On Central Planning And "People Are Not Chess Pieces"

Tyler Durden's picture

This simple 70-second clip summarizes perfectly the folly of the central planner - who faced with a clean slate and the ability to craft an entire society with his all-knowing hands forgets that one critical aspect of humans - free-will. No matter how financially repressed, no matter how herded into AAPL, no matter how jawboned-to-death we become; there is always the option - the optimal decision in any unwinnable game - of not playing.


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GetZeeGold's picture



No Mongo....you're not a Queen.


You're just a pawn in this game of life.


malikai's picture

Did this guy say the words "free individuals"? LOL.. Oh man that almost killed me.


falak pema's picture

well thirty years ago this debate would not have occurred.

AMerica was still considered a democratic society where free will of individual was prevalent. It had just elected a President that incensed it as cardinal value in his fight against its very opposite; what he called the evil empire.

What happened in those thirty years when both left and right were on the same economic page???

(Its the economy stupid!)...remember those Halcyon days of wine and roses? 

How did free will become a sick joke?

If you have the answer to that you have the answer to who Elmer Gantry in the US pantry was, and why the US people lost their panties in this shambles of run away fancy-panty party called the Financial age of Entrepreneurially outsourced USA. 

Clash of Civilization and bash of free will licence in Gitmo's deadly silence now leaves us with a mash potatoe salad that even the pigs would not want to swallow. Can pigs fly or do they stay shy of their ugly infested sty? 

Stopit indeed! 


KK Tipton's picture

What happened? The "other side" has been hard at work.

Who is the "other side" (AKA persons in league with literal old timey "biblical" evil)?


Living Outside The Dialectic: Niki Raapana talks to herself about communitarianism - http://bit.ly/OuJqSQ

Communism branched far out from its 19th century roots. Committed members evolved into Fabian Socialists, National Socialists, National Communists, Democrats, Christians, Republicans, Catholics, Fusionists, Evangelicals, Zionists, Pagans, Masons, LaRouchies and Libertarians, who all eventually adopted the common ideology of free market socialism. Imperial British American capitalists and Global Free Traders merged with mercenaries, academics, mobsters, environmental scientists and natural resource experts who all just happen to also promote free market socialism, known in academia and the higher courts as communitarianism.



1. Philosophically, communitarianism is the final synthesis in the Hegelian dialectic. Communitarians insist that humanity cannot advance to its final evolutionary stage of perfection without the help of their expert planning, guidance and administrators, who are obviously much more enlightened than the rest of us common born sinners.

2. The religious basis for communitarianism rests in the oldest dialectic still in existence, the Talmud. Dr. Amitai Etzioni of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University in DC is the American guru. He's a former Israeli commando who studied the Talmud and the Kaballa, and according to him, this makes him the international "expert" on how to build more livable communities.

In his 30 plus published books and hundreds of articles, Etzioni laid out standard Hegelian justifications for military and community development interventions. His solution to staged Hegelian clashes between nations is to end all nations. Etzioni assures us that individual rights and liberties can only continue to exist if they are balanced against the common good. The least discussed fact about the new legal system is that all former laws must be made agreeable to the superior unwritten Talmud. Zionist led Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the rise of Islamic law in formerly Christian nations are part of a perfectly crafted Hegelian ploy to ensure a brutal, endless conflict continues to grow between the two primary religious barriers to communitarian global governance.

3.. Politically, it's the Third Way, Radical Middle theory that allows its followers to justify fascist warmongering on the corporate right and encourage peace actions of the antiwar left, at the same time. Hegel taught his followers to play both sides if necessary, to flip-flop back and forth, because long drawn out staged wars and senseless bloody conflicts are essential to human advancement.

Both Bushes and both Clintons were described many times in the American press as communitarians; Senator Barack Obama was hailed by the Democrats as the Third Way Wonder Boy in 2004.

madcows's picture

Candy-gram (EBT) for Mungo.  Candy-gram (benefits) for Mungo.

MMM.  Mungo like candy.

Mercury's picture

No matter how financially repressed, no matter how herded into AAPL, no matter how jawboned-to-death we become; there is always the option - the optimal decision in any unwinnable game - of not playing.

Well that's not even free will...it's responding to incentives and acting in one's own self-interest.  If anything central planners rely on the free will of their (true believer) subjects to prompt them into doing things that are objectively and intuitively not in their self-interest.

Not playing the game just means that everyone's lot becomes that much shittier WAY before it means the end of the game.  Look at North Korea.

CH1's picture

Well that's not even free will

Of course it is - it's a choice.

Being the only smart choice does not negate the act of choosing.

RockyRacoon's picture

So, doing nothing is actually doing something?  I feel much better now!

Dr. No's picture

LOL.  If people are not chess pieces, why has the game been popular of kings for a thousand years!?  People are chess pieces.

Sudden Debt's picture

Most kings couldn't write their name... let alone play chess...

and there are enough examples still around! Look at the monarchs in Europe! A sad bunch of inbreed morons who are kept away from the public so it's not to obvious that they're retards.


_ConanTheLibertarian_'s picture

and it's illegal to insult them. Well, here's a FUCK YOU. Let them die.

Ghordius's picture

LOL - so says the presumable subject of a prince of the former House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha that forgets that the typical republican citizen, particularly if female, is all fluffered when royalty shows up.

The "please stop central planning" theme historically stops at one moment: war. Particularly of a major sort.

Then it's all in uniform and sacrificing what little personal pieces of life you had. Then it's fiat money and donate your gold to the war effort and "we have to win at all cost". Then it's "man up, you dirty little pawn", and be a good little patriot.

So please, whenever you wield Adam Smith against all "central planning" - particularly if you venture beyond what he found "normal" and "rational" - make sure you know what your position is on war, peace and how to choose between them.

Remember: Adam Smith was very, very skeptical of the Limited Liability Corporation, particularly of the first two L's in there.

NidStyles's picture

War is used as a tool to keep the plebes in check. Notice that Kings, Nobles, and Politicians are not the ones fighting the wars? 

donsluck's picture

In economics, we are discussing rational behavior, even if we disagree on what's rational. We are dealing with thought processes, planning, philosophy, etc, all higher brain functions.

In war we are not discussing anything. We are operating on impulses hammered out in the forge of evolution. There is no questioning, no doubt. Our tribe must defeat their tribe or our gods will perish. War cannot be ended. It is how we evolved. If it is ended, it will only occur through the death of religion, true sexual equality and liberal use of abortion. Fat chance!

Anusocracy's picture

"Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest." Denis Diderot

NidStyles's picture

How does the Papacy expect keep it's morons in power?

madcows's picture

with little boys running down the road in their underwear.

Jason T's picture

central planners: All your chess pieces are belong to us.

Dr. Richard Head's picture

So when do we get to flip the fucking board over and tell them, "I'm taking my game home"?

madcows's picture

When you refuse to play, or in this case, put money into investments (bonds, stocks, ETF's, commodities).

That's happening now.  volume is down and people are pulling money their money out.  Bernanke (and company) hijacked the game, so we individual investors refused to play.  It's corrupt, so we took our ball and went home.

BoNeSxxx's picture

And, as reported here on ZH a few times in the last weeks, they are going to bust the money markets to force us all back in.

People need to cash out of this system completely (fines, taxes, and penalties be damned).  Oh, and stack some phyzzz.

bnbdnb's picture

Does the federal reserve not realize that by "fixing" things, people get the impression things are still broken?

Who would invest in a broken environment?

Nothing To See Here's picture
Prize Lecture

Lecture to the memory of Alfred Nobel, December 11, 1974

The Pretence of Knowledge, by F.A. Hayek


"If man is not to do more harm than good in his efforts to improve the social order, he will have to learn that in this, as in all other fields where essential complexity of an organized kind prevails, he cannot acquire the full knowledge which would make mastery of the events possible. He will therefore have to use what knowledge he can achieve, not to shape the results as the craftsman shapes his handiwork, but rather to cultivate a growth by providing the appropriate environment, in the manner in which the gardener does this for his plants. There is danger in the exuberant feeling of ever growing power which the advance of the physical sciences has engendered and which tempts man to try, "dizzy with success", to use a characteristic phrase of early communism, to subject not only our natural but also our human environment to the control of a human will. The recognition of the insuperable limits to his knowledge ought indeed to teach the student of society a lesson of humility which should guard him against becoming an accomplice in men's fatal striving to control society - a striving which makes him not only a tyrant over his fellows, but which may well make him the destroyer of a civilization which no brain has designed but which has grown from the free efforts of millions of individuals."

Anglo Hondo's picture

You didn't provide this "appropriate environment".  Someone else did....


CrockettAlmanac.com's picture



"Every man's nature is a sufficient advertisement to him of the character of his fellows. My right and my wrong, is their right and their wrong. Whilst I do what is fit for me, and abstain from what is unfit, my neighbor and I shall often agree in our means, and work together for a time to one end. But whenever I find my dominion over myself not sufficient for me, and undertake the direction of him also, I overstep the truth, and come into false relations to him. I may have so much more skill or strength than he, that he cannot express adequately his sense of wrong, but it is a lie, and hurts like a lie both him and me. Love and nature cannot maintain the assumption: it must be executed by a practical lie, namely, by force. This undertaking for another, is the blunder which stands in colossal ugliness in the governments of the world." -- Emerson's Politics

i-dog's picture


"of not playing"

'They' are hoping to rule that option out ... with a global electronic currency. Sing the NWO anthem at Friday muster and you'll get yo' EBT weekly top-up ... otherwise it's squirrel for dinner again all next week....

viahj's picture

i do agree that their plan is of a global currency but a global "electronic" currency?  unpossible as a complete and only system.  where's the global electrical and telecomunications infrastructure?  there will always be physical currency and barter in places such as Africa, India, China the ME and so on (and in the black markets in controlled Western societies).  imagine the economic crash in India when 600m lost power for weeks.  that's a lot of "not available currency transactions".


TWSceptic's picture

LearnLiberty videos are always great, good to see one posted here.

Dr. Engali's picture

Wise legislators? Isn't that an oxymoron? Society will never be free until we understand that we don't need "wise legislators". What we need is self governance and mutual repsect of the rights and beliefs of each other. Legislators pursue the path of politics because they desire to exercise influence and power over society.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

The last thing he said was......"This is an important lesson to keep in mind when we are thinking today about what kind of leaders are appropriate to a society of free individuals."

Wow. As long as we continue to believe that we are "free individuals", that we select our leaders through the voting process, we will never be "free". The illusion of our freedom is in reality the chains that bind.



Dr. Engali's picture

My head almost exploded when I heard his conclusions. He is as blind to the truth as an average sheep.

Zap Powerz's picture

Do free people need leaders?  I dont need anyone to lead me.

Free people need representatives in their government so their voice and will can be heard, but I would not call them leaders.

Free men dont need someone to lead them.  Followers need a leader.  I guess if we elect leaders it means we (present company excluded) are followers and we deserve what our leaders give us.

donsluck's picture

I had to -1 you, nothing personal. I have found that nothing gets done without a leader. Usually the problem is too many leaders. Case in point:

My niece got married. Disorganized and chaotic. The expected frivolities were all there, but done haphazard and uncoordinated. The problem was there was no leader. The bride did not exert her influence, no tasks were deligated and no over-arching theme achieved. All her helpers became their own leaders. As much effort and cost was incurred as a traditional say $12,000 wedding, but the results were abysmal.

No leader.

jayman21's picture

It sounds like people trying to control other people.  I am with CD.  Sorry, free people do not try to control other people.  I think your definition of a leader is someone who is controlling someone else.  This is not freedom.


thegreatesttruthnevertold.com - 6 hours of thought exercises about freedom

Kayman's picture

"The illusion of our freedom is in reality the chains that bind."

The freedom of illusion is the chain that binds. An individual chooses Disneyland.

You are free to chase your needs or your wants.  What exactly do you need ? It will be small indeed.

As you downsize, as your footprint shrinks, bankers and governments run out of warm blood and your life is less chaotic.

CD, I suspect you are already on that path. 


Freedom In Your Lifetime's picture

I was just commenting on this same thing in the healthcare thread. Until we stop letting people who wish to be 'leaders' determine the size / type of box we operate in, people will never be free.

On a separate note, your posts and articles on zero hedge have played a part in mental and emotional developmend I have gone through over the past few years. Thank you for the thoughts and ideas you put out there.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Thank you for your kind words.

In reality what you have been witnessing within my articles and comments is my own development and maturing process. There are many miles to go before I sleep.

KK Tipton's picture

Living Outside The Dialectic: Niki Raapana talks to herself about communitarianism - http://bit.ly/OuJqSQ


Opting out of the dialectic

Breaking out of the chains imposed by dialectical thinkers is only painful in the beginning. It is extremely difficult to accept almost every question posed to American voters is a dialectical question. It's a terrible thing to realize the phony dialectic is the foundation for every political party in the USA. It's the foundation for all the "new" sciences, it's the basis for every newly revised local land use ordinance, it's the formula for the "new" international religion, and it's the legal standard for international law.  Clearly the dialectic is the best tool the other side has.

Options are choices

The Communitarian Platform sets the guidelines for the emerging global synthesis. But if we look closer at their agenda, it's only their contrived dialectical arguments and debates that lead to their globalist solutions. This means it's only our participation (or complicit acceptance) that limits our own playing fields to "only two choices." Once we get out of the limitations imposed by dialectical thinkers, our entire perception of the world changes. Suddenly anything is possible because nobody knows the whole truth about anything. This can be both scary and exhilarating, but it's never boring. Eventually, after there's nothing left but our personal beliefs and an individual connection to our core's Higher Power, all of our senses come back into play, including our sense of humor.

One thing is abundantly clear to me, and that is ALL their ideas and options lead to death and total destruction of the human race. Alternative ideas for living are an essential ingredient to living free from their dialectical plan.

OneTinSoldier66's picture

@Dr. Engali I wish we had legislators rather than what we have now, which is "wise overlords" that have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.


But I agree. We don't need either of those and instead we should have self governance, which creates an environment of mutual respect. I believe it creates such an environment because of natural law.


Humans do not desire to live in a dog eat dog world. That's what Government redistribution through force and/or coercion fosters though.

madcows's picture

Does anyone remember War Games with M. Broderick?  WHOPPER, the computer, learns that the only way to win tic-tac-toe and Global Thermal Nuclear War is to not play.

CrockettAlmanac.com's picture

How about a nice game of chess?

viahj's picture

i've always had a nagging thought about this.  you can't "win" if you don't play.  you can choose not to play and be better off but in order for that to happen, the computer had to realize that the current environment was more beneficial to one where gloabl thermonuclear war was waged.  how did the computer achieve this self awareness (or the sympathetic notion of preserving humanity) by not playing?  the damn thing was programmed to launch missles at the Soviets, thus killing the enemy.  was Skynet the anti-WOMPer?

magpie's picture

You didn't plan that, somebody else made it happen

madcows's picture

Massivetwoshits?  You watch.  Chief Warren will beat Brown.  Who needs elections when the entire state votes regardless of the candidate's character.

tradewithdave's picture

From your mouth to Cass Sunstein's involuntarily nudged organ donated ears.


Timmay's picture

"He who moves the pieces has already won the game."

CvlDobd's picture

Tyler, how does one go about not playing? I'm compensated for my time in dollars to pay for goods, even gold. I have to expend real time for real items and the link that binds us in the system is the currency. Until we are compensated for our time in real money we are playing the game.

So I didn't buy AAPL? Yeah I really stuck it to the man with that. I just kept my fiat and it's ever shrinking value! Winning!

So I buy physical gold? With what? Dollars! So I have to work more and more and more due to currency debasement and stagnant wages to get something of real value. That means I'm playing he game! Just because someone doesn't have a brokerage account doesn't mean they arent playing.

And don't give me some Simon Black bullshit answer. Storing gold in Hong Kong banks is very much playing he game IMO.

We are all trapped and playing the game whether we like it or not. I don't want to play so please tell me how I can truly stop playing the game. Thanks for the help.

KK Tipton's picture

"We are all trapped and playing the game whether we like it or not. I don't want to play so please tell me how I can truly stop playing the game."


Work on your Mad Max living skills and pray for an asteroid.


I'm only half joking.


nick howdy's picture

The game depends on the peasants spending that fiat like there is no tomorrow...Stop consuming (as much) and you stop playing and that is how you change the system. We might be lucky to get out of this alive. You make a moral choice period, it's going to feel painful...Especially is this system that only exists because of blind consumption.