Values and Principles Against Ideological Jargon

The ideological jargon of hard totalitarianism aims at the subversion of values, while the ideological jargon of soft totalitarianism aims at the reduction of values to self-indulgent mush. In other words, the former aims at intercepting value discourse, while the latter aims at dissolving it altogether. Thus, to debunk the former one needs to be a man of principles among the unprincipled, while to debunk the latter one needs to be a man of principles among the unmanly.

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Today May Be the New September 3, 1929

I wouldn’t be surprised at all if today is the new September 3, 1929.

On the monetary front, we have a 12-year-old mega-bubble of fiat credit, stock buybacks, bloated balance sheets, and “infinite liquidity”.

On the “real” front, we have a global economy with record forced unemployment, decimated supply chains, and whole industries on the verge of bankruptcy.

On the psychological front, we have multitudes of economic and financial illiterates with access to essentialy free day-trading technologies who shamelessly proclaim that value investing is old hat.

On the political front, we have an unprecedentedly consolidated oligarchy of big business in cahoots with politicians and monetary central planners, which has no scruples whatsoever when it comes to pushing relentlessly for the inflation of ever more spectacular asset bubbles (thereby playing the ever more dangerous “greater fool” game).

And on the technical front, the Nasdaq hyper-bubble has just reached the 10000 resistance, which, together with the February high, forms a rough, but very telling double top.

Today may be the new September 3, 1929. I may be wrong about it, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I am not.

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The Ongoing History of Civilizational Change

When pre-civilizations become too small for their liveliness, they give way to civilizations. When civilizations become too pleased with their greatness, they give way to anti-civilizations. When anti-civilizations become too exhausted with their wickedness, they give way to pseudo-civilizations. When pseudo-civilizations become too saturated with their smugness, they give way to bygone civilizations. And since history does not repeat itself, God only knows what happens next.

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Infantilism: The Greatest Ethical Problem in Today’s So-Called Civilized World

The greatest ethical problem in today’s so-called civilized world is neither barbarism, nor totalism, nor nihilism, but infantilism. In other words, the greatest ethical problem in today’s so-called civilized world is not that wrong values are followed, or that one value is promoted at the expense of every other value, or that all values are rejected, but that hardly any true value is treated as seriously as it deserves, while a lot of pseudo-values are treated far more seriously than they deserve.

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Individual Liberty and Its Good and Bad Uses

A civilization treats individual liberty as a gift to be nurtured. An anti-civilization treats it as a nuisance to be eliminated. A pseudo-civilization treats it as a toy to be played with. In other words, a civilization sees it as a gateway to virtue, an anti-civilization sees it as an obstacle to power, while pseudo-civilization sees it as a ticket to self-indulgence.

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What Liberty Allows for and What it Demands

Liberty allows for recklessness, but it demands accepting its consequences; it does not repress vices, but it encourages the development of virtues; it tolerates diversity, but it excludes it from ventures based on unanimity; and it does not condemn self-love, but it flourishes in the love of one’s neighbor.

In other words, liberty does not fight against things that are morally neutral, it does not respond to evil with greater evil, and it is a necessary condition of doing good. Thus, there is no good reason whatever to give up on it, but there are infinite good reasons to use it ever more fully.

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