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Friday, February 21, 2020

Are They Burning Dead Bodies In Wuhan, China. To Hide the Inadvertent Release of a Mortal Nerve Toxin? - By Bill Sardi


A marginally credible website (UFO Spotlight) has over a half-million views for its chilling OMG report that states the true magnitude of China’s coronavirus outbreak, when unmasked, is unfathomable.  (This author is not posting the exact URL over concern for the spread of more misinformation.)
Said to originate from an interview of a Chinese intelligence officer, who says he is in grave danger, because this infectious disease outbreak is being used to consolidate political power and control over their population and that sources inside the U.S.A. are complicit with this hidden agenda, namely to manipulate and control thinking patterns of its citizens and strike a terrifying level of fear that gets the masses to do what their overseers demand.
The story says there is no coronavirus.  That was all made up to cover for the horror that resulted from a toxin that was mistakenly released.  This report talks of 21 vials of some sort of transmissible and invisible aerosolized nerve agent that was in the process of being handed off from Chinese to CIA-western security agents when it was dropped at an open market and began to spread.
The report says China bought a weaponized Wuhan virus from the U.S. to cover for release of the nerve toxin.   The toxin was intended to induce mental decline and reduction of higher thinking processes.  It ended up causing panic attacks with rapid deterioration of entire systems in the body, with arteries melting and tissue disintegration that caused its sufferers to beg to be put to death.  Fatality rate is 100% says this 1st-person report.
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An eerie video is shown of a fleet of disinfection trucks that release a foggy mist, combing through the streets of Wuhan at night.  Even the very existence of these trucks is very fear-evoking.  Only a special mask protects against it, says the report.  Newly constructed hospitals, says this Chinese military officer, are just morgues. (Is your hair standing straight up now?)
Here is the truth:
There ARE millions of dead bodies being incinerated in or near Wuhan, China, the epicenter of the current coronavirus epidemic.
As evidence is the smoky air that is seen in Wuhan.  Called the “coronavirus death smog,” self-proclaimed whistle blowers claim the sulfur dioxide smoke, commonly seen in aerial photos of the city of Wuhan, emanates from incinerators and serve as evidence of mass cremations.  And there are sulfur dioxide maps to prove it.
Sulfur dioxide is a smelly gas (like burnt matches) released naturally in the atmosphere, usually from crude oil burning in power plants or other factories.
Months before the coronavirus outbreak there were protests in Wuhan over installation of a waste incineration plant.  Were Wuhan residents wary of an incinerator that could be used to hide the dead bodies in a mass culling of the population?
It is reported there are 84 incinerators in funeral homes in Wuhan that have a capacity to perform over 2000 cremations in a day and that they are working around the clock in recent weeks.
Radio Free Asia news report says there are ~70,000 infections in Wuhan, but an unconfirmed source in China says there are over 500,000 infections.  With a 2% mortality rate, that would result in more than 10,000 deaths, not the ~2000 widely reported.  While this is speculation, the numbers can’t be confirmed by digging up graves; incinerated bodies are ash.
Most human populations have no pre-existing antibodies against this newly mutated coronavirus, save for the few who have been infected and developed their own antibodies naturally, without a vaccine (there is no approved vaccine).  So, fear strikes deep and fast around the world with the prospect of a massive die off of human populations looming in the back of people’s minds.  The world’s masses could be forced to comply with their overseers to spare themselves such horror.
If this mutated coronavirus, or the inadvertently release toxin have killed millions (half of the population in Wuhan, China, is missing, said to have fled the city once quarantines were announced).  Did mass numbers of missing humans die from mutated coronaviral infection and/or the nerve toxin with a resultant government ruse to hide what would be the greatest loss to human life since the Black Plague?
But hold up.  The news reports are sensationalist, used to draw web traffic from all over the globe.
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The millions of dead bodies being incinerated are pigs, not humans.
Another viral outbreak, the African Swine Fever, has been devastating swine herds in China and Europe since 2018, wiping out roughly one-quarter of the world’s pigs.  The African Swine Fever is highly contagious and kills off pig herds rapidly, but does not threaten human populations.  China used to have 440 million pigs, a number that has been cut in half.  China’s hog business has reportedly sustained $1 trillion of losses since August 2018.
African Swine Fever has spurred along an effort to develop a vaccine.  More disconcerting, there are news reports of criminal gangs in China spreading African Swine Fever virus to force farmers to sell pigs cheaply.
But the satellite images showing sulfur dioxide (SO2) clusters in the Wuhan area represent commonly high SO2 levels.  The satellite data emanates from forecasts and probabilities and may be error-prone says a report in EURONEWS.
If anything is being incinerated in masse, it is Swine Fever-infected pigs.
But a question remains: is the COVID-19 coronavirus really a virus?  Or is it some other pathogen?  That will be the subject of my next report.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Of Two Minds - The World Is Awash in Oil, False Assurances, Magical Thinking and Complacency as Global Demand Careens Toward a Cliff


This collapse of price will manifest in all sorts of markets that are based on debt-funded purchases of desires rather than a warily prudent priority on needs.
Since markets are supposed to discover the price of excesses and scarcities, it's a mystery why everything that is in oversupply is still grossly overpriced as global demand slides off a cliff: oil, semiconductors, Uber rides, AirBNB listings and many other risk-on / global growth stories are still priced as if pre-Covid-19 demand was still guaranteed.
Punters are still buying semiconductor stocks based on out-of-touch projections that are the equivalent to counting the number of fairies on the head of a pin, ignoring the fundamental reality that very few people actually need a new mobile phone, vehicle, laptop, refrigerator, etc.
It boils down to confidence and certainty. People pursue what they desire but don't need when they're brimming with confidence in the future, bolstered by an animal-spirits euphoria that their income and wealth will continue rising--a sense of certainty anchored by a belief that their economic world is essentially without risk.
When confidence dissipates and is replaced by fear and uncertainty, desireslose their luster and needs take precedence. When you're afraid of getting a deadly virus or losing your livelihood, status symbols and frivolous spending no longer top the agenda.
Yet the entire risk-on / global growth story is based entirely on desires not needs. The vast majority of demand isn't for a pressing need, it's for euphoric aspirational consumption, spending intended to make the buyer larger than they really are, in their own self-image and in the image they present to the world in the brands they display, the cafes they dine in, etc. etc.
Since the world is awash in false assurances, magical thinking and complacency, we might ask: what's the market value of these disconnected-from-reality fantasies? There's no pricing mechanism for such intangibles, of course, but should counting the number of fairies on the head of a pin give way to a new appreciation of risk and a pervasive awareness of uncertainty, then global demand will fall off a cliff as desires are set aside indefinitely.
In a world of bogus projections and rigged statistics, plunging demand for oil is one of the few reality-based measures available. One of the games being played is whenever a reality-based measure is discovered--electricity consumption, satellite images of empty parking lots, etc.--authorities immediately limit access to the measures and/or unleash a tsunami of counter-narratives to discredit the real-world evidence that global demand is cratering.
Since oil is the master resource for the industrialized, interconnected global economy, it's tough to argue that declining consumption of oil doesn't matter.
When demand craters, producers must restrict supply or price will crater, too. The problem with oil and everything else that's now in over-supply / over-production is that producers can't survive either a sustained drop in price or a sustained drop in production. Since both are equally fatal, producers have every incentive to keep producing and hope that somebody else lowers their production to keep prices high.
Alas, no producer is willing to fall on their sword to keep prices unnaturally elevated. And so excess production continues apace until price collapses.
This collapse of price will manifest in all sorts of markets that are based on debt-funded purchases of desires rather than a warily prudent priority on needs.
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Occam’s Butter Knife - Taki's Magazine - Steve Sailer (On racial differences)


In contrast to Angela Saini’s acclaimed but dismal 2019 work of science denialism, Superior: The Return of Race Science, Adam Rutherford’s 2020 book How to Argue With a Racist: History, Science, Race and Reality benefits from Rutherford’s lively prose style. The British science writer likes to illustrate his arguments with interesting examples, a stratagem that wouldn’t seem too much to ask of an author, but which is increasingly difficult to find these days as conventional wisdom (which Rutherford labors hard to embody) becomes ever more anti-empirical.
Despite blustering on his Twitter bio, “Back off man, I’m a scientist,” Rutherford appears to have largely transitioned from being a geneticist to being a science pundit in the mode of Neil deGrasse Tyson and Richard Dawkins. But that’s not a dishonorable career path.
And Rutherford is adept at writing. For example, Rutherford’s book is quite a bit more interesting than a snooze-worthy essay last year, “Race, genetics and pseudoscience: an explainer,” that he coauthored with three academics.
His coauthors were then crushed humiliatingly in Twitter debates by sports fans much more knowledgeable about the pervasive racial patterns in sports than they are. But Rutherford, a rugby enthusiast, at least knows a fair amount about athletics, so he puts up a more cunning fight on this topic in his own book because he’s not being dragged down by his colleagues’ ignorance.
In fact, I find Rutherford’s writing rather like mine in form. Of course, the difference is that I point out facts in order to increase knowledge, while Rutherford is trying to decrease knowledge by denying realities.
Rutherford starts off his chapter on sports, “Black Power,” by forthrightly admitting of Allan Wells’ gold medal in the 1980 Olympic 100-meter dash:
Not only was this the last time a white man won the Olympic 100 meters, it was the last time that white men competed in the final….
Many pages later he delivers his big argument pooh-poohing this extraordinary racial gap in the 100-meter dash:
If people of West African ancestry have a genetic advantage, why are there few West African sprinters…?
But it turns out there are quite a few very fast West African sprinters, although no superstars yet of the magnitude of Usain Bolt or Carl Lewis. Of the 143 men in history who have run 100 meters in under 10.00 seconds flat, 134 have been of at least half sub-Saharan descent. Twelve have been Nigerian-born (three running under the colors of richer countries, including Francis Obikwelu, the 2004 silver medalist for Portugal). That makes Nigeria the No. 3 sprinting country in the world after the U.S. (57) and Jamaica (19). There are also two Ghanaians and two from Ivory Coast who have broken the ten-second barrier.
Besides the sixteen West Africans, there have also been eight southern Africans (although one identifies as a Cape Coloured, a recent racial group that has emerged over the past few centuries from the admixture of whites, blacks, Bushmen, and Malays).
So men born in sub-Saharan Africa make up one-sixth of all those who have run 100 meters in under ten seconds.
But why don’t they make up five-sixths? Because, as Francis Galton noted, nurture matters as well as nature. Apparently, Africans don’t flourish in highly African countries as well as they do in countries under more white influence.
“Lately, there have been interesting discoveries about the deep history of current populations, but few if any shockers about today’s races.”
One of Rutherford’s strategies is to toss out facts, then argue that their seeming randomness undermines those evil racists’ simplistic ideas: Instead, it’s all very complicated. Thus he sums up his section on race in team sports:
None of the numbers makes a great deal of sense if biological race is your guiding principle, and patterns in relation to ethnicity are terribly inconsistent both between sports and within them.
Yet, a careful, informed reader will notice how frequently his own factoids backfire on him. For example:
In top flight American football, the proportion of black players is around 70 percent, but like rugby, that is a game where there are highly specialized positions with different skills and physical attributes….
And the running velocity requirements versus technical expertise demands of positions correlate closely with the race of the players. For example, all the starting cornerbacks in the NFL are black, but none of the placekickers are.
But in the Center position within the linemen, whites outnumber blacks 4:1. Why? We don’t know, but it does not appear to have anything to do with genetics.
Well, actually, it does. Centers, being in the center of the line, need the least foot speed of any linemen. Centers also need good brains because they are in charge of telling their fellow offensive linemen what to do. Journalist Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down, wrote a 2004 article in The Atlantic titled:
A Beautiful Mind: As the Philadelphia Eagles’ Hank Fraley demonstrates, the behemoth who snaps the ball must also be one of the most mentally nimble players on the field
According to the late sportswriter Paul D. Zimmerman, in 1984 centers had the second-highest average IQ scores (108) on the Wonderlic test that the NFL makes all draft prospects take. (The lowest scores are for running backs.)
Rutherford goes on:
In Major League Baseball—a sport which requires sprinting and powerful throwing and hitting—African Americans make up less than 10 percent of players.
Yet in baseball, the same pattern of African-Americans being found at positions where foot speed is necessary is found. Black Americans are about ten times as likely to be outfielders as pitchers or catchers, two highly technical positions that don’t demand any running on defense.
Back when baseball was segregated before 1947, the Negro League had to supply its own pitchers and catchers, so the Jackie Robinson Era featured outstandingly skilled black pitchers and catchers such as Satchel Paige and Roy Campanella. But as black youths have lost interest in baseball in favor of football and basketball, blacks have declined faster as pitchers and catchers, two positions where intensive coaching is crucial, than as outfielders, where natural skill is relatively more important.
As my longtime readers know, I can go on like this roughly forever pointing out subtle racial patterns in sports. Therefore I’ll leave off at this point and return to the larger questions raised by Rutherford’s book.
Rutherford’s contradictory goals of standing loyally by his colleagues who subscribe to today’s Race Does Not Exist dogma but simultaneously not letting himself get easily dunked on by randos on Twitter lead him into immediate logical trouble on page one of his new book. He and his friends had asserted last year:
Research in the 20th century found that the crude categorizations used colloquially (black, white, East Asian etc.) were not reflected in actual patterns of genetic variation….
The truth is closer to the opposite: The immense advances in 21st-century genomics have largely validated 20th-century colloquialisms like black, white, East Asian, etc.
Note that we don’t have a lot of new population groupings of living humans discovered only by the latest DNA technology. It’s hard to notice dogs that don’t bark, so let me belabor this point a bit. You don’t see Harvard geneticist David Reich announcing that, say, unbeknownst to all previous observers, it turns out that the closest living relations to Samoans are actually Mohawks and Basques, while Tongans are most closely linked to Inuit, Samaritans, and Khoisan.
Instead, what is found over and over is that the old anthropologists going all the way back to Linnaeus and Blumenbach in the 18th century tended to arrive at fairly reasonable frameworks for how the human races’ ancestral diversity could be conceptually organized. Lately, there have been interesting discoveries about the deep history of current populations, but few if any shockers about today’s races.
Why? Because what we can see is the product of the genes we can’t see. So the arrival of genome sequencing primarily just confirmed what sharp-eyed observers had already noticed about who is related to whom.
Of course, there remain in population genetics, as in all sciences, the inevitable lumper vs. splittercontroversies, just as the Environmental Protection Agency’s biologists grapple with the difficult question of whether wolves are a separate species from dogs and coyotes for purposes of the Endangered Species Act. And if wolves in general are a separate species, then are “red wolves” their own distinct species or subspecies worthy of protection or merely hybrids of wolves and coyotes?
But the EPA never has to deal with any surprises in which DNA proves wolves are actually more related to cats than to dogs. Analogously, Reich hasn’t found much about the world’s current races that would have stunned L.L. Cavalli-Sforza in the 1990s or Carleton Coon in the 1960s.
Likewise, the fact that people often disagree on what to name various racial groups no more discredits the concept of race than the fact that Americans can’t agree on whether to call our biggest cat a cougar, a panther, a painter, a mountain lion, or a puma means that the Endangered Species Act shouldn’t apply to it.
Moreover, we can’t expect observers to conclusively agree upon how many races there are, just as humans can’t agree upon how many different extended families they personally belong to.
After all the number crunching of DNA in this century, what woke science writers such as Rutherford deride as “traditional and colloquial folk taxonomies of race,” such as that blacks and East Asians are different racial groups, have wound up being vindicated. In fact, How to Argue With a Racist demonstrates that nobody can write a book that claims to debunk race without using these extraordinarily useful racial terms. Hence, poor Rutherford has to announce on his page one:
I will be using words such as “black” and “East Asian” while simultaneously acknowledging that they are poor scientific designations for the immense diversity within these billions of people. It is an irony that we roughly know what these descriptors mean colloquially while they are potentially incoherent in terms of scientific taxonomy.
It is an irony indeed. In fact, Occam’s Razor would suggest that the reason common terms for major races are so essential to Rutherford in writing his book is because they actually exist.
And buried in a long paragraph on page 55, Rutherford gets around to grudgingly admitting, en passant, that what the most sophisticated race realists believe is true is…well, true:
The genetic differences between us, small though they are, account for much, but not all, of the physical variation we can see or assess. The diaspora from Africa around 70,000 years ago and continual migration and mixing since, means that we can see that there is structure within the genomes that underlies our basic biology. Very broadly, that structure corresponds with land masses, but within those groups there is huge variation, and at the edges and within these groups, there is continuity of variation.
In other words, the great land masses of Earth, usually referred to as continents, tend to be home to physically and genetically distinguishable ancestral groups. And our eyes, our genealogical histories, and our DNA scans can further distinguish smaller racial groups within each continental-scale race. For example, Blackfoot Indians near the Canadian border tend to be quite tall, while Guatemalan Indians tend to be quite short.
Modern DNA tests, much like your lying eyes, can often locate with some degree of precision where within a continent your ancestors long lived.
But, just as a glass is both part full and part empty simultaneously, observers will also inevitably disagree over whether to call the findings of physical anthropology and population genetics precise or fuzzy.
Why? Because both are true.
Moreover, as Rutherford rightly notes, on the land borders of the great expanses, continental-scale races tend to bleed into each other. For example, the indigenous people of Western Eurasia are of the Caucasian race, while the natives of Eastern Eurasia are of the Mongolian race, but in the middle are visibly hybrid populations like the oppressed Uyghurs of Xinjiang. Similarly, while black sub-Saharans and olive-skinned Caucasians native to North Africa are quite distinctive, each oasis across the Sahara tends to have a varying admixture of the two great races depending upon its latitude.
I would add, however, that some geographic barriers to gene flow were extremely formidable until fairly recent times. For instance, although we know that Vikings briefly sojourned in Canada about a thousand years ago, we’ve yet to find definitive genetic evidence that anybody alive today is descended from a man and woman who were born on opposite sides of the Atlantic before the 15th-century Age of Exploration.
It’s not impossible that, say, ancient Phoenician sailors in the Atlantic were blown by storms to the Americas where they found wives and left us living descendants. But nobody has found anything proving that. The closest thing to this is the puzzling recent find that a few tribes in the Amazon have a tiny percentage of their DNA reminiscent of remote Andaman Islanders in the Indian Ocean on the far side of the world.
Due to the 53-mile-wide Bering Strait, the Pacific Ocean was less impermeable than the Atlantic before Columbus, but the number of population exchanges between the Old World and New World was extremely limited.
In contrast, the tropical Indian Ocean was much less daunting to human migration and trade. In prehistoric times, Southeast Asians made it all the way to Madagascar off the coast of Africa.
But even in this vast region, disease and altitude limited how much one group could blend into the next. For example, the Himalayas create a quite sharp racial divide between East Asians and South Asians. East Asians, such as the famous Sherpa mountain climbers, actually live on both sides of Mt. Everest. But Tibetans in Nepal stopped penetrating deeply into South Asia because they dislike altitudes below about a mile of elevation. They are more susceptible to hot-weather diseases than are South Asians, who in turn are not adapted by evolution like the Tibetans are to thriving at high altitudes.
But after making the reluctant admissions quoted above, Rutherford feels compelled to end his paragraph with trumpet blasts of double-dumbed-down fealty to political correctness:
Of all the attempts over the centuries to place humans in distinct races, none succeeds. Genetics refuses to comply with these artificial and superficial categories…. Racial differences are skin deep.
Rutherford’s absolutism is obviously scientifically inappropriate for talking about human relatedness. In reality, when it comes to determining who is more related to whom—after all, the essence of race is who your relatives tend to be—it’s all relative.
In summary, Rutherford’s book shows that no matter how skilled an arguer you might be, it’s hard to win an argument in the long run when you’re wrong.

Why Governments Hate Secession - By Ryan McMaken

When the Soviet Union began its collapse in 1989, the world witnessed decentralization and secession on a scale not seen in Europe since the nineteenth century.
Over the next several years, puppet regimes and states-in-name-only broke away from Soviet domination and formed sovereign states. Some states which had completely ceased to exist—such as the Baltic states—declared independence and became states in the own right. In total, secession and decentralization in this era brought about more than twenty newly independent states.
This period served as an important reminder that human history is not, in fact, just a story of ever increasing state power and centralization.
Since then, however, the world has seen very few successful secession movements. A handful of new countries have come into being over the past twenty years, such as East Timor and South Sudan. But in spite of many efforts by separatists worldwide, there have been few changes to the lines on the maps.
This has certainly been the case in Europe and the Americas, where from Quebec to Scotland to Catalonia to Venice demands for independence have been met with trepidation and sometimes outright threats of violence from central governments.
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Countries Don’t Like to Get Smaller
This is partly due to the fact state organizations—that is, the people who control them—have little motivation to give up the benefits conferred by bigness. States that control larger geographic areas and larger populations have greater ability to project their power and get more power.
Greater size means a larger frontier that can act as a physical buffer between the state’s enemies and the state’s economic core. Physical size is also helpful in terms of pursuing self-sufficiency in both energy production and agriculture. More land means greater potential for resource extraction and acreage devoted to food production. From the state’s perspective, these activities are good things because they can be taxed or expropriated.
In terms of population size, state control over larger populations means more human workers to tax, and, potentially, more highly productive urban workers. Historically at least, larger populations also provided personnel for military uses.
Thus, states that control large territories and populations are able to directly control larger and more diverse economies within their borders. This means more tax revenue, which in turn means greater military capability. Naturally, state organizations are not inclined to abandon these advantages lightly, even when secession movement express a desire that they do so.
Why States Sometimes Get Smaller
Sometimes, though, states are forced to contract in size and scope. This usually happens when the cost of maintaining the status quo becomes higher than the cost of allowing a region to gain autonomy.
Historically, the cost of maintaining unity is raised through military means. Examples of this tactic being successfully employed include the cases of the United States, the Republic of Ireland, and some of the successor states of Yugoslavia.
But secession and decentralization have also often been achieved through bloodless or near bloodless means. This was the case in Iceland and throughout most of the post-Iron Curtain states.
Bloodless secession movements, however, only occur when the parent state is weakened by larger events beyond the secession movement itself. Iceland, for example, seceded in 1944, when World War II ensured that Denmark was in no position to object. The post-Soviet states seceded when the Soviet state had been rendered impotent by decades of economic decline and (in 1991) a failed coup. Nor is it a coincidence that India gained independence from the United Kingdom in the years immediately following World War II. It is likely the UK could have held on to India through military means indefinitely, but this would have come at a very high cost to the British economy and standard of living.1
It is possible to envision largely “amicable” separations. The model for this is the separation of Canada, Australia, and New Zealand from the the United Kingdom. But even in these cases, British control over these Commonwealth states’ foreign policy was not totally abandoned until after World War II, when the British state had been weakened by depression and war. Moreover, the British state assumed that these newly independent states would remain highly reliable geopolitical and economic allies indefinitely. Thus, the geopolitical cost of separation was perceived to be low.
Mega-States Are the Ideal State
In cases where the seceding state is perceived to have differing cultural, economic, or geopolitical interests—which is true of the overwhelming majority of cases—the parent state is, all else being equal, likely to meet demands for secession with much hostility.
Although liberal ideology has diminished the perception among much of the world’s population that bigger is better, most government agents—who are by nature decidedly illiberal—see things differently. For them, the ideal state is most certainly a large state.
Those who delight in the generous application of state violence have noticed that it is not a coincidence the world’s most powerful states—e.g., the US, Russia, China—are those that control large populations, large economic centers, and large geographic areas with sizable frontiers. The combination of these three factors in various configuration ensures that existential threats to the regime are few and far between. Russia’s relatively small economy—only a fraction of the size of Germany’s economy—is mitigated by its enormous geographical frontiers. Its economy is nonetheless large enough to maintain a nuclear arsenal. China’s per capita wealth is quite small, but Chinese territory and the sheer size of its overall economy ensures protection from foreign attack. The US’s enormous economy and its huge ocean frontiers render it essentially immune to all existential threats other than large-scale nuclear war.
Large states such as these are limited only by the defensive capabilities of other states, and by the threat of domestic unrest and resistance. As Ludwig von Mises noted in Liberalism, states can take only as much power as their populations are willing to give it. There are limits to the public’s generosity.
Totalitarian States Require Bigness
This relationship between bigness and state power has been illustrated in the fact totalitarian states are virtually always large states.
In her book The Origins of Totalitarianism, Hannah Arendt examines a number of nontotalitarian dictatorships that sprang up in Europe before the Second World War. These included (among others) the Baltic states, Hungary, Portugal, and Romania. In many of these cases, Arendt contends the regimes attempted to turn themselves into totalitarian regimes, but failed. This was largely due to their lack of size:
Although [totalitarian ideology] had served well enough to organize the masses until the movement seized power, the absolute size of the country then forced the would-be totalitarian ruler of masses into the more familiar patterns of class or party dictatorship. The truth is that these countries simply did not control enough human material to allow for total domination and its inherent great losses in population. Without much hope for the conquest of more heavily populated territories, the tyrants in these small countries were forced into a certain old-fashioned moderation lest they lose whatever people they had to rule. This is also why Nazism, up to the outbreak of the war and its expansion over Europe, lagged so far behind its Russian counterpart in consistency and ruthlessness; even the German people were not numerous enough to allow for the full development of this newest form of government. Only if Germany had won the war would she have known a fully developed totalitarian rulership.
Arendt was not an economist, but had she been one, she might have noted that the necessity of size is so central to totalitarian regimes because they are so economically inefficient. Contrary to promises of machine-like efficiency made by advocates of ever more powerful states, totalitarian states are absurdly wasteful both in terms of capital and human life. The same is true—to varying extents—for all regimes. But as the most centrally-planned ones—whether totalitarian or not—quickly become economic basket cases, large size is necessary. A smaller state would quickly exhaust its capital and its population, and the regime would collapse. Size can provide the appearance of sustainability for longer.
Cultural factors cannot be ignored, however. Arendt concedes this process of collapse can be drawn out longer in societies that are more ideologically tolerant of it:
Conversely, the chances for totalitarian rule are frighteningly good in the lands of traditional Oriental despotism, in India and China…
That region’s relative tolerance for despotism is enabled by local ideologies that foster a “feeling of superfluousness,” which according to Arendt “has been prevalent for centuries in the contempt for the value of human life.”
Continued Movement toward Smaller States
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Fortunately for humanity, the trend in the world today is toward smaller states. As numerous scholars have noted, the average number of states in the world is larger now than at any other time in recent centuries. Moreover, the rise of global trade has lessened the benefits of imperialism and expanding a state’s frontiers and population. As Mises observed, freedom in trade negates the need for a state to acquire more of the world’s wealth through militaristic or imperialistic methods. States often still seek economic “self-sufficiency,” but the cost of this is so high, and the benefits of open trade so enticing, that more states are willing to accept trade as a substitute for “lebensraum.” This can already be observed, as globalization has allowed small states to thrive, and small states have even acted to force greater discipline on large states through tax competition.
There are certainly exceptions to this. Some small states, such as North Korea, have maintained an economically isolationist and totalitarian stance—fueled both by internal paranoia and by real perennial threats issued by its enemies (especially the US), in the case of the latter. For the most part, however, the spread of markets (and promarket ideology) has raised the opportunity cost of militaristic expansion from the state’s perspective. If offered the chance to expand at low cost, though, virtually all regimes would take the opportunity in a heartbeat. And this is why we will likely continue to see regimes enthusiastically resist secession within their own borders. States don’t have many opportunities to expand their territories and populations. So they’re not about to sign off on secession lightly. Nevertheless, new economic realities, wars, and demographic shifts may certainly affect the equation in coming years. And then we may again see a redrawing of maps of a sort not seen since the end of the Cold War.
Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
Ryan W. McMaken is the editor of Mises Daily and The Austrian. Send him mail.