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War Makes Us Poor

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Image courtesy of Steve Hess

Top Economists Say War Is Bad for the Economy

Preface: Many Americans – including influential economists and talking heads - still wrongly assume that war is good for the economy. Many congressmen assume that cutting pork-barrel military spending would hurt their constituents’ jobs.

As demonstrated below, it isn’t true.

Nobel-prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz says that war is bad for the economy:

Stiglitz wrote in 2003:

War is widely thought to be linked to economic good times. The second world war is often said to have brought the world out of depression, and war has since enhanced its reputation as a spur to economic growth. Some even suggest that capitalism needs wars, that without them, recession would always lurk on the horizon. Today, we know that this is nonsense. The 1990s boom showed that peace is economically far better than war. The Gulf war of 1991 demonstrated that wars can actually be bad for an economy.

Stiglitz has also said that this decade’s Iraq war has been very bad for the economy. See this, this and this.

Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan also said in that war is bad for the economy.   In 1991, Greenspan said that a prolonged conflict in the Middle East would hurt the economy. And he made this point again in 1999:

Societies need to buy as much military insurance as they need, but to spend more than that is to squander money that could go toward improving the productivity of the economy as a whole: with more efficient transportation systems, a better educated citizenry, and so on. This is the point that retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) learned back in 1999 in a House Banking Committee hearing with then-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan. Frank asked what factors were producing our then-strong economic performance. On Greenspan’s list: “The freeing up of resources previously employed to produce military products that was brought about by the end of the Cold War.” Are you saying, Frank asked, “that dollar for dollar, military products are there as insurance … and to the extent you could put those dollars into other areas, maybe education and job trainings, maybe into transportation … that is going to have a good economic effect?” Greenspan agreed.

Economist Dean Baker notes:

It is often believed that wars and military spending increases are good for the economy. In fact, most economic models show that military spending diverts resources from productive uses, such as consumption and investment, and ultimately slows economic growth and reduces employment.

The Proof Is In the Pudding

Mike Lofgren notes:

Military spending may at one time have been a genuine job creator when weapons were compatible with converted civilian production lines, but the days of Rosie the Riveter are long gone. [Indeed, WWII was different from current wars in many ways, and so its economic effects are not comparable to those of today's wars.]  Most weapons projects now require relatively little touch labor. Instead, a disproportionate share is siphoned into high-cost R&D (from which the civilian economy benefits little), exorbitant management expenditures, high overhead, and out-and-out padding, including money that flows back into political campaigns. A dollar appropriated for highway construction, health care, or education will likely create more jobs than a dollar for Pentagon weapons procurement.

 

***

 

During the decade of the 2000s, DOD budgets, including funds spent on the war, doubled in our nation’s longest sustained post-World War II defense increase. Yet during the same decade, jobs were created at the slowest rate since the Hoover administration. If defense helped the economy, it is not evident. And just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan added over $1.4 trillion to deficits, according to the Congressional Research Service. Whether the wars were “worth it” or merely stirred up a hornet’s nest abroad is a policy discussion for another time; what is clear is that whether you are a Keynesian or a deficit hawk, war and associated military spending are no economic panacea.

The Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP) shows that any boost from war is temporary at best. For example, while WWII provided a temporary bump in GDP, GDP then fell back to the baseline trend. After the Korean War, GDP fell below the baseline trend:

IEP notes:

By examining the state of the economy at each of the major conflict periods since World War II, it can be seen that the positive effects of increased military spending were outweighed by longer term unintended negative macroeconomic consequences. While the stimulatory effect of military outlays is evidently associated with boosts in economic growth, adverse effects show up either immediately or soon after, through higher inflation, budget deficits, high taxes and reductions in consumption or investment. Rectifying these effects has required subsequent painful adjustments which are neither efficient nor desirable. When an economy has excess capacity and unemployment, it is possible that increasing military spending can provide an important stimulus. However, if there are budget constraints, as there are in the U.S. currently, then excessive military spending can displace more productive non-military outlays in other areas such as investments in high-tech industries, education, or infrastructure. The crowding-out effects of disproportionate government spending on military functions can affect service delivery or infrastructure development, ultimately affecting long-term growth rates.

 

***

 

Analysis of the macroeconomic components of GDP during World War II and in subsequent conflicts show heightened military spending had several adverse macroeconomic effects. These occurred as a direct consequence of the funding requirements of increased military spending. The U.S. has paid for its wars either through debt (World War II, Cold War, Afghanistan/Iraq), taxation (Korean War) or inflation (Vietnam). In each case, taxpayers have been burdened, and private sector consumption and investment have been constrained as a result. Other negative effects include larger budget deficits, higher taxes, and growth above trend leading to inflation pressure. These effects can run concurrent with major conflict or via lagging effects into the future. Regardless of the way a war is financed, the overall macroeconomic effect on the economy tends to be negative. For each of the periods after World War II, we need to ask, what would have happened in economic terms if these wars did not happen? On the specific evidence provided, it can be reasonably said, it is likely taxes would have been lower, inflation would have been lower, there would have been higher consumption and investment and certainly lower budget deficits. Some wars are necessary to fight and the negative effects of not fighting these wars can far outweigh the costs of fighting. However if there are other options, then it is prudent to exhaust them first as once wars do start, the outcome, duration and economic consequences are difficult to predict.

We noted in 2011:

This is a no-brainer, if you think about it. We’ve been in Afghanistan for almost twice as long as World War II. We’ve been in Iraq for years longer than WWII. We’ve been involved in 7 or 8 wars in the last decade. And yet [the economy is still unstable]. If wars really helped the economy, don’t you think things would have improved by now? Indeed, the Iraq war alone could end up costing more than World War II. And given the other wars we’ve been involved in this decade, I believe that the total price tag for the so-called “War on Terror” will definitely support that of the “Greatest War”.

Let’s look at the adverse effects of war in more detail …

War Spending Diverts Stimulus Away from the Real Civilian Economy

IEP notes that – even though the government spending soared – consumption and investment were flat during the Vietnam war:

The New Republic noted in 2009:

Conservative Harvard economist Robert Barro has argued that increased military spending during WWII actually depressed other parts of the economy.

(New Republic also points out that conservative economist Robert Higgs and liberal economists Larry Summers and Brad Delong have all shown that any stimulation to the economy from World War II has been greatly exaggerated.)

How could war actually hurt the economy, when so many say that it stimulates the economy?

Because of what economists call the “broken window fallacy”.

Specifically, if a window in a store is broken, it means that the window-maker gets paid to make a new window, and he, in turn, has money to pay others. However, economists long ago showed that – if the window hadn’t been broken – the shop-owner would have spent that money on other things, such as food, clothing, health care, consumer electronics or recreation, which would have helped the economy as much or more.

If the shop-owner hadn’t had to replace his window, he might have taken his family out to dinner, which would have circulated more money to the restaurant, and from there to other sectors of the economy. Similarly, the money spent on the war effort is money that cannot be spent on other sectors of the economy. Indeed, all of the military spending has just created military jobs, at the expense of the civilian economy.

As Austrian economist Ludwig Von Mises pointed out:

That is the essence of so-called war prosperity; it enriches some by what it takes from others. It is not rising wealth but a shifting of wealth and income.

We noted in 2010:

You know about America’s unemployment problem. You may have even heard that the U.S. may very well have suffered a permanent destruction of jobs.

 

But did you know that the defense employment sector is booming?

 

[P]ublic sector spending – and mainly defense spending – has accounted for virtually all of the new job creation in the past 10 years:

The U.S. has largely been financing job creation for ten years. Specifically, as the chief economist for BusinessWeek, Michael Mandel, points out, public spending has accounted for virtually all new job creation in the past 1o years:

Private sector job growth was almost non-existent over the past ten years. Take a look at this horrifying chart:

 

longjobs1 The Military Industrial Complex is Ruining the Economy

 

Between May 1999 and May 2009, employment in the private sector sector only rose by 1.1%, by far the lowest 10-year increase in the post-depression period.

 

It’s impossible to overstate how bad this is. Basically speaking, the private sector job machine has almost completely stalled over the past ten years. Take a look at this chart:

 

longjobs2 The Military Industrial Complex is Ruining the Economy

 

Over the past 10 years, the private sector has generated roughly 1.1 million additional jobs, or about 100K per year. The public sector created about 2.4 million jobs.

 

But even that gives the private sector too much credit. Remember that the private sector includes health care, social assistance, and education, all areas which receive a lot of government support.

 
***

 

Most of the industries which had positive job growth over the past ten years were in the HealthEdGov sector. In fact, financial job growth was nearly nonexistent once we take out the health insurers.

 

Let me finish with a final chart.

 

longjobs4 The Military Industrial Complex is Ruining the Economy

 

Without a decade of growing government support from rising health and education spending and soaring budget deficits, the labor market would have been flat on its back. [120]

***

 

So most of the job creation has been by the public sector. But because the job creation has been financed with loans from China and private banks, trillions in unnecessary interest charges have been incurred by the U.S.

And this shows military versus non-military durable goods shipments: us collapse 18 11 The Military Industrial Complex is Ruining the Economy [Click here to view full image.]

 

So we’re running up our debt (which will eventually decrease economic growth), but the only jobs we’re creating are military and other public sector jobs.

 

Economist Dean Baker points out that America’s massive military spending on unnecessary and unpopular wars lowers economic growth and increases unemployment:

Defense spending means that the government is pulling away resources from the uses determined by the market and instead using them to buy weapons and supplies and to pay for soldiers and other military personnel. In standard economic models, defense spending is a direct drain on the economy, reducing efficiency, slowing growth and costing jobs.

A few years ago, the Center for Economic and Policy Research commissioned Global Insight, one of the leading economic modeling firms, to project the impact of a sustained increase in defense spending equal to 1.0 percentage point of GDP. This was roughly equal to the cost of the Iraq War.

 

Global Insight’s model projected that after 20 years the economy would be about 0.6 percentage points smaller as a result of the additional defense spending. Slower growth would imply a loss of almost 700,000 jobs compared to a situation in which defense spending had not been increased. Construction and manufacturing were especially big job losers in the projections, losing 210,000 and 90,000 jobs, respectively.

 

The scenario we asked Global Insight [recognized as the most consistently accurate forecasting company in the world] to model turned out to have vastly underestimated the increase in defense spending associated with current policy. In the most recent quarter, defense spending was equal to 5.6 percent of GDP. By comparison, before the September 11th attacks, the Congressional Budget Office projected that defense spending in 2009 would be equal to just 2.4 percent of GDP. Our post-September 11th build-up was equal to 3.2 percentage points of GDP compared to the pre-attack baseline. This means that the Global Insight projections of job loss are far too low…

 

The projected job loss from this increase in defense spending would be close to 2 million. In other words, the standard economic models that project job loss from efforts to stem global warming also project that the increase in defense spending since 2000 will cost the economy close to 2 million jobs in the long run.

The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has also shown that non-military spending creates more jobs than military spending.

 

So we’re running up our debt – which will eventually decrease economic growth – and creating many fewer jobs than if we spent the money on non-military purposes.

High Military Spending Drains Innovation, Investment and Manufacturing Strength from the Civilian Economy

Chalmers Johnson notes that high military spending diverts innovation and manufacturing capacity from the economy:

By the 1960s it was becoming apparent that turning over the nation’s largest manufacturing enterprises to the Department of Defense and producing goods without any investment or consumption value was starting to crowd out civilian economic activities. The historian Thomas E Woods Jr observes that, during the 1950s and 1960s, between one-third and two-thirds of all US research talent was siphoned off into the military sector. It is, of course, impossible to know what innovations never appeared as a result of this diversion of resources and brainpower into the service of the military, but it was during the 1960s that we first began to notice Japan was outpacing us in the design and quality of a range of consumer goods, including household electronics and automobiles.

 

***

 

Woods writes: “According to the US Department of Defense, during the four decades from 1947 through 1987 it used (in 1982 dollars) $7.62 trillion in capital resources. In 1985, the Department of Commerce estimated the value of the nation’s plant and equipment, and infrastructure, at just over $7.29 trillion… The amount spent over that period could have doubled the American capital stock or modernized and replaced its existing stock”.

 

The fact that we did not modernise or replace our capital assets is one of the main reasons why, by the turn of the 21st century, our manufacturing base had all but evaporated. Machine tools, an industry on which Melman was an authority, are a particularly important symptom. In November 1968, a five-year inventory disclosed “that 64% of the metalworking machine tools used in US industry were 10 years old or older. The age of this industrial equipment (drills, lathes, etc.) marks the United States’ machine tool stock as the oldest among all major industrial nations, and it marks the continuation of a deterioration process that began with the end of the second world war. This deterioration at the base of the industrial system certifies to the continuous debilitating and depleting effect that the military use of capital and research and development talent has had on American industry.”

Economist Robert Higgs makes the same pointabout World War II:

Yes, officially measured GDP soared during the war. Examination of that increased output shows, however, that it consisted entirely of military goods and services. Real civilian consumption and private investment both fell after 1941, and they did not recover fully until 1946. The privately owned capital stock actually shrank during the war. Some prosperity. (My article in the peer-reviewed Journal of Economic History, March 1992, presents many of the relevant details.)

 

It is high time that we come to appreciate the distinction between the government spending, especially the war spending, that bulks up official GDP figures and the kinds of production that create genuine economic prosperity. As Ludwig von Mises wrote in the aftermath of World War I, “war prosperity is like the prosperity that an earthquake or a plague brings.”

War Causes Inflation … Which Keynes and Bernanke Admit Taxes Consumers

As we noted in 2010, war causes inflation … which hurts consumers:

Liberal economist James Galbraith wrote in 2004:

Inflation applies the law of the jungle to war finance. Prices and profits rise, wages and their purchasing power fall. Thugs, profiteers and the well connected get rich. Working people and the poor make out as they can. Savings erode, through the unseen mechanism of the “inflation tax” — meaning that the government runs a big deficit in nominal terms, but a smaller one when inflation is factored in.

 

***

 

There is profiteering. Firms with monopoly power usually keep some in reserve. In wartime, if the climate is permissive, they bring it out and use it. Gas prices can go up when refining capacity becomes short — due partly to too many mergers. More generally, when sales to consumers are slow, businesses ought to cut prices — but many of them don’t. Instead, they raise prices to meet their income targets and hope that the market won’t collapse.

Ron Paul agreed in 2007:

Congress and the Federal Reserve Bank have a cozy, unspoken arrangement that makes war easier to finance. Congress has an insatiable appetite for new spending, but raising taxes is politically unpopular. The Federal Reserve, however, is happy to accommodate deficit spending by creating new money through the Treasury Department. In exchange, Congress leaves the Fed alone to operate free of pesky oversight and free of political scrutiny. Monetary policy is utterly ignored in Washington, even though the Federal Reserve system is a creation of Congress.

 

The result of this arrangement is inflation. And inflation finances war.

Blanchard Economic Research pointed out in 2001:

War has a profound effect on the economy, our government and its fiscal and monetary policies. These effects have consistently led to high inflation.

 

***

 

David Hackett Fischer is a Professor of History and Economic History at Brandeis. [H]is book, The Great Wave, Price Revolutions and the Rhythm of History … finds that … periods of high inflation are caused by, and cause, a breakdown in order and a loss of faith in political institutions. He also finds that war is a triggering influence on inflation, political disorder, social conflict and economic disruption.

 

***

 

Other economists agree with Professor Fischer’s link between inflation and war.

 

James Grant, the respected editor of Grant’s Interest Rate Observer, supplies us with the most timely perspective on the effect of war on inflation in the September 14 issue of his newsletter:

“War is inflationary. It is always wasteful no matter how just the cause. It is cost without income, destruction financed (more often than not) by credit creation. It is the essence of inflation.”

Libertarian economics writer Lew Rockwell noted in 2008:

You can line up 100 professional war historians and political scientists to talk about the 20th century, and not one is likely to mention the role of the Fed in funding US militarism. And yet it is true: the Fed is the institution that has created the money to fund the wars. In this role, it has solved a major problem that the state has confronted for all of human history. A state without money or a state that must tax its citizens to raise money for its wars is necessarily limited in its imperial ambitions. Keep in mind that this is only a problem for the state. It is not a problem for the people. The inability of the state to fund its unlimited ambitions is worth more for the people than every kind of legal check and balance. It is more valuable than all the constitutions every devised.

 

***

 

Reflecting on the calamity of this war, Ludwig von Mises wrote in 1919

One can say without exaggeration that inflation is an indispensable means of militarism. Without it, the repercussions of war on welfare become obvious much more quickly and penetratingly; war weariness would set in much earlier.***

 

In the entire run-up to war, George Bush just assumed as a matter of policy that it was his decision alone whether to invade Iraq. The objections by Ron Paul and some other members of Congress and vast numbers of the American population were reduced to little more than white noise in the background. Imagine if he had to raise the money for the war through taxes. It never would have happened. But he didn’t have to. He knew the money would be there. So despite a $200 billion deficit, a $9 trillion debt, $5 trillion in outstanding debt instruments held by the public, a federal budget of $3 trillion, and falling tax receipts in 2001, Bush contemplated a war that has cost $525 billion dollars — or $4,681 per household. Imagine if he had gone to the American people to request that. What would have happened? I think we know the answer to that question. And those are government figures; the actual cost of this war will be far higher — perhaps $20,000 per household.

 

***

 

If the state has the power and is asked to choose between doing good and waging war, what will it choose? Certainly in the American context, the choice has always been for war.

And progressive economics writer Chris Martenson explains as part of his “Crash Course” on economics:

If we look at the entire sweep of history, we can make an utterly obvious claim: All wars are inflationary. Period. No exceptions.

 

***

 

So if anybody tries to tell you that you haven’t sacrificed for the war, let them know you sacrificed a large portion of your savings and your paycheck to the effort, thank you very much.

The bottom line is that war always causes inflation, at least when it is funded through money-printing instead of a pay-as-you-go system of taxes and/or bonds. It might be great for a handful of defense contractors, but war is bad for Main Street, stealing wealth from people by making their dollars worth less.

Given that John Maynard Keynes and former Federal Reserve chair Ben Bernanke both say that inflation is a tax on the American people, war-induced inflation is a theft of our wealth.

IEP gives a graphic example – the Vietnam war helping to push inflation through the roof:

War Causes Runaway Debt

We noted in 2010:

All of the spending on unnecessary wars adds up.

 

The U.S. is adding trillions to its debt burden to finance its multiple wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc.

Indeed, IEP – commenting on the war in Afghanistan and Iraq – notes:

This was also the first time in U.S. history where taxes were cut during a war which then resulted in both wars completely financed by deficit spending. A loose monetary policy was also implemented while interest rates were kept low and banking regulations were relaxed to stimulate the economy. All of these factors have contributed to the U.S. having severe unsustainable structural imbalances in its government finances.

We also pointed out in 2010:

It is ironic that America’s huge military spending is what made us an empire … but our huge military is what is bankrupting us … thus destroying our status as an empire.

Economist Michel Chossudovsky told Washington’s Blog:

War always causes recession. Well, if it is a very short war, then it may stimulate the economy in the short-run. But if there is not a quick victory and it drags on, then wars always put the nation waging war into a recession and hurt its economy.

(and remember Greenspan’s comment.)

It’s not just civilians saying this …

The former head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff – Admiral Mullen – agrees:

The Pentagon needs to cut back on spending.

 

“We’re going to have to do that if it’s going to survive at all,” Mullen said, “and do it in a way that is predictable.”

Indeed, Mullen said:

For industry and adequate defense funding to survive … the two must work together. Otherwise, he added, “this wave of debt” will carry over from year to year, and eventually, the defense budget will be cut just to facilitate the debt.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates agrees as well. As David Ignatius wrote in the Washington Post in 2010:

After a decade of war and financial crisis, America has run up debts that pose a national security problem, not just an economic one.

 

***

 

One of the strongest voices arguing for fiscal responsibility as a national security issue has been Defense Secretary Bob Gates. He gave a landmark speech in Kansas on May 8, invoking President Dwight Eisenhower’s warnings about the dangers of an imbalanced military-industrial state.

 

“Eisenhower was wary of seeing his beloved republic turn into a muscle-bound, garrison state — militarily strong, but economically stagnant and strategically insolvent,” Gates said. He warned that America was in a “parlous fiscal condition” and that the “gusher” of military spending that followed Sept. 11, 2001, must be capped. “We can’t have a strong military if we have a weak economy,” Gates told reporters who covered the Kansas speech.

 

On Thursday the defense secretary reiterated his pitch that Congress must stop shoveling money at the military, telling Pentagon reporters: “The defense budget process should no longer be characterized by ‘business as usual’ within this building — or outside of it.”

While war might make a handful in the military-industrial complex and big banks rich, America’s top military leaders and economists say that would be a very bad idea for the American people.

Indeed, military strategists have known for 2,500 years that prolonged wars are disastrous for the nation.

War Increases Terrorism … And Terrorism Hurts the Economy

Security experts – conservative hawks and liberal doves alike – agree that waging war in the Middle East weakens national security and increases terrorism. See this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Terrorism – in turn – terrorism is bad for the economy. Specifically, a study by Harvard and the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) points out:

From an economic standpoint, terrorism has been described to have four main effects (see, e.g., US Congress, Joint Economic Committee, 2002). First, the capital stock (human and physical) of a country is reduced as a result of terrorist attacks. Second, the terrorist threat induces higher levels of uncertainty. Third, terrorism promotes increases in counter-terrorism expenditures, drawing resources from productive sectors for use in security. Fourth, terrorism is known to affect negatively specific industries such as tourism.

The Harvard/NBER concludes:

In accordance with the predictions of the model, higher levels of terrorist risks are associated with lower levels of net foreign direct investment positions, even after controlling for other types of country risks. On average, a standard deviation increase in the terrorist risk is associated with a fall in the net foreign direct investment position of about 5 percent of GDP.

So the more unnecessary wars American launches and the more innocent civilians we kill, the less foreign investment in America, the more destruction to our capital stock, the higher the level of uncertainty, the more counter-terrorism expenditures and the less expenditures in more productive sectors, and the greater the hit to tourism and some other industries. Moreover:

Terrorism has contributed to a decline in the global economy (for example, European Commission, 2001).

So military adventurism increases terrorism which hurts the world economy. And see this.

Postscript: Attacking a country which controls the flow of oil has special impacts on the economy. For example, well-known economist Nouriel Roubini says that attacking Iran would lead to global recession. The IMF says that Iran cutting off oil supplies could raise crude prices 30%.

 

 

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Thu, 04/24/2014 - 22:54 | 4693724 IndianaJohn
IndianaJohn's picture

Big long-winded article to state; war is the destruction of blood and treasure.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 18:08 | 4692737 rsnoble
rsnoble's picture

Problem now is the banksters are the window replacers lol.

Other thing is with todays tech.........war can get us all killed.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:52 | 4691120 tony bonn
tony bonn's picture

the gdp argument is just another in a litany of lies the ziocons use to propagate their genocidal assault on goy, and whip up americans into a frothy frenzy to go forth to murder for some abstract cause or to fight some boogeyman. write your congressmen to vociferously oppose american imperialism in ukraine, syria, and iran. fuck the project for a new american century.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 12:36 | 4691059 lesterbegood
lesterbegood's picture

PUBLIC NOTICE
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Worldwide Banks & “Governments” Foreclosed

BACKGROUND TO GLOBAL FORECLOSURES
A two-year investigation by The One People’s Public Trust (OPPT) discovered the massive fraud that
‘banks’ and ‘corporate government’ have systemically perpetuated against the people of the entire world over many decades.

OPPT’s final report concluded that a debt slavery system had been deliberately set up by the heads of the banks and corporate governments, and whether we realized it before or not, this system gradually entrapped almost every human being on earth for the duration of their life.  The report also concluded that the existing system could not be fixed and that a new legal landscape had to be created to free the people of the earth from debt slavery. (Report http://i-uv.com/oppt-absolute/oppt-initial-investigation/)

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HOW DID THE FILINGS COME TO BE GLOBAL LEGAL RULINGS?
After the investigation was completed, the OPPT made two very important conclusions that were set out in the original UCC filings:? 1. that they (the banks and corporate governments) had by deceptive acts and practices been stealing from the people for hundreds of years, and; 2. nothing stood between
the Creator and each of the Creator’s creations.

The banks and governments were given due opportunity to rebut both statements, which they could not and therefore did not:  (See Declarations of facts and allegations of wrong-doing by banks and corporate governments: http://i-uv.com/oppt-absolute/oppt-declaration-orders/ ) As a result, on December 25,
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Thu, 04/24/2014 - 11:36 | 4690794 moneybots
moneybots's picture

"Yes, officially measured GDP soared during the war. Examination of that increased output shows, however, that it consisted entirely of military goods and services. Real civilian consumption and private investment both fell after 1941, and they did not recover fully until 1946. The privately owned capital stock actually shrank during the war. Some prosperity."

 

If one subtracts debt, GDP has been negative, for the most part, since 1980.  As debt was dropping faster than GDP during the Great Recession, that was one time that GDP was greater than debt production.  War or peace, it has all been the same since 1980. Debt has exceeded GDP, thus real GDP has been generally negative for over 30 years. 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 11:21 | 4690702 moneybots
moneybots's picture

 "The 1990s boom showed that peace is economically far better than war. The Gulf war of 1991 demonstrated that wars can actually be bad for an economy."

 

Economic booms are bad for an economy.  100% end in a bust.  We have been in a depression for 6 years.

The Gulf War of 1991 had no effect on the U.S. economy.  The end of the 1980's business cycle resulted in a recession.  The stock market jumped at the start of the war, as it was obvious the U.S. would win.  The late 1990's boom, was a replay of the debt fueled 1920's boom.  Both were peace time booms, post WW1 and Cold War, but both were fueled by debt.  During the Afghan/Iraq wars, housing boomed, as the private debt bubble peaked.

WW2 was great for the U.S. economy, but bad for the German and Japanese economies, as both had major destruction of factories, while the U.S. did not.

Each war has to be taken as an individual event.  The Gulf War had no effect on the U.S. economy, as the equipment used already existed and little needed to be replaced.

A depression was expected after WW2, but as producer to the world in 1945, along with pent up consumer demand, the economy uniquely flourished after the war, in an era that is now long gone, after an economic resurgence by the rest of the world.  If anything, the inverse has now happened, as a result of the resurgence of China, which resulted in it becoming producer to the world.

 

 

 

 

 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 11:11 | 4690684 Comte d'herblay
Comte d'herblay's picture

"War" is like the soda cracker that I use to transport a big gob of Spray Cheesy Jalapeno Dip from the container it comes in, into my mouth. 

"War" is used purely as a transport mechanism to move BIG MONEY and GOLD, ART, and other immensely valuable articles from the owner to the employees of defense contractors, arms merchants, and the banks that finance the transactions.

I could just take an ice cream scoop and carve out a big dollop of Cheesy Jalapeno Dip from the container with a spoon, but that is sSOoooo uncivilized.

 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 08:59 | 4689991 whidbey-2
whidbey-2's picture

When one returns from " a national venture", he/she becomes an unemployed problem.

  No VA benefits because Congress does not declare wars any more, and housing, just skip it, housing might available later after you get a job and settle down and get some credit.  It was the paradox of war,  being shot at was more more fun than looking for a job?? (they do feed well).  God help the men and women who in the past served at the behest of the draft board.  Now, of course we volunteer because - will, that is  what we do when unemployed in a free country.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 06:30 | 4689637 Kina
Kina's picture

TPTB and MSM must be starting to crack.....more Trolls appearing on ZH than ever.... to try and distract and disrupt.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 07:19 | 4689726 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

Kina - Yes more trolls here now.

Now this Geroge Washington is solid journalism! I imagine the time required to go into this article was large. I appreciate your time :^}
I don't think I can add anything further.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 06:17 | 4689607 no more banksters
Thu, 04/24/2014 - 03:18 | 4689468 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

War is good for the MIC, bad for everyone else.

Good thing we are sending 600 U.S. Soldiers and supplies to Poland, eh?

So...some meals, some talk, playing with guns and wasting ammunition target shooting - then back home.

Not to mention the two Navy ships tooting around the Black Sea doing "manuevers".

Toot-toot!

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 03:03 | 4689451 NuYawkFrankie
NuYawkFrankie's picture

re War Makes Us Poor

It also makes us "Dead" - as many will soon be discovering 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 02:45 | 4689439 JailBanksters
JailBanksters's picture

The keyword hese being "us", make us poor....

But for those that print the money "the Banks", then wars are extreemly profitable. Which is why the Rothchilds have backed both sides of every war since the 1800's. There not stupid, but apparently evetyone else in Government is as they unable to see it.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 04:46 | 4689529 tonyw
tonyw's picture

My simple view is that private business creates wealth, government steals confiscates it, the military destroy it.

 

 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 10:27 | 4690492 JailBanksters
JailBanksters's picture

Wealth is never destroyed, it is transferred

Which in turn creates the "have not's" and the "have more's", that was one that ol' numbnuts was actually right about.

 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 10:06 | 4690415 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

Then the banks, having loaned money to fund the war, lend money to rebuild.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 00:35 | 4689309 teslaberry
teslaberry's picture

maybe poor in the pocket but rich in spirit. 

MOWAR

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 07:06 | 4689290 y3maxx
y3maxx's picture

....It's time to rally behind Edwin Starr’s 1969 Anti War Song, “War” "War...Huh...What is it good for?...Absolutely Nothin!...Say it again!...War, Huh, Good G-d Y'all...what is it good for?...Absolutely Nothin!" ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQHUAJTZqF0

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 00:07 | 4689262 xavi1951
xavi1951's picture

WOW!  Another GW piece that seems to be news to sooo many GW sheeple.

 

I do agree however, with GW in his response to I Write Code, just above.  Over all, it is very informative for the uninformed, but for me, old news..........

 

Keep plugging away GW.  Regarless of my comments......

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 22:09 | 4688982 optimator
optimator's picture

 

Once sentence by Hermann Göring in 1936 on Guns or Butter explains the entire article. "Guns will make us powerful, butter will only make us fat".  

 

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 02:39 | 4689436 ebear
ebear's picture

 "Guns will make us powerful, butter will only make us fat".  

Spoken like a man who knew something about fat!

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 01:09 | 4689362 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Yes. War, and the tools of war, weapons; are very seductive to the violent child in the unconscious.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 22:00 | 4688959 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

Well...okay. "First lets filter for when there was no war." (We'll limit this just to the USA for the sake of argument here.)

Let's see...the last time we had no war we had the Great Depression!

The Twenties was also known as the Roaring Twenties...so I guess that was okay.

Before that you had Teddy Roosevelt's Administration.

And that was pretty much it for the Peace Train near as I can tell.

I would agree "how one pays for the inevitable pretty much defines who you are." The irony of course is that this time around "we'd keep the war small and manageable just so the finances wouldn't get out of control."

So much for that idea.

On the good side "Mr. Loyalty" George W. Bush had to fire two Treasury Secretaries. That has always stood out to me for some reason. "The third one came in just in time" apparently.

He sure cashed out of his Goldman Sachs Seignorage at the right time as well.

Talk about rich.

He made even more money after he bailed out his personal wealth.

I'm sure that was just coincidence of course.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 21:40 | 4688895 besnook
besnook's picture

as with pre ww2 the current wolrd is overwhelmed with labor and manufacturing overcapacity. there are two cures. one is a slow loss of current standard of living as labor wages stop rising and high unemployment is chronic. that is probably preferable to the second solution which would be a massive capacity destruction event, ww3, to destroy excess labor and capital. of course, a lot of people will die and a lot more people will suffer but the war resets the cycle and the world would be able to make the same mistakes all over again with a new captain at the helm.

in response to the article, in a perfect fiat world there are no opportunity costs. everything can be funded at the expense of a printing press, bastiat be damned.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 01:08 | 4689360 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

Labor is just another way of saying population. When human beings do not react to a food supply by re-producing until they use up the food supply, thus demonstrating the intelligence of Yeast; then they can be called intelligent; as a species. This has not yet occured.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 20:54 | 4688731 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Wot a dumb post.

Nobody but crazed liberals say that war is "good for business", and they swear that they don't believe it, that only crazed conservatives believe it.

If war is blowing up your cities, then I hope its clear to all it ain't good.

If was is only blowing up other people's cities, it's still not making you any money.

Yeah, a couple of arms companies may get big contracts in a war, but that's one thing, another is the overall economy and society.

The history of colonialism shows it's danged hard to turn a profit on it in real life no matter what, no matter how promising it looks over cocktails.

So set up that straw man and kick the living shit out of it, why don't you, maybe it will make you rich.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 23:14 | 4688761 George Washington
George Washington's picture

Nice try at number 1 ...

But Feldstein was prominent in the Reagan, Bush, and Obama administrations.

It's not a partisan issue...

The war between liberals and conservatives is a false
divide-and-conquer dog-and-pony show created by the powers that be to
keep the American people divided and distracted. See this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and this.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 20:51 | 4688719 Reaper
Reaper's picture

Does the good that a Daddy Warbucks does outweigh the harm his earning that wealth caused? War causes destruction. What is destroyed is replaced. War is the broken window fallacy multiplied a million fold. The more dead the less to divide among. Is pestilence, war or famine Nature's pruning mechanism? When will we ever learn? Never.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 01:06 | 4689355 SAT 800
SAT 800's picture

I believe War is the pruning mechanism for over-population; it is resorted to when Weather Events or other Natural Disasters, don't solve the problem. Resorted to by a sort of Collective Unconscious. If this is not so, WW1 remains without explanation. The more you study this event, WW1, which created the entire twentieth century, the more struck you are by it's apparent purposelessness. It appeared straight out of the unconscious, the irrational, endured until the population was pruned and ceased.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 01:09 | 4693988 weburke
weburke's picture

Lets see, a collective unconcious sent thousands and thousand and thousands of guys daily into the killing tunnel at verdun in france instead of going around it. And that killing flu that looked like poisoning via aspirin. Still unsolved mystery flu. What did the senate vote on when ww1 ended? What did they reject? Why did they institute the rule that americans fight under american commanders only,  after ww1? Oh nevermind, just ignore the very deliberate actions involving power, carpe diem and all that.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u86WRd8XH3A

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 18:51 | 4692925 Hobo Sapien
Hobo Sapien's picture

H.G. Wells, in A Short History of the World (1922), said that war has always been the traditional solution for a society's surplus of young males.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 07:48 | 4689823 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

SAT 800 - War is robbery or retaliation for such. Nothing else. How many died in WW1? 37 M. Out of 2 B total population. I wouldn't call 2/10 of a percent a cleansing. Now lets say that those 37 M each earned $40,000 per year. That amounts to $1,480,000,000 that could have been added to the economy. Since many of the combatants were young lets say they earned that for 40 more years afterward. 40 x 1.5 T = 60 T. That doesnt factor in investments let's call it 90 trillion. As a businessman, I would have loved 5% of their money or 4.5 T. That could have been great long-term banking profits but instead what did they get for funding both sides. I don't know but let's say it was $500 B. It would good to know what that was to quantify the article.

Then of course there is the suffering, the mental illness, the widows and fatherless children a lot of them going to have issues in society. How many Einstein's were there in that poor lot that could have drastically improved the world. We'll never know.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 20:16 | 4688602 EscapingProgress
EscapingProgress's picture

"War makes us poor" - this is obvious to anyone who can think. It is nice to have it all laid out in pretty graphs though.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 20:16 | 4688601 lasvegaspersona
lasvegaspersona's picture

"War is good for the economy" is just a 'Broken Window" argument. It is easily proven wrong when one considers the things unseen...H/T Hazelitt

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 21:38 | 4688888 Bro of the Sorr...
Bro of the Sorrowful Figure's picture

easily proven wrong to a logical person, a nearly extinct breed in our country. i have tried countless times to explain this to friends and family, to no avail.

 

it's amazing how a conditioned person cant even accept the most simple logical truths if they dont fit the narrative.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 19:55 | 4688542 kurt
kurt's picture

George

Your submissions are the only ones that consistently give me hope. The Constitution was born of the Enlightenment as are you.

We have a tough row to hoe.

 

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 23:05 | 4689152 weburke
weburke's picture

Good work George. 

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 19:39 | 4688490 steelhead23
steelhead23's picture

Wow, that's one hell of a takedown of the old myth.  Beyond all that economic loss, war also results in lots of dead consumers, so even if demand increases in the post-war period, dead people tend to be pretty stingy.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 19:20 | 4688432 Miles Kendig
Miles Kendig's picture

There is no instance of a country having benefited from prolonged warfare - Sun Tzu

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 06:11 | 4689569 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

The relatively simplicity and antiquity of that book by Sun Tzu on the Art of War makes it one of the most important to contemplate. It starts by stating that success in war depends upon deceit, and ends by stating that spies are the most important soldiers. Civilizations and states were made by the history warfare selecting for what survived through the crucible of conflicts. As power blends into information, so then the War Kings morphed into the Fraud Kings.

TO UNDERSTAND CIVILIZATION REQUIRES PERCEIVING THAT THE HISTORY OF WARFARE, INCLUDING ECONOMIC WARFARE, HAS RESULTED IN SOCIETY BEING CONTROLLED BY THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE DECEITS AND FRAUDS. THAT INCLUDES THE CONTROLLED OPPOSITION IDEAS WHICH PURPORT TO BE AGAINST WARFARE.

Although I agreed with the detailed arguments presented in this article, which are accompanied by lots of charts confirming what appears initially common sense, that killing people and breaking things is overall not good, I am almost 100% certain that my attempts to point out that the chronic political problems which are inherent in the nature of life demand some death controls exist will deliberately not want to be understood by almost everyone.

The profound paradoxes due to success in warfare being based upon deceits are something that virtually nobody attempts to think through. Since spies were the most important soldiers, the lies are different at every level. While our real civilization operates through the maximum possible deceits and frauds, which were selected to be the most successful by the history of warfare, that ALSO INCLUDED THAT THE CONTROLLED OPPOSITION TENDS TO DELIBERATELY DENY THAT THERE MUST NECESSARILY BE SOME DEATH CONTROL SYSTEMS.

The established murder systems were selected by the history of warfare to become based the success of those who were the best at backing up their deceits with destruction. That is what made and maintained the combined murder/money systems to exist in the forms which they do today, where the murders are done through the maximum possible deceits, while the money is based on the maximum possible frauds. HOWEVER, IT IS VITAL TO INCLUDE THE CO-OPTED CONTROLLED OPPOSITION RELIGIONS AND IDEOLOGIES INTO THOSE SYSTEMS OF TRIUMPHANT DECEITS AND FRAUDS.

Inside of that context, George Washington is another classic example of a reactionary revolutionary, who does excellent analysis, but does not go deep enough, but rather, tends to collapse back to old-fashioned false fundamental dichotomies, and related impossible ideals, when indicating what might be the "solutions" to these problems that wars waste people and resources. But nevertheless, the production of destruction controls production. The most important thing that human beings do is kill each other. The murder systems operating the death controls are the basis of all the other controls.

The FACT that those controls have evolved on the basis that their success was based on deceits has driven civilization to become almost completely crazy. That INCLUDES the controlled opposition of reactionary revolutionaries who refuse to look at human ecology as a whole. There are chronic political problems which are inherent in the nature of life. Those problems have been resolved through human history in the most expedient ways, as the resolution of conflicts by those who were the best at lying about what they were doing prevailing. Meanwhile, all of the established religions and ideologies were co-opted controlled opposition, which worked within the overall triumph of civilization being controlled by deceits, backed by destruction. In that context, people who assert that they are "against war" tend to NEVER provide any better death controls. Rather, they maintain the sublime deceit that there should not be any human murder systems whatsoever.

While it is theoretically possible to understand human ecology as a general energy system, the paradoxical problems arise that those systems were based upon their history of success through deceits, wherein spies were the most important soldiers. That was the context in which all of the dominant religions and ideologies evolved, which are based on profound deceits regard the nature of the social death controls, which includes the assertions that no such controls should exist at all. Now that the real world has become globalized electronic frauds, backed by the force of atomic bombs, "we" should think differently about how those combined money/murder systems could be operated. In theory, it is not difficult to apply general energy system concepts to human civilization. However, in practice, one then recognizes the paradoxical problems regarding the Art of War having its success based upon deceits, wherein those who were the best liars were the more important fighters.

George Washington's articles provide a supply of examples of how good analysis based upon useful relative dichotomies may still continue to presume false fundamental dichotomies, and their related impossible ideals, regarding what the "solutions" should be to the problem that warfare has become way too madly destructive, while the ruling classes that control that warfare have become way too criminally insane. However, when I state that, most of those who may agree will then presume that means that there should be no more war at all, when what I actually mean is that there should be a greater use of information, enabling a higher consciousness, so that our death controls are done better.

Old-fashioned forms of warfare are not merely going to make us poorer, after the development of weapons of mass destruction, they also seriously threaten to become suicidal to the point of almost omnicidal. However, nobody that I am aware of that discusses this then proceeds to suggest how there could be better murder systems, operating better death controls. The prolonged paradoxes of successful warfare being based on deceits, as the oldest book on the Art of War begins by stating, is something which is so deeply entrenched into the foundations of our established civilization that almost nobody is able or willing to comprehend how deep that goes.

THAT PARADOX INCLUDES THAT ALL THE ESTABLISHED RELIGIONS AND IDEOLOGIES ARE BASED ON THE SAME BASIC DECEITS, OR THE SAME ABILITIES TO DELIBERATELY DENY AND IGNORE THE BASIC FACTS ABOUT HUMAN ECOLOGY, WHICH MANIFEST THE CHRONIC POLITICAL PROBLEMS WHICH ARE INHERENT IN THE NATURE OF ALL LIFE.

Not only are the established systems operated by the people who were the best at being dishonest and backing that up with violence, but also, those who oppose them co-evolved just as much to promote the same basic dishonesties, since they actually operated within the same frame of reference.

THEREFORE, WE ARE STUCK INSIDE OF THAT PARADOXICAL PROBLEM, WHICH IS SPINNING OUT OF CONTROL, THAT THE ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS ARE BASED ON THE MAXIMUM POSSIBLE DECEITS AND FRAUDS, OPERATED BY PROFESSIONAL LIARS AND HYPOCRITES, WHILE THE CONTROLLED OPPOSITION AGAINST THOSE ESTABLISHED SYSTEMS IS ALSO DOMINATED BY REACTIONARY REVOLUTIONARIES, WHO ARE EQUALLY, IF NOT MORE SO, PROFESSIONAL LIARS AND IMMACULATE HYPOCRITES.

Since, for thousands and thousands of years, the ruling classes enjoyed social success by being the best at backing up deceits with destruction, and those processes simultaneously selected for controlled opposition groups that agreed to operate within the same frame of reference as approved by the ruling classes, we are stuck in that rut, while that rut is getting deeper and deeper. Therefore, we are now looking at the growing Grand Canyon Paradoxes, getting wider and wider, that there has been progress in science and technology, but almost none in politics, because progress in science regarding society would require enough people understanding enough that the whole society is almost totally dominated by systems of runaway deceits and frauds, AND THAT INCLUDES THE CONTROLLED OPPOSITION GROUPS, WHICH ADHERE TO OLD-FASHIONED RELIGIONS AND IDEOLOGIES, WHICH WERE SELECTED BY HISTORY TO SHARE THE SAME BASIC DECEITFUL AND FRAUDULENT FRAME OF REFERENCE.

From that perspective, I repeat my mantras, that militarism is the supreme ideology because it deserves to be. There is nothing more important than the ways that human beings kill each other. There is nothing more important than developing better death control systems, as the central core, keystone and lynch pin of every other creative alternative, in order to integrate some system of alternatives, which would enable bridging the growing Grand Canyon Paradoxes caused by progress in science and technology, inside of social systems which are almost totally dominated by lies and violence, while the controlled opposition to those systems still tends to share the same lies too.

We should and need, in order to survive, (which is NOT guaranteed) learn to develop a more scientific society, that can approach political problems with superior scientific methods. However, the depths of the paradoxical nature of the history of successful warfare being based on deceits, along with the controlled opposition to that also being based on the same deceits, means that it is practically impossible to imagine how our political processes could ever get themselves out of the insane ruts which they are digging deeper and deeper now, creating globalized systems of electronic fiat "money" frauds, backed up by the threat of weapons of mass destruction.

I continue to promote an intellectual scientific revolution, which requires that we comprehend the degree to which we are living inside a Bizarro Mirror World Fun House, where everything is perceived proportionately backwards and distorted by almost everyone, because the foundation of our civilization was the history of warfare, selecting for society to be dominated by deceits about its death controls, including the same deceits throughout every dominant religion and ideology, which co-evolved with the biggest bullies' bullshit social stories, that became dominant because they were the best deceits, backed by destruction, that made the surviving War Kings, that made the sovereign states, which enabled the Fraud Kings to covertly take control over the powers of those sovereign states, while almost everyone had "successful" lives by operating within those systems of deceits and frauds, with the people who were the best at being professional liars and immaculate hypocrites becoming the most "successful" people, INCLUDING WITHIN THE CONTROLLED OPPOSITION OF THE DOMINANT RELIGIONS AND IDEOLOGIES.

Postmoderning warfare constantly risks the use of weapons of mass destruction suddenly spinning insanely out of control. However, almost everyone has gradually got used to not thinking about that in any radical ways, other than to continue to promote the same old impossible ideals that there should be no more war. To fully embrace the paradoxes of history is to embrace the paradoxical ways that the production of destruction controls production, and the greatest and best ways to make everyone wealthier would be to develop better death control systems.

However, that could not be done without a radical revolution in the ways that we think about energy systems, and our current concept of entropy. What I am suggesting is that we need to retool the fascist plutocracy, rather than attempt the impossible goal of getting rid of it, or stopping it. While I have no doubt that the current ruling classes have become criminally insane, and are actually losing control over the civilization that they made and maintained, I also have no doubt that most of the controlled opposition groups are just as criminally insane, and spout just as much bullshit as the ruling classes do, if not theoretically even more so.

HOWEVER, I REPEAT THE OBVIOUS, THAT WHAT I AM SUGGESTING WILL ALMOST CERTAINLY NOT BE UNDERSTOOD, AND NOT WANTED TO BE UNDERSTOOD, BY ALMOST EVERYBODY. Hence, from a sublime point of view, I could sympathize with those who think it is laughable to say that "we should" evolve past the Neolithic style of civilization, towards a Translithic Civilization, which operates its murder systems or death controls in radically different ways, because those are perceived and done in radically different ways.

Theoretically, it is imperative for a world that does have an abundance of weapons of mass destruction to go through profound paradigm shifts regarding its militarism. However, so far, we have not come remotely close to doing that, especially since almost all of the opposition to the established money/murder systems is dominated by reactionary revolutionaries, whose "solutions" are always to recommend going backwards to some old-fashioned religions or ideologies. I assert that we should go forwards, through intellectual scientific revolutions, while I remain well aware that almost nobody wants to do that.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 04:33 | 4694124 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Not true, there's an exchange of shared knowledge, many are becoming more aware of the game based on deceit and even deeper, on a perceived struggle for survival.
What many are finding out, is that the basis of successful biological systems is not to destroy as many "foreign bodies" as possible, but to coöperate with as many other (adjourning) organisms, to mutual benefit. It's root organising mechanisms is SYMBIOSIS.
As you seem to grasp the war based on deceit, has no survival mechanism built in, it's doomed to destroy itself in branches of power that will compete, once the "original enemy" has been defeated (see the development after the cold war: these destructive forces need a new war)
The "forever war" is more temporary than you might think. Also when looking at it's beginnings. It might have started 3-4 thousand years ago. Before that, there were cities that thrived on trade, highly developed. It is that which remains hidden? That this "war of deception" is just ONE of many human conditioal states?
The one thing that works in our favour, as opposed to previous cycles, is communication. I think there is a real chance to deny the usurpers another (no doubt final) round of war. But it takes guts, and insight. Because (as you correctly identified) it's easy to fall into a role of opposition with the purpose of becoming the top usurper.

There's no choice but to embrace it. But dangerously so, the instruments of power MUST be taken from the now completely insane power "elite". How to do that, without taking possession? Thermo-Nuclear war is the end of the line, for our species, and our beautiful world. Threatening this, renders one's right to speak for common good, void.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 08:59 | 4690056 Reference Variable
Reference Variable's picture

You're forgetting key environmental factors that enable continued propagation of the established system.

  • Human desire to dominate and control
  • Sex
  • Finite lifespan

Taken into account, I find there is little to rage about. The system is a product of its environment. Until the environment changes there will be no evolution. I believe singularity would give us a different environment.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 04:37 | 4694129 Reptil
Reptil's picture

No, it wouldn't. You'd replace one destructive system for another.
Given the assumption (which is false, but let's assume it is) that human consciousness is transferred to a machine state, those machines will be competing for what they perceive as their needs. IF you do not change the governing principles of it's core intention.

You're denying the human being the other qualities that it DOES possess, and the idea of "struggle for survival" has blinded your vision.
Transhumanism is a TRAP, in more ways than one.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 15:29 | 4691867 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

I am not overlooking the environment factors which enabled the continued propagation of the established systems, which trace back to animals way before human beings developed their degree of mental and cultural powers. However, clearly, the most important thing about the human experiment in evolution, of building brains that could model their world, including a model of themselves within their model of the world, is that they then were more and more able to create layers of artificial environments around themselves, through which they could live.

HUMAN BEINGS HAVE BEEN CHANGING THE ENVIRONMENT, AND DOING THAT AT EXPONENTIALLY ACCELERATING RATES! Therefore, we have been driving our own evolution, and are doing that more now than ever before. However, since our civilization was built on the basis of success through deceits, we are more and more driving our civilization to crash into walls of limits, towards which we maintain attitudes of evil deliberate ignorance. Clearly, the industrial revolutions, whereby human beings gained control over previously inanimate energy sources, amplified everything by many orders of magnitude. The exponential rate of runaway developments of science and technology are continuing, and have the potential to reach the points where computer/machine entities are able to build models of their world, with models of themselves inside their models of the world, that surpass the degree to which human beings can do that, i.e., we reach some "singularity" moments in human history where our changing the environment faster and faster finally could blast off in ways where there was a different breakaway civilization, which left the civilization that currently exists behind.

However, even in that context, everything which I wrote above even MORE applies, because computer/machine entities which surpassed human beings in operating the combined money/murder systems would still have the same chronic political problems inherent in the nature of life, only MORE SO! They would then be changing their environment, and directing their own evolution, even more than human beings had been. Any future computer/machine entities that surpass the human abilities to build models of their world, with models of themselves inside of their models of their world, in order to control their behavior, would have all the same psychological and political problems that human beings do now, only MORE SO!

Therefore, my assertions about the theoretical need for an intellectual scientific revolution to resolve human psychological and political problems better applies even MORE, after some possible historical "singularity" events, of the emergence of computer/machine entities which were better able to make and maintain models of their world, with models of themselves inside of their models of the world. Everything that I stated about the combined money/murder systems that human beings created would continue to apply, only much MORE, after the industrial revolution possibly reached some such "singularities."

Such "singularities" would be the human history of changing the environment continuing to develop at exponential rates. The actual limits of the environment to sustain that are not now knowable. It is especially problematic because human ecology and political economy are now operating on the basis of their history of success through deceits and frauds, which has driven them to become criminally insane, in the sense of too psychotically out of touch with relatively more objective realities, due to the degree to which society is controlled by systems of legalized lies, backed by legalized violence, run by professional liars and hypocrites, which maintain attitudes of evil deliberate ignorance towards the full consequences of what they are really doing.

As the military and monetary systems become more and more technologically advanced, or even automated, whereby computer/machine entities which human beings built to help human beings could become able to have some degree of autonomous ability to model their world, with models of themselves within their models of their world, then INDUSTRIAL ECOLOGIES would become even more important than the human ecologies were. After any such "singularities" in the future of the industrial revolution increasingly animating energy sources, that were previously relatively inanimate, those computer/machine entities would become new KINGDOMS OF LIFE, WITH ALL THE CHRONIC PROBLEMS WHICH ARE INHERENT TO THE NATURE OF ALL LIFE.

Industrial evolutionary ecologies, after some possible future transitions through technological "singularities," would have their own, then dominating, psychological and political problems within themselves, and between themselves. Computer/machine entities, operating their own combined money/murder systems, would have all the same problems that human civilization always did, only WAY MORE SO. Intelligence would continue to be the internalization of natural selection, and the feedbacks of nested toroidal vortices changing themselves, and changing their environments, which then changes themselves, would continue for as long as the overall environment allowed that to continue.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 08:03 | 4689869 Raging Debate
Raging Debate's picture

RM - I asked my Mom if the protesters stopped the Vietnam war. She said "No, it stopped when the draft was extended to include Senators and Congressmen." I bet the person that introduced the bill had a hunch this would end the war but probably sold it as good PR for Washington. Not all deceit is for murder. Sometimes it is used to prevent it.

Thu, 04/24/2014 - 15:25 | 4691653 Radical Marijuana
Radical Marijuana's picture

Raging Debate, I regard human realities as necessarily always being systems of lies operating robberies. That is what happens when one thinks seriously and systematically about human beings operating as general energy systems, which act as entropic pumps. In that context, there is nothing else but the dynamic equilibria between different systems of organized lies operating robberies. The opposition to the dominant systems are basically the same as those dominating systems are. All churches are systems of lies, operating robberies, the same as all countries and corporations, because it is universal for human beings to tell stories, and to organize their behavior on the basis of those stores, while their behavior must, to survive, result in them continuing to act as entropic pumps.

The layers of lies in the social stories that control civilization can be perceived as almost infinite tunnels of deceits. Those who work to stop wars are engaged in basically similar campaigns as those who work to start and keep wars going. The PROBLEM is that throughout human history, those who waged the wars were sufficiently successful to keep that entropic pump going, while, after the developments of the industrial revolution, and weapons of mass destruction, running the old-fashioned entropic pumps of warfare ARE MAKING US POORER, at a galloping rate, which seriously threatens to start doing that far worse than ever before.

Human beings are STUCK in their habits, where the ruling classes benefited from operating their methods of organized crime, including warfare, while ineffectively resisted by controlled opposition groups. After the industrial revolution and weapons of mass destruction, the previous benefits from operating old-fashioned forms of warfare have become runaway criminal insanities. However, so far, those are still only significantly opposed by the previously controlled opposition groups which NEVER offer any better ways to have human death controls, much less industrial death controls.

Sometimes deceits are used to stop wars, like deceits were used to start wars. However, my view is that there is a continuous flow of energy, through entropic pumps, whereby there is always human stories, regulating behaviors, which are organized lies operating robberies. Perceiving that would be the genesis of an intellectual scientific revolution which might enable human civilization to understand itself better. However, at present, no such developments appear on the horizon of history, while severe social storms ARE on the horizon of history.

Fri, 04/25/2014 - 04:46 | 4694142 Reptil
Reptil's picture

Those developments DO appear on the horizon of our consciousness. Please do not underestimate our species, otherwise there is no way to escape the present prevalent course.
It is exactly the condition that our capacity to be very flexible, in organisation, and thought has been DENIED in recent (most of written) history, that keeps us enslaved.
That is exactly the goal of the ones in power. Prisoners of the Mind. Escape is easy and yet unattainable. Or is it?
Though the ones that keep this lie alive, are aware of this, they are even more stuck. And have forfeitted their assumed right to rule.
The lack of proper action in the Fukushima crisis is all the proof you need.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 19:16 | 4688423 Coldfire
Coldfire's picture

You had it right the first time: military Keynesians are full of shit.

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 19:36 | 4688485 Bastiat
Bastiat's picture

. . . typhus infected shit, at that; they spew death.

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