We spent the weekend working on an old farmhouse.
Our contribution was to replace some of the terracotta tiles on top of a side wall so water doesn’t seep in.
These stone walls are laid up with a mixture of lime and water, not cement. They don’t hold up well against water. So, we put up a little ‘roof’ — a few tiles to shed the rain.
With luck, the wall will last another 20 or 30 years before more repairs are needed.
Meanwhile, the markets are eerily quiet…like an angry man with something on his mind and a shotgun in his hand.
We will leave them to brood…and return to the spectacle of the US presidential primaries.
Pretences and conceits
On display are all the pretences, conceits, and absurdities of modern government. And now, the race narrows to the two most widely distrusted and loathed candidates.
The first, a loose reality-TV star with a hot wife who will say whatever pops into his head. The second, a tightly controlled Lady Macbeth…who will say nothing unless it advances her ambitions.
Last week, we mentioned that we would not vote for either one. And for once, we brought our dear readers together…marching ensemble under a single banner.
Yes, readers spoke back with a single voice, loud and clear. They agreed with one another on one important point: your Editor is an idiot. They only disagreed on the details…that is, about which type of idiot we are…
Writes one dear reader:
Until I read your comments about Donald Trump, I thought you were insightful and smart. Now, I know you have blinded yourself to the dangers that The Donald represents.
Mr. Bonner: I had you in my list of intelligent persons. But after your statement that “nobody was going to see you voting for Hillary or Trump” I had to take you out of that short list. When the campaign started I didn’t like Trump. When the election will arrive I will be casting my vote for him.
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Democracy is a fraud
Our beef with democracy is that it is a fraud.
It pretends to put the people in charge. Instead, it picks their pockets and cheapens their lives.
They willingly and enthusiastically participate in its solemn deceits — its elections, its wars, its taxes, and its hangings. They not only want to vote…they also believe they have an obligation to tell others to vote.
It’s as though the entire thing might fall apart if any mutt slips the kennel. They feel that we all have a duty to support the system, no matter how much it swindles us.
And so, we are bid to stand in line…to cast our ballot…and thus to join in the ritual humbug — the national election. More important, we are asked to BELIEVE things that are palpably and provably untrue.
‘Every vote counts!’
Wrong! Statisticians have worked it out. The odds your vote counts are vanishingly remote. You may as well stay home; it won’t make any difference.
‘If you don’t vote, you’re giving a vote to the other side.’
Wrong! By not voting, you’re denying both candidates your approval.
‘If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.’
We’ve been doing both for many years. The abstainer is the only one among us whose hands are clean…the only one who can honestly say he had ‘nothing to do with it’.
Another reader’s plea — ‘Pick the lesser of two evils’ — is what is urged on us today.
But that is what German voters said to themselves in the election of 1932…which left the Nazis as the biggest party in the Reichstag.
On the one hand were the socialists and the Bolsheviks. On the other was that bulwark against chaos: Mr Hitler.
He was the ‘lesser of two evils,’ they said. And maybe he was. But who, in 1945, would admit to having voted for him?
Ms Clinton? Mr Trump? How do you ever know which is the lesser evil? And why would you want to approve any evil…no matter how much lesser it is?
Why would you want to get involved at all?
‘Doing our part’
But wait…that’s the way myths work, isn’t it?
We ALL have to believe. We all have to be complicit…whether it means throwing a virgin in the volcano…or handing out rations in a gulag.
We are all implicated…we are the ‘trustees’ of the Deep State’s prison system…ready to ‘do our duty’ to preserve the status quo.
They could never have built pyramids if people hadn’t believed that they served some higher purpose…if the gods themselves hadn’t commanded it…
…Napoleon could never have invaded Russia if his soldiers had stopped to ask: ‘Uh…why do we want to march all the way to Moscow and back in the wintertime?’
…and now, we would never elect Donald Trump…or Hillary Clinton…unless we believed that, somehow, the gods of democracy sit in judgment…requiring that we all ‘do our part’.
But maybe the gods don’t give a damn.
Come Election Day, we could stand in line with millions of others to participate in building pyramids for our 21st century gods. Or we can fix a fence down at the farm.
If we choose to fix the fence, we know the world will be a better place — albeit in a small measure.
And if we were to choose to vote…we would ask ourselves, ‘Would Jefferson vote for Trump or Clinton?’
More to come…
For Markets and Money, Australia