Saturday, August 22, 2015

Battleship Potemkin and the #Occupy Movement

The old saying goes: "He who forgets the past is condemned to repeat it." I can't recall who said it first, but it looks like the Sputnik generation dropped the ball on teaching world history.

My parents grew up during the Cold War and were taught abut the Evil Red Threat of Communism. They were taught to "Duck and Cover" in the event of a nuclear strike by the Soviet Union.

Since I never learned about the Russian Revolution in high school history class, I imagine my parents were taught the basic historical information, but barely broached WHY there was a Communist revolution in the first place.

As I watched the way police were treating peaceful protesters I was reminded of a scene from Battleship Potempkin where a peaceful gathering was brutally crushed by the military.

The resemblance was uncanny, enraging and terrifying. The sentiment portrayed by Sergej Eisenstein in the film is stunningly similar to what everyone seems to be feeling today, especially supporters of Bernie Sanders. #FeelTheBern

I compiled a montage of the Odessa Steps sequence with present day video of protesters in the #Occupy movement here:

If that link does not work, here's a more direct link:

I won't put my version on YouTube due to its known history of censorship.

A summary history of the mutiny aboard the Potemkin
The full feature length film "Battleship Potemkin"

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Marketplace Oddities?

I look at Google Finance from time to time and was curious about the Sector Summary because Goldman Sachs is buying up G.E. Capital's Deposits. You should be able to click on the link here to see it more clearly. It looked kind of strange to me. Are those little downward spikes in the afternoon 'Flash Crashes?'

Marketwatch reported that the Nasdaw, S&P 500 Survive a Bearish Shot Across the Bow,

From Yesterday, Real Money's The Trader Daily reported it was "Hammer Time for S&P 500 Futures"

You will never guess what exploded in China yesterday. My theory is that older models are rotated off of U.S. lots to make it look like U.S. sales are brisk. I wonder if Goldman Sachs knows what's really going on. The economy is doing just fine, right?

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Symptoms vs Causes, Treatments vs Cures

In history class I never learned what the symptoms were, of the Roman Empire's demise, I think the ruling class of Rome couldn't see it coming.

I wonder if a symptom might be declining participation by the masses, in the "Bread and Circuses" of their day. Somehow the appeal of distraction was finally subsumed by the suffering it was meant to suppress.

In later centuries a similar fate befell the aristocracies of China, Russia, France among others. The belief that class status and authority is a supernatural endowment, evaporates in the heat of suffering.

Immune from and oblivious to the suffering to the very end, were such people as King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette; Tsar Nicholas and Alexandra; Chiang Kai-shek and many colonial rulers around the world.

Technological achievement may have slowed down the cycle of cultural upheaval, but the only the symptoms are treated, and the vaccine of a few extra nickles and dimes from time-to-time is just not doing it anymore. Living expenses, college expenses, transportation expenses, are all going up despite stagnating wages.

The causes are still with us, and they are insulated within their vaults, ivory towers, hillside mansions, mountain retreats and private islands.