Tag Archives: Empire

What is Truth?

3/15/2013 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Our latest E-book in the “Why what we use as Money Matters” series: What is Truth?  On the Nature of Empire, has now shipped and will soon arrive on digital shelves across the Internet.

What is Truth?  On the Nature of EmpireIn the twenty first century, it has become clear to most that there is no divine right or imperative for the existence of an Empire on the earth. As such, an ever-increasing number of peoples have thrown off the yoke of Empire in favor of what has become known as a democratic model of collective governance. Yet simply changing the rules of governance has not put an end to the core ideals of Empire, and governments today that are elected democratically have largely retained the hallmarks of Imperial rule, namely the tendencies toward a central monopoly on the use of force and the right to demand tribute. How can this be?

The purpose of this volume is to gain an understanding of the true nature of Empire and, to convince the reader that Empire, and by extension large scale government, is not only unnecessary, but a great hindrance to human progress. This volume also explores why the Imperial model virtually ensures that the worst elements of humanity will rise to power, where they will ultimately impose their will on their fellow humans by violence. For the violent outcomes that Empires invariably produce are not exceptions to the rule, nor are they merely the norm.

They are literally guaranteed by design.

Once we have grasped the true nature of Empire, we will then will explore the only known antidote to Empire and the only possible means for mankind to rid itself of the lethal effects of Empire on the earth. And it is probably like anything you have imagined.

It is now available and can be enjoyed on SmashwordsAmazon’s Kindle, and Google Books.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for March 15, 2013

Copper Price per Lb: $3.51
Oil Price per Barrel: $93.21
Corn Price per Bushel: $7.16
10 Yr US Treasury Bond: 2.01%
FED Target Rate: 0.14% ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce: $1,596 THE GOLD RUSH IS STILL ON!
MINT Perceived Target Rate*: 0.25%
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Inflation Rate (CPI): 0.7%
Dow Jones Industrial Average: 14,481
M1 Monetary Base: $2,466,100,000,000 LOTS OF DOUGH ON THE STREET!
M2 Monetary Base: $10,499,300,000,000

On the nature of Empire, Part III: What is Truth?

9/10/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

The distinction between the failed “Might makes right” mentality, which is the ideological base for all Empires, and what we have termed the better way, which can be summed up in the words of the Golden Rule:  “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” was made clear to all in an event that can only be adequately described as the flashpoint in human history, the moment which literally opened the possibility to choose the better way.

This critical moment is related for us in the Gospel of John, chapter 18, verses 37 and 38:

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

38 “What is truth?”retorted Pilate. With this he went out again to the Jews gathered there and said, “I find no basis for a charge against him.”

John 38: 17-18
a papyrus shroud containing the text of John 38: 17-18

For those unfamiliar with the scene, which is expounded upon in John 38:28-40, this historic exchange between Jesus and the Roman Governor Pilate takes place in Pilate’s residence, which is referred to as the Roman Governor’s Palace, in Jerusalem on the day before the Jewish Passover in what is now known as the year 33 CE according to the Gregorian calendar.  It was witnessed by none other than the Apostle John.  It is evident by its inclusion in John’s gospel that He grasped the full importance of the exchange.

For John was witnessing the start of a revolution.

Pilate, the governor, was Rome’s representative in Jerusalem, capital of the rebellious province of Palestine.  He spent his days tempering an uneasy peace between Caesar and the Jewish majority of the region.  His life was a daily exercise of the compromising principles and choosing the lesser of evils.  Perhaps more than any historical character, He represents the inescapable consequence of humanity orienting itself by the “Might makes right” mentality and the ever present fear that it engenders.

Pilate was the embodiment of Empire.

Jesus before Pilate by Nikolai Ge 1890
Pilate utters the lament of Empires across the ages: “What is truth?”

His reply to Jesus’ statement about everyone on the side of truth listening to him (Jesus), “What is truth?” is neither a contemptuous mock of Jesus, nor an honest question, rather, it is an exasperated utterance of a man whose life has been reduced to endless compromises, and has seen that the lesser of evils is, in any and every case, necessarily evil.

One must wonder how many heads of state today utter these same words as they contemplate the clear moral law in contrast to what they have been called to do in this life.

How many career military men, after carrying out an assault on the enemy, have grappled with this lament in their souls?

Each of them may grapple, if indeed they pause to reflect on such matters, with a contradiction which has been eloquently expounded by Adin Ballou, who wrote a significant body of work on peaceful resistance, in his pamphlet entitled:  “How many Men are Necessary to Change a Crime into a Virtue?”

“One man may not kill. If he kills a fellow-creature, he is a murderer. If two, ten, a hundred men do so, they, too, are murderers. But a government or a nation may kill as many men as it chooses, and that will not be murder, but a great and noble action. Only gather the people together on a large scale, and a battle of ten thousand men becomes an innocent action. But precisely how many people must there be to make it so?–that is the question. One man cannot plunder and pillage, but a whole nation can. But precisely how many are needed to make it permissible? Why is it that one man, ten, a hundred, may not break the law of God, but a great number may?”

Yeah, it is a contradiction that rightfully haunts thinking persons the world over to this day.

Que es la Veritat
The question that haunts thinking persons the world over to this day, “I que es la veritat?” (“And what is truth?” translation from original Catalan) highlighted by Antoni Gaudi the Passion facade of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. (Photo by Etan J. Tal)

At this flashpoint in history, Pilate speaks for all of them.  The Might makes right system, which must avail itself to represent the truth in a vain attempt to cloak itself with a shred of legitimacy, leaves its thinking adherents searching in vain for a truth that ultimately relies on the fragile force of arms to perpetuate itself.

On the other side of the truthless void embodied in the person of Pilate, is Jesus, the Messiah.  Jesus brought the truth with Him wherever He went.  As He stood, soon to be condemned to death by the Might makes right mentality which was swallowing the world, He embodied the truth as never before.  John witnessed this moment in the governor’s palace and remained shocked to the end of his days.

The Apostle John
The Apostle John, witness to the watershed moment in human history

To Pilate’s lament, “What is truth?” Jesus replies, then and forevermore: “God Forgives.”

In doing so, He ratified what he had preached in the Sermon on the Mount, to turn the other cheek, what is know today as the doctrine non-resistance.

Ever since that fateful day, which represents THE watershed moment in all of human history, mankind has had the choice to chose the Golden rule, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself,” over the self destructive system of Might makes right.  For Jesus represents the clear change in God’s relationship with mankind.  God would no longer claim His ultimate authority on the failed Might makes right philosophy, for there is none mightier than the Living God.  Rather, He chose to cleanse the world through Jesus, the ultimate example of non-resistance.

Jesus’ crucifixion served as an indictment to every soul who would claim triumph by defeating others.  It served notice of the moral bankruptcy of the world system.  For over 2,000 years, those who have stopped at the cross to soak in the message, as John did, have been relentlessly making the world a better place.

In His resurrection, Jesus shattered every excuse for those who believe in Him to cling to the failed system of Might makes right, for to cling to the system is to live in constant search of, or worse, a fear of a truth which has already been revealed.  It is to deny that the kingdoms of this world are perishing and the the Kingdom of God is advancing EVERY DAY.

The Christian, then, has no moral standing when embracing the “Might makes right” mentality in defense of property and even life.  Jesus showed us the better way, the way to the Father.  He is preparing for us a home in God’s Kingdom, where the rule of Might makes right is vanquished, where peace is permanently established and treasures are secure, for the Golden Rule reigns supreme.

Yet the true irony and divine beauty of embracing the doctrine of non-resistance here and now is that it serves to enhance both the peace and security of the adherent.

Why not give peace a chance?

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 10, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.62
Oil Price per Barrel:  $96.28
Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.81
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.68%
FED Target Rate:  0.16%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,724 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,254
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,385,400,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,002,100,000,000

On the nature of Empire, Part II: The better way

9/4/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

In our last correspondence, we began to explore the nature of Empire and found that it is necessarily founded and maintained by a prevailing “Might makes right,” mentality.  This mentality has, as its logical end, the effect of destroying the capital stock of a society.  This is accomplished by the wasteful consumption of resources by employing them in both warfare, whose destructive nature need not be further explored, and welfare, which by nature rewards sloth and penalizes productivity.

{Editor’s Note:  Here we must make the clear distinction between charity, which is a voluntary action taken by a willing individuals to help their fellow human beings and welfare, which is a system of Imperially mandated aid which ends in enslavement both for the recipient and provider.}

When confronted with the fatal defect of Empire, the destruction of the capital stock of a society, the Imperial apologist offers support of the Empire as either the lesser of two evils, implying that the ideological alternative, namely: Anarchy, would lead to chaos and an even greater destruction of life and capital or may find support in any number of religious texts for Imperial rule and conclude that submission to government is God’s will.

“I am an atheist with regards to government, for I have chosen to live in the Kingdom of God”

We offered this refrain a mere three months ago as we explored inconsistencies between a belief in God and a belief in the world’s government.  Today, we will take this idea a step further as we present the better way that civil persons over the centuries have searched for and, in their better moments, embraced.

We’ve been inspired to do so by a recent post by Joel Bowman over at the Daily Reckoning entitled: We’re all Anarchists Now.

One of Mr. Bowman’s points is that Anarchy is a concept that has been hijacked.  In the same way that the term Liberalism has come to be associated with social progressives, anarchy has come to be associated with rebellious hoodlums.  However, when properly understood, Anarchy, devoid of the “Might makes right” mentality, is the perfect antidote for the problem of Empire.  As Mr. Bowman explains it:

“Properly understood, the term anarchy, which derives from the Greek anarchia, literally translates an, “without” + arkhos, “ruler.” Freedom from being owned…enslaved…forced against one’s will. Freedom to act voluntarily. Freedom to associate with whomever one so desires and under whatever conditions he or she sees fit…provided they do not diminish the ability of another to enjoy the same freedom.”

In other words, Anarchy declares that, all at once, there are no sovereigns and that every individual is sovereign.  You can understand why this may upset those who cannot begin to imagine  this worldview.

As for those who would support the “necessary evils” of perpetuating the Empire on religious grounds, we offer the following:  Were the Empire to truly be God’s agent on earth, it would cease to exist.

The Kingdom of God is Within You
“The Kingdom of God is Within You”

From the beginning, God has desired communion with mankind.  It is from a state of perfect communion with God that mankind has fallen, and it is to this state of perfect communion that mankind will return.  How can this perfect communion exist if God requires an earthly, Imperial authority to act on His behalf?

Yet the ultimate solution of Anarchy, where there is no sovereign save God himself or where every individual is a sovereign subject to God, depending upon one’s preferred theology, would be the embodiment of a perfect communion with God.  In fact, it would be the only way in which it is possible.

The problem, then, is not the existence of Empire, the Empire is simply the manifestation of man’s failed belief system that “Might makes right.” It is this failed belief system that must be vanquished.

The better way

Sadly, to study most of human history is to study the violent and destructive embodiment of the “Might makes right” mentality as Empires rise and fall, either to external Empires on the rise or from revolutions from within.  With every violent upheaval, most recently observed in what is now referred to as the Arab Spring, it becomes clear that the populace has simply exchanged one oppressive regime for another.

In fact, as one examines history, it becomes clear that the only true, permanent changes have come about when they are brought about through the use of peaceful resistance.  Who amongst us are not familiar with the name Mohandas Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.?  These men found the key to permanent change lies deep within themselves.

The key has been articulated by Leo Tolstoy in his insightful work “The Kingdom of God is Within You.”

It is the way revealed to us by Jesus, who chose to suffer and die in order to break the disease of ‘Might makes right” in the hearts of everyone.  To open the way for a perfect communion with the Father.

This is the better way.  His action trumped every argument that could ever be made in favor of Empire, and opened the doors to God’s Kingdom, the reign of a Holy God over a perfect Anarchy where the only rule is emblazoned on every heart:

“Love your neighbor as you love yourself”

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for September 4, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.46
Oil Price per Barrel:  $95.35
Corn Price per Bushel:  $8.07  
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.58%
FED Target Rate:  0.14%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,696 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,036  
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,306,900,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,032,900,000,000

On the nature of Empire, Part I

8/30/2012 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Those who have followed The Mint for a reasonable amount of time may have noticed a shift in focus, if indeed there ever were a focus.  At first, we simply commented on the folly of the economy post August 2007, when the wheels began to come off.  We spent our digital ink examining the Federal Reserve and the perversions of what we use as money with a focus on current, even daily events.

Since those days, we have begun to examine the corroded bases of the economy, financial system, and society, as it were.  We poured through “Human Action: A Treatise on Economics” the magnum opus of Ludwig Von Mises and compared its compelling logic to the economic reality that we observe in the world around us.  What we have found has been all at once predictable and surprising, it that is possible.  A world where time and progress have been accelerated by the accumulation of a completely unnatural amount of debt.

On one hand, the accumulation of debt has enabled men to make technological advances which were not even dreamed of a generation before.  On the other, this debt has created severe imbalances in the natural world for which the only cure is the liquidation of said debt and an uncomfortable change in the daily activities for many.

Chart - Decline in US Capital Stock
August 2012 has seen a decline in private capital stock in the US. Coincidence or evidence of Empire? Courtesy of The Money Game at http://businessinsider.com

We’ve found that debt, left to its own devices, has a way of achieving equilibrium.  Credit is created in response to anticipated increases in the capital stock.  However, with the advent of Empire, which we define as a centralized system which employs the philosophy of “Might makes right” to dominate its subjects, debt came to be associated not with increases in the supply of capital, but by decree of the imperial authority.

The nature of an Empire is simple.  It arises out of some sort of ambiguous idea of payment for a common defense.  Through this seemingly logical argument, the Empire extracts a certain amount of voluntary tribute, what today are commonly called taxes, as people make a conscious choice to cede a portion of their earnings for the common defense.

Yet it doesn’t stop there.   With its nascent consolidation of the power to resort to violence, the Empire inevitably expands its activities beyond the maintenance of a common defense.  Most of these extensions of power are more difficult to palate for those subject to the Empire.  They naturally begin to look for ways to lower their tribute.

A view of Empire througout the world - A Map of World Empires 1900-1914 by Geordie Bozanko
A view of Empire throughout the world – A Map of World Empires 1900-1914 by Geordie Bozanko

The lower tribute coincides with increasing monetary outlays by the Empire, which it must fund by issuing debt.  Yet debt issued by an Empire has nothing to do with an anticipated increase in the capital stock, rather, the proceeds are used to fund deficits as the “Might makes right” model goes to work destroying the capital stock of both the Empire and those subject to it.

As the capital stock begins to dwindle, the Empire naturally progresses to using its monopoly on force to take control of the food supply.  Those subject to the Empire are required to render crops as tribute and then to accept a ration of food from the Empire.  Once the Empire has control of the food supply, the supply “mysteriously” begins to dwindle.

Whatever economic pretense that the Empire was founded on is sacrificed in the blind pursuit of a de facto communism.  The end game, which has played out numerous times throughout history, involves starvation, moral deprivation, violence, and revolution.

As the script has played out over the centuries, civil persons everywhere have been known to murmur, “there must be a better way,”

More tomorrow.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for August 30, 2012

Copper Price per Lb: $3.42
Oil Price per Barrel:  $94.62
Corn Price per Bushel:  $8.11
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  1.62%
FED Target Rate:  0.13%  ON AUTOPILOT, THE FED IS DEAD!
Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,655 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY
MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  0.25%
Unemployment Rate:  8.3%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  0.0%
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  13,001
M1 Monetary Base:  $2,306,900,000,000
M2 Monetary Base:  $10,032,900,000,000

Oh My, The Giant Snowball is now Rolling Down Hill, can the Central Banks Stop it?

8/8/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

Oh my.  Two words, four meager characters, made famous by Jesse “The Body” Ventura during his ringside blow by blow commentary in the glory days of the WWF (circa 1986).  These words, which so eloquently summed up the effects of a pile driver, seem strangely appropriate to describe what is occurring in equity markets around the globe during their first chance to “react” to the S&P downgrade of the US Government’s sovereign debt rating.

As we write, the Dow is down 5%, ditto for Oil.  Gold is up over 4% and the downgraded bonds of the US Government of the 10 year variety are up (in other words, yields have fallen) approximately 4%.

What is going on?  We will give you a clue, Bank of America (BAC) is down almost 20% on massive volume.

Still guessing?  We won’t keep you in suspense.  This downgrade, whether deserved or not, early or late, is wreaking havoc with mutual fund investment policies which call for excess funds to be held in AAA rated debt.  There are not enough German bunds or UK gilts in circulation to pick up the excess funds gushing out of Treasuries.

The obvious implication is that USD bank deposits should rise.

More deposits that it can’t lend at a profit would tank behemoths like B of A, and Uncle Sam may have trouble saving it.  That, and B of A is being sued for fraud, again.

Enough of B of A, back to the money flying out of US Government obligations by investment policy edict.  Where will this money go?  That is what is currently being sorted out in the markets.  And at the moment it is UGLY for equities on a global scale.  Don’t worry, by late next week, so much money will be pumped into the system that equities will have no choice but to rise.

We can’t help but think back to this chart (BELOW) showing the proliferation of AAA debt in the world.  It seemed as if it was everywhere, like pine trees in a forest.  Now, with one simple action, those who trust S&P’s judgment (which history has show is at one’s own peril) find themselves with at least $14 Trillion less AAA issues to choose from.  More, if you count the implied downgrades of government agency and other government guaranteed debt.

"AAA" Government dominates the market and it is beginning to smell funny!

Stepping away from the technicalities of investment policies and looking at the downgrade in a philosophical sense, it is like a minor earthquake that triggers a tsunami that the financial world is now helplessly watching roll ashore, or like a giant snowball has been pushed downhill and threatens to start an avalanche.

The financial world is looking at these twin disasters and now realizes that the only thing standing between them and the demise of the current financial and currency systems is, are you ready for this?

The Central Banks of the World!!!  Not exactly knights in shining armor, if you ask us.  We might be more comfortable if Pee-wee Herman were on the case.  At least he could provide entertainment as the demise unfolds!

The downgrade is another chink in the armor of the world’s largest knight in shining armor, the United States of America.  Every day, more people are coming to grips with the fact that the US of A cannot provide security and social benefits at such low rates.   Bill Bonner of the Daily Reckoning regularly explores this decline of the American Empire. 

As we touched on the other day, what man calls nations today are, for purposes of analysis, simply competing security agencies which have a man-made geographical monopoly.  The problem, as any businessman will tell you, is that nowadays the agency’s customers can’t take the price hikes.  Neither can they easily choose to move their business to a competitor.  Expatriating is not cheap and involves a host of logistical problems.

The book of Isaiah, chapter 40, God refers to the nations as a “drop in the bucket” and “dust on the scales.”  The obvious implication is that nations do not last, and in extreme cases, dealing with a government may feel like one is dealing with the Mafia.  The need to preserve a geographical monopoly can make an analysis of the actions of a government or a mafia eerily similar.

Seen through this lens, S&P is like the snitch who broke Omerta and tells everyone that the Mafia boss can’t pay on his contracts.  Now the boss will likely face an increase in the vig on what he owes the loanshark. 

How long before the rat gets whacked?

Don’t forget to keep your eye on events in the Middle East, especially Palestine.  Something bigger than we image is brewing there and our guess is that the eyes of the world will soon be focused there.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

Key Indicators for August 8, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $3.97
Oil Price per Barrel:  $83.36

Corn Price per Bushel:  $6.78
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.37%

FED Target Rate:  0.09%  TIGHTENING?  NOT!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,718 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.00%
Unemployment Rate:  9.1%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.2%!!!  PULL OUT THE HELICOPTERS!!!
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  10,899  TO THE MOON!!!

M1 Monetary Base:  $2,012,200,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,226,100,000,000 YIKES!!!!!!!

A Debt Deal is Struck, America further Seals Her Fate

8/2/2011 Portland, Oregon – Pop in your mints…

After a long absence, we offer a brief Mint.  As the entire financial world knows, the US Government decided to go deeper into debt to the tune of $2.4 Trillion.  Something was mentioned about spending cuts but they are inconsequential and probably will never materialize.

America continues to march towards Her Imperial destiny, as Bill Bonner of the Daily Reckoning has been expounding upon recently:

“The US is now conducting war-like operations in at least six different countries. The problem, of course, is that it is ruinously expensive. In all of history no empire has been able to resist the urge to overdo it…to commit suicide – either by military or financial “overstretch.” In America’s case, it does both.

The cost of maintaining the empire…fully loaded…is about $1.2 trillion a year. That’s the Pentagon, the Department of Homeland Security, fortified embassies – everything. Take it away, and the US budget is almost in balance.

But Washington won’t seriously cut military spending.  Why not?  It’s the way destiny works.  First, she disarms you of your critical intelligence.  And they she shoots you in the back of the head.

An empire continues until it drops.  It does not back up.  It does not reconsider its mission – not until it is forced to.  How is it forced to?  In the usual way…it runs out of money…”

Yes, it appears that America is intent upon losing its place as the leading private security agency on the planet, for as a practical matter, that is all that what we frequently refer to as nations are.  More on that to come.

Stay tuned and Trust Jesus.

Stay Fresh!

David Mint

Email: davidminteconomics@gmail.com

P.S.  Don’t believe what you read about the Nebraska corn harvest, it will be just fine and as abundant as ever!

Key Indicators for August 2, 2011

Copper Price per Lb: $4.36
Oil Price per Barrel:  $93.33

Corn Price per Bushel:  $7.11
10 Yr US Treasury Bond:  2.62%
FED Target Rate:  0.17%  TIGHTENING?  NOT!

Gold Price Per Ounce:  $1,660 PERMANENT UNCERTAINTY

MINT Perceived Target Rate*:  2.00%
Unemployment Rate:  9.2%
Inflation Rate (CPI):  -0.2%!!!  PULL OUT THE HELICOPTERS!!!
Dow Jones Industrial Average:  11,866  TO THE MOON!!!
M1 Monetary Base:  $1,937,200,000,000 RED ALERT!!!
M2 Monetary Base:  $9,260,300,000,000 YIKES!!!!!!!

*See the MINT Perceived target Rate Chart.  This rate is the FED Target rate with a 39 month lag, representing the time it takes for the FED Target rate changes to affect the real economy.  This is a 39 months head start that the FED member banks have on the rest of us on using the new money that is created.