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Forum Post: chomsky on The Concentration of Wealth and American Decline

Posted 6 years ago on Feb. 14, 2012, 12:55 p.m. EST by flip (7101)
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The Concentration of Wealth and American Decline

By 1970, U.S. share of world wealth had dropped to about 25%, roughly where it remains, still colossal but far below the end of World War II. By then, the industrial world was “tripolar”: US-based North America, German-based Europe, and East Asia, already the most dynamic industrial region, at the time Japan-based, but by now including the former Japanese colonies Taiwan and South Korea, and more recently China.

At about that time, American decline entered a new phase: conscious self-inflicted decline. From the 1970s, there has been a significant change in the U.S. economy, as planners, private and state, shifted it toward financialization and the offshoring of production, driven in part by the declining rate of profit in domestic manufacturing. These decisions initiated a vicious cycle in which wealth became highly concentrated (dramatically so in the top 0.1% of the population), yielding concentration of political power, hence legislation to carry the cycle further: taxation and other fiscal policies, deregulation, changes in the rules of corporate governance allowing huge gains for executives, and so on.

Meanwhile, for the majority, real wages largely stagnated, and people were able to get by only by sharply increased workloads (far beyond Europe), unsustainable debt, and repeated bubbles since the Reagan years, creating paper wealth that inevitably disappeared when they burst (and the perpetrators were bailed out by the taxpayer). In parallel, the political system has been increasingly shredded as both parties are driven deeper into corporate pockets with the escalating cost of elections, the Republicans to the level of farce, the Democrats (now largely the former “moderate Republicans”) not far behind.

A recent study by the Economic Policy Institute, which has been the major source of reputable data on these developments for years, is entitled Failure by Design. The phrase “by design” is accurate. Other choices were certainly possible. And as the study points out, the “failure” is class-based. There is no failure for the designers. Far from it. Rather, the policies are a failure for the large majority, the 99% in the imagery of the Occupy movements -- and for the country, which has declined and will continue to do so under these policies.

One factor is the offshoring of manufacturing. As the solar panel example mentioned earlier illustrates, manufacturing capacity provides the basis and stimulus for innovation leading to higher stages of sophistication in production, design, and invention. That, too, is being outsourced, not a problem for the “money mandarins” who increasingly design policy, but a serious problem for working people and the middle classes, and a real disaster for the most oppressed, African Americans, who have never escaped the legacy of slavery and its ugly aftermath, and whose meager wealth virtually disappeared after the collapse of the housing bubble in 2008, setting off the most recent financial crisis, the worst so far.



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[-] 2 points by factsrfun (8485) from Phoenix, AZ 6 years ago

Chomsky is great. If you put some of the stuff he talks about on graphs it becomes very obvisious something has to be done, I just hope it's not too late.

[-] 2 points by Courtney (111) from New York, NY 6 years ago

god bless Noam Chomsky. I hope he lives forever.

[-] 0 points by TropicalDepression (-45) 4 years ago

Celente, and all the other people who keep saying it are right.

There will be no recovery until we bring production back.

From 2011: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utu3JnrqgaI

[-] 0 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

I read this and all I see is chomsky painting America with a bad brush.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

well if the shoe fits.....

[-] 1 points by FriendlyObserverB (1871) 6 years ago

..or is it deliberate attempt to bad wash the Americans .. with one-sidedness. Chomsky just likes the sound of his own voice .. and all the attention he is getting .. ignore him. ..of course you like to bad mouth America too right flip ..

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

that is a silly comment - you must not know anything about noam but just point out where he is incorrect and i will be happy to show you that you are misinformed. too bad your dream about the greatest country in the world is just that - a fantasy (well not militarily) - it may be for you but look around - take off your blinders

[-] 0 points by Spade2 (478) 6 years ago

I like him more as a scientist than a political thinker.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

then you don't understand much about history or politics - that's ok - we all have blind spots

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 6 years ago

I can see that.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

very nice - a sense of humor can cover for many faults!

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 6 years ago

I agree, humor is very important in life:)

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

rising early also!

[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 6 years ago

What do you mean by that? Like getting out of bed early?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago


[-] 1 points by Spade2 (478) 6 years ago

Ah, well once again, I agree:)


[-] 0 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

Wealth is created by human effort. It is not fiat money, nor is it represented by fiat money. There is an infinite amount of wealth just waiting to be created.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

you read that piece and that is what you come up with? some ron paul, austrian school fiat money crap - sure infinite wealth from a finite world - you need to do some work - lots of reading to try to understand the world and how it works - do not start with hayek and stop responding to me with nonsense!

[-] 0 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

Since we're just going to have a name dropping war, stop snorting keynes.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

you have to go with what works - sorry you don't like the facts


[-] 0 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

I don't really know where to take this conversation, if there even is one. I was responding originally to the unspoken premises of your post; i.e. that wealth is finite, governments are responsible for controlling and directing it, one man's wealth is a detriment to another, that there's an inherent difference in the ability of people of different skin colors to create wealth...

I disagree with all of the above, which are the underlying premises of this post, and which any semi-intelligent discussion is bound to revolve around unless someone points out that they are fallacies and red herrings. They distract people from the real source of the problems, such problems also being unspoken premises.

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

you can think what you like but you need to back it up with a rational argument if you want to be taken seriously - good luck! infinite wealth in a finite world - you could try to explain how that might work - you could try to explain what has happened in economic history - 1929 to today. he lays out a fairly clear history for 1929 through the dismantling of bretton woods - yours must be different! you could try to explain how this is not correct - "Meanwhile, for the majority, real wages largely stagnated, and people were able to get by only by sharply increased workloads (far beyond Europe)" - here is something else to chew on - answer max neef and his obvious truths - AMY GOODMAN: What do you think we need to change?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: Oh, almost everything. We are simply, dramatically stupid. We act systematically against the evidences we have. We know everything that should not be done. There’s nobody that doesn’t know that. Particularly the big politicians know exactly what should not be done. Yet they do it. After what happened since October 2008, I mean, elementally, you would think what? That now they’re going to change. I mean, they see that the model is not working. The model is even poisonous, you know? Dramatically poisonous. And what is the result, and what happened in the last meeting of the European Union? They are more fundamentalist now than before. So, the only thing you know that you can be sure of, that the next crisis is coming, and it will be twice as much as this one. And for that one, there won’t be enough money anymore. So that will be it. And that is the consequence of systematical human stupidity.

AMY GOODMAN: So, to avoid another catastrophe, collision, if you were in charge, what would you say has to happen?

MANFRED MAX-NEEF: First of all, we need cultured economists again, who know the history, where they come from, how the ideas originated, who did what, and so on and so on; second, an economics now that understands itself very clearly as a subsystem of a larger system that is finite, the biosphere, hence economic growth as an impossibility; and third, a system that understands that it cannot function without the seriousness of ecosystems. And economists know nothing about ecosystems. They don’t know nothing about thermodynamics, you know, nothing about biodiversity or anything. I mean, they are totally ignorant in that respect. And I don’t see what harm it would do, you know, to an economist to know that if the beasts would disappear, he would disappear as well, because there wouldn’t be food anymore. But he doesn’t know that, you know, that we depend absolutely from nature. But for these economists we have, nature is a subsystem of the economy. I mean, it’s absolutely crazy.

And then, in addition, you know, bring consumption closer to production. I live in the south of Chile, in the deep south. And that area is a fantastic area, you know, in milk products and what have you. Top. Technologically, like the maximum, you know? I was, a few months ago, in a hotel, and there in the south, for breakfast, and there are these little butter things, you know? I get one, and it’s butter from New Zealand. I mean, if that isn’t crazy, you know? And why? Because economists don’t know how to calculate really costs, you know? To bring butter from 20,000 kilometers to a place where you make the best butter, under the argument that it was cheaper, is a colossal stupidity, because they don’t take into consideration what is the impact of 20,000 kilometers of transport? What is the impact on the environment of that transportation, you know, and all those things? And in addition, I mean, it’s cheaper because it’s subsidized. So it’s clearly a case in which the prices never tell the truth. It’s all tricks, you know? And those tricks do colossal harms. And if you bring consumption closer to production, you will eat better, you will have better food, you know, and everything. You will know where it comes from. You may even know the person who produces it. You humanize this thing, you know? But the way the economists practice today is totally dehumanized.

[-] 0 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

My support of the theory of infinite wealth is based on ever-increasing technological innovation. There has been, since the 1950s at least, technology that would allow infinite energy to be pulled from "the vacuum". (http://www.cheniere.org/) Energy problem solved. Now we no longer need to burn fossil fuels and perform all of the surrounding activities. Why do these activities continue to occur? For the same reason that "the big politicians know exactly what should not be done. Yet they do it."

This "knowing what should not be done" supposes the following clause: "in order to....." The "in order to" is "in order to support human life". They do not want to support human life. It is much easier to enslave a smaller population than it is to enslave a larger population, especially if you can convince that population that they need you.

Regarding what has happened since 1929, it is more telling to consider what has happened since 1913, when the Federal Reserve was implemented in the United States. If you want to know how this was allowed to occur, you must learn the significance of the District of Columbia Organic Act of 1871 (which re-incorporated the District of Columbia as a private municipal corporation). The Feral Reserve is a tool of the international elite "bankers", who control the currencies of most of the world. Federal reserve notes. Initially, these notes were exchangeable for the goods that backed them (allegedly), but in 1933, after the United States' failure to pay back its debt to these international "bankers", and in order to secure more loans from these people (in much the same situation that Greece is now experiencing) a "bank holiday" was called for in order to recall all of the federal reserve notes in circulation and replace them with notes that were not exchangeable for anything but new notes. Hence, my original post: "Wealth is created by human effort. It is not fiat money, nor is it represented by fiat money. There is an infinite amount of wealth just waiting to be created."

Wealth is not fiat money, nor is it money. Money represents wealth. Wealth consists of goods that have been produced. Given the unlimited potential of the human mind, there is NO limit on the amount of wealth that can be created.

Disclaimer, I am not a physicist. There are probably proper terms for these ideas but I do not necessarily know them. There IS a limit on raw materials currently available, but only so long as we continue to consider the metaphysical realm as the only realm. There are other "realms" which exist that give rise to the metaphysical realm. Quantum physics is just beginning (publicly... In reality it has been known for decades) to understand this. So not only does innovation continually reduce the quantity of natural resources which need to be consumed in order to produce wealth, but we should soon be able to create materials out of "nothing" while not breaking superuniversal symmetry.

I was never arguing against the facts in the original post, only it's implied premises.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 6 years ago

The infinite does NOT exist for real. It is just a mathematical idealization. There is truth in your statement that wealth is created by human effort and I may add by human ingenuity and trade to exchange excess production.

Though the limits exist, they can be enormous. Real material wealth is limited by the energy that it consists of E=mc^2 which admittedly is humongous. Isn't it weird that we should all be endowed with such a ridiculously generous limit of potentially available wealth? Imagined wealth can truly be limitless, such as happiness, ecstasy, symbolically created money, etc. The only caveat is that one must not let it go physical. Imagined wealth should and can only be enjoyed in imaginary ways until reality catches up with it.

The energy problem has NOT been solved and it will only get worse without a replacement found soon. The illusion of the infinite came from our being able to keep on finding replacements and improvements. When that stops, we will discover that it was all just an illusion, nothing real. There is NO guarantee that we would be capable but perhaps there still is the guarantee that we would suffer or perish if we do not succeed. Quantum physics will NOT save us. It has not overturned the laws of thermodynamics which reign supreme in our realm. Do not be sucked in by all of the glamorous claims of science and technology. The researchers only report nifty things that seem miraculous but if you really count on them to change your life, in most cases you will be deeply disappointed.

To make my point clear, there are NO other realms other than the physical realm. I only talk about them metaphorically in reference to the physical realm. Also believing in technology that would allow infinite energy to be pulled from "the vacuum" is erroneous. There ARE zero-point energy and virtual particles from quantum physics but quantum physics has probably erred fundamentally on virtual particles which are only a mathematical computational tool. The extraction of zero-point energy will prove to be impossible, too, because quantum physics really deals with INFORMATION, that is organization. I just do NOT see how the law of large numbers can ever be breached by quantum physics to allow the macroscopic violation of the law of the conservation of energy from thermodynamics.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

Energy is conserved even though symmetry can apparently be broken. The reason for this is that symmetry exists through multiple planes, not just in the metaphysical.

Think about a magnet. It constantly produces ENERGY while the material of the magnet is never consumed. Where does that energy come from?

[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 6 years ago

Oh so you are talking about low-entropy energy still bound up in unbroken symmetry left over from the primordial "explosion." - false vacuum or something like that. We have NOT found any yet and I hope that we do NOT find any anywhere close by. It may be very disruptive and it will be another mining operation if it truly exists.

A magnet does NOT produce energy so there is no explanation needed for where that energy comes from.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

From: http://cheniere.org/references/brokensymmetry.htm

"The strong prediction of broken symmetry by Lee and Yang and its experimental proof by Wu et al. in 1957, initiated a great revolution across physics and won a nearly instant Nobel Prize in December 1957 for Lee and Yang.

One of the broken symmetries proven by Wu et al. and published in 1957 is the broken symmetry of opposite charges, as on the ends of a dipole.

That asymmetry is used by charges and dipoles for extracting and pouring out Electromagnetic energy from the vacuum, yet not one current Electrical Engineering or classical electromagnetics textbook mentions the energy implications of dipolar asymmetry. Nor do they mention that every charge and dipole freely pours out real observable EM energy continuously, with no observable energy input."

[-] 1 points by grapes (5173) 6 years ago

Even if that were true, what mechanism would suffice to harness that EM energy for human usage? I also know of a perennially available source of EM energy and that is the cosmic microwave background radiation but we do not have any way of harnessing that. To be useful, we need a heat sink but that is not easy to have.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

Hell, I don't understand it well enough to explain it concisely, but Tom Bearden does! Here is a link to his patent on a motionless electromagnetic generator which generates ~100 times as much power as is put into it, and his website has MUCH more information on related technologies.


[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

well oil is not finite and unless they come up with a replacement soon we are all going to be less wealthy! what does that say about gold backed money? i know all about the fed and fiat money - what it seems you do not know is about the populist movement and what they discovered - i would suggest you read graeber on debt and money to begin to understand the whole system. you can hope for a pie in the sky technology fix and rant against international bankers but better to be grounded in the real world. for sure the money system should be under democratic control but also for sure gold is not the answer!

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 6 years ago

I never suggested that gold was the answer. MONEY is the answer. Not bank notes. Money must be backed by wealth, whatever form that wealth takes. I did not suggest that oil was infinite either.

What is it that the populist movement discovered? Can you explain?

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

the populists understood that the money supply needs to expand in an expanding economy and the process should be under democratic control. money is debt - read graeber's book on the history of money or look up his interviews - try this - you should be able to find the whole thing through google - Friday, August 26, 2011 What is Debt? – An Interview with Economic Anthropologist David Graeber

David Graeber currently holds the position of Reader in Social Anthropology at Goldsmiths University London. Prior to this he was an associate professor of anthropology at Yale University. He is the author of ‘Debt: The First 5,000 Years’ which is available from Amazon.

Interview conducted by Philip Pilkington, a journalist and writer based in Dublin, Ireland.

Philip Pilkington: Let’s begin. Most economists claim that money was invented to replace the barter system. But you’ve found something quite different, am I correct?

David Graeber: Yes there’s a standard story we’re all taught, a ‘once upon a time’ — it’s a fairy tale.

It really deserves no other introduction: according to this theory all transactions were by barter. “Tell you what, I’ll give you twenty chickens for that cow.” Or three arrow-heads for that beaver pelt or what-have-you. This created inconveniences, because maybe your neighbor doesn’t need chickens right now, so you have to invent money.

The story goes back at least to Adam Smith and in its own way it’s the founding myth of economics. Now, I’m an anthropologist and we anthropologists have long known this is a myth simply because if there were places where everyday transactions took the form of: “I’ll give you twenty chickens for that cow,” we’d have found one or two by now. After all people have been looking since 1776, when the Wealth of Nations first came out. But if you think about it for just a second, it’s hardly surprising that we haven’t found anything.

Think about what they’re saying here – basically: that a bunch of Neolithic farmers in a village somewhere, or Native Americans or whatever, will be engaging in transactions only through the spot trade. So, if your neighbor doesn’t have what you want right now, no big deal. Obviously what would really happen, and this is what anthropologists observe when neighbors do engage in something like exchange with each other, if you want your neighbor’s cow, you’d say, “wow, nice cow” and he’d say “you like it? Take it!” – and now you owe him one. Quite often people don’t even engage in exchange at all – if they were real Iroquois or other Native Americans, for example, all such things would probably be allocated by women’s councils.

So the real question is not how does barter generate some sort of medium of exchange, that then becomes money, but rather, how does that broad sense of ‘I owe you one’ turn into a precise system of measurement – that is: money as a unit of account?

By the time the curtain goes up on the historical record in ancient Mesopotamia, around 3200 BC, it’s already happened. There’s an elaborate system of money of account and complex credit systems. (Money as medium of exchange or as a standardized circulating units of gold, silver, bronze or whatever, only comes much later.)

So really, rather than the standard story – first there’s barter, then money, then finally credit comes out of that – if anything its precisely the other way around. Credit and debt comes first, then coinage emerges thousands of years later and then, when you do find “I’ll give you twenty chickens for that cow” type of barter systems, it’s usually when there used to be cash markets, but for some reason – as in Russia, for example, in 1998 – the currency collapses or disappears.

PP: You say that by the time historical records start to be written in the Mesopotamia around 3200 BC a complex financial architecture is already in place. At the same time is society divided into classes of debtors and creditors? If not then when does this occur? And do you see this as the most fundamental class division in human history?

DG: Well historically, there seem to have been two possibilities.

One is what you found in Egypt: a strong centralized state and administration extracting taxes from everyone else. For most of Egyptian history they never developed the habit of lending money at interest. Presumably, they didn’t have to.

Mesopotamia was different because the state emerged unevenly and incompletely. At first there were giant bureaucratic temples, then also palace complexes, but they weren’t exactly governments and they didn’t extract direct taxes – these were considered appropriate only for conquered populations. Rather they were huge industrial complexes with their own land, flocks and factories. This is where money begins as a unit of account; it’s used for allocating resources within these complexes.

Interest-bearing loans, in turn, probably originated in deals between the administrators and merchants who carried, say, the woollen goods produced in temple factories (which in the very earliest period were at least partly charitable enterprises, homes for orphans, refugees or disabled people for instance) and traded them to faraway lands for metal, timber, or lapis lazuli. The first markets form on the fringes of these complexes and appear to operate largely on credit, using the temples’ units of account. But this gave the merchants and temple administrators and other well-off types the opportunity to make consumer loans to farmers, and then, if say the harvest was bad, everybody would start falling into debt-traps.

This was the great social evil of antiquity – families would have to start pawning off their flocks, fields and before long, their wives and children would be taken off into debt peonage. Often people would start abandoning the cities entirely, joining semi-nomadic bands, threatening to come back in force and overturn the existing order entirely. Rulers would regularly conclude the only way to prevent complete social breakdown was to declare a clean slate or ‘washing of the tablets,’ they’d cancel all consumer debt and just start over. In fact, the first recorded word for ‘freedom’ in any human language is the Sumerian amargi, a word for debt-freedom, and by extension freedom more generally, which literally means ‘return to mother,’ since when they declared a clean slate, all the debt peons would get to go home.

[-] 1 points by shield (222) 6 years ago


"the populists understood that the money supply needs to expand in an expanding economy and the process should be under democratic control."

I don't disagree with the implication that as more goods are produced, there needs to be more money representing those goods. I see no reason to place the creation of that money under democratic control. That would lead to a situation in which goods would be created, then the creator of those goods would have to petition the government to hold a vote as to whether or not to give him money to represent his goods. Why bother? Why not allow him to print or coin his own money, so long as he has the goods to back it and offer that money in the marketplace. Those who choose to accept it in return for their goods will do so on the merits of what it is backed by. Over time, there will be goods which are recognized to be always in demand and easily divisible and these will become widespread standards of backing for money, such that there will be fewer issuers of money and more confidence in the value of the money as compared to a wide range of goods as well as consumer ability to judge the trustworthiness of the issuers of that money based on their reputation. It will not be necessary to back the value of currency by military force.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

you are on to something here - if you read "debt the first 5000 years" you will flesh out your thoughts with some interesting history. currency backed by force is what happens during hard money eras (if i remember correctly!) - what you describe has happened - after ww2 checks written in japan by gis would be counter signed 100's of times as the debt passed from one person to another (in other words it became currency). not sure how that would work in modern america but it is a bit silly to try to work it out don't you think - we can't even elect people who represent us so anything else is a long way off!

[+] -5 points by smellyowsloozer (-51) 6 years ago

Great...quote a communist, to tell us how to run America. FUCK YOU> Communism has failed miserably everywhere on planet Earth....but dimwit OWS assholes still believe in it. They still have a soft spot in their heart for Earth's biggest mass murderer...Uncle Joe Stalin

[-] 3 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

hey loozer - use google before you respond so you have some idea of what you are talking about - try it - go ahead, you might learn something - doubtful but anything is possible - oh, and by the way - did you point out where he is incorrect - no - not possible right so let's say something stupid and maybe nobody will notice that i don't have a clue

[+] -5 points by smellyowsloozer (-51) 6 years ago

Liberals always seem to forget that little fact that capitalism and free enterprise made America THE MOST POWERFUL FUCKING NATION ON EARTH.

Too bad liberals are a self loathing American hating bunch

[-] 3 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 6 years ago

Where, EXACTLY, was there anything wrong in the article? What SPECIFIC fact of history do you dispute, and why? What EVIDENCE do you have to back up your objection, if any, on?

Or is ad hominem enough for you?

[-] 2 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

right on!

[-] -2 points by smellyowsloozer (-51) 6 years ago

Our decline was built on DEBT asshole. Constant FREE handouts by liberals. Unsustainable entitlement programs, union pensions, medicare, social security,...all going BROKE..just like Europe. Libs watch the destruction of socialism..IN REAL TIME, and still figure it's a good plan..LIBERALISM is the reason for failure. There is no help for you morons.

[-] 2 points by epa1nter (4650) from Rutherford, NJ 6 years ago

Let's see now, so Nixon nearly doubled the debt for the Vietnam war, and that was a liberal handout. Then Reagan tripled the debt by lowering taxes on corporations and the wealthy. That was very socialist of him. Then Clinton LOWERED the debt and created a SURPLUS. What a Commie. Then Bush Spent down the surplus as fast as he could for ideological reasons, and created MASSIVE debt with more tax cuts to the rich and two wars. Just call him Lenin.

The repeal of Glass/Steagall, led by conservative members of both parties, effectively deregulating banks and leading to the current economic collapse, was an entitlement program.

Yup, liberalism is clearly the reason for the failure, all right.

Chomsky's historical analysis contains actual evidence. Yours declarations are simple myth, based on nothing but belief. And that mythology is sadly fact-challenged.

[-] 1 points by luparb (290) 6 years ago

Unsustainable entitlement programs, union pensions, medicare, social security,...all going BROKE

What about the endless military invasions and bailouts for the banks and other large corporations.

You are so eager to blame programs which assist the poor, but neglect the immense amount of public money that goes towards protecting the rich.

Socialism means democratizing the economy. People are protesting due to a lack of democracy. Nobody is suffering due to a lack of capitalism.

[-] 1 points by flip (7101) 6 years ago

sad little man - are we talking about liberals or commies?? or are they the same?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 6 years ago

By "communist" do you refer to leninism or anarcho-communism? They are very different. Chomsky has been extremely critical towards leninist and leninist-like regimes all his life.