Bill Bonner

The promise of American capitalism is that it makes people richer, freer and more independent. But since the introduction of Fed, the currency in which Americans keep score has so addled the figures, we scarcely know if we are winning or losing. The dollar we knew as a child – in the 1950’s – is only worth a tenth as much today.

Printing up extra money – with no backing – used to be the sort of thing only counterfeiters did. Now it is done by the central bankers and Treasury Secretaries themselves. They don’t apologize for it. They don’t hang their heads and contemplate blowing their brains out. Instead, they’re proud of it… announcing that they ‘saved civilization,’ or some such claptrap.

Remember, government is not an enlightened organization designed to promote public welfare. It is barbaric, uncivilized force…military and police power put to the service of the insiders who control it. Yes, there are constraints on the way the insiders use their power. There are ‘checks and balances,’ built into the constitution, for example. And there are cultural norms and traditional prohibitions. But eventually, the norms and traditions wear off, like painkillers. And then, the pain of raw government begins again.

Only simple ideas can be held by large groups of people. Commonly held ideas are almost always dumbed down until they are practically lies… and often dangerous ones. Once vast numbers of people have come to believe the lie, they adjust their own behavior to bring themselves into sync with it, and thereby change the world itself. The world, then, no longer resembles the one that gave rise to the original insight. Soon, a person’s situation is so at odds with the world as it really is that a crisis develops, and he or she must seek a new metaphor for explanation and guidance.

Norman Rockwell spent his career painting pictures that helped people understand their own feelings…pictures that enriched their own experiences and celebrated their own lives. But the art establishment branded him an ‘illustrator’, a sentimental one at that. Real artists, they said were doing art for art’s sake, not for the sake of the bourgeois public. Real artists were putting swiggles, smears or daubs of paint on the canvas. They were doing ‘innovative’ and ‘creative’ work. If they were hideous and grotesque; we know that’s what life really is!