Anti-Free Market Bulls Gore with their Paper Horns the Gold Standard

By Con George-Kotzabasis-February 26, 2012

The matador, Associate Professor Henry Farrell, has unfurled his red rag before the rampaging cerebrally blind by fury anti-free market bulls to gore by their intellectually paper horns the Gold Standard. In their cognitive obscurantism ‘liberals’ are ignorant of the fact that it is on the “gold fetters” of the standard that price stability is based and the G.S. is an unequivocally effective hindrance to inflationary credit expansion that would lead to an economic crisis.

One has to take a lesson from the tour de force pages of Wilhelm Ropke, the main architect of the German economic recovery after the War–who is an admirable and illustrious predecessor of former president of France  Giscard d’Estaing, and former chancellor of Germany Helmut Schmidt–of the vital role the Gold Standard plays on the exchange mechanism and in the stability of the capitalist system, and the great damage it did during the depression, by aggravating the latter even more, when the U.S. abandoned it. “The abandonment of the gold dollar by the Roosevelt administration must, indeed, be viewed as one of the most disastrous acts on record of any government and any country in recent times, both for the country itself and for the rest of the world.” Wilhelm Ropke.

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In Greece Political Midgets on a High Wire Act

By Con George-Kotzabasis—November 02, 2011-11-02

Political midgets, a la Papandreou, have chosen to take the risk of the high wire act by this proposal of the referendum. Hoping that the people will vote for the lesser of two evils, i.e., accepting the debt deal as formulated in Brussels last week and rejecting default and departure from the euro zone. At a time when strong leadership is a prerequisite for diminishing the crisis that Greece is facing, Papandreou abdicates his own and passes it to the people through this future referendum. It’s as if the polloi had somehow a better knowledge and understanding of the critical dimensions of the economic situation and could provide a better solution to the crisis than the expertise of the economically and politically savvy.

Once again politicians, who are more concerned of holding power than of the future of their own country, are ready to prostrate themselves before and pay homage to the idol of the Demos. Papandreou facing in Parliament a no-confidence vote and the ousting of his government promptly announced a referendum that would decide the future of the country, hoping that this would allay the anger and opposition of the people against the austerity measures, imposed by the EU, and at the same time put an end to the disarray within his own government that itself stems from the revolt of the people. It’s clever politicking to avoid defeat and save for him the prime ministership. But he is doing this at the expense of the future well being of the country, as it would take years for Greece to recover from the shock of a default if the electorate voted for it, which is highly likely. This is no less than the revisiting of the ‘sinful’ genius of his pere who himself was the preeminent progenitor of the economic ills that Greece is presently plagued with. The fils merely continues , like father like son, the ‘sins’ of his sire in a more acute form and projects them into the future.

World Bank president, Robert Zoellick said that “if voters reject the plan, it’s going to be a mess.” Economists claim that the immediate effects of a default would probably be a 20 percent to 30 percent drop in domestic demand and a fall of 5 to 10 percent of domestic product. Evangelos Venizelos, the Finance Minister, and his deputy broke ranks and opposed the referendum, saying it would jeopardize Greek membership in the euro zone. Ilias Nicolakopoulos, professor of political science and close to the governing socialist party, stated that a “referendum would put the country in danger of blowing everything up.” In contrast, Henry Ergas writing in The Australian, on November 3, 2011, “Greek Vote a Banana Republic Moment,” praises Papandreou for having the “balls” to propose the referendum, and compares him to the gutsy warning of Paul Keating’s “Banana Republic.” He says, that “to call a referendum on the austerity program is hardly irrational. But he adds the caveat, “true, it is a gamble, and a risky one.” Nonetheless, “the best hope of what comes next must lie in securing a genuine popular mandate.”

Regrettably, however, Papandreou’s proposal of a referendum does not rise from his “balls” but from his impotence. Unable to lead and convince the country, as a weak leader, to accept the inevitable “scenario, Greece must face a lengthy period of austerity and structural reform,” Papandreou passes this leadership to the impassioned people to decide whether to accept or not this scenario. Professor Ergas’ quote of Sophocles, “truth is always the strongest argument,” though generally accurate, is misplaced in the context of a long corrupt electorate that the fiscal profligacy of past governments accustomed it to indulge in ‘free suntans’ in sunny Greece. In such circumstances, the only truth that this pampered electorate will accept is the continuation of these free suntans at public expense. And that is why they will vote NO to austerity measures and thus turn the referendum into an ogre for the future economy of Greece.

Fortunately the proposed referendum like the balloon it was fizzled out within twenty four hours. Under external and internal pressure Papandreou reneged his proposal and withdrew it. Tonight (November 4, 2011), he places his fate on the lap of the god, parliament, on a confidence vote. Even if he survives by the smallest margin his prime ministership is foreclosed.      

 

       

 

The Intellectual Cheating of Liberals

A short reply to a Liberal –By Con George-Kotzabasis

Clearly your vocation in the ‘market of argument’ is to be a peddler in non sequiturs. Why are you shifting the ground of the argument, is it because your pockets are empty of all coins of counter reasoning on the issue? The question as was initially put by Clemons’s use of the Bolton quote was not whether Israel’s and America’s wars were self-defensive or not but whether there was “moral equivalence” between the deliberate and non-deliberate killing of civilians. Clemons by cheating intellectually, by speciously transforming this argument of moral equivalence into an argument of devaluation of “Muslim and Arab lives” has made himself intellectually and morally persona non grata.

Talleyrand, eloquently and boldly said the following in the face of Napoleon, when the latter deposed the legitimate Ferdinand II and placed his own brother Joseph on the throne of Spain, “Sire, un enfant de famille may gamble away his last farthing—the heritage of his ancestors—the dower of his mother—the portion of his sisters—and yet be courted and admired for his wit—be sought for his talents and distinction—but let him once be detected in cheating at the game, and he is lost—society is forever shut against him.” You likewise, in partaking in this Napoleonesque cheating of Clemons “at the game,” have become your own ‘guest’ as an intellectual and moral pariah.

 

 

Abandoning the Field of Battle for Diplomacy is to Admit Defeat

I’m republishing the following for the readers of  this blog.

The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War

By Zbigniew Brzezinski  Washington Post, March 30, 2008

A short reply by Con George-Kotzabasis

This is old fogy strategic thinking on the part of a former National Security advisor. For any nation that is already fighting its enemy by means of military operations to abandon the latter and open instead the door of negotiations and diplomacy, as Brzezinski proposes, is to admit defeat, as one would have to negotiate now with a more emboldened and confident enemy from a position of weakness. In such conditions of military “surrendering”, especially to a religiously inspired fanatic enemy, it would be utterly foolish to consider and believe that such a nation, in this case America, could achieve any of its initial goals through diplomacy, other than its conditions of “surrender”, is to make a mockery of the art of Talleyrand

And to accuse McCaine that he proposes for Iraq 100 years of war “until victory”, is a blatant and shameful lie and stains indelibly the intellectual integrity of Brzezinski.

Intransigence of Palestinian Leadership is the Cause of the Tragedy of its Own People

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The author builds an unassailable castle of facts that there were no Palestinian people as a national entity in Palestine. And it’s the intransigence of the Arab and PO leadership, emanating from their Muslim pride that will not allow them to admit that the Arab Goliath was defeated by the contemporary David in three successive wars, that is the cause of the tragedy of the Palestinian people. The Jews are not the cause of the latter, as they themselves are in the tragic situation of defending their existence as a people by severe means against the suicidal fanatic hordes of Islam.

Believers of Mohammed Credulous to Conspiracy Cranks and Dangerous to Western Civilization

By Con George-Kotzabasis

The power of religion in indigent societies is more potent and influential upon its believers than political power or military power, especially in Muslim societies where religious and political power are inseparable and is exercised by theocracies. And as the author correctly states the believers of Mohammed are credulous and vulnerable to the most fictional conspiracies and tend to scapegoat others for their own ills and those of their countries. It’s this unshakable belief in the evil of others, in this case of the West in general and of the American Satan in particular, that makes Muslims extremely dangerous to Western civilization.

Taliban Might Just Be Defeated by US and its Allies

By Con GeorgeKotzabasis

For those who can think out of the mould there are signs that the Americans might just win the war in Afghanistan. The fact that a large part of the Taliban are prepared and are negotiating with the Karzai government, with the apparent consensus of General Petraeus, is indicative that the Taliban are undergoing unsustainable loses in their confrontation with the allied forces. Moreover, that these negotiations are taking place with the full knowledge by the Taliban of Obama’s commitment to withdraw all American fighting forces from Afghanistan by July 2011 shows clearly that the Taliban are debilitated militarily and are therefore forced to enter negotiations with their enemy from a position of weakness. Otherwise if their strength was still intact why shouldn’t they wait the US withdrawal and hence their chance to topple the Karzai regime?