Welcome to Finance and Fury, the Furious Friday edition.

Been watching a very interesting social experiment play out – the rise of the nation of CHAZ –

  1. Capital Hill Autonomous Zone – If you haven’t heard about it – it is a LARP – live action role playing for an anarchist/communist state – not really a new country or nation –
  2. Area in Seattle – about 6 city blocks – protesters have taken over a zone in the city and are calling this a decentralized state – saying that they are separate from the US gov and self-determinate in law
    1. their goals are focused on creating a neighbourhood without police initially
    2. Now that it has been going on over a week – had some time to put together more demands – a zone of rent control, the reversal of gentrification, the abolition of police and funding of community health
  3. The area is cornered off by fences and barricades at intersections – this week the city of Seattle and representatives of CHAZ agreed on a footprint for the zone – the Mayor Durkan’s signed off on this – informally – she made a blog entry – reasoning for the agreement between the two parties: “The City is committed to maintaining space for community to come to together, protest and exercise their first amendment rights. Minor changes to the protest zone will implement safer and sturdier barriers to protect individuals in this area.” 
    1. As part of the agreement the city agreed to remove the old barriers and replace them with concrete along the new agreed-upon zone boundaries
  4. Personally – think it is fairly funny – Not for the people who live there – but a lot of great videos are coming out of naked people running down the street high on LSD, or rolling around in dirt, also likely out of their minds
  5. But this social experiment does raise an interesting topic – is this true communism? Proponents always say that real socialism or communism has never been tried – so is this it? The people running themselves in a form of anarchy where there is no state – but the economic ideas they have are more on the communist side

Lets get into it – There are a million words for it –

True communists advocate for a completely classless society – read the communist manifesto – initially there is socialism – where government controls all means of production and distribution of goods – Final stage is communism – Everyone owns everything with no government – no police force and the people rule themselves –

  1. The initial stages – belief that control is necessary to eliminate competition among the people and put everyone on a level playing field.
  2. Socialism is also characterized by the absence of private property.
    1. The idea is that if everyone works, everyone will reap the same benefits and prosper equally. Therefore, everyone receives equal earnings, medical care, housing and other necessities – Sounds nice
  3. Have different forms – Democratic Socialists – Believe that they can achieve this through the democratic process
    1. But once they have it, the ‘democratic’ part ceases to exist – Once Governments get so much power they no longer need the population to gain power – What happens then?
    2. Socialism can work – In tribes of 100 people – Everyone carries their weight – there is no welfare in these tribes – otherwise you get an axe in the back of the head
  4. Today it is the opposite – Under communism those carrying the most weight get the metaphorical axe in the back of the head first – as they create the inequality (through owning the private property) and need to go to achieve the goal – the only way to level a forest is with an axe

Two ways of installing communism –

  1. Slow and stead – Fabians – take their time to come to power without direct confrontation, working quietly and patiently from inside the target governments – death by 1,000 cuts
    1. Fabian Strategy – advance the principles of socialismvia gradualist and reformist effort in democracies, rather than by revolutionary overthrow
  2. Quick and forceful – Marxists – in a hurry to come to power through direct confrontation with established governments – revolution
    1. Talked about this in previous episodes – Russia, will do another series on China and other countries as well
    2. CHAZ is a mini version of this

For this overthrow to occur – there needs to be the right environment created

  1. The road to communism is paved with apathy, hopelessness, frustration, futility, and despair in the masses of people
    1. Movement that came out of hate of authority – aimed at police – which is the law enforcement arm of the state – police don’t make the laws – they enforce them – so they can be the targets as they are on the front lines
  2. Perception against reality – your society can be fine – but if you think that it is unfair or hopeless – then that becomes your reality – Fidel Castro is an example of this – how perception is more powerful than reality
  3. He overthrew Batista in Cuba in 1953 – With the help of the US media, New York Times, CBS – turned Castro into a international celebrity and spread the perception that there were thousands of freedom fighters across the country –
    1. At the time that Batista fled – Castro had only about 300 guerrillas – lot more to the story – but one of the major components was the media role in creating the perception
    2. Castro promised a better life out from under the western capitalists and the Cuban police state – never materialised – things just got worse

Looking at Chaz – Looks like a form of anarchical Communism on a speed run – but with the Governments help this can keep going for a while –

  1. Lets call it foreign Aid playing along with the idea of CHAZ – it is only surviving off what others are providing
    1. Was going through stages of starvation, but people are providing food and water
    2. Boarders provided by the Gov – normally true communism has boarders to keep people in
    3. Needing the state to provide them porta potties, cleaning services
  2. It reminds me of a grown adult living at home in the basement and stating that the basement is their section of the house now – they are living in a free state and don’t want to live under the rules of their parents – oh, but they still want free board, food, for their parents to clean for them and provide their every whim
  3. It will collapse in on itself – just let it happen – but what is also interesting is the complicit nature of the Government in the local area – The Washington Governor or Mayor of Seattle could end this overnight – they do have the power – which can be enforced by the police

Within the system of CHAZ – there is meant to be a classless society – with no power structure – but Like any system with a power vacuum – something will fill it – nature abhors a vacuum – in Latin “horror vacui” – those with the more power will take it – either the biggest or those with guns

Something will always replace Authority – by what degree has been the issue – every revolution – the people never end up in charge – the person with the guns does – and often it is more authoritarian than before

Issue with Authority – Anything with Authority/powerful entity to provide everything for you – can take it away – the issues with the extreme authority that comes out of situations like this:

  1. Is corruptible (simple) – absolute power – Something powerful
    1. “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” – Dent
    2. Every Great Leader – Caesar, Alexander – got to a point they couldn’t stop or step down from fear of enemies
  2. The more power an institution has – the more they are fought over
    1. Political power – addicted to power – regardless of who has it – Church as an example –
    2. Only one religious war going on right now – coincidence that there is no separation of church and state?
    3. Crackpot dictatorships – Governments in Africa are fought over for absolute control – breeds an environment of extreme unrest
  3. Removes accountability to individuals – Milgram Experiments – people will kill if told to by authority
    1. 3 people, 1 not in on the gag – Increasing shocks to wrong questions –
    2. Thought it was for the greater good, and that the scientist would take responsibility –
    3. Examples – Any war atrocities – Nazi Guards etc.
    4. Same with mass psychology of crows – people do some pretty bad things due to the anonymous they feel in a crowd – particularly when the energy picks up – force multiplier – resonant factor
  4. What happens when the money runs out? House of cards falls down
    1. Communist countries have to come from an already wealthy base – money needs to be there to be redistributed- Marx said so himself – CHAZ couldn’t exist within Angola- those people would be on the first flight back to the US
    2. Becomes very fragile – Very much so here – We are in a position not too be self sufficient and need to give Gov more power – making situation worse.
  5. Don’t get me wrong – Governments are needed – But the question people disagree on is needed for what?
    1. Authoritarian – Libertarian – How much freedom do you have as an individual
      1. Government intervention levels/size of government
      2. Rules and regulations – One end Dictatorship, the other Anarchy
    2. Economic Left (Communism/Socialism) – Economic Right (Capitalism) –
      1. Control of markets and own means of production – Intervention
      2. Property rights and no regulations – Communism on one end and Free market on the other
    3. These people are claiming new authority – taking it by force as is with political uprisings – puts them in the anarchy boat – but they are also wanting equality for all and free stuff – hence on the communist/socialist side
    4. But they morph over time – anarchy evolves into authoritarian when someone with a gun takes charge
      1. It naturally does – a group of 10,000 people wont agree on everything –

IMO – Best way to minimise this is through the right balance of Positive and negative rights

Positive vs Negative rights – past ep as well – policies which either make it illegal, or legal to force you to do something

  1. Health care is an example – Nobody can stop you from seeking medical treatment, vs medical treatment is covered by the tax payers – who is then forced to pay for someone else
  2. Not all rights are made equal – Negative and positive rights- oblige either action (positive rights) or inaction (negative rights)
    1. negative rights – first generation of rights – positive rights – second and third generation rights – new thing
  3. negative rights– civil and political rights – freedom of speech, life, private property, freedom from violent crimefreedom of religionhabeas corpus, a fair trial, and freedom from slavery
    1. This is where governments do provide a role – meant to protect their citizens – but over time this was not enough
  4. Introduce positive right- right to be subjected to an action or another person or group; 
    1. positive rights permit or oblige action – you have to do something, compared to not doing something with negative
    2. food, housingpublic educationemploymentnational securitymilitaryhealth caresocial securityinternet access, and a minimum standard of living
  5. These frequently conflict – carrying out positive rights often infringes upon negative rights.
    1. The positive right – social welfare = government needs to provide services.
    2. funding = increasing state expenditures= require raising taxes = infringe upon negative right
    3. The right not to have their money taken away from them., positive rights are generally harder to justify and require more complex ethical substantiation than negative rights.
  6. Too many positive rights in society – i.e. everything provided for you – Causes population ‘behavioural sink’ – It would be nice to have everything taken care for us – what does this do?
    1. Mouse Utopia – Every need met (threats, food, etc) – within 2 years population dead – 3840 mice possible
      1. Only ever reached 2200 – Population turns in on itself and split up
        1. Males/females started fighting,
        2. Beautiful ones – Group of mice took themselves off and spent all time grooming – no mating
      2. Not overpopulation like originally thought – giving the mice something to do (purpose) prolonged experiments
    2. when all your needs are lavishly met, one creates struggle for a purpose to live. That explains the Real Housewives series – all their fights and problems are self-made – to a kid in Africa seems trivial
    3. “pursuit of happiness”-always making choices on what action will add to our well-being (make us happy)
      1. Choices is the pursuit of happiness – But results of choices not all equal – some momentary pleasures (impulses) lead to pain (not happiness)
      2. learn from choices – avoid those that caused pain, keep trying new things
  • foresight – recalling past experience – we learn to postpone immediate gratification and see what choices are really in our interest. Thus, learning self-control based on experience is essential to happiness.
  1. Part of moving up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as well
  1. Locke – continuous process of choosing is part of human beings’ unchangeable nature – choices about what we believe gives us well-being
    1. our right to make these choices is inalienable, and, unless our actions attack the rights of others, it is wrong for government to interfere 
  1. Rights differ on political orientation – Positive rights such as a “UBI” are emphasized more often by left-leaning thinkers, while right-leaning thinkers place more emphasis on negative rights such as the “right to keep more of your own money”
    1. So the rights from CHAZ are essentially positive rights – they require looking after – and the tax funds from Washington/Seattle are going towards this – hence they are positive rights through the taxation to provide for others
    2. I’m sure a lot of these people think that they are doing good – But they will all learning a very valuable lesson soon – hopefully they can learn – see that a lawless society isn’t the paradise – as it comes down to morality of the group –

When it fails – claims that this wasn’t real communism – and they will be right – no groups would have been mass murdered or simply starved to death – and they are a microcosm being looked after by an actual Government

Allowed to continue for now – set up some web cams and watch people run around naked on LSD and for things to eventually wind down – but should be taught as a lesson – not as a schematic on how to try this again in a few years.

Thank you for listening to today’s episode. If you want to get in contact you can do so here: http://financeandfury.com.au/contact/

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