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"I Give A Damn": A Capitalist Manifesto For The Productive Class

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Charles Hugh-Smith of OfTwoMinds blog,

A guest essay by Zeus Y. on transforming our economy from corrupted capitalism to democratic capitalism.


I am honored to publish an essay by longtime contributor Zeus Yiamouyiannis that is drawn from his new book Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities. Readers have long looked to Zeus for help in demystifying the complex financial frauds at the diseased heart of American crony capitalism--what I call the neofeudal cartel-state financialization model.
Of Zeus' many essays published here on, I suggest starting with one of his most recent: Endgame: When Debt is Fraud, Debt Forgiveness is the Last and Only Remedy (September 1, 2011)
Here is Zeus' latest essay:

“I Give A Damn”: A Capitalist Manifesto for the Productive Class

This essay is a call to citizens to put real work, ingenuity, and community above false promises and disgraced authority. 

Empowerment, in this essay, is not about pumping up self-esteem but rather equipping citizens to take control of the global economy. When political and economic leaders fail to act effectively, we will have to be the ones to succeed.

Capitalism stands and falls upon care, not the superficial “I-feel-your-pain” type, but the deep, committed “I-give-a-damn” type.

What does it mean to give a damn?

“I give a damn” means: I get broadly and deeply involved, I refuse to ignore what is going on around me, and I confront and respond to challenge. The operative word is “give.”

We’ve gotten a lot of I-feel-your-pain care lately, the mindless talk and cloying platitudes, the excuse-making b.s. It’s high time for I Give A Damn (IGAD) care to have its day.

I Give A Damn is the thoughtful, courageous, active care at the core of democratic capitalism, and we are going to need every bit of IGAD if we are going to rescue capitalism from predatory collapse.

Without I Give A Damn care, functioning capitalism does not and cannot exist. The stalwarts of capitalism--value, productivity, quality, customer service, transparency, accountability, entrepreneurship, attention to detail, successful management, enforcement of law--all require that you give a damn.

IGAD doesn’t require you to be liberal or conservative. In fact, it might help if you are neither. IGAD stands in sharp contrast to both unsustainable welfare state promises and corporate feudal monopolies currently masquerading as working in the people’s interest.

Democratic capitalism is about worthwhile production and exchange by communities of people who give a damn. It is expressly not about either crony-driven concentration of wealth or government redistribution.

IGAD doesn’t accept fake “compassionate (neo-) conservatism” or fake “get-tough” liberalism. In fact, IGAD would prefer that both of these big-mouthed do-nothing ideologies and their champions shut up and get the bleep out of the way.

Since members of the status quo are clearly not going to step aside, it will be up to a fast-growing body of social, economic, cultural, political, educational, and spiritual independents to lead the charge through the status quo camp and beyond.

Conquering greed and supporting productivity

Some people say that capitalism is built on greed or its euphemistic cousin “enlightened self-interest.” It is not.

Greed could be completely eliminated and democratic capitalism would be all the better for it. Capitalism in the absence of I Give A Damn, on the other hand, would collapse immediately.

Yes, Virginia, successful, healthy global economies are based on producing and giving something of value not on simply taking something of value. You wouldn’t know this from the current climate of credit-crazed consumption and crony-driven market manipulation. Right now functioning capitalism is about as scarce as the real spirit of Christmas.

Greed has become a consuming wrecking crew, cannibalizing, exploiting, and appropriating assets, dumping liabilities on responsible citizens, and concentrating wealth in the top 0.1% in an unprecedented spectacle of what I call “financial obesity.”

The economically starved productive class (the people who do actual work of value, i.e. middle and working classes) lies unaided and unseen behind the fat covering the eyes of the financial so-called “elite” (who should be called the financial “delete,” because their only real talent seems to be in either stealing, wasting, or erasing value.)

This is what greed (and greed’s crony, power) have brought us: a rising tide of debt and servitude built on exploitation and manipulation, quite the opposite of a rising tide of prosperity built on free enterprise promised by the so-called American Dream.

“But isn’t greed human nature?” Greed is no more human nature than suicide is human nature. Right now, imbibing greed is suicide just as surely as drinking spiked kool-aid. I Give A Damn care, by contrast, is essential to any human nature that concerns itself with thriving and surviving in our new interdependent reality.

Supply is not the issue. There are plenty of people capable of giving a damn. Any time natural disasters strike, I Give A Damn citizens pour out of the woodwork.

Though currently submerged, I Give A Damn productivity needs to emerge and start winning the day. That requires choosing between the parts of our human nature—the desire to give and the desire to take—and then deciding and following through resolutely on the giving part. This means elevating our character, conviction, and good sense instead of cannibalizing each other.

Are we going to give a damn and contribute to new life or are we going to try to take down the world as we escape into death? Are we going to stand up, man up, and woman up, or leave our children and our planet with an irretrievable mess?

Without this decision foremost, all the technical talk and analysis about the economy is ultimately junk, the same junk composing junk bonds.

“Unite and Win”: IGAD operational strategies

Since so much of the current global and national decision-making is being done by an exceedingly small band of incompetents and gluttons, we need not work to divide them. They are trying to divide us. We need to unite.

You give a damn, really? What have you been doing civically? Giving to Greenpeace or volunteering at the soup kitchen or attending Daughters of the American Revolution? Well, that’s good start and we need it, but all the food pantries in the world won’t make up for bad policies that eliminate food for hungry people!

Capitalist cronies will gladly take the surplus created by charity cost offloading to fund their military boondoggles and leave the middle and working classes both struggling on less and caring for the needy more. For any challenge to work, citizens need to get “systemic” and become smartly organized.

The time has never been riper to collaborate across the supposed dividing lines of ideologies. Haven’t you been paying attention lately? Even Ronald Reagan’s fiscal policy appointees Bruce “Supply-Side” Bartlett and David “Trickle Down” Stockman are sounding a regretful, almost progressive, tone. They now admit that their wealth-coddling ideology weakened conservatism and gave strength to party extremists.

Economic productivity and participation have plenty in common with traditional conservative values (self-reliance, fiscal responsibility, etc.) and traditional liberal values (concern for “least among us,” etc.) not to mention activist, tech-savvy progressivism interested in creating sustainable ways to thrive.

The ad banner for unity should merely read: “Calling all sane, caring, inventive, substantive, hard-working people.” Qualifications: 1) Have your head upright, and not crammed into some orifice (yes, you Republicans who are not part of the bigoted nutjob segment of your party), 2) have some guts, (yes, you Democrats who remember what courage is and still utilize it), and 3) have an original, interdependent, creative, collaborative character.

Unity going forward does not require the promise of hope and change. Hope and change will be realized if we get down to business.

Citizens as savvy political entrepreneurs

So-called “Powers That Be” assume organized citizens will fall for transparent co-option. “What are your demands, Occupy Wall Street?”, they say. Demands? How about just good-ole fashioned competition and pressure and relentless engagement. (Oh, pardon me... That wouldn’t be fair. I forgot oligarchs no longer remember how to do competition with all their no-bid, insider contracts, and “cost-plus” accounting.)

I don’t have to make demands as a citizen. I’m a leader. I get busy, I organize, I pressure, I create alternatives, and I keep working, working, and working until financial, political, and cultural exploiters fold.

There are no appeals to be made to a financial caste system that has proven it will not listen or change. Instead there is citizen conviction. There are reality-based principles and actions driven by the knowledge that the world can be a better place tomorrow if we use our minds, hearts, and efforts today.

Be aware, idle rich: You are getting soft from the hypocrisy you keep slathering on your power lunches. We are not going to fall for promises, stop our activism, and then watch you fail to deliver yet again. (Obama, you’d better be listening, because you are and your sit-on-its-hands Justice Department are included.)

Nor are we going to watch you steal from us and then give us a cut of our own loot if we play ball. We are not going to agree to you borrowing from the future and piling debt on our kids.

Productive citizens don’t have to make demands to financial freeloaders. We are the ones producing the value. We refuse to recognize your alleged authority. You have failed. We will develop and conduct our own leadership, value, and exchange.

You, the idle rich, the financial delete, are expendable. You offer nothing, unless you are willing to roll up your sleeves and do some real work. So stop doing ‘God’s work’ by stripping commissions from production, and start producing something of value. Be a stakeholder. Participate in the market. Be accountable to the market.

Be a democratic capitalist, for God’s sake. That is our one and only requirement.

Confronting the false idols of corrupted capitalism

• Having money never makes you better than someone else. What is relevant is how you get your money. Any tool or crook can possess large sums of money.

• Real personal worth involves human character and choices. It is not a financial dollar figure. Without a sober assessment of human character and choices there is no way to make a distinction between producers and parasites, no social distinction between those who invest in constructive vs. destructive enterprises. These distinctions are crucial in functioning capitalism.

• Maximizing personal profit at any cost destroys capitalism and capitalist societies. Additional financial profit can always be made by plundering natural resources and abusing people. That is not the kind of profit we can tolerate in democratic capitalism, even if it is available.

• “Making money off the crisis” will drive capitalism into a sinkhole if it is dominated by profiteering from the misery of others, rather than from countering irrational exuberance.

• People who financially benefit from sucking, deceiving, lying, cheating, and stealing, should be thrown either into jail (fraudsters) or to the side of the road (talking heads, industry flacks, technocrats, etc.). If you make money by destroying people and their societies you are a corrupt capitalist, a looter, a thief, and and/or a murderer, period. If you are a government official who rewards these destruction-bringers, then both you and the private interests you prostitute yourself to must be defeated with democratic voting and citizen action.

Principled, effective actions for IGAD democratic capitalism

Revolutions start when growing groups of people congregate in cafes, taverns, meeting halls, and homes. For productive democratic capitalism to work, we need to get together and start doing the things that help our ability to survive and thrive, individually and collectively, and stop doing the things that harm.

• Get your money out of too-big-too-fail banks, all of it. Move savings, money markets, retirement accounts. Divest everything and both “strongly encourage” and help every family member, neighbor, and investor to do the same. If Bank of America can’t respect the laws and principles of capitalism, then maybe they will respect the laws of accounts: When you have no money, you can’t spend squat and you can’t make a profit. Welcome to what the rest of America is experiencing.

• Rebel against the consumerist “American Dream” that is making your life a nightmare. If there is one thing you should refuse to buy it’s the media mantra that the solution to everything is to just get consumer spending up, up, up. It’s a pyramid scheme run against a finite planet. This is a recipe for destroying, not aiding, future generations. And spend with what? Your great job that has not returned (or even materialized). Your growing debt? Make reality your ally. Stop buying from irresponsible corporations, buy second-hand goods from friends and neighbors, and support community business with the money you save.

• Say “no” to debt servitude! If you cannot pay your debt, seek legal, political, and personal solutions. Community-organize to provide low or no cost legal bankruptcy protection. Work politically to get student loans to be dischargeable debt. Research and get competent legal advice on how to renounce or negotiate down debts to large companies you cannot reasonably pay. “Moral sanctity of the contract” is demonstrated by accepting the legal and financial consequences of failure. The lendee loses equity and receives a bad credit rating for payment failure. The lender receives financial loss for asset failure.

• Say “yes” to strengthening, simplifying, and de-expensing your life. Take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Don’t eat garbage food. Exercise regularly. Take non-essential activities and luxuries (i.e. cable TV) off your plate. Attend a free book lecture. Donate or sell the things you are not using. Meditate. Contemplate. Vitalize. Organize. You are going to need every aspect of your health in peak condition to best meet and embrace the seismic world changes that will be coming much sooner than we all think.

• Pool your money, resources, and time. Even with their big infusions of taxpayer bailout money, banks aren’t lending to Main Street. Do we really need them? Why not gather momentum around crowd-funding and circle lending at all levels. Why can’t young people or young families move in together and share and trade their resources around childcare, meal preparation, elder care, professional skills and so forth. This mini “economies of scale” could free up significant space to develop an entrepreneurial business or spend more time organizing and developing the infrastructure for sustainable and fulfilling social and economic advancement.


Corruption thrives when good people do nothing. Societies rebound when good people do something.

Let’s do this. Let’s make democratic capitalism happen.

This essay is from the newly released book, Transforming Economy: From Corrupted Capitalism to Connected Communities by Zeus Yiamouyiannis, Copyright 2013.


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Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:00 | 3604335 docmac324
docmac324's picture

That is the fastest way to get yourself disappeared, or suicided.  Out-right, outgunned.  Those days have passed.

It is now generational, maybe one or two generations from now, who suffer enough, will do something.  People today do not suffer enough to act.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:17 | 3604395 strannick
strannick's picture

It is expressly not about either crony-driven concentration of wealth (elephants) or government redistribution (donkeys).

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:21 | 3604413 Stoploss
Stoploss's picture

This time is not different.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:23 | 3604416 insanelysane
insanelysane's picture

We have met the enemy and it is us.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:30 | 3605410 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture


My earlier comments were too cynical.

At the least the author is trying.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:23 | 3604418 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

60 millon guns have been sold since the beginning of the one's presidency. There are 270 million guns in the U.S. The only way we can be outgunned is because we choose to.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:29 | 3604433 madcows
madcows's picture

Huh, guns without bullets....  Janet Carpetmunchie fixed that little problem.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:36 | 3604455 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

There are a lot of bullets out there. Have you ever bought a gun without something to put in it? Sure they ware hard to get now, but most gun owners were stocking up during the first term. Serious gun owners have been stocking up for years.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:59 | 3604519 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Bought a thousand rounds in November...of 2008 ;-)

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:00 | 3604524 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

In the south, we like to call guns and ammo, "currency"

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 17:07 | 3605118 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture

Get your wallet out of my face!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:13 | 3604556 XitSam
XitSam's picture

Really?  How many 22LR has DHS bought? Why is none of that on the shelf? Because of Janet?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:03 | 3604762 oldschool
oldschool's picture

FWIW, one of the more apparently credible explantions I've read for the .22 shortage is a production shift toward .223 and perhaps other high-demand calibers.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:59 | 3604737 prains
prains's picture


Not to point out the obvious but how many TANKS have been sold to the public in tha same time period.Personally I'd prefer to bring a tank to a gun fight.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:01 | 3604748 prains
prains's picture

You CAN"T take back what you NEVER had, unless all you want is words, then go ahead have all you want.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:08 | 3605681 Arrowflinger
Arrowflinger's picture

I totally disagree.

A group somewhere in flyover USA  have test marketed reform,  so to speak, using a collaborative effort that capitalized on social media in arguably the most corrupt city in the entire USA. The results were stunning. The people really don't LIKE manipulation and the corruption. It cannot be said that the reformers totally triumphed, but the political battles and reversals managed against a pretty damned powerful figure who ran that city (with an iron fist) were stunning (fought him to a standstill for 10 months.), with most of the old guard just plain amazed. They did their own investigative reports, using techniques that the local media were forced to emulate, and  demonstrably affected 3 elections. They did this for 15 months before taking a breather. They never asked for money, because the power of the methods cured that need. If that place can be fixed- there are plans - it can be done across America.

How everything that has happened is playing out in flyover USA gets NO media coverage, not even from the alternative economic blogosphere.

Collectively, we the people have the tools and we have the force to right this place.

One really has to dumb things down so that even a child gets it. More than that, you have to have a sense of humor.

If you believe, pray. If you don't, find courage.Corruption always turns upon itself.

There is a wave building. It will become an undeniable, irresistable force. This is AMERICA and don't forget that.

When you get past being enraged or fearful, this stuff becomes outrageously funny.

The folks who did this are just average guys and gals.......but they are not afraid.

You won't find that the "media" reported a word, because they were implicated.......

COURAGE takes a lot more than a blog post, though.




Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:03 | 3604346 orez65
orez65's picture

This is a nice article about being "good".

But it doesn't address the root problem of our economy.

Damn it, why is it so hard to get people to understand somehting so simple!

It's even written on the US Constitution:

1. Only gold and silver shall be used as money.

2. Only Congress shall have the power to declare war.

Add the following: All bankers engaging in fractional reserve banking shall be put to death.

All this deficit spending, derivatives fraud and countefeiting would then not be possible.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:34 | 3604641 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

The fractional reserve banking isnt the problem. The legal tender laws which use force ( or the threat of force) to make one accept federal reserve notes as legal tender of all debts.

And being unable to pay one's income taxes without using federal reserve notes.

Factional reserve is a problem when it is imposed on us by force. If you volunteer to allow it, that is between you and your bank. When the government FORCES us to accept fractional reserve debts as payment on debts, that is unconstitutional. Unless you are in e .gov and see nothing wrong with it.....

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:04 | 3604348 Beuker
Beuker's picture

Are'nt all 'isms' dogmatic? I certainly apreceate the intention of the article.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:04 | 3604351 malikai
malikai's picture

If voting ever changed anything it would be illegal.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:15 | 3604387 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

The votes that actually change things don't happen in November

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:06 | 3604357 smartstrike
smartstrike's picture

Productive Class? That implies existence of non-productive class! There are only two classes in a capitalist economic system: consumers who pay all the bills and parasites who make profits from consumers and rent seek.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:55 | 3604726 MagicHandPuppet
MagicHandPuppet's picture

The non-productive class grows exponentially.  The welfare state ensures that it is here to stay (until the welfare state collapses in on itself).

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:11 | 3604367 Steve in Greensboro
Steve in Greensboro's picture

The only meaningful ideological dividing line is the one between those who think the U.S. government should get bigger and those who think it should get smaller (preferably back to the size it was at the Founding).  I can't tell from the Babbitry above which side the author is on.  Not that i really care.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:16 | 3604388 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

Teddy Roosevelt once said "There is no such thing as being neutral in the issue where something is right or wrong- if you are neutral you side with wrong" This is america today, all the fucks sucking on a slurpee watching american idol are siding with the corrupt assholes in DC.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:45 | 3604689 Jekyll_n_Hyde_Island
Jekyll_n_Hyde_Island's picture

+1 hatter.


  The real battle is fought in the foxholes -- getting our culture to believe in right or wrong.  Here's the not-easily-digestible morsel: right and wrong without a theistic narrative, are illusions.  It was proven in 400BC, it was re-proven in the 1800's and it's now heralded in our culture like the corpse of some poor tribal indigent. 

  Without a master narrative by which to live, we are morally relative, truth is relative, right and wrong are circumstantial and relative.  The further we depart from the master narrative, the more diminished our abilities become to tell the difference between right and wrong. 

  No progress will be made to this issue without Judeo-Christian truth, which is the apogee, the crescendo of all good to be brought about in the world.  We have reaped what we have sown.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:40 | 3604948 Jean Valjean
Jean Valjean's picture


Also correct are those ranting about "dishonest scales".


Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:11 | 3604375 Solon the Destroyer
Solon the Destroyer's picture

This article misses the huge point:

It is impossible to have either Capitalism or Democracy, while the system is based upon an irredeemable fiat currency.


That must be the starting point and all the efforts he highlights above will be subverted if the currency regime remains unchanged.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:26 | 3605581 HardAssets
HardAssets's picture

Yes . . . people have to first educate themselves on at least the basics of money & the banking system, before they can begin to have informed political opinions.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:42 | 3605623 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture



Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:13 | 3604379 nmewn
nmewn's picture

"Let’s make democratic capitalism happen."

Does that include subsidizing windmills, solar panels and mortgages people couldn't afford? I thought we just did that?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:36 | 3604653 LongBallsShortBrains
LongBallsShortBrains's picture

And sail fonez.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:40 | 3605612 nmewn
nmewn's picture

And sail foenz...and ObamaMoney...lining up around the block for it, all it takes is prostrating oneself before the One.

So much misplaced pride.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:38 | 3604662 Graph
Graph's picture

Also, does that require a NEW PLANET?

This one is raped to the bone.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 19:36 | 3605606 nmewn
nmewn's picture

Enjoy the ride bucko...I'm sure there are other atoms to conquer and light years to go before you sleep.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:14 | 3604384 sbenard
sbenard's picture

Just finished David Stockman's book, The Great Deformation. Great book! I recommend it to all!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:18 | 3604398 The Abstraction...
The Abstraction of Justice's picture

They who do nothing are not the good people.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:18 | 3604399 disabledvet
disabledvet's picture

The whole purpose for creating a middle class after World War II was to prevent the instability of the Great Depression era which is eerily similar if not identical to what we have right now. Obviously the whole project was considered "dorky" at the time...after wiping the Soviet Union off the map and creating the idea of "exurbs" while engaging in successful bubble reinflation after 2008 however and I think a SLIGHT reassessment is in order. If Japan goes bye bye then that's all the convincing I need. We'll see...treasuries are really expensive here...I recommend buying them here as I think we've hit the highs of the year in them. I mean Ballard power up 125% in a week? And I'm suppose to buy that? Freaking boilerroom b.s. in my book.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:18 | 3604400 MedicalQuack
MedicalQuack's picture

It's all about the models and yes I agree with much of what is said here, but we have the other side that has the tools to manipulate and move money.  We all read about the quants and their talent in what they do and they are not the big money winners, it's the front office folks.  Ask one and they will tell you that nerds are never in control. 

So  now the latest SAAS software is what I call Models Without Borders to where one can upload a spread sheet and create their own model and either give it away or sell it to others.  Ok, so where's the accuracy or validity?  Seems if you can soak enough folks with your marketing, they will buy it:)  Sure there will be a few good ones to come forward but I want to hear what the Quants who do this for a living have to say too, as this can be a dangerous tool in the wrong hands without making sure of accuracy, data, and a lot of other things.

So I ask, is this the deal now?  Economist might even start using it, who knows as they need new tools, but again the same thing applies here with them being novices in the "model" area.  I said the odds of some good models will be right about the same percentage of start up companies that make it...I guess we shall see:)

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:21 | 3604405 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Stupid article. There are VERY few 'good' or 'productive' people anymore. That generation no longer gives half a shit so long as their SS and pension checks are in the mail. You can't fix stupid, and it's NOT just the politicians who are stupid. This bullshit fantasy of raping the World's resources for the benefit of a few is OVER, so get over it and prepare to live with less. Conversely, you can cheer on the CBs, and fantasize about how ridiculously wealthy they are going to make us all. There's no middle ground here. The system is terminal! Can't be fixed! Shouldn't be fixed! There will NOT be good or productive people showing up until it is necessary for such mystical creatures to exist. BRING IT DOWN, BITCHEZZ!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:38 | 3604463 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

You know, its funny, years ago I wondered and toiled and studied, how will we save the world?

The answer was rather alarming, in that, the world in its current state does not deserve to be saved.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:00 | 3604522 Dewey Cheatum Howe
Dewey Cheatum Howe's picture

Yeah it is a compelling question everytime I ask myself it I keep coming back to one conclusion you can't help or save those that don't want to be saved. You have to answer the question why and then you might be able to fix the mess before it implodes. I think I have a good idea why and it is topic I touch a bit and so does ZH about information manipulation and manipulation in general clouding people's view of reality. It is like all the key choke points have been inflitrated by a bunch of grima wormtongue types poisoning minds with bullshit from every which direction that most the poor bastards don't have chance from the get go since they never get to see the other side of the fence and think abnormal is anything but. Diversity and perspective allows you to see things from different angles but like everything else in the fabian socialist inversion techniques they use it to clamp down on all diversity and perspectives except for the ones they want to be the narrative. Turn the ideas inside out to do the exact opposite to exert control over people.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:50 | 3604708 Jekyll_n_Hyde_Island
Jekyll_n_Hyde_Island's picture

To say that the world isn't worth saving is giving up.  It's also wrong -- that is, if you believe in right or wrong.


 It's saying that if you had the chance to save it, you wouldn't because it's not worth it.

  You're lazy, and you gave up.


  You represent a darkness that I would hope most ZHers would not join.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 20:58 | 3605802 sitenine
sitenine's picture

Don't despair.  As it turns out, you are just simply missing the point. The World WILL NOT end if we decide to destroy this miserable ponzi. End the ponzi, and you SAVE the World.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:00 | 3604521 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

A lot of people spend all their time in a small circle of friends and don't even realize how bad it is out there. Most of america is clueless, spineless, fat, lazy and stupid, ignorant of what's going on, much less to what will happen to them. How else would you explain Facebook?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:25 | 3604407 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

That's real interesting Dr. Zeus, but what is your end game?  We know the problem, but pray tell you have a solution to share, not suggested actions, but a real end game.   If you haven't got one, you can get one at   The Declaration of American Liberty and the 2014 Congressional campaign HM 535 used in conjunction to achieve the end game of the total restoration of political Liberty in the daily operation of our government.  It's simple, quick, to the point, and works in all elections, it's catalyst effect rampant and immediate.  Unless of course you have other ideas, I mean, What's the frequency Kenneth?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:24 | 3604409 e-recep
e-recep's picture

the essay is full of emotion and lacks wisdom, intelligence and preparedness. it seems to be written by a complete rookie. you can't fight the rascals like that.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:22 | 3604414 Fuku Ben
Fuku Ben's picture

Let the American proletariat eat cake

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:27 | 3604429 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Greed isn't a base human emotion? I suppose envy isn't either. And neither is avarice. These are like suicide, which is an act, but like a thought. Whatever they're the same thing.

This entire essay needed to be put in front an editor. Meandering. Mindless. Contradicting from paragraph to paragraph. It's actually a great article to show that the IGAD crowd can't rub a cogent thought together. You can't identify a real problem.

The second thing is this adding "democratic" as an adjective to things as if this somehow holds a morally superior outcome. "democratic capitalism". WTF is that? Is that where we all agree to let each other deploy capital as the individual sees fit? Or is that too greedy? Or does it mean "we" decide how to deploy other people's capital? Or do "we" just steal people's capital that "we" determine doesn't deploy it to our liking and then deploy it for them? Because that's sounds a lot like "democratic" socialism.

Then this:

• Say “no” to debt servitude! If you cannot pay your debt, seek legal, political, and personal solutions. Community-organize to provide low or no cost legal bankruptcy protection. Work politically to get student loans to be dischargeable debt.

That's called stealing from people who loan you money. Basically, if you can't pay, get a bunch of other people to scream down the person you owe money. Fuck this guy. He's just another socialist pissed that he's not in power.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:41 | 3604477 Herd Redirectio...
Herd Redirection Committee's picture

If you were fraudulently induced into borrowing large sums of money, under the premise that you would be getting a 'valuable education' in return, then its odious debt, not 'stealing from people who loan you money'.

There is a difference.  A crucial one.  Its the difference between the housing bubble being the fault of poor folk, or the housing bubble being the fault of regulators and banks without lending standards.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:47 | 3604698 Catullus
Catullus's picture

Fraudulently induced to take on debt?

I missed the nuanced point. I don't see how you can know that before going into the transaction. Seems like buyers' remorse. There's NOT a big difference from what you're inferring.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:05 | 3604540 Peterus
Peterus's picture

Depends of the definitions of debt. Some people and some legal system consider it as money that still in possession of lender. In this case it is theft. Though this is standing on some shaky grounds. How can you possess it while it is being controlled by someone else?

Much more reasonable way of looking at it - is as a contract. Lender cedes his right to the money and gets debt contract. Borrower can default on it. You are not a slave to your contracts. You can just not fallow through, obviously defaulting has severe consequences. In a lawful society you would be unable to ever get another loan if you didn't first pay off the one you've defaulted on (unless it was shady, or you had made some other reparations to the lender - like in a desperate financial situation he might agree to take say 50% and let you go, prefering this than taking 0% and bringing the pain on your arse). Break a contract and don't get any deals in the future, or pay premium for your untrustworthiness.

It would be monsterous to hold emotional, frequently stupid animal like a human being to 100% of every word he says. Such a standard in a changing World and with human actors is simply to high for almost everybody. So another solution is needed, and fortunately it is already here - reputation system.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:27 | 3604431 Spastica Rex
Spastica Rex's picture

Who decides what "wothwhile" is? Me? I've decided that iStuff isn't worthwhile.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:34 | 3604451 Floodmaster
Floodmaster's picture

Technology have removed the productive Class, we are now indirectly or directly subsidized.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:36 | 3604459 Maestro Maestro
Maestro Maestro's picture



Here’s a direct quote from FOFOA:


          Yes, of course gold is NOT money! The true and   

          pure concept of money is basically credit...As I

          wrote in Moneyness: 'Money is the referencing of

          the thing, not the thing itself. As FOA said, money

          is 'a value stored in your head!' Money is not

          something you save. 'Money in its purest form is a

          mental association of values in trade; a concept in

          memory not a real item…This is the money

          concept, my friends.’




          September 19, 2012 4:49 PM



"Gold is money, everything else is credit."
--J.P. Morgan, 1912

"Fiat is actually more honest than a gold standard."
--FOFOA, Thursday, July 28, 2011 


Freegolders say they are AGAINST gold as money, that gold IS NOT money.


As per above, Freegold says that money is just something in your head and “NOT A REAL ITEM”!


Who is AGAINST gold or honest money?




Fregolders say that gold is neither commodity nor money.  What kind of bullshit is that?





Another: let's see where we are going (follower)

Art: let's work to make where we are going just (leader)



Posted by moneymaverick to FOFOA at May 13, 2011 2:09 PM

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:41 | 3604476 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

Cut and run.  You can't reverse the cancer that is the FedGov. 

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:50 | 3604496 0b1knob
0b1knob's picture

I don't give a damn about the nation.


I don't take any damnation.


I'm not in the damn business.


Community based capitalism is a contradiction in terms.   All capitalsim is based on individual choices.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:52 | 3604503 A Lunatic
A Lunatic's picture

The system needs to collapse and I refuse to give a damn about it any longer........

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 14:53 | 3604505 cougar_w
cougar_w's picture

The productive class used to be whoever held land and could muster an army of workers.

But production defined as making-something-valuable-from-raw-materials hasn't been a class-phenomenon for the past 300 years.

For the last 300 years, production has been a function of free energy inputs. Period. Those as had access to coal and later cheap oil, produced. For a while now everyone could produce in the "new economy" of free energy inputs so long as they had native oil and coal reserves, or could invade some nation as did have, or could race ahead fast enough to drum up money to buy their way into the club. But the easy free energy is gone. We are seeing now that those as ain't got it (Japan) fall off the edge of the world once they start to fall behind in the resource race for any reason.

The free energy productivity run is nearly over, and those as came into it recently will be the first to drop out. From here we will have our true productive class back starting in about 30 years. They will be the land holders, lording over their serfs working the sod to create calories from the sun and water. Just like it was 300 years ago.

We are the last generations to have known this current way of life. Later generations will marvel at what we threw away.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:08 | 3604544 Floodmaster
Floodmaster's picture

Try to find a robot/a.i. safe job, they are able to do heart and cataract surgery or predict the weather

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:00 | 3604523 alien-IQ
alien-IQ's picture

No real working people refer to themselves in such self-glorifying terms as "the productive class". This is the kind of terminology invented by financiers looking to persuade people into demanding that the government let Goldman Sachs manage your social security. It's a ruse and Charles should know better.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:03 | 3604530 nikku
nikku's picture

Definition of Democracy: Two butchers and a cow voting on who's for dinner. You need to study our founders more carefully. They made a big distinction out of protecting minorities--including Africans. There was an agreement that slavery woud end in a certain number of years (But that's another story). STOP USING THE TERM "CAPITALISM!" Carl Marx invented and defined the term. What I believe in as an entrepreneur (who has hired 100s of employees and paid millions in taxes--almost all at a 34% rate--and who is suffering from the Fed's war on savers) is the FREE ENTERPREISE SYSTEM!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:05 | 3604539 The_Dude
The_Dude's picture

What we need is a Business Equality Act or Bill of Rights law that allows people or companies to seek damages against companies that are profiting off of fraudulent methods or policies.  Since the US government is corrupted by the large multi-nationals and graft from the money changers, they will never do anything to meaningfully enforce the laws that allow those companies to profit illegally, slowly sucking the life out of the productive economy. 

But if people and companies had the ability to leverage massive punitive civil charges for this fraudulent destructive activity, every company would behave ethically for fear of an onslaught of legal charges that would bury them.  And this would go from the largest company to the small. 

Two Examples: 

- Goldman Sachs is employing front running HFT tactics.  Boom....Lawsuit from the Pension Fund that can show they were damaged by $0.25 on the trade.  No SEC needed.  Just a good Forensic Financial analyst.

- Jim's Painting Service decided to hire 3 illegals to paint houses for him.  Boom....Lawsuit from Bill's Painting Service for anti-competitive practices. No NLRB, OSHA or ICE.

Why is this important?  Because this corruption breeds further corruption.  Every hard working Bill that is out there trying to do the right thing is slowly being run out of business because their competitors don't have the ethics to run a business fairly.  And Bill learns that if he don't compromise his own ethics, he will loose his business and everything he has worked for.  So he bends and the corruption accelerates.  And the corruption moves through the system like a cancer, affecting more and more of the body as people desperately try to survive.

The power to enforce ethics needs to be in the hands of the people and not the politicians because the politicians have shown they cannot be trusted.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:18 | 3604574 JR
JR's picture

Our unfortunate situation now revolves around a straight-to-the-point Constitution and a crooked Congress. The Bill of Rights and Constitutional guarantees are completely clear on Americans and their property. But a corrupt Congress bends the rules to fit the criminals and their crimes.

Congress Still Puts Out for Wall Street

Posted on May 27, 2013

By Robert Scheer

What does it take to make a Wall Street banker squirm with shame? Not content with having swindled tens of millions of Americans out of their homes and life savings, the very bankers who caused the biggest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression are now subverting government regulations designed to prevent comparable disasters in the future. 

Top of the list of those responsible are the hustlers at Citigroup, once the world’s largest financial conglomerate, and a leading practitioner of the sordid behavior that caused the housing meltdown. Indeed, Citigroup was allowed to form as a merger of the investment banking of Travelers and the federal insured commercial banking of Citicorp only because lobbyists for those institutions successfully engineered the reversal of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall law that had banned such combinations.

Then when the new monster banks moved to exploit the subprime housing market with all sorts of financial gimmicks, their lobbyists succeeded in freeing all such trading in so called derivatives from any significant regulation.

The banks were so successful in marketing those often toxic assets that the federal government had to step in when the bubble burst and save Citigroup from bankruptcy, with a direct infusion of $45 billion in taxpayer funds and a guarantee of more than $300 billion of Citigroup’s bad paper. 

You would think that the consequence of such destructive behavior would be a profound erosion of the ability of Citigroup and other banking lobbyists to write the nation’s laws governing financial activity. But just the opposite has occurred as the company’s influence has only grown in direct proportion to the harm it has bestowed. As The New York Times reported last week:

“Bank lobbyists are not leaving it to lawmakers to draft legislation that softens financial regulations. Instead, the lobbyists are helping to write it themselves.

“One bill that sailed through the House Financial Services Committee this month—over the objections of the Treasury Department—was essentially Citigroup’s, according to emails reviewed by the New York Times. ...

“In a sign of Wall Street’s resurgent influence in Washington, Citigroup’s recommendations were reflected in more than 70 lines of the House committee’s 85-line bill. Two crucial paragraphs, prepared by Citigroup in conjunction with other Wall Street banks, were copied nearly word for word.”

Of course they were faithfully copied by the staffs of Congress members from both political parties, who might as well be on the payroll of Citigroup and the other mega banks. The Republicans, with the exception of a few die-hard libertarians, always do the bidding of the banks that finance them, but the Democrats are just as eager to pig out at the bankers’ trough. Wall Street lobbyists were only too happy to hold a fundraising dinner last week for Democratic Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney of New York, who co-sponsored the Citigroup bill, one of several such events banking groups have organized for lawmakers who support their legislation.

What is at issue here is an attempt to gut the already tepid effort of the Dodd-Frank Act to control the runaway $700 trillion derivatives trading market. One source of alarm is the extensive in-house trading in these derivatives between affiliates of the too-big-to-fail banks. As an example of the profound corruption of our legislative process, congressional staffers turned to top corporate lawyers to draft the wording pretending to rein in their activity. 

For example, as the emails reviewed by the Times revealed, House committee staffers consulted Michael Bopp, a partner at the elite law firm Gibson, Dunn who represents corporations involved in derivative trading, as to the verbiage he would prefer in the legislation. His language was well received, as the Times reported: “Ultimately, the committee inserted every word of Mr. Bopp’s suggestion into a 2012 version of the bill that passed the House, save for a slight change in phrasing.”

That last sentence, conveying the essence of America’s crony capitalist system, should stand as the defining epitaph for the death of representative democracy. 

“I won’t dispute for one second the problems of a system that demands immense amount of fund-raisers by its legislators,” Jim Himes, a Democrat from Connecticut who supported the bankers’ recent bills and conveniently heads fundraising for House Democrats, conceded to the Times. Himes, who worked for Goldman Sachs before pretending to represent the people’s interest as an elected representative, is one of the top beneficiaries of Wall Street payoffs but claims to be distressed by the corruption that is his way of life. As he told the Times, “It’s appalling, it’s disgusting, it’s wasteful and it opens the possibility of conflicts of interest and corruption. It’s unfortunately the world we live in.”

No, buddy, it’s the world you guys make and wallow in. Other folks just lose their jobs and homes while you manage to slither out of the slime richer and more powerful than ever.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:26 | 3604866 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

Good post JR.

Lazy bought off Pols putting their name on bills written by the largest hogs at the trough.

This is nothing more that legally sanctioned corruption that needs to end.

This is the cesspool from which every other evil flows.

1913, in particular, was a very good year for the pigs.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 17:03 | 3605092 New World Chaos
New World Chaos's picture

Not going to work, because the entire legal system actively supports fraud, skimming and anti-competitive practices.  This is the way the elites want it to be.  Adding more laws will only make things worse because the fine print will be written by lobbyists and the enforcement will be against little guys who can't buy influence with the right committees.  This system cannot be reformed from within.  It must collapse completely.

When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it.  -Frederic Bastiat

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:09 | 3604548 InconvenientCou...
InconvenientCounterParty's picture

Join my movement.

It's simple. 

Zero taxes for all and you get to use your guns and ammo to determine your worth as a human. Join my movement to end collectivsm once and for all.


Mad Max.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:11 | 3604552 rlouis
rlouis's picture

IGAD - the alternative is looking us in the face, it isn't pretty and it may be unavoidable, but I will not give up. 

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:14 | 3604555 stormsailor
stormsailor's picture

i know lots of people, going on vacations, buying new cars,  going out every weekend to movies, dinner, etc. 


but i know very, very few people that could come up with 10k in cash on a holiday weekend.


my point is,  people still equate credit to value,lifestyle,etc.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:16 | 3604564 Headbanger
Headbanger's picture

Who is John Galt?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:46 | 3604695 MagicHandPuppet
MagicHandPuppet's picture

That's what I was going to say!!!!

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:46 | 3604694 TNTARG
TNTARG's picture

And the show keeps going on...

After Angelina...

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:50 | 3604712 Nue
Nue's picture

Capitalism and Fiat Currency cannot exist. Capitalism is productive people producing good and performing useful tasks in order to trade with other productive people who also create items and perform useful tasks. The Surplus of this action was called SAVINGS which when used to finance even more productivity was called CAPITAL. When Government begins producing money the market instead of being about productivity becomes about who can be the biggest parasite. The market realigns itself around the Fiat Teat of the Goverment. Banking becomes a de-facto part of the government as the government is the one producing the money. The largest companies are no longer industries producing consumer goods but Government Contractors. Lobbying Firms designed to help others get closer to the Teat spring up. As goverment expands it begins destroying whatever REAL CAPITAL has been supporting the market leading to a collapse.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 15:59 | 3604739 Floodmaster
Floodmaster's picture

Your theory is so right for the medieval period.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:37 | 3604922 Nue
Nue's picture

Please explain. Because my research of the Medieval period is just the opposite of what I think your aserting. During the Medieval period both Wages and Prices were controlled by the goverment. Capital was routinely confiscated or wasted on useless wars. The Banking sector was heavily controlled. Hell if anything todays economy resembles the Middle Ages with Congressmen and their familes being the new Lords and Ladies.    

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:05 | 3605354 snblitz
snblitz's picture

Floodmaster's statement is more or less meaningless.

However your language is somewhat wrong.  Capitalism and Fiat Currency can exist.

Capitalism will not survive dishonest money. And, historically, no system survives dishonest money.

Is all Fiat Currency dishonest money?  I think so, but I am not willing to assert that as an axiom.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:04 | 3604768 shovelhead
shovelhead's picture

There's 535 people in Congress, who above everything else, want to keep those jobs because they are a passport to influence and wealth, if not present, then future.

They don't spend much time working for your interests because they have little incentive to do so because most can bluff their way by every four years by tossing a few scraps to their districts in exchange for your votes.

They go along to get along because they know that nobody is really watching what they do, and for the most part they would be right. Look at the egregious usurpation of Congressional power by the Executive branch because they would rather go along than risk a fight.


Let them know that THEY WILL BE REPLACED by actively opposing them if they don't implement bills that will severely reform campaign financing and financial terrorism by the FED RES and TBTF banks along with dismantling the surveillance state and it's military buildup and serious tax reform.

They wanted the job. Make them work for their pay like you have to work to PRODUCE SOMETHING OF VALUE.

The S will HTF anyway, but it would be helpful to have some common sense rules in place to rebuild an America that is not a predator and and a world embarrassment to it's clearer thinking citizens. Time is running short and even now it might be too late to get much done, but doing nothing will not be helpful.

Or we can hunker down and hide and HOPE that the CHANGE that comes will be for the better.

But I sincerely doubt that will happen.


Ok, I've expended my supply of pointless optimism... I'll go back to my productive complaining about how a mythical 'somebody' ought to do something to try to fix this shithouse we're living in.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:26 | 3604865 Peterus
Peterus's picture

Maybe later, after the crash.

If you stand up and get attention of the parasites right now, you will be stamped down immadiately. Corruption is just to powerful ATM. IGAD might work great in agorist style - just cutting down a corner here and there. But trying anything large like for example running a factory in "the right way" would end up in a disaster. You'd be competing upwind against both bailout taking, tax exempt competition and get extreme burden from not pleased beaurocrats that you're not willing to bribe while carrying entitled, sheming "employees" and unions with special priviledges on your back. All the drawbacks of corporatism with zero of the perks.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 17:04 | 3605096 MicroSecession
MicroSecession's picture

I've put together several practical steps that each of us can take individually to move in this direction - it doesn't require a society-wide or government-directed change.  Check out my book - MicroSecession.

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:38 | 3604935 The Swedish Chef
The Swedish Chef's picture

This is something I´ve been thinking about for quite some time. Perhaps my perspective is a bit (a lot) different since I live in Europe but the essence is the same. My thoughts revolve mostly around enviromental issues, where I think that a grassroots, hands-on movement and attitude is neccessary. 


We need to stop waiting for someone else to do it. The party/movement/government/electorate have their own goals and agendas and are slow to react anyway. Want something done? Do it yourself. 


And who is this John Galt?

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 16:40 | 3604953 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

"Corruption thrives when good people do nothing."

No, in this case, it's "Corruption thrives when good people can't do anything because the majority are so ignorant that they'll cheer when the good are crushed trying to do something"

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 17:54 | 3605322 snblitz
snblitz's picture

A lot of words for a simple concept: "voluntary exchange"

Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:54 | 3605498 flacorps
flacorps's picture

Anybody wanting to escape debt servitude should take a look at my book:

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 05:43 | 3606595 Monk
Monk's picture

Corrupted capitalism started with democratic capitalism.


Wed, 05/29/2013 - 06:31 | 3606628 Izznogood
Izznogood's picture

- which started with a guy having an idea.

So what is your fucking point?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 06:29 | 3606626 Izznogood
Izznogood's picture

At least the author proposes specific solutions, and kudos to him for not merely joining the usual crowd of "We-have-to-get-together-and-come-up-with-some-ideas-and-do-something-but-I-don't-know what" revolutionaries that the world is so plentiful of.

There is just one thing though; the ensuing unemployment we will inevitably end up with, what are we going to do about that?

Wed, 05/29/2013 - 09:34 | 3607118 esum
esum's picture

Isn't what we are seeing the result of competitive advantage. Until china frees its slave labor, they have the labor competitive advantage and garner the profits of "capitalism". Until there is a demand for FAT, LAZY, UNPRODUCTIVE, UNDEREDUCATED, STUPID PEOPLE... we are at a competitive disadvantage. The technology and knowledge we have is being hacked and stolen by Israel, Russia, China and the world in general. Companies willingly give technology away chasing he carrot of access to the china consumer market down the road. China will steal and use the technology and block these suckers from the market. Maybe the GM plant in China will export chevys to the usa but i doubt they will sell in china. We should hope that a consumer middle class evolves in china. Meantime we should develop and export our LNG to china and pay off the debt and revitalize our manufacturing for the 21st century. Our "service" economy" is really a "servant" economy unless we make something the world wants. Right now they dont need burger flippers, video game wizards, soap opera addicts, welfare recipients, disabled people, crack heads or obamaphone users. 

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