This is America. You don’t make money you’re a fucking douchebag. Now whatcha gonna do?

Today, gearing up for another week ahead, I want to examine the political utility of “ideal theory”. After reading  Public Policy After Utopia by Will Wilkinson and digressing through the works of Gerald Gaus The Tyranny of the Ideal Justice in a Diverse Society  and Jacob Levy There’s No Such Thing as Ideal Theory , furthermore comparing the two political philosophers work to the Cato Institute’s Human Freedom Index (2016)  I have made three extrapolations.

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One, countries where the enduring culture of pursing and gaining money which is supported by the reflexive glorification of money rank higher in both economic and social freedom.

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Two, in order to achieve freedom in the United States, make more money.

Well make more money, this is America. You don’t make money you’re a fucking douchebag. Now whatcha gonna do?

Make more Money!

That’s the Spirit! “

What follows is a large digression. Adapted from Noisey Images.  

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Nina Simone- Do What You Gotta Do.

The song depicting a woman giving a bitter exhortation of freedom to a man who has grown distant from her. In the song, the female character accepts that he would be better off on a search for liberty, then to be tied down in a relationship with her, that will just keep him from fulfilling his potential.

The song was written by Jimmy Webb, an American songwriter.

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48 Years later this deeply personal song finds itself on Einstein’s (Kanye West) latest Album, The Life of Pablo. It’s opening lyrics interpolated by today’s largest female pop-stars, Rhianna.

Rhianna has now replaced Simone’s worldly voice with a much younger strained voice that gives audible sensations of apathy and mournfulness. But now the themes that were first presented in the 1968 Album ‘Nuff Said’ ,

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 have been restructured to fit a different context. The one being wished Liberty is now finding freedom from something larger and more superficial than love between two people.

 

Kanye West was trying to find once again his own footing in a world where media scrutiny was gnawing at his pride and self-esteem. The vocals float the listener along the soundscape but right when the beat drops, and before we hear a single word from Mr. West, another musical cue reaches us from decades past.

(Listen to the Organs & Drums)

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First the organs that play come from a progressive rock band by the name of Rovescio Della Medaglia, known to be the most important and progressive Italian bands, song titled: Sono Svegliato E.. Ho Chiuso Gli Occhi, and the albums full title is :Contaminnazione di alcune idee de certi prelude e fughe del Clavicembalo ben temperato diJ.S. Bach

 

Which translates literally to, “Contamination of some ideas, of some preludes and fugues of the well-tempered clavier, by Johann Sebastian Bach

The album was rerecorded into the English language in 1975 under the translated title, “Contamination” and produced by Luis Baclov, who was an Argentine born Italian composer of film scores. Notable films being, Kill Bill Vol. I and Django Unchained. His scores speak to the brooding nature of the songs and their atmospheric sounds.

 

To wit, the hard drums were produced by Havoc, of Mobb Deep. He and Noah Goldstein did their best to execute Kanye’s Vision.

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The kick hits incredibly hard, with a solid snare that provides a proper counterpoint to the era instrumentals underneath it and this is where we lead into the controversial intro….

“For all my Southside Niggas that know me best. I feel like me and Taylor still might have sex. Why? I made that bitch Famous.”

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 For Kanye this was the line and song that broke the writer’s block that held him back.

 

And with this line concluding my long digression, comes my third and final extrapolation I’ve deduced from Gaus and Levy’s work; Exercise your demons quickly and often before they box you in and consume your soul.

There are no boundaries to the invasion of intimate privacy of those that have achieved large successes in the United States and Worldwide. It is by embracing the nakedness and metaphorical realization that we all share the same bed together, and in this country, we all are on a level playing field, that field’s sum being zero.

In order to achieve Freedom, i’ll apply a qoate from J. Paul Getty.

 

or… follow Goldman Sachs.

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and remember. 

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Take it away Kanye….

 

-R.W.N II

 

 

 

 

 

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The Edge

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“There is no such thing as control… there are only probabilities “

– Artemis Capital Management L.P.

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A brief excerpt from Hunter S. Thompson’s book, Hell’s Angles.

 

So it was always at night, like a werewolf, that I would take the thing out for an honest run down the coast. I would start in Golden Gate Park, thinking only to run a few long curves to clear my head….but in a matter of minutes I’d be out at the beach with the sound of the engine in my ears, the surf booming up on the sea wall and a fine empty road stretching all the way down to Santa Cruz…not even a gas station in the whole seventy miles; the only public light along the way is an all-night diner down around Rockaway Beach.

There was no helmet on those nights, no speed limit, and no cooling it down on the curves. The momentary freedom of the park was like the one unlucky drink that shoves a wavering alcoholic off the wagon. I would come out of the park near the soccer field and pause for a moment at the stop sign, wondering if I knew anyone parked out there on the midnight humping strip.

Then into first gear, forgetting the cars and letting the beast wind out…thirty-five, forty-five…then into second and wailing through the light at Lincoln Way, not worried about green or red signals, but only some other werewolf loony who might be pulling out, too slowly, to start his own run. Not many of these, and with three lanes on a wide curve, a bike coming hard has plenty of room to get around almost anything…then into third, the boomer gear, pushing seventy-five and the beginning of a windscram in the ears, a pressure on the eyeballs like diving into water off a high board.

Bent forward, far back on the seat, and a rigid grip on the handlebars as the bike starts jumping and wavering in the wind. Taillights far up ahead coming closer, faster, and suddenly–zaaappp–going past and leaning down for a curve near the zoo, where the road swings out to sea.

The dunes are flatter here, and on windy days sand blows across the highway, piling up in thick drifts as deadly as any oil-slick–instant loss of control, a crashing, cartwheeeling slide and maybe one of those two-inch notices in the paper the next day: “An unidentified motorcyclist was killed last night when he failed to negotiate a turn on Highway 1.”

Indeed…but no sand this time, so the lever goes up into fourth, and now there’s no sound except wind. Screw it all the way over, reach through the handlebars to raise the headlight beam, the needles leans down on a hundred and wind-burned eyeballs strain to see down the centerline, trying to provide a margin for reflexes.

But with the throttle screwed on there is only the barest margin, and nor room at all for mistakes. It has to be done right…and that’s when the strange music starts, when you stretch your luck so far that fear becomes exhilaration and vibrates along your arms. You can barely see at a hundred; the tears blow back so fast that they vaporize before they get to your ears. The only sounds are wind a dull roar floating back from the mufflers. You watch the white line and try to lean with it…huwling through a turn to the right, then to the left and down the long hill to Pacifica…letting off now, watching for cops, but only until the next dark stretch and another few seconds on the edge…

The Edge…There is no honest way to explain it because the only people who really know where it is are ones who have gone over. The others–the living–are those who who pushed their control as far as they felt they could handle it, and then pulled back, or slowed down, or did whatever they had to when it came time to choose between Now and Later.”

 

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“The Owl of Minerva only takes flight at dusk”

 

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The title is from the famous words of 19th-century philosopher George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel.

Hegel wrote, in the preface to his Philosophy of Right: ‘The owl of Minerva spreads its wings only with the falling of the dusk.’

What did he mean? What is the owl of Minerva?”

Taking Talal Alrubaie’s meaning from his work, “The Iraqi Communist and the Owl of Minerva,” in which he states, philosophy understands reality only after the event. It cannot prescribe how the world ought to be.

Minerva” is the Roman name of the Greek Athena, goddess of wisdom and philosophy,
philosophy/wisdom takes flight only at the end of the day after the day’s main events have taken place.

Hegel’s statement should not be taken as one highlighting of the futilities of life. Contrarily his point was that the beauty in understanding comes only at the end of the long and winding staircase toward enlightenment. Because then we can, if just for a brief moment, fully comprehend what it all meant.


In fact, our coming to understand history is part of this developmental logic; and once we fully understand we are reconciled to the past and thus would not have wanted history to have gone differently in any critical respect.

Take today’s appearance of Volatility.

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Sourced from heisenbergreport.com

 

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Via CBOE Blogs Weekend Review of Volatility
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Via CBOE Blogs Weekend Review of Volatility

 

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– G. W. F. Hegel, Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, tr. T. M. Knox (Oxford, 1967).

The Oracle of Boston

Baupost-Group

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Old South Chruch 645 Boylston Street Taken by R.W.N II

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Baupost 2Q 2017 Letter

Over the Newswire this morning, we hear from the East Coast Oracle of Boston, Mr. Keth Klarman, of the Baupost Group.

As he see’s markets today, individuals are asking the wrong question regarding markets perched at such lofty heights. Investors are asking “Why sell?” when they should be asking “How can I afford not to?”– Business Insider’s Rachael Levey writes.

Ms. Levey goes on to write about The Baupost Group’s plan to return around 6% of investors capital by the end of Septemeber 2017. Returning shareholders confirmed by reports from a person close to the firm saying 40% of Baupost’s assets allocated to cash.

 

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The Beaupost Group’s Historical Asset Allocation                                                                                      Via WhaleWisdom.com

Interestingly, Baupost made this allocation decision once before back in 2005, citing the 2004 Year End Letter to Investor’s entitled, Seth Klarman on the Painful Decision to Hold Cash. Here is an excerpt from the letter, which may sound all too familiar to today’s circumstances.

” Investors must choose between two alternatives. One is to hold stocks and bonds at historically high prices that prevail in today’s markets, locking in what would traditionally have sub-par returns. If prices never drop, causing returns to revert to more normal levels, this will have been the right decision. However, if prices decline, raising prospective returns on securities, investors will experience potentially substantial mark to market losses, thereby faring considerably worse than if they had been more patient.” 

Just as Mr. Klarman has labored away in modest obscurity so to did the work of Hyman Minsky, an American Economist, go relatively unnoticed until the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, when everyone knew what a Minsky moment meant.

 

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Klarman writes at the end of his Q2 ’17 Letter to shareholders, If there is anything to be taken from Hyman Minsky’s words, it is that no one should be lulled into a false sense of comfort by the illusion of stability which surrounds us. We, most assuredly, are not. 

Below I’ve included a few of my favorite charts from GSAM because I’m a visual person and these are good reference points to stay grounded in the reality of such things.

 

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Criminalization Of The Globe And Globalization Of Crime

 

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Below is the most recent notesfromdisgraceland post circa 18. X 2017.  Which I, of course, would know nothing about for it not Mr. White.

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Kanye sums it up nicely in Saint Pablo.

“I just feel like I’m the only one not pretending. I’m not out of control I’m just not in their control.” 

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Take it away Mr. Bjarne Knausgaard….

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Four centuries after Galileo, our experience of space is undergoing the second revolution. With the help of information technology, the space of trajectories has given way to the space of sites & networks. As time contracted and distances shrunk, different geographies became the nodes of the Global Network. With delocalization and infinite connectivity the world has become smaller, but within that world things no longer have a fixed place; they are displaced and delocalized: Everything is now both everywhere and nowhere. All things are both equally important and irrelevant. Equivalence has become the source of both claustrophobia and agoraphobia.

Rule without a ruler

Through the erasure of borders and deterritorialization, The Network, the site of global flows, has become extraterritorial and, since laws are inherently local, by definition extrajudicial, and therefore, unregulated. There is no global law that governs the operation of the Network. It operates in politics-free space. This means removal of market frictions and optimal capital allocation which made the Network immediately irresistible for global capital. This changed everything.

As the Network carves its way into the system, it transforms all layers of the socio-economic landscape creating in the process (new sources of positive feedback and) additional instability of an already shaky system.

1st layer: Laws are local and so is politics — the Network is not governable and cannot be regulated

No one is watching the space in which global capital operates. No one even has the capacity to do so or propose such an idea. Space of global capital flows, therefore, remains eminently extraterritorial and ex-judicial. The impossibility of Network regulation is a major novelty. It presents itself as an economic advantage and is embraced by the capital. This has created conditions for the removal of economic rigidities, erasure of borders, and delocalization of the labor force, guaranteeing optimal capital allocation, which has allowed for enhanced capital accumulation at a rate not seen before. However, the convenience introduced by deterritorialization creates new problems.

2nd layer (Problems): The Network is a politics-free space

Political Impotence: Economic interests are global while politics is local. Politics, the ability to decide, remains local and unable to operate effectively at the planetary level, while power to act is moving away to the politically uncontrollable global space[1]. There is no politics of the Network.

Rise of global capital: Global capital is gaining strength at the same time as political impotence becomes more acute. This defines the underlying power relations. Politics becomes the global oligarchy’s bitsch. Gradually, everything becomes subordinated to the interests of global oligarchy and their prosperity comes at social costs. The absence of Global law is transformed into A rule without a ruler and global oligarchy emerges as an anti-social class.

3rd layer (Consequences): Tyranny of the global

The global dominate the local: Local becomes either replication of the global (Glocal) or presents itself as Radical alterity which disrupts the system and becomes the object of an exercise of the right to interfere[2]. This means that the Network is all-encompassing and cannot be avoided – everyone is on the grid.

4th layer (Mutation): State becomes eminently corruptible

As a result of the creation of the Network, a new form of elite, global oligarchy, emerges which now makes all major economic decisions. The absence of global polity means that super-rich operates free.

Global oligarchies do what oligarchies normally do: They use their (substantial) wealth to protect their interests through whatever means are available, from lobbying activity, shaping of the public opinion, influence on the local legislative process and politics in general, to corruption, harassment, intimidation, or physical force. They are no longer interested only in profit but in every aspect of life. Their coercive power is transmitted through influence on legislation, art, media, culture, education etc. This is the rise of biopolitics and biopolitical economy.

The new global overclass is not governable: States are powerless to interfere and have to submit to the interests of global oligarchy and effectively become their extended arm. Politicians are vetted by oligarchies and only those who comply are admitted to the table. Institutional and social changes are aligned with interests of global capital. Society is treated as an auxiliary. The welfare state is dismantled and its repressive apparatus strengthened.

Debt, fiscal policy, taxation and budget deficits are an important lever arm. They become the main instrument of biopolitics. For example, the US owes $16tr to global capital ($6tr to foreigners alone), about the entire GDP (other developed and undeveloped countries are not looking much better either). As a form of collateral/insurance creditors have been or will be granted access to domestic policy and guaranteed influence over decision making institutions in general. In this way, global oligarchy becomes a stakeholder in the US government. This is where things become complicated further and problems deeper.

Rise of kakocracy

What most deeply holds a community together is not so much identification with the Rules that regulate its normal rhythms, but rather a specific form of transgression of the Rules. (S. Žižek)

“When the government becomes both referee and player, the game changes rather dramatically for every other participant. Rules that might be rigorously applied to private competitors will not necessarily be applied for the sovereign who makes the rules. A government should act as a regulator but is increasingly an interested party”. [3]

If global oligarchy, or private sector in general, “own” shares of the government – they have stakes in it and the ability to influence its decisions — then anyone who is not a “shareholder” in the government is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to competing with “insiders” — they are playing the game where referee is on the side of some players and, as such, is indirectly acting as interested party. In this setup, it is no longer competence, quality of products and services, but the degree of influence one commends that plays a decisive role. Influence on public and government becomes the most valuable asset.

This is a source of a reinforcing (positive feedback) loop that destabilizes the system. Under the pressure of global capital and in the absence of political power to resist it, the functioning of the state reinforces both further removal of barriers to capital accumulation (economic rigidities) as well as political impotence through continued dismantling of the welfare state and general demand for smaller state, while at the same time conforming to demands of the Network to remain unregulated.

This reinforcing loop becomes the main driver of the rapid transformation of the state from the welfare to the penal modality of its functioning. Global capital demands a smaller state to ensure the status quo, i.e. that the state remains unable to interfere with the existing order of things and that the network stays unregulated. Its increasing wealth and influence accelerate the process. This is all happening between the 2nd and the 3rd layers. Politics and law adjust to accommodate global demands. Exclusions and surplus of population growth with the more efficient production process and further access to the cheap labor force. Because of that, demand for fiscally accommodative environment (primarily through lower taxes and shutdown of the state-sponsored programs) exerts pressure on the state to transform further by shedding the vestiges of its welfare programs through relentless privatization, while at the same time strengthening its repressive apparatus in order to gain access to the play through its monopoly on violence. Carceral mode of the state is embraced and reinforced further by the global capital as a source of additional profit maximization, e.g. war on drugs, high incarceration rate, privatized prisons, and war on poverty in general. Rising inequality is but one of the consequences of this process. It correlates with (and exacerbates) other social maladies, but is not necessarily their only or even primary cause.

Corruption becomes an intrinsic part of how the system operates. The corrupt state becomes the source of dissemination of lawlessness. Through state’s repressive apparatus, violence propagates through all the pores of life. The end game? There is no global law to violate any more, no global law that could permit setting apart of criminal pursuits from “normal business activity”[4]. The gap between legal and criminal activities is closing rapidly as legal business converges to crime. This leads to gradual criminalization of the globe and globalization of crime. Crime is everywhere and nowhere.

Progressive criminalization of the globe and globalization of the crime is the most spectacular and potentially sinister consequence of the erratic globalization process. The mechanisms of democracy no longer function, they have been seized by corporate power. With time, corporations, which generally have no internal constraints, gradually lose external constraints as well. They exploit, because that is the only thing they know how to do, until exhaustion and collapse[5]. In Mao’s words. Everything under heaven is in utter chaos: the situation is excellent. 

[1] Zygmund Bauman: Liquid Times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty, Polity (2006)

[2] ibid.

[3] Cristopher Cox: Address to Joint Meeting of the Exchecquer Club and Women in Housing and Finance (Dec. 4, 2008)

[4] Franco Berardi, After the Future, AK Press (2011)

[5] ibid.