Saturday, November 15, 2008, 1:34 PM
After we talked a little about the economy on my birthday, I thought it would be helpful for me to write down my understanding of what has been going on for you. I also wanted to do this for myself to help organize my own thoughts. I was hoping to just do a quick write-up, but it turned into a 20-page essay that gets into a lot more detail. I tried to keep it non-technical without dumbing it down. I was also hoping to get into some predictions and investment advice, but I think 20 pages is long enough. I’d be happy to share my advice with you after you read this essay. Feel free to pass it on if you think anyone else would like to read it.
See you tomorrow!
Explaining the Economy to Dad
November 15, 2008 (Dow 8,497)
In order to understand what is happening in the economy right now, it is important to have an understanding of economic principles and history. Far from being a “natural,” emotional market cycle, this crisis is the direct and inevitable result of a fraudulent monetary system forced upon the world by their governments and banks. This broad manipulation of economic activity has been further aggravated by more specific governmental interventions in many markets, most notably the housing market. This essay is divided into four sections: Economic Principles, History, The Housing Bubble, and End Game. The first two sections explain the general causes of the current downturn, and the second two sections chronicle the specific events that have resulted from those causes to lead to the present situation.
Greetings from 2017! And what a great year it’s shaping up to be!
Poverty and hunger have been almost eradicated across the globe, after the surprising discovery that flying killer robots are also capable of delivering bundles of hope and cheer. The resulting outbreaks of good feelings caused people to overlook centuries of colonialism and tribal conflicts and work together as neighbors.
This led to record-breaking agricultural production in all global markets. The abundance of low-cost food further freed up resources for capital investment in critical infrastructure, launching developing nations into a standard of living rivaling, and in some cases surpassing, that of developed nations.
And this is all thanks to the wisdom and beneficence of Our Glorious World Leader. Our Glorious World Leader was the first to recognize the true causes of the problems facing humanity, and to act swiftly and decisively to eliminate The Great Betrayer.
“When were you last in Hyde Park? How much are you actually using it? We need to know what it costs us!”
Patrik Schumacher might as well have suggested blowing up the moon when he proposed that Hyde Park in London should be privatized for development.
In a presentation at the World Architecture Festival 2016 in Berlin, Schumacher argued that London’s housing crisis is due to constraints imposed by government policies. In his “Urban Policy Manifesto,” he outlined eight “demands” for radical reductions of regulation and subsidies, and even private ownership of infrastructure and public spaces.
This polemic has predictably catapulted him into controversy, with some applauding his courage while others condemn his callousness, dubbing him “the Trump of architecture.”
But Schumacher is not some alt-right Twitter troll living in his parents basement. He is the Director of Zaha Hadid Architects, a 400-person international design firm that has produced some of the world’s most remarkable buildings of the last three decades, including the Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan and the London Aquatics Center for the 2012 Olympics. Schumacher was named Director after the untimely death in March 2016 of Dame Zaha Hadid, the groundbreaking Pritzker Prize winner whom Schumacher has worked alongside since 1988.
While he has clearly stated that his political views are his own and do not represent the firm (and the firm’s trustees have emphatically agreed), his position adds gravitas to what might otherwise be easily dismissed by the traditionally left-leaning architectural profession as irrelevant blasphemy.
Q. Why did you become an Australian citizen?
A. I recently bought one of those Australian hats with a wide brim, and I feel like a tourist when I wear it. As a citizen, I will feel more confident about wearing that hat since, legally, I won’t be a tourist.
Q. Where did you buy the hat?
A. Sea World gift shop on the Gold Coast.
Q. One of Australia’s key tourist destinations.
A. Yes. You can only get real, authentic Australiana stuff at hokey tourist traps.
Q. Where do real Australians get their hats?
A. I haven’t seen many Australians wearing hats like that. Probably because they don’t want to look like tourists.
“If we live in a democracy and you don’t use your power to vote…
Shame on us… So what the fuss!
Shame shame shamity shame.“
Stevie Wonder, “So What the Fuss” (feat. Prince and En Vogue)
Power, in the broadest sense, is the ability to act according to your will by exerting control over your environment.
The more power you have, the more needs and desires you can fulfill. You use this power every day to claw your way a little higher up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. You usually get stuck at “eat Cheetos now and for the foreseeable future” on your journey towards self-actualization.
But things get complicated as soon as your environment becomes polluted with other people. Resources are scarce, and this leads to conflicts.
Power over nature can extend to power over people. Your power to eat the last Cheeto disempowers me from eating it.
And I was saving that one, you jerk. It had a funny nub.
Power begets power. The more power you have, the more you can gain.
This concern shapes events from union strikes and Marxist revolutions to interventionist foreign policy and pre-emptive war. We often hear about the need to counterbalance the economic power of a large corporation or the military power of a foreign state. At best, these “balance of power” strategies yield a stalemate of mutual distrust and hair-trigger brinkmanship.
Democracy is intended to circumvent such conflicts by distributing power among the masses. “Empowerment” is regarded as synonymous with voting. The vote is the means by which marginalized groups could break their shackles, have their say, and win back the freedoms that they have lost to the power of others.
But how much power does a vote really bestow?
ANARCHITECTURE EXCLUSIVE – The following is a transcript of a conversation recently released by Wikileaks. Original audio here.
While the precise time and location of the following conversation are unknown, it is believed to have been recorded by Russian operatives, sometime during 2013.
We have transcribed it here at anarchitecturepodcast.com in order to bring attention to this revelatory conversation, which could have significant ramifications for the 2016 presidential election if its contents become widely known.
We request that readers share this transcript in order to ensure that the voters are fully informed. This is vital to preserve the integrity of American Democracy.
The transcript below is presented in raw form, with no additional commentary, so that the reader may draw their own conclusions.
HILLARY: Donald, I need you to do something for me.
DONALD: Yes, Mrs. Clinton?
“I had been on Gallipoli only six days short of four months and I want to say now that they were the worst four months of my whole life. I had seen many men die horribly, and had killed many myself, and lived in fear most of the time. And it is terrible to think that it was all for nothing.
…People do terrible things in wars, in the name of their country and beliefs. It is something that I find very sad and frightening.”
A.B. Facey, A Fortunate Life
ANZAC day, which commemorates the 1915 battle of Gallipoli in Turkey, has become a quasi-religious sacrament for Australians. As a recent immigrant to Australia, I have not been brought up in this particular religion, although it echoes the “military worship” that is so prevalent in the US.
If I was a religious person, I might consider the whole thing to be a form of blasphemy. People gather around a statue or secular altar such as a town hall, listen to secular sermons, and bow their heads in contemplation – while praising martyrs who died for our salvation.
And to top it all off, they take communion in the form of ANZAC biscuits and tea.
Now, the above critique is superficial at best, and I’m not quite that cynical. That’s not what this post is about.
Could our society ever evolve to the point where the power structures of government become so needless that the best use of The Mall in Washington DC would be grazing land for cattle?
Welcome to the official launch of Anarchitecture!
Anarchitecture considers issues related to the built environment from the perspective of anarchism, a political philosophy derived from the principal that the initiation of force by individuals and governments is morally wrong and counterproductive in practice.
18 months in the making, the website and podcast feed have achieved substantial completion and are now live.
Tim and Joe are identical twin brothers who have a combined three decades of experience delivering local and international construction projects.
Podcast Episode Summary
Episode ana000: Breaking Ground – A brief welcome and introduction.
The obligatory anarchist manifesto, explained through the lens of the built environment. Audio essay introductions followed by overview discussions of a broad range of topics.
Episode ana001: Planning the Ruins | The Built Environment – Introduction to Anarchitecture and the built environment.
Episode ana002: The Grid | Problems with Government – Tim and Joe define the concept of the State, and illustrate how the State initiates force at each scale of the built environment.
Episode ana003: Antarchitecture | Anarchic Alternatives – Introduction to the philosophy of anarchism, and an exploration of anarchic approaches to developing the built environment.
More conversational discussions as Tim and Joe each tell a relevant story from our own lives.
Episode ana004: Tim’s Solar Scam – Tim took advantage of government subsidies to install solar panels on his roof. Is he a hypocrite?
Episode ana005: Joe’s House of Doom – Joe tells the harrowing tale of the house that tried to kill him. How do we know if buildings are safe?
VIEW ALL PODCASTS
Thanks for visiting Anarchitecture – the built environment of a stateless society. We hope you enjoy the show!
Tim and Joe