[-empyre-] On Currencies, Capitalism, and the Fed

Julian Oliver julian at julianoliver.com
Thu Apr 23 05:40:56 EST 2009

..on Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 12:03:13PM -0700, Nicholas Ruiz III wrote:
> bh...let us be fair ...i'm sure you spend and earn capital, so the idealization and/or criminalization of a legal and legitimate livelihood seems petty and trite...and an organization like Goldman Sachs employs tens of thousands of people, so why pick on all of them, when your issue probably applies to a handful of aristocracy across a number of institutions, financial and otherwise...and the phenomenon of greed applies to everyone in every discipline...that is what rules and laws are for, no? 
> It sounds like you would outlaw financial trading...would you outlaw trade in art as well? A more realistic approach, I believe is to acknowledge one's complicity in exchange, and to argue for appropriate rules and regulations regarding the trade of whatever objects we have agreed could and should trade...in fact, this is how it works, and it is what we have done over the millenia, since Mesopotamia, at the very least. The true questions revolve around the Law, wherein, unfortunately, an Aristocracy stacks the odds in their favor, in every industry, and in every fashion...better law-making and not, 'egg-throwing' will serve all better in the long run, no?

While you are writing to BH here and not me I thought I'd drop a couple of words
on this.

I agree with you Nick. I fear however we, as complicit yet critical subjects of
the capital state, are forever detectives that turn up after the crime. 

The formation of new law, the re-definition and affirmation of existing laws,
are inextricably dependent upon those that will act outside of them, a 'legal
ecology' of sorts.

Corporations have historically proven to operate at the threshold of what is
legal, taking advantage of their disproportionate capital buffer in the event of
retribution and/or state intervention. State regulation and rigorous critique -
as building blocks for pre-emptive legal intervention and citizen safe-guarding
- are always late. In this sense, state enforced transparency and fair-play are
  seeds of criminal innovation in the corporate sector. Nonetheless, this is
a good thing: let's at least make it harder for them!

I think it's necessary to underscore however that a capital state is
/necessarily/ configured for the abuse of its subjects, it is just a question of
what is bearable. Any 'economy' implies scarcity, the maldistribution of wealth
and, as such, laws that operate within such a frame are innately disempowered at
the citizen layer.

Greetings from Lima, Peru,

Julian Oliver
home: New Zealand
based: Madrid, Spain
currently: Lima, Peru 
about: http://julianoliver.com

> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Brian Holmes <brian.holmes at wanadoo.fr>
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2009 6:40:52 PM
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] On Currencies, Capitalism, and the Fed
> On Mon, Apr 6, 2009 at 10:26 PM, jeff pierce <zentrader at live.ca> wrote:
> >> I'm so tired of hearing
> >> about "centralized this" and "globalization that" as every time I hear it in
> >> the media I get the feeling that they're just warming us up to what will
> >> eventually be. Governments are too big to begin with, as they are a big part
> >> of this problem. They can't handle their affairs on a national level, what
> >> makes anybody think they can handle the affairs at a world level. The
> >> thought alone makes me shiver. Where would you hide if you didn't like the
> >> system that is in place? 
> Nowhere as far as I can tell. At this point (and for about the last ten 
> years) the same consensus rules the entire Western world. Asia and Latin 
> America are of course different, so try your luck. Maybe you will find a 
> place where entrepreneurs are allowed to commit climate change and 
> foster horrendous social inequality without any oversight. You might be 
> happy there, if you are rich and willing to have armed guards of course.
> >> At one point between
> >> October-December it was so hard to trade and carry any positions over the
> >> weekend because we (traders) feared some type of government intervention
> >> over the weekend which would cause the markets to move in totally random
> >> ways. This is still very much a concern, but it hasn't been as bad as of
> >> late.
> This is really neoliberal bullshit. You think the markets are "free" for 
> your petty day-trading greed? That's foolish. The "big government" you 
> abhor (with the very terms that Reagan, Thatcher & Co. taught you to 
> use) has created the markets that you now complain they are regulating 
> in your disfavor. Under neoliberalism, Big Government and Big Business 
> are one and the same.
> >> This is not a free market system. 
> Of course not. The free market system is historically a failure: it has 
> big crises and starts big wars. Is that what you would like to see now? 
> After Greenspan spent his entire tenure as Federal Reserve chief pumping 
> up the financial markets, only a fool would say this is a "free market." 
>   To even use such terms is embarrassing.
> >> Who are the government to decide which
> >> companies are bailed out and which ones aren't.
> And who are you to decide what matters?????? When all that concerns you 
> is how much filthy money you earn?????? I would rather see companies 
> bailed out than entire populations left starving (I refer to companies 
> that actually employ people, not Goldman Sachs etc). I think that 
> regulating the economy is a responsibility of everyone to their fellow 
> human beings. It can be done decently, if people only devote a minimum 
> of care to this most important human task. The kind of government that 
> claimed to be there to get government off our backs has actually brought 
> us to the present situation. Those who use exactly the same language 
> apparently do not have the sensibility to be ashamed all on their 
> lonesome, so it is important to point out that they and the major 
> business interests who invented their ideology have been totally wrong.
>   Last time I checked the
> >> survival of the fittest in the business world was the model of choice. If a
> >> company wasn't profitable, then they should fail. End of discussion. Don't
> >> use taxpayers money, print unlawful amounts of money, and destroy the
> >> currency in the process.
> On this logic would you kill your friends when they don't have enough to 
> eat?
> I could comment on the rest of this mail, but the whole thing is so 
> lamentable that I prefer not to. Over the past 30 years, the idea that 
> people should collectively make an effort to ensure that their fellows 
> do not die from "natural selection"  aka cutthroat competition has lost 
> a lot of ground, mainly because no one stands up for that simple idea. 
> Well, I do. There is a lot to criticize in governments of all kinds, but 
> to criticize the very existence of government is to buy into exactly the 
> plan that the big oligopolies have pushed through big government over 
> the last thirty years. This plan of so-called "de-regulation"  (or 
> really, re-regulation in favor of the rich) has brought the entire world 
> to the brink of disaster and all you people on the list are saying, 
> great conversation, etc. No, it's not a great conversation. It's 
> ignorance repeated and accepted as dogma. Wake up and think about the 
> world thirty years from now, and not thirty seconds from now when your 
> next trade is finished. On the thirty-second line of reasoning, we will 
> all be dead in thirty years, probably due to war over the gross 
> inequalities in the world, and not even to global warning which will be 
> slightly slower. It's not acceptable to go on maintaining in public that 
> your freedom as a small investor is a workable benchmark for the 
> functioning of the global economy. As a small investor you are a 
> privileged pawn, end of story. Telling about the disappointments of your 
> personal greed in public. I don't care to hear about it anymore.
> Wake up and throw eggs, empyreans!
> best, BH
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