Our rulers acted this week, and not wisely. We have moved out of lockdown and into regulation. The first deaths from the impending economic collapse have happened. This all makes me quite bleak, and I have a tendency to turn to Satire. This is a time of reversal.
Always note the denial. I started putting this together late -- on Wednesday -- and the prime minister was talking about the budget (due on Thursday) as being "jobs, jobs, jobs" while the reserve bank says that the official cash rate will remain at 0.25% p.a and will not go negative. I don't expect either of these worthies will be able to deliver what they promise. New Zealand is a small country buffeted by bigger countries and their economies. The time is turning, and expect the opposite of what is the propaganda
- The all-powerful Federal Reserve will lose control and its power will dissipate into thin air.
- Rather than linger at zero or negative rates as expected, interest rates will reverse and start moving inexorably higher.
- What was presented as permanent--the value of national currencies and assets--will be revealed as impermanent.
- What was presented as the power to force compliance will be revealed as powerlessness.
- What was presented as wealth will be revealed as impoverishment.
- What was presented as virtue will be revealed as greed and self-interest.
- What was presented as "growth" was nothing but fraud piled on fraud.
- What was presented as permanently abundant--food, credit, etc.-- will become increasingly scarce.
Charles Hugh Smith
This includes law enforcement. The current situation, at least in Australia and New Zealand, is that the law abiding populace are restricted while organized gangs have a free run because anti racism. There is a sense not only of resentment, but that we will need to look after ourselves. And when there is no police, a society will arm, because of fears of anarchy. Peter Grant has lived through such and writes novels about the interface between the Indian nations and ranchers. He comments:
I don't disagree with him, but not on racial grounds. I'd like everybody, regardless of race, age, sex, creed, color or anything else, to be armed, trained, and able to defend themselves against criminal attack. That would deter many criminals, while at the same time allowing police to focus on their primary task. Robert Heinlein's famous dictum that "An armed society is a polite society" is as true today as it's ever been.
In New York City, it appears that more and more law-abiding citizens see it that way, too.
You don't have rights
Your rights can and will be taken away. A local commented a couple of days ago, and he's correct.
On 23 March 1933, the German parliament passed a law called the Ermächtigungsgesetz, or Enabling Act. This law gave the German Cabinet the power to rule by decree, initially for about four years or if the then-current government left office.
This Act formed the legal and constitutional basis for the NSDAP regime.
On 12 May 2020, the New Zealand parliament is passing its own Enabling Act. It is called a Public Health Response Bill
Under Section 11 of this Bill, the Minister of Health would have the power to rule by decree, so long as the decrees don’t single out individual persons. Decrees restricting the freedoms of groups are quite OK.
As far as I can tell the following would be quite lawful:
* Preventing religious gatherings.
* Preventing political meetings or rallies.
* Ordering over-50s (who are said to disproportionately vote, and vote conservatively) to not attend polling booths on Election Day.
* Police entering private homes without a warrant.
* Any “enforcement officer” entering any private land that is not a home without warrant.
This Bill is not the act of a kind or inspiring leader. It is the act of a petty and insecure tyrant.
If you don’t think these powers will be abused, I have a bridge to sell you.
Stand for liberty. Stand against tyranny. Say No to New Zealand’s Ermächtigungsgesetz.
I would ignore any conservative who talks about my constitutional rights, particularly in New Zealand, where we don't have any such protection. Elspeth notes that the constitution requires a certain type of people. Those who seek God and know how to govern themselves.
At the heart of his words was the understanding that liberty as we understand it is only possible when the people have learned to exercise proper self-government. Once moral standards, religious convictions, and self-governance are gone, there really is nothing left but tyranny of some form.
People who have lost all sense of self-restraint must be controlled from without, like children. They cannot be trusted with a light touch of government made possible because they control their passions from within with God’s help.
We rail and lament against gov’t control and recite various versions of “don’t tread on me”, but it’s utterly useless. The founders warned us as much.
I know I sound somewhat fatalistic, but darned if Adam’s words weren’t true. I suspect we’ve passed the point of no return.
In my view, this is an argument against universal franchise. Voting should be a privilege you qualify for -- like a driver's licence. A republic ensures that the mob is never bailed out, and that the government stays well away. But a republic requires adults.
Locally, we have a woman with a communication skills degree fronting the government. The press love her. But she is functionally Muldoon -- our local fascist progressive who almost bankrupted the country -- with slogans. It isn't a time for talking, but doing.
Thus we see the steady trend towards politicians relying more on words than actions or deeds.
Lower status men have been very happy with this turn of events. Whereas before they were relegated to sniping from the sidelines, now they are in the thick of it and their words carry real power. When you add up these demographics you can see how it’s not that hard to get to 50.01%. Unless the other guy is doing the same thing. Then it’s the battle of the words. This of course is not very exciting, hence the declining interest in politics and politicians. They are divorced from reality because the great unwashed still have to mostly get out and do stuff if they’re not lazing around on welfare.
Trump threatens these chatterati because a Trump victory could mean a return to a world of doers as opposed to talkers. Their words would become meaningless and they would be relegated to … well, just look at Glenn Beck as we speak. That is the fate that awaits them.
This week's long read
This is from Charles Hugh Smith, and I agree with him. I can't control what our feral rulers do. I can control what I do. This may require that I write in the blog and be silent in real life. It implies that I help in the garden, and leverage what skills I have. It means I support Kea in her projects, for your spouse has a skillset you lack. A longer version is here, and worth the read.
1. Join existing networks based on your interests and locale. A church can be an amazing organization, and if you find the right church, the one where you feel comfortable with the congregation, the pastor/minister/priest, it is a rewarding experience.
Yes, people are still petty and annoying, but there are strengths which cannot be duplicated on one's own.
It is possible to start your own networks of like-minded people, but it's a lot easier to join an existing one. Most community groups (recycling, conservation, hunters, religious, political action, education, etc.) are desperate for people willing to contribute some time/energy.
My own view is that history suggests that any environment, be it violent inner-city ghetto or near-wilderness, is more survivable if you have multiple layers of social reciprocity working for you.
2. Your neighbors/neighborhood are already a community. You don't have to agree with their politics or lifestyle, but you already share an interest in keeping the street safe and attractive.
Now here's the thing that's completely, utterly lost on the Internet. Any fool can diss someone else and insult them on the Web because it's anonymous. Real life is not anonymous.
In a real community (something many suburban Americans may never have experienced, sadly), you can't make "enemies" because you're going to see that person on your street, in your church/synagogue/temple, and in the grocery store--or you'll see their brother, sister, husband, kids, etc. These multiple layers of interaction make it too risky to alienate someone over some petty difference.
(Plus in real life, someone who gets insulted might just beat the living heck out of the smartass. Word associations: "having manners," and "live and let live because it's not worth alienating someone.")
3. If there really is no group or people who you can relate to, then by all means find a locale with people who have similar interests and are rooted. Rootless zombies who move every two years and who spend their time being "entertained" in the Cone of Silence in their McMansion will have little to offer in the way of reciprocity until they find they are in need themselves.
But as the Chinese saying goes, "If you wait until you're thirsty, it's too late to dig a well."
3. I am a believer in the Peach Pie strategy. When we have a bounty of peaches, we make dozens of pies and share them with neighbors, friends, and customers/clients. We don't expect anything back, but the gesture is appreciated. Networks get built by someone offering something freely. Our corrosive environment of Predatory Capitalism has created a culture of "first I get mine" rather than "what can I do for you?"
It's not being "generous"--it's building a base for reciprocity, which is the foundation of sustainable networks/communities.
In the book, I use the Hawaii-based organization called a Kumiai as an example.
4. OK, work/jobs. I anticipate the continuing erosion of fulltime paid work. The "factory model" of employment (the monolithic State or Corporation as employer) will be replaced by hybrid work which is an adaptable, flexible mix of paid and unpaid work, private enterprise, community work, creative endeavors, etc.
In hybrid work, what's important is being productive and building experiential capital. The other goal is to develop multiple sources of income so you're no longer dependent on one skillset (or one network/business).
I'm going to do a brief brain-dump here on hybrid work. Yes, I speak from experience because I've been pursuing the hybrid work model for several decades, even before I understood the concept. Many of you have done so, too.
The point of hybrid work is to reduce the vulnerability created by relying on one source of income or skillset. (Nowadays this is called "antifragile.") The goal is adaptable, dynamic stability, and relying on one job/skillset is like sitting on an inverted pyramid: it's inherently unstable. So the goal is to flip the pyramid over and have a base of multiple income streams/interests/skills.
No one can parse out another's interests or talents. That's up to you to figure out.
We do have one clue: we are what we do every day.
If you think you like doing some sort of work, but you never seem to have the time to pursue it, maybe you like the idea of the work more than the actual work.
I would caution anyone who is confident that the "gummit" (State) will never fold up/stop paying its employees/beneficiaries. As I say in the book, the State has various means to evade its obligations.
For instance, you might receive your $4,000/month pension as "promised," but then a loaf of bread will cost $2,000. That's probably not what you thought was "promised," but strictly speaking, the State will have met its obligation to you.
Important point: skillsets and networks cannot be depreciated like money. They cannot be stolen.
Not the Ladysphere
Let's start with some wisdom from Didact. Who notes that the royal family do a lot of tedious and needed support of good things and situations, often thankless, but the most recent wife decided to bail, taking her prince with her. He sees some lessons.
First and foremost, a man cannot and must not be held responsible for his woman's happiness. To do so would thoroughly destroy the entire basis for marriage, as the lamented and much-missed Dalrock once pointed out. A woman must be held responsible for her own happiness, and if she is unhappy in a relationship or a situation, it is up to her to decide whether she wants to stay or go.
If she decides to stay, then she had damned well better be held accountable to the same rules and traditions and expectations that her husband is.
Second, however, a man must keep his wife in line. If he does not, she absolutely will destroy him and turn him against his own family.
This is an important and very difficult lesson for all of us. Most men, especially those who are not particularly experienced with women, do not understand that women have a strong desire to dominate their men.
This has been evident in the Bible from the very first chapters of Genesis. The infamous curse uttered by the Lord upon Adam and Eve is revealed in all of its horror and glory right here in the story of Harry and the Half-Blood Princess: