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Look to the right to find the left

I don’t have a lot of political conversations these days but, of the few that I do have, most of the people I talk to fancy themselves as “Left Wing”. My feeling is that if you believe in handing power to a centralized entity, you are decidedly on the right of any imaginable political spectrum.

Lo and behold, this morning I ran in to an essay by Karl Hess that I’d never seen before. Here’s a taste but, keep in mind that this was written in 1975…

The overall characteristic of a right-wing regime, no matter the details of difference between this one and that one, is that it reflects the concentration of power in he fewest practical hands…

…The far left, as far as you can get away from the right, would logically represent the opposite tendency and, in fact, has done just that throughout history. The left has been the side of politics and economics that opposes the concentration of power and wealth and, instead, advocates and works toward the distribution of power into the maximum number of hands…

…The farthest left you can go, historically at any rate, is anarchism — the total opposition to any institutionalized power, a state of completely voluntary social organization in which people would establish their ways of life in small, consenting groups, and cooperate with others as they see fit…

…At any rate, at some point on the spectrum there is the great modern American liberal position. Through a series of unfortunate but certainly understandable distortions of political terminology, the liberal position has come to be known as a left-wing position. Actually, it lies right alongside the conservative tradition, down toward the middle of the line, but decidedly, I think, to the right of its center. Liberals believe in concentrated power — in the hands of liberals, the supposedly educated and genteel elite. They believe in concentrating that power as heavily and effectively as possible. They believe in great size of enterprise, whether corporate or political, and have a great and profound disdain for the homely and the local. They think nationally but they also think globally and now even intergalactically. Actually, because they believe in far more authoritarian rule than a lot of conservatives, it probably would be best to say that liberals lie next to but actually to the right of many conservatives.

Dear America by Karl Hess:


Maybe AI can save us all

The shortcomings of centralization were largely ignored until the advent of the computer age. Computing power gave scientists the capability to quantify the fatal flaws underlying the tenets of centralization. The phrase that computer technicians coined to describe these inherent defects is ‘single point of failure’. The ‘single point of failure’ principle refers to a system such that, if that one component were to fail, the entire system would grind to a halt… In socioeconomics, it means that one single error by a government agency could invoke a devastating outcome to society and its citizens. One error could crash a centralized system, leading to total systemic failure.- L.K. Samuels

Elon Musk is fond of saying that Artificial Intelligence will serve to control and possibly destroy humanity. Vladimir Putin says that whoever becomes the global leader in AI will have “control of the world”.

What if they’re both wrong? What if AI is so good that it realizes the flaws of centralization and functions to decentralize government power structures and force us all in to more self governing situations?

Just a thought.

Konkin on questions answered by Austrian Economics

An interesting bit from “The Last Whole Introduction To Agorism” by Samuel Edward Konkin III…

Austrian economics answered questions.

Q: Why do we value and how?
A: It is inherent in everyone and it is subjective.

Why do we give up anything at all ever?
A: Because we subjectively value A more than B while some Other values B more than A. We do not relinquish; we acquire a greater value.

But why would anyone give up something that is universally (or as close as possible)  subjectively valued for something of less value?
A: Because that one-thousandth unit of the seemingly more valuable is less subjectively valuable than the first unit of the seemingly lesser. Who would consider it folly to trade one’s hundredth loaf of bread for a first diamond? Utility is marginal.

Why do we have money?
A: Facilitate trade, keep quantitative accounts, make change and store value.

From where does money come?
It arises from commodities exchanged more and more as a middle or medium of exchange.

Q: Can government improve on money?
A: No, it is strictly a market function.

Q: What is the result of government intervention anywhere in the market?
Government is force, however legitimized and accepted; all force prevents subjective value satisfaction, that is, whatever human actors voluntarily give up and accept is, by their personal subjective (and unknowable to others) understanding, the best informed outcome to them. Any violence that deters their exchange is counter-productive to all the exchanges and to those whose exchanges depend on theirs – that is, violent intervention is a universal disutility in the market.

Mises thus concludes that all coercion – and that includes government action – is not just anti-market but inhumane. Not bad for value free assumptions!  Röpke (author of Humane Economy), Hayek, and even Mises felt that once private force or that of another state entered the marketplace, government counter-force was justified for rectification. Furthermore, none could conceive of any other way to deal with humane protection.


Walmart Deli Blues

Sometimes, we like to make Reuben sandwiches. But, out here in the Tennessee hills, one knows that it’s going to be a compromise. Usually you can find good sauerkraut…genuine real deal rye bread is probably a fantasy. You know though that the real star is corned beef.

So today, I stood in line at the Walmart “deli” counter a good ten minutes waiting to put in an order for a pound of thinly sliced corned beef…I was imagining in my mind the bubbling Swiss cheese, the Russian dressing…and then my turn finally came and the lady behind the counter informed me, “We haven’t had any corned beef or pastrami, for that matter, in two months”.

I’m not a deli expert or purist by any sense but, I’m pretty sure that a deli without corned beef or pastrami is not a deli.

BitChute, a way to get outside of the Digital Oligarchy

YouTube is part of the digital oligarchy (Alphabet/Google, Facebook, Twitter) that enjoys autonomy over the majority of web content. In short, YouTube is a slimy company owned by a bigger slimy outfit.

I’ve reached the point where I really don’t like sharing YT videos because of their actions.

BitChute is an alternative for video content that looks nifty…

How did this idea come about?

Throughout 2015 and 2016 several prominent YouTubers reported a loss of video monetization when covering certain topics or for having particular opinions. YouTube claimed this was due to tighter enforcement of existing rules, even if true this will restrict the type of content that gets made and is a form of censorship.

Here we believe people should be able to express their opinions and choose their topics. If existing services cannot allow that, then let’s make some that will. The question is, how to disrupt a platform as well established as YouTube? It cannot be on their terms; we think we might have an answer, decentralization by torrents and tailored matchups for monetization. *More on the monetization to come soon.

Rather than needing massive data centers with humongous bandwidth costs, torrents depend on many people sharing videos from their home computers. While this has been possible for many years through bit torrent, bit torrent applications have steep learning curves; this site aims to make the torrent experience seamless by working entirely in the web browser.

I just signed up but, I haven’t figured out some stuff like, how to host a torrent. But, I can watch videos seemingly without flaw.

Here’s the link:





Chico, Strings Attached

I’ve found myself going back to listen to various versions of Chico Hamilton’s bands quite a bit.

Always something interesting compositionally and/or aesthetically.

And, Chico always featured interesting sidemen. This gorgeous album is one of the earliest records with Eric Dolphy and, the seemingly forgotten Dennis Budimir.