurt poor people ( though not as much as Hairpiece, you dumb “Hairpiece leftists” ).

A’least the alt-right is consistent ’nough to stick by something. They despise Muslims, & they live by it. When leftists attack bigotry on 1 hand while supporting bigotry on the other ’cause it’s “convenient” or “practical” ( the Democrats are so practical that they keep losing ), you can’t be surprised when much o’ the populace becomes cynical & stops taking you seriously.

But the alt-right did teach 1 lesson I’d been hammering ’bout for years: compromises can actually hurt just as much as they help, & so can having too low o’ standards. The alt-right succeeded while bashing many other right-wingers for sometimes letting their silly li’l conscience get in the way o’ screwing o’er weaker people. ¿Why can’t this work for the left? ¿Could not the left benefit by cutting off these hypocritical idiots who simply get in the way rather than dragging us all down with them?

After all, it’s not like anybody likes them. “Hollywood liberal” is such a popular taunt ’cause it strikes a nerve with those who otherwise might be open to either side: privileged ditzes who throw platitudes ’bout disadvantaged people, but don’t care ’bout them in any concrete way. ¿Wouldn’t the left look mo’ serious, look like they actually care, if they cut off these exploitive wastes?

Posted in Politics