Sunday, October 23, 2011

When You Question Your Understanding of the Present, You Need to Double-Check Your Understanding of the Past

Karl Denninger.  The man is a dynamo. 

I just wish he were as right about the world as he thinks he is.  Unfortunately, he's not.  Why?  Because he refuses to question what he thinks he already knows.

Two examples.

First, there's this post of his, which is dogmatically modern "libertarian" chic.  Watch the video he links to, and ask whether there can be any distinction between the "oligarchy" which the video claims to abhor and the "republic" which the video claims to exalt over all other forms of government.  It seems to me that a republic in which only men (not women) who own property (not all citizens) and who are not themselves property (i.e., slaves) serves only the oligarchy.  Seriously, how obvious is that?  Just take the time to past the rhetoric and at the actual facts.  (And the claim in the video that everybody else "lies" about how to describe the left-right continuum is utter nonsense; you can't legitimately argue that your new definition of accepted terms makes somebody else a liar.)

Second, look at this post, which complains about the frauds he recognizes while demonstrating the fraud he fails to see.  What Karl doesn't get is that, according to his definition, all stock market transactions are also Ponzi schemes, and by trading, he aids and abets those schemes.  As I've said before, analysts set stock price targets based on free cash flow models that assume perpetual growth, which, as Karl rightly points out, is not possible in the real world.  Nevertheless, like a good modern "libertarian," Karl has blinders on when it comes to "private" behavior (as opposed to the behavior of the government).

Karl is too old to change, so I'll just focus on enjoying him for the person he is, which is a genuine, well-meaning dude.  I wish him much luck on the upcoming release of his book.