Pretenses and Conceits

The markets are eerily quiet… like an angry man with something on his mind and a shotgun in his hand. We will leave them to brood… and return to the spectacle of the U.S. presidential primaries.

On display are all the pretenses, conceits, and absurdities of modern government. And now, the race narrows to the two most widely distrusted and loathed candidates.


ClintotrumpUS election circus: Deep State Rep vs. Rage Channeller


The first, a loose reality-TV star with a hot wife who will say whatever pops into his head. The second, a tightly controlled Lady MacBeth… who will say nothing unless it advances her ambitions. We recently mentioned that we would not vote for either one. And for once, we brought our dear readers together… marching ensemble under a single banner.

Yes, readers spoke back with a single voice, loud and clear. They agreed with one another on one important point: Your editor is an idiot. They only disagreed on the details… that is, about which type of idiot we are. Writes one dear reader:


“Until I read your comments about Donald Trump, I thought you were insightful and smart. Now, I know you have blinded yourself to the dangers that The Donald represents.”


Writes another:


“Mr. Bonner: I had you in my list of intelligent persons. But after your statement that “nobody was going to see you voting for Hillary or Trump” I had to take you out of that short list. When the campaign started I didn’t like Trump. When the election will arrive I will be casting my vote for him.”


Democracy Is a Fraud

Our beef with democracy is that it is a fraud. It pretends to put the people in charge. Instead, it picks their pockets and cheapens their lives. They willingly and enthusiastically participate in its solemn deceits – its elections, its wars, its taxes, and its hangings.

They not only want to vote… they also believe they have an obligation to tell others to vote. It’s as though the entire thing might fall apart if any mutt slips the kennel. They feel that we all have a duty to support the system, no matter how much it swindles us.

And so, we are bid to stand in line…to cast our ballot…and thus to join in the ritual humbug – the national election. More important, we are asked to BELIEVE things that are palpably and provably untrue.


ritual humbugRitual humbug: the cattle are queuing on election day. There are actually better ways to spend one’s time…

Photo credit: Xinhua


“Every vote counts!”

Wrong! Statisticians have worked it out. The odds your vote counts are vanishingly remote. You may as well stay home; it won’t make any difference.

“If you don’t vote, you’re giving a vote to the other side.”

Wrong! By not voting, you’re denying both candidates your approval.

“If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”

Oh yeah? We’ve been doing both for many years. The abstainer is the only one among us whose hands are clean – the only one who can honestly say he had “nothing to do with it.”


South-Africa-election-day-016Election day in South Africa – here the cattle are seen queuing for hours near the Katlehong township. Guess what they got out of it: Jacob Zuma!

Photo credit: Denis Farrell / AP


Another reader’s plea – “Pick the lesser of two evils” – is what is urged on us today. But that is what German voters said to themselves in the election of 1932… which left the Nazis as the biggest party in the Reichstag.

On the one hand were the socialists and the Bolsheviks. On the other was that bulwark against chaos: Mr. Hitler. He was the “lesser of two evils,” they said. And maybe he was. But who, in 1945, would admit to having voted for him?


hitler1Hello there, Mr. “Lesser of Two Evils”! That was one election day that backfired rather noticeably if memory serves…

Photo via


Ms. Clinton? Mr. Trump? How do you ever know which is the lesser evil? And why would you want to approve any evil… no matter how much lesser it is? Why would you want to get involved at all?


“Doing Our Part”

But wait – that’s the way myths work, isn’t it? We ALL have to believe. We all have to be complicit, whether it means throwing a virgin in the volcano or handing out rations in a gulag.

We are all implicated. We are the “trustees” of the Deep State’s prison system,  ready to “do our duty” to preserve the status quo. They could never have built pyramids if people hadn’t believed that they served some higher purpose…if the gods themselves hadn’t commanded it.


volcano_copy_8769Preemptively appeasing the volcano deity. Always a good idea! You never know what it might be good for…

Image credit: Armstrong Sperry


Napoleon could never have invaded Russia if his soldiers had stopped to ask: “Uh…why do we want to march all the way to Moscow and back in the wintertime?”

And now, we would never elect Donald Trump…or Hillary Clinton…unless we believed that somehow the gods of democracy sit in judgment…requiring that we all “do our part.”

But maybe the gods don’t give a damn. Come election day, we could stand in line with millions of others to participate in building pyramids for our 21st-century gods. Or we can fix a fence down at the farm.


Building-the-Great-Pyramid-2-800x545-2Another very sensible activity… extremely good way of keeping the slaves fit!

Image via


If we choose to fix the fence, we know the world will be a better place – albeit in a small measure. And if we were to choose to vote… we would ask ourselves, “Would Jefferson vote for Trump or Clinton?”

More to come…


Image captions by PT


The above article originally appeared as “Come Election Day, We’ll Be Staying Homeat the Diary of a Rogue Economist, written for Bonner & Partners. Bill Bonner founded Agora, Inc in 1978. It has since grown into one of the largest independent newsletter publishing companies in the world. He has also written three New York Times bestselling books, Financial Reckoning Day, Empire of Debt and Mobs, Messiahs and Markets.




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9 Responses to “Staying Home on Election Day”

  • Bill, at least Trump might be rubbing salt into the wounds of the deep state. That is, if they have any. I bowed out in 1994, when I recognized the positioning of Bush Jr. as Governor of Texas was to effect a run for the White House. 6 years later, this turned out to be correct. Hillary at the top of the ticket, goes to show how brazen the state has become, posting a known criminal at the top of the heap. When the masses learn that these are not their candidates, but a stage act or a circus for the masses, they will stay home as well. I heard once that, if turnout falls below 50%, the government has lost its legitimacy.

    I too throw out that idea that if I don’t vote, I can’t complain. I propose they put “none of the above” and I would then show up. In an informed society, “none of the above” would win at least 80% of the elections.

    • FreemonSandlewould:

      Bonner articles are full of nothing. I never really can remember any golden take a way points. How he gets published with any regularity simply baffles.

  • alexaisback:

    . I don’t care who you vote for it is none of my business…but
    I cannot see how anyone could vote for Hillary Clinton.
    The corruption is simply unbelievable
    meaning Secretary of State and Contributions given to the Clinton Foundation.
    .There are so many examples – here is just one

    In its 2010 Human Rights Report, Clinton’s State Department inveighed against Algeria’s government for imposing “restrictions on freedom of assembly and association” tolerating “arbitrary killing,” “widespread corruption,” and a “lack of judicial independence.” The report said the Algerian government “used security grounds to constrain freedom of expression and movement.”

    That year, the Algerian government donated $500,000 to the Clinton Foundation and its lobbyists met with the State Department officials who oversee enforcement of human rights policies. Clinton’s State Department the next year approved a one-year 70 percent increase in military export authorizations to the country.

    The increase included authorizations of almost 50,000 items classified as “toxicological agents, including chemical agents, biological agents and associated equipment” after the State Department did not authorize the export of any of such items to Algeria in the prior year.

    During Clinton’s tenure, the State Department authorized at least $2.4 billion of direct military hardware and services sales to Algeria — nearly triple such authorizations over the last full fiscal years during the Bush administration. The Clinton Foundation did not disclose Algeria’s donation until 2015 — a violation of the ethics agreement it entered into with the Obama administration.
    Here is another:

    2010 Human Rights Report: Qatar
    Citizens lacked the right to change the leadership of their government by election. There were prolonged detentions in crowded facilities, often ending with deportation. The government placed restrictions on civil liberties, including freedoms of speech, press (including the Internet), assembly, association, and religion. Foreign laborers faced restrictions on travel abroad. Trafficking in persons, primarily in the labor and domestic worker sectors, was a problem. Legal, institutional, and cultural discrimination against women limited their participation in society. The unresolved legal status of “Bidoons” (stateless persons with residency ties) resulted in discrimination against these noncitizens. Authorities severely restricted worker rights, especially for foreign laborers and domestic servants.

    Qatar of course gave a ton of money to the Clinton Foundation
    WHAT Did Clinton Do :

    During the three full budgetary years of her tenure, Qatar saw a 14-fold increase in State Department authorizations for direct commercial sales of military equipment and services, as compared to the same time period in Bush’s second term. The department also approved the Pentagon’s separate $750 million sale of multi-mission helicopters to Qatar.

    Clinton is selling terrible governments weapons – weapons ( including chemical )
    that Clinton knows these governments intend to use against their own people.
    How sick is that ?


  • All-Your-Gold-Are-Mine:

    As usual… great article. Only complete dumbsh*ts will vote for Clinton or Trump. sigh…

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