Who deals

Previously: Solitaire

What characterizes any really big logistical disaster is that no one person can be reliably pinned with the blame. Who’s to blame for the Holocaust, the Holodomor (spell check recommends “morphology” here), the Gulag? Everyone is following orders and acting reasonably within their constraints, as if the orders and constraints are coming from thin air. Stalin and Hitler did not have the prerequisite charisma or intelligence to be assigned the proper blame for the millions and millions who died under their nominal leadership- they were just riding the wave a little better than the rest. Lenin and Mao were apparently pretty clever, but they weren’t millions of times more clever than the average murderer who eludes the detectives. It is natural that we assume that orders came from somewhere, after a long game of Telephone.

It’s been said that nothing straight can be made from crooked timber. I say further that no death camp was ever constructed by a carpenter with a clean conscience. Did the randomness of waves and wind build Dachau? Did Stalin hammer every nail required to build the hundreds and thousands of prisons that would, at times, hold tens of millions of people at a time? How calloused his hands would have been! But no, he merely had to speak to his timbers: “Shoot him, or I will order him to shoot you.” As you can see, this requires no cunning beyond the understanding that the nation was filled with men who would sell their souls for a slice of black bread, if they were hungry enough, and the idealists could simply be starved all the more easily.

Let’s take a moment to recognize, tangentially, that only a line’s breadth separates capitalism from communism. The idea of capitalism is that men ought to be allowed to achieve their hearts’ desires as efficiently and effectively as possible. And so we have: whips and chains and ballgags have never been cheaper, or more freely available. The poor have never been so far from revolt because they are fat and satisfied merely to hold the moral and cultural high ground.

We capitalists will have our own Gulag, and it will be the most bloodthirsty in all of history, merely because the pricing mechanisms are more efficient. It will also be the slowest, because the money changers have greater patience than the proletariat hordes; we may not even notice the great game of Solitaire being played out until we are caught up in the shuffle ourselves. It is our fate to starve under the care of hospital orderlies who have neither time nor food enough to feed us, oblivious and unable to resist because we are sedated by doctors who review our cases for five seconds every six months. Pain? Vicodin. The morphine will flow long after the water runs dry.

The mobs of proletariat Soviets repeatedly cried “Death!” outside the courthouses, until they themselves were in the defendant’s seat. We will cry “Sedation!” instead. The Soviet executioners would drink to escape their horror, but we orderlies will deliver ourselves to the doctors to be sedated.

Mises describes economics as the science by which acting men quiet their psychological distress. A perfectly happy man does not act, because to act is to substitute one psychological state for another, and what could be better than perfect satisfaction? What then is the difference between communism and capitalism? The capitalists can tell you: we attain more of our goals, where the Soviets could not, through the efficiency of pricing mechanisms. Rather than enlisting 80% of the population to kill the 20%, we will enlist everyone to commit righteous suicide. There are two sorts of perfectly satisfied economic actors: the sedated, and the dead. Neither acts to quiet psychological distress.

What is the acme of material desire? A full belly, a warm hearth, a good job, a beautiful family, and to be a devil while believing I am an angel. The latter is to commit murders and believe I am a doctor, a priest, and a martyr.

About Aeoli Pera

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12 Responses to Who deals

  1. Craig says:

    Unfortunately it’s the system we’re stuck with, till TPTB decide to reset the play board. Who knows what system will replace it.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      I think you’re mistaken. By inclination, I would be committing mass arson on the various universities, abortion clinics, et al around here, but I realized early on that people would just rebuild them. And the likely candlelight vigils would make me gag. It’s the same with governments, and TPTB. We get the leaders we deserve, representing the sum total of our everyday immoralities. The problem, as ever, is human nature.

  2. Heaviside says:

    The mundane reality of the “Holocaust” is that it’s a despicable lie, which will be avenged a thousandfold on the children of those who perpetrated it and continue to do so. Tertullian said that one of the greatest joys of Heaven was watching the damned burn in Hell, so as a Christian you shouldn’t have a problem watching these folks get tossed into the ovens.

    The deeper reality is that “all things are exchanged for fire.”

    • Eikos says:

      Do you have a blog or something similar, Heaviside? You have a lot of fans.

      • Heaviside says:

        I may end up starting a blog before the end of this year, depending on certain things.

        If I have fans, I would like to see them.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      > Tertullian said that one of the greatest joys of Heaven was watching the damned burn in Hell, so as a Christian you shouldn’t have a problem watching these folks get tossed into the ovens.

      Well, God reads minds and I don’t. So I reserve judgment except as a practical necessity.

    • Eikos says:

      Just WNs et al on Google+ and the like.

  3. Heaviside says:

    Hitler was a genius. One day history will vindicate him, not only the moral superiority of his cause but also its practical accomplishments. He averted a great catastrophe.

    The real worst mass murder of modern times was Woodrow Wilson, who is responsible for hundreds of megadeaths via his decision to engineer the Spanish Flu and use it to redraw the map of Europe.

    • Aeoli Pera says:

      Holy shit, I was not aware a pandemic had killed off 5 percent of the world’s population in 1918. I am suddenly paying more attention to your version of events.

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