Tuesday, September 17, 2013


In her book Empires, Nations, and Families Anne F. Hyde references a painting by George Caleb Bingham entitled "The Squatters".
Courtesy Wikipedia

Have a good look at it. Notice the Anglo men, denizens of late 1830s Missouri, probably already well liquored up on hard cider, loitering around as the women labor in the background.

Bingham himself commented:
"The Squatters as a class, are not fond of the toil of agriculture, but erect their rude cabins upon those remote portions of the national domain, when the abundant game supplies their phisical [sic] wants. When this source of subsistence becomes diminished in consequence of increasing settlements around they usually sell out their slight improvement, with their 'preemption title' to the land, and again follow the receding footsteps of the Savage".
They were viewed as rugged individualists, independent frontiersmen, but as Hyde makes clear in the book, they were nothing but parasites, and when threatened by "the Savage" or exposed to straightened circumstances, heavily dependent upon government largesse for both protection and sustenance.

Little different from the banksters and Wall Street crooks of today, in my opinion.  But that's not what I want to talk about. Actually I have nothing specific to talk about, but I was musing on various conversations I had down in Indiana this past weekend, and thus the yokels-among-us opening gambit.

I thought a lot about anniversaries of one type or another. We are coming up on a big anniversary, the First World War, now ninety-nine years behind us. The Federal Reserve will also celebrate a centennial. And the Civil War, in another two years, will celebrate a sesquicentennial.

Federal Reserve first. I know there's all sorts of silliness about the Fed having a hundred year charter, but that's just horseshit by ignorant fans of the Pauls. These same conservative types also want to put us back on the gold standard, an idiocy that ranks up there with building the Maginot Line. The only people who want us to go back to the gold standard are the same frauds, crooks, and banksters that so efficiently bled the economy of 27 trillion dollars (about the only market efficiency they've managed to accomplish).

The Pepper McFadden bill of 1927 gave the banks perpetual charter for the Fed. People complain about the Fed, but it really isn't the Fed that is the problem. It's the banks that control it that are the problem.  So long as they privatize profit and socialize loss, they've absolutely no reason to change their perverse but cozy relationship with the money supply, and as a result all us food-powered self-replicating robots are screwed.

End the Fed? Screw that! Nationalize the Banks!

Okay, WWI. I held an informal poll with two questions, answers at end. Most people were surprised by the answers, and one actually, I think was offended. I chalk it up to American parochialism. Ready?

1) In 1913, what nation was the most powerful on Earth?
2) In 1913, what nation was the most technological and scientifically advanced?

Hint: The American Long Century is soon to commence. (I'm calling it that because I have to assume we continue our sole superpower status for at least another decade or two. And honestly, the worst thing that happened to us was for the Soviet Union to collapse. Because after that we engaged in undeserved triumphalism and engaged in a series of foreign misadventures primarily because... well, we could).

Finally, the Civil War. Things aren't going too well for the South, and just as well, good riddance. In hindsight, I'm not sure that the "cheap food for cheap people" policy the North employed was any more particularly savory or of long-term validity, but there's no scenario of a slave empire that turns out well.


1) Great Britain
2) Germany

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