Sunday, March 1, 2015

Christian fanaticism, inter alia.

The season of fasting is upon us. No more high living. It’s time to cinch up our belts … to put on a gaunt face and a smug look. Alone among friends and associates, we will keep Lent.

So neglected is Lent that even Google has forgotten about it. When we did a search it proposed “lentil soup.” Lent is meant to rehearse the 40 days and nights that Jesus spent fasting in the desert before going public.

We remember the lean days with prayer, meditation and self-denial. No alcohol will cross our lips from Ash Wednesday till Easter Sunday. (Except on Sundays. And saints’ days. And national holidays. And days that begin with the letter “T” or that have a date that is a prime number.)[1]

That bit of choice humor is enjoyable in its own right. However, it begins a very interesting article on moral rot underlying the debasement of our currency. Can every contract entered into contain an unstated provision that the parties can diminish their obligations thereunder by 2% each year? The words of any party "promising" full performance would be unreliable by definition. All parties would adjust their behavior accordingly but the essential point would be that anyone purporting to give his or her word would be dissembling. Just a teeny amount, it's true. But dissembling nonetheless.

So ours is a dissembling currency and if we use it we dissemble ourselves, even though it can be fairly pointed out that we have little power to do otherwise, any more than we have the power to require that our borders be sealed and protected.

Electoral politics is a mug's game even though the people as a whole theorectally could rise up and demand change. But, alas, in the absence of congressional proposals to institute human sacrifice for the losers of any year's Superbowl contest, that is just axing too much of human beings that they give up short-term advantages that are expedient.

Still and all it's healthy to have the essential dishonesty involved kept in the forefront of our minds. As we should the stark truth that modern electoral politics are a mechanism whereby money can be extracted from one's fellow citizens by a vote of the majority of the legislature when to do so as an individual with a gun would be a criminal act. For the sake of "fairness," of course.

[1] "The End of Honest Money." By Bill Bonner, Acting Man, 2/27/15.

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