Tuesday, 1 June 2010

The Far-Right and Austrian School Crossover

Followers of the Austrian School are now most frequently associated with libertarian political perspectives that emanate from such bodies as the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

Austrian economists maintain that inflation is by definition always and everywhere simply an increase in the money supply.....as the real value of each monetary unit is eroded, loses purchasing power and thus buys fewer goods and services.
So says Wikipedia. Nevermind that crop failure would lead to a rise in prices? Anyway,
U.S. congressman Ron Paul is a firm believer in Austrian school economics and has authored six books on the subject.[source] Paul's former economic adviser, Peter Schiff, is an adherent of the Austrian school.
So how does this crossover into the far-right? Well, Wiki says:
Given that all major economies currently have a central bank supporting the private banking system, money can be supplied into these economies by way of bank-created credit (or debt). Austrian economists believe that this bank-created credit growth (which forms the bulk of the money supply) sets off and creates volatile business cycles (see Austrian Business Cycle Theory) and maintain that this "wave-like" or "boomerang" effect on economic activity is one of the most damaging effects of monetary inflation.
Austrian School economists therefore regard the state-sponsored central bank as the main cause of inflation, because it is the institution charged with the creation of new money. When newly created currency reserves are injected into the fractional-reserve banking system, private financial institutions generally choose to further expand the level of bank credit, which multiplies the inflationary effect many times over.
This is the exact same position of Ron Paul - no surprise. However it is also the position of some of Ron Paul's more dubious supporters, namely Alex Jones and Mike Rivero. More worryingly, Rivero and Jones take this "libertarian/Austrian" view and mix in a populist appeal from anti-semites such as Eustace Mullins and other various purveyors of "The Secrets of the Federal Reserve."

In Rivero and Jones' world these two views co-mingle, providing a crossover point from libertarianism into anti-semitism and fascism, and vice versa. At one moment the Federal Reserve is an organ of the Protocols of Zion - The Jewish World Conspiracy!! - but the next moment the Fed is merely a technical structural flaw in obtuse and academic debates supplied by an obscure free-market fundamentalism about moneysupply and inflation.

The scholarship of the economics viewpoint is used to sustain credibility in the anti-semitic and conspiratorial view. Similarly the libertarian wing (Ron Paul supporters and Misesians) find themselves with a ready audience for their (obscure) anti-centralbanking critique amongst the far-right. Jones and Rivero blend these two views together almost seamlessly and thus form a crossover point for the two groups. Which partly explains why we find Ron Paul supported at Stormfront, Mises.org, Prisonplanet and Whatreallyhappened.com etc.

The interesting thing about all this to me is how it illustrates people can occupy the same ground politically, and be almost indistinguishable from others whom hold seemingly quite different overall political positions. In this case, how a relatively highly obscure argument about inflation and money supply from The Austrians can sit alongside pungent populism, anti-semitism and nationalism from the far-right.

Though it does throw up contradictions, of course: eg, Rivero's recent critical remarks to a frequent poster on the issue of the minimum wage. Despite his enthusiasm for RonPaul over the years, and his anti-socialism, Rivero disagreed with one of his regulars who posted some typical neo-liberal screed about how the minimum wage hurts, and hurts the poor the most. (It was argued that minimum wage helped cause illegal immigration -- Rivero disagreed.) Intriguingly, Rivero the RonPaul supporter totally disagreed with RonPaul's view. So why does he appear to support Ron Paul? The contradiction is Rivero's - Ron Paul surely opposes the minimum wage on grounds it is state interference with the market, which would be the coherent position of someone holding RonPaul's views. Rivero is inconsistent.

I find it very annoying that people like Mike Rivero and Alex Jones never have to justify their positions to critics. Rather than ever having to answer for their contradictions they simply sit on high, cut-off from any criticisms, hearing only constructive words and constant acclaim. It can only add to their apparently monumental self-belief which is already pretty sickening.

How can Jones and Rivero claim neo-liberalism is a central part of their fabled NWO arch enemy's world domination plan, whilst at the same time support Austrian-School economics sych as those of Ron Paul? They never have to explain. Meanwhile, Rivero exploits the ambiguity, posing at one moment as the anti-socialist "libertarian" populist, the next moment posing as some class warrior concerned only for "the people's welfare". Rivero nor Jones never account for the antagonism between these positions. One moment they blame the state itself for everyuthig, the next they say the state isn't doing enough. [See the Gulf oil disaster, for example]

My take on it is that Rivero's position is actually that of an opportunist - a fascist opportunist. Why? Because no other possibility can cover Rivero's position. Rivero needn't even view himself as a fascist for him to be one.

To take this one example -- fascism had no coherent economics, and nothing was essential to fascist economics - except perhaps the exclusion of Jews from economic *and all sorts* of life in Nazi Germany. [In fact, such a policy is an unspoken yet logical outcome of Rivero's position of Jewish world conspiracy, the supposed "over-representation of jews" in American industry, commerce, media, finance etc. Rivero frequently publishes expressions of such complaints - but never anything explicit on what to do about it (anti-jewish legislation - what else?) For such legislation, one absolutely requires official definitions of jew and non-jew....hence essentially racial legislation - RAC-ISM.]

Here's Eustace Mullins on the Federal Reserve - presenting a quite different argument to that of the Austrians, but one that's made to appear identical and complementary in Jones And Rivero's hands:
American history in the twentieth century has recorded the amazing achievements of the Federal Reserve bankers. First, the outbreak of World War I, which was made possible by the funds available from the new central bank of the United States. Second, the Agricultural Depression of 1920. Third, the Black Friday Crash on Wall Street of October, 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression. Fourth, World War II. Fifth, the conversion of the assets of the United States and its citizens from real property to paper assets from 1945 to the present, transforming a victorious America and foremost world power in 1945 to the world’s largest debtor nation in 1990. Today, this nation lies in economic ruins, devastated and destitute, in much the same dire straits in which Germany and Japan found themselves in 1945. Will Americans act to rebuild our nation, as Germany and Japan have done when they faced the identical conditions which we now face--or will we continue to be enslaved by the Babylonian debt money system which was set up by the Federal Reserve Act in 1913 to complete our total destruction? This is the only question which we have to answer, and we do not have much time left to answer it.
All that happened because of the effect of central banking on inflation! Apparently. The Austrians and Mullins are not really saying the same things - even though they co-exist on this ground.

That quote is from Mullins' foreword to his book, "The Secrets of The Federal Reserve" which was burned after publication in Germany 1950. The full book is at the link which directs to apfn.org - The American Patriots Friends Network. The book appears alongside recordings of Ron Paul.

Here's an illustration of the apparent contradictions and yet shared position - here's a picture from that APFN website:

Amazingly this same website APFN elsewhere promotes Mullins and others views on the Federal Reserve by shouting about the fact the Federal Reserve is privately owned:
The Federal Reserve Is A PRIVATELY OWNED Corporation
By Thomas D. Schauf
Interestingly - and completely unsurprisingly - that same article appears at rense.com

So, is APFN (and Rense's) complaint that the Fed interferes with money-supply and inflation (as the Austrians/Ron Paul says) or do they believe it is because it is privately (and Jewish-)owned - as Mullins and the anti-semite conspiracists believe?

I mean, it's pointless changing the money supply stuff if what matters is its ownership - by Jews. And it's pointless "solving the jewish problem" of ownership if the issue is really about money supply and inflation.

Here's Alex Jones' Prisonplanet speaking of Mullins whilst trailing an interview with "the great man":
Mullins was the grandfather of the movement to expose the Federal Reserve as a private run for profit scam raping the American people and sinking America into endless debt.
The Austrians do *not* believe the Federal Reserve is an issue because it is "privately run for profit"! Do Alex Jones and Mike Rivero agree with Mullins' view OR that of the Austrians? They never get asked.

Here's a Stromfronter's view of Mullins:
I see Eustace Mullins as a great contributor in the fight against the perfidious Jew and the Masonic occult sociopathic conspirators. He is a treasure and a true visionary. Anyone WN (White National) in Virginia might want to visit and encourage him.
Hardly an economics issue, is it? Over at PRisonplanet, in an article lamenting Mullins' death, we read:
"Legendary author of hundreds of books and pamphlets demolishing the lies of warmaking mainstream media, historian Eustace Mullins died Tuesday. ....Mullins compiled a well-researched corpus of works that detailed the passage down through time of a hereditary group of banker killers who have essentially ruled the world from behind the scenes since ancient times.

“Eustace Mullins' .... meticulous research eventually uncovered virtually every political secret of the last 400 years,” said Internet essayist John Kaminski of Mullins’ passing.

“It’s a pity so many people are afraid to believe what Mullins told them, because it was much more of the truth than has ever been seen in our schools or our media,” Kaminski added.
John Kaminski eh? At Prisonplanet? Lamenting the passing of Eustace Mullins? Must be because of the Austrian economics, huh?

Concrete illustration:
Neoliberalism is an approach to economic and social policy based on neoclassical theories of economics that minimise the role of the state and maximise the private business sector. The term "neoliberalism" has also come into wide use in cultural studies to describe an internationally prevailing ideological paradigm that leads to social, cultural, and political practices and policies that use the language of markets, efficiency, consumer choice, transactional thinking and individual autonomy to shift risk from governments and corporations onto individuals and to extend this kind of market logic into the realm of social and affective relationships.[1]

In the 1970s some Latin American economists began using "neoliberalismo" to designate their program of market-oriented reforms. By the 1990s, however, the term "neoliberalism" had become a pejorative to classical liberal critics, who dismissed it as a catchphrase invented by academic radicals to denigrate the ideas of Milton Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek.

Friedrich von Hayek (1899-1992) is probably the single most influential individual economist or political philosopher to shape what is now understood as neo-liberalism, although he is best regarded, and considered himself, as a classical liberal. Hayek's own theoretical direction sprang out of the so-called Austrian School established by Carl Menger, Eugen Boehm-Bawerk and Ludwig von Mises during first decade of the early twentieth century.
Austrian school - neoliberalism - Ron Paul. Right?

And yet here's some Prisonplanet quotes on "neo-liberalism" (Alex Jones' Prisonplanet supports Ron Paul, remember!):
---the so-called economics of 'neo-liberalism' including wholesale privatization of anything that moves, the new world order and corporate capitalist totalitarianism.

---Iceland Pushes Back Against Neolib Bankers

---Neolib Policies and Argentina’s Economic Collapse:Central to the collapse was the implementation of neo-liberal policies which enabled the swindle of billions of dollars by foreign banks and corporations.


Martin Firestein said...

Perfect, perfect, perfect. Ever since I first found Rivero, I've been struggling to understand his viewpoint and political/historical/economical philosophy, and you have captured and explained it better than anyone ever could!!!

the_last_name_left said...

hi Martin. thanks for your comment, I appreciate it.

I wonder if you'd mind elaborating a little on your experience with Rivero? Personally I came across him some time shortly after 911, I think. I originally found WRH kind of "underground", and it put me in touch with a load of stuff I'd never come across before. I've always been really socialist, and liked Chomsky and Pilger etc so was familiar with that stuff, but Rivero sent me all over the place, and I became quite enthralled. As the years went by I found myself getting increasingly disconcerted about WRH and what it was "saying". It was a deep but wholly vague unease - one I found great difficulty in sorting out. Anyway - long story short: once I began looking at Rivero (and 911 Troof, Alex Jones, the Patriot movement etc) as fascist, and began picking away at it, it made much more sense. Experience has proven this to be the correct perspective - these 'movements' are riddled with fascism (it's never more than a couple of clicks away from WRH.) It might not be the whole truth about Rivero, 911 Troof, Alex Jones, the patriot movement etc, but I don't think one can understand them without recognising their fascism.

I find it impossible to believe Mike Rivero is unaware of what Willis Carto, David Duke, Curt Maynard, John De Nugent, Zundel and Eustace Mullins stand for. I mean, he promotes these people because of what they stand for, surely? And if he's so smart and knowledgeable about America and its history, then he must know what these people are about. If he doesn't, then he really doesn't know much at all, right? So this is complicity with his audience - or a decpetion of them. Both at the same time. The fascists keep quiet about it (complicity), whilst the non-fascists don't recognise it (they're deceived).

That's why Rivero and Alex Jones can furiously denounce everyone else as a fascist....yet never even bother to mention the genuine fascism of their guests, friends and collaborators.

Rivero denounces eco-fascism, liberal fascism, israeli-fascism, femi-nazis etc. But for the real thing (nazism) he has only apologism (holocaust denial) and veneration (from Curt Maynard, for example)

Rivero (and Alex Jones) use "fascist" as a synonym for "enemy".....whereas in reality it actually describes their own friends - about whose genuine fascism Rivero and Jones say NOTHING.

I watch Alex Jones rant angrily about "fascism" and recall him elsewhere praising Eustace Mullins as "a modern-day founding father" ! It's ridiculous - and highly deceptive. And all to what end, exactly? They never really say? Oh - but their goal must be "freedom" though, right? One might think so, yet, bigotry in pursuit of freedom? Hardly makes sense, does it? But it's a seemingly powerful and intoxicating mix.

the_last_name_left said...

Just yesterday(?) in a frenzy of anti-semitism (brought about by the flotilla killings) Rivero posted a link to some trashy piece....at a website titled "TheNewSturmer". The piece was the usual 'historical' denouncement of jews......seemingly posted by Rivero to 'prove' jewish criminality is timeless and not connected to material realities, geo-politics, etc. (exceptionalism?) But to call the site the new Sturmer!?

Der Stürmer (literally, "The Stormer;" or more accurately, "The Attacker") was a weekly Nazi newspaper published by Julius Streicher from 1923 to the end of World War II in 1945, with brief suspensions in circulation due to legal difficulties. It was a significant part of the Nazi propaganda machinery and was vehemently anti-Semitic. Unlike the Völkischer Beobachter (translatable as The People's Observer), the official party paper which gave itself an outwardly serious appearance, the tabloid-style Der Stürmer often ran obscene materials such as anti-Semitic caricatures and propaganda-like accusations of blood libel, pornography, anti-Catholic, anti-capitalist and anti-"reactionary" propaganda too, in order to appeal to a larger public of readers, especially among the lower class.

Right - there you go - there's Rivero?

Martin Firestein said...

Hi. To be truthful with you, I really don't remember how or when I came across Rivero's website. But as a student of history, I simply couldn't understand how he merged a leftist dislike of corporations with a rightist support for the capitalist system. He merged a lot of left and right wing ideas together, and I wasn't sure what to make of it. But you really did make it a lot clearer on where he's coming from.

Here's a question I want answered, and maybe you could do a blog about it: why are left wing people writing books, operating websites, or even publishing articles on websites, that cite or link to sources that are clearly anti-semitic in nature?

I for one don't believe the 9/11 Truth movement is entirely populated by fascists or anti-semites, although they are there. Yet the other day, I saw a 9/11 truth book that quoted the websites of Rivero and Jones, and, if I'm not mistaken, Rense!

Why does a website that is presumably left wing - dissident voice - publishing an article by a guy named James petras who published this article:


which ... well ... I'm not entirely comfortable calling him anti-semitic but that article does spend a lot of time talking about the organized operations of American jewish organizations?

Why does Counterpunch (a website which I've discussed with you before) a left wing site:

a) include articles published by a guy named Paul Craig Roberts who is associated with a website called vdare.com, which as near as I can figure, has a "white nationalist/OMG the non white immigrants are going to overpopulate us" focus?

b) publish articles by a guy named Kurt Nimmo, whose articles appear on Rense and Jones' sites?

I can only think of 3 explanations for this:

1) these people/sites simply don't know that the articles, people, or websites they link to have a fascist/racist bend

2) they know, and they don't like it, but they turn a blind eye to it because of their dislike of Israeli policies

3) they know full well what theyre doing (afterall, there is anti-semitism on the far left, as much as the far right).

I'd really like to see you cover this at some point.

the_last_name_left said...

We've talked before? Ah. Marty? :) Sorry.

M: Why does a website that is presumably left wing - dissident voice - publishing an article by a guy named James petras who published this article:

Yeah, well, I don't much about Petras and I'm reluctant to call counterpunch leftwing. I would call it liberal/progressive, I guess. I mean, it's hardly calling for workers' control of production is it?

Regardless, it is surprising and distasteful to see anti-semitism making inroads here. It's something I am only just becoming aware of, really - 'leftwing' anti-semitism. I really don't know what to make of Petras, but I have even found some of John Pilger's stuff - and even the London Marxism conferences(!) - to be skirting what I would undoubtedly call anti-semitism if I found it within the far-right. The similarities can be very uncomfortable (at least to this leftie).

I dispute that the left is as prone to anti-semitism as the right.....especially amongst the extremes. Racism is anathema to the egalitarian ethic of socialism - whereas it is core and instrumental to the far-right. The anti-semitism of left and right is different in character too - the right displays an explicit racial hatred, whereas left anti-semitism is a less vicious, more inadvertent slip into it.

Whether that makes any difference to the result is debatable. I can imagine it probably makes very little difference to jews reading it, although to me, the difference is quite substantial and important.

But it is right to recognise that the left is not immune to anti-semitism - indeed, if we can call USSR "left" at all then there is ample evidence of leftist anti-semitism (the Doctor's Plot etc). Again though, this seems an exploitation of anti-semitism, rather than a real belief in it.

Still, I do find myself uncomfortable reading some of John Pilger's stuff about Israel. Doesn't he realise that it's the only stuff of his which ever makes it into the sphere of the far-right? I've been tempted to write and ask him.

I've come under attack myself for being insufficiently critical of Israel, and it's been suggested I must be a Mossad agent because I refuse to ride the bandwagon denouncing Israel's "crimes".

I just find it all tedious, tbh. What does yet another platitude about the sadness of loss of life through violence achieve? Nothing much - and yet it can be hijacked by the far-right to further a campaign with ulterior motives. I won't be bought out like that for a cheap expression of platitudes, and I wish the left were more understanding of the situation.

exceptionalism about jews or Israel is pretty sickening. I am free to say this, as a non-jew. If I was jewish, my opinion might be "suspect".....but I am not jewish, have no connection to Israel or jews or anything in any way. I'm an atheist socialist - so I am entitled to comment, whereas jews are seemingly not.

I won't join the chorus - and so I am considered a friend of Israel. As in mossad-stylee type friend!

the_last_name_left said...

I've just finished listening to an audiobook on Albert Einstein, a jewish socialist (and scientist, of course - lol). My position seems very close to his, as is my experience: Einstein wouldn't let himself be dragged into support for Stalinism and USSR, even as he was a socialist and staunch opponent of Nazism. It was interesting following Einstein's changing conceptions of his jewishness, especially considering his abhorrence of nationalism. He recognised the antagonism - and that if Israel was to fall into the same trap, it risked simply providing confirmation of the historic myths of jews, and the realities of the barbarity of rampant, extreme nationalism (as exemplared by Nazi Germany, which he loathed)

[I love Albert Einstein - that audiobook is excellent.]

Anyway - left anti-semitism? I'm probably not best placed to look at it - as I'm too leftie. I've been a bit concerned that the british Socialist workers' party and RESPECT (George Galloway's party) have been making overtures to islam whilst excoriating Israel. It concerns me, but it doesn't worry me much as I'm sure it reflects proper concerns....imperialism rather than racism. Like I say - I'm a leftie to I perhaps find it hard to see.

The best place I have found for discussion of left anti-semitism (and other sorts) is...errr.....here we go


Bit too lofty for my tastes, tbh. But a lot of interesting stuff, and an active kommentariat. :D

Martin Firestein said...

I haven't studied the matter in detail, but I sense that jews get nailed by anti-semitism on the right and the left, but like you said, for different things.

Right: racism, Christ killer, Protocols of Zion, Marx (creator of Communism) was a Jew

Left: capitalism was a Jewish invention, Jewish oppression of the Palestinians

Getting back to the left/right paradigm, it's hard for me to understand because I learned the traditional "left/right" spectrum in my college history courses, where Marx's ultimate goal was the end of nation states and the creation of communes or small communities that would own the means of production and distribute wealth/property as equally as possible. But that's the anti-authoritarian left vs. the Soviet style, which increased the centralized power of the government. Then on the right you have the big government/authoritarian Nazi's vs the libertarians who want as small a government as possible. So both the left and the right have their big/small government wings and if you go by a linear "left/right" spectrum, its REALLY hard to understand. And I can only imagine how hard it is for people who haven't studied history! I mean, just the fact alone that people think National Socialism was a left wing movement is enough proof for me that people just do not know their history. I'm sure this has to play some role in all of this somehow.

the_last_name_left said...

Right: racism, Christ killer, Protocols of Zion, Marx (creator of Communism) was a Jew

Left: capitalism was a Jewish invention, Jewish oppression of the Palestinians

Yeah - although you'll doubtless recognise the right even makes use of supposed jewish roots of capitalism as material for anti-semitic propaganda?

From my understanding, even the parts of the left which posit jewish part in rise of capitalism they stress the functionalism of the role rather than any innate ethnic characteristic of jews being responsible - they stress that jews were ostracised, non-integrated, excluded from trades, and thus were well positioned to become merchants/bankers. Or some such, i think. ;)

That would certainly be my view - even if historically jews did play major role in development of capitalism, it is no 'racial failing' of jews.....it doesn't reveal some evil, exploitative heart of jewishness, whatever. The jews were already dispersed and discriminated against - the common idea of jews as capitalists I think is just a hangover from feudalistic anti-capitalism. Just another stick to beat jews with........like you say, the arguments also run that communism was jewish plot....so......lol

Still, I would say at its core leftism is inherently antithetical to anti-semitism and other sorts of racism. That doesn't make it impossible to appear, just as other corruptions of socialism can appear. But the means to correction are present in the ideology.....whereas in the far-right, anti-semitism is a central tenet and to consider its "correction" necessary would be anti-thetical. I think that's a huge difference - though as I admit, one that might not mean much difference at all to some. (not being jewish or familiar with jewish communities, I can't form an opinion, really)

just the fact alone that people think National Socialism was a left wing movement is enough proof for me that people just do not know their history. I'm sure this has to play some role in all of this somehow.

yeah - that was clever wasn't it, calling themselves National Socialists? Bastards! We're still trying to explain the deception today! :)

A friend of mine got quite confused over this aspect - citing Venezuela as an example. I called Venezuela socialist nationalism, as opposed to national socialism. A subtle but crucial and major difference, I feel.

All very interesting stuff - I appreciate your stimulating comments. Thanks.

the_last_name_left said...

hmmm - I have just been given a major lesson on left anti-semitism with the treatment of this flotilla malarkey.

I'm astonished, and appalled. I've lost a lot of respect for the left over it - I wonder if that will have wider consequences for my views.

I've never been so surprised by the distance between myself and other lefties as on this flotilla thing. Everywhere it's "israel attacked the ships". shocking.

well, at least the scales are off my eyes, and maybe I'll have more to offer on the subject. gee - shocker.

Anonymous said...

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Is this possible?

the_last_name_left said...

I don't know what you mean, anonymous.

Of course you can link to anything here......feel free.

Why do you want to?