Monday, October 21, 2019

"Trump Has Revived a Long American Tradition"

“It’s the Economy, Stupid!”
by Jim Rickards

"The trade war is taking a heavy toll on China. Chinese growth slowed to 6% in the third quarter, slower than expected and the slowest growth rate since 1992. That 6% growth represents a sharp drop from the 6.8% growth China registered in the first quarter of 2018. China's growth still exceeds developed economies by far, but it is notably weak relative to China's past performance and relative to expectations.

China is the world's second-largest economy (after the U.S.) and produces over 16% of global output. A 0.5% decline in Chinese output slows global growth by 0.08%, which is nontrivial considering that global growth is expected to be only 3% in 2019, according to the IMF.

More importantly, China's growth figures are almost certainly overstated. About 45% of Chinese GDP is "investment" (compared with about 25% for a developed economy), but 50% of that investment is wasted on white elephant projects and ghost cities that will not earn returns. If that wasted investment were subtracted from GDP, China's actual growth rate would be 5.8%. Other adjustments for overlooked bad debts and "smoothing" of official figures would put China's actual growth closer to 4% or even lower.

China's economy is a house of cards and even government figures are beginning to show that's true. The real figures are worse. China's best case is a possible recession and its worst case is a full-blown financial panic. China is losing the trade wars, losing the public relations wars and beginning to show cracks in the foundation. All are good reasons for investors to keep away.

The news might be bad for China. But it’s good for President Trump, despite the latest impeachment nothingburger. The economy will be the deciding factor in next year’s election. The 1992 Bill Clinton election campaign war room had a sign that said, "It's the economy, stupid." That was intended as a constant reminder to campaign staff that they were to focus on U.S. economic performance almost exclusively in their efforts.

Clinton had come from nowhere to become the Democratic nominee and challenge George H. W. Bush, who was running for reelection. Bush's approval ratings in 1991 were over 90% after he led the successful campaign to oust Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. He looked unbeatable for reelection in 1992, which is one reason so few Democrats jumped into the race. Yet Bush had an Achilles heel, which was the economy.

The U.S. had a fairly mild recession from July 1990–March 1991. The recovery was weak and most Americans believed we were still in recession in 1992 even though the recession was technically over by then. Jobs are a lagging indicator and many workers who were laid off in 1991 still had not returned to work by 1992. Clinton's strategist, James Carville, understood that jobs were more important than foreign policy triumphs. He urged Clinton to run on the economy, and Clinton won.

In fact, presidents running for a second term almost always win reelection unless there is a recession late in the first term. That's what cost Bush and Jimmy Carter their reelections. Otherwise, it's smooth sailing for second-term victories. The good news for Trump is that he fits the mold of presidents heading for reelection.

A new projection by Moody's shows Trump winning as many as 351 electoral votes (only 270 electoral votes are needed to be president). Moody's analysis is based on state-by-state economic conditions and historic voting patterns, not polls.

Trump should win all of the swing states (Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin) and pick up new states won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 (Minnesota, New Hampshire, Virginia). It looks like a victory of historic proportions for Trump - as long as he avoids a recession.

Below, I show you how Trump’s tariff policies have simply resurrected an old American tradition that served the country well for nearly 200 years. Read on."
"Trump Has Revived a Long American Tradition"
By Jim Rickards

"Forget about the whole impeachment brouhaha for a minute and consider Trump’s trade policies. If you listened to hysterical commentary from the mainstream media about Trump’s tariffs, you would have thought his policies were in violation of the U.S. Constitution. But nothing could be further from the truth.

America grew rich and powerful from 1787–1962, a period of 175 years, using tariffs, subsidies and other barriers to trade to nurture domestic industry and protect high-paying manufacturing jobs. In fact, tariffs are as American as apple pie.

Trump is using the same basic playbook that predominated in U.S. policy from George Washington forward. Washington’s secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, drafted a report to Congress called the Report on Manufactures presented in 1791. Hamilton proposed that in order to have a strong country, America needed a strong manufacturing base with jobs that taught skills and offered income security.

To achieve this, Hamilton proposed subsidies to U.S. businesses so they could compete successfully against more established U.K. and European businesses. These subsidies might include grants of government land or rights of way, purchase orders from the government itself or outright payments. This was a mercantilist system that encouraged a trade surplus and the accumulation of gold reserves.

Hamilton’s plan was later proposed on a broader scale by Kentucky Sen. Henry Clay. This new plan began with the Tariff of 1816. Clay’s plan was called the American System. Abraham Lincoln adopted the American System as his platform in the election of 1860, and it became a bedrock principle of the new Republican Party.

The 19th and early 20th centuries were heydays of the American System. This period was characterized by enormous economic growth and population expansion by the U.S. The American System was also accompanied mostly by low inflation or even deflation (which increases the purchasing power of everyday citizens) despite occasional financial panics and some inflation during the Civil War. Trump is simply returning to that tradition.

Against this mercantilist system was a theory of free trade based on comparative advantage as advocated by British economist David Ricardo in the early 19th century. Ricardo’s theory said that trading nations are endowed with attributes that gave them a relative advantage in producing certain goods versus others.

These attributes could consist of natural resources, climate, population, river systems, education, ports, financial capacity or any other factor of production. Nations should produce those goods as to which they have a natural advantage and trade with other nations for goods where the advantage was not so great.

Countries should specialize in what they do best, and let others also specialize in what they do best. Then countries could simply trade the goods they make for the goods made by others. All sides would be better off because prices would be lower as a result of specialization in those goods where you have a natural advantage.

It’s a nice theory often summed up in the idea that Tom Brady should not mow his own lawn because it makes more sense to pay a landscaper while he practices football. For example, if the U.K. had an advantage in textile production and Portugal had an advantage in wine production, then the U.K. and Portugal should trade wool for wine.

But if the theory of comparative advantage were true, Japan would still be exporting tuna fish instead of cars, computers, TVs, steel and much more. The same can be said of the globalists’ view that capital should flow freely across borders. That might be advantageous in theory but market manipulation by central banks and rouge actors like Goldman Sachs and big hedge funds make it a treacherous proposition.

The problem with this theory of comparative advantage is that the factors of production are not permanent and they are not immobile. If labor moves from the countryside to the city in China, then suddenly China has a comparative advantage in cheap labor. If finance capital moves from New York banks to direct foreign investment in Chinese factories, then China has the comparative advantage in capital also.

Before long, China has the advantage in labor and capital and is running huge trade surpluses with the U.S., putting Americans out of work and shutting down U.S. factories in the process. Worse yet, countries such as China can pull comparative advantage out of thin air with government subsidies, exactly as Hamilton proposed 227 years ago. The most famous example of this is Taiwan Semiconductor.

In the 1970s, Taiwan had no comparative advantage in semiconductor production. But with government subsidies to a national champion, today Taiwan Semiconductor is the largest supplier of semiconductors in the world.

When did the U.S. abandon the system that worked so well for so long? Beginning in 1962, the U.S. turned its back on a successful legacy of protecting its jobs and industry and embraced the free trade theory. This was done first through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, or GATT, one of the original Bretton Woods institutions in addition to the World Bank and IMF.

Beginning in 1995, the World Trade Organization, WTO, displaced GATT and has been the main venue for U.S. free trade policy ever since. China became a member of WTO on Dec. 11, 2001, but has notoriously broken many WTO rules since joining.

The globalist approach might work if everyone were a free trader and no one resorted to tariffs, subsidies, nontariff barriers to trade and theft of intellectual property. Unfortunately, that’s not the world we live in. We live in a world where the U.S. is a free trade sucker and everyone else breaks the rules. In a world where a few parties are free traders but most are mercantilists, the mercantilists win every time. They are like parasites sucking the free traders dry.

If open trade, and open capital flows are flawed ideas, why do elites support them? The switch in U.S. policy from quasi-mercantilism to free trade was driven partly by academics who embrace the simple version of free trade without understanding the flaws (exemplified by China and Taiwan). Others understand the flaws in free trade well enough but value the world at large over the U.S. Their agenda is to diminish the power of the United States, and the U.S. dollar, in world affairs and to enhance the power of rising nations especially China.

If several hundred million Chinese can be pulled from poverty by leaving the U.S. market open while China subsidies its companies, imposes its own tariffs, steals intellectual property, and limits U.S. foreign direct investment, then that’s fine. If U.S. workers lose their jobs in the process, that’s fine too.

The globalists consider that a form of progress toward their “one world” utopia. They don’t care about the U.S.; they only care about their “one world” vision. Globalists are often supported by major international firms in the pharmaceutical and other businesses that profit from global supply chains even as Americans lose their jobs.

But Trump is a thorn in the globalists’ side. Trump focuses on restoring lost U.S. jobs even if the cost to China is high. That’s China’s problem, not ours. Trump’s policy is “America First,” and he means it. The battle continues. Whoever wins the war of the globalists versus the nationalists could decide the world system for decades to come."

Musical Interlude: Yanni, "Before I Go"

Yanni, "Before I Go"

"A Look to the Heavens"

"These are galaxies of the Hercules Cluster, an archipelago of island universes a mere 500 million light-years away. Also known as Abell 2151, this cluster is loaded with gas and dust rich, star-forming spiral galaxies but has relatively few elliptical galaxies, which lack gas and dust and the associated newborn stars. The colors in this remarkably deep composite image clearly show the star forming galaxies with a blue tint and galaxies with older stellar populations with a yellowish cast. 
Click image for larger size.
The sharp picture spans about 3/4 degree across the cluster center, corresponding to over 6 million light-years at the cluster's estimated distance. Diffraction spikes around brighter foreground stars in our own Milky Way galaxy are produced by the imaging telescope's mirror support vanes. In the cosmic vista many galaxies seem to be colliding or merging while others seem distorted - clear evidence that cluster galaxies commonly interact. In fact, the Hercules Cluster itself may be seen as the result of ongoing mergers of smaller galaxy clusters and is thought to be similar to young galaxy clusters in the much more distant, early Universe.”
Hubble Ultra Deep Field, “Looking To The End Of Time”

"A Universe of 2 Trillion Galaxies"
"An international team of astronomers, led by Christopher Conselice, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Nottingham, have found that the universe contains at least 2 trillion galaxies, ten times more than previously thought. The team's work, which began with seed-corn funding from the Royal Astronomical Society, appears in the Astrophysical Journal today."
Full article is here:
https://phys.org/news/
An ever-expanding Universe 92 billion light years in diameter,
 13.7 billion years old, containing 2 trillion galaxies... and us.
Don't you feel small?

Chet Raymo, "How Things Are"

"How Things Are"
by Chet Raymo

"Any global tradition needs to begin with a shared worldview - a culture-independent, globally accepted consensus as to how things are. From my perspective, this part is easy. How things are is, well, how things are: our scientific account of Nature, an account that can be called The Epic of Evolution. The Big Bang, the formation of stars and planets, the origin and evolution of life on this planet, the advent of human consciousness and the resultant evolution of cultures - this is the story, the one story, that has the potential to unite us, because it happens to be true.

I quote from the Introduction of Ursula Goodenough's wonderful book "The Sacred Depths of Nature." Readers will know of my admiration for Ursula and her book (if you want a concise introduction to biology, you can't do better). However, I would take gentle exception to one statement in the above passage: "because it happens to be true." I would have said: "because it is the most reliable story we have at the moment."

Actually, I think Ursula would agree. Science is not an infallible body of doctrine. It is an always evolving approximation of "the way things are" based on the widest possible consensus among scientists at any given time. Is it true? It is as true as you can get until it isn't. Scientists are constantly holding the scientific story of how things are against the refining fire of experience. Generally this means tinkering here and there on the edges of "truth." Occasionally it means a wholesale revamp of fundamental ideas. One could write a book on the confirming characteristics of scientific "truth": empirical consistency, economy, beauty, parsimony, and so on. But if you want the most impressive confirmation of the reliability of the scientific story of how things are, look around you. Science is a truth system that has given us the entirety of modern technology and medical science. As the old Rheingold beer commercial used to say, "We must be doing something right."

It's a story that has the potential to unite us, as Goodenough says, and in practice it does (we all fly airplanes, use the internet, and rely on penicillin). But only in practice. I fear Ursula is too optimistic if she thinks the scientific story of how things are is about to replace any of the other stories of how things are that dominate the lives of the vast majority of humans - and set us at each other's throats, story against story.

Why are the ancient stories so resilient, in the face of the overwhelming practical success of science?  An obvious answer: Because the ancient stories promise that death is not final. Then there's the possibility of habituation: We adhere to the traditions we grew up in. The overwhelming number of Christians, for example, would almost certainly be Muslims had they been born and raised in Qom, Iran. Once a story of "how things are" gets tangled in the neurons of the brain, it's a devil of a time to shake it free.

Add to this the solace of believing that the creator of 100 billion galaxies has me - yes, me personally - in mind. It's like getting a birthday card from the President ("Good luck, Chet. I'm thinking of you on your special day."), except in spades. And so on. All of this against a one-size-fits-all scientific story of how things are that is hard to understand in its details and sets us adrift in an (effectively) infinite universe with no one to man the oars but ourselves.

But let me put a more congenial spin on it. We are curious creatures by nature. We want answers to the Big Questions. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is the universe the way it is and not some other way? (That is to say, why are the laws of physics what they are?) How did life begin? What is consciousness? These are fair questions. They are among the biggest questions we can ask. The fact that we ask them is a defining characteristic of our species.

The ancient stories of how things are provide answers - anthropomorphic, animistic, artificialist - stories that are satisfyingly easy to understand because they mirror our sense of self. The scientific story doesn't provide answers, at least not yet and maybe never.

Which brings me back to Ursula Goodenough; "The realization that I needn't have answers to the Big Questions, needn't seek answers to the Big Questions, has served as an epiphany," she writes. It is, in fact, a kind of liberation - freedom from thrall to the Big Questions - liberation to revel in the pure "is-ness" of creation, the inexhaustible miracle of the here and now. But "is-ness," in all of it depths and dimensions, requires attention, study, and a certain poetic openness to particulars - the flower in the crannied wall, the grain of sand. Which is why the scientific story of how things are will not replace religious myths that are there for the effortless taking."

"Too Much Sanity..."

“Too much sanity may be madness, and the maddest of all...
 to see life as it is and not as it should be.”

Free Download: Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

“Song of the Open Road” 
by Walt Whitman, “Leaves of Grass”

“Afoot and light-hearted, I take to the open road,  
Healthy, free, the world before me,  
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.    
Henceforth I ask not good fortune- I myself am good fortune;  
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,        
Strong and content, I travel the open road.    
The earth- that is sufficient;  
I do not want the constellations any nearer;  
I know they are very well where they are;  
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.    
(Still here I carry my old delicious burdens;  
I carry them, men and women- I carry them with me wherever I go;  
I swear it is impossible for me to get rid of them;  
I am fill’d with them, and I will fill them in return.)  
  
2
You road I enter upon and look around! I believe you are not all that is here;  
I believe that much unseen is also here.   
Here the profound lesson of reception, neither preference or denial;  
The black with his woolly head, the felon, the diseas’d, the illiterate person,
 are not denied;  
The birth, the hasting after the physician, the beggar’s tramp,
 the drunkard’s stagger, the laughing party of mechanics,  
The escaped youth, the rich person’s carriage, the fop, the eloping couple,  
The early market-man, the hearse, the moving of furniture into the town, 
the return back from the town,  
They pass- I also pass- anything passes- none can be interdicted;  
None but are accepted- none but are dear to me.  
  
3
You air that serves me with breath to speak!  
You objects that call from diffusion my meanings, and give them shape!  
You light that wraps me and all things in delicate equable showers!  
You paths worn in the irregular hollows by the roadsides!  
I think you are latent with unseen existences- you are so dear to me.   
You flagg’d walks of the cities! you strong curbs at the edges!  
You ferries! you planks and posts of wharves! you timber-lined sides! you distant ships!  
You rows of houses! you window-pierc’d façades! you roofs!  
You porches and entrances! you copings and iron guards!  
You windows whose transparent shells might expose so much!  
You doors and ascending steps! you arches!  
You gray stones of interminable pavements! you trodden crossings!  
From all that has been near you, I believe you have imparted to yourselves, 
and now would impart the same secretly to me;  
From the living and the dead I think you have peopled your impassive surfaces, 
and the spirits thereof would be evident and amicable with me.  
  
4
The earth expanding right hand and left hand,  
The picture alive, every part in its best light,  
The music falling in where it is wanted, and stopping where it is not wanted,  
The cheerful voice of the public road- the gay fresh sentiment of the road.    
O highway I travel! O public road! do you say to me, Do not leave me?  
Do you say, Venture not? If you leave me, you are lost?  
Do you say, I am already prepared- I am well-beaten and undenied- adhere to me?    
O public road! I say back, I am not afraid to leave you- yet I love you;  
You express me better than I can express myself;  
You shall be more to me than my poem.    
I think heroic deeds were all conceiv’d in the open air, and all great poems also;  
I think I could stop here myself, and do miracles;  
(My judgments, thoughts, I henceforth try by the open air, the road;)  
I think whatever I shall meet on the road I shall like, 
and whoever beholds me shall like me;  
I think whoever I see must be happy.  
  
5
From this hour, freedom!  
From this hour I ordain myself loos’d of limits and imaginary lines,  
Going where I list, my own master, total and absolute,  
Listening to others, and considering well what they say,  
Pausing, searching, receiving, contemplating,  
Gently, but with undeniable will, divesting myself of the holds that would hold me.    
I inhale great draughts of space;  
The east and the west are mine, and the north and the south are mine.  
I am larger, better than I thought;  
I did not know I held so much goodness.   
All seems beautiful to me;  
I can repeat over to men and women, You have done such good to me,
 I would do the same to you.  
I will recruit for myself and you as I go;  
I will scatter myself among men and women as I go;  
I will toss the new gladness and roughness among them;  
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;  
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall be blessed, and shall bless me.  
  
6
Now if a thousand perfect men were to appear, it would not amaze me;  
Now if a thousand beautiful forms of women appear’d, it would not astonish me.    
Now I see the secret of the making of the best persons,  
It is to grow in the open air, and to eat and sleep with the earth.   
Here a great personal deed has room;  
A great deed seizes upon the hearts of the whole race of men,  
Its effusion of strength and will overwhelms law,
 and mocks all authority and all argument against it.  
Here is the test of wisdom;  
Wisdom is not finally tested in schools;  
Wisdom cannot be pass’d from one having it, to another not having it;  
Wisdom is of the Soul, is not susceptible of proof, is its own proof,  
Applies to all stages and objects and qualities, and is content,  
Is the certainty of the reality and immortality of things, and the excellence of things;  
Something there is in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the Soul.   
Now I reëxamine philosophies and religions,  
They may prove well in lecture-rooms, yet not prove at all under the spacious clouds,
and along the landscape and flowing currents.  
Here is realization;  
Here is a man tallied-he realizes here what he has in him;  
The past, the future, majesty, love- if they are vacant of you, you are vacant of them.   
Only the kernel of every object nourishes;  
Where is he who tears off the husks for you and me?  
Where is he that undoes stratagems and envelopes for you and me?    
Here is adhesiveness- it is not previously fashion’d- it is apropos;  
Do you know what it is, as you pass, to be loved by strangers?  
Do you know the talk of those turning eye-balls?  
  
7
Here is the efflux of the Soul;  
The efflux of the Soul comes from within, through embower’d gates,
 ever provoking questions:  
These yearnings, why are they? These thoughts in the darkness, why are they?  
Why are there men and women that while they are nigh me, 
the sunlight expands my blood?  
Why, when they leave me, do my pennants of joy sink flat and lank?  
Why are there trees I never walk under, 
but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?
(I think they hang there winter and summer on those trees, 
and always drop fruit as I pass;)  
What is it I interchange so suddenly with strangers?  
What with some driver, as I ride on the seat by his side?  
What with some fisherman, drawing his seine by the shore, as I walk by, and pause?  
What gives me to be free to a woman’s or man’s goodwill?
What gives them to be free to mine?
  
8
The efflux of the Soul is happiness- here is happiness;  
I think it pervades the open air, waiting at all times;  
Now it flows unto us- we are rightly charged.    
Here rises the fluid and attaching character;  
The fluid and attaching character is the freshness and sweetness of man and woman;
(The herbs of the morning sprout no fresher and sweeter every day out of the roots of themselves, than it sprouts fresh and sweet continually out of itself.)    
Toward the fluid and attaching character exudes the sweat of the love of young and old;  
From it falls distill’d the charm that mocks beauty and attainments;  
Toward it heaves the shuddering longing ache of contact.  
  
9
Allons! whoever you are, come travel with me!
Traveling with me, you find what never tires.    
The earth never tires;  
The earth is rude, silent, incomprehensible at first- 
Nature is rude and incomprehensible at first;  
Be not discouraged-keep on-there are divine things, well envelop’d;  
I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.  
Allons! we must not stop here!  
However sweet these laid-up stores- however convenient this dwelling,
 we cannot remain here;  
However shelter’d this port, and however calm these waters, we must not anchor here;  
However welcome the hospitality that surrounds us,
 we are permitted to receive it but a little while.  
  
10
Allons! the inducements shall be greater;
We will sail pathless and wild seas;  
We will go where winds blow, waves dash, 
and the Yankee clipper speeds by under full sail.   
Allons! with power, liberty, the earth, the elements!  
Health, defiance, gayety, self-esteem, curiosity;  
Allons! from all formules!
From your formules, O bat-eyed and materialistic priests!    
The stale cadaver blocks up the passage- the burial waits no longer.   
Allons! yet take warning!  
He traveling with me needs the best blood, thews, endurance;  
None may come to the trial, till he or she bring courage and health.  
Come not here if you have already spent the best of yourself;  
Only those may come, who come in sweet and determin’d bodies;  
No diseas’d person-no rum-drinker or venereal taint is permitted here.  
I and mine do not convince by arguments, similes, rhymes;  
We convince by our presence.
  
11
Listen! I will be honest with you;  
I do not offer the old smooth prizes, but offer rough new prizes;  
These are the days that must happen to you:    
You shall not heap up what is call’d riches,  
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve,
You but arrive at the city to which you were destin’d-
you hardly settle yourself to satisfaction,
before you are call’d by an irresistible call to depart,  
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings 
of those who remain behind you;  
What beckonings of love you receive,
you shall only answer with passionate kisses of parting,  
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reach’d hands toward you.  
  
12
Allons! after the GREAT COMPANIONS! and to belong to them!
They too are on the road! they are the swift and majestic men;
 they are the greatest women.  
Over that which hinder’d them- over that which retarded-
passing impediments large or small,  
Committers of crimes, committers of many beautiful virtues,  
Enjoyers of calms of seas, and storms of seas,  
Sailors of many a ship, walkers of many a mile of land,
Habitués of many distant countries, habitués of far-distant dwellings,  
Trusters of men and women, observers of cities, solitary toilers,  
Pausers and contemplators of tufts, blossoms, shells of the shore,  
Dancers at wedding-dances, kissers of brides, tender helpers of children,
 bearers of children,  
Soldiers of revolts, standers by gaping graves, lowerers down of coffins,
Journeyers over consecutive seasons, over the years- the curious years,
 each emerging from that which preceded it,  
Journeyers as with companions, namely, their own diverse phases,  
Forth-steppers from the latent unrealized baby-days,  
Journeyers gayly with their own youth-
Journeyers with their bearded and well-grain’d manhood,  
Journeyers with their womanhood, ample, unsurpass’d, content,
Journeyers with their own sublime old age of manhood or womanhood,  
Old age, calm, expanded, broad with the haughty breadth of the universe,  
Old age, flowing free with the delicious near-by freedom of death.  
  
13
Allons! to that which is endless, as it was beginningless,  
To undergo much, tramps of days, rests of nights,
To merge all in the travel they tend to, and the days and nights they tend to,  
Again to merge them in the start of superior journeys;  
To see nothing anywhere but what you may reach it and pass it,  
To conceive no time, however distant, but what you may reach it and pass it,  
To look up or down no road but it stretches and waits for you-
however long, but it stretches and waits for you;
To see no being, not God’s or any, but you also go thither,  
To see no possession but you may possess it-
enjoying all without labor or purchase-abstracting the feast,
 yet not abstracting one particle of it;  
To take the best of the farmer’s farm and the rich man’s elegant villa,
and the chaste blessings of the well-married couple,
 and the fruits of orchards and flowers of gardens,  
To take to your use out of the compact cities as you pass through,  
To carry buildings and streets with you afterward wherever you go,
To gather the minds of men out of their brains as you encounter them-
to gather the love out of their hearts,  
To take your lovers on the road with you, for all that you leave them behind you,  
To know the universe itself as a road- as many roads- as roads for traveling souls.  
  
14
The Soul travels;  
The body does not travel as much as the soul;
The body has just as great a work as the soul,
 and parts away at last for the journeys of the soul.   
All parts away for the progress of souls;  
All religion, all solid things, arts, governments,-
all that was or is apparent upon this globe or any globe,
falls into niches and corners before the procession of
 Souls along the grand roads of the universe.   
Of the progress of the souls of men and women along the grand roads of the universe,
 all other progress is the needed emblem and sustenance.   
Forever alive, forever forward,
Stately, solemn, sad, withdrawn, baffled, mad, turbulent, feeble, dissatisfied,  
Desperate, proud, fond, sick, accepted by men, rejected by men,  
They go! they go! I know that they go, but I know not where they go;  
But I know that they go toward the best- toward something great.  
  
15
Allons! whoever you are! come forth!
You must not stay sleeping and dallying there in the house,
though you built it, or though it has been built for you.    
Allons! out of the dark confinement!  
It is useless to protest- I know all, and expose it.  
Behold, through you as bad as the rest,  
Through the laughter, dancing, dining, supping, of people,
Inside of dresses and ornaments, inside of those wash’d and trimm’d faces,  
Behold a secret silent loathing and despair.  
No husband, no wife, no friend, trusted to hear the confession;  
Another self, a duplicate of every one, skulking and hiding it goes,  
Formless and wordless through the streets of the cities, polite and bland in the parlors,
In the cars of rail-roads, in steamboats, in the public assembly,  
Home to the houses of men and women, at the table, in the bedroom, everywhere,  
Smartly attired, countenance smiling, form upright, death under the breast-bones,
 hell under the skull-bones,  
Under the broadcloth and gloves, under the ribbons and artificial flowers,  
Keeping fair with the customs, speaking not a syllable of itself,
  
16
Allons! through struggles and wars!  
The goal that was named cannot be countermanded.    
Have the past struggles succeeded?  
What has succeeded? yourself? your nation? nature?
Now understand me well- It is provided in the essence of things,
 that from any fruition of success, no matter what, 
shall come forth something to make a greater struggle necessary.    
My call is the call of battle- I nourish active rebellion;  
He going with me must go well arm’d;  
He going with me goes often with spare diet, poverty, angry enemies, desertions.  
  
17
Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe- I have tried it- my own feet have tried it well.   
Allons! be not detain’d!  
Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book on the shelf unopen’d!  
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain unearn’d!  
Let the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in the court,
 and the judge expound the law.    
Mon enfant! I give you my hand!  
I give you my love, more precious than money,  
I give you myself, before preaching or law;  
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me?
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?"  

- Walt Whitman
Freely download "Leaves of Grass" by Walt Whitman here: