We were in Ireland for only a week. Youghal was festooned with flags…banners…and decorative flourishes. It was the Ironman triathlon. From all over the world, fit men and women had come to compete. The roads were blocked. Barriers set up. Bicycle racks were placed all over town.
The contestants were to swim 2.4 miles across Youghal bay, ride their bicycles 112 miles around Ireland, and then run a 26-mile marathon. All in one day.
‘Are you running tomorrow?’
The question came from a woman at the supermarket. We had stopped in for supplies. The stout, grey-haired woman at the checkout counter had a smile on her face.
‘Do they have an over-70 group?’ we asked.
But we couldn’t stay for the race. We returned to France the next day.
Phony promises verses real liberty
In the US, the Biden bunch drained the US’s strategic petroleum reserve in order to keep gas prices low before an election. Argentina manipulates gas prices without an SPR. Here’s the latest from La Nacion in Buenos Aires:
‘The government has decreed to freeze gas prices at the pump until after the elections (actually this is more of an agreement with the Gas companies). Last increase takes place today at 12.5%.’
Year after year, the rich men north of Richmond and south of the Rio de la Plata learn more tricks.
But out on the pampas, the public is wising up…or at least, it is fed up with 70 years of chaos and decline. In the primaries, more voters pulled the lever for the rebel, Javier Milei, than for the other two, more mainstream ‘reform candidates’ put together.
Whether the Argentine voters will follow through in the general election is an open question. If so, it will be perhaps the first time in history that a democracy has actually saved itself…perhaps the first time in history that masses have rejected the phony promise of ‘more free stuff’ in favour of real liberty.
It was only a primary election in Argentina. And as Joel told us this weekend that the press is doing all it can to portray Milei as a nut and a kook. Most likely, in the general election to follow, the voters will rediscover their inner terror of freedom and get back into their traces. But we’ll see…
In the meantime, the ‘rich men north of Richmond’ idea is clean and simple. It avoids all the political claptrap and distracting culture wars. Democrats verses republicans…LBGQT rights…racism…inequality…blah, blah, blah.
In the things that really matter — money and war — the elites of both parties are unified as tight as a head gasket. Presidents change…but the laws, regulations, bureaucracy, the deep state, the wars and deficits don’t.
Why? Because they suit the rich men north of Richmond…
In the popular press, the story of the US is essentially a tale of party politics, racism, inequality, slavery and the struggle for ‘rights’ by victims…including those who aim for victimhood by doing weird things. It is the story of Valley Forge, trustbusters, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964. But these were just sideshows. They may be of great interest to a few people, but little significance to most. Even if Britain had won the Revolutionary War, it probably would have made little difference in our lives. Immigrants were still rushing in. There was a whole continent — sea to shining sea — to bring under control. One way or another, the rich men north of Richmond were soon to be richer and more powerful than those in London.
That’s ‘megapolitics,’ with its deep, deep currents…taking us along with it. The US, almost inevitably, was going to become a great empire.
With or without them
The Emancipation Act is widely regarded as the greatest act ever undertaken by a US president. But as the quote above makes clear, Lincoln didn’t care about the slaves. It was the power of the rich men north of Richmond that he cared about. Slavery was a ‘megapolitical’ institution. If it were sinful, it wasn’t mentioned in the Bible…and for most of history, neither was it a crime. It was how humans organised themselves. There were the poor, downtrodden masses — the slaves. And there were the people who owned them.
Slavery was a very durable arrangement — lasting for thousands of years — and a very popular one (with the slave owners). Governments encouraged it; they recognised slaves as property and protected ‘property rights.’ We’d still have it today if the rich men north of Richmond could make a buck from it. Morality, as Professor Buchanan put it, is what ‘used to pay.’
But after 1860, slavery didn’t pay. With the coming of the industrial revolution, machines replaced slaves. They were cheaper. More productive. More reliable. And less trouble.
The main storyline of the US is a story of power relations…but it is not the story of black people rising out of chattel slavery. Nor is it the story of the Lord trampling down the vineyards where the grapes of wrath were stored. Nor of our brave boys protecting our freedom at Yorktown, Shiloh, the Somme, Iwo Jima or Baghdad. Instead, it is the story of the rise of the rich men north of Richmond and a more modern form of ‘slavery’… with gossamer chains.
For The Daily Reckoning Australia