The Bitter Quest

“Standing on your own two feet means standing knee-deep in muck.”

The quote is from Maxim Gorky, the most venerated Soviet writer. We all hated him because we were endlessly persecuted with the profound revolutionary impact of his class-conscious literature. Any writer you were taught in a Soviet school was a writer you hated. I’m grateful for the Soviet censorship because it prevented Soviet literature teachers to spoil most of the world literature for me.

And then something really funny happened. There’s this mega famous mystery writer in Russia. She’s the Russian Ruth Rendell or Michael Connelly. All of a sudden, she published an endless three-volume novel that’s 60% detailed, in-depth literary analysis of the Soviet classic’s novels and plays. And she did it so well that now thousands of people are downloading Gorky’s collected works from online libraries.

And they turned out to be kind of great. Not in the least Soviet, especially since he wrote most of his stuff before the revolution. So I’m now going to pellet everybody with quotes.

Gorky is a hardcore naturalist. Like Zola but a lot harsher. Zola is a fluffy kitten compared to him.

“I’m like an empty suitcase that was sent on the journey of life by mistake without any of the stuff needed for the trip.”

Links of the Day

Recession fears are spreading among investors at a time when valuations across major assets are looking dangerously stretched following years of monetary stimulus, the latest Bank of America Corp. survey shows. About a third of asset managers polled believe a global recession is likely in the next 12 months, the highest probability since 2011 — when Europe was engulfed by a sovereign-debt crisis.”

More here.

The US yield curve, considered by investors to be a predictor of a recession, on Monday flattened to levels not seen since before the financial crisis.”

But hey, we are spending like the recession is already here:

The U.S. fiscal deficit has already exceeded the full-year figure for last year, as spending growth outpaces revenue. The gap grew to $866.8 billion in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, up 27% from the same period a year earlier, the Treasury Department said in its monthly budget report on Monday. That’s wider than last fiscal year’s shortfall of $779 billion — which was the largest federal deficit since 2012.

Imagine what we’ll need to spend once the recession hits.

And now think about all the candidates who are promising to spend like there’ll never be a recession. Of course, they are all lying to get elected. That’s what politicians do. But we are not under contract to believe them, are we?

Go on the tightest budget you can, save, set a hard savings goal every month, get as ready as you can.

Clear-eyed Libertarianism

Do read Izgad, though, folks. This is the most clear-eyed, honest and non-fanatical explanation for how one becomes a libertarian that I have ever seen:

I made my peace with the fact that, whether I liked it or not, the left would dominate our society and our politics (even when Republicans won elections). If it was going to be my opponents and people that did not share my values who were going to dominate society, then my only chance of survival would be to make sure that political power was limited as to stop anyone from actually being able to interfere with my decidedly illiberal life-style.

I see these kookazoids who mob people out of existence for some inane speech crime, and I don’t blame Izgad for thinking that no government is better than the government they control.