Robert Stark Interviews Greg Johnson on Populism, Elitism, & EconomicsGreg Johnson
The following text is the transcript by V. S. of a May 2013 conversation with Robert Stark. To listen in a player, click here. To download the mp3, right-click here and choose “save target as.” To subscribe to our podcasts, click here..
Robert Stark: Hello, everyone! This is The Stark Truth with Robert Stark. I’m joined here with Greg Johnson. Hey, Greg! It’s nice having you on.
Greg Johnson: Thanks for having me on, Robert.
RS: So, what we’re going to be discussing is the issue of economics and how it relates to class struggle and class warfare. Whatever term you want to use to describe our political and ideological circle, there are these two conflicting views and concerns about economics and class that have to be addressed.
One of them is that there’s this fear — and you really see this fear among the Tea Party crowd and it exists within our ideological circle but also it exists among mainline conservatives — of a growing underclass. They have this fear of socialism and the underclass demanding wealth redistribution from the middle class, and this fear has been exploited by a parasitic elite, by the plutocracy, to get the middle class to align itself with the plutocracy. That’s basically why you’ve seen the middle class aligning itself with the Republicans.
Greg, you’re also familiar with the sort of Rothbard meme, which is the foundation of paleo-libertarianism.
GJ: Yeah, that’s right. As I understand it, the paleo-libertarian approach really was created as a reaction to David Duke’s emergence as a national political figure. Based on his performance, it was decided there was a great deal of potential for racially-aware, White-interest ethnic politics, and so Rothbard and Lew Rockwell and others associated with him tried to fuse libertarianism — classical liberalism — with certain populist Right-wing elements. I think the best synthesis of that was those Ron Paul newsletters that Ron Paul claims he never read, where he’s addressing concerns about things like Affirmative Action. It’s an attempt to co-opt racial anxiety and channel it into a race-blind, race-neutral free market ideology.
RS: And the thing is it is a legitimate concern about a growing underclass making more economic demands, but the problem is we have so much wealth and power concentrated in the plutocracy. That’s actually a far bigger threat, because, even though the underclass is growing in numbers, wealth basically translates into power, and power triumphs over the number of people in regard to political power.
Greg, one of the things you proposed in one of your articles – I forget what it was called, but it was something about the failure of conservatives or why the GOP must perish, it was one of those articles – an income cap at one million a year, because that’s really the problem. Having so much money concentrated in the hands of a few is what has led to the corruption of our political system.
GJ: Yeah, I would agree with that. There are two problems. There is a problem of a growing underclass of net tax-consumers, parasites if you will, and of course immigration from low IQ countries is contributing to that dramatically. But even Asian immigrants are actually a big problem because they bring their elderly relatives over, and they’re very, very savvy about getting people enrolled in all kinds of public benefits programs. So, it’s not even the low IQ people who are a problem. It’s the high IQ people who are cynical and manipulate the system, and so we really do have a serious problem, and there’s no question that you cannot have a functioning Western, First World society if you have too many people who are basically unwilling or incapable of producing enough value to sustain that kind of lifestyle. If you give these people the vote, and you give these people social welfare programs, they will take more than they contribute until basically they ruin the system.
So, that is a definite problem, but by the same token I think the overclass, if you want to put it that way, is equally problematic, and it’s the overclass who are bringing in the underclass and afflicting the middle class with this immigration. The overclass, the super rich, really are benefiting tremendously by exporting American jobs overseas and importing coolie labor into America to undercut the gains of the labor movement, basically.
I used to be a kind of conservative, a kind of patriot; I was something of a libertarian, so I looked upon American history as something that was glorious and wonderful, but I have come around to thinking that really the only glorious chapter in American history is the history of the labor movement and the populist movement and what they did to try to rein in the kind of predatory capitalism that we had in this country and give working people the breaks they needed to produce the extremely large and powerful and prosperous American middle class, which the plutocracy is now dismantling again by outsourcing jobs or shipping jobs overseas and by bringing in low IQ, low tech stoop labor from the Third World.
So, we do need to address the problem of the overclass, and I think that in those terms libertarianism is a completely worthless ideology. It’s completely worthless, because basically their only objection to Goldman-Sachs or Time-Warner or any of the big companies and the agendas that they push would be if the checks didn’t clear. If certain people want to buy up huge chunks of the economy and pump filth and depravity and propaganda into people’s homes, well, if the checks cleared then libertarians have no problems that, and I just think that’s a form of self-induced stupidity, politically speaking.
What you need to look to is a non-free market, Right-wing critique of contemporary society, and there are a lot of resources for that. There’s a whole tradition of Third Way economic thinking, including classical republicanism, populism, social credit, distributism, and the like that can mount a critique of the kinds of plutocratic system that we have today. So, I think one of the most important things for the agenda of the North American New Right is the complete destruction or a deconstruction of the free market orthodoxy that reigns in Right-wing circles. I think market economics is bad science. Well, what it is really is classical liberal politics presenting itself as science.
RS: Yeah, the thing is the capitalist, free market propaganda is so ingrained in the American Right. On the one hand, you get these libertarians — and the Tea Party movement is basically run by the Koch brothers — so they’re very apologetic for the plutocracy. But then you get these people who are kind of pseudo-populist or paleo-conservative types like the Alex Jones crowd. If you listen to Alex Jones and those people, they do have a visceral hatred for these globalist elites beyond what you get among the Tea Party types, but they still have this capitalist, conservative orthodoxy where they have the sphere of government and socialism that they would be opposed to any kind of tax increases on the ultra-wealthy.
If you look at the issue of campaign finance reform. Campaign finance reform is meaningless. Canada has fairly strict campaign finance reform, but their politicians are just as corrupt and reprehensible as ours. But really the way you have to deal with the concentration of power in the hands of a few is to limit their wealth.
One solution that’s been put out — I think it was in my interview I did with James Bowery — is there needs to be an asset tax. Instead of an income tax where you tax income there needs to be an asset tax on corporations and banks. That’s probably the best way to start and then there’s your idea of putting a cap on income at $1 million a year, but you would make an exception for people who invent stuff.
GJ: Yeah, I think that would be a legitimate kind of exception, and I chose that figure just arbitrarily, basically to get the idea circulating out there that part of the problem could be solved simply by capping incomes. There are a lot of people who would up stakes and leave America if we capped their incomes, and my attitude towards people like that is: let them go. Good riddance! We don’t want people like that. If a person just can’t make ends meet on a million dollars a year, then I hope they do what Denise Rich did, which is up stakes, renounce her citizenship, and leave.
We would eliminate I’d say 70 or 80% of the 500 top wealthiest people in the country, who would simply up stakes and leave because they have no connection to the United States anyway. It doesn’t matter to them one bit, and the reason I believe that is because their policies indicate that this country doesn’t matter to them one bit. They’re enriching themselves by dismantling the American economy and the American way of life by corrupting the American system of government. Good riddance to them. I’d like to see them all go.
I think the only thing I would regret is if we didn’t make the people who have profited from dismantling the country give back a lot of their gains before they leave. I think that they definitely should have their gains expropriated, and they should be able to leave with whatever legitimate wealth that they have accumulated.
I think that populism in a broad sense is a really legitimate outlook. But if you’re a real populist then what you would want is a society that basically is a classical republican model. What do I mean by that? It’s a society where the common good of the people is the law. It’s the highest law. It’s the aim of politics. If you look at the classical republican tradition really starting with Aristotle’s Politics, there’s a strong argument there for maintaining the middle class. Meaning a large number of people who are independent enough intellectually and especially economically to participate in politics. If you have a large enough middle class, that is the bulwark against the tyranny of the elites, and so the only way that you can really have a society that’s free and a society that’s just – meaning a society that looks out for the interests of the whole – is to maintain a balance against the tyranny of the elites. The elites are richer and smarter than the average, and unless there is some kind of balance or check against their power they will basically turn the system into some kind of oligarchy or plutocracy. The only way to stop that is to have the many, the majority, to be propertied, independent, and leisured enough to participate in politics to counter-balance that, and that is the argument for middle class society.
If you look at the populist tradition in America — you look at somebody like Thomas Jefferson, you look at the 19th century — the great concern of populists was to prevent the middle class from being disenfranchised, disempowered by losing their property and their independence, and the main mechanism by which independent farmers and business people lose their property and become more dependent on the wealthy is basically foreclosure. It’s borrowing at interest and losing their property through foreclosure. That is the main cause of downward mobility for middle class people, and that brings us to a critique of interest-bearing banking and things like that. I think that is absolutely crucial element in a populist, Right-wing critique of capitalism.
RS: I’d like to get into detail about those two issues — the issue of foreclosure and the issue of banking — but what I want to say is the first step in educating people in metapolitics is we have to kind of wean the middle class off of capitalism. The core reason these middle-class conservatives are capitalists is because they have this fear that any kind of redistribution of wealth at the top is a sort of slippery slope to full-blown socialism, and they’re afraid that their money will be confiscated and given to the underclass. So, I think the very first step is to educate those people and to address their fears and concerns which are causing them to be exploited by the elites.
GJ: Yeah, I would agree with that. I am very critical of just pure redistributionism as a political strategy. The idea that you’re going to have as a regular day-to-day function in government taking money from productive people and giving it to people who aren’t productive is a very bad thing. There’s no question about it.
I would, however, be in favor of certain quick and massive redistributions of wealth from people who have gotten it through dismantling the American economy. I don’t know if I’d just give it away to anybody who wants it or anybody who’s needy, but I think it would be a very appropriate thing to basically take away ill-gotten gains and use that to fund some kind of government programs.
But the most appropriate thing to do with expropriating ill-gotten wealth of the plutocracy would be to use it to capitalize new American manufacturing industries. I think that would be a very, very useful thing, and so instead of just handing it to people you would use it strategically to recapitalize and reindustrialize America. I think that would be a good thing.
RS: So, this is basically the key of what you were getting at. Redistribution of wealth in itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It just has to be done the right way. The wealth has to be taken from the people who are basically engaged in destructive behavior and redistributed to people who have potential to be productive.
We reject egalitarianism, but just because we reject egalitarianism doesn’t mean . . . I mean, the real problem with capitalism is that capitalism doesn’t necessarily reward the very best behavior. The people who thrive the most in a capitalistic system are those with sociopathic tendencies.
GJ: I would agree with that, and you’re exactly right. The most important thing that we just have to get out there is that we are not egalitarians. We do not think that the bedrock, default moral prejudice should be for equality across the board. That’s simply not true. People are not equal, and they should not be made to be equal.
However, I think that a broad middle class is different from numerical equality. Radical egalitarians cannot help but have the people of lowest quality and least potential be the moral benchmarks. I’ve heard liberals gushing and drooling about how “the measure of a society is how it treats the most needy and vulnerable,” and I just think if that’s really true then you have basically set your moral compass in a way that will lead to the destruction of the strong, the productive, the creative, and so forth, and I think that’s a terrible idea.
I think that really the criterion for justice in a society is not how it treats the least talented and least productive but rather how it pursues the common good, and I think that reorients politics tremendously, because if you think in terms of how to pursue the common good one of the things that we do know is that a society where people who are creative and virtuous, if those people are rewarded for that, they will be productive, they create wealth, they create inventions, they create an atmosphere of social trust, which I think is enormously important, and that kind of society where you reward real excellence measured in terms of creating real things of value and also moral excellence, character, I think that kind of society is good for everybody.
Therefore, a kind of elitism is appropriate, and it’s actually best for the people as a whole. So, I’m a populist in the moral sense, but I think if you actually look in causal terms, if you look at what is actually conducive to the good of the whole, then what you have to be is resolutely, inflexibly an elitist. You have to be an elitist on principle. You have to reward people for excellence, and you can’t put your thumb on the scale, and you can’t reward people for mediocrity or need. I think that even the needy and mediocre actually benefit from a truly aristocratic, elitist society. Of course, the way to prevent that kind of elitism turning into the selfish rule of elites like we have today is to have a large and empowered middle class that’s politically capable of preventing that from happening.
But the other thing you need to ensure is the circulation of the elites. What do I mean by that? I just mean that if you have a real elitist system you’re going to be having things like public education where you give people access to excellent education as just a baseline condition of citizenship and you resolutely promote the best people from all classes of society, and you do not have this kind of elite that we have in America today which is increasingly hereditary, where you have wealthy people sending their kids to exclusive schools, getting them into Ivy League universities, and you get this self-perpetuating, somewhat impervious elite. I think that if you have an elite that’s genuinely elitist you’re going to be constantly pulling in people from all different ranks of society based on their worth, and you’re also going to have mechanisms whereby the mediocre children of the wealthy and powerful are allowed to descend to a lifestyle and amount of power that are appropriate to them.
I think that a system like we have in America, where you have manifestly mediocre people like Albert Gore, Jr. or George W. Bush aspiring to become president or actually becoming president, is a bad system. I am sure that there are 10,000 Iowa farm boys or 10,000 people from Appalachia in the coal region or 10,000 people from any part of the country from humble backgrounds who are probably smarter and better than a lot of the people who are going to Harvard and circulating from government to board rooms in the current corrupt system. So, if you’re really an elitist, you’re going to have an elite that circulates a lot. People will rise from all areas of society because of their genuine merit, and people who are descended from the best people but are not as good as their parents are not going to enjoy the same level of power and influence and wealth that their parents have. I think that’s a very just system.
RS: The thing about implementing it is that’s basically how it’s always been throughout history even going back to the European aristocracies. Wealth and power was usually passed down from one generation to another. I think this idea that anyone can become successfully, which is what people call the American Dream, it’s happened in some situations, but I think it’s really a fantasy. It’s never really been the case, but if you want that to be the case the question is how do you implement that.
GJ: Right. I think that upward mobility is a very nice thing. You do not want a society where you’ve got sort of fossilized, impervious castes. I think that is an injustice, and it makes a society weaker, because there are people of genuine greatness who come from humble backgrounds, and if they can rise to positions where they can give more to the world then the world is enriched because of that. So, I think that’s very important. I think that upward mobility is an important thing, and I am all for that.
I think that one has to enshrine that, and one of the ways to do that is to have an elitist system, a meritocracy, if you will. Lots of libertarians love to talk about meritocracy, but honestly what they’re really talking about is plutocracy, because merit is really measured in their eyes in terms of wealth when you get right down to it. I think that if you had a genuine meritocracy, genuine ability for people to rise and fall according to their merits that that is actually the best kind of system for the people as a whole.
So, again, I’m a populist in terms of my overall moral foundational outlook and in terms of what I think the proper goal of society is, but I’m an elitist because I believe that having a real meritocracy is the best way of assuring that the common good is taken care of.
RS: The other thing about the economic system is that the economic system is set up to keep down political dissidents. If you want to rise up in a big corporation or a financial institution, you do have to be basically apolitical or you have to adopt the political ideology of the ruling class. Basically, if you’re a political dissident it does limit your economic opportunities. If you look at the top 1% I can’t think of a single person with dissident views.
GJ: Right. I would agree with that, and that’s, again, really the populist principle.
Let’s define middle class, too. By middle class I don’t just mean middle income people, because there are lots of middle and upper income people who are not middle class in the sense that I mean. By middle class I mean economically independent. In some sense self-employed as a small businessman or a large businessman, farmer, things like that. If you are self-employed as opposed to employed by another person you have greater freedom of thought and action in the political realm, and there’s just no question about that. There are a lot of people with middle and high incomes who still work for other people, and they have very, very little real freedom of thought, and I think that’s very bad.
We have to define what dissident ideas are too, because . . . Was it Charles Koch, one of the Koch brothers, I think the senior one? I think he’s the fifth or sixth richest man in the world.
RS: Yeah, Kevin MacDonald wrote an article about the Koch brothers buying up the LA Times.
RS: He’s not a huge fan of him, but I think he’s a little less cynical about them than we are. They haven’t taken an official stand on an issue like immigration, but if I had to guess they’re probably for open borders. But their main political issues are basically less taxes on the wealthy, less regulations on business, and less environmental regulation. I think for some people who are focused solely on ethnicity they may look the other way, but those issues by themselves are reprehensible positions to take and they definitely should be viewed as despicable individuals.
GJ: Oh, I would agree with that. Libertarians are open borders enthusiasts. The Koch brothers are libertarians. They are the main bank rollers of libertarianism in the United States in the 20th and 21st centuries, and it is just astonishing how much money they have put over the years into these various libertarian organizations.
Years and years ago when I was on the sort of fringes of libertarianism people would talk about “the Kochtopus,” all the different arms of the Koch machine. They’ve been investing millions and millions of dollars into promoting libertarian ideas for decades now, and they are a wonderful example of metapolitics. If the North American New Right had people with anything like the money of the Koch brothers, or one thousandth of the money that the Koch brothers have, we could still do so much to promote better ideas. They have created think tanks, they have endowed professorships at universities, they have wormed their way into various institutions, and they are very, very successful at promoting their version of extremely bad ideas, their Right-wing, classical liberal version of bad ideas.
And yes, I am 100% on the side of the progressives when it comes to things like environmental regulation, for instance, so I think the Koch brothers are pretty bad. I think they’re worse than your average Republican in many ways, because they are very, very ideologically purist. They’re purists. They’re ideologues. They’re not these compromising and corrupt Republican politicians. In some ways, I would prefer a corrupt politician who has bad ideas, but betrays his bad ideas all the time, to somebody who is incorruptibly wrong and has a personal fortune of $34 billion to back it up and is willing to actually write checks. That is a very dangerous person.
George Soros is a bad guy in a different way, but the Koch brothers are bad as well.
RS: I think it was Chesterton who said this, but this goes back to your definition of the middle class: “The problem with capitalism is that there’s too few capitalists.”
GJ: Exactly. I think that’s really well put. What we stand for is private property and free enterprise broadly distributed, and that is the key issue. You can pretty much deduce everything from the necessity of maintaining the broad distribution of free enterprise and private property. You can deduce regulations on the amount of wealth people can have. You can deduce things like protectionism. You can deduce getting rid of interest-bearing currency and getting rid of the banking system. You can pretty much arrive at social credit. If you just ask yourself what is necessary to maintain a private property, private enterprise society with a huge prosperous powerful middle class. The whole range of third way economic things follows, and they are all very consistent with one another. Distributism and social credit, all of these things can be fit together, because they’re all working towards the same end, and they share a lot of the same basic premises.
I think that Chesterton is very, very good on that sort of issue.
RS: So, earlier on you touched on the foreclosure crisis. I’d like to get into that issue more in detail.
GJ: Well, foreclosure just happens when you pledge your property for security on a loan. We’ve gotten into this system where the primary asset that most middle class people can aspire to have is a home, and there’s this built-in idea that it’s this wonderful thing if home prices are going up 10% a year, which I think is catastrophic. If orange juice went up 10% a year or cars or clothes went up 10% a year people would be screaming bloody murder. College educations are going up 10% a year, and people are screaming bloody murder about that, but somehow we’ve got this idea that it’s wonderful if home prices keep going up, and, of course, the reason that some people think that is because they have a home, and they want to sell it, whereas most people don’t have orange juice or college educations to sell.
RS: Yeah, that’s why the home prices are going up. I think part of it is just supply and demand. In California, we have a rapidly growing population due to immigration, but the housing supply is not growing to keep up with that.
But the other side of the reason why housing prices are going up is because of the banking system.
GJ: Well, right. Exactly. There’s a lot of speculation going on, and frankly if you have things like deductibility of mortgage interests . . . Mortgage interest deductibility is a giant redistribution mechanism to the banks. Let’s just face it. House prices are higher because of mortgage interest deductibility and, of course, banks benefit from that tremendously. Of course, middle class people want to hold on to that because they think they benefit from it, and as individuals they do, but the system as a whole doesn’t benefit from things like that. I think it just creates high prices.
What I would do with housing is simply have interest-free loans that are underwritten by the government or private enterprises that just have a fee. A fee for writing the loan and administering it. You pay that maybe once, right? It’s not calculated as a growing, compounded interest payment on the amount that you borrow. It’s simply a fee, and it would allow people to get started in life, buy homes and things like that.
I would actually limit the number of houses and housing units that individuals can own.
RS: You know, Steve Sailer had an article about that. He said that in places like Los Angeles or I’m sure the Bay Area part of the reason why there’s a growing gap between the rich and the poor is because of real estate. You have some people who are monopolizing large amounts of the best real estate or who own several homes. So, you’re right. There does have to be a cap on how much real estate one person should own.
GJ: Yeah, why not have one house and a vacation house or something like that and have a limit? Basically, what that would mean is you would have people who have lots of capital not going around and buying homes and flipping them and contributing to these bubble-speculative mentalities in real estate, which of course we should have learned how disastrous that was, but now people are all excited, “Maybe the bubble is coming back!” We don’t want the damn real estate bubble to come back! In fact, I would like to see housing prices deflate a great deal.
And let’s face it, when I was living in Berkeley in 2003 I saw a two-bedroom bungalow up for sale for $1 million. That’s absurd! The fact of the matter is that most of the people living in Berkeley never paid those kinds of rates for their houses, and so you had a town where the vast majority of the people living there could never afford to live there if they had to purchase their homes at the going market prices. Now, they’re all delirious because they think they’re going to retire and sell that house at $1 million or $2 million or whatever, and they’ll have lots of money to play with, but what will happen eventually is that Berkeley will be nothing but a town full of rich pretend hippies. I’ve seen this happening in San Francisco. You go to the Haight-Ashbury district, and it’s a pretty disgusting place really. There are bums all over the streets and mangy dogs and panhandlers and drunks and druggies, and then scurrying between them are people who want to hang out in the Bohemian district who bought a three-bedroom flat a couple blocks off Haight Street for $1 million.
RS: Yeah, it’s basically what James O’Meara talks about in his Gilmore Girls series.
GJ: Exactly! Exactly. You’ve got this situation where you’ve got certain communities that are basically just becoming hollowed out simulacra of communities where rich people go to pretend that they’re New England villagers in Martha’s Vineyard or hippies in Haight-Ashbury, things like that. It’s basically the equivalent of when Marie Antoinette pretended like she was a milkmaid in the gardens of Versailles. It’s a completely debased, hollowed out, globalized, false simulacrum of communities. And meanwhile real people who work in these towns, who teach school, who are the postmen, who are small business owners, clerks, hairdressers, you know, the people who actually work in the town can’t afford to live there. They have to recruit 60 miles. Ridiculous situations. Towns like Aspen where people commute 60 miles to work there, and then they go back to a trailer that they live in, which is massively overpriced because it’s 60 miles from Aspen.
It’s a ridiculous situation. It’s unjust, it’s artificial, and it’s driven largely by all this easy money flowing into housing. People say, “Oh, our interest rates are low!” Whenever I hear that I panic. I want to reach for my revolver. Low interest is one of the worst . . . If we’re going to have interest, I’d rather have high interest than low interest. Why? Because low interest is the crack that powers these stupid, destructive, speculative economic bubbles. So, if you’re going to have interest I’d rather have it high than low. There are countries that have enjoyed sustained, slow economic growth and prosperity with high interest. It’s a totally doable system, but America, I think, is too addicted to fast growth and Ponzi economics all fueled by low interest, and I think that’s one of our great economic follies, and it’s creeping back. People want to have the stock markets going higher and higher. Housing prices are up.
I feel like I’m back in 2007 and 2008. That wasn’t so long ago, but people don’t seem to have learned anything.
RS: I’d like to talk a little bit more about political strategies. I think there are two political strategies. We’ve talked about the conservative middle class. There’s the underclass and then there’s also people who are on the Left. One thing is conservatives are really obsessed with selling capitalism to the underclass and to poor minorities. I think the key is I see a trend where you have an alliance . . . The underclass is basically being exploited politically by the elite, so I think it’s important actually to encourage the underclass to really turn against the elite like you’ve seen in places like Venezuela.
GJ: Well, yeah, I would like to see that happen. My attitude about the underclass is basically that we should try to reduce it in size, and the best way to reduce it in size is, first of all, let’s send all of the recently arrived underclass members home and get rid of incentives for idleness and parasitism.
Let’s just say I’m running America as it is today, America the multicultural society afflicted with the millions and millions of non-Whites that we have. I would actually much rather just pay welfare to anybody with an IQ of 85 or under for the rest of their lives, because I think one of the worst things we do in America is actually put these people in jobs where they pretend to work. They pretend to work, and they gum up the economy.
I used to live in Atlanta. Atlanta, I think, was 60% Black, and the city government was like 96% Black, and the people in that city government consisted of large numbers of useless eaters who basically went to their offices and pretended to work. Anybody who actually had to deal with the city government or the county government getting their business going or buying and selling property, doing anything that was economically necessary, had to go through this bureaucracy that was full of morons who are just loafing, chatting on their cell phones, letting the office phone ring or go to voice mail, then the mail box was always full. Your heart would sink through the floor when you would hear a Black woman’s voice wishing you a “blessed day,” because you would just know that there was absolutely no hope. People who lived and did business outside Atlanta in some of the further ex-urban counties that were predominately White would go into the city hall, and people would just rush them through. They’d be really helpful. None of this passive aggressive stuff, none of the laziness, none of the craziness that the people in Atlanta have to deal with.
So, my attitude about the underclass really would be: why not just put them on welfare for the rest of their lives, get them out of jobs that they can only pretend to do, and if they’re of child-bearing age give them incentives to be sterilized? I think that if you would just do that we would actually be a richer society than we are today, a richer and more efficient society than we are today.
So, my attitude about the underclass is that it should be reduced and the best way to reduce it, ultimately, is to have a kind of gentle, slow-functioning eugenic program in place. What we should have is a safety net – I believe in that kind of social welfare – but you do not want to have these communities which generation after generation are basically lounging around in the social safety net like it’s a permanent hammock. That’s not the way to do things.
Practically every time you hear idiots talking about moral uplift programs, economic uplift programs, minority uplift programs, it’s always wealthy White liberals like the people who live in the Marina District in San Francisco trying to ally themselves with mestizo day-laborers and Blacks, and who ends up getting screwed? It’s the middle class. They’re the ones who always foot the bills for these things. So, I do see middle class people as right in their fear of any kind of discussion of these kinds of egalitarian schemes: redistribution, minority uplift, and things like that.
RS: California is run by a coalition of basically three groups: the very wealthy, the public employee unions, and the underclass, and they run the California Democratic Party. So, the key is to break up the alliance between the very poor and the very rich. The underclass just basically despises the rich.
GJ: Yeah, they despise the rich, but the fact of the matter is that they generally do not have leaders who will lead them to confront the rich. I remember when I lived in Atlanta there was this Negro minister and businessman, the Reverend Hosea Williams, and Hosea Williams was just one of these vaguely ridiculous, Southern Black, poverty pimp, Civil Rights politicians. But Hosea Williams was a cut above a lot of the others, and one of the things he said about himself was that he actually believed in the interests of Blacks, whereas he believed that people like Coretta Scott King and Jesse Jackson and people like that had basically sold out to the ultra-rich and to the Jews. He actually referred to himself as a “nigger’s nigger” whereas he said that Coretta Scott King was a “Jew’s nigger.” Now, that’s pretty salty language, but that’s the way a lot of minorities see things. But there are very, very few of them that will actually stand up and occupy a leadership role within their community that could galvanize them against the plutocracy.
Instead, anybody who looks like they have the potential to rise in their community is co-opted very quickly. Look at Barack Obama. There were people who spotted him as an up-and-coming potential person and mentored him, and basically a lot of them were Jews. A lot of them were Left-wing Jews who looked at Obama, saw this up-and-coming Black, and they stepped in and played this mentoring role. They are constantly looking for talent in different communities that they can mentor and harmonize with their interests, and that’s the way that the plutocracy works.
RS: Yeah, you saw that with Cesar Chavez, who was against the big corporate agriculture, and now the so-called “Chicano” movement is aligned with corporate agriculture.
GJ: Oh yeah, of course. They’re keeping corporate agriculture rich by being so poor, right? Exactly.
RS: I would say those corporate farms should be shut down and sold to people who want to start up small family farms.
GJ: I wouldn’t even say sell them. I’d just say homestead them out like we did in the past.
RS: Yeah. I don’t mean sell them and give them the revenue. You could sell them and the revenue could go back to the public and be invested.
As you know, I do a TV show up in the Central Valley and I drive through that area. That agriculture industry generates billions or even trillions of dollars. That whole area is one of the poorest areas in the whole country.
GJ: Almost definitely. It’s horrific. A generation or two ago it was a prosperous area. It was kind of boring. San Franciscans would make jokes about Fresno being kind of dull. But the fact of the matter is that there was a large White middle class in that area, and the White middle class is gone in a lot of these towns; property values are very, very low because of the massive number of mestizos who live there now; crime and corruption is terrible; poverty is terrible. It really is becoming a kind of Third World plantation economy, and that is one of the things you have to guard against.
Again, small farms with independent farmers = a prosperous, middle class society. But what you get with the concentration of property is you get the über-rich plantation, which is worked by landless peasants.
RS: I know a lot of people who call themselves neo-Confederates, but that’s one of the reasons I’m not a big fan of the Confederacy because it was a feudalist system like that.
GJ: Calling it feudal is an underserved compliment, because on feudal estates the lords actually had obligations to their tenants. They were not chattel slaves. Even serfs in Russia had more rights than chattel slaves. What it was — and this is the truth with America and Anglo-American capitalism as a whole — is nothing but a cut-throat, inhuman form of capitalism where the people who got really, really rich from it cashed in all of their blood money and bought houses that looked like the estates of the European aristocrats, but it was only aristocratic on the surface because there was none of the morality that goes along with genuine feudal aristocratic society. It was just the manners and the accoutrements. It was the furniture, it was the airs that these people put on, but they had absolutely no mutual feudal moral obligations.
Slavery is just capitalism at its worst, and that’s why I can’t really pine for the South either. If I lived in the South, frankly I would have been a White populist revolutionary who would be burning down the big houses.
RS: Yeah, I heard a video of Tom Metzger speaking to a group of Black Nationalists and he said that if he was alive back then he would have been pointing a cannon at the plantation owners.
GJ: I’ve always liked Tom Metzger. I hadn’t heard that one, but he’s a man after my own heart. One of the best things Tom Metzger ever said, which I thought was really, really funny but profound, was basically directed at the kind of White Nationalist types who think, “Well, we should just surrender some of our territory to the invaders.” And Tom Metzger said, “I support the idea of reuniting Baja California with Alta California. We need to reunite Baja California and drive out all the Mexicans.” I thought, “Yeah!” OK, it’s not a serious proposal, but he’s making a point. The mestizo nationalists are talking about basically driving White people out of power and just physically out of large parts of this country and taking it over, and what’s the most radical position in opposition to that? “Well, we’ll just cede some of this territory to you.” It’s appalling. That’s the most radical position, whereas a really radical position would be instead of having this idea that “what’s yours is yours and what’s ours is negotiable . . .”
RS: Yeah, and you have a lot of those Northwest migration people who talk about a country in the Northwest. I think California is one of the most remarkable places in the world, and they’re telling people to just leave California and abandon it.
GJ: Yeah, and I think that’s really too bad. California is really worth fighting for. That’s why I love California. It’s just too nice to give up.
But yeah, instead of having this attitude that “what’s theirs is theirs and what’s ours is negotiable,” we need to have the exact opposite attitude towards the Mexicans. It’s like, “Folks, we’re going to keep this country of ours, and if you’re really quiet and good and all go home, we won’t take a few slices out of Mexico for our growing population.” That would be really radical. That would go beyond even the position that I think I would legitimately defend. But it makes it clear just how defensive a posture White Americans are in when even the most radical ones are just basically saying to the aliens, “OK, let’s just make a deal: you can take part of our country from us.”
I like Metzger because he has a fighting spirit, and when he made that proposal that really, really shows how defensive we are, and it’s a position of weakness that we have cast ourselves into and that we are arguing from. We have to psychologically emancipate ourselves from that position of weakness, or we are going to be weak, and we’re going to lose everything.
RS: We kind of went off on a little bit of a tangent, and that’s OK, but I think before we wrap it up let’s get to the topic of social credit.
You have that article “Money for Nothing” and you can talk a little bit about that and your correspondence with Dick Eastman, who’s a big advocate of social credit.
GJ: Well, thanks for mentioning that. There are a few articles that I’ve written on economic topics that I really want to recommend to people who haven’t read those articles, because I’m rather proud of them. These are all at the Counter-Currents website: counter (hyphen) currents.com.
One is called “The End of Globalization,” which simply makes the point that if you’re serious about opposing globalization then the natural boundary where globalization stops is the nation and therefore nationalism is the only really viable alternative to globalization.
Another article I wrote is “Some Thoughts on Debt Repudiation,” which I think has to be a feature of setting up any new system.
RS: About a third of our debt is to China, but most of it is actually to private bankers.
GJ: Yeah, and I think they can go without a new pair of shoes. My attitude is we’ll just say to the Chinese, “Look, we’re not going to pay you this, but all the capitalists who built companies, built factories in your country? You can keep those for domestic production.”
RS: Yeah, let the Chinese confiscate the property of the Western factories in their country.
GJ: Exactly. And we’ll just build new factories in our country for domestic production, and they can produce their cheap crap with lead paint for domestic consumption over there. I think that would be great.
So, the debt repudiation piece is another one, and the third one I want to recommend is called “Money for Nothing,” and that’s basically my attempt, in as naïve a tone as possible, to lay out the best ideas in the whole social credit theory that’s associated with Clifford Hugh Douglas, Alfred Richard Orage, and Ezra Pound. I really recommend that, and I was just really flattered, just profoundly flattered, when Dick Eastman, who knows a hell of a lot more about social credit than I do, sent me a long email where he basically cut and pasted my entire article and went through it and commented on it line by line. I really benefited from that, and I feel like, “Yeah, my take on this was substantially correct,” and I had the testimony of a guy who knows a lot more about social credit than I do. So, anyway, I do recommend that piece. It’s a starting point.
I really do want to write more about this in the future, but I’m just so thinly spread. I’ve got so many different projects. I might just take a month in the Fall, maybe the month of October, and just sit down and grind out several more social credit pieces, because I’ve always been pretty good at explaining difficult ideas. I use to teach Heidegger, and I used to teach Kant. You know, if I can teach Heidegger, and I can teach Kant to undergraduates, then I can teach social credit to the world at large. There are certain ideas at the core of social credit that are actually kind of difficult, and I think that I’ve found ways of making them easy for me to understand and I think easy for the rest of the world.
But yeah, so I don’t want to go into that so much right now. I’ll just issue that sort of promissory note that there’s more to come at Counter-Currents on social credit, and if there are social credit writers who are comfortable associating with people like me at Counter-Currents and want to write for us and review books or try to popularize some of these ideas I would be really, really eager to hear from you. So, if you’re out there contact me. I want to hear more from the social credit people.
RS: Alright, Greg. Thanks for being on The Stark Truth.
GJ: Well, thank you, Robert. I really, really enjoyed this, and so I look forward to our next conversation.
The Populist Moment, Chapter 7:
Money & the Right
The Populist Moment, Chapter 6:
Liberalism & Morality
Remembering Henry Williamson (December 1, 1895-August 13, 1977)
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 507 The Best Month Ever on The Writers’ Bloc with Anthony Bavaria
Black Friday Special
It’s Time to STOP Shopping for Christmas
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 506 The Writers’ Bloc with Jim Goad on J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy
Counter-Currents Radio Podcast No. 505 Mark Weber on the Perils of Empire
Remembering P. R. Stephensen (November 20, 1901-May 28, 1965)