Diogenes was a controversial figure. His father minted coins for a living, and when Diogenes took to debasement of currency, he was banished from Sinope. After being exiled, he moved to Athens and criticized many cultural conventions of the city. Diogenes modelled himself on the example of Heracles. He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory. He used his simple lifestyle and behaviour to criticize the social values and institutions of what he saw as a corrupt or at least confused society. In a highly non-traditional fashion, he had a reputation of sleeping and eating wherever he chose and took to toughening himself against nature. He declared himself a cosmopolitan and a citizen of the world rather than claiming allegiance to just one place. There are many tales about him dogging Antisthenes’ footsteps and becoming his “faithful hound”. Diogenes made a virtue of poverty. He begged for a living and often slept in a large ceramic jar in the marketplace. He became notorious for his philosophical stunts such as carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man. He criticized and embarrassed Plato, disputed his interpretation of Socrates and sabotaged his lectures, sometimes distracting attendees by bringing food and eating during the discussions. Diogenes was also noted for having publicly mocked Alexander the Great.
After being captured by pirates and sold into slavery, Diogenes eventually settled in Corinth. There he passed his philosophy of Cynicism to Crates, who taught it to Zeno of Citium, who fashioned it into the school of Stoicism, one of the most enduring schools of Greek philosophy. None of Diogenes’s many writings have survived, but details of his life come in the form of anecdotes (chreia), especially from Diogenes Laërtius, in his book Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. All that is available are a number of anecdotes concerning his life and sayings attributed to him in a number of scattered classical sources.
America Is Exhibiting All of the Signs of a Failing Empire
• Relying on massive military force (and using gigantic complexes to support it) as the be-all and end-all of power, and belittling diplomacy
• Maintaining standing armies, instead of disbanding military forces between wars
• Using more mercenary forces than citizen troops
• Spending disproportionately large amounts of blood and treasure in order to counter threats on the status quo … which simply exacerbates the threat against the empire
• Going ethically and morally bankrupt
• Ending up having bankers and financiers running the real power
• Suffering great hiccups in finance and trade
• The leaders no longer really believe in or follow the ideals of the founders
The U.S. is also following the age-old recipe for imperial decline by:
• Creating unsustainable levels of inequality
• Destroying upward mobility
• Incurring staggering levels of debt to finance war and luxury goods
• Debasing its currency
• Military overspending
• Runaway corruption
• Apathy and greed
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – former chief of staff to Colin Powell
After stellar years for both gold and silver, what prices will precious metals hit in 2011? Here’s an analysis based strictly on their price behavior in the current bull market.
First, take a look at the annual percentage gains that gold has registered since 2001 (based on London PM Fix closings):
Excluding 2001, the average gain is 20.4%. Tossing out the additional weak years of ‘04 and '08, the average advance is 24.8%.
So we can make some projections based on what it’s done over the past 10 years. From the 31st Dec 2010 closing price of US$1,421.60, if gold matched:
The average rise this decade, the price would hit US$1,711.60
The average rise excluding the three weak years = US$1,774.15
Last year’s gain = US$1,858.03
The largest advance to date (2007) = US$1,875.09
But what if global economic circumstances continue to deteriorate? What if worldwide price inflation kicks in? And what if government efforts at currency debasement get more abusive? If Doug Casey is right, a mania in all things gold lies ahead – what if that begins in 2011? Here’s what price levels could be reached based on the following percentage gains:
35% = US$1,919.16
40% = US$1,990.24
45% = US$2,061.32
50% = US$2,132.40
1979’s gain of 125.7% = US$3,208.55
It thus seems reasonable to expect gold to surpass US$1,800 this year, as well as reach a potentially higher level since the factors pushing on the price could become more pronounced.
Here’s a look at silver:
As you can see, silver had its biggest advance in 2010. The average of the decade, again excluding 2001, was 27.5%. And also tossing out the '08 decline, the average gain is 34.3%. So, from the 31stDec 2010 closing price of US$30.91, if silver matched:
The average rise this decade, the price would hit US$39.41
The average gain excluding 2008 = US$41.51
Last year’s advance = US$56.22
The 1979 gain of 267.5% = US$113.59
So, US$50 silver seems perfectly attainable this year. And that’s without monetary conditions worsening.
It’s titillating to ponder these advances for gold and silver, especially when you consider we might be getting close to the mania. And if we are, that should do wonderful things to our gold and silver stocks, too.
I would add one caution: the odds are high that there will be a significant correction before gold begins its march to these price levels. In every year but two ('02 and '06), gold fell below its prior-year close before heading higher. And here’s something to watch for: in every year but one ('08), those lows occurred by May.
In other words, a buying opportunity may be dead ahead. And if you buy on the next correction, your gains on the year could be higher than the annual advance.
Source: Jeff Clark, BIG GOLD
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