Nine Hundred And Fifty Four, Nine Hundred And Fifty Bloody Five.. Or I Wonder If We Are Ever Gonna Change

 

Underpinning Einstein’s theory of relativity is the philosophical argument that it is both possible and desirable to view a particular event from a multiplicity of points of view to gain a comprehensive understanding of the processes embodied in that event.

 

If this is the case, then it might also be argued that it is both possible and desirable to view any particular historical and economic event from a multiplicity of points of view. This would be as revolutionary a development in economics as Einstein’s theory was in physics.

 

Both classic economics and the Marxist variant, promote a singular subjective perspective on structure and meaning of economic systems. Their purpose, openly stated or covertly implied, is to promote the political, moral and cultural system they are representative of.

 

The formal purpose of capitalist economics is to run the system at its most efficient , it’s covert aim to justify capitalism as the dominant system. The overt purpose of Marxism is to produce a critique of capitalism that will lead to its being abandoned as a consequence of its internal contradictions. Its covert aim is to justify historical attempts to create alternatives to capitalism.

 

In order to work, both capitalist economics and Marxism need a protagonist, an archetypal hero from whose singular perspective we can see the world and whose actions we can subjectively identify with. This is the real identity politics.

 

For capitalists the hero of the story is well ,.. The Capitalist  who daringly risks all to bring wealth up from the depths of the darkness -a variation on the Prometheus narrative. For Marxists the hero of the story is The Worker whose toil in the mines is the real producer of wealth.

 

Effectively, both socialism and capitalism are operatic arias in the Wagnerian mode, with two main characters competing for The Ring of Wealth, claim and counter-claim, war, deception and betrayal all part of the story…

 

In a small accommodation with reality there has been a recognition of this subjective limitation and  attempts to modify both classic and Marxist economics. Keynesianism explicitly criticised classic economy from the perspective that it had no macro economic analysis, that it was limited and partial. Marxism also criticised classical economics from the same perspective.

 

In turn, classical economics responded by broadening the fields of economic activity that it covered and even integrated elements of both Marxism and Keynesianism to produce the modern hybrid that passes for mainstream economics today. At the same time neo liberalism explicitly critiqued Marxist planned economy for offering a limited and distorted perspective on the real world. Only the market was capable of gathering and processing enough information to make the system work it claimed.

 

Classic economics and Marxism have historically attempted to compensate for narrowness of vision by reaching for an ever more comprehensive breadth of subject matter. Their final strategic purpose is to claim that the point of view they represent is capable of encompassing all of experience. In other words, both capitalism and socialism claim to be universal theories.

 

This strategy really amounts to nothing more than a form of semantic  trickery that exploits the confusion between taking something into account and adequately accounting for something. An analysis undertaken on this basis degenerates into nothing more than description in the form of an ever expanding list of complaints that classic economics makes about Marxist economics and Marxism makes about classic economics.

 

But neither capitalist economics or Marxism can overcome the fundamental problem that they are subjective in both analysis and purpose- they are in essence particular points  of view.

 

In the back and forth diatribe of mutual complaint each philosophy implicitly recognises the value and need for the other as each seeks new territory to colonise at the expense of the other. Both competing analyses move from old to new battlefields as they become available for domination,  seeking both to justify their own existence and to nullify the existence of their opponents.

 

This is the operation of a dialectic; the domination of thought through the application of a controlled conflict- a drama- a demi-urge.

 

The last major episode in this opera was the credit crunch. Marxist economics went on the offensive, seeking to gain advantage in this period of capitalism’s distress. In response neo- Classic economy sought to spin events in such a way as to justify itself. Perhaps unsurprisingly classic and Marxist have managed to fight each other to what is effectively a stalemate. Both boxers now winded and bloody, have retired to corners for a chest rub and a pep talk from their respective managers…

 

The central question now is: Do we wish to invite both protagonists back for a further round of conflict? Would there be any purpose, political or intellectual, in continuing a boxing bout that seems to have stalled in mutual exhaustion? If subjective political economy has nowhere left to go, what can emerge to take its place?

 

The economic model I propose does not rely on a representation of any particular group as the main protagonist in history and economy. I don’t seek to make The Capitalist the hero of history or The Worker either. On the contrary I am now arguing that there is no such thing as The Capitalist as a concrete economic agent. There is no such thing as The Worker either. They are both literary inventions of Germanic culture. This is where culture meets economics.

 

Nobody ever in the history of the world ever created capitalist wealth through undertaking risk. Nobody ever in the history of the world ever created capitalist wealth through undertaking labour. Both these ideas are literary fictions.

 

Instead I am arguing that the only way that capitalist wealth is created is that it is extracted and accrued through the operation of money forms, that is denuded versions of money. These money forms create and operate their own distribution networks within society and economy that allow the extraction of wealth.

 

Individual or group economic power and significance comes from the extent to which one has access to one or more money forms and is able to utilise them to extract wealth.

 

This analysis seeks to represent Germanic capitalism from a multiplicity of perspectives to show both action and reaction in any given transaction. We no longer need to be bound to this or that heroic perspective or this or that litany of complaint and counter-complaint.

 

But there is a price to be paid for this insight. Because in such a model the struggle for economic power becomes a zero sum game. Power is fixed in quantity and quality. If power accrues to one then it necessarily is taken from to another. Wealth cannot be created as in a Germanic literary fantasy.

 

Just as Einstein’s theory was able to capture the multiplicity of relative motion through the adoption of a constant the speed of light so this model of money requires a constant  – that of wealth. Wealth in this model is not created, that is the absolute barrier that cannot be broken through.

 

E=MC Too

 

 

The American health care system clearly needs to be rationalised. It is inefficient, with multiple competing bureaucracies, high costs and poor outcomes. many people cannot understand how it has continued to develop in what appears to be such a dysfunctional way.

 

But what if the size and shape of American health care is entirely rational if you understand the parameters that it operates within?

 

In my general theory of money I argue that the fundamental structure of capitalist economies is a broad alliance of competing money forms, (partial money), that act as a means of extracting wealth from society as a whole for their respective constituencies and through this process money forms divide up the economy.

 

Under this model INSURANCE is a money form, whose purpose is to allow its issuers and users (constituency) to extract wealth protected by its representatives among the elite: FACTIONINSURANCE.

 

You might imagine that because ‘healthcare’ is the subject of insurance that ‘health’ is somehow integral to this insurance business. It is not. ‘Health’ is no more integral to health insurance than birds are integral to ‘Dove’ shower creme.

 

To make it absolutely clear: ‘Insurance’ does not exist as a consequence of the social need for ‘Healthcare’ rather ‘Healthcare’ exists as a consequence of the economic need for ‘Insurance’. Who has an economic need for insurance? The faction that creates, buys, sells and uses it.

 

An easy way to understand it is to look back at the development of both rail and then car travel. First trains were invented and then the marketing department for the rail companies had to think of somewhere desirable to go on them. The same applies to the motor car. First the car was invented and then a desirable destination had to be invented. In this way first the ‘seaside’ and then the ‘countryside’ were invented…as well as the suburbs.

 

Insurance was invented as a money form. Then the insurers had to find something desirable to insure- enter healthcare.

 

I will build on this insight:

 

There are a number of competing money factions of which FACTIONINSURANCE is one and FACTIONDERIVATIVE is another; the latest edition to the elite power structure.

 

I have previously explained how QE was specifically an economic and political arrangement to protect and regularise emergent derivatives in the wake of the crash they caused.

 

If we accept that there are a number of money factions competing for economic and political primacy and we accept that derivatives have been inducted into the elite club, we can surmise that the derivative share of power must have been allocated at the expense of another competing money faction.

 

In other words someone must have been made to move over to make room for derivatives at the money table. Which brings us to the following intriguing anomaly:

 

In both Britain and America the newly elected post credit crunch administrations undertook ambitious and far ranging ‘reforms’ of their respective health care systems, despite the fact that many observers noted that the administrations had far more pressing concerns that they appeared reluctant to confront.

 

It does seem odd that a Conservative a government in Britain and a Democrat government in America should go out of their way to look for trouble when they had so much of it already.

 

But what if, in line with my model, they had to rejig the position of FACTIONINSURANCE within the system as a whole to accommodate FACTIONDERIVATIVE?

 

To put it another way, to get the support of FACTIONINSURANCE they had to get something in return for what they were losing to FACTIONDERIVATIVE

 

Then the actions of both Anglo Saxon elites would entirely make sense.’ Healthcare reform’ can now be seen for what it is- a central ECONOMIC part of the QE programme.

 

If my model of how the system operates is correct- how would that be reflected in what we actually observe? We would expect to see an increase in health insurance without a corresponding increase in health. Sound familiar?

 

All of which brings me to my E=MC2 moment. This is a simple formulation which is the basis for explaining all economic and political history over the past hundred years. It supersedes and clarifies all other economic theory. (Is that all, Andy ?)

 

Among other startling things my theory makes it possible to calculate to 2 decimal places the Socialism of any individual in comparison to any other individual on the planet.

 

The Credit Crunch and subsequent QE heralded the formal acceptance of derivatives into the elite money pantheon.

 

I explained how FACTIONINSURANCE got paid off to allow this to go ahead. But what about FACTIONEQUITY, FACTIONBOND etc?

 

Well they all got paid off too. In fact everybody seems to have got paid off, except one faction, and you know who that is don’t you?

 

Yup,

 

FACTIONCASH got shafted on all sides.

 

And what happened as FACTIONCASH had its political and economic power stripped away?

 

Why, Socialism evaporated into the air as though it had never existed!!

 

Surely this is the time above all others when people would have turned to Socialism. But they can’t turn to socialism because it doesn’t exist as a real separate political force.

 

Which leads me to my central formulation:

 

CASH=SOCIALISM

SOCIALISM=CASH

 

Want to know exactly to two decimal places how socialist any particular person is?

 

Find out what percentage of their wealth is held in cash and how much cash  they carry around..

 

I have prepared the following graphic for you to approximate just how Socialist you and your friends and colleagues are…

 

If you doubt my analysis ask yourself:

 

What would the world be like if there was only one money form and it was cash?

Socialism, no?

 

Why were elites all over the Saxon Axis so desperate to get welfare recipients onto digital payments?

 

Because it is bad enough if some members of society are socialist, but it really would be too much if the poor were as well…

Meet The ‘New Deal’, Same As The…. Or She Is Mocking Us,, Not Samson Or Smile Caroline, There’s Justice In The World…Or Crazy Like A Fox

rare25

 One King for Another……

 

 

In the first two parts of this series I argued that the pyramid model which lies at the heart of ‘left’ and ‘right’ conceptions of society is limited and ultimately a barrier to understanding what happened in the lead up to the credit crunch and its aftermath.

 

I argued that a dynamic vector model of society is a better reflection of reality because it captures fluidity or movement within the economic system. The original dynamic vector model I suggested was made up of a ‘Feudal’ or integrating vector and later an added ‘Capitalist’ or disintegrating vector.

 

An economic vector is precisely a means of concentrating or distributing wealth and power. All societies are concerned fundamentally with this; collecting and concentrating social power and wealth and then re-distributing it to those who are ‘worthy’. All politics and economics are derived from this central process.

 

A dynamic vector model offers insight into specific episodes in history, (the American Continental War was one such example I used), and into the very idea of history and progress as we receive it from established sources. More fundamentally, dynamic vector history offers the observation that establishment history can no longer claim some supposed essential difference between feudal and capitalist elite often characterised as the ‘Enlightenment’.

 

On the contrary, the vector model shows that it was entirely possible for the feudal and emerging capitalist systems to exist side by side at the ‘top’ of society. Rather than capitalism being a supposedly unstoppable revolutionary force, it was feudalists recognising continuing inexorable disempowerment at the hands of the capitalist vector that brought about ‘revolutionary’ civil conflicts. This is nowhere truer than in the case of King Charles and the Puritans in England.

 

In fact, rather than capitalism (as the Anglo Saxon Establishment would have you believe), being implacably opposed to feudalism, throughout its development the capitalist vector has systematically relied on a feudalist vector for its protection and survival. The rhetoric is of undying hostility (in the Protestant world at least), but the reality is one of pragmatic accommodation.

 

To understand the relationship between feudalism and capitalism, the capitalist recognition of the necessity of feudalism, is to begin to perceive a key difference between Germanic and Anglo Saxon (Protestant) ideology and continental (Catholic), ideology in Western Europe.

 

The creation of a capitalist vector allows a section of society to potentially permanently dis-integrate itself from society as a whole. But the capitalist vector needs to re-create a version of the feudal vector if it is to disengage from actively managing society and concentrate on making itself as separately wealthy and powerful as possible.

 

The more advanced and sophisticated a capitalist elite, the more it relies upon a ‘socialist’ feudalist vector to manage and integrate the remainder of society. The ability to manage feudalistic redistribution of wealth is usually taken as the key determinant of capitalist development; the successful (or unsuccessful), evolution of every advanced capitalist nation can be described in terms of a relationship with feudalism.

 

The secret is to tame the’ excesses’ of feudalism. This is the historical necessity of Protestantism in North Western Europe; to reform/undermine the feudal integrated society so that it can become a useful servant to the capitalist vector. Or think of it as a Catholic/Samson and a Protestant/Delilah who cut his hair while he slept and delivered him into the hands of the Philistines.

‘She is mocking us…not Samson’

This leads to the observation that the ‘socialist’ left is in reality the justification for a feudal vector. This is the service that the ‘left’ performs for capitalism. This is why establishment left parties exist; if they did not perform a useful service they would certainly not be there. If you doubt this observation, consider the history of left parties in Latin America in this context.

 

The welfare, integrating, feudal left is useful not because it offers the promise of benefits of the future, but because it offers the hope of preserving some of the protections and freedoms from the past!

 

The idea that people could have been in some ways freer in the past than they are now will be met with horror and even outrage by proponents of Germanic Capitalism and Socialism alike for this is blasphemy against the Germanic religion of Progress ( as in; ‘when we took over, that was progress’…)

 

Implacable opposition to anything that challenges the idea of a ‘Dark Ages’ is one of many similarities that Socialist Cane and Capitalist Abel (or is it the other way?), have in common but neither wishes to acknowledge.

 

This way of understanding the relationship between left and right, feudal and capitalist, is more than an intellectual curiosity. It leads us directly to a deeper understanding of the post credit crunch world.

 

One of the main reasons I began the United States of Everywhere blog was to try to understand the comprehensive and systematic failure of the left in the aftermath of the credit crunch. It doesn’t matter whether you accept or support any of the ideas, preconceptions or prejudices of the left; understanding its effective collapse over the past couple of decades is vital to building up a useful picture of why we are where we are.

 

In theory it was all over after the financial mega collapse- all the ‘left’ had to do was to pick up the marbles and declare the game won. Capitalism was now totally dependent upon the mercy of the state; ‘free market capitalism’ if it had ever really existed was completely discredited now. But that was very certainly not what happened.

 

In fact the Neo Conservative right has been consistently strengthened over the subsequent years and even more startling, the libertarian right has emerged as the only social force with anything substantially critical to say about the systematic nature of the changes we have seen.

 

In attempting to understand the failure of the left I realised that I would have to go outside the bounds of traditional economic argument. I began to describe Whiteism which links Germanic culture, history and identity to contemporary questions of economics.

 

Financialisation is intimately linked to questions of the development of the left and its relationship to feudalism and especially the development of Neo Conservatism. And this in turn leads to the relationship between Trotskyism and Neo Conservatism in the context of American history.

 

Capitalists successfully disengaged by means of creating the modern welfare state (feudal vector) in Europe beginning in the late 1940’s but it took another two decades until this process was played out in 1960’s America.

 

America’s capitalist vector had priorities that were substantially historically different to those of Western Europe but as I noted America was always willing to pragmatically embrace feudal practice if it thought it necessary (as in Washington) .

 

This brings us to the rather ironically named ‘New Deal’, (since it should be more accurately described as the ‘Old Deal’), programme instituted by Franklin Roosevelt in the 1930’s. Although it later came to be regarded with widespread acceptance, (rhetorically at least), at the time the New Deal was seen by many as a fundamental betrayal of a central tenet of American ideology; that a society could survive and thrive with only a capitalist vector. Venomous hatred of the New Deal betrayal of this ideal is a fault-line that runs right down to the bedrock of America.

 

Despite this fundamental opposition, practical necessity meant that the provisions of the New Deal survived more or less intact right up to the inauguration of the Great Society. But the New Deal was always fundamentally an ad hoc programme. Somewhere lurked the hope/belief that once America got back on the right track again it could go back to the Good Old Days of pure capitalism.

 

By the time of LBJ’s ‘Great Society’ and the Vietnam War, the American elite had little appetite for a return to the past, ( well, the old past anyway..). It became clear to the 60’s American elite that to get in line with modern western thinking it was going to be necessary to institute a version of feudal history to make up for the one that America didn’t have.

 

In fact, the Great Society was the formal acceptance that there was no longer the hope of a temporary feudal fix in the form of a New Deal. Like everywhere else in the developed world the American elite would have to come to some kind of permanent accommodation with feudalism. This would make them in a sense irrevocably ‘liberal’. This in turn directly led to the birth of Neo Conservatism and the emergence of Nixon’s Moral (Silent) Majority. If there had to be a feudal vector then henceforth Neo Conservatives would battle to cast it in the Anglo Saxon image.

 

It is no co-incidence that within a decade or so of the Great Society Monetarist Milton Friedman had effectively conceded that there would have to be permanent state management of capitalism under the justification of controlling inflation.

 

Since the market would now be permanently under the constant control of the state through the central bank, Monetarists simply could not allow any left wing alternative to exist. If a comprehensive state programme to protect the market was justified, then in theory a comprehensive state programme instead of the market could be justified. (The tattered remnants of this argument are still around the political fringe today in the form of ‘peoples QE’)

 

This meant that there could not be an American left of any kind since it was possible in theory that they could be elected, and if elected they could control the central bank and if they could control the central bank they could control the economy, and that would be game over.

 

And so just at the moment that total state control of the economy became reality- the left dream for eight decades- the political services of the left were to be dispensed with. Neo Con Monetarists would displace the left and act as the new feudal bureaucracy.

 

Let us be absolutely clear what this means: That the Germanic nation state ‘left’ project has turned out to be the biggest game of bait and switch in the history of human society!

 

The call for a state run society was made in western Europe for nearly a century only for it to be exclusively turned over to extreme right wing ideology the moment it was actually achieved!

 

Since the arrival of Monetarism we have been watching the left clearing its desk, gathering its political belongings together in a cardboard box and being escorted from the building….

The left finally gets it….

 

It was a sure thing that the Monetarists on ascending to power, would seek to shrink the state and to shrink it in a  specific way. Under Reagan talk swiftly turned to ‘welfare queens’ and so on. This was unsurprising.

 

But more interestingly that visceral hatred of the New Deal I referred to earlier made itself felt in the ongoing repeal of post Wall Street Crash banking regulation implemented by Roosevelt. And it was this legal reform that formally opened the door to financialisation.

 

And now we can close in on three central questions that have been there since the Credit Crunch but never satisfactorily answered:

 

What exactly is financialisation?

How exactly does it work?

Why did it appear exactly when it did?

 

So what exactly is financialisation?

 

It is a new vector, a new conduit for concentrating wealth and power. It operates alongside the capitalist vector and the feudal vector. This vector is actually physically constructed from the Democratisation of Money.

DMVM

Just like the capitalist vector it originally acted as a conduit for concentration and redistribution- remember the ‘Big Bang’?, Remember the ‘share owning democracy’? Remember how the sons and daughters of Ordinary Joes could get a pair of red braces and make Big Bucks down on the trading floor?

Seems a long time ago now doesn’t it? But for a while at least the financial vector really did redistribution…

 

How does it work?

 

Capitalism turns power and wealth into money. Capital is exactly power and wealth expressed as money. You do stuff to get money.

 

But Financialisation does the exact opposite of Capitalism. Financialisation turns money into power and wealth. You do money ( literally make it), to get stuff

 

In other words it is the exact antithesis of the capitalist process or vector. In other words, Financialisation is Anti capitalism!

This is the real basis for the crude ( but to some degree perceptive), slogan that Financialisation is ‘socialism for the rich’.

 

Socialism was never the opposition to capitalism. In fact there never really was an opposition to capitalism until about twenty years ago. This is what makes the present period unprecedented. But the oppostion to capitalism is not very nice is it? No, but it is proving to be effective.

 

Why did Financialisation appear when it did?

 

The Monetarist attack on New Deal bank regulation set the stage for financialisation. But the real impetus for financialisation to grow came from shrinking the size of the state. The Democratised Money shadow economy is growing into the exact size and shape of space where western post war states used to be. The consequence of yet again failing to utilise feudalism effectively. I will explain why this is in the final part… (In the meantime you could think about Japanese feudalism and if that has anything to do with why QE started there..)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART 2 Back To The Future Or Actually The Future Is Exactly What It Used To Be Or Neo Feudalism Or Now Listen You Queer, Stop Calling Me A Crypto Nazi Or I’ll Sock You In The Goddamn Face!

 

The general political and economic history we are taught focuses on forms of society over the functions that form represents. It teaches economic and political structures are primary and the forces they actually represent are secondary at best.

 

This creates a history and a politics that are at best really only a series of snapshots strung together in the semblance of a storyboard, or at worse a single blurred image, the import of which we endlessly haggle over with no hope of ever coming to a clear resolution.

 

If we accept this fragmentation of history and politics the best insight we can hope for is the pyramidal model of society that the ‘left’ and ‘right’ use.

 

The understanding we have of history and politics is not the result of unknowable abstractions, it is the concrete result of the most powerful forces in the society we live in. A fragmented and disintegrated political/ economic system inevitably produces a fragmented and disintegrated understanding of history and politics.

 

The disintegration of capitalist society we experience can be sourced to an elite – traditionally seen as the ‘top of the pyramid’, effectively drawing off a vector of wealth and power from society but not redistributing any of that wealth and power back.

 

Capitalism did not always do this, nor is it necessarily forced to this, but it has the tendency to do this. The potential to systematically and permanently vector wealth away from society to a specific elite differentiates Capitalism from all the other forms of society, contemporary and historical. It is what makes capitalism special.

 

Capitalism is a form of society where economics really can be separate from politics -an observation the left vehemently denies and the right celebrates but refuses to acknowledge the consequences of. But why does the ‘left’ deny this simple observation? Understand this and you understand the relationship between War, Welfare and Whiteism.

 

In the Divergent Split Stream Model the capitalist elite draws off wealth and power through the capitalist vector . (shown here). This wealth and power becomes increasingly INVISIBLE and UNKNOWABLE to the remaindered feudal integrated vector. For mainstream economics and politics (which are the province of feudalism), more or less the whole purpose of existence has become to try to understand what your elite is doing at any given time and hopefully to influence it.

ssm

Understanding the process of disintegration can give us historical insights into the motivations of the elite and their consequences for society as a whole.

 

At a crucial stage in its development, a capitalist elite is no longer automatically obliged to organise or defend the society they benefit from, symbolised by the moving out of military uniform that all capitalist elites eagerly undertake when they are able. I pointed out that kings and barons rise and fall with the redistribution systems they service. This is as true for contemporary feudal/integrated societies as for those that existed 500 years ago.

 

Capitalists are consciously ‘Independent’ when they no longer go to war to defend the society that protects and benefits them. Think about George Washington and the American War of Independence in this context. Think also about Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

 

At the time of George Washington, nascent Anglo Saxon capitalists in America were in the process of creating a new separate system of wealth accumulation and redistribution based on the wholesale theft of that continent.

 

If anything distinguished the emerging Saxon American system from its European counterparts it was the fact that it sought to be pure and whole. The Anglo Saxon American process was entirely one of transferring a territory and its wealth from one racial cultural group to another; there was literally nothing else happening in America at that time. Proto America understood itself to be entirely a redistribution system.

americanmodel

And everyone who benefitted agreed that the process had great potential. It became the American Anglo Saxon evangelical project to demonstrate to the world that such a thing as a society running with only a capitalist vector was actually possible!

 

Here is America’s specific claim to moral, political, and historical uniqueness in the world; Germanic Land Democracy that you can successfully run a society without a feudal/integrated vector. Damn the Pope! Damn the European hierarchy of Church, Nobility and Society! And Double Damn Noblesse Oblige!

 

Just as ‘The King’ is the personification of the feudal/integrated system so ‘The Individual’ is the personification of this Capitalist vector. Summed up in the truly bizarre Saxon cri de coueur : ‘The Englishman’s Home Is His Castle’. Feudalism and Capitalism fused together; Germanic land Democracy.

 

At the precise historical moment of Americas birth, two imperatives clashed in the person of George Washington. One moment he was required to act as feudal king fighting a war as guarantor and defender of a uniquely American redistribution system. The next moment he was President; a mere elected functionary.

 

Washington hovered between these two states of public (and internal!), being. As feudal king his purpose was to integrate American society, as President he was representing the interests of forces that were striving to create the first permanently disintegrated society.

 

If you doubt the feudal personification of Washington and the American elite, remember that they named America’s capital city after this single man. And they did it with straight faces and no hint of irony. Isn’t this the very essence of ‘primitive’ feudalism?

 

Now compare the American Continental War with the First World War which was the last time a significant section of European, (in particular continental German), capitalists were willing to actually fight and die for the society they were beneficiaries of. After the Somme there were to be no more trenches for the young men of these elites. It was this change in society more than any other that gave the Second World War its own character twenty years later.

 

In a bizarre mix of comedy and tragedy, German corporate bosses decided to hire a replacement mock-feudal military caste to stand in for them in the form of the Nazis, led by the corporal Hitler! Has there ever been such a catastrophic bungle by any social group in history?

 

The burgher market trader instincts of German capitalists gave birth to the most deadly set of consequences imaginable. Most horribly ironic of all, Germans clearly recognise their propensity for this kind of stupidity in the classic tale of the ‘Pied Piper of Hamlyn’. But they are doomed to go ahead and relive it anyway…over and over again.

 

So here are two Germanic elites and two very different stories. American Anglo Saxon and Continental German had to adapt to and adopt the necessities of feudal integration and both did so in very different ways. These were two nations at different times under existential threat from outside. The Anglo Saxon American revolutionaries took feudalism on wholesale, the Continental Germans tried to buy a ready made version of it off the shelf. The Anglo Saxons in America succeeded wildly and the Germans failed catastrophically. Neither outcome was happenstance.

 

The historical lesson here is that CAPITALISM ALWAYS NEEDS FEUDALISM to survive and develop. If Capitalism fails to harness the power of feudalism, it risks its own existence. You can‘t fake it as the German bourgeoisie found out to its cost…

 

Most exactly of all, Capitalism needs to construct a feudalist distribution sub system if the capitalist elite is to successfully disintegrate itself from society.

 

Who will administer society if the capitalist elite is off pursuing its own interests? On what basis, with what justification, will this administering body operate? Its only viable justification is the integration of society; the essence of feudalism

 

A bureaucracy must be formed representing a new relationship between oppressed and oppressor. Instead of paying money to the King who distributes it to his enforcers, you must pay the enforcers directly!

 

But this capitalist/feudal bureaucracy is different because of a third consequence of disintegration; the emergence of ‘social science’.

 

Social science is only possible and necessary when you want exact scientific knowledge of the ‘mass’ of people as a separate grouping. Enter the new capitalist disciplines of Sociology, Anthropology etc. In the universities and the colleges of the 18th and C19th the foundations of a new priesthood is being created.

 

By the time that the Split Stream Welfare Model is implemented the capitalist elite has effectively reproduced the pre-capitalist system but excluded the itself from it. In other words the elite has become truly ‘modern’ and ‘scientific’ by means of ensuring that the remainder of society is ‘primitive’. And every capitalist society since then is objectively judged to be successful to the extent that it manages to recreate a feudal system and visibly exclude itself from it.

sswm

Of course, we need a name for this new relationship between bureaucracy and society. We can hardly directly admit it is feudalism- that the brave new future we are building is fundamentally dependent on the past. So we give this state of affairs a new name to reflect its ‘social’ nature ; we will call it ‘Socialism’.

 

Now we can see where Germanic ‘class’ politics springs from- a concoction of feudalism, welfare and socialism (or War, Welfare and Whiteism if you prefer). This is the political structure that will support and illuminate the new redistribution system.

 

And so along with Washington and Hitler, vector history brings Karl Marx into focus.

 

Somewhat vain and self important but also brilliant, Marx was a rogue operator in the new emerging social sciences. Like an insufferably precocious pupil Marx constantly disrupts and irritates the lecturer with startling insights, speculations and guesses called out from the back of the class. Some of these catcalls were pinpoint accurate and some were horribly wrong.

 

But by effectively second guessing a whole raft of developments in the emergence of social science, rogue student Marx managed to disrupt the entire inaugural lecture. The carefully planned unveiling of ‘Social Science’ collapsed into chaos!

 

And it has never recovered..Is it any wonder the establishment regards him as they do?

 

It’s hard not to see young Marx as something of a Victor Frankenstein character (as in Prometheus), seeking forbidden knowledge, failing to heed the warnings of his teachers and ultimately heading for disaster.

 

And while we are about it; seeking to raise what was dead through the newly acquired power of science… Given what we know about young Mary Wollstonecraft and her antecedents, I think I can make an argument that the Frankenstein story itself is a metaphor precisely for the emergent scientific capitalist class bringing feudalism back from the dead.

 

This is Not America…

 

By the time America invaded Vietnam in the 1960’s none of its national elite or their children went to die in wars. And nobody seriously expected them to. This certainly gave the Vietnam war its very own peculiar nature. American society at large was well aware of the extent this change even if it did not understand the full significance of it. What this meant was that America and its elite, despite its peculiar development path was becoming more like the European states.

 

The documentary film ‘Best of Enemies’ records the televised debates in 1968 between liberal Gore Vidal and conservative William F. Buckley Jr. and it happens to capture perfectly this moment of America’s final transition from ‘capitalist+’ to ‘capitalist-‘ society. As the publicity blurb for the documentary has it:

 

‘ Intended as commentary on the issues of their day, these vitriolic and explosive encounters came to define the modern era of public discourse in the media, marking the big bang moment of our contemporary media landscape when spectacle trumped content and argument replaced substance’

 

To make it absolutely clear: The Nixonian/ Neo Con movement as espoused by William F Buckley jr that emerged in the late 1960’s is a welfare system just as its liberal counterpart espoused by Gore Vidal was. It’s specific argument is that welfare should be constructed in such a way as to benefit white Anglo Saxon society and particularly white working class Anglo Saxons at the expense of other sections of American society. In other words it seeks to exclude some sections of society to more clearly cohere the remainder around a specific identity.

 

It is no coincidence that Nixonian welfare centered on the Moral Majority emerges precisely when the elite begins to very consciously disengage (as in the Vietnam war) from American society. The project is to then put in place a comprehensive new welfare system that society will rely on to maintain cohesion. Buckley and Vidal are arguing over what the nature of the new sub system feudal welfare system, (LBJ’s The Great Society), will be.

 

It is every bit as consciously redistributive as so called liberal or socialist opponents. Its difference centres on who qualifies. And who qualifies will be decided by which version of the history of America becomes the dominant narrative.

 

From this perspective the animus between the two antagonists comes into clear focus. It is no accident that both are populist disseminators of American history. It is no accident that their central argument revolves around what the content and meaning of American history is.

 

If Thine Eye Offend Thee..

 

And now we can finally move towards a rational explanation for what seems totally irrational oxymoronic Neo Conservatism: It is America’s admission that it needs feudalism in some form if the elite is to successfully disengage. But in this admission America’s previous strength is revealed as a weakness because it has no feudal backstory to hang its welfare state on. It is going to have to invent one.

 

This is the opportunity for ‘right wing’ public intellectuals like Buckley and Irving Kristol to prove their worth. We can explain how Neo Conservatism can draw together an establishment WASP like Buckley and an ex ‘Trotskyist’ like Kristol within the context of American politics. On the surface their political trajectories would appear to be irreconcilable. But if we understand that their shared struggle is not to re-formulate the future but the past, many of the apparent contradictions evaporate.

 

Both Kristol and Buckley realised that in the creation of Neo Conservatism, their shared purpose was to try to find a way to create a vision of the past and to present it as the future; feudalism as welfare. The inspiration of Neo Conservatism is to accept the practical reality of the need for feudalism, while publically denying it with all your might. In a moment of clarity Kristol realised that feudalism/integration was essentially what his Trotskyist Socialism had been about all along.

 

From this perspective we can see that the Cold War arguments over whether communist Russia was more advanced than USA is really an internal argument about the future of America. America is projecting its hopes and anxieties onto Russia and later Japan and China. Because now the American elite continually gazes upon feudalism with fear and a kind of sick desire. They are painted into a corner. They are all turned around.

 

This has reached some kind of crisis point with Islamism. The modern Protestant welfare society finds itself powerless to launch an all out attack on feudalism. How can it? It will be cutting its own throat. No matter how much it is offended it cannot put its own eye out or cut off its own hand.

 

Disintegrated history and politics experiences its dislocation and confusion through the medium of past, present and future. Whenever the West tries to describe an alien society it does so in terms of primitive or advanced etc. The West is permanently confused as to whether China is modern or backwards. Or modern and backwards. Or whether it is going forwards or forwards and backwards at the same time.

 

The West looks for markers of ‘modernity’ like mobile phones or gay marriage. If you have a modern mobile phone network but not gay marriage is your society modern or backwards? Was Iran becoming more modern or less modern when it overthrew the Shah of Iran? Is the Arab Spring a leap forward or backward? Was Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood progressive or regressive? Confusion multiplies and reigns.

 

Something like this happened with astronomy. Retrograde motion is an observed phenomenon in astronomy in which planets appear to move ‘backward’ across the night sky. Of course, this is impossible, planets can no more move backward in space than societies can move backwards in time. Retrograde movement is the consequence of planets with relative trajectories seeming to accelerate at different speeds. They are all going forward in perfect order, it is just that from one point of view it can seem as though they are not.

 

When a model of the solar system was put forward that more accurately mirrored reality, all the confusion disappeared. Soon astronomers were able to predict the whereabouts of any given planet at any given time. It happened when they realised they could not calculate correctly with the earth as the centre of the system. The same thing must happen now with Anglo Saxon societies. The world does not revolve around them. History does not revolve around them.

 

Societies can appear to move backwards but of course they don’t really. They are all progressing forwards we just have to find a model to explain how. Vector history can do that. The key is to identify or restate a problem in a way no one has before and offer a solution. That is what I have done here.

 

 

 

Pyramid Schemes Or Vector History Or I’m Ready for My Close Up Or There is no such thing as a Disintegrated Society Or Is There?

The structure of pre-capitalist societies is often depicted as a Hierarchical pyramidal structure with the mass of people forming the widest part of the pyramid at the bottom and then progressively smaller echelons forming each tier as it moves towards the top. We can call this a Standard Hierarchy Model and make a simple diagram of it something like this:

shm

 

In this model wealth and power moves upwards from the bottom of the pyramid to the top and wealth and power in the form of patronage is redistributed down from the top to the bottom. In establishment rhetoric this is portrayed as the ‘classic’ ‘oppressive’ state structure.

 

Establishment history argues that this oppressive state structure belongs both to our pre-capitalist past and contemporary non capitalist societies such as North Korea, (which in Establishment ideology are essentially the same thing). But Establishment history argues that in contrast to all other types of societies, present and past, the pyramid structure is modified within capitalist societies.

 

The crudest Establishment description of hierarchy modification is in the Inverted Hierarchy Model. This model shows the mass of people benefiting from capitalism relatively and absolutely more than any other echelon in the pyramid. The argument is that the lower down you are in the oppressive pyramid model the more you benefit from the Inverted Hierarchy Model. We can show it like this:

ihm

In this model it is argued that power ‘democratically’ flows away from elites, up to the mass of people. Then patronage is redistributed down from the mass of people to the elite through the democratic process. As proof of this redistribute process the Inverted Hierarchy Model argues that the mass of people receive invisible, intangible social goods. These include the right to be an individual, the right to express opinions in free speech, sexual freedom etc, As an added bonus these riches get progressively larger and more encompassing with every passing year!

 

This Inverted Hierarchy Model is obviously overtly ideological and tends to be used mostly in Anglo Saxon societies and in particular the USA. But that doesn’t mean that is has no basis in history and culture. The objective is to try to understand what basis it actually has..

 

A more subtle Establishment argument is to agree that we live in a base heavy pyramidal structured society but to argue that who is at the top of the pyramid and who is at the bottom regularly changes over time. In other words the structure remains constant but the composition of the pyramid is open to change. This model accepts the implied need for the state to guarantee some kind of equality to mitigate the nature of the pyramid but characterises this as the need for equality of opportunity.

 

In contrast, anti Establishment arguments emphasise the fact that the structure of the pyramid remains constant irrespective of the composition of any particular echelon. Any movement of elements within the pyramid is limited and inconsequential. It follows that if the pyramid is incapable of internal change, change must come from outside.

So the basic mainstream Establishment position is:

The Capitalist form of society is a pyramid but it differs from previous social pyramids in that its composition changes and will continue to change over time.

The anti Establishment position is:

The pyramid is essentially the same as previous pyramids, has not changed and will not change until political force (usually from below), makes it change.

 

On these two essential positions the matter rests and has rested for some time. But it is possible to conceive of social structure in a different, dynamic way. This dynamic understanding can illuminate the observation people understand the pyramid structure not in abstract or random ways, but in ways that are exactly the inevitable outcome of the relationship between elite and the rest of society and the way this relationship has developed and been subjectively experienced.

 

Instead of the Establishment series of ongoing pyramid ‘snapshots’ or the opposition ‘oil painting’ of a single static pyramid, we can imagine the pyramid form instead as a dynamic vector on a graph representing a flow of wealth and power from the base of the hierarchy to the top and then back down again. This model integrates movement into the basic model itself. It is the difference between the dissection of a cadaver and studying the flow of blood through a living body.

 

Lets go back and look at the classic ‘oppressive’ pyramid structure from the perspective of this Hierarchical flow model. It looks like this:

hsm

Wealth and power moves upwards from the ‘peasants’ at the bottom to the ‘King’ at the top and is then redistributed by the King back down through the lords and barons and so on until a residue of wealth reaches the bottom again. In this model the elite is the mechanism of redistribution and the ‘King’ is the personification of the elite. We are taught that this is how medieval European society or contemporary non capitalist society such as North Korea is structured.

 

The fundamental Capitalist critique of an oppressive state structure like this is that the ‘King’ collects wealth and power from the people and then redistributes it to the power structure that protects him and the echelons below him from the people he collects wealth from in the first place. In other words the process of redistribution reinforces the redistributive structure in place and makes it impervious to change. This can be called a Force System.

 

The people pay to the King and the King pays the bodyguards and so on downwards thought society. Redistribution and force are intertwined. Wealth is redistributed throughout society through the Force System.

 

This process is characterised as a ‘crony system’ by Capitalists. It is also often misrepresented as a Forced System as opposed to a Force System. Capitalists argue that because redistribution is done through the force system it is ‘forced’ – it cannot be to any extent voluntary. They argue that this is morally unfair and/or economically and politically inefficient. They argue that it must inevitably collapse, and if it doesn’t decent people should work to bring about that collapse anyway and by any means necessary.

 

You should note that Germanic capitalist ideology viscerally detests Force System   because it does not reward the personal character traits that German culture and personality  admires and promotes.

 

The Fate of Kings

 

In a fully ‘feudal’ society everybody is effectively employed by government. Your economic boss is very often literally the general who leads you to war. And this political/economic model is reproduced right up to the very top. The commercial and the political is entirely integrated and entirely consistent , (which is to say that the logic of society is reproduced throughout society to the same extent). All of society is integrated and consistent.

 

The king is the guarantor of the system and the network. Consider the fate of Gaddafi in Libya and Ceausescu in Romania. Consider also what is in store for al Assad if his enemies get their way. This fate of kings is not random or happenstance. The fate of the King is absolutely entwined with the fate of the redistributive system.

 

Rather than a feudal society It would be more accurate to call this an integrated society because economics and politics are fused and every echelon is fused to the one above and below it by means of the redistributive system.

 

The popular capitalist ideological critique is that systems like this are static. Everybody is in a place within the system. Nobody can be outside the system and nobody can move within the system. Of course if they see any evidence to the contrary of their assertions they simply ignore it.

 

This criticism fits within the capitalist list of accusations which run from popular to true in descending order:
It is static

It rewards ‘bad character’

It is dangerous for ‘the people’ (which really means it is dangerous for people like us!)

 

If the capitalist system was the opposite of an integrated society it would be a disintegrated society wouldn’t it ? Could there be such a thing as a disintegrated society? A society like this would be a society that is defined by the belief that: ‘There is no such thing as society’. Could such a society exist? If so how could it exist?

 

With the advent of Capitalism instead of one income and dispersal system there are now two systems within society. Where there was only the integrated feudal political system there is now also a separate capitalist ‘economic’ system that mirrors the feudal political system. This can be called a Split Stream Model because there are two separate streams of income and redistribution. It can be shown like this.

ssm

Wealth and power rises and falls on a ‘commercial’ stream (blue) and a parallel political stream (red). Both streams are integrationist which is to say they concentrate wealth upwards towards the elite and then redistribute it.

 

Notice that this model does not differentiate between a ‘feudal’ and ‘capitalist’ elite. There is no need to try to manufacture a fundamental political or cultural conflict between the feudal and the capitalist elite in this model. They have separate income streams and dispersal networks but they are not fundamentally different.

 

This is in stark contrast to capitalist establishment history, (and Establishment anti-Capitalist theory!), for which it is very important to claim that capitalist elite are different from the feudal elite, because they have been transformed by an intangible, magical process called ‘Enlightenment’

 

I’m Ready For My Close Up

 

This Split Stream Model can be regarded as the basis for the idea of a ‘Golden Age of Capitalism’. In as far as Capitalism can be said to be progressive, the justification for it lies in this model.

 

The capitalist commercial blue vector shows Capitalism concentrating power upwards through the capitalist production process and then redistributing wealth and power back down through the very same capitalist production process. It should be very clear that unlike a feudal system wealth and power are NOT redistributed back to the people they had been extracted from. And wealth and power are NOT redistributed to everyone throughout society. But they are redistributed comprehensively nevertheless.

 

Imagine yourself standing on any point on the blue vector in other words, imagine yourself as part of the commercial vector. As part of the process, from your point of view Capitalism really does redistribute wealth and power; you can see it happening, it is happening to you. You are part of an alternative to the feudal redistribution system.

 

This is the form of society that traditional (sometimes ‘libertarian’ and even Neo Conservative) Anglo Saxon history focuses on. This is the basis and justification for Neo Conservative ‘trickle down’ rhetoric and at the same time the reason for its ‘Libertarian’ opposition returning again and again to the period of the American Constitution, and even sometimes the French Revolution.

 

We can look again at the Inverted Pyramid Model from this perspective. For someone at the apex of the blue vector the pyramid is indeed inverted.. power and wealth comes to you and you redistribute it. And that is why this model forms the basis for all pro-market, particularly Saxon rhetoric. Think of it as a snapshot of Germanic capitalism in early adulthood; fresh-faced and looking at her very best. It’s the same snapshot that Capitalism still uses on her Facebook page, although it’s a long time since she looked anything like that….

 

There are two systems co existing, but one of them has a clear future where the other does not. A new Divergent Split Stream Model begins to assert itself where economic wealth and power is no longer distributed back down through the lower echelons. The feudal vector system comprehensively redistributes wealth. The capitalist vector no longer does.

What this means is that in effect the capitalist vector is getting its government for free….It can abandon its obligations outside of the state. That model looks like this:

dssm

As a consequence of capitalists abandoning any social obligations they may have felt they had, the feudal system progressively impoverishes itself in comparison with the capitalists. This is effectively the moment of overt capitalist revolutions, the moment when ‘feudalists’ and ‘capitalists’ understand the true meaning of what is happening and what its inevitable consequences will be. Then comes a decisive political battle. Ironically it is when capitalism stops actually being progressive and revolutionary that an actual capitalist revolution becomes necessary!

 

And now things get really interesting.

The post revolutionary redistribution system bypasses the elite entirely. This is the Split Stream Welfare Model and it looks like this:

sswm

The top echelon elite have taken themselves out of the redistribution process altogether but they are still protected by it. The elite are effectively disintegrated from the system. The difference between an old fashioned ‘oppressive’ pyramid and a modern system is that the people used to pay wealth and power to the King to distribute to his bodyguards. Now they pay to the bodyguards directly. This is called democracy. The system is streamlined.

 

And if the red vector looks familiar from the models above. It should because it is the same one.

Now the Split Stream Welfare Model reproduces the feudal distribution system, but outside of the elite. That is what ‘welfare’ redistribution actually is; a reproduction of the classic feudal non capitalist redistribution system but at a lower level of society. If redistribution is really feudalism, is the left really ‘feudal’?

You betcha!

So what is a ‘progressive’ then?

‘Back To The Future’ Next time….